The Instigator
snelld7
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
Metz
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points

Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,110 times Debate No: 7533
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

snelld7

Con

Redo (my account was cancelled)
Metz

Pro

The Value is Morality. Morality is simply defined as the differentiation between right and wrong. Morality is the obvious value as the resolution is asking a question of moral justification, in evaluating whether an action is morally justifiable we must first value Morality.

The criterion is Preserving the Will to Power:
The will to power is an individual's struggle against their surroundings that culminates in personal growth, and the ability to assert the power they hold over others. In his book Will to Power German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes: "every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its will to power and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ("union") with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power." As the will to power is an individual's struggle against their surroundings, Vigilantism is justified through this struggle against the crime that has been committed. The Will to Power can almost be applied, as sort of a rational self-interest or in which everyone works to advance his or her power. The Will of Power is actually the driving force behind all of humanity. The Urge to feel powerful is the same as the urge to feel safe, which is the primary of human actions. The reason people came together to form the first societies is so that they would feel secure and their will to power would be preserved. Thus the Will to Power is justified by the individual's existence. Were we to eliminate the Will to Power from humanity what we would have, instead of any form of prosperity, would be a total lack of incentive for progress, or even for any action whatsoever. Such a situation, where nobody exercised the will to power, would end up with everyone giving to the other, and nobody would have anything. When we preserve the will to power we allow for moral order to develop. Morals are defined by the will to power, and always have been. Why is it immoral to kill? Because we do not wish to be killed. The Will to Power dictates that morals exist and are upheld by an individual wanting to preserve his will to power and thus declaring that killing is wrong, so he would survive.

I will now provide the following definitions for clarity in this round:
Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing criminals."(Blacks Law Dictionary)
The Law: The body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law.(American Heritage)
Enforce: To give force or effect to (a law, etc.); to compel obedience to."(Blacks Law Dictionary)
Failed: To be unable to (Princeton)

I will offer the following observations for further clarity:

1. The resolution uses the phrase "justified" instead of "just/unjust" meaning the aff is not bound to establishing the act of vigilantism on as the best course of action or even the right thing to do, there just cannot be a Categorical Ban upon it.

2. It is the Mutual burden of both Aff and Neg to prove their side as a general rule, not an absolute. Thus neither side may circumstantially negate or Affirm but rather must prove their side as a general rule. This is to ensure a level playing field for both sides and to prevent abuse. Therefore the Full Affirmative Burden is to prove that as a general rule there is no Categorical ban on resolutional action and the Negative burden is to show that there is, as a general rule, a Categorical Ban on resolutional action.

3. The resolution States that the government has failed to enforce the law. "The Law" does not mean that it has failed to uphold a specific law otherwise it would require an antecedent. An example of one such government is almost seen in Brazil. In Brazil, as few as 1% of robberies are successfully investigated by the police. (Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, American Academy of Arts and Sciences) It is a situation such as this that the resolution asks us to place ourselves in, except that it is expanded to meet the entire legal system of the country in question. Because of this we have to see that the legal system and subsequently the government, has no power to keep order.

Contention 1: The Government in question has sacrificed its monopoly on the Will to Power and thus the Vigilante is Justified.
Under a governmental system the government is the highest power, thus has the ability to apply and punish laws. It has what you would call a monopoly on the Will to Power. However laws, when they cannot be enforced should have no hold over men. As Philosopher Thomas Hobbes Articulates in the Leviathan "Covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all. Therefore, notwithstanding the laws of nature, if there be no power erected, every man will and may lawfully rely on his own strength and art for caution against all other men." In other words in the Laws cannot be upheld man must rely on his own strength in order both to survive and to prevent a total collapse into anarchy. If the Government, the highest power that asserts its power on the citizens according to its structure, has failed, the vigilante is justified in attempting to maintain order. So what we see the Vigilante actually doing is keeping the already weakened society from degrading into total anarchy, and attempting to maintain some degree of order Thus, Vigilantism is justified when the government fails to uphold the law.

Contention 2: Vigilantism is a self-regulating practice
The Impacts the negative will give you actually will not exist in a system as described by the resolution. This is because vigilantism is self-regulating.
Economist Adam Smith gave the idea of the "invisible hand" as a regulator for the free market. The Economic Theory behind the invisible hand is that because the driving force behind a free market economic system is profits company's will try to maximize their own profits and the market will settle on a price of product distribution, an equilibrium that is beneficial to producers and consumers alike. This same economic concept of the "invisible hand" can be applied to vigilantism in this resolution. The driving force behind human organizations is safety. Everyone desires to be safe and secure in his right. So if the government fails and vigilantism is used these vigilantes, just like companies in Smith's free market system, need to find an equilibrium point where society will flourish. If a vigilante becomes too destructive of rights than other will step in and take him down in turn. As Nietzsche writes in Beyond Good and Evil "The "individual" stands out, and is obliged to have recourse to his own law-giving, his own arts and artifices for self-preservation, self-elevation, and self-deliverance. The Will to Power encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement, this union of ideas is the foundation of societal moral order" Philosopher Robert Nozick wrote that "the invisible hand explanation for a minimalist society shows how, for the sake of their own rights, citizens must be respectful of the rights of others" So any vigilante that abuses the system will be pulled down in turn, just like the criminals he sought to sto
Debate Round No. 1
snelld7

Con

snelld7 forfeited this round.
Metz

Pro

Extend...
Debate Round No. 2
snelld7

Con

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Vigilantism will never work under your VC because it is not for the people because it is not derived for the people, but for the person. You are correct, people have the right to protect themselves against their societey, this is called self-defense and is perfectly legal and fine with the state and further governments. Vigilantism however, is Illegal and is illegal for a reason. It's not illegal because it's benefitial towards societey, society can be protected by it, and because societey wants it [...] but because of quite the opposite.

Onto his observation number 1-"The resolution uses the phrase "justified" instead of "just/unjust" meaning the aff is not bound to establishing the act of vigilantism on as the best course of action or even the right thing to do, there just cannot be a Categorical Ban upon it."

This is pretty amazing. My opponent is attempting to uphold vigilantism due to morals (his value is Morality), yet on the other hand, he is trying to say he does not have the burden of upholding the fact that it is the best thing to do, and that it is the right thing to do. This is quite contradictory. If your value is that of morality, then no matter what the resolution points out or puts before you, you've made it your burden to uphold vigilantism being the right thing to do, seeing as how you've defined your value as "difference between right and wrong," (meaning you are to do the right thing oppose to the wrong thing).

Your Value criterion does not uphold your value because your VC is attempting to justify actions (whether they be good or bad) for the betterment of the individual. You can't say this is not true. Why? Because you know I, as the negative side, am going to bring things wrong with vigilantism, and your point is that no matter what I say, Vigilantism is right because it preserves the will of power (where you say "every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its will to power and to thrust back all that resists its extension."). In LD Debate, your value is to uphold your value criterion, meaning you know your value is there, when your value criterion is there. The same cannot be said for your case.

Onto your first contention. "contention 1: The Government in question has sacrificed its monopoly on the Will to Power and thus the Vigilante is Justified"

You state "Under a governmental system the government is the highest power, thus has the ability to apply and punish laws. It has what you would call a monopoly on the Will to Power."

But fail to realize why. Governments realize that there is a major flaw in opening up ANY AND EVERY citizen into exacting his own vigilante powers onto whomever they thing is committing a crime or not. If you legalize vigilantism the problem with your contention 2 opens up.

"Contention 2: Vigilantism is a self-regulating practice"

This is the exact problem with vigilantism. It is self-regulated, self-appointed, self-assesed, and every other thing that has to do with SELF. In the declaration of independance and in the constitution it is made clear that governments have their power over people because the people give there consent to the government. Nobody from birth (whether it be a king, dictator, or president) has the power to govern if someone does not afford that person that right. Because Vigilantism is the attempt of trying to govern someone without their consent, it is not only wrong, but MORALLY wrong. The idea of vigilante justice is quite amusing. The idea that a murdering, thieving, anger management needing abusive citizen decides that someone else has gone too far and needs to be punished by them because they somehow feel that they are more just than the government, is morally reprehensible, and the exact definition of irony.
Metz

Pro

Metz forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
Sure, That should be fun...
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
lol want to do it again? except on the reverse side?
Posted by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
This is Hilarious I recognized the VC flaw as well and now I have nothing close to this case except an edited contention 2 and opening quote...
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
Repost your case and I'll start from there
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
snelld7MetzTied
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Vote Placed by pcmbrown 7 years ago
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snelld7MetzTied
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Vote Placed by Metz 7 years ago
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snelld7MetzTied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
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snelld7MetzTied
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Vote Placed by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
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Vote Placed by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
snelld7MetzTied
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