The Instigator
DynEco
Con (against)
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The Contender
percyj
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Sci-fi: People should be arrested for crimes they will commit in the future

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2016 Category: Funny
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 554 times Debate No: 88495
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

DynEco

Con

Context: During an era of rapid innovation and invention, a brilliant scientist discovers a way to connect past and future times to the present. After a few years of invention and development, time travel has become a reality. Along with it comes moral, ethical and practical questions: Who should be allowed to use it? What should we do with it? Should we even use it at all? ETC. The consequences of altering the past are too great and is prohibited by the government. Although, they have decided no one I allowed to enter another time, they allow people to look through time windows to the past and reserve the use of time windows to the future for police and investigators.

1) Arrested: Apprehended and charged with a criminal breach of law.
2) Will commit: The time window shows the crime being committed by the person who is to be arrested.
3) Future: The immediate, near or distant time relative to the present.

This will be a semi-serious debate (no trolling or semantics) but pretty casual for the most part. I figure there will be argumentation on topics like ethics, practicality and justice.

General outline of the debate:
1: Acceptance
2: Argument, Evidence, and Links (if necessary)
3: Rebuttals
4: Summary

Debate parameters: 8k character limit. 72 hours for submitting each round. 2 week open voting period.

Comment if you think the debate category, sci-fi tag, number of rounds or something else should be changed before accepting the challenge.
percyj

Pro

Yes, since we have the technology to do so, we can prevent innocents from dying from murder, rape. We can also prevent the minor crimes from happening too.
Debate Round No. 1
DynEco

Con

Claim: It should be illegal to arrest and charge someone for a crime they have not committed because it violates ethics, justice, and practical reason.

Issues/Warrants:

  1. 1. Changing the future erases crimes. If the time window shows a crime in progress and the police go stop it prematurely, then the crime never occurred. If the crime never happened, then nothing should be shown in the time window but the arrest. Otherwise, the time window is showing a false timeline or alternate timeline where the crime still occurs.

  2. 2. Arrests become self-fulfilling prophecies. If a crime is prevented and an arrest is made, the time window will show only the arrest. The police must assume a crime is prevented by arresting the perpetrator(s) they saw being arrested. They can only justify arresting whoever was shown. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where arrests are made because it will be done and must be done, because failing to do so ensures a crime will occur.

  3. 3. Arrests become self-justifying. If the only evidence of a crime is that someone was arrested, the fact of being arrested becomes the justification for the person’s arrest and evidence of their guilt. It’s circular logic. Even though they would have committed the crime, it being prevented means they ultimately didn’t do anything wrong.

  4. 4. Self-fulfilling, self-justified arrests enable discrimination and framing innocents. It becomes easy for authorities (and crafty individuals) to frame somebody for a crime or just discriminate personally. Since there is no direct, physical evidence of innocence or wrongdoing, officials could grant favor or discriminate at will. A crafty individual could use advanced technology to change their appearance and frame someone else who they know will be nearby. If the crime is prevented, all physical evidence is erased. The only evidence is from the time window. If the time window is fooled, so are the authorities. Meanwhile, the arrest is factually supported and justified by the time window and recent arrest records agreeing.

  5. 5. Criminal defense lawyers become ineffectual and obsolete due to indisputable evidence. Since criminals are already judged before they are arrested, there is no need for a defense because the crime is treated as an indisputable fact. Criminals go automatically from arrest and charges to sentencing and corrections. This violates due process and criminal rights.

  6. 6. Trials are obsolete and ineffectual due to lack of information. As a result of the circumstances of #1, the officers and courts won’t even know what to charge criminals with because they have no knowledge or evidence of the alleged prevented crimes beyond the arrest and time window. Anything else would be speculation. Due to #1 through #5, the standard of evidence can never be met and all cases brought this way would be thrown out.

  7. 7. No crime was actually committed. The courts could not try, sentence, or charge arrested persons because there was no crime, so the criminals would be released immediately without consequence. You cannot be punished for something you did not do. Even if some form of suggested corrective measure were prescribed instead, they would suggest every corrective measure possible, once again for lack of knowing what crime or reason for committing it. These exercises in futility are unjust, unethical, and impractical wastes of time, effort, and resources.

  8. 8. Crime delayed, not prevented. Either the criminal is sentenced, violating their rights, or the criminal is set free to potentially attempt the crime later. If they are not sentenced or even tried, there is no justice or purpose in arresting them except to delay their crimes and send a warning.

  9. 9. Police state, USA. Although constant interference may serve as a deterrent, the massive forces required to catch every crime (large, small, violent, or nonviolent) would create a surveillance society. All citizens would be at the mercy of fate and foes while at the same time giving criminals endless opportunities to test the system for gaps and loopholes (as mentioned in #4). Ultimately, crime cannot be prevented 100% through this solution and results in excessively high spending to keep small, one-time criminals in check.

Conclusion: In order to protect of ethics, justice, and practicality in the matters stated above, preventative arrests and charges should be illegal.

-----------------------------------------

(Side Note: The prompt and definitions should have been more clear in round one. I apologize for the inconvenience of this error, since we cannot change it after the challenge has been accepted.)

percyj

Pro

percyj forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
DynEco

Con

Extend

----------------

(Unfortunately this debate has concluded. Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in this debate. Hopefully it will be rebooted in the future and completed more satisfactorily.)
percyj

Pro

percyj forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
DynEco

Con

Extend

--------------------------

(Unfortunately this debate has concluded. Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in this debate. Hopefully it will be rebooted in the future and completed more satisfactorily.)
percyj

Pro

percyj forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by randomman22 1 year ago
randomman22
Before reading the debate, I would like to establish the problem with a time anomaly. If you arrest the person now for a crime they commit in the future, the crime will not have been committed putting an innocent man/woman in prison.
Posted by DynEco 1 year ago
DynEco
@percyj There is still hope! You can argue for alternative uses of the time window to watch the crime and let it happen before catching them. The window footage van be used as evidence which expedites the trial process while allowing for trials and criminal rights to be protected. They are still being arrested for a future crime that the cops were aware of before it happening. So it still fits the bill of the topic!

I didn't really think it through before making the debate topic about time travel. I just wanted something creative and interesting instead of cut and paste debates. I understand if you wanna stop, but i really meant for this to be more fun and i apologize for the misleading topic.
Posted by percyj 1 year ago
percyj
you win, i have nothing to say against that.
Posted by DynEco 1 year ago
DynEco
Oh s#!t, I can't change it now that someone has accepted the challenge. I wish I had defined the debate terms better.
I'm a newbie, as you might've guessed. I'm about 2 weeks old, I finished debate #1 two days ago and this is debate #2. I hadn't expected anyone to accept this quickly when the last debate I created got ignored. Should I just restart it and make a new one?
Posted by DynEco 1 year ago
DynEco
@Phenenas I've never seen Minority Report and I didn't even know what it was til I you mentioned it.

@brokensteps Good questions! I define arrested as apprehended and presumably they would be charged for the crime but to a lesser degree than if they had done it. They would be served with required corrective therapy before releasing them but the perp won't get jail time or pay a fine. It would probably still go on record but it wouldn't be nearly as serious or problematic as today's criminal records.
Posted by Briannj17 1 year ago
Briannj17
Very sneaky. I know what you're up to.
Posted by Phenenas 1 year ago
Phenenas
Somebody's been watching Minority Report.
Posted by brokensteps 1 year ago
brokensteps
Before I even think about the debate, would you clear up what you would define as arrested? Would they face the consequences of someone as if they had committed the crime, or would they receive help to stop them from repeating that train of thought?
Also, do you think that humans have free will? That should hopefully clear up a lot of things, and should help stop this from turning into a goalpost argument
No votes have been placed for this debate.