The Instigator
progressivedem22
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
rpryor03
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should Prostitution be Legalized?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
progressivedem22
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 600 times Debate No: 43719
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

progressivedem22

Pro

This debate is for the first round of the "Ultimate Tournament." Our topic was assigned by Cooldudebro.

I will be arguing in favor of legalized prostitution, while my opponent, Rpryor03, will be arguing against it. Important to note is that we need not argue about the morality of legalizing prostitution, but rather the legal, political, and economic ramifications of doing so.

The tentative structure will be as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance and Review of the Terms of the Debate
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Rebuttals and Closing Arguments (without new sources)

I wish my opponent the best of luck, and am excited to begin this discussion.
rpryor03

Con

I accept the terms and topic of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
progressivedem22

Pro

Thanks for accepting, Con. I look forward to an interesting debate.

My core arguments will be centered around this thesis: the benefits of legalizing prostitution far and away outweigh any costs of doing so.

1. The moral case is nearly irrelevant.
We live in a society where the government must be neutral with respect to religion--where Church and state are separate--evidenced by both the First Amendment, preventing the government from establishing a religion, and Article 6 Section 3, preventing any religious test for public office. The argument that my opponent may bring up--that prostitution is wrong because many religious denominations condemn it--therefore becomes moot. This argument, attempting to impose one"s religion on another person, especially on a person who may not believe in any religious faith at all, is unconstitutional. Freedom "from" religion is implicit in the notion of freedom "of" religion.

2. Prohibiting prostitution violates the right to privacy enshrined in the Constitution, upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

Moreover, prohibiting prostitution for religious purposes violates the principle of self-ownership, the idea that we own our bodies, have a right to privacy--which the Supreme Court has long upheld in decision such as Roe v. Wade (protecting the right to abortion) and Griswold v. Connecticut (protecting the right to contraception)--and that we should be able to act as we wish so long as we don't harm other people, or inhibit them from freely exercising their liberty. So long as you are not forced to participation in prostitution, why should you care whether or not it is legal?

Furthermore, my opponent considers himself a Republican, according to his profile. His party advocates for smaller, less intrusive government that doesn't intervene in our lives. Why, though, do Republicans--who preach tax cuts and spending reductions, and thus less government involvement in economics--want the government to regulate personal habits and behavior, and thus impose private morality? The GOP sees it fit to assign a universal moral standard and impose it on people who disagree. This is permissible in a case of public morality--say, homicide, theft, etc.--where there is a clear victim; but in the case of prostitution, there is no victim. People who participate in prostitution are participating in an activity, ipso facto, that is nonviolent. Why should the government be able to intervene? Who is the victim?

3. More tax revenue to fund the government

My opponent, as a Republican, most likely supports cutting the federal deficit and balancing the budget. Though we likely disagree on where the money ought to be spent, I am sure that we could agree that generating more tax revenue to bring the government's books in order, to rebuild America"s infrastructure, and maybe even to extend unemployment benefits (that 1.3 million people just lost) should be seen as an inherently good measure. Moreover, it would provide a further boost to the economy not only because it would, at least partially, facilitate fiscal stimulus, but also would allow people to be productively employed, and therefore to have the leverage to consume. When the economy faces a demand crisis, as it does now, this could provide a boost that could, at least, contribute to propping up state and local economies. In fact, it may even encourage consumers--intrigued by the notion of legalized prostitution--to spend money on the services, and thus move money that would otherwise be saved into circulation.

4. Prohibiting prostitution has not--and will not--eliminate it, but will only make it more dangerous.

Just as abortions still occurred prior to Roe v. Wade, prostitution will still occur, even when illegal. When there is a high enough demand for a service or a product, there will inevitably be a black market, just as there is for illegal drugs today. However, black markets, by definition, are unregulated; the government cannot step in to enforce safety precautions, or to prosecute wrongdoing (unless you consider prostitution itself wrongdoing, to which I respond, again: who's the victim?), to ensure that people involved are not abused or sexually violated, or to prosecute fraud, embezzlement, and assault. Believing that prohibiting prostitution will eliminate it is naive and not borne out by the facts. Would you rather ban an activity, making it inherently dangerous for those involved, or legalize it, and have the government enforce regulations? No matter how you frame this argument, the government will have some role--either in shutting down and prosecuting people involved, or in overseeing it to ensure that it is safe. It's simply a matter of scale, and of whether the government should regulate safety and labor, or private morality. I'd opt for the former.

As I mentioned, in places where prostitution is illegal, it not only occurs nevertheless, but is quite dangerous for parties involved. Consider San Francisco, for instance. A study was conducted of 130 people working as prostitutes. Here are some of the findings:

-82% had been assaulted
-68% had been raped
-83% had been threatened with a weapon
-88% wanted to leave the line of work (underscoring the notion that many people involved in prostitution are doing so because they feel as though they must in order so survive--84% of the respondents, for instance, either were or had been homeless).

Moreover, prostitution is legal in the state of Nevada, and thus far it has been proven safe. Dylan Love from business insider remarked that his expectations were "shattered"--that "Sheri's Ranch is a compelling demonstration that legalized and well-regulated prostitution can be safe, functional, and profitable." Part of the reason it is safe is that Nevada ensures that workers are tested regularly for STIs, and prostitutes must use condoms.

http://www.nytimes.com... -- argument that prostitution should be regulated, not criminalized
http://www.businessinsider.com... -- Several arguments in favor of the position
http://www.businessinsider.com... -- account from Dennis Love, who visited a brothel in Nevada
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... -- Study that was cited
http://www.senate.gov... -- Article 6 Section 3
http://www.law.cornell.edu... -- First Amendment
http://law2.umkc.edu... -- Constitutional basis for right to privacy
rpryor03

Con

rpryor03 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
progressivedem22

Pro

As my opponent stated in the comments section, he does not have time for this debate. So, at this point, I suppose there isn't much else for me to do than extend my argument in the hope of--at some point in time--getting this to the voting period.
rpryor03

Con

rpryor03 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
progressivedem22

Pro

Extending.
rpryor03

Con

rpryor03 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
progressivedem22

Pro

Extending.
rpryor03

Con

rpryor03 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by rpryor03 2 years ago
rpryor03
I resign this debate. I'm sorry, I just don't have time for this.
Posted by progressivedem22 2 years ago
progressivedem22
I just wanted to point out that, though I got the name right in my piece, I inadvertently labeled one of my sources as an account from "Dennis" Love instead of "Dylan" Love. My apologies for the confusion.
Posted by Cooldudebro 2 years ago
Cooldudebro
Interesting. I think both debaters are pretty evenly matched. This will be a good one.
Posted by michaelperry13 2 years ago
michaelperry13
@progressivedem22

ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying, that's a good point. Good luck to all.
Posted by progressivedem22 2 years ago
progressivedem22
He can certainly argue make the morality case, but I simply didn't think it would be wise for us to focus only on that, since it could easily engulf five rounds.
Posted by michaelperry13 2 years ago
michaelperry13
Good luck, rpryor03. It will be hard to overcome some of his points without being able to pull the morality card, but you got the short end of the stick so I'm pulling for you.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
progressivedem22rpryor03Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. S&G for Pro actually having S&G to assess, and for that S&G being readable. Arguments for Pro's unrebutted case, and sources to Pro for providing several, and that they're generally reliable.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
progressivedem22rpryor03Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF