The Instigator
strikepose821
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Wallstreetatheist
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Should ciggs be illegal?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Wallstreetatheist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 951 times Debate No: 24779
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

strikepose821

Pro

Ciggs should be illegal due to all the health problems they cause. All you have to do is look at the ingredients on the box to see how bad they are for you. They have cause numerous amounts of deaths due to lung cancer and other diseases. How many people have to die in order for these deadly sticks to be banned?
Wallstreetatheist

Con

I thank strikepose for posing this debate topic, and I wish her good luck in the next round!


Con Case

I will be addressing three main points in my argument for the legality of cigarettes: first, the ethics of self ownership; second, property rights; and third, the detrimental effects of prohibition

Self Ownership

By the mere act of engaging in debate, I am exercising my right of self-ownership via my physical body as well as my cognitive functioning. Through debating, my opponent and I both implicitly recognize our individual right to exclusively control our individual bodies. Consequently, we understand that the anti-coercion principle is surmised as well. Therefore, communication with individuals necessarily presumes self ownership and anti-coercion. Deviating from argumentation and self ownership to the extent of bringing the violent monopoly of the government to prohibit an expression of self ownership violates both of the principles previously established; it is therefore, immoral and illogical. [1]

Robert LeFevre writes, "Each person owns himself and all of his functions, including those of sex, digestion, cognition, and so on. Among the greatest satisfactions available to human beings are those which recognize other persons as equals in the property ownership of self. Although a man may wish an exclusive association with a particular friend, and while it may be possible to contract for such an exclusive relationship, the fact remains that each party to any association always remains the owner of himself." [2]

Summary: Through the act of debate we presuppose self-ownership and anti-coercion. This provides a framework for ethically and logically upholding the legality of cigarettes as the least bad option. Deviating from this framework by using a violent monopoly to prohibit an expression of self-ownership is immoral and illogical. Furthermore, it implicitly concedes a lack of argumentation justification.


Property Rights

One of the most fundamental requirements of a free society and a free market is a robust system of strong property rights. Compromising on these compromises on broader human rights and is a form of repression. As the sole owner of property such as a cigarette manufacturing plant, a chemical company, or restaurant, I have the exclusive right to determine what I do with my property. I have the right to enter into written and unwritten contracts with this property, for example: as the owner of the manufacturing plant, I can enter into labor contracts with workers to operate the machines using the tobacco that farmers to grow and deliver in regular shipments; as the restaurateur, I can allow smoking or prohibit it based on my ownership of the restaurant. If this hurts or helps my business, I feel the consequences because I am personally invested in a company that receives profits from serving people. Even when I own a pack of cigarettes, I have the right to determine how that property is used (granted it follows the anti-coercion principle). Government intervening in the economic market diminishes the strength of property rights, violates the anti-coercion principle, and usurps personal freedom. [3, 4]

Summary: As the owner of property, I have the exclusive right to determine how the property is to be used through contracts both written and unwritten. Government intervening in the economic market diminishes the strength of property rights, violates the anti-coercion principle, and usurps personal freedom. When a person or entity infringes upon a property right, he or it infringes upon a human right.


Prohibition

"Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes." -Abraham Lincoln

I will only touch on 5 negative effects of prohibition. This contention is somewhat ironic, because it was the famous prohibition of alcohol from 1920-1933 that catalyzed the development of smoking as a national habit.

1) Prohibitions on drugs do not eliminate the market for them. However, they do increase crime, prison populations, and social unrest. One study found that the current homicide levels are 25%-75% higher than they would be in the absence of prohibition.

2) Prohibition generates organized crime. When a market for a drug still exists, but the manufacture, distribution, and sale of it is illegal, organized gangs control the substance. Since this economic activity occurs in the black market/shadow economy, there is no available legal system that can adjudicate disputes; therefore, the gangs arm themselves to the teeth to resolve disputes and engage in turf wars for larger sales areas, often resulting in innocent bystander deaths.

3) Prohibition of a drug obfuscates the purpose of police forces. Time and resources spent apprehending "criminals" for selling and using drugs is time and resources not spent catching real criminals: murderers, rapists, thiefs, etc. Consonantly, space and resources spent jailing drug-related "criminals" is space and resources not spent on imprisoning real criminals. Furthermore, these resources need to be diverted from the productive private sector economy into the waste of the public realm treating addicts as criminals instead of addicts. 13% of arrests in 2007 were from prohibition. Adding tobacco to the list would only further retard our law, courts, and prisons.

4) Black market drugs are more dangerous and less quality-assured. These quality issues lead to an increase of overdoses, poisonings, and adverse effects due to the lack of business transparency that black markets create.

5) Prohibition creates a disrespect for the law. One of the symptoms of coercive, monocentric law is that its seemingly arbitrary laws are bought and paid for by special interests which back the government. Private prisons, which rely on government for their existence, are paid per prisoner held per month by the government. This means that the more prisoners they have the more money they make. The result of this is that crimes are invented and the seriousness of the law becomes morphed into a whimsical, ridiculous concept instead of something that is important and protecting. In the face of all 1920-1931 prohibition crackdowns, the amount people drank increased, along with lawlessness, sexual infidelity, and crime. [5, 6, 7]



Rebuttal

"Ciggs should be illegal due to all the health problems they cause."

The harms of cigarettes are clear, but they have no implication in this debate because banning the use of something based on that reason is unjustified.

"How many people have to die in order for these deadly sticks to be banned?"


Even if 15% of our population died from smoking, it would not be justified for the government to regulate personal behavior by infringing in personal ownership, property rights, and the anti-coercion principle.


Please, vote Con!


[1] http://mises.org...
[2] Robert LeFevre, The Philosophy of Ownership
[3] Speech: Mark Tier, Smoker's Rights are Human Rights are Property Rights
[4] http://www.econlib.org...
[5] http://www.patheos.com...
[6] http://www.learnliberty.org...
[7] http://library.mises.org...
Debate Round No. 1
strikepose821

Pro

strikepose821 forfeited this round.
Wallstreetatheist

Con

My opponent forfeited due to the inane fatuity of her case and the strong cogency of mine. She is an enemy of human rights, and I ask that she lose the conduct point for both forfeiting and being an enemy of freedom. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
strikepose821

Pro

strikepose821 forfeited this round.
Wallstreetatheist

Con

Extend my arguments like an engorged phallus during penile intromission.
Debate Round No. 3
strikepose821

Pro

strikepose821 forfeited this round.
Wallstreetatheist

Con

Extend my arguments like a laser into deep space.
Debate Round No. 4
strikepose821

Pro

strikepose821 forfeited this round.
Wallstreetatheist

Con

Extend my arguments like a robotic laser cannon set on murder.
Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bossyburrito 4 years ago
bossyburrito
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Cody_Franklin 4 years ago
Cody_Franklin
strikepose821WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro derped.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 4 years ago
airmax1227
strikepose821WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never replied to Con's R1. Conduct for FF.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
strikepose821WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit by Pro.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
strikepose821WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: t