The Instigator
Victor_Finngall
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Balacafa
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should morality apply to everyone, regardless of who you are?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 454 times Debate No: 77218
Debate Rounds (5)
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Victor_Finngall

Pro

If stealing, threats of force, murder, torture, abduction and slavery is immoral for the average person, shouldn't it also be immoral for government (which is made up of people)? If not, what is morality then, and why should we be moral?
Balacafa

Con

I accept this debate. I assume that the first round is acceptance so I will allow Pro to start the debate off in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Victor_Finngall

Pro

Morality is how we determine right from wrong, how we determine good behavior from bad behavior. Boundaries put on how we should behave.
If it applies to some people and not others, then it's a way to monopolize on the benefits of that action. A way to gain an advantage over other people while at the same time minimizing the risk of them doing it to you. If you are playing chess against someone and you are about to win and then they use an invalid move to take away your key pieces, any claim to winning the game is just as invalid. They are not a good chess player, they are a cheater and have not won the game. Morality is the same, if it should apply to one person it should apply to all people.
Balacafa

Con

There is individual morality and global morality. Global morality is looking at the bigger picture - the rights of people and whether they are right or wrong. Individual morality is a persons decision on whether something is right or wrong. Everyone has different morals. As an individual you have a moral code. Nobody can tell you that your moral code is wrong because everyone has a different moral code. Even if your moral code is against the law it is personal to you and therefore it is still your moral code. Therefore morality applies to everyone and is unique to everyone.

No individual is above individual morality and no individual can exist outside of global morality. When discussing this topic you must think about what morality means to you and what it means to the government. The government need to set morality boundaries (ie. the law) otherwise everyone who believed that murder is morally good could do this. A leader is usually elected and is elected to do what the people think is best for society.

In your round 1 argument you say that stealing, threats of force, murder, torture, abduction and slavery is immoral for the average person. This is correct. You say that it should be immoral for the government. It already is immoral for the government to do that. If a government has said that you cannot do certain things then it is their moral responsibility to not do them themselves - with a few exceptions (imprisoning people, death penalty etc.).

The definition of moral is :

"concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior"

Everyone has their own morals but whether they are deemed to be right on a global scale is a completely different debate.

Sources

https://www.google.co.uk...

https://www.google.co.uk...

https://www.google.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Victor_Finngall

Pro

"Nobody can tell you that your moral code is wrong because everyone has a different moral code"
If you don't speak out against conflicting moral codes then you don't believe your own moral code. My moral code is that rules should apply to everyone. By taking the opposing side of this argument, you are telling me that my moral code is wrong.

"In your round 1 argument you say that stealing, threats of force, murder, torture, abduction and slavery is immoral for the average person. This is correct. You say that it should be immoral for the government. It already is immoral for the government to do that. If a government has said that you cannot do certain things then it is their moral responsibility to not do them themselves - with a few exceptions (imprisoning people, death penalty etc.)."
If it is Immoral for the government than it is called by the same name. Stealing for one person cannot be a socially acceptable word like tax when the government uses it. Slavery cannot be called the draft or prison when the government does it. Murder cannot be called defending freedom.
The very fact that they call it by a different name is saying that they are above morality. If it is immoral for gangs to use extortion, than it should also be immoral for the government to use it.
Balacafa

Con

In response to your first argument. I am not telling you that your moral codes are wrong. I am saying that my moral code opposes yours. I am not saying myoral code is right and that yours is wrong. Moral codes cannot be defined as right or wrong. They are opinions.

Tax is not stealing. Tax is put in place to help the government pay for benefits for society. I am from the UK so I will use the NHS as an example. One person could not pay for the NHS to be free but since the majority of people pay their tax the government have been able to set up a free health service. There are no benefits from being robbed. There are, however, benefits of paying tax.

Being put in jail is a punishment. Slavery is cruel and inhuman - even if it is considered as a punishment.

In the UK we don't have the death penalty but if we did it would still be a punishment and not for no reason (I am still against the death penalty though)!

To conclude thi round of the debate I believe that the reason that we have different names for punishments that some people may consider the same. These are not the same because for all of these there is a valid reason to why the government do this.
Debate Round No. 3
Victor_Finngall

Pro

"Tax is not stealing. Tax is put in place to help the government pay for benefits for society. I am from the UK so I will use the NHS as an example. One person could not pay for the NHS to be free but since the majority of people pay their tax the government have been able to set up a free health service. There are no benefits from being robbed. There are, however, benefits of paying tax."
Tax is taking money through threat of force, it doesn't matter what it is used for. Someone mugging you might have a very good reason for taking that money but it's still a mugging. If the product or service was really all that good or necessary it would not need to force people to pay for it.

"Being put in jail is a punishment. Slavery is cruel and inhuman - even if it is considered as a punishment."
Prisoners are forced to work for pennies on the dollar while the prison owners profit from that SLAVE LABOR and hardly anyone says a word.

"These are not the same because for all of these there is a valid reason to why the government do this. "
So it's a not the same if it has a "valid reason", and it's a valid reason if those with guns say so?
The government is inherently immoral and corrupt because it breaks even the fundamental rules that it makes. Even if it was at one time meant to be used for good, if the methodology doesn't match the message then the methodology wins over. It puts the incentives in the wrong place. The ends does not justify the means.
Balacafa

Con

In response to your first paragraph regarding tax. We vote in government to make decisions. We understand that things need to be funded. There is lots of inequality in taxes but it is nothing like being mugged or robbed. I have not voted for a man to mug me. We vote for government to protect us, protect our morality and to keep us safe. Tax isn't an individual act. The system of taxing is taxing the populous. If you earn up to a certain amount of money a year you are taxed accordingly. Small percentages are taken so that you are not left with no money left. Mugging can vary. Small amounts of money can be taken but so can large amounts. Taxation is fair. Mugging is not.

To contradict your comparison that jail is the same as slavery. Slavery is about taking people's freedom away from them who deserve their freedom. This is not based on whether or not they have done something right or wrong. Slavery is often discriminating and racist towards the black community. Jail is for people who have broken laws that they knew that they would be punished for (although people in a certain mental state may not be aware). In prison you are given food and allowed to have rest and sleep. In jail the people who have committed the crimes are better off than the people who haven't.

Your final argument is suggesting that the flaw is with humanity. Just before I continue to talk about this topic I am talking a Western Democratic Model Government - not any government. Now back to the point ... if somebody goes up to you with a gun and asks you for money and has a valid reason it is still an immoral act. It is completely different to what the government is doing in relation to tax. We vote on a government. We do not vote for criminals to mug us and put guns to our heads. Your final argument states that "if the methodology doesn't match the message then the methodology wins over." this is correct but you provided no evidence that the methodology doesn't match the message. Based on my argument in this round and the previous round it is clear that this methodology does match the message because you have confused yourself with your definitions on specific terminology. Taxing and stealing are not the same - if they were then there wouldn't be a separate word and definition for the words.

Stealing - "take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it."

Tax - "a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions."

Sources

http://whistlinginthewind.org...

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 4
Victor_Finngall

Pro

"We vote in government to make decisions. We understand that things need to be funded."
That only applys if the vote is unanimous. In order for it to not be theft it must be voluntary, and if it is voluntary force is unnecessary. Force is how you know if something is involuntary. Theft is the taking of another person's property without that person's consent. There are many people who do not vote on a tax and are still taxed. There many who do not vote at all and are still taxed. Taxation is primarily used to take from the rich and hardworking (note I used an "and" instead of a "/") to bribe the poor and lazy to vote for them. It's not fair just because you call it by a different name.

"To contradict your comparison that jail is the same as slavery. Slavery is about taking people's freedom away from them who deserve their freedom. This is not based on whether or not they have done something right or wrong. Slavery is often discriminating and racist towards the black community."
The black community doesn't have a monopoly on the word slavery, slavery isn't about racism. Slavery is about forcing people to work, deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work or to demand compensation.

"Jail is for people who have broken laws that they knew that they would be punished for (although people in a certain mental state may not be aware)."
or people who were framed by cops putting marijuana in their pockets.

"In prison you are given food and allowed to have rest and sleep."
Whether or not you are given food and allowed to have rest and sleep is irrelevant to whether or not it is slavery. The slaves sleep and the slaves eat otherwise they won't be vary productive. Same with prisoners. Slavery has evolved some but it is still the same thing fundamentally.

"if somebody goes up to you with a gun and asks you for money and has a valid reason it is still an immoral act. It is completely different to what the government is doing in relation to tax. We vote on a government. We do not vote for criminals to mug us and put guns to our heads."
If you refuse to pay taxes the government will send police to arrest you. If you resist arrest then they will put a gun to your head, if not shoot you. It doesn't matter how many steps in the process there is. All that matters is that final step.

"Your final argument states that "if the methodology doesn't match the message then the methodology wins over." this is correct but you provided no evidence that the methodology doesn't match the message."
The government is inherently immoral and corrupt because it breaks even the fundamental rules that it makes. The government steals to prevent stealing. The message is "don't steal", the methodology is stealing to enforce that message. If the methodology doesn't match the message then the methodology wins over.

"Taxing and stealing are not the same - if they were then there wouldn't be a separate word and definition for the words."
You can prove anything if you have control over the definition. All you have to do is indoctrinates the population. Something that every government/religion does. Then it becomes common usage and that is one of the main things people who make dictionarys look at. Many of the biases we have today are influenced by old definitions not based in fact. What I'm doing is challenging the foundational contradictions in these definitions.
Balacafa

Con

Your first paragraph is right wing philosophy. Tax is the process of redistributing income to those less well off. It's a system to make the country more sustainable. Tax is about responsibility. It is about those who are well off to put back money into their country to support education, health and well being so that those who are disadvantaged are able to meaningfully engage with society and contribute to its betterment. Your argument is based on a stereotype that all/most poor people are lazy. You may be made poor by being made redundant, the company you worked for closed down, your partner passed away so you have to look after your kids. A good taxation system should support you and give you access to health, childcare, training and opportunities. It should support people less well off to make them better off and able to contribute to society. For example, giving people jobs.

Slavery is a total condition. The fact that it shares something with prison does not mean that it is the same. The fact that I share my humanity with Hitler does not make me anything like him. If you are a slave then your family and children are born into slavery. In prison your children are not born into it. Prisoners have a start and an end. Prison is about a term (e.g 1 year sentence). Slavery is for life. Prison your are bound by walls. Whereas in slavery you are bound by metaphysical walls.

" If you refuse to pay taxes the government will send police to arrest you. If you resist arrest then they will put a gun to your head, if not shoot you. It doesn't matter how many steps in the process there is. All that matters is that final step. "

The police will arrest you and quite possibly send you to jail but they wont shoot you - definitely not in the UK and I'm sure that they wouldn't shoot you in America either unless you were acting violently or aggressively. If somebody points a gun to your head you do not have a choice whether you give all of your money or not.

As my previous arguments have explained. The government does not "steal" it uses the taxation system.

I understand that the definition doesn't prove anything. Pro has continued to quote from very specific parts of my argument and has not responded to my main points. That was a very small point and was only briefly mentioned. When responding to my paragraph you must try to respond to my whole paragraph. I try to avoid quoting specific parts of my opponents arguments so that I cover the main paragraph.

Sources

http://www.patheos.com...

http://taxjustice.blogspot.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 5
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