The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
14 Points

Taxes are Morally Justified

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/6/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 528 times Debate No: 56174
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Resolution: Taxes are Morally Justified

The burden of proof will lie solely on Pro.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Final Rebuttals and Closing Remarks


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


MountainofEvidence forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited his opening round.

Per the resolution, I will be arguing that taxes are in fact morally justified.

To begin, I"ll present a few definitions:

Tax " "a sum of money demanded by a government for its support for special facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc." [1]

Justified " "to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable." [2]

Moral " "adhering to conventionally accepted standards of conduct." [3]

The first argument my opponent could make, and that I would make were I in his place, is that morality is subjective: that because different societies and individuals may possess different standards for what would constitute "accepted standards of conduct," it isn"t possible to claim that anything is in fact justified.

However, this simply isn"t the case. Per the definition of "justified" that I have noted, I must merely prove that something is, at the very least, reasonable. How do we determine whether or not it is "morally justified?" Simply by ascertaining whether or not our conception of "reasonableness" comports with conventionally accepted standards of conduct. These standards need not be universal throughout human societies or even throughout countries, but within a society. We can define society narrowly such that it means a local neighborhood, a student body, or a nonprofit organization. Provided that I can demonstrate that taxes are justified within at least one society, I have upheld my burden of proof.

First, I"m going to provide the expected appeal to the "social contract," for which philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau have expressed support.

In reference to this concept, Celeste Friend from Hamilton College writes the following [4]:

"Social contract theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons" moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live."

The point of the social contract, the premise upon which any form of taxation is based, is that people collectively decide to pool together their resources toward some greater end, be that public schools, infrastructure, education, national defense, et al.

Now, there are several reasonable applications of this, some of which are at least ostensibly objective. For instance, the principle of self-defense. If a country is attacked, it has a right to respond in order to defend itself, in the national interest. In order to do this, however, there needs to be collective action, barring a sizeable donation of hundred of billions of dollars, which is impossible. Collecting taxes, therefore, is not only reasonable toward combating a foreign attacker, but is just in that it seeks to combat a threat to the homeland, one which poses potential harm to every man, woman and child.

My burden of proof has been fulfilled.

There are more arguments I intend to make, but considering that my opponent has already forfeited and is likely to forfeit again, I will for now withhold them.

Debate Round No. 2


MountainofEvidence forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited.

Extending all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MountainofEvidence 2 years ago
If I extended the rounds, would you be willing to participate in this debate?
Posted by voxprojectus 2 years ago
I want this, but can't take it with existing time constraint. Hope you'll revisit it when I'm more free
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con provides no arguments.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: A full forfeit from Con, so Pro clearly wins. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.