The Instigator
kathrynandemily
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

That this house would ban alcohol

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,404 times Debate No: 13101
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

kathrynandemily

Pro

That we would ban alcohol
Cody_Franklin

Con

Two basic arguments against the prohibition of alcohol come to mind, so I'll use those to open this debate.

1. The Empirical Argument

A fact known to many who have studied American History is that prohibition is clearly ineffective at combating the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol [http://www.imunusual.com...]. When alcohol was turned into an illegal substance, the consumption of alcohol was not eliminated - it was merely driven underground. Rather than biological purity and strong moral fiber, the 18th Amendment resulted in the polar opposite: speakeasies, organized crime, and the kind of binging that we're currently seeing with the equally ineffective "War on Drugs" [http://online.wsj.com...] [http://www.google.com...]. To avoid going on a long rant about Prohibition Era and the War on Drugs, I'll simply say this: we've tried it before, and it doesn't work. There's no reason to waste even more money now, given A) our already-enormous deficit, and B) a culture that, in terms of social issues, is FAR more liberal than it was in the days of Prohibition, which suggests that trying another ban would produce even worse results than it did the first time (if "worse" is even a possibility).

2. The Moral Argument

Neither a government nor a "Moral Majority" has the right to ban alcohol. The thing is, consumption of alcohol isn't intrinsically harmful to the rights of another individual; therefore, the government does not have the moral authority to pass a law banning the sale, distribution, or consumption of alcohol. The only physical harm which could directly result from the consumption of alcohol is harm to one's own body; however, given that one's body is one's personal property, the government would be acting quite contrary to it's purpose--to protect rights--if it were to violate a person's freedom to do what he pleases with his property--that is, his body--so long as he harms no one else in the process.

Interestingly, the only affirmative argument of which I could conceive (other than the paternalistic "alcohol hurts the body" argument) is that, while under the influence of alcohol, one may be inclined to commit a criminal offense. Two things come to mind when considering this argument:

a. if a person commits a crime while under the influence of any substance, they ought to be punished for committing the offense. To illustrate my point, allow me to present a hypothetical scenario.

Suppose, if you will, that there are two men, both of whom are above 21 (to comply with the legal status quo), and both of whom have consumed enough alcohol that they are both demonstrably intoxicated. The first man walks the three blocks to his house and goes to sleep. The second man, whose house is on the other side of the city, decides to break into and steal one of the cars in the parking lot. As it turns out, the police catch him as he pulls out of the lot. He's arrested, tried, and convicted for theft of a motor vehicle.

In both cases, the judgment of the two men is impaired by their vast consumption of alcohol; yet, the first man is not punished. The distinction between innocence and guilt is only drawn at the point that a crime is committed, as is the case with the second man. This suggests, given that legal guilt is established only after commission of an offense, that inebriation isn't a factor which ought to be taken into consideration when bringing someone up on criminal charges.

b. Another interesting thing to note here is that "impaired judgment" is not only legally irrelevant (unless, of course, one is legitimately insane or retarded), but also non-unique to alcohol. Consider the case of a man who has had a very bad day. Perhaps he got fired from a lucrative job, or, after arriving home early from a business trip, caught his wife cheating on him with his best friend. In his rage, perhaps he leaves the situation immediately, and drives around town with a dire case of road rage. Given that his judgment as a driver is quite impaired, suppose that he inadvertently crashes into an oncoming vehicle, killing that driver instantly. Perhaps they charge him with reckless endangerment - the crime here is putting other drivers in danger without any regard whatsoever for their safety. Do they bring him up on charges of grumpiness? Do they nail him for second-degree irritability? Do they use this case as a springboard for the establishment of "contentment checkpoints"? Well, I should certainly hope not. The point remains, however, that one cannot ban "bad judgment", regardless of whether it comes from a bad day at the office or from a pint at Bill's Pub.

I wish my opponent luck, and am quite curious as to what arguments she will be able to offer in support of the resolution.
Debate Round No. 1
kathrynandemily

Pro

kathrynandemily forfeited this round.
Cody_Franklin

Con

Extend those arguments. ALL OF THEM.
Debate Round No. 2
kathrynandemily

Pro

Hi there, this is just a school debate so i was wondering if you could give me some feedback about what I've done well and areas i could work on if you have the time. thank you so much.

‘THAT THIS HOUSE WOULD BAN ALCOHOL' DEBATE
Good Afternoon my name is Kathryn and I am the first speaker for the affirming team and today my team and I are affirming the moot ‘that this house would ban alcohol'.
I as our first speaker will define the moot as well as speaking to you about the addictive properties of alcohol and the fact it is a legal drug. I will also cover the abuse and violent crimes that result from the consumption of alcohol. Hannah Bartlett our second speaker will further convince you of the moot by telling you of the effects alcohol have on communities and within families as well as talking about the social culture that has developed around drinking alcohol in New Zealand. Hannah will also cover the dangers of drink driving especially in New Zealand. Emily Moore our third speaker will rebut all points made by the negating and will address the fact that alcoholism can be passed on through generations as well as backing up our main points.
We, the affirming team take the moot ‘ that this house would ban alcohol' to mean ‘this house' is us and our peers and all teenagers, ban to mean to prohibit or forbid and alcohol to be an intoxicating drug.
Alcohol is one of the world's most harmful, destructive and easily accessed drug. Heroin, marijuana and cocaine are all illegal in New Zealand today partly because they are dangerous and partly because they serve no useful medical purpose but what about alcohol shouldn't it also be banned on the same grounds as Heroin, marijuana and cocaine?
Alcohol like all drugs is addictive but unlike some of the actually illegal drugs out there it is completely destructive to the human mind and body. As a result of alcohols addictive qualities many average everyday people lose their marriages, families, jobs and careers. A huge number of homeless people are in that position as a result of their alcoholism. Short term effects of any alcohol consumed are impaired judgement and coordination which can lead the drinker to unsafely operate a car, memory loss, vomiting, hangovers, blackouts, reduced inhibitions and nausea. The longer a person abuses alcohol the closer they are to becoming addicted. Some long term effects of alcohol can include liver cancer, an increased risk of breast cancer in woman, memory loss, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many more. Why is it accepted in our drinking culture that we should and can drink alcohol and the effects of this on our lives are relevant or won't personally affect us? Any drug that is this destructive and harmful should be illegal.
Statistics also show that humans' brains are not fully developed until they reach the age of 25, by allowing those from 18 years old onwards legally allowed to drink alcohol we are hindering the growth and development of the young people of our country. Because of this most will not reach their full potential. Until young people are 25 they have not reached the full level of maturity and judgement, given that they are not able to completely and rationally judge things until they are that age it is not at all helping them by allowing them to drink alcohol which further impairs judgement.
40% percent of child maltreatment involves the parent abusing alcohol. Drunken individuals are 6 times more likely to commit an act of violence than those who are sober. Shouldn't these facts and statistics have already resulted in alcohol in New Zealand being banned? We the affirming team believe the answer to this question is yes they should have.
In New Zealand the consumption and abuse of alcohol are closely related with crime, manslaughter and murder. In over 50% of the homicides in New Zealand the offenders are affected by alcohol. At report done for the Zealand Police looking into the extent alcohol and drugs played in driver deaths found that 72% had used alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs which had resulted in their deaths
Lately news items in New Zealand such as the young boy who died as a result of drinking too much alcohol are showing that New Zealanders are not drinking alcohol responsibly and are abusing our alcohol related laws. Continuous reports of fatalities on our roads caused by drink drivers
Cody_Franklin

Con

1. Alcohol is harmful

a. Pro implicitly presumes the legitimacy of the status quo inasmuch as she accepts the ban on drugs like heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. The question becomes whether these drugs should be banned at all; however, an argument of mine entirely unaddressed by Pro is the moral argument, that a drug's ability to harm someone or cloud their judgment in no way constitutes a justification for placing a ban on it. At best, my opponent is relying on the naturalistic fallacy: drugs are dangerous, therefore drugs should be banned. The value judgment, that all dangerous substances should be banned, remains unjustified.

b. Even presuming that the grave effects of consumption which Pro lists are typical for every person who consumes alcohol, we can look back to the empirical argument and note that a prohibition on alcohol is entirely ineffective. The relevant evidence here was provided in the first round.

2. Brain development

a. Her argument here is irresolutional. As Pro, her task is to support a blanket ban on alcohol. As soon as she makes the argument that people aren't ready to drink until the age of 25 (when their brains finish developing), she completely destroys the credibility of the Pro position. She's suggesting that the drinking age be raised, not that alcohol should be banned.

b. The fact that child abuse, or any crime, is made more plausible by alcohol is immaterial to whether it ought to be banned. As I noted in Round 1, being upset or angry can also compromise one's judgment; however, that doesn't justify a ban on negative emotions. Similarly, impaired judgment doesn't justify a ban on alcohol, or any substance causing similar effects. Punish individuals for the crimes they commit - not for the substances which may have contributed to their decision. Recall the situation I outlined in the first round - the two drunk men. One is arrested, the other is not. They are both inebriated; the only difference between the two is that one committed a crime. The legal system, knowing that inebriation isn't intrinsically criminal, ought to make the same distinction during the trial by not tacking on the "under the influence" charge as an afterthought.

3. Drops

a. Both the empirical and moral arguments, the likes of which preempt many of Pro's own arguments, have gone unaddressed.

*Points Breakdown*

Conduct: Con - Pro forfeited a round.

S/G: Con - Pro failed to put spaces in between paragraphs, resulting in an unpleasant-to-read wall of text.

Arguments: Con - Pro didn't refute Con's arguments, and didn't actually present any arguments until the final round.

Sources: Con - Con used several sources in the first round, and Pro never used any.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Atheism 7 years ago
Atheism
Needlessly large block of text from Kathyrn is a needlessly large block of text from Kathyryn.
Isn't tautology fun?
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
"Hi there, this is just a school debate so i was wondering if you could give me some feedback about what I've done well and areas i could work on if you have the time. thank you so much."

1. Don't forfeit rounds.
2. Use the damn space bar to separate paragraphs.
3. Use sources.
Posted by lovelife 7 years ago
lovelife
"I prefer quality to quantity. If she can't handle the arguments, she probably wouldn't be very valuable on a debate website."

I understand that, and I agree with you, I just think people can grow and its scaring them off before they get a chance. It was partly a joke anyway lmao.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
In simpler terms, he's trying to prevent another lovelife from becoming a regular member.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
Dang, that was fast, Cody.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I prefer quality to quantity. If she can't handle the arguments, she probably wouldn't be very valuable on a debate website.
Posted by lovelife 7 years ago
lovelife
Geez Cody you could have gone easier on her. She's new and arguments like that are what scare off the new members lmao
Posted by lovelife 7 years ago
lovelife
Ann if its her personal house it may be banned. Whether its a good idea or not has nothing to do with the debate the way its worded right now.
Posted by annhasle 7 years ago
annhasle
Ever read about the Prohibition in America? EPIC FAIL.
Posted by lovelife 7 years ago
lovelife
Who is we?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
kathrynandemilyCody_FranklinTied
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Vote Placed by Atheism 7 years ago
Atheism
kathrynandemilyCody_FranklinTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
kathrynandemilyCody_FranklinTied
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Vote Placed by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
kathrynandemilyCody_FranklinTied
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