The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health not criminal justice

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,036 times Debate No: 13735
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




Hey, since you are doing the Ld topic, i though i'd challenge you to a debate. I won't use my actual arguments or case, but I will be using this to gather data. so accept if you wanna debate. cx in comments section.

I affirm
I offer the following definitions
ought: used to indicate desirability
justice: giving each his due
criminal: anything not abiding by governmental law

Observation one:
Negation of the resolution means the neg advocates the total opposite of the affirmative, therefore any impacts gained off of making it a matter of public health and criminal justice will become non unique.

Value: A just decision- considering the impacts of a decision
Criterion: secular Governance- the seperation of church and state

Contention One: Governments cannot make moral judgements about what is immoral if the object does not hamr others

Subpoint A: Drugs are commonly used in rituals. Tribes in India use cannabis and hindus often use illegal substances because they believe it enhanes communication with gods. Hypothetically if we were to globally negate this resolution and make it a matter of criminal justice, the consequences would lead to rebellion. The reason why governments must have mutual respect for religions will be explained in my next subpoint

Subpoint B: Historically and modernly, nations failing to respect religious rights have been doomed to fail.
An example of this is Nazi Germany. Simply because thy disliked judaism and the jewish people they eradicated 6 million people. after the war was lost, Americans and other nations were repulsed by this and this contributed to the current military sanctions on Germany.

In modern times , countries such as Afghanistan hose government imposes sexist and religious beliefs are economically weaker and many citizens attempt to flee the country or rebel.

Governments must not make moral judgements simply becaus the result is that morals will be placed in front of the pragmatic solution. Therefore the governments moral beliefs will hinder its ability to make just decisions.

Contention Two: The solvency is public health education
Public health educates about the threat of death, not simply the fear of punishment.
It educates about preventing overdose and therefore ritualistic use of drugs can be used more efficiently. it provides rehabilitation and hospital treatment in the event an accidental overdose appears. It allows for individuals to make a just decision about whether the religion they choose to follow is worth their health. Crimninal justice simply threatens with the fear of punishment, however the fear of inevitable death is a more efficient detterence.

ok, I am making this a quick fast round just to test it out so just write your rebuttal or cx me either way.


My opponent offered a fast round, so I will only offer a value and criterion, then attack his arguments.

I agree with my opponents definitions.

Because my opponent defines Ought as desirability, the debate comes down to whose world is more desirably, a world where drugs are criminalized or not criminalized.

His observation seems to be a little biased against the negative, but I'll go ahead and accept it, even though 90% of debaters in real life will not.

My value is Societal Welfare, the criterion is Consequential. In order for an action to be moral, it must not create negative consequences.

His value is a just decision, which is completely outweighed by societal welfare. His value accomplishes nothing, it brings nothing good to the world and is not inherently valuable. Societal welfare actually benefits people in the world whereas his value just weighs decisions. I win the value clash simply because my value is doing something to help society.

His criterion is Secular governance, I accept this criterion. However I will explain in attacking his contentions how this does not give the aff any ground.

Contention 1.a. says Drugs are used in rituals and cites how Indians would rebel if drugs were criminalized. Guess what? Drugs ARE criminalized in India (1). So where is this rebellion?

B. He says "historically" but can only provide one example. Also, the reason Hitler killed the Jews had nothing to do with their religion. He simply desired a group to pin all Germany's economic problems on, and that happened to be the Jews. They were disrespected so they could be scpegoats, not because of their religion.

Contention 2 talks about educational measures preventing people from overdosing and providing rehab.

1. Rehab exists in the criminal justice system. Drug courts are a prime example, so extend this argument to the con side. (2)

2. Education for drugs alone is not enough. People already know drugs are destructive to the body but use them despite that fact.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok, brief roadmap, I will be attacking my opponents case and defending my own.
Observation one is not biased against the neg- it makes it fair for the aff and clarifies so there is no ground skew. The wording of the resolution does not intend the negative to advocate both public health and criminal justice.

First off, the neg only has a value and criterion but no contentions. He fails to provide any solvency. in fact he doesn't even state if the criminal justice system is good. Essentially in cx(comments section) he said
good consequeces achieves societal welfare, but he fails to prove what good consequences come from incarceration. Therefore you can drop his entire case.

On his value of societal welfare: He states a just decision is less important and brings no good to the world. how is this so? Governments must make just decisions in order to achieve societal welfare, and crossapply contention one which states governments who assert their own morals and faIL to make a just decision benefiting the country and not simply their own beliefs have been doomed to fail.

On his criterion of consequensalism: you can't achieve societal welfare simply by weighing the consequences because good consequences are so subjective. For example, when U.S.A bombed Hiroshima and killed thousands was it a good consequence? Maybe for Americqa but not for the axis powers or japan so this demonstrates the subjectivty of good consequences.

Since he has no contentions, I automatically win

Onto my case:

Contention One : He states Nazis didnt care about religion or morals, simply the economy . This is completely false. The Nazis imposed their own morals that white people were better than jews or blacks, thet imposed christianity was better than judaism, that germans were superior to other europeans. To say they did not impose moral beliefs is utterly ridiculous. he says i provide only one example but this is simply because I assumed he could think of other times. What about the civil war, fueled by white supremacists who felt blacks were inferior? What happened to the Confederacy because of it? What about Japan feeling superior to chinese people during World War 2? What became of them?

He states in india drugs are criminalized. Yes, I apologize this is correct. However, this doesn't stop people from pursuing religious beliefs. This was simply an anlogy not actually an example of rebellion, I apologize. Lets use the example of wine. Wine is commonly used in Catholic cermonies. if the govt were to ban it, there would be outrage and refusal to comply. The India exampl is simply used to illustrate what would hypothetically happen if someone imposed law against ypur belief.

Contention Two: I agree drug courts do integrate both matters, but they are unsuccessful because the cost for incarceration outweighs the actual cost for rehabilitation. My goal is to spend more on education.
And I am out of room so that is all


What? Here is a direct quote from your aff case

"ok, I am making this a quick fast round just to test it out so just write your rebuttal or cx me either way."

" just write your rebuttal..."

He did not want me to present a case, he wanted a quick round and for me to just refute the points. I even explained that at the top of my round 1 arguments. Plus, with my opponents character restrictions, there's no way either of us could post an entire case and arguments.

So his own words contradict his entire second paragraph. Furthermore, I do not need to provide solvency. The negative has the burden of clash while the aff has the burden of proof. Thus, he is the one who must provide solvency, I only need to prove he does not to win.

Onto societal welfare. He says just decisions are necessary for achieving it, however I have shown you how this decision of abandoning criminal justice does nothing to benefit society or prevent harms to it. This clash will likely just come down to who wins the contentions, since they are linked to the value.

He says consequences are subjective, using the Hiroshima example. However, just as many people would have died in an invasion of Japan as did in the nuclear bombings (1), in addition to more American soldiers. Because evidence shows that both American lives and Japanese lives were saved this is not an adequate example. Also, the saving of lives in general is not subjective, everyone agrees it is desirable.

Onto C1. He says the Nazis disrespected Jews because they felt they were simply superior to other races. That was my point in attacking his argument. Because Germans felt superior to other races, they were able to make Jews a scapegoat for their economic troubles. It wouldnt have mattered if the Jews were of the same religion, they were simply different and thats all Hitler needed to blame them.

He brings up the Civil War racism and Japanese-Chinese reltions. However, this point is about religious conflicts. Neither of those conflicts were motivated by religious differences, this this is nontopical to his argument.

He says banning wine would lead to revolt. However, we are talking about drugs. As his own India example showed you, banning drugs does not cause revolution.

C2: He says prison costs more than rehab. I again direct you to my link (2) which shows the opposite. They are also cited so source credibility is not an issue.

1. (ctrl-F Japan)

I await my opponent's responses.
Debate Round No. 2


Yes, I did say write your rebuttal but accidentally. I agree this isn't your fault. However, you had a value and criterion so i misunderstood and though your intent was to write a case. So I will just attack your value

V: Societal welfare
I agree that it will come down to the contentions, but the fact is i can link into both frameworks because rehab achieves societal welfare
Criterion: Consequensalism- you state estimated more japanese and americans would have dies therefore the bomb was a positive consequence. Ok, but did the japanese govt know that? did they know they were doomed to have that amount die? Is there any actual proof this would have happened? Japan obviously still does not regard this nuke as one of the best things that ever happened to them, so obviously it is still subjective. did japan go, "Oh gee, I knew we would have lost more people, thank you America for bombing innocent people and helping is?" No of course not.

On the Nazi contention: You are trying to say that actually the nazi govt made no moral assumptions. isn't the fact jews were inferior an automatic moral assumption? They didnt do this simply for economical reasons, they actually believed it. You could say they were supremacists, which is a philosophical stance.

He states examples such as the civil war don't matter because they aren't religious issues. Actually the problem of slavery was very much a religious issue. Southerners were known to read the bible to justify slavery, while northerners thought god treated all as equals and brothers. I didnt only say religious issues, I said governments cant make moral judgements at all.

He says the wine example is non topical. i meant it as an analogy for what would hypothetically happen. Lets use a hypothetical example then. Suppose I came from a religion who believed only by consuming crack can one go to heaven. Does that belief harm others? Most likely not, and in the case it does govts are allowed to interfere. If the govt banned crack, how am i going to get to heaven? Obviously true believers would defy the law or rebel against these, which woulnt be achieving his value of societal welfare.

c2: solvency

You misunderstand, you are saying the cost for only rehab would outweigh the cost of criminal justice. I agree with this, but the fact is that rehab has a better cost benefit relationshi because t educates about the fear of death and not simply imprisoment. The fear of death is obviously more motivating. If what you mean is that in criminal justice more money is spent in rehab, this is false. If it were true, that would make it a matter of public health because rehab is prioritzed over punishment.


Value: He says he links to both values because he uses rehab, however I already showed us that the criminal justice system enforces rehab as well, therefore there is no ground gained off this argument.

Criterion: It is essentially agreed that more lives were saved by the Hiroshima bombing. The only issue is whether or not the saving of lives is subjective. The Japanese people were not aware the bombing prevented greater losses, mainly focusing only on the deaths that happened. Therefore the consequence was still good, it simply was not perceived. Lack of perception does not make the consequence any more good or bad.

Nazis: He says the Germans really believed they were superior. I agree. However my opponent has yet to prove that this was a direct result of religious differences rather than Hitler simply desiring something to blame Germany's troubles on, therefore he still fails to prove the impact on his first contention.

He talks about religions using drugs again but changes it up a bit, saying its immoral to criminalize something that isnt hurting anybody. This is where my opponent's logic is flawed the most. Everyone reading this should know illegal drugs are destructive to the body and cause severe health problems, including death. This assumption that drugs dont hurt anybody is completely false.

C2: His argument seems to be that education is more effective at deterring drug use that imprisonment. I agree that both methods are effective deterrents. This is why we have Rehab programs in the criminal justice system, because we get both the deterrant from education AND the deterrant from punishment, providing maximum deterrence. This is much more efficient than public health alone.

I thank my opponent for finishing this debate, and urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
1. By preventing death, sickness, improving economy, etc. Those things are generally considered good consequences.

2. Sure. Positive concequences benefit society in some way or another.

3. Some people do call America sick, but thats usually because they are resentful of America sticking its nose in so many people's business, and not because American society is generally stable.
Posted by 200machao 5 years ago
1. How do you weigh consequensalism? How can you determine when good consequences are reached?

2. Is it guranteed consequensalism achieves societal welfare?

3. Do you not agree societal welfare is subjective considering some countries call even america a "sick society"
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
Sorry forgot to post links

Posted by 200machao 5 years ago
1). secular governance upholds the value of a just decision because a government can never be just in its actions if it has its own moral bias

2). Drugs can harm others, but whats the probability? You can't criminalize something just because it has potential to do harm.

3). I am not making my case about morality, I am simply stating religion involves morality and th govts don't have a right to interfere in that unless it harms others

4).Negations is defined as anything the opposite of something regarded positive. When you negate a resolution it is more than disagreeing wih it, you totally disagree with it. Therefore you must advocate the total opposite which is criminal justice.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago

1. How does secular governance uphold the value?
2. You claim govs. shouldn't criminalize something that harms others. Are you saying that people who use drugs NEVER hurt anybody else?
3. You talk about morals a lot, but where is morality ever mentioned in the resolution? Or in your definitions?
4. What leads you to believe I have to advocate the complete opposite of the resolution?
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