The Instigator
lddebater540
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
el-badgero
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

This House would reject consensus.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
lddebater540
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,040 times Debate No: 17161
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

lddebater540

Pro

Please do Parliamentary Debate (no researching-evidence is permitted, but only if you knew the examples before the round started). This is an open motion, so as the proposition debater, I choose to interpret the topic as The United States should not adopt a participatory democracy.

Observation: The proposition team shall propose the use of a value and a value criterion for this round. This is justified for three reasons.
1) As the proposition, I have the right to interpret the topic and determine the grounds for the debate. I hereby determine that the debate shall be centered around the use of a value.
2)Values and criteria filter arguments in the round and force each side to impact and filter their arguments into a cohesive whole. This means that the use of value and criteria fosters a better debate and promotes education.

Since the actor in the resolution is the United States government, and according to Harvard philosopher John Rawls, justice is the first virtue of social institutions and governments, my value for this round is Justice defined as giving each his due.

A just society must respect the fact that the rights of its citizens are inherently valuable because citizens create the state to respect their rights. This means that each individual has inalienable rights that cannot be violated by others. Thus, my value criterion for this round is the preservation of natural rights.

Contention 1: Participatory democracies are more prone to lead to rights violations. Because the vast majority of the people only look to their own self-interests rather than the interests of all, and because the masses are more likely to be influenced by emotional considerations, participatory democracies are more likely to act in a manner that disadvantages some for the sake of others. If a majority believes that a minority poses a threat to its belief system, for example, it could easily slaughter members of the minority or deprive them of their rights. For example, during the French Revolution, the majoritarian Jacobians, which consisted of the working class proletariat and the bourgeois middle-class, decided to condemn any aristocrats found within the French borders to death by guillotine, even though some had advocated for the rights of the people and in their present situation, none posed a threat to the new government. This decision, which was clearly based on emotional considerations rather than on rational choices, thus allowed the democracy to violate the natural rights of the minority. Thus, because democracies are more prone to violations of natural rights, participatory democracies are not just and the United States should not adopt one.

Contention 2: The United States constitution possesses checks to prevent self-interested individuals from taking advantage of the people. The Framers specifically created a government that slowed the process of decision making and allowed multiple rational parties to weigh in on decisions, thus creating a state more prone to protecting rights than violating it. Because the mass of rational individuals involved in the decision-making process check the actions of other branches, and thus minimize the likelihood of consensus and rights violations, the rights of the people are protected from tyranny. For example, when Congress refused to pass a law that would desegregate schools, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was unconstitutional because it was inherently unequal, and thus corrected a problem that, if left to the masses, would have prevented the rights of African Americans from being realized. Thus, because the United States government already possesses mechanisms to prevent harms by minimizing consensus, it protects natural rights and is therefore more just.

Thus, I strongly urge an affirmation of today's resolution.
el-badgero

Con

Cheers for the debate, buddy!

Well my opponent has the burden of proof. I didn't see anywhere in his explanation of what "parliamentary debate" was that this usual facet of debate would not play a part. So that'd leave me only to refute or cast sufficient suspicion on his contentions to win the debate by default, right? Aside: I'm neither pro or con on the issue really.

My opponent's contention:

That participatory democracies are more prone to rights violations than the system of government under which the United States is currently operating, and thus the policy should not be adopted by the current United States. He also makes some few arguments and i'll get to them shortly, I just want to make clear that i need make no argument affirming that the policy should be adopted, but just to keep it considerable within the parameters of the debate, as per my opponent having the BoP.

My opponent's arguments:

"Participatory democracies are more prone to lead to rights violations. Because the vast majority of the people only look to their own self-interests rather than the interests of all,"

Granted, people generally act in self-interest, but I don't see why this holds any problems for participatory democracy and not represenative democracy (i'll get to the checks of my opponent's "contention 2" later). I'd even consider it to most probably have a greater toll on representative democracies what with the people in power being more corruptible what with being less in number. See: politicians.

And what self-interest might the majority of people act on that would violate the rights of the minority? My opponent provides an example:

"For example, during the French Revolution, the majoritarian Jacobians, which consisted of the working class proletariat and the bourgeois middle-class, decided to condemn any aristocrats found within the French borders to death by guillotine,"

...from over 200 years ago. And even then it was a revolution, an uprising of the majority from tyranny! And with this being a civilised discussion on the matter of government between two opposing sides and to be voted on, one would suspect we were discussing what would be a peaceful adoption of the policy. So again, what self-interest might the majority of people act on that would violate the rights of the minority, in this day of age? I really can't think of any. Oppress black people and homosexuals again? What is the liklihood of that happening in all honesty? Slim i'd imagine what with them at this stage being pretty much fully integrated into American society as equal members, if i'm not mistaken. And once they're in... Not to mention you'd likely be causing civil war in attempting to oppress either of those minorities, or black people anyway for sure, which'd hardly be seen to be in anyone's interests, or at least majority interests.

Religion cannot measure up to science in influencing people, in this day of age. Science has continually given us new and verifiable information and how to use it, while Religion preaches the same unverifiable, nonsensical silliness that it always has. Religion is dying, being replaced by materialism. People just want stuff these days. You could nearly throw the jews and their jew gold at me, but Hitler was a minority :P

And one might consider that representative democracy has the potential to suffer far more (in terms of my opponent's value criteria) from self-interested people what with essentially being minority control and what with in the case of tyranny it would be the majority being tyrannised, as opposed to the minority in a participatory democracy. More prone, prone to more? You're gonna have rights violations under every political policy :)

"and because the masses are more likely to be influenced by emotional considerations, participatory democracies are more likely to act in a manner that disadvantages some for the sake of others."


If by influenced you meant influenced to act, then that'd be more understandable/sensible what with the majority backing, but it still begs the question why this would necessarily or even significantly be a bad thing, even with respect to the "preservation of natural rights". My opponent's example of the murderings of his claimed innocent aristocrats doesn't cut it for me. First of all what with have occured in a considerably significant different time and place. And secondly, what with having occured during a revolution from tyranny!

My opponent's contention 2:

Checks! This part i'd consider to hold the most weight of my opponent's argument. Not in that i feel they'd actually be necessary in today's American society under participatory democracy however, but in a it couldn't hurt to have them just incase kinda thing. Really i figure the participating population would be a check on itself. With participation you'd have argument, learning, cooperation, all things to make for a better society one would imagine. And on top of that you'd have a whole population of rational checks rather than the two my opponent mentioned there being under the current system (Congress and the Supreme Court). Something similar to the constitution however I'm having a hard time working in with participatory democracy, but then who wants to possibly start civil wars or strip people of liberties for absolutely no rational reason. Again, religion is dying :P
Debate Round No. 1
lddebater540

Pro

Let's start with the observation and the value analysis.

My opponent drops the observation that states that I have the right to propose a value and a criterion as a filter for the arguments in this round. He further drops my value of Justice and my value criterion of preservation of natural rights, meaning that these must be the inherent standards for this round. All contentions must then link back to this filter. Insofar as he hasn't given you any reasons as to why his side better preserves natural rights than my side, you should affirm automatically. Even if you believe all of his responses to my contentions, you still must affirm because he has only mitigated them and has not proven why the United States should change its policy (in such cases, debate rules stipulate that you automatically vote for the status quo.)

Let us glance at his responses to my contentions.

In contention 1, I explained that direct democracies are more prone to rights violations because people look to their self interests first. He responded by claiming that this problem is nonunique because it also exists in representative democracies. The problem with his response is that modern democracies possess checks that prevent this from occurring. Representative democracy, by nature, minimizes the ability of politicians to act in their own interests because if they do so at the expense of the people, they will be exposed and kicked out of office. This is why representative democracies are less corrupt than dictatorships and authoritarian forms of government. Moreover, the United States in particular has checks such as the electoral college, the Supreme Court, separation of powers, federalism, etc. that slows the political process and thus minimizes the impact of self interest. This helps prevent unjust laws from being enacted. Finally, he fails to account for the fact that direct democracies are based on the emotions of the masses, which are easily influenced by prejudiced sentiments, so direct democracies are more likely to be corrupted than representative democracies. Insofar as this is true, I better preserve natural rights and thus better achieve Justice.

Next, he claims that my Jacobian example from the French Revolution is outdated and not applicable in the modern world. First, you can turn this analysis, because the reason that its is not applicable is because we no longer have direct democracies. He has absolutely no examples that prove that direct democracies have worked properly in the past without the violation of natural rights, while I have this example of the most recent direct democracy that caused massive violations. Second, even if it is an "old example", that does not mean that the example is false or wrong. This is a logical fallacy, so you should not even consider this argument in this round.

He also contends that this example fails because it was a revolution against tyranny. However, at the point at which the Jacobians were executing the aristocracy, the government of France had already fallen and the people had seized control of the state's coercive apparatii, meaning that the state had already been overthrown and the actions could not have been justified as an act of self defense. These executions were conducted by the masses, who were influenced by emotion rather than by reason.

Finally, let's take a look at this "religion block" that he uses to mitigate my contention 1. You can completely turn this analysis because religion is what prevents such atrocities from occurring, meaning that if a direct democracy were implemented today, and if according to my opponent, religion is declining, these problems would be magnified to a greater extent. You can extend the French Revolution example because the French Revolution was itself a wholesale rejection of religion and an embracing of science and reason; churches were torn down and replaced by "Temples of Reason", and the guillotine was created as an instrument of destruction because it was powered by gravity and was thus a scientific tool. This example indicates that the deterioration of religion causes problems because people turn to their own interests rather than seeking to protect the good of all, so these harms will be magnified in a modern social context.

In contention 2, I explained that checks against the people's pure will protects American citizens from tyranny. He first claims that tyranny will no longer happen, but I would contend that the only reason that this is true is because the checks exist to prevent it from occurring. You can extend the Supreme Court analysis, because without it, desegregation would never have occurred and racism would never have become defunct; these checks against tyranny are precisely what has shaped the American public's need to protect the rights of all.

He then claims that the participating population would check itself. The problem is that since democracy is the will of the people, there would be absolutely no check on a majority seeking to harm a minority because the state would be forced to act according to the interests of the greatest number of the population. He claims that this can be solved by argument and learning, but these concepts can only be implemented in a representative democracy, and not in a participatory democracy, because representative democracies have checks that slow the decision making process, while participatory democracies do not have this checks.

Thus, you can extend the affirmative case because I better preserve natural rights and thus better achieve Justice. I strongly urge an affirmation of today's resolution.
el-badgero

Con

"Insofar as he hasn't given you any reasons as to why his side better preserves natural rights than my side, you should affirm automatically. Even if you believe all of his responses to my contentions, you still must affirm because he has only mitigated them and has not proven why the United States should change its policy (in such cases, debate rules stipulate that you automatically vote for the status quo.)"

In what cases? I call cheating anyway. My opponent should've given all these rules in the opening round. My opponent just said the no researching thing. And then there's that burden of proof thing around here where Pro's the only one who's to make any affirmative arguments. Which i suppose is questionable, but then there's that arguing Con on "The United States should not adopt a participatory democracy." does not necessarily entail arguing that the United States should adopt the policy. Con might just want it considered. Not cast off like that. :)

Contention 1:

"The problem with his response is that modern democracies possess checks that prevent this from occurring. Representative democracy, by nature, minimizes the ability of politicians to act in their own interests because if they do so at the expense of the people, they will be exposed and kicked out of office."

Minimizes. So American politicians are a shower of wankers too? And i still suggested an inherent tendency representative democracy would have over participatory democracy to corruption, which you've not argued against.

"Moreover, the United States in particular has checks such as the electoral college, the Supreme Court, separation of powers, federalism, etc. that slows the political process and thus minimizes the impact of self interest. This helps prevent unjust laws from being enacted."

And under participatory democracy everyone might be a check on everyone. You'd think that'd do more for preventing unjust laws. Provided the majority were in the correct mindset but why wouldn't they be?

"Finally, he fails to account for the fact that direct democracies are based on the emotions of the masses, which are easily influenced by prejudiced sentiments, so direct democracies are more likely to be corrupted than representative democracies."

Well you'd have to give an example of in what way they might be corrupted that would be bad. Would they be corrupted to war perhaps? Or to oppress? I asked in what way they might, what you saw of your own people and their collective intention, and got no answer. You could say drug users are currently oppressed and wrongly, or at least certain drug users, under the current "democracy". And with regards to war... If everyone really participated and worked together at governent you don't think they'd find what was fair? Ye've kinda got an equality mindset about ye from what i can see. Participatory democracy might encourage participation. And you'd think the more people working on something the less chance there'd be of a few corrupting it.

"Next, he claims that my Jacobian example from the French Revolution is outdated and not applicable in the modern world. First, you can turn this analysis, because the reason that its is not applicable is because we no longer have direct democracies. He has absolutely no examples that prove that direct democracies have worked properly in the past without the violation of natural rights, while I have this example of the most recent direct democracy that caused massive violations. Second, even if it is an "old example", that does not mean that the example is false or wrong. This is a logical fallacy, so you should not even consider this argument in this round."

What? It was a revolution from tyranny wasn't it? You'd imagine the emotional considerations or whatever acted on by the oppressed during a revolution would be fairly understandable. I did also note that we'd likely be talking about a peaceful adoption of the policy. And it's down to you to provide examples, not me, what with you having the burden of proof. I wouldn't consider your example to hold any weight with regards to what we're talking about.

"Next bit about the tyranny bit"

Fair enough. They were still aristocrats though, as in the former tyrants. A violent incepton from tyranny is fairly understandable i think. You can't go around tyrannising people and expect to get away with it. We're talking about peaceful inception.

"Religion... interesting bit about guillotine. harms magnified."

Well see this is where the different time part comes into it. You Americans are a lot more sophisticated a people as a whole than those lot were I'd bet, a lot more informed and capable of being heard. I figure it should just be pretty obvious that technology changes things. Maybe those "innocent" aristocrats wouldn't have suffered the same fate if the same thing were to happen in today's world? I still think it could be fairly understandable though, being pro death penalty myself. And then you've that religion is evil.

"In contention 2, I explained that checks against the people's pure will protects American citizens from tyranny. He first claims that tyranny will no longer happen, but I would contend that the only reason that this is true is because the checks exist to prevent it from occurring."

No i didn't, i suggested it mightn't happen. And with regards to your contention, well yeah there'd definitely have to be checks on minority government, established in the interest of those they were governing. But they're just pieces of paper. You could consider them a set of don't fvck with us or we won't be happy guidelines from the society to its representative government possibly? And that their enforcement might stem from the collective people's attitude possibly? And then you might wonder why not go for a shot of ridding ourselves of the corruption minority government creates.

"You can extend the Supreme Court analysis, because without it, desegregation would never have occurred and racism would never have become defunct; these checks against tyranny are precisely what has shaped the American public's need to protect the rights of all."

Did ye not have a war over slavery which the majority must've probably won what with it having been abolished, right? Every one checking on everyone.

"He then claims that the participating population would check itself. The problem is that since democracy is the will of the people, there would be absolutely no check on a majority seeking to harm a minority because the state would be forced to act according to the interests of the greatest number of the population."

The attitude of the people maybe? Again see the war won in the interest of freeing slaves, though i wouldn't be all that informed on American history.

"He claims that this can be solved by argument and learning, but these concepts can only be implemented in a representative democracy, and not in a participatory democracy, because representative democracies have checks that slow the decision making process, while participatory democracies do not have this checks."

Huge government where everybody has a say in everything wouldn't slow things down? I'd have thought it would. You'd think things would get far more scrutiny, and by everybody. And thus you might think things would work in the interest of everybody, provided ye're not majoritarily irrational or wankers, and you're just not arguing that all that well.
Debate Round No. 2
lddebater540

Pro

Against my burden analysis, my opponent claims that I have cheated because I did not specify that he must adopt a case in order to win the round. First, most debate styles explicitly force negatives to adopt a case even if they are not advocating a change in policy, so this was a reasonable stylistic expectation. Second, since I have to argue that the United States should not adopt a participatory democracy, he must argue that the United States should in order to provide a fair, equal burden for both sides. Insofar as he is not doing so, he is not fulfilling his burden, so you affirm.

Even if you do not buy this, remember that I already extended my value of Justice and value criterion of preservation of natural rights, and he failed to respond to either of them. This means that the round must be weighed through the filter of preserving rights. Insofar as the dangers of participatory democracy are too great in comparison to those of a representative democracy, I outweigh him on magnitude, so you should affirm the resolution.

In contention 1, I explained that representative democracy minimizes tyranny because it is in the interest of politicians to act in their own self interest and be reelected. He responds by pointing out that American politicians are corrupt, and claims that I have not argued against the inherent tendency of representative democracy to lead to corruption. First, I would posit that American politicians are less corrupt than the rulers of participatory democracies; even at the time of the French Revolution, American politicians were not slaughtering their citizens for the sake of preserving their political power, while the French politicians clearly were. So, even if you agree that American politicians are corrupt, you should also realize that politicians in participatory democracies are more corrupt, meaning that I outweigh him in terms of rights preserved, so I better achieve Justice. Moreover, I did respond to his point about participatory democracy leading to corruption by arguing that direct democracies are more corrupt because they are based on fleeting emotions, and not on reason. He failed to respond to this argument, so you can extend it across the flow. This further buttresses my analysis about representative democracies being less corrupt that participatory democracies.

His only response to my "checks" analysis is that the participatory democracy would be a check on everyone PROVIDED THAT THE PEOPLE ARE IN THE CORRECT MINDSET. First, you can cross-apply my point at the top of the first contention about how the people in the participatory democracy only look to their own interests and vote on emotion rather than reason (French Revolution supports this.) This means that the people are not in a correct mindset, which he has conceded is a precondition for proper decision making, so there is no proper check in his world, while there are in mine. The impact of this is that he is more likely to lead to tyranny and thus violate rights, while the checks on my side minimize the likelihood of this occurring. Thus, I preserve rights better, and you affirm.

Second, even if you do not buy the analysis I just provided, look to the fact that under a participatory system, once the majority makes a decision, there is no way to repeal it (except through a vote of the majority.) This means that once tyranny does occur, he has no safeguard to protect the people, while under a representative system, separation of powers, federalism, etc. does provide an excellent safety measure to prevent this from occurring.

In contention 2, he continues to insist that my French Revolution example is off because it was a revolution against tyranny. When I pointed out that the revolution was already over, he responded that the aristocrats were tyrants and that they deserved death. First, even if some were actually tyrants, most were not; the King had the majority of power in France, and the revolution occurred to dethrone him. This means that the deaths were unnecessary and violent. Second, even if you do not buy that, look to the fact that tyranny should not be responded with tyranny, which occurred under a participatory system. Finally, he concedes that this occurred under an emotional system, so any objections he raises against this in the next round are defunct because the violence and tyranny occurred in the participatory democracy due to emotion.

Finally, he argues that such emotion would not occur in peace-time. The problem with this is that emotion has ruled participatory democracies since the dawn of time; in the Salem, Massachusetts participatory democracy in the 1600s, which hunts were conducted and at least 20 innocent lives were shed due to emotion, and not due to reason.

Next, he contends that Americans are more sophisticated than the French, so the United States can handle a participatory democracy. Remember, however, that abuses have occurred with participatory democracies in the past, such as in the Salem Witch Trial example; these happened on American soil. Second, keep in mind that the only reason we are seen as sophisticated is because our representative system has checks that slow the political process and allow for reasoned decision making; this legitimacy would be lost in a participatory democracy.

Against contention 2, he claims that checks do not matter, but you can extend the Supreme Court analysis that explains that the checks against democracy eliminated school segregation and thus caused reform in the people's attitude. The checks are not "just pieces of paper"; rather, they are ever present obligations that bind the state to promote the rights of all. They have worked in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

His only response to the Supreme Court analysis was that there was a war against slavery and that the majority won it. First, I would posit that the Confederate states actually held the majority, so it was an example of minority triumphing over majority tyranny. Second, this did not occur under a participatory system, it occurred in a representative one, so you can turn the example against him. Finally, this was not everyone checking on everyone; rather, it was an example of a group pulling away from the nation because they wanted to continue to promote tyranny.

Finally, against my analysis that representative democracies are slow, he claims that participatory democracy would be slow due to sheer magnitude of size. First, this is empirically denied; you can extend the Salem Witch Trials and French Revolution examples; in both systems, the vote to condemn innocent people to death was quick and effortless. Second, this argument assumes that most people will vote, and in the American system, approximately 46% choose not to participate because they are politically apathetic, so there is reason to believe that this system will continue. Finally, insofar as democracies are based on emotion, and not on reason, it is more likely that the people living under such a system will choose to vote quickly rather than slowly. The impact is that decisions to harm others are quickly made.

Voting issue

Vote affirmative because I have better demonstrated that participatory democracies cause more rights violations. First, participatory systems are based on emotion, not on reason, so the people are more likely to be harmed and rights are more likely to be violated. Second, insofar as the American system currently has checks to slow and minimize the impact of tyrannical decisions, the current system has safeguards against the violations of rights. These safeguards would disappear almost immediately under a participatory system, because once the majority decides to act, no body has the power to prevent it from executing a tyrannical motion. This means that I outweigh him in terms of probability of saving rights, and thus am more likely to achieve Justice. Thus, this House rejects consensus, and you affirm.
el-badgero

Con

el-badgero forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
yeah duh it has to opposing, roy, but not directly or completely was what i was saying if you get me? my "keeping it considerable" would've been the contrary to the productive or pro's arguments.. which'd be where one might think the whole burden of proof thing came from right? and we use the terms pro and con as for and against with regards to the big issues, and you'd imagine that a fairly common conception of them in general, so... it threw me for a bit anyway.. brought me to learn what pro was shortened from. and it was my opponent who contested it in the first place.. you might've been throwing that dig his way? :) what don't you like about participatory democracy anyway? i ask out of interest.
Posted by lddebater540 5 years ago
lddebater540
Please vote on this debate.
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
sorry about that. i'm an undependable drug addict...
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
i would fairly often talk to myself, badger.
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
nah i didn't :)
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
do ye think this might be what that newspaper was talking about that time it told me i was retarded from smoking weed?
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
i'm bad for them logical fallacies.
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
I have an issue. Well actually I have ADD, but because of that I have an issue. Lddebater's debating style is so dull, that I can't make myself read it for more than ten seconds. Which means it looks like badger is just talking to himself. Which isn't actually all that disturbing or unusual.
Sorry lddebater.
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
well if con stands for contrary i wouldn't think i did..
Posted by el-badgero 5 years ago
el-badgero
does anyone think that's a logical fallacy i'm after making in say con on whatever isn't necessarily pro on the opposite? i'm not really sure..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
lddebater540el-badgeroTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con never addressed Pro's basic arguments for court-protected Constitutional rights. It's implicit in a debate that Con take the opposing position, duh. However, the BoP is on Pro, so would suffice to defeat Pro's case. Con didn't come close. "i'll">"I'll" etc. By accepting, Con was obliged to the parliamentary debate rules.