The Instigator
gahbage
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
Protagoras
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

To be suggested.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,680 times Debate No: 4640
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
Votes (9)

 

gahbage

Pro

As you can see, this debate is 5 rounds. In the contender's round 1, he/she will propose 3 different topics of debate that COVER VARIOUS FIELDS. (I don't want 3 debates about abortion but worded differently, for example.

Then in my round 2, I will choose one of the debates to well...debate on.

In the contender's round 2, he/she will choose a stance on the choice (PRO or CON) and choose whether to go first or second. If he/she goes first, to keep the number of arguments per person equal, he/she must include the opening argument in the response, and cannot post an argument in the final round. (Either forfeit or spam, or something.) However, if I am forced to go first, the debate will proceed as normal.

So if all goes as planned, we will each get a normal 3 rounds to debate.
Protagoras

Con

I am willing to be CON to any of the following resolutions:

"Patriotism should be taught in schools"

"It is morally permissable to kill one innocent person to save the lives of many innocent people"

"A just society ought to use the death penalty as a form of punishment."
Debate Round No. 1
gahbage

Pro

Ok, then I will be Pro for "A just society ought to use the death penalty as a form of punishment.".
Protagoras

Con

Accepted, here we go.

I am CON.

You, as PRO, can go first.

(.............100 characters............)
Debate Round No. 2
gahbage

Pro

Alright, so I believe that in a just society, the death penalty should be used.

1. "An eye for an eye, a limb for a limb" (or however that saying goes)

If you commit a serious crime, the punishment should be an amount supposedly equal to the magnitude of the crime you committed. Say you break into a bank and steal money. The punishment would be to return the money you stole, pay for damages, serve jail time and possibly do some community service. But what if you did something as serious as taking someone's life? The punishment for pre-meditating and killing someone (first-degree murder) should be equal to that. So why not use the death penalty? What else is a sufficient punishment for an act of murder, the taking of a life?

2. It would set an example for future killers.

If you are planning on killing someone, unless your judgment is clouded enough to be considered guilty by reason of insanity (in which case the death penalty should not be used), you would probably consider the consequences. Unless you really hate your life and are self-destructive (in which case you are a danger anyway), you are probably going to think twice about murder if the punishment is death.

3. It prevents future crimes.

Why leave a convicted killer around other people? By giving the murderer what he deserves, you are protecting potential victims of murder. How do you stop future crime? You prevent it from happening with a just punishment.

Your move Con.
Protagoras

Con

Thank you for offering such a strong opening argument, gahbage.

Responses:

1. Retribution

The rhetoric my opponent purposes is missing its second half.

The saying goes, "an eye for an eye, [makes the whole world blind]".

This means, at the point in which, we, as in society, abuse the convicted, we are not doing any better than the criminal. Essentially, (especially in the case of the death penalty), we are committing the same atrocious act as the criminal herself.

My opponent advocates a position in which society disciplines the accused in a punishment that is tantamount to their illegal act. At first, this rhetoric may sound appealing, especially when applied to the death penalty.

Let's put this appealing rhetoric into action:

We can put a murderer to death because he murdered, correct? Murder=Murder, true retribution.

So, since we can murder a murderer, what stops us from, raping the rapist, or how about stealing from a thief?

Of course such punishment would seem barbaric. But why is it so cruel if we were to rape the rapist as a form of retribution, yet at the same time it is "acceptable" to murder the murders?

The topic clearly questions the act of a just society, but no just society would hold retribution with the same regard as my opponent. Retribution is almost synonymous to revenge, the purpose of any ideal judicial system is not acquire revenge, but to serve justice, to give someone what they are due for committing a crime against society.

With that said, retribution is not justification for the death penalty.

__________________________

2. Deterrence.

My opponent believes that murderers would fear the death penalty, thus it would stop them from committing homicide. I am surprised that he would believe that is true.

As a matter of fact,

["as early as the mid-1700s, there were doubts about whether the death penalty acted as a deterrent to crime. When expert criminologists were polled on their views of existing deterrent studies, 84 percent of them concluded from the research that the death penalty did not act as a deterrent to murder. In fact, some studies have shown a "brutalization effect," in that murders in some jurisdictions increased right after well-publicized executions. Additionally, a 1995 poll by Hart Research Associates found that the majority of police chiefs do not believe the death penalty significantly reduces the number of homicides - in fact, they ranked it as the least effective way to reduce crime." (The Death Penalty Information Center, "Understanding Capital Punishment: A Guide Through the Death Penalty Debate.")]

FURTHERMORE,

["These theories are supported by comparisons of murder rates: A 2000 review of murder rates over the past 20 years by the New York Times found that murder rates in states with the death penalty have been 48 to 101 percent higher than in non-death penalty states... On a national scale, the United States has a far higher murder rather than many European countries that do not use the death penalty." (The Death Penalty Information Center, "Understanding Capital Punishment: A Guide Through the Death Penalty Debate.")]

Enough with the statistics, for those of you who choose words over numbers, consider this:

Most murders occur in the heat of passion. The murderer is either enraged, envious, in love, or any combination of the three. Meaning, a murderer is not going to think about whether or not they'll receive the death penalty because there mind would be too focused on killing the other person.

The only time this point would be valid is if the murder is premeditated. But, this reasoning is empirically dis proven, pre-meditated murder occurs very frequently, evidently these people didn't care about the death penalty.

Also, my opponent has not offered a reason for as to why life imprisonment could not serve the same purpose.

This point is no longer of any importance because the death penalty is not sufficient in deterrence.
__________________________

3. Prevention

This is probably the weakest point in my opponent's case.

He states that we should kill the convicted in order to stop them from committing more crime. He fails to show how jail couldn't serve this same purpose.

Furthermore, a just society cannot put someone to death in order to prevent them from committing future crimes.

A just society would not advocate a principle of prevention. A principle of prevention could be used to justify the judicial system to do whatever it wants, just as long as future crimes are prevented. Meaning, we could kill all minorities in order to ensure some future murders would be prevented. This is clearly NOT the action a just society would take.

__________________________

In conclusion, my opponent is calling for retribution, deterrence and prevention, all of these have been successfully proven either not upheld by the death penalty or an unjust action.

Therefore, you are to default CON, I am the only side that has proven beyond doubt the ineffectiveness and injustice that occurs through the implementation of a death penalty punishment.

- Protagoras of Abdera.
Debate Round No. 3
gahbage

Pro

Oh. I guess that second half was important >.<

1. "This means, at the point in which, we, as in society, abuse the convicted, we are not doing any better than the criminal. Essentially, (especially in the case of the death penalty), we are committing the same atrocious act as the criminal herself."

But the State uses the death penalty for self-defense against the criminal, while the killer had no justification for his actions. The criminal killed a member of society, so society has to punish the criminal.

Concerning the rhetoric, some criminal acts are more civil than others (if that makes any sense). What I mean is, it wouldn't be sanitary at all to rape the rapist.

"Retribution is almost synonymous to revenge, the purpose of any ideal judicial system is not acquire revenge, but to serve justice, to give someone what they are due for committing a crime against society."

Justice is defined as "giving each their due". If the killer believes that someones else is due death, what do we have to do to the murderer?

2. "Also, my opponent has not offered a reason for as to why life imprisonment could not serve the same purpose."

People can still conduct murders from prison. All they need is a cell phone or laptop. They can even do it through mail. Life in prison is no better than the death penalty at deterring crime, and it would only be a better option because less people die. But then prisons get over clogged, and people can still murder other prisoners.

3. "He states that we should kill the convicted in order to stop them from committing more crime. He fails to show how jail couldn't serve this same purpose."

See #2.

"Furthermore, a just society cannot put someone to death in order to prevent them from committing future crimes."

A JUST society can put a convicted KILLER to death, because it is "giving each their due".
Protagoras

Con

Thanks for the urgent response.

Rebuttal:

1. Retribution

My opponent claims that the purpose of the death penalty is to serve as a method of self defense.

This assertion is invalid insofar as the theoretical purpose of any judicial system is to punish the criminal. Society is punishing the criminal because the criminal has violated a civilian's rights. Self defense and punishment are two very different ideals.

Most importantly, my opponent fails to show how life imprisonment cannot serve as a sufficient punishment.

My opponent furthers, "while the killer had no justification for his actions. The criminal killed a member of society, so society has to punish the criminal."

Though I may disagree with his initial statement regarding the society acting in self-defense, I agree with this second half.

A murderer must be punished, therefore I argue that a sufficient punishment for a murderer is imprisonment. My opponent assumes that we must default execution despite the reason for the murder. (I.E. What if I murder a suicide bomber to save several civilians?).

My opponent calls for execution in every case of murder, because he does not specify. This lack of clarification means my opponent is advocating a position in which the death penalty is the ONLY form of punishment, due to his constant argumentation that include mutual exclusivity between imprisonment and execution within the same society.

Basically, we might as well murder all thieves in order to ensure that they will never steal again. I will explain this later in my rebuttal to his third point.

My opponent then offers a sanitation argument.

I agree, raping the rapist would not be sanitary. That was the implication behind my point.

My opponent is the one arguing retribution. Retribution is his main justification for the death penalty. I have argued in disagreement with absolute retribution.

My opponent calls for an "eye for an eye", which means my opponent advocates a position in which society disciplines the accused in a punishment that is tantamount to their illegal action.

As I stated earlier, at first, this rhetoric may sound appealing, especially when applied to the death penalty. BUT, whenever this principle is applied to other crimes, like rape and robbery, this "equivalence" punishment is either insanitary or unreasonable.

My opponent argues that we should murder the murders, yet at the same time we shouldn't rape the rapist, this inconsistency within the application of law would not exist within a just society.

____________________________

2. Deterrence.

My opponent claims that murderers can continue to murder while in prison, sure, but the death penalty is not our only option to take care of this problem.

Many states, like here in New York, have found a way to take care of this problem. The solution is called solitary confinement, a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding members of prison staff.

Even with this, my opponent fails to argue in response to my argument regarding deterrence.

The death penalty does not deter crimes any more than imprisonment, my opponent NEVER argues against this point. This is extremely important because at the point in which we are implementing a punishment that doesn't offer deterrence, it is then deemed as simply torture. This means that the society would be murdering civilians for absolutely no legitimate reason.

Murder without deterrence is torture, thus resulting to an inhumane punishment that a just society would never approve.

Voters, I urge you to keep in mind the statistics and physchological analysis that I gave in my previous rebuttal.

Thus, this point is no longer of any importance because the death penalty is not sufficient in deterrence.

___________________________

3. Prevention

My opponent simply claims that murder is what someone is due. This claim has yet to be properly confirmed because he has not offered you an analysis proving why anyone deserves death. Furthermore, within my this entire rebuttal I offer offered you at least three reasons for as to why the death penalty is an unjust punishment.

Furthermore, as I stated in my last rebuttal, a just society cannot put someone to death in order to prevent them from committing future crimes.

A just society would not advocate a principle of prevention. A principle of prevention could be used to justify the judicial system to do whatever it wants, just as long as future crimes are prevented. Meaning, we could kill all minorities in order to ensure some future murders would be prevented. This is clearly NOT the action a just society would take.

This analysis has yet to be refuted, so voters please take this into consideration when voting.
__________________________

In conclusion, my opponent is calling for retribution, deterrence and prevention, all of these have once again been proven either not upheld on his behalf or an unjust action.

Therefore, you are to default CON, because I am the only side that has proven beyond doubt the ineffectiveness and injustice that occurs through the implementation of the death penalty.

Thanks for your time and consideration,

- Protagoras of Abdera.
Debate Round No. 4
gahbage

Pro

I thank my opponent for providing a great challenge with a well thought out argument.

1. "his assertion is invalid insofar as the theoretical purpose of any judicial system is to punish the criminal. Society is punishing the criminal because the criminal has violated a civilian's rights. Self defense and punishment are two very different ideals."

In most cases, yes. But in this case, the murderer has committed an act so terrible (one that can be repeated over and over) that there is no other reasonable punishment. The killer has taken away the greatest right, the right to life, and the only justification is to do the same to him. I now re-analyze the definition of just: giving each their due. This is where the "golden rule" comes from: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you want to go kill people, you should be prepared to die. It's only just, anyway; the killer gave someone their "due", so he gets his "due".

"Most importantly, my opponent fails to show how life imprisonment cannot serve as a sufficient punishment."

While in jail, you can still murder (other inmates, officers, etc.). Furthermore, if you have a cell phone or pager, you can give orders to someone outside of jail to kill someone. A judicial system that cannot prevent crime is useless. What is punishment if you didn't learn your lesson? Putting a killer in jail is about as good as scolding a toddler or giving the kid a time-out.

"My opponent assumes that we must default execution despite the reason for the murder. (I.E. What if I murder a suicide bomber to save several civilians?)."

I thought I already implied this, but I'll elaborate. The death penalty should only be used in cases of unjustified, first-degree murder, especially if there are multiple victims. In the case you presented, this would be justified homicide.

" . . . due to his constant argumentation that include mutual exclusivity between imprisonment and execution within the same society."

What are you saying here, that I mean to either have one or the other? This is not true. What I'm saying is the death penalty is a more efficient and fair way to punish first-degree murderers.

"My opponent calls for an "eye for an eye", which means my opponent advocates a position in which society disciplines the accused in a punishment that is tantamount to their illegal action.

As I stated earlier, at first, this rhetoric may sound appealing, especially when applied to the death penalty. BUT, whenever this principle is applied to other crimes, like rape and robbery, this "equivalence" punishment is either insanitary or unreasonable."

The best way to teach someone not to do something is to do it to them, and see how they like it. Rape is different, however. You can't just go around raping rapists. I know I sound like a hypocrite, but think about rape. I mean, with killing, at least the victim won't have any lasting, terrifying feelings or an infection, among other things. The psychological effects of getting raped are possibly some of the most unparalleled feelings you can experience. Here are the pros and cons of raping a rapist:

+ equal punishment
- does not prevent them from doing it again
- spread of infections
- who would be willing to rape someone?

There are more, but I'm lazy...

2. "Many states, like here in New York, have found a way to take care of this problem. The solution is called solitary confinement, a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding members of prison staff."

I wasn't aware of this (I live in Baltimore, where the crime is not efficiently handled :P). However, they can still kill prison guards. The only solution to this would be to cut off all contacts with other humans. This would be virtually impossible with the number of killers, among other things like the issue of food, mail, etc. And this still does not solve the issue of phones and pagers. (Regular mail can be used to orchestrate murders too.)

"The death penalty does not deter crimes any more than imprisonment, my opponent NEVER argues against this point."

My argument was that while in jail, the murderer can still murder. The death penalty is the only surefire, efficient way to prevent that person from killing more people. A first-degree murderer is generally too dangerous to come into contact with anyone.

The basic idea behind death penalty deterrence is this: The person has killed. The person can still kill anyone he comes into contact with. This possibility be prevented by killing the killer. Now, you may argue that by this logic, anyone could be a killer, and so we should kill everyone. However, the murderers have already proved themselves as a danger.

3. "This claim has yet to be properly confirmed because he has not offered you an analysis proving why anyone deserves death."

Just ask the murderer. Why did the victim deserve death? Apparently he had a reason that appealed to him at the time. Since the reason, in his situation and from his perspective then, justified the action (giving the victim his "due"), we can only give him an equal "due" as punishment.

"Furthermore, within my this entire rebuttal I offer offered you at least three reasons for as to why the death penalty is an unjust punishment."

You mean these points we're arguing right now? You haven't won those yet ;)

"Furthermore, as I stated in my last rebuttal, a just society cannot put someone to death in order to prevent them from committing future crimes."

Only in the case of murder. I still stand by "giving each their due". I have shown why, generally, a prison does no good here.

"A just society would not advocate a principle of prevention. A principle of prevention could be used to justify the judicial system to do whatever it wants, just as long as future crimes are prevented. Meaning, we could kill all minorities in order to ensure some future murders would be prevented."

I apologize for not elaborating on this earlier. I did not say that prevention justifies the punishment. I said (earlier this round) that a judicial system that does not prevent crime is inefficient. I did not say Prevention -> Justice, I said Justice -> Prevention.

===============================================================================

I urge you to vote Pro, because I have shown why the death penalty is a just and efficient way to handle unjustified, first-degree murder.

I thank my opponent again for a great debate and I hope the voters vote on whoever had the better argument.
Protagoras

Con

Protagoras forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Ha ha.

That is very much true [and funny].
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Humor does not translate well to internet. What I was getting at is this is the first time that I have heard of sanitation being the reason to refrain from rape. :D It was brilliantly funny
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Tribefan011: The bible is an easily refutable source, therfor I doubt my opponent was reffering to it. The more common phrase includes an added segment which states, "makes the whole world blind". But, either way, it was just a quote, me nor my opponent ought to be penalized due to a mistake in typing some common quote.

Not really a voting issue, but thanks for reading the debate.

Xera: Sure, excellent argument, but remember that argument is to my advantage. I will not say much more concerning this issue, because this is the comment section, not an extra round, but I think I explained how that argument is used to my advantage.

Thanks for reading the debate as well.

- Protagoras
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
"it wouldn't be sanitary at all to rape the rapist."

This was a brilliant argument, it is most certainly unsanitary.
Posted by tribefan011 8 years ago
tribefan011
The saying comes from Exodus 21:23-25: 23And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (KJV)

However, Jesus condemned this in the Sermon on the Mount.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Yeah, I agree, it was a good debate, anytime you wanna debate something else, just let me know!

Sorry for such slow responses, I've been loaded with stuff this week! :/
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Don't worry about it, it's probably a glitch. That was a good debate btw.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Closing statement is given below.

I don't know if this is pure coincidence or if debate.org is having some serious problems right now, but this is the second argument in which the timer randomly went off too early.

This is my closing statement, if you care to read it.

:!!!
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Thanks for this debate, good luck!

Concluding argument: [very brief]

1. Retribution:

Below this point, my opponent states that , "The killer has taken away the greatest right, the right to life, and the only justification is to do the same to him."

He also offers the golden rule as means for justification, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you. "

This is what I mean whenever I refer to retribution.

My opponent argues in theory that if you commit "x", you are due "x". For example, if you commit "murder", you are due "murder".

I argue that this, commit "x" receive "x" principle is unjust. My opponent simply claims that it is in-fact just, but ONLY when applied to the death penalty. I have argued that a just society would only allow punishment that is consistent with their principles, it is clear that a just society would support a principle that could be used to justify raping the rapist or stealing from the thieves, as my opponent concede to as well in his previous rebuttal.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
This concession is extremely important when analyzing this retribution point, my opponent claims retribution good, yet at the same time, retribution bad. This contradiction on his behalf is enough for you to vote in my favor.

Now, referring to where my opponent states, "While in jail, you can still murder (other inmates, officers, etc.). Furthermore, if you have a cell phone or pager, you can give orders to someone outside of jail to kill someone."

To keep this brief, I'd like for you to please refer back to my argument regarding solitary confinement in which a prisoner could be confined to little or no outside contact. Meaning NO cell phones nor pagers could be used nor possessed, and fellow inmates would be protected from the murderer.

"The best way to teach someone not to do something is to do it to them, and see how they like it. Rape is different, however you can't just go around raping rapists. I know I sound like a hypocrite.."

Not to sound redundant, but my opponent is clearly arguing an inconstant application of law, as I stated earlier, a just society would maximize consistency, because without consistency, the very fabric of the judicial system is in danger because the citizens would be unsure which principles are being represented its government.

I urge you disregard the pros and cons of raping the rapist, because this is once again promoting an inconsistent advocation. IF you do want to accept his analysis, then this would be to my favor because I am arguing that raping the rapist is a bad thing, but in his ideal judicial system, such a punishment could easily be used because the government would allow an "eye for an eye" so to speak.
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