The Instigator
cavour1
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JacobHession
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Vigilante justice is ethically defensible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,295 times Debate No: 15757
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

cavour1

Pro

Legally, no, vigilantism cannot be justified since
you are blatantly breaking the law. However,
ethically, it could be defensible. Vigilantism is
merely the act of pure human emotion: revenge. We
all want it don't we? Doesn't the person that
harmed you or your loved ones deserve what he
dealt to you and more? He should pay for his wrong
doing. However, sometimes justice is not carried
out (in the eyes of the victim at least). Now, a
primal urge is building in the victim. Something
must be done; it is instinctual to follow the
Hammurabi's eye for an eye philosophy. Can you
condemn the father that kills his daughter's
murderer? He simply needed to satisfy the thirst
found in all of us. The rage that comes when you
are wronged and are not delivered adequate
justice. Can't you agree that our justice system
has its flaws just like any other system?
Sometimes, the criminal slips through law's grasp.
If the wicked aren't met with the justice of the
courts, shouldn't the victims see to it personally
that they suffer cold retribution? The law cannot
always satisfy vengeance. When it comes down to
it, what a vigilante seeks is an act of righteous
passion, be it a crime or not. His intentions are
good, but they method in which he exploits them
are illegal. But should it be illegal to kill the
person that raped you, our knock out the person
who beat up your brother? You weren't the offender
in the situation. Shouldn't you be able to get him
back? The vigilante delivers what the law should
do but failed to do. What is wrong with that if it
were to be done anyway?
JacobHession

Con

First I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I'm glad I was able to accept the challenge.

Now to begin with my side of the argument.

I stand in firm negation of the resolution;

Resolved: Vigilante justice is ethically defensible.

In this case I will present three main contentions in order to prove why this resolution should be negated. First, revenge is a dangerous. Second, no one is above the law. Third, the emotional damage from vigilante justice is widespread. For the purpose of clarity I would like to offer the following definition;

Ethically: in accordance with principles of conduct that are considered correct, esp those of a given profession or group

Contention 1: The danger of revenge.

Subpoint A: Civility
In this modern age the United States and other countries have achieved a state of civility. It is a extremely positive side of our society. It offers many benefits to all who live in it. It is obviously in the best interest of the entire world to protect this state of civility. Revenge builds in a person, as my opponent stated, "a primal urge." If we wish to maintain this time achieved glory that is civility in our modern society we must eliminate these primal urges. We cannot allow primal rage to continue if it harms others in our society; thereby harming the society itself.

Subpoint B: Nature of revenge.
Another obvious danger in revenge is the very nature of such a thing. Revenge causes an irrational need to cause harm to another. Due to the justified feeling revenge creates the person who feels it may stop at nothing to achieve their goals. It grows a massive rage that in some situations cannot be controlled. Vigilante justice is bred from revenge. How can such a thing be ethically defensible if it obviously goes against all the inherent guidelines of a civilized society? The answer? It can't be.

Contention 2: No one person is above the law.

The idea of vigilante justice is that a person enacts personal revenge on another person. This is obviously illegal. My opponent even stated this in his case. If an act is illegal then it is not within the principals of society; therefore the act is not ethical. On top of this the act of vigilante justice is places the vigilante above the law. Society, especially the society of the U.S., hold all people to be equal. This is extraordinarily important when examined though the eyes of the law. All people must follow the same laws. If one person is justified in committing vigilante justice then all people are. If that was to be true, our society would be dragged back to an age where primal urges dominate the goals and aspirations of humans. Obviously this is not acceptable. This is why we must not allow any one person to be held above the law.

Contention 3: Vigilante justice has collateral emotional damage.

In television, books, comic books and movies, vigilantes are played up to be heroes. They run about in the night murdering or assaulting those people that they feel "deserve it." However these various entertainment sources fail to mention or even consider the families of those who are killed or injured. The death of these people would do a great deal of emotional harm to their innocent family members. In the worst scenario this could even spark more vigilante justice. It is obvious that this vigilante "justice" harms more than just the original offender. It also harms everyone around them. At least with a court ruling there is a fair and non-cruel punishment dealt. However with vigilante justice the family members are left in a more substantial amount of pain. This shows that vigilante justice causes collateral emotional damage.

Conclusion:

It is for the reasons presented in my case that I firmly negate the resolution. With my contentions I have proved that revenge is dangerous to anyone associated with it. I have also proved that no man or woman should be held above the law and finally that vigilante justice causes significant collateral damage. It is for these obvious reasons that I respectfully ask for a vote in negation.
Debate Round No. 1
cavour1

Pro

cavour1 forfeited this round.
JacobHession

Con

In order to avoid being abusive I will not post arguments this round. I hope my opponent will respond in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
cavour1

Pro

cavour1 forfeited this round.
JacobHession

Con

Another forfeit. Once again I will not post any arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
cavour1

Pro

cavour1 forfeited this round.
JacobHession

Con

Yet another forfeit. Due to the fact that my opponent has not attacked my case, defended the attacks I made on his case or responded at all; the vote should be for the con side. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 4 months ago
Zarroette
cavour1JacobHessionTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 3 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
cavour1JacobHessionTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con brought up strong objections to Pro's point about the need for revenge. The appeal to social order makes a strong case against vigilantism, and Pro never responded.