The Instigator
LDer
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
feverish
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
feverish
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,566 times Debate No: 7508
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (9)

 

LDer

Pro

[Hi everyone. I would like to debate this case LD style]
[Please don't accept if you're not serious about debating the topic]

I affirm the resolution: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
For clarity in the round, I offer the following definitions:
Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.
Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason.
Government: the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization.
Failed: to be or become absent or inadequate.
Enforce: to carry out effectively.
The Law: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

My Value Premise for the round will be Respect for Social Order, which I define through a contractual obligation agreed upon by citizens when they enter a society (John Locke's social contract theory). I will achieve my value premise through my Criterion, which will be Respecting Human Dignity in the face of injustice.
If we respect the inherent value of all human beings, we are in essence, reducing chaos and rooting order in society. If respect for human dignity exists, there will automatically be a much greater chance of creating social order. The first objective of any efficient government is to remain in power. This status quo is held by keeping social order. Therefore we should look to my value in this debate.

For further clarity in the round, I offer the following observations:
1.I interpret the resolution as a government which is still operating and functioning well in the majority of its duties. The government has failed to perform its duty of keeping the law in an almost negligible part. This is where vigilantism steps in to defend social order.
2.Because there is no mention of an existing government in the resolution, the resolution is not real world specific, and because we are working in the LD vacuum, we must automatically consider all examples presented by either side of the debate. However, we must look to the debater that reaches a more tangible value premise and criterion.
3.We cannot look solely to theory in this debate, when the theory becomes abusive to either side of the opposition. Every case is supposed to be written in Claim-Warrant-Impact format. When a case lacks the impact (why the argument matters in contrast with the resolution) it not only has a fundamental case structure flaw, but also becomes limited in the amount of rebuttals that are possible to make against the case. Also the subjectivity of the case increases because a theory can't be proven and the lack of evidence increase variable interpretation.
4.The affirmative is not justifying vigilantism as an absolute method by which a society should operate, only as an option when the government cannot rectify or detect injustices.

Contention 1: Vigilantism defends people's natural rights.
People naturally have rights that can't be taken from them. This is part of the reason we join society. In some cases, a government can't fulfill its role as a protectorate, such as domestic abuse, self defense or rape, vigilantism is the only way to resolve the situation. Vigilantism provides a way for victims to defend their natural rights. In a society where individuals do not have the right for self defense, vigilantism proves effective. Vigilantism makes the protection of oneself justified. This is not a new concept. Societies like the United States justify vigilantism in cases of self-defense because the government would have acted in the same way as the vigilante. By empowering vigilantism, we empower the voiceless and rectify injustices instantly without causing a secondary victimization to those who suffered in the course of the original crime. Secondary victimization is the cost that is incurred onto the victim of a crime, such as rape, and the process by which a victim has to work along with the authorities to legally deal with the situation. Secondary Victimization includes being asked to repeat traumatic testimony of the experience of being raped over and over again under strict scrutiny to fill out a deposition. The victim is then asked to prolonged a remedy to the situation because they are wrapped up in legal semantics, like court clogs and delayed adjunction on the culprit. Additionally, during the trial, the victim has to retell the trauma a 3rd time in front of a jury and an audience of strangers, followed by getting picked apart for inconsistencies and the destroying of their personal character from the defendant's attorneys. Vigilantism aims to bypass this traumatization almost completely by making the severity of the crime committed more apparent to the society and speeds the entire process of justification. This reduces most of the trauma induced unnecessarily by the court system.
http://www.musc.edu......

Contention 2: As history has proven, vigilantism is the only way to bring about attention to unjust laws or to the failure of enforcing laws already established.
The very nature of politics forces parties to make laws they know they cannot or will not enforce. In all forms of government, the sovereign must appease citizens in order to give appearance of appeasement.
In the case of the Rosewood lynching, the governor of Florida watched blacks getting lynched by white mobs. He did not enforce the active anti-lynching laws because he needed to appease the aggressive mobs. It was only after the survivors of the genocide attacked neighboring towns did people discover the existence of such events. Vigilantism provides a way for people, mainly minorities, to affect the government. Because of the vigilantism present in Rosewood during 1923, enforcement of anti-lynching laws effectively began. This is an effective example of vigilantisms ability to affect the government's judicial system. Vigilantism is the only way for the voiceless to rectify injustices and bring about change in the government. When a minority depends on vigilantism to rectify injustices, their actions are justified by the actions taken to avoid further violation of their rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org......

[Thanks for debating, good luck to my opponent]
feverish

Con

Hi everyone,
I hope that my opponent will not be annoyed that such an inexperienced debater as myself has decided to contend in this debate and I must apologise for my ignorance of debating procedure, particularly regarding LD style as I must confess I have no idea what this means. I will however endeavor to frame my argument in a similar format to my opponent and will welcome any corrections on procedure.
I can reassure my opponent that I am serious. [I ain't no joke]

I begin this debate with a lot of respect for my opponent who makes a lot of good arguments, on a side note it is also interesting that a quick glance at his profile reveals that he and I agree on over 90% of the big issues, I wish him luck also.

I refute the resolution that vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

I acccept my opponents definitions but would suggest that they do not go far enough. My dictionary is the Concise Oxford English Dictionary which has the following:

'vigilante: [derivatives:vigilantism] a member of a self-appointed group of people who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority'

please note that this definition in no way contradicts the one offered by my opponent and simply offers a more precise clarification of the fact that they 'take the law into their own hands' 'without legal authority'. However when placed in the context of Pro's definition of 'Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason' this becomes a clear oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. There can be no legal reason without legal authority. Again from COED:

'legal:based on or required by law........ law: a rule or system of rules'

To stay on definitions of the word vigilante allow me to refer also to the extra detail of my opponents definition that is not present in mine: 'apprehending and punishing suspected criminals'. I wish to place emphasis on the word 'suspected'.

In UK, European, International and (or so I had always assumed) US law, one of the central principles on which it operates is 'innocent until proven guilty'. Punishing suspects is therefore clearly unlawful.
I cannot help thinking that if my opponent was not basing his argument on vigilantism being LEGALLY justified, my position would be a more difficult one to argue.
I urge a Con vote on the basis that my worthy opponent has contradicted himself with his opening definitions.

I cannot argue with my adversary's values regarding Respect for Social Order and his criterion of Respecting Human Dignity both of which are immensely admirable opinions. I fail to see though how vigilantism supports either one of them. Surely a more effective legal system and more compassionate treatment of both victims and suspects is what is required to fulfill these values, rather than the law of the jungle that is unsanctioned vigilantes ( I expect many death squads consider themselves akin to vigilantes)

To tackle my opponents contentions:
Contention 1: There seems to be some confusion in this argument between the notions of vigilantism and self-defence which to my mind are two very different things COED:

'self-defence:the defence of one's person or interests, especially through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime.'

So yes quite different to vigilantism (see above) and sometimes justified because permitted by law. Also I would argue (were it not off topic) far more justifiable in a moral sense of the word. However we are of course concerned with Justice in the legal sense as explained by my worthy opponent.

I don't quite understand my opponents notion of 'a society where individuals do not have the right for self defense' please clarify or give an example of this. Nor do I understand the idea of 'vigilantism in cases of self-defense' as we have just established they are two different things.

Your arguments and the link you posted about the trauma suffered by victims of crime was interesting but as far as I could tell entirely irrelevant to this debate. Changes must be made in the legal system to support victims more, it doesn't mean we should be reaching for the bat-phone or rounding up a posse.

Contention 2: seems to miss the obvious point that the majority of vigilantes are (unsurprisingly) not from minority groups. In the example you give the real vigilantes are those doing the lynching not their victims. That's not justice. Its anger, hate and fear. Who says a vigilante will be an altruist, I think he's more likely to be a sadist.

To conclude this round I apologise again if I have gone against decorum or convention in any way and I urge people to vote Con as my opponent proves in his own definitions that vigilantism can never be justified.

Thankyou.
Debate Round No. 1
LDer

Pro

Unfortunately, due to my opponent's inexperience, it is impossible for him or her to win. In LD debate you must have a Value Premise (what you value) and a Criterion (How are you going to achieve your VP) in order to win. If we are going to debate in LD style, my opponent will automatically loose. However, in the sake of fairness, I will drop the burden of providing these. I would still retain the following aspect of LD:

1. The debate is entirely theoretical, no real world application is necessary.
2. We are still working in the LD vacuum (An entirely hypothetical place of existence where every situation is fully possible)

From my opponents Case: "I accept my opponent's definitions but would suggest that they do not go far enough."

My Response: Please elaborate why. There is no support for this argument.

From my opponents Case: "vigilante: [derivatives: vigilantism] a member of a self-appointed group of people who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority"

My Response: To make the debate more fair and educational, as it was originally intended, I offer the following definition for vigilante: "A citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands without legal authority."
My definition is derived from the Black's Law Dictionary, which has been used as secondary evidence in several supreme court case and is the main source for definitions for LD debaters. My opponent places an abusive burden on me by presenting a definition which greatly restricts who could be considered a vigilante.

I would also like to remind everyone that the debate is about vigilantism, not vigilantes.

From my opponents Case: "(The new definition) offers a more precise clarification of the fact that they 'take the law into their own hands' 'without legal authority'. However when placed in the context of Pro's definition of 'Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason' this becomes a clear oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. There can be no legal reason without legal authority."

My Response: My opponent's entire argument is based on the following: "There can be no legal reason without legal authority." This argument is abusive! In order for it to be considered, my opponent needs to define legal reason and legal authority. Both phrases are subjective and my definitions could greatly vary from my opponents.

I accept my opponent's definition for legal, but do not accept the definition for law.
I would like to remind everyone that the resolution specifically speaks of "The Law" instead of "law". The law is a collective noun, whereas, law is a noun. Their distinct definitions should not be confused.

My value premise and criterion are no longer necessary for this debate; therefore, I will not defend them.
To defend my contention 1.
From my opponent's case: I don't quite understand my opponent's notion of 'a society where individuals do not have the right for self defense' please clarify or give an example of this. Nor do I understand the idea of 'vigilantism in cases of self-defense' as we have just established they are two different things."

My Response: I originally posted my case under the assumption of debating this case in LD style. Because of my opponent's inexperience regarding LD style of debating (this has been dropped); he does not understand the basic concept of the LD vacuum (entire hypothetical place in space where any and every situation conceivable is possible).

My contention was written in a circumstance where the "government" of the resolution has deemed self-defense illegal. In this case, self defense goes along with the parameter of the definition of vigilantism.

In this case self-defense is a legitimate form of vigilantism.

For the rest of the contention, my opponent argues for the irrelevancy of the contention.

The government system can not only be proven to be more effective than vigilantism in enforcing the law, if we still accept the parameters and framework established by the LD vacuum.

In this argument, I make the point that WHEN DEALING WITH CRIMES INVOLVING TRAUMA, VIGILANTISM IS BETTER BECAUSE IT MINIMIZES THE TRAUMA EXPERIENCED BY THE VICTIM.

You, as the voter, must decide if this argument is irrelevant.

For my second contention, my opponent argues that vigilantism occurs more often in the larges social classes, and that vigilantes aren't necessarily going to be altruistic.

Firstly, I CHALLENGE MY OPPONENT TO PRESENT TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS ARGUMENT.
My opponent needs to present arguments in this order:

1. The argument
2. Proof
3. Why the argument is relevant to the case

To my opponent's arguments on MEAN VIGILANTES

This is irrelevant. My contention is based on the vigilante's attempts to achieve a more just society by relying on the sole form he can take; vigilantism. My opponent argues against my case in a very indirect way.

For this argument to be considered, my opponent needs to answer the following question:

WHAT MAKES GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND PEOPLE WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT MORE "ALTRUISTIC" THAN VIGILANTES?
feverish

Con

I thank my opponent for responding in this debate and for his patience with my inexperience.
I also welcome his instructions and enlightening explanations of the LD debate format of which I acknowledge my ignorance.

He (or she) says that it is impossible for me to win this debate, but apparently everything is possible in the "LD vacuum" so I will leave that for voters to decide.

I get the impression that I have now left it too late to propose a Value Premise but if I did mine would be Law & Order, by which I mean respect and obedience to the law and to those appointed to represent it. This can clearly not be achieved through vigilantism and I suggest that Respect for Social Order can not be achieved through these means either.

My opponent seems in some way offended by the "abusive burden" I placed on him (or her) by offering a definition of my own [ "Please elaborate why" - it was to further clarify matters, ] therefore I will meekly withdraw my definition of vigilantism from the debate. This definition was never intended as a contradiction of my opponent's original, they basically say the same thing, I'll go along with my opponent's original definitions.

"Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.
Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason."

My point stands that if a citizen takes the law into their own hands they do so without legal reason. The law is to be enforced by law enforcement officials, not you and me. My opponent seems to have completely ignored this central part of my argument as well as the issue of "innocent until proven guilty" with regard to punishing suspects. I would have appreciated it if he had spent more time responding to my actual argument rather than castigating me for my ignorance of LD and proclaiming that I cannot win.

My opponent says:
"I would also like to remind everyone that the debate is about vigilantism, not vigilantes."
"I would like to remind everyone that the resolution specifically speaks of "The Law" instead of "law". The law is a collective noun, whereas, law is a noun. Their distinct definitions should not be confused."

My response: Please explain how these trivial distinctions are relevant to the case.

My opponent says:
"This argument is abusive!"

My response: I am very sorry if you feel like I abused you, this was not my intention nor my interpretation of my actions.

My opponent says:
"he does not understand the basic concept of the LD vacuum (entire hypothetical place in space where any and every situation conceivable is possible)."

I admit I don't fully understand the idea of debating in a space where anything is possible, does this mean it is equally possible that anyone performing an act of vigilantism will spontaneously combust or turn into a pink blancmange? I hope not.

"My contention was written in a circumstance where the "government" of the resolution has deemed self-defense illegal. In this case, self defense goes along with the parameter of the definition of vigilantism."

I don't think my opponent made this idea at all clear in his opening statements. If he did then I am sorry I missed it, it does kind of change things a bit.

Is he saying that vigilantism is ONLY justified if it as an act of self-defense?
If he is arguing that SELF-DEFENSE is legally justified why did he not say so to begin with?
Also how can self-defense be LEGALLY justified if it has been declared ILLEGAL?

"In this case self-defense is a legitimate form of vigilantism."

Illegal yet legitimate?

Once again my opponent seems to be contradicting himself. But maybe that's allowed in LD debate?
If "every situation is fully possible" does that mean contradictory statements can both be true?

My opponent says that I need "to present arguments in this order:
1. The argument
2. Proof
3. Why the argument is relevant to the case"

I fail to see that he has followed his own advice in this debate when presenting arguments but I will attempt to do so for his direct challenges.

"my opponent argues that vigilantism occurs more often in the larges social classes, and that vigilantes aren't necessarily going to be altruistic.
Firstly, I CHALLENGE MY OPPONENT TO PRESENT TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS ARGUMENT."

1. My argument is stated above. Thanks for that.
2. For proof look at high profile cases like Bernhard Goetz, the lynchings you referred to and all the other lynchings in history.
3. For me lynching is the most obvious example of vigilantism and the best explanation for why it should not be justified.

Basically how I explained it in the previous round, but apparently this is "irrelevant" and "indirect" although my opponent does not say why or how.

My opponents other ALL CAPS challenge:

"WHAT MAKES GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND PEOPLE WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT MORE "ALTRUISTIC" THAN VIGILANTES?"

1. Nothing does. I never said or implied that they were. Neither officials or vigilantes are necessarily altruistic.

What judges, police officers etc. do have,that vigilantes don't is the authority of the law, and to apply my opponents own definition; only such officials can have "sufficient legal reason" to enforce the law, apprehend or punish criminals.

2. As we agree that they are not more altruistic do I really have to prove it?
3. This argument is only relevant to my opponent's irrelevant question, it is not relevant to the case.

As my opponent has not fielded any of my core challenges to his position. I will present them again in the hope that he will.

Taking the law into your own hands is not legally justified.
Self-defense and vigilantism are distinct whether self-defense is legal or illegal.
If self-defense was illegal then like vigilantism it could not be justified.
Only those with the authority of the law or (The Law) are legally justified to enforce it.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is the Law so it is not legally justifiable to be "punishing suspected criminals."

Vote Con. (it's possible if you make it happen!)
Thankyou.
Debate Round No. 2
LDer

Pro

From my opponent's Case: "He (or she) says that it is impossible for me to win this debate, but apparently everything is possible in the "LD vacuum" so I will leave that for voters to decide."

My Response: The LD vacuum is the place where the hypothetical situations presented by debaters take place. In order to win an LD debate, on the other hand, on must present a VP and a C. none of this has any affect, of course, because the LD debating style has been dropped.

The VPs and Cs presented by both debaters are now completely irrelevant and should not affect the result of the voting.

From my opponent's Case: "I will meekly withdraw my definition of vigilantism from the debate."

My Response: We must now look solely to my definitions.

"Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.
Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason."

From my opponent's Case: "My point stands that if a citizen takes the law into their own hands they do so without legal reason. The law is to be enforced by law enforcement officials, not you and me. My opponent seems to have completely ignored this central part of my argument as well as the issue of "innocent until proven guilty" with regard to punishing suspects. I would have appreciated it if he had spent more time responding to my actual argument rather than castigating me for my ignorance of LD and proclaiming that I cannot win."

My Response: I merely stated that my opponent doesn't define "legal reason" and "legal authority". The two phrases can be interpreted in a variety of ways. This makes his or her argument abusive. Again, whatever I stated on LD should not be held to great value since the style has been dropped. I only stated that if we were to assume that we were working in a hypothetical place, such statements as "innocent until proven guilty" could be nonexistent. My burden was to prove that vigilantism is justified in one occasion to prove that it is justified. In a situation where the government does not recognize self protection, vigilantism is justified. Therefore, I already won. This is one of the key reasons to vote AFF.

From my opponent's Case: (paraphrasing) my opponent challenges to explain why we should make the distinction between Vigilante/Vigilantism and Law/The Law.

My response: Vigilantism is the socio-politically correct term. Vigilante can simply mean "Observer" or "Watchmen" as its etymology states. "Law", on the other hand, implies a lesser value than "The Law"

To my arguments on the LD vacuum(no longer looked to), my opponent states the following: "I admit I don't fully understand the idea of debating in a space where anything is possible, does this mean it is equally possible that anyone performing an act of vigilantism will spontaneously combust or turn into a pink blancmange? I hope not."

My response: By its nature and definition, absolutely :)

To my first contention, there is a lot of jargon and LD stuff. It was written only to suit the LD style, which, again, has been dropped. I only ask for understanding and flexibility on the voter's part to understand the special circumstances.

To answer the questions presented by my opponent

Is he saying that vigilantism is ONLY justified if it as an act of self-defense?
Absolutely not. But just by proving it in this instance I will successfully carry out my burden.

If he is arguing that SELF-DEFENSE is legally justified why did he not say so to begin with?

No. In instances where self defense is not legal, vigilantism steps in.

Also how can self-defense be LEGALLY justified if it has been declared ILLEGAL?

To this point, I must admit that I failed. I assumed the following point would go without saying: A LEGITIMATE LAW ISN'T NECCESARILY MORLLY JUST.

I CHALLENGE MY OPPONENT: Prove that the Jim Crow laws and black segregation laws were morally just or that they weren't legitimate laws.

Once again my opponent seems to be contradicting himself. But maybe that's allowed in LD debate?
If "every situation is fully possible" does that mean contradictory statements can both be true?

My opponent says that I need "to present arguments in this order:
1. The argument
2. Proof
3. Why the argument is relevant to the case"

"my opponent argues that vigilantism occurs more often in the larges social classes, and that vigilantes aren't necessarily going to be altruistic.
Firstly, I CHALLENGE MY OPPONENT TO PRESENT TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS ARGUMENT."

From my opponent's Case "1. My argument is stated above. Thanks for that.
2. For proof look at high profile cases like Bernhard Goetz, the lynchings you referred to and all the other lynchings in history.
3. For me lynching is the most obvious example of vigilantism and the best explanation for why it should not be justified."

My Response: LYNCHINGS ARE NOT A FORM OF VIGILANTISM! I order for an act to be considered vigilantism, the act would have to be close to parallel to what the government would have done (look at my definition). Can you legitimately claim that in a court of law, people would have been killed for their race?

My opponent answered my challenge with the following responses:

"1. Nothing does. I never said or implied that they were. Neither officials or vigilantes are necessarily altruistic.

What judges, police officers etc. do have,that vigilantes don't is the authority of the law, and to apply my opponents own definition; only such officials can have "sufficient legal reason" to enforce the law, apprehend or punish criminals.

2. As we agree that they are not more altruistic do I really have to prove it?
3. This argument is only relevant to my opponent's irrelevant question, it is not relevant to the case."

To respond to his responses:

1. Is this "legal reason" always just?
2. No, I am fully satisfied by your incomplete answer.
3. Let us leave that to be deemed by the voters.

To address my opponents last points:

"Taking the law into your own hands is not legally justified."

Just because a law states something, doesn't make it just automatically.

"Self-defense and vigilantism are distinct whether self-defense is legal or illegal."

Not in a case where it is not sanctioned by the government. If we assume that battery is illegal but self-defense isn't, the situation both fulfils the conditions for vigilantism and proves it morally just.

"If self-defense was illegal then like vigilantism it could not be justified."

Legal authority is not what justifies something in all cases. As humanity has learned, justification can and usually comes through the opinion of the majority. However, since the debate is based on legal reason I present the following arguments:

1. Not all laws are expected to be followed (example: anti-lynching laws)
2. Laws will always contradict each other (this is why we have court cases on constitutional debates, among others)
3. Full following of the law is not possible. We must look to the lesser of two evils.

"Only those with the authority of the law or (The Law) are legally justified to enforce it."

No! Why do you think we have something called the court of law and civil lawsuits?

"Innocent until proven guilty" is the Law so it is not legally justifiable to be "punishing suspected criminals."

This is not applicable everywhere, especially in hypothetical cases. Where is it stated that the government implied in the resolution would follow this model?

As voters, you have the responsibility to take into account the special circumstances of the debate.

Reasons to Vote AFF
1. My opponent fails to defend his case adequately or as well as I do.
2. My arguments are more convincing.
3. I successfully carried out my burden.
4. I won more arguments.

AWESOME DEBATE
Thanks for reading and debating
feverish

Con

I thank my opponent again for what has been a fun and interesting debate.

He and I perhaps agree that occasionally vigilantism can be morally legitimate, but I refer readers again to his definition:

"Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason."

As my opponent has framed his entire argument within this definition, I suggest that he has repeatedly contradicted himself and failed to explain how vigilantes "taking the law into [their] own hands" can possibly be legally justified.

It has been enlightening to learn a little about LD debating, but I am still pretty confused about it. I find it hard to understand how two people can have a meaningful debate if they are free to back up their arguments with any kind of hypothetical circumstances they choose to impose, no matter how preposterous. I'm also still trying to work out precisely which elements of LD have been dropped from this debate and which have been retained, but hopefully readers and voters will be less confused than I.

Now to turn to what my opponent says in round three.

"if we were to assume that we were working in a hypothetical place, such statements as "innocent until proven guilty" could be nonexistent."

And assuming that we are not in a hypothetical place (which I presume is what was meant by "whatever I stated on LD should not be held to great value since the style has been dropped.") what then?

"I already won."

Similar to my opponents previous assertion that it was impossible for me to win this debate, I don't see how this is true as debates on this site are decided by voters.

"Vigilante can simply mean "Observer" or "Watchmen" as its etymology states. "Law", on the other hand, implies a lesser value than "The Law"."

Etymology is the root origin of a word and often has very little to do with it's meaning. In English 'vigilante' does not mean 'observer' (this meaning has more relevance to the related word 'vigilance') any more than 'sinister' means 'left' or 'hysterical' means 'of the womb.' (source:COED)
As for law and Law, I don't see a lesser value or even any kind of concrete distinction between the two. You could substitute the two spellings for each other every time they appear in this debate and the meaning would not be altered.

"does this mean it is equally possible that anyone performing an act of vigilantism will spontaneously combust or turn into a pink blancmange? I hope not."
My response: By its nature and definition, absolutely :)"

Oh dear.

My opponent says the following:

"Just because a law states something, doesn't make it just automatically."
"Full following of the law is not possible. We must look to the lesser of two evils."
"Is this "legal reason" always just?"
"A LEGITIMATE LAW ISN'T NECCESARILY MORLLY JUST."

These are all statements I agree with but due to the definitions my opponent offered at the start of this debate (that 'justified' should be applied in a 'legal' sense) I would suggest that they support my position rather than his.

"Also how can self-defense be LEGALLY justified if it has been declared ILLEGAL?
To this point, I must admit that I failed. "

I appreciate my opponent acknowledging at least one of the short-comings in his argument.

"LYNCHINGS ARE NOT A FORM OF VIGILANTISM! I order for an act to be considered vigilantism, the act would have to be close to parallel to what the government would have done (look at my definition)."

I would point out that this is in fact not mentioned in the definition of vigilantism. Once again:

"Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals."

"Can you legitimately claim that in a court of law, people would have been killed for their race?"

Of course not but from my understandings people who were lynched were generally accused of some crime (such as breaking segregation laws or sexual assault of a white woman.) Although these supposed crimes were generally a smoke-screen for racial hatred, I was under the impression that some sort of accusation was normally made and the mob would therefore justify themselves as enforcing the law.

"I CHALLENGE MY OPPONENT: Prove that the Jim Crow laws and black segregation laws were morally just or that they weren't legitimate laws."

I don't see how I could prove this and as I never even suggested it, I don't see why my opponent wants me to.
I must admit that I have limited knowledge of American history or society but obviously these laws were totally unjust and if my opponent says they were legitimate laws I see no reason to dispute this. I honestly don't see how it's relevant but maybe I am missing something.

I said:
"Taking the law into your own hands is not legally justified."
My opponent said:
"Just because a law states something, doesn't make it just automatically."

I don't really get my opponents point at all here but remind readers that his definition of 'justified' was "to have had a sufficient legal reason." Either my opponent has changed his definition or he contradicts himself.

I said:
"Self-defense and vigilantism are distinct whether self-defense is legal or illegal."
My opponent said:
"Not in a case where it is not sanctioned by the government. If we assume that battery is illegal but self-defense isn't, the situation both fulfils the conditions for vigilantism and proves it morally just."

I maintain that these are still two very different things, even allowing for the fact that in some hypothetical situation one could fall into the category of the other.

I said:
"If self-defense was illegal then like vigilantism it could not be justified."
My opponent said:
"Legal authority is not what justifies something in all cases."

I agree but in this particular case, my opponents definition states that it is.

I said:
"Only those with the authority of the law or (The Law) are legally justified to enforce it."
My opponent said:
"No! Why do you think we have something called the court of law and civil lawsuits?"

Officials in the courts and those who preside over civil LAWsuits have the authority of the law and are legally justified to enforce it. I would suggest that one reason why we have these systems is to prevent people from "taking the law into [their] own hands and punishing suspected criminals"

I said:
"Innocent until proven guilty" is the Law so it is not legally justifiable to be "punishing suspected criminals."
My opponent said:
This is not applicable everywhere, especially in hypothetical cases. Where is it stated that the government implied in the resolution would follow this model?

Sorry I forgot about the hypothetical cases again. So has this element of LD been dropped or not? I can't say, but it is a convenient way of not responding to one of my central arguments. Also if we are both permitted to hypothesise then I should ask where does it say that the government DOESN'T follow this model.

Lastly my opponent lists the following reasons why people should vote AFF or PRO:

"1. My opponent fails to defend his case adequately or as well as I do.
2. My arguments are more convincing.
3. I successfully carried out my burden.
4. I won more arguments."

I won't bother to address these points individually but I think it is clear that they represent merely the opinion of my opponent, an opinion which I would suggest is somewhat deluded.

Vote Con.
Thankyou.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Hey Snelld, how's it going?
I've just accepted your hate crime debate, so maybe we should wait till that one's done first, but if you want to start getting a Pro argument together go for it.
I do think this is a tricky issue and there are good arguments for both sides, I'm not quite decided on it myself.
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
I'd like to debate feverish on this topic (you being CON as you were, and me replacing the LDer with PRO)

up for it?
Posted by Bnesiba 7 years ago
Bnesiba
Sorry for the double post.
RFD: Con

1.) "LD vacuum" is BS without warrant.
I don't know where LDer does LD debate, but last time i checked even arguments on what the debate should be limited to required warrants... Pro simply states that this is how LD works, and therefore, this is how the round must be judged. No analysis, no warrant nothing, just a claim.

Also, on a similar note, pro offers no reason why real world application should not be considered, just that "that's not how LD works."

2.) vigilantism
It seemed the pro was trying to tell us that vigilanitism was anybody breaking the law to do what they though they should be able to do...(self defence == vigilantism)

such an argument would allow theivery, murder, arson, and any number of crimes to also be "vigilantism"

3.) tone.
Pro just seems to think he/she is soo much smarter than the con. This would be much less of a problem if the previous points did not exist. Frankly, conceit bothers me, but ungrounded conceit bothers me more.
Posted by Bnesiba 7 years ago
Bnesiba
LDer,
if i achieve you're value premise while you do not, even if i have not provided an alternate framework, i still win...
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Unfortunately, the vast majority of this debate consisted of apologies and frustrations about the format. The actual arguments could be condensed into a few lines, most of which didn't effectively address those of the opponent in later rounds. That being said, I found Pro's main case to be weaker overall.
Posted by LDer 7 years ago
LDer
Bnesiba- In LD, the winner is the person who better achieves his or her Value Premise
Posted by Bnesiba 7 years ago
Bnesiba
you know, the value debate is not the entire debate... you can lose the value debate and still win the round. In this case, feverish simply forfeited the value/criterion debate by not supplying his/her own, not the round.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
No probs, sorry if my last comment seemed tetchy.
Looking forward to round 2!
Posted by LDer 7 years ago
LDer
The last round didn't end all that well, so I thought that I'd give it another shot.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Was dissapointed to see that my opponent has pasted his entire round from a previous debate of his.
suppose it doesn't matter too much.
Hopefully he will have some fresh content for the next round.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by daboss 7 years ago
daboss
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Vote Placed by username2 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Bnesiba 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 7 years ago
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