The Instigator
idkmybffbill
Con (against)
Tied
14 Points
The Contender
InfraRedEd
Pro (for)
Tied
14 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,671 times Debate No: 7882
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

idkmybffbill

Con

I would like to debate in LD format. Thanks!
"I find the idea of vigilante justice very attractive. I like the idea that the murderer decides that this person has gone too far, and nothing will happen to him unless she does something to stop him." It is because I agree with Donna Leon that I negate the resolved, vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
For clarity I offer the following definitions:
Vigilantism: occurrence when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system
Justified: to prove or show to be what is just by the maintenance or administration of what is just based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness, and equity
Government: the offices of a nation/political unit being responsible for direction/supervision of public affairs
Failed: a state of inability to perform a normal function
Enforcement: to give force or effect to (a law, etc.); to compel obedience to
The Law: the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law.
My value for the round shall be that of justice. Justice can be defined as the maintenance or administration of what is just based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness, and equity. Negating achieves the value of justice because of the word justified in the resolution as this word is a derivative of just or justice so this value is explicit in the resolution and any other value would be irrelevant to answering the question of the resolution as no other value would ensure people are receiving their due .In order to achieve justice in the resolution, it is only just that vigilantism is unacceptable in the case that the government fails to enforce the law. Justice is a key feature of a well-based society because justice concerns the proper ordering of people and things in a society.
The value criterion for the debate is protecting rights. Vigilantism offers no protections of due process rights, no checks on cruel or unusual punishment, no liability to any outside force. We are born with certain natural rights, and we are guaranteed that these rights will be respected. Vigilantes may undermine these rights, which is unjust. Suspects--or even known criminals--are still humans, deserving of fair trials and humane treatment.
My first contention is John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government. In John Locke's Second Treatise he clearly states that vigilantism is not just and a civil government is the way to punish criminals. Locke said, "...it is unreasonable for Men to be Judges in their own Cases, that Self-love will make men partial to themselves and to their Friends. And on the other side, that Ill Nature, Passion and Revenge will carry them too far in punishing others. And hence nothing but Confusion and Disorder will follow.... I easily grant, that civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniencies of the state of nature, which must certainly be great, where men may be judges in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined, that he who was so unjust as to do his brother an injury, will scarce be so just as to condemn himself for it..." Thus, it leads us to believe that justice cannot be achieved through vigilantism, and vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law.
My second contention is that vigilantism is not justified because of the harms it does to a society.
Sub point A: Vigilantes act based on perception.
A vigilante does not have the necessary resources to determine who is guilty, and who is innocent. All a vigilante can do is punish those they suspect to be guilty of a crime. In addition, vigilantism often results in an unbalanced response. The American Chronicle states: "Vigilantism has taken root in Latin America over the past decade…angry crowds are increasingly taking the law into their own hands, meting out physical punishment for crimes real and imagined. Vigilantes often lynch common criminals who, in their view, have escaped justice." In Responsibility and Punishment, J. Angelo Corlett explains the cause of unbalanced punishment: "What makes vigilantism morally wrong is that it violates a fundamental fairness that relies on a due process system to determine…guilt from innocence…But the vigilante cares not about such fairness…Justice and fairness dictate that due process rights ought to be upheld for the accused so that a determination of her guilt or innocence…might be determined…Even should the vigilante capture and "punish" a genuine offender…it would most likely be…out of luck, rather than as the result of careful and diligent investigative trial process…" As John Locke states, "Men cannot be judges of themselves", which shows that unfairness exists in personal views and would lead to injustice when trying criminals.
Sub point B: There are no checks on a vigilante.
Within a government, there are checks to prevent injustice. However, the vigilante has no such checks. Even if a vigilante group started out well, the lack of checks would eventually allow the vigilantes to abuse their power and become corrupt. In Managua, Nicaragua, in 1997, a vigilante committee formed to protect the citizens from violence that was happening. At first, they were just and fair. However, just 5 years later, fighting occurred within the members of the group and innocents died as a result of this violence. It turned out that drugs had corrupted these vigilantes and as one vigilante put it, "We couldn't care less about the people. What do they matter to us?" Clearly, the lack of checks will allow vigilantes to eventually abuse their power.
My third contention is that vigilantism cannot be justly used to enforce unjust laws. In the United States between 1876-1965 there was something called Jim Crow laws. These state and local laws separated all public facilities between lack Americans and members of other non-white racial groups with a "separate but equal statue". If the United States failed to enforce that law the vigilantes would try to enforce it themselves. That law was not just, and if the vigilantes tried to make sure that the law was enforced their vigilantism was not justifiable. Another example is China's One-Child Policy. If a couple had more than one child and the government allowed an exemption to their case, the vigilantes would try to fine, give pressure to abort, or force sterilization upon the couple. That law also was not just, and if the vigilantes tried to make sure that the law was enforced their vigilantism was not justified.
I now stand open for cross examination.
InfraRedEd

Pro

There are 501(c)(everything else) so why not 501(c)(lynch mob)? These outfits are pretty much true to their mission. A lynch mob could be empowered to perform acts of vigilantism but then it wouldn't be vigilantism since it would be authorized by law and everyone would be happy.

http://en.wikipedia.org...(c) .

What we are trying to avoid is this

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

sort of thing and note that it is not vigilantism by your definition infofar as they are not assuming the functions of government but only ruining lives. Or else you will have to make spanking vigilantism.

At least a lynch mob would not be a cult like the government. A cult is a group that becomes your total environment, and subject all kinds of sacred cows and rules of thought.

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

whereas in a lynch mob at least the people know each other in a wider context which will extend in time beyond the life of the lynch mob. They will have to face one another again outside of the context of the lynch mob. Also cults are carriers of Important Disease and militaristic behavior and are characterized by a strong central authority. There's a word for that which I will think of.

Let's take a look at your definitions, and thank you for laying it all on the line. Notice that word "political." It is used to define "law" and "government" but itself has no definition. Now how to define it non-circularly so as to include government but exclude the Mafia and other NGO cults. We could take the position that there is no such thing as political (the one I prefer), or that everything is political. The definition of that word will decide what is vigilantism and what is not. If it is not political it is vigilantism.

Show me a law or a government. How do you know they exist? They are stories we have been told, figments of our imagination. Some criminals wear uniforms. Some vigilantes wear uniforms. The Universe is just a reflection of our own minds anyway. As soon as we realize that there are no laws there will be none. Nor jobs, nor money, nor government.

Oh yes. That word is "fascist."

One way to avoid groupthink is to let the newest members have disproportionate power. That way the government will be actual children instead of adults acting like children.
Debate Round No. 1
idkmybffbill

Con

In the first round, I requested for the debate to be in LD format. My opponent's response was not in LD format, so he should automatically lose the round. Since he has no value, criterion, or contentions I have nothing to attack. Also, he hasn't made any attacks on my value, criterion, or contentions, so I have nothing to respond to. Vote affirmative because the negative hasn't even been debating in LD format and my case better upholds the resolution.
InfraRedEd

Pro

Thank you for forfeiting your round. There are a number of difficulties with your argument:

The rules do not allow a debater to decide what format his opponent's argements will take. To do so would be unfair.

I would like to know where the idea originated that it is fair to allow a participant in any contest to dictate the terms of the contest.

Particularly after the contest has started according to the rules set by the refereeing software and not according to some other set of rules which I have not even seen in writing and where are they please and also where are the LD format rules to which you are referring?

Any rules to be valid must be furnished in writing and agreed to by all participants prior to the start of any fair competition.

Therefore this competition is not fair. But I don't care I'm just going for the glory.

LD (or Lincoln-Douglas) format, originally used in formal arguments in court, and as all debate formats,

http://www.csun.edu...

specifies a precise language and debating style in order to facilitate scoring and time management for formal oral high school debate tournaments. Basically it is a set of time limits for each portion of the debate which is divided into constructive, cross, rebuttal and crystalization. Without the time limits there is no practical reason to divide the argument into parts at all and hence little sense in referring to "LD format" in a written debate. My opponent is pulling a fast one. There is no such thing as what he is imagining.

What LD format means depends on who you ask and when. LD formnatics walk among us spreading the word but they are not having much luck. A seasoned debator tells about judging a debate where everyone in the room was clueless:

http://www.wcdebate.com...

Any logical argument can be put into LD format in a fairly obvious and straightforward way once of course you know what LD format is. It is for oral debating tournaments.

Do refer to the LD debate rules of the NFA, or the UIL, or the Education Workshop or SDHUSD?

Quoting again from the above source:

(3) A negative debater can also argue a "critique" against a resolution in its entirety.
Because productive conflict, or 'clash,' is key to a Lincoln-Douglas debate, each debater should be able to make a positive case for their position and values, as opposed to a purely negative attack on those of their opponent.

Therefore claims of "nothing to attack" are spurious. You just forfeited your round is what you did.

Anyway to continue regarding the proposition.

Your definition of "vigilante" is priceless. A vigilante exacts what they believe to be justice from criminals. So if they exact what they believe to be justice from law-abiding citizens that is not vigilantism.

Anyway they are not criminals until they are convicted in a court of your precious fictitious law which never makes a mistake.

Even the system itself knows better than that. "The public knows that our criminal justice system is in a shambles," as one State Supreme Court opinion put it in a rare moment of candor, "and those who have been convicted of a crime know it too."

A judge considering me for jury duty asked if I had ever been on a jury before. Yes, a state grand jury. Her response is quite telling: "Did you see anything that would bias you against the system?"

So bias in favor of the system is OK?

Why would you ask?

Because it becomes pretty obvious if you are paying attention.

The Report of the President (Kennedy)'s Commission on Organized Crime states that organized crime could not exist without corrupt politicians, cops and judges. This is from the horse's mouth. Well I am here to tell you there is organized crime. Therefore there is corruption throughout the system.

It is the system that is biased, not me. This judge was preparing to go to trial with a jury pool of perhaps 300 people with five of them minorities but even they had RVs.

In that grand jury everyone but me owned their own home, and several were building. They took absolutely no interest in what was going on and did exactly what the AG said and wondered why they kept getting called up. Separation of powers should apply here you know.

The judge let me off, especially since the other time I was on jury duty I dozed off.

Jury duty is the only time an ordinary person gets to participate in government and they give preference to those who hate it and do exactly what they are told.

Of course capturing someone and handing them over is not vigilantism. There may be some problem with who you hand them over to however.

We are infatuated with murder. There are other crimes.

Of course volunteers could, and do, ably perform many functions of government. More should be allowed to contribute where they can. Get back at your least favorite supermarket or restaurant by handing them a personally autographed health violation citation. If we handled road rage this way it would certainly be more satisfying.
Debate Round No. 2
idkmybffbill

Con

I did NOT forfeit the round. I specifically asked for my opponent to debate in the LD format. I'm not even sure why you accepted if you weren't going to use LD format. Also, when you day that you can't debate LD online, I think you should know that many people on debate.org request to debate in LD format, and their opponent debates in LD format. I'm just going to set aside this argument, because it is not what we are debating about. Onto the resolved:

Politics are the process by which groups of people make decisions.

There is no need to exact justice from law-abiding citizens.

What warrants these quotes?

What ensures you that bias does not exist in vigilantism? Say you had a brother, and a criminal killed him. Wouldn't you be harsher on him than a normal government because he killed your brother? Even if you say people that work in the government are corrupt, there are still plenty of checks that ensure that criminals are punished in a just way.

"Get back at your least favorite supermarket or restaurant by handing them a personally autographed health violation citation. If we handled road rage this way it would certainly be more satisfying." This isn't even an example of vigilantism, because there is no law that needs to be enforced.

I urge an affirmative ballot because my case better upholds the resolution, I haven't failed to attack and aspect of my opponent's case, and my opponent hasn't really attacked a lot in my case.
InfraRedEd

Pro

To quote my opponent:
"Politics are the process by which groups of people make decisions"
So any group of people making decisions is a political unit.
Another definition:
"Government: the offices of a nation/political unit being responsible for direction/supervision of public affairs"
So government is the offices of any group of people making decisions being responsible for direction/supervision of public affairs
But vigilantes are groups of people making decisions.
So vigilante groups are political units
So the offices of any group of vigilantes being responsible for direction/supervision of public affairs is government.
They are also authorities so they are political authorities.
Another definition:
"The Law: the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law"
But a group of vigilantes is a political authority.
So the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a group of vigilantes is The Law
Another definition:
Vigilantism: occurrence when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system

so
Vigilantism: occurrence when a person violates the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a group of vigilantes in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system

So if a person violates the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a group of vigilantes in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals for some other reason that is not vigilantism.

This is getting absurd. There are 33 debates with this same exact title. Enough already.
Debate Round No. 3
idkmybffbill

Con

My only and final definition of vigilantism is:
Vigilantism: occurrence when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system
My arguments still stand.
InfraRedEd

Pro

LD format.

http://wiki.idebate.org...

An LD format argument would of course have to define the scope of the topic. Worldwide? Just U.S.?

It would set forth the values that law enforcement upholds, and the criteria of a good law enforcement system, and how these criteria support those values, and how our government, and every government within the scope of the topic, meets those criteria. It would do the same for vigilantes, examining all vigilante groups within the scope of the topic, and their actions, and then compare the two, and select the one that creates the most value. If there are no vigilante groups then what is the value of this debate?

It is of course the responsibility of the Instigator to do this. I cannot respond until all these things have been done.

The Contender then takes a position that disagrees with the Instigator. Disagrees. Not object to in its entirety as is commonly supposed. Obviously the contender needs to have something to contend.

But I am tending toward something of the form:

When any part of government, or of society itself does not, or is perceived to not, function as it should this is a serious matter, and that is the most important thing to address. If people are committing murder, for example, the prime thing to address is why they are doing it and how to stop it. Is punishment the answer? We have a failed criminal injustice system that says otherwise. The one who should get the job is the one who can address it.

This is clearly not even in the same universe as anyone who could propose such a topic.

It is therefore a profound disagreement.
Debate Round No. 4
idkmybffbill

Con

My value, criterion, contentions, and arguments against my opponent's case still stand. Vote negative because my opponent didn't respond to my attacks or even attack any of the important aspects of my case, like my value, criterion, or contentions. Also, my opponent didn't even debate in LD format as I asked him to. For all these reasons, I urge a negative ballot.
InfraRedEd

Pro

All I need to know is what is LD format. I have no idea what my opponent is talking about.

Well until my opponent can explain what he thinks LD format is other than Lincoln-Douglas I don't see how I can comply with his request. I do not think this is unreasonable.

If there is no such thing as LD format I certainly cannot be faulted for not following it.

If there is then it should be a simple thing to show me some rules that say "LD format" on them.

Am I missing something?

Are private prisons vigilantes?

Private prisons are worse than vigilantes.

They have a vested interest in more crime.

They benefit of a few of their, shall we say clients, escape once in a while, more than usual.

This way they can bring more of their friends back inside with them and generate lots of profits which is the main thing with private anythings.

There shouldn't be any prisons anyway. They just cause more crime.

If they were truly rehab there would be ladies' prisons and gentlemen's prisons.

We should rehab society instead.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by HippiePolo 5 years ago
HippiePolo
Uh, HEY YO PRO!! As far as I have seen, majorty of the debates on here have been in LD FORMAT. idkmybffbill ASKED you to debate in LD format. (even before you accepted!!) So, why did you even go and screw this up? Have you no life? No brain?

UGH. People these days...
(And other peoples, dont go sayin I'm wrong, why I'm wrong, what you think, cuz I dont care! You just waste time and effort. So dont. Even. Bother.)
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
Panda.
That's bullsh*t.

I refuse to allow Ed to win (or even come close to winning) another LD debate round that he willfully entered and bastardized.
At least in this one he made SOME relevant points.

idkmybffbill,
debate me. I know the format and I'll do any topic (from this year) that you want. I prefer the Nationals topic.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Hah, CON never asked for an LD debate, she said "I would like to debate in LD". Ergo, Infareded's case was justified. And because CON technically forfeited and threw a *IwantLDtocheatontheupcomingtourney* tantrum, I urge a vote for PRO.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
There should be an option to force opponents to use LD format.
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
lol your case is the only one that upholds the resolution!

The other is not in agreement with it!!!! lol
Posted by idkmybffbill 7 years ago
idkmybffbill
I urge an affirmative ballot because my case better upholds the resolution, I haven't failed to attack *any aspect of my opponent's case, and my opponent hasn't really attacked a lot in my case.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
idkmybffbillInfraRedEdTied
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Vote Placed by idkmybffbill 7 years ago
idkmybffbill
idkmybffbillInfraRedEdTied
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Vote Placed by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
idkmybffbillInfraRedEdTied
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Vote Placed by dobsondebator 7 years ago
dobsondebator
idkmybffbillInfraRedEdTied
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