The Instigator
hieistar
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
Bnesiba
Con (against)
Winning
34 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: 2/18/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,477 times Debate No: 6989
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (6)

 

hieistar

Pro

"This town is too small for the both of us." If law enforcements fail to say this to crooks, then somebody better say it quick because crime-in the name of survival, vengeance, prejudice, and religion- is on the fast rise in this weary world.
Resolve: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
Define
Vigilantism- self appointed doer of justice
Justified- to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act done
Government- the offices of a nation/political unit being responsible for direction/supervision of public affair
Failed- a state of inability to perform a normal function
Enforce -To compel observance of or obedience to: enforce a law.
Law-rule of conduct to enforce authority
V: Hedonism
Utility is the degree to which an act produces pleasure. Hedonism is the thesis that pleasure or happiness is the good that we seek and that we should seek.
C: Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the theory that one should break a law or rule in order to make society better.
CI: The protection of the community and the citizens produces peace
"Vigilante violence and lynching in particular are rooted in an ideology of popular sovereignty: the people or communities are the real sovereigns; whenever those to whom they have delegated authority fail. It is the people's right to take back that authority into their own hands. This ideology is the generally not anti-state, for: vigilantism commonly thrives on the idea that the state's legitimacy at any point in time depends on its ability to provide citizens with the levels of law and order they demand." Vigilantism is thus "often a vote of no confidence in state efficiency rather than in the concept of the state itself." Vigilantes thus separate the state from the community, the former's job being to protect the latter." Andrew E. Taslitz said to THE OHIO STATE JOURNAL OF CRMINAL LAW. This is where civil disobedience comes into play. "Vigilante action, however, also occurs even when police and courts are available if citizens perceive that the criminal justice system is failing in its responsibilities to punish wrongful acts. Some of these latter cases make the reader quite vividly understand the impulses that drive citizens to vigilante action. In one case, occurring in 1981 in a small town in Missouri, a man had, for some years, been terrorizing the town, raping young girls, robbing farms for antiques, and blatantly intimidating anyone who accused him of crimes or who might testify against him in the various trials in which he was charged with these crimes. The story includes a lawyer who was constantly manipulating the laws to this person's advantage. The police in this small town were probably also intimidated, and were unable to keep the man from committing crimes and intimidating people. One day, the man was standing watch out in his truck in front of the place of business of a grocer whom he had threatened with death. This proved to be bad timing on his part. At their wit's end about what to do, the townsfolk were meeting nearby, and a large number of them came out of their meeting to see the man sitting in his truck, intimidating the grocer. He was shot with several weapons and killed. The circumstances suggest that the crime had been witnessed, but nobody could be found, then or ever, to report what they had witnessed. The case described above illustrates a classic vigilante response to an obviously intolerable situation." Paul H. Robinson said at SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW. As I've stated, when our government can't protect us, then we have all rights to protect us and/or our community. For without some form of vigilantism, we are unprotected to defend ourselves even when a court can or have tried.
CII: Prosecution of a crime by a person or community produces harmony and pleasure
Jim Handy, "In the process, Laura Nader has argued, the harmonic intent of customary law was strengthened. That is, communities she studied in southern Mexico consciously strove to maintain harmonious relations among members of the community partly because they realized that to do otherwise invite state intervention. Thus, harmony and the desire for community control over their own judicial affairs became mutually reinforcing impulses: only local control could ensure a ‘judicial' understanding of sufficient local complexity to guarantee that as often as possible ‘punishment' would fit the consequences of the crime, abide by local understanding of the severity of the transgression and, most importantly, facilitate reconciliation among the contending sides; only a deliberately maintained aura of harmony, created by both effective reconciliation and the concealment of disputes from outside officials, would allow the community to remain free of most active state interventions in its legal affairs.
CIII: Civil Disobedience = a good measure
Civil disobedience is rooted firmly in our history threw many acts of self preservation or community heroism. The Boston tea party, where we went against Great Britain due to the fact that they were not doing what was right for their people. In the long run, this form of vigilantism helped out Country. Then when Rosa Parks did not give up her seat because she knew that it was wrong for the segregation and the mistreatment of society, for this she created the beginning to help others who saw that they were being ostracized by their government, even when they were trying to protect them. The resolution only says when the ‘law is not enforced'. The people need to us this form of ‘rights' to protect the laws and needs of themselves or their people. If our government does not, then we have the right and the reason to go against our government when it is deemed necessary.
Bnesiba

Con

"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world."
Albert Camus

Because I agree with this quote, I negate the resolution, Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

I accept my opponent's definitions except two:

Vigilante- Self appointed administrator of punishment.
Because "justice" is a vague term, I simply qualify that the vigilante is punishing people that are, because of governmental failure, not being punished for crimes they commit.

Justified – In accordance with morality.
In this instance, we are not talking about law, if you look to the resolution, the law is failing, and we are asking if, in this situation, vigilantism is MORAL, not lawful, since it does not specify any country, we would have absolutely no basis to judge law.

RA:
The resolution is a moral dilemma; the affirmative must provide a moral backing to their justification of this action.

Value: Humanity
A.Defn.
Each person is seen as his/her own character, people cannot be used as means to an end.

B.Because we are human before all else, we must look to our humanity.

C.Humanity only exists on the neg
I will show through my case how the neg upholds humanity, but the aff cannot because it violates my Criterion

Criterion: Categorical Imperative
A. Defn:
According to Kant:
We ought to "act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law"

To simplify:

According to Kant, a maxim is the reason we act, or our motivation. (For example: "we ought to protect life")
So, the categorical imperative states that we should only act in a way that our motivation would be beneficial as a law for all people. (For example: all people ought to protect life)
An action that is in agreement with the categorical imperative is deemed right, all others, wrong. Furthermore, because it tells us what we ‘ought' to do, it gives us a moral duty to uphold those actions that are found to be in agreement with it.

B. Must look to CI
The main reason we must look only to the categorical imperative to judge this round is because ends based frameworks fail. Take, for example, any theory that looks to what the actions cause to judge morality. You can have all the evidence in the world, but still cannot accurately predict the future.

For example:
I'm at a lake, I see a child drowning. Naturally, I act to save the child, and jump in. However, I couldn't see that there was another child under me. I end up landing on that child, and he drowns. Furthermore, he hinders me so that the original child drowns as well. By any consequentialist framework, my action of jumping into the lake was very much wrong. However, the action of jumping in was, in itself, a moral and good thing to do, however unfortunate the outcome.

Because we can never know if there is a child under us, using a consequentialist or ends based framework, we cannot know if our action was just until we've already done it. For this reason, we must look to a framework that looks at the motivation behind the action, which I supply.

It is clear that vigilantes punish people, and, even if they were to follow the guidelines of the justice system, they would still be wrong, for support, I offer:

I) Punishment Violates Humanity
A. Deterrence violates humanity
Deterrence is based on the principle that if we punish someone for doing something, that others will be afraid to do the same thing. In this case, the criminal is being USED to prevent further crimes; this violates the value of humanity because we are using a criminal as a means to an end. Therefore it is wrong.

B. Retributive Justice violates Humanity
The only purpose of retributive justice is to avenge the victim and in many cases to satiate the victims families. This clearly violates humanity because we are using the criminal to make the victim and those closest to them feel better. Again, we are using a person as a means to an end.

C. Restorative Justice violates Humanity
According to the U.S Dept. of Justice's guiding principles of restorative justice: "The First priority is to assist victims", "The second priority is to restore the community, to the degree possible"
We aren't looking to the criminal here, but the victim. We are USING the criminal to assist the victim and to "restore" the community. THIS IS WRONG.
The entire premise of punishment is wrong, and although it may be prudent to holding society together, that does NOT make it moral.
By using people as a means to an end, affirming also violates my criterion, leading me to:

II) Affirming is Wrong
A. The maxim we are looking to is "we ought to value humanity" (in the sense that it has value)
Because my value is people as ends, the best maxim to operate under this value would be "we ought to value humanity" or "we ought not to use people as means to an end"

B. If upheld universally, would bring good.
If everyone were to act on this maxim, there would be no crimes against humanity, and no one would have such pain brought upon them.

C. this creates a moral duty
Because this maxim would be beneficial when upheld universally, it becomes our moral duty to act on it regardless of the actions of others.

D. Morality is objective
The morality of your actions is not affected by the actions of others. Yes, there are people who act wrongly; this does not mean we should act wrongly in return.
Because I have shown punishment is inherently wrong, and we are debating whether or not having punishment when the gov fails is good/bad, you must negate.

On to the Affirmative Case:

I would first like to bring the judges attention to the glaring contradiction that is the aff case: My opponent claims that civil disobedience is a good thing, and that, by disobeying the laws, we will make society better. VIGILANTES UPHOLD THE LAW, THEY PUNISH PEOPLE WHO DONT.
Vigilantes do the opposite of what the affirmative says should happen. Because of this alone, you should vote neg.

Value: Hedonism
1.no link to case
My opponent claims that happiness is good, but does not at any point in their case, show that they produce any happiness at all.

2.Hedonism justifies immorality
Because all we're trying to do is to increase happiness or pleasure, if I get a lot of pleasure from having slaves, then, as long as the pleasure is positive (I gain more than they loose) it's completely justified.

3.humanity best
Humanity respects the fact that each person is a person, that each person actually matters. We are human before all else, because of this, humanity is the best value.

Criterion: Civil Disobedience
1.No link to case
Look to my argument against my opponents case, just before the value debate, simply, the affirmative cannot achieve this value because vigilantes stop civil disobedience.

2.Not a moral framework.
This criterion is disobeying the laws. Now, I would agree that some laws should be disobeyed at some points, but some shouldn't. Because this criterion does not tell us how to act, and because it justifies disobeying all law (murder, rape etc) it falls.

3.cannot know future
We can never know if our civil disobedience will, in the end produce happy or painful results, because of this, it is impossible on the affirmative to truly judge what the proper action should be. Therefore must look to neg.

4.Categorical Imperative Best
The categorical imperative clearly states a moral framework and does not allow for wrong action within its bounds. Because of this, the categorical imperative is the best criterion and must be looked to in the round.

Group all aff contentions.
These all flow neg. the aff cannot uphold these through their case because vigilantism prevents civil disobedience. Look to II, they are prosecuting crimes; preventing disobedience, destroying the entire affirmative side of the case.

with this, you MUST negate.
Debate Round No. 1
hieistar

Pro

hieistar forfeited this round.
Bnesiba

Con

I would like this debate to continue.

i urge you to vote con because of my arguments, but urge you (judges) to allow the aff/pro to post their arguments as if they did not forfeit the round.

Pro, please post your rebuttal.

judges, i urge you to vote con simply because vigilantes punish people and, through my case, punishment is inherently immoral.
Debate Round No. 2
hieistar

Pro

hieistar forfeited this round.
Bnesiba

Con

Because punishment is inherently immoral, and because none of my arguments were debated. And because my opponent forfeited their last 2 rounds, i win.

you MUST vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by heliumhead 7 years ago
heliumhead
con your case is weak and could easily be refuted by pro, although i have to say i like your style of debating more than i do the pro.
Posted by gamingmaster42 8 years ago
gamingmaster42
cant win when you forfeit...
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
well that debate was a fail. vote con
Posted by Bnesiba 8 years ago
Bnesiba
"Humanism- by this logic the government should never punish criminals, because doing so would be a means to an end(We put criminals in prison to protect society, taking away their rights to achieve that end)"

animea.. that's what I'm saying...

punishment is inherently immoral. Because vigilantes punish people, this is bad. negate.
Posted by animea 8 years ago
animea
I really hope this is the competition I face at TFA State

Hedonism- Really? if doing cocaine makes me happy is that justified?

Civil disobedience is by definition civil, and therefore non violent. Vigilantism requires the use of force, and therefore violence.

Humanism- by this logic the government should never punish criminals, because doing so would be a means to an end(We put criminals in prison to protect society, taking away their rights to achieve that end)

CI- Same as above
Posted by SnowRainandSleet 8 years ago
SnowRainandSleet
Personally, i would use the social contract (without the self preservation). But, that all depends upon how you are going to use it. Are you using it as a Value or a criterion? You could use scientific stuff, but be careful because it is how you word it that it could effect you.
Posted by Bnesiba 8 years ago
Bnesiba
I don't think the social contract really links to self preservation. (exept maybe: b/c the gov. viol8ed SC, people need to preserve self..) but i think maybe Citizenship or life, or security might work as better values with the social contract.

And i wouldnt reccomend using scientific theories in philosophy debate... it would just mess things up and probably lose you the round. (also, it doesnt say anything about morals...)
Posted by brattyone 8 years ago
brattyone
Hey snowrainandsleet, I have a question for you. What would you think of using self preservation and Locke's social contract or Darwinism on the aff side? My coach wants me to do it but I am having problems understanding how to work it.
Posted by SnowRainandSleet 8 years ago
SnowRainandSleet
Yes you could use it for both sides, but be careful about it because you don't want the other side to have Kant and you have Kant as well, because during Cross Examination they can use their knowledge of Kant against your knowledge of Kant. So, be careful with that.
Posted by Bnesiba 8 years ago
Bnesiba
Kant's CI seems like a neg argument to me. =)

i use kant on both sides.. cause i'm awsome like that.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by gamingmaster42 8 years ago
gamingmaster42
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Vote Placed by babyhustler 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Bnesiba 8 years ago
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