The Instigator
James.ticknor
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Vigilantism is justified when the justice system fails to enforce the law.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MTGandP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,900 times Debate No: 8350
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

James.ticknor

Con

Helenwood, Tennessee.

Everybody in this small mountain community knew that Timothy Chandler had been arrested on child pornography charges. It was in the newspaper and all over the TV news. Two of Chandler's neighbors decided to do something about it. Those same neighbors set fire to his home. While Chandler managed to escape from the flames, his wife was killed in what authorities were calling an example, an act of vigilante justice. Associate professor of law Lloyd R. Cohen explains "Vigilantes exist because they believe that justice is far better served by their methods." While the ideals and values of justice were the intent of these neighbors, they committed another crime. Today I will be negating the resolution, "Vigilantism is justified when the justice system fails to enforce the law." Since this resolution does not supply a specific form of a governmental judicial system, I will assume the world's most popular form of government, which is Republican.

Vigilantism is socially incorrect. Law is defined as a social concept. However, vigilantes act in self-preservation, and they also take the law into their own hands. This no longer makes the law a social concept. By taking the law into their own hands and dismantling its social purpose, they are not just someone taking the law into their own hands, but somebody deciding what is the law. While acting in self-preservation, they do not apply or even consider community-preservation, like our justice system does. This puts the public at a significantly greater risk and leads to more crime and more vigilantists. This further leads to the destabilization of a country and, ultimately, its downfall.

Vigilantes are dangerous, because they often do not have the proper training of weapons and legal protocol to make informed deacons of a suspected criminal. Black's Law Dictionary defines vigilantism as, "The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals." By not having proper training, they can hugely outweigh a punishment over a crime, which they are not legally qualified to do anyways. They can also mishandle a weapon, to cause abuse of the suspect, injury, or death to the suspect, or an innocent individual. They are more apt to violate basic human rights than the legal system, because of their emotional motivation and lack of infrastructure. When someone decides to become a vigilantist, they declare themselves the judge, jury and executioner, and since the Affirmative cannot prove definitely whether or not each individual of vigilantism will act in a Utopian manner, they cannot make the claim that vigilantism are any better than the failing government. It has been proved in more cases than not that acts of vigilantism were carried out to an extremity, since most acts are motivated by revenge and not for justice. If potential vigilantists truly are interested in justice, they can attain a bounty hunter license. They receive proper training and work with the justice system, because they pursue criminals found guilty by a jury of their peers.

The justice system is far better than vigilantism. Vigilantes, no matter what definition we operate under, are not interested in fixing the root problem of the governmental error, and the justice system was designed to reform to the specific needs of the people to better serve justice. You cannot reform, modify, or improve vigilantism. Vigilantist do not act in a constructive manner by reforming themselves or the government and can therefore, no matter under what circumstances, act in best interest of everyone. A citizen in Pennsylvania stated, "I can't see anywhere it says anything even remotely close to trying the person in question. How are you deterring crime if you punish a person that is potentially innocent?" The justice system is better also because its procedures allow it to remain consistent, which vigilantism does not and therefore makes it an unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous solution. When they act, sometimes in groups like my story, they create anarchy. While they claim to uphold justice, there is no official justice in anarchy. They create a paradox and cannot logically enforce any law but what the specific vigilantist perceives. Also, vigilantism, according to Ron Levi, is "one of the least developed topics in criminology."

In conclusion, vigilantism is socially incorrect, dangerous, and inferior to the current justice system even when it fails, because of the reasons and points I have presented. I will now rest my argumentation and allow the Affirmation to speak, with this ending quote, by Edward Feser, I would rather live with law that sometimes fails than with no law at all. It's morally acceptable-but the problem is that it's subjective" I thank my partner and my opponents for what I am sure is going to be an interesting and well fought debate.
MTGandP

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate. I will not be using LD style, but will try to stay similar to the standard DDO style.

I affirm the resolution: Vigilantism is justified when the justice system fails to enforce the law.

As a side note, I recommend that my opponent a) use contentions and b) make his paragraphs shorter. (a) will make his case easier to understand, and (b) will make it easier to read. I do applaud him for his density of arguments, though.

Definitions
The first two definitions were put forth by my opponent, and I am putting them under the Definitions category for clarity.

Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals. (Black's Law Dictionary)

Justice System: A Republican government.

Republic: government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (Merriam-Webster)

Vigilante: One who practices vigilantism.

Criminal: One who commits an act forbidden by public law. (paraphrased from Merriam-Webster)

***
My opponent's first paragraph is almost entirely plagiarized from http://www.msnbc.msn.com... I believe the other paragraphs are original, though I cannot be sure.
***

========
Rebuttals
========

"Everybody in this small mountain community knew that Timothy Chandler had been arrested on child pornography charges."
This is an example of badly-carried-out vigilantism. But it is only an example. It implies very little about vigilantism in general.

"his wife was killed"
That was not an act of vigilantism, as it was not the apprehension of criminals. So this is not a point against my case.

"[V]igilantes act in self-preservation, and they also take the law into their own hands."
There is nothing in the definition of vigilantism about self-preservation. Vigilantes are protecting the law. If they also happen to be more concerned about self-preservation, it is not because of their vigilantism.

"By taking the law into their own hands and dismantling its social purpose..."
In what way are they dismantling the law's social purpose? On the contrary; by upholding the law, they are maintaining the law's integrity by enforcing it. If the government failed to enforce the law and vigilantes did not stop in, the law would become meaningless.

"Vigilantes are dangerous, because they often do not have the proper training of weapons and legal protocol to make informed deacons of a suspected criminal."
1. They often do have proper training.
2. When they do not, the harm actually caused by lack of training is generally limited.
3. Even if vigilantes are dangerous, they are not as dangerous as the criminal whose very intention is to be harmful.

"They can also mishandle a weapon..."
Vigilantes enforce the law. Whether or not they mishandle weapons is beside the point. Some vigilantes misuse weapons; so do some non-vigilantes.

"The justice system is far better than vigilantism."
Not if it fails, which it does according to the resolution.

"Vigilantes, no matter what definition we operate under, are not interested in fixing the root problem of the governmental error"
What governmental error? The error that prevents the government from enforcing the law? That's really irrelevant.

"the justice system was designed to reform to the specific needs of the people to better serve justice."
There is no such thing as "the justice system". There are many different justice systems; there are many different Republican justice systems.

"Vigilantist do not act in a constructive manner by reforming themselves or the government"
That is not their job. Their job is to apprehend and punish suspected criminals, which is very constructive.

"...and can therefore, no matter under what circumstances, act in best interest of everyone."
I do not see how this follows.

"How are you deterring crime if you punish a person that is potentially innocent?"
Other justice systems are constantly punishing people who are "potentially" innocent. Maybe the reason this theoretical justice system failed is because this citizen from Pennsylvania is in charge.

"The justice system is better also because its procedures allow it to remain consistent, which vigilantism does not and therefore makes it an unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous solution."
Vigilantism is only conducive to so much inconsistency. Vigilantes have their own moral code, and vigilante groups have even stronger codes. Instability is unlikely, unpredictability would not be any worse than any other justice system, and there is no reason to suspect heightened danger.

"While they claim to uphold justice, there is no official justice in anarchy."
The key word here is "official". Official justice is unnecessary.

"vigilantism is socially incorrect, dangerous, and inferior to the current justice system even when it fails"
Even when it fails? My opponent has provided no evidence for this claim.

"I would rather live with law that sometimes fails than with no law at all."
Good quote, but wrong on two points.
1) The law does not "sometimes" fail. The law has failed. There is no expectation of the law working again. If it does, it is outside the parameters of this debate.
2) Vigilantism is not the same as no law. Vigilantes apprehend and punish suspected criminals, and criminals have broken the law. Without law there are no criminals, and without criminals there are no vigilantes. So not only is vigilantism not the same as no law, but vigilantism cannot exist without law.

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

Contention 1: The Social Contract
John Locke's Social Contract says that it is the purpose of the government to protect its citizens. In return, its citizens submit authority to the government. If either side fails to uphold their end, the contract is broken. Therefore, if the government has failed to enforce the law and protect its citizens, the contract is broken and citizens are no longer obligated to submit their authority to the government. Vigilantism is justified in the eye of the government's contract with society.

Contention 2: Preservation of Society
Without vigilantism, law enforcement would be nonexistent. Society would quickly collapse into anarchy. Criminals would run loose. Morals would decline. The concerned citizens of society would be unable to protect their very own communities against crime and injustice. Only if vigilantism is allowed will society remain relatively safe from a total collapse into chaos. Vigilantes are the only line of defense between society and chaos: society ought to accept them with open arms.

I eagerly await my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1
James.ticknor

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

The first paragraph was a news report from the source you listed, I agree, but I did not try to make it my own. Granted, I did not list the source, but I also did not list a source for my quotation, should I penalized on that? Anyways, that's just how I was taught in my Debate Class, to bring a quotation, report, or statistic as a 'hook'. So, I do not believe I should be penalized.

"'his wife was killed' That was not an act of vigilantism, as it was not the apprehension of criminals. So this is not a point against my case." It is a point agenst your case, perhaps you inferred it wrong. It goes with my first contention that vigilantes are dangerous, and, as it says soon after, the vigilantist endangered the lives of their community, as they usually do. This is inexcusable.

"'[V]igilantes act in self-preservation, and they also take the law into their own hands.' There is nothing in the definition of vigilantism about self-preservation." They are looking to preserve their way of life by making sure that the guilty be brought to justice. That is self-preservation.

"Vigilantes have their own moral code, and vigilante groups have even stronger codes. Instability is unlikely, unpredictability would not be any worse than any other justice system, and there is no reason to suspect heightened danger." Each individual has their own moral code, and a group of individuals have different moral codes. Judging by how a person is raised, that is how a person should be punished for their crime, since moral code is adopted from the parent(s). So the opinions of the single vigilantist or a group of them are biased and likely to conflict with each other. IT IS NOT THE SAME A THE JUSTICE SYSTEM/GOV., because the government officals are unbiased and use law and reasoning, rather than morals.

You said "'While they claim to uphold justice, there is no official justice in anarchy.' The key word here is "official". Official justice is unnecessary."
Okay, imagine you have a sibling and you are playing a new game. You're not sure how to play the game yet, because you don't know the rules. When your sibling is losing, they declare a new rule. You say that is not fair. However, there is no written law/rule against it. Then the fight escelates. So you punch them in the face for trying to wrong you (heh). That leads to conflict. Just imagine that as the game of life, on a larger scale. If that happened, chaos would reign, not government.

You said, "vigilantism is socially incorrect, dangerous, and inferior to the current justice system even when it fails"
Even when it fails? My opponent has provided no evidence for this claim." I have proven it. The government did fail in that case, but it's consistancy is still better then the inconsistant vigilantist.

You said, "'I would rather live with law that sometimes fails than with no law at all.'
Good quote, but wrong on two points.
1) The law does not "sometimes" fail. The law has failed. There is no expectation of the law working again. If it does, it is outside the parameters of this debate.
2) Vigilantism is not the same as no law. Vigilantes apprehend and punish suspected criminals, and criminals have broken the law. Without law there are no criminals, and without criminals there are no vigilantes. So not only is vigilantism not the same as no law, but vigilantism cannot exist without law."

1) Allow me to point at that A LAW and THE LAW are completely different. A law has failed, but not THE LAW. And actually, the law itself did not fail, just the enforcement, so that could be applied to any law. So the question is not whether or not a law works, it is will enforcement work, and whether or not enforcement will work is outside the debate, not the law itself.
2) You stated "Vigilantism is not the same as no law. Vigilantes apprehend and punish suspected criminals, and criminals have broken the law." Vigilantists just destribute punishment to criminals, they do not have a law to operate off of, but just moral principals, like you so nicely stated.

YOUR CONTENTION 1: The Social Contract
"Social contract describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states and/or maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that the people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order." (Wikipedia) A social contract by John Locke was precieved to create government, not undermine it with vigilantists. We derived a good deal of our constitution from him. Besides, we don't have a social contract anymore, we have a Constitution.

YOUR CONTENTION 2: Preservation of Society
You stated, "Without vigilantism, law enforcement would be nonexistent" This is DEFINATELY NOT true! If there was a law enforcement system BEFORE this to fail, then vigilantism must not be the only law enforcement! You also went on to say, "Without vigilantism, law enforcement would be nonexistent. Society would quickly collapse into anarchy." Okay, I think it's time to define anarchy, "Political and social disorder due to the absence of government" (Dictioanry.com) VIGILANTISTS REPLACE GOVERNMENT! Therefore they invite the idea of anarchy! There is no law (just moral codes) which you said would quickly decline in anarchy! Therefore the vigilantists codes would be nonexistant, and nothing but chaos would reign then.

I await...
MTGandP

Pro

I would like to point out to my opponent that one who commits vigilantism is not a vigilantist, but a vigilante. It's not particularly important, but I was somewhat annoyed by it.

I thank my opponent for the improved paragraph organization.

". . . I did not try to make it my own."
If you post something, it is implicit that you wrote it. My opponent did not place the quote within quotations, implicitly saying that it was his own. This is plagiarism, and is unacceptable.

"It is a point agenst your case, perhaps you inferred it wrong. It goes with my first contention that vigilantes are dangerous, and, as it says soon after, the vigilantist endangered the lives of their community, as they usually do. This is inexcusable."
As I previously said, it was not an act of vigilantism, so my opponent's rebuttal does not apply.

"[Vigilantes] are looking to preserve their way of life by making sure that the guilty be brought to justice. That is self-preservation."
That is not self-preservation; it is preservation of a way of life. And even if it could be considered a type of self-preservation, it is still a positive type – in which case it is not relevant that it is self-preservation.

"Each individual has their own moral code, and a group of individuals have different moral codes."
Human morals have many common threads. Most any moral code within the standard deviation is a helpful one.

"government officals are unbiased and use law and reasoning, rather than morals."
1. Government officials are not unbiased; lack of bias is impossible.
2. What is morality, but reasoning? And what is law, but a general sense of morality? Please refer to my definition of morality.

"Okay, imagine you have a sibling and you are playing a new game. You're not sure how to play the game yet, because you don't know the rules. When your sibling is losing, they declare a new rule. You say that is not fair. However, there is no written law/rule against it. Then the fight escelates. So you punch them in the face for trying to wrong you (heh). That leads to conflict. Just imagine that as the game of life, on a larger scale. If that happened, chaos would reign, not government."
Imagine you have some written rules. You and your sibling are playing this game with written rules. When your sibling is losing, he claims that it is not fair and punches you in the face.

In my scenario, there is an absolute law, but conflict still breaks out. My opponent's analogy does not depict a lack of government; it depicts a lack of law. Vigilantism cannot exist without law, so the analogy is inapplicable.

"I have proven it. The government did fail in that case, but it's consistancy is still better then the inconsistant vigilantist."
1. My opponent did not prove it.
2. The government's job is not to be consistent. The government's job is to uphold the law. When it fails to do so, it is no longer a relevant entity.
3. Consistent failure is better than inconsistent success? How?
4. Why are vigilantes inconsistent? They enforce the law, and the law is consistent.

"whether or not enforcement will work is outside the debate. . ."
This is a concession of the original point, that point being "I would rather live with law that sometimes fails than with no law at all."

"Vigilantists just destribute punishment to criminals, they do not have a law to operate off of, but just moral principals, like you so nicely stated."
I remind my opponent of the definition of "vigilante".
Vigilante: A citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.
Since criminality is defined by the law, vigilantism cannot occur without the existence of law; subsequently, vigilantes operate upon law and only law.

"A social contract by John Locke was precieved to create government, not undermine it with vigilantists."
It is a concept to explain the validity of government. The only reason why vigilantism is not normally justified is that the government has the power of law enforcement; but by breaking the social contract, the government loses this power, and vigilantism is justified.

"We derived a good deal of our constitution from him. Besides, we don't have a social contract anymore, we have a Constitution."
The social contract is not an actual written contract; it is metaphorical. The social contract exists wherever there is government and is cannot be overwritten by a constitution.

"You stated, 'Without vigilantism, law enforcement would be nonexistent' This is DEFINATELY NOT true! If there was a law enforcement system BEFORE this to fail, then vigilantism must not be the only law enforcement!"
There *was* a law enforcement system, but it failed. The only way for the law to be upheld is for vigilantes to step up and take responsibility.

"VIGILANTISTS REPLACE GOVERNMENT! Therefore they invite the idea of anarchy!"
Vigilantes do not invite the idea of political and social disorder. Without vigilantes enforcing the law, the law would become meaningless and society would become even more disordered.
Debate Round No. 2
James.ticknor

Con

James.ticknor forfeited this round.
MTGandP

Pro

My opponent has forfeited. Please extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
James.ticknor

Con

I apologize for my absence, but I did not have access to a computer over the course of the three day weekend. Forgive me for the vigilantist-vigilante issue, I'll try to avoid it. Heh.

"This is plagiarism, and is unacceptable." I do not cite every source for everything. If you need to know where I got that source (like you reguarly ask in a debate) just say so.

You stated, '"It is a point agenst your case, perhaps you inferred it wrong. It goes with my first contention that vigilantes are dangerous, and, as it says soon after, the vigilantist endangered the lives of their community, as they usually do. This is inexcusable.' As I previously said, it was not an act of vigilantism, so my opponent's rebuttal does not apply." I do not feel the need to debate the validity of my example; it should be left for the voters to decide.

You said, "That is not self-preservation; it is preservation of a way of life. And even if it could be considered a type of self-preservation, it is still a positive type – in which case it is not relevant that it is self-preservation." Preservation of a way of life for yourself IS self preservation.

You said, "Human morals have many common threads. Most any moral code within the standard deviation is a helpful one." We are not talking about the average human, we are talking about the unusal role of the vigliante. So we can not assume they have the same 'moral threads' as the rest of society.

1. Government officials are not unbiased; lack of bias is impossible.
2. What is morality, but reasoning? And what is law, but a general sense of morality? Please refer to my definition of morality.

Rebuttal
1. Govermental officals are trained to control reflex judgement and do not base decisions on raging emotions, like many vigilantes do. Even if that is true, the defendent can have a retrail- a do-over.
2. Morality is a code of ethics. I could be raised that it is okay to beat your wife into submission and have her obey you, like some people are raised. If not everyone has the same code of ethics to operate off of, they do not operate off a definate law. So, no, morals are not reasoning, but a way of upbringing.

You said, "In my scenario, there is an absolute law, but conflict still breaks out. My opponent's analogy does not depict a lack of government; it depicts a lack of law. Vigilantism cannot exist without law, so the analogy is inapplicable." EXACTLY! I used the analogy to defend the point you made agenst "there is no need for offical justice." With anarchy, it replaces government and the current justice. And in the scenario, there is no offical justice, because there is no government (government = the game they are playing) present to create offical rules.

You stated, "'I have proven it. The government did fail in that case, but it's consistancy is still better then the inconsistant vigilantist.'
1. My opponent did not prove it.
2. The government's job is not to be consistent. The government's job is to uphold the law. When it fails to do so, it is no longer a relevant entity.
3. Consistent failure is better than inconsistent success? How?
4. Why are vigilantes inconsistent? They enforce the law, and the law is consistent.

REBUTTALS
1. I did prove it. The government is more consistant than vigilantism due to emotional motivation and lack of infrastructure-it's just common sense as well.
2. There will never be a perfect government, just as there will never be a perfect vigilante. So we must make the best decision between the two, which is government.
3. I said that government is consistantly successful, and vigilantes were not. I'm afraid I do not understand your point.
4. Vigilantes enforce the law to an extremety in many cases. Just because they enforce the law to an extent does not make it automatically good.

You said "whether or not enforcement will work is outside the debate. . ."This is a concession of the original point, that point being "I would rather live with law that sometimes fails than with no law at all."' That wasn't a point, but a quotation. Anyways, if it is within the realms of this debate (I'll entertain the idea), government law enforcement is better than vigilantes enforcement in many ways.

"Since criminality is defined by the law, vigilantism cannot occur without the existence of law; subsequently, vigilantes operate upon law and only law." Since vigilantes do not need an 'offical law' like you said, what is stopping anyone from being innocent or a criminal? With a goverment can we clearly distinguish criminals from innocents.

"(A social contract) is a concept to explain the validity of government. The only reason why vigilantism is not normally justified is that the government has the power of law enforcement; but by breaking the social contract, the government loses this power, and vigilantism is justified." I remind my opponent that this is nessecary only in forming a government, not with a government itself, which has a Constitution, not a social contract.

"The social contract is not an actual written contract; it is metaphorical. The social contract exists wherever there is government and is cannot be overwritten by a constitution." Actually, a verbal agreement can be overwritten with a constitution. And if it is not written, what stops them from saying 'you said you wouldn't do that' or 'this'? It reflects your point on "no offical law", which no longer withstands.

"There *was* a law enforcement system, but it failed. The only way for the law to be upheld is for vigilantes to step up and take responsibility." I would like to point out to the voters that you acknowledge your defeated point. The law enforcement system did not fail as a system, because every law enforcement system, even vigilantes, fail. Again, we must choose the better of the two (government).

"Vigilantes do not invite the idea of political and social disorder. Without vigilantes enforcing the law, the law would become meaningless and society would become even more disordered."

Heck, no one invites the idea of political and social disorder, but they do so unwillingly by their willingness to uphold justice as individuals and not as a whole. Without vigilantes enforcing the statistaclly small cases of failure, I do not believe that law would be meaningless and we would be more disordered. Actually, I believe that it would be less complicated, but life's complicated, isn't it?

Again, I apologize for my absence. God this was long... I had to type it twice too....
MTGandP

Pro

I will waste no more space arguing about whether my opponent's quote was plagiarism.

"Preservation of a way of life for yourself IS self preservation."
And, as I previously stated, it is a beneficial form of self preservation.

"We are not talking about the average human, we are talking about the unusal role of the vigliante. So we can not assume they have the same 'moral threads' as the rest of society."
Vigilantes are still humans, so they will tend to share moral values with the rest of society.

"1. Govermental officals are trained to control reflex judgement and do not base decisions on raging emotions, like many vigilantes do. Even if that is true, the defendent can have a retrail- a do-over."
But what about when they have failed to enforce the law?

" . . . morals are not reasoning, but a way of upbringing."
Morality is defined as "a code of conduct put forward by society" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Morality is common among society, and is not merely based on upbringing.

"I used the analogy to defend the point you made agenst "there is no need for offical justice." With anarchy, it replaces government and the current justice. And in the scenario, there is no offical justice, because there is no government (government = the game they are playing) present to create offical rules."
The creation of rules (laws) is irrelevant from the perspective of the resolution. Vigilantes enforce the law. In my opponent's analogy, there is no law and therefore no vigilantism.

"2. There will never be a perfect government, just as there will never be a perfect vigilante. So we must make the best decision between the two, which is government."
I agree that the government is generally better than vigilantism. However, that is irrelevant within the scope of this debate. The government has FAILED. My opponent is arguing that vigilantism is not justified when the government is functioning, which I agree with. When the government has failed, though, is a whole different scenario.

"3. I said that government is consistantly successful, and vigilantes were not. I'm afraid I do not understand your point."
The government within the scope of this debate is consistently unsuccessful. The resolution states that the government has failed to enforce the law.

"4. Vigilantes enforce the law to an extremety in many cases. Just because they enforce the law to an extent does not make it automatically good."
I do not think this point made any actual arguments.

"Anyways, if it is within the realms of this debate (I'll entertain the idea), government law enforcement is better than vigilantes enforcement in many ways."
By definition, government law enforcement is worse than vigilante enforcement. The government has failed.

"Since vigilantes do not need an 'offical law' like you said, what is stopping anyone from being innocent or a criminal? With a goverment can we clearly distinguish criminals from innocents."
Vigilantes DO need an official law. Vigilantes punish criminals, and criminality can only be defined if an official law is in place. By definition, vigilantes only punish suspected criminals.

"I remind my opponent that this is nessecary only in forming a government, not with a government itself, which has a Constitution, not a social contract."
The social contract exists wherever there is government. The social contract is a theoretical construct that does not simply disappear when a government has a constitution. If the government has failed its responsibilities, society is no longer obligated to give over all powers of law enforcement.

"Actually, a verbal agreement can be overwritten with a constitution. And if it is not written, what stops them from saying 'you said you wouldn't do that' or 'this'? It reflects your point on 'no offical law', which no longer withstands."
My opponent misunderstands the concept of the social contract. It is not an actual contract; it is metaphorical. It relates to the responsibilities of government and society.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://plato.stanford.edu...

"I would like to point out to the voters that you acknowledge your defeated point. The law enforcement system did not fail as a system, because every law enforcement system, even vigilantes, fail. Again, we must choose the better of the two (government)."
It did fail as a system. The resolution states " . . . the justice system fails to enforce the law." The law enforcement system has failed by definition.

Government is not better than vigilantism, since the government has failed.

" . . . their willingness to uphold justice as individuals and not as a whole."
-Vigilantes do not necessarily work as individuals. Vigilantes frequently work in groups.

"Without vigilantes enforcing the statistaclly small cases of failure, I do not believe that law would be meaningless and we would be more disordered."
The justice system has failed. This is definitional, and cannot be argued. If the justice system fails and vigilantes do not continue to enforce the law, there is no reason whatsoever to obey the law. But if vigilantes enforce the law, society is upheld.

========

In conclusion:
- My opponent has made virtually no arguments, and instead has tried to argue against the very resolution of this debate.
- My contentions still hold strong.
Debate Round No. 4
James.ticknor

Con

James.ticknor forfeited this round.
MTGandP

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the final round. His contentions have been effectively rebutted, and mine stand strong. Vote PRO!
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by James.ticknor 8 years ago
James.ticknor
Thought it was my job to negate the resolution? =)
Posted by MTGandP 8 years ago
MTGandP
Does not posting any arguments count as a spelling/grammar mistake?
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Sorry. I'm more in a miscallaneous debate mood as of late.

Don't despair though. There are plenty of current LD debaters here (and some others who'd be interested). If you leave this as an open challenge, you will no doubt get yourself an opponent. :D
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MTGandP 8 years ago
MTGandP
James.ticknorMTGandPTied
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