The Instigator
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points
The Contender
hattopic
Con (against)
Losing
30 Points

We shouldn't waste our time observing "rights" and "liberties" when fighting terrorism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,706 times Debate No: 340
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (23)

 

wingnut2280

Pro

I think the Patriot Act has merit, random screening is ridiculous and all reasonable means to ensure our safety should be taken.
hattopic

Con

We shouldn't waste our time observing rights and liberties when fighting terrorism?

America is a country based on rights and liberties, you can't defend this country's principles on the one hand while ignoring them on the other.

What the Patriot Act does is allow for a substantial expansion of governmental power over the rights of citizens. It gives the government the power to tap our phones, to read our emails, to search without cause or warrant. What the Patriot does borders on unconstitutional. If this country is worth defending we have to keep our rights intact.

Terrorism is a problem in the world, but the point of terrorism is to degrade a country, or a group of people. The point of terrorism is scare people. If we continue treating our citizens like suspects then the terrorists have met their goal. They've succeeded in scaring us. They've allowed for our civil liberties to be put on hold, and that's exactly what they want.

If we ignore the rights of US citizens then we're doing exactly what terrorists want us to do. The worst thing that this country could do is give in to the fear of terrorism, and let ourselves be beaten.
Debate Round No. 1
wingnut2280

Pro

1) Government's constitutional duty is to protect its citizens
2) Right to being alive is the most important of all
3) The argument that our civil liberties are being denied has no real world correlary as there are few, if any accounts of this realistically affecting anyone
4) Terrorists only win when we DRASTICALLY sacrifice our rights or we all die
5) All of your arguments, though popular, only apply to a far greater sacrifice of rights
6) The sacrifices we are currently making are small and will not lead to greater sacrifices due to a further increase in public awareness at that time and the nature of our government

For all abstract purposes this 'liberties' rhetoric may be true. We can sit here and talk about how we have to defend our rights and protect citizens from government, but does it have any real effect on your life?

I didn't claim that we should forfeit all rights in the name of being safe. But, to make the governments job, to ensure the public safety and general welfare, harder because people don't want to be offended at the airport is ridiculous.

I didn't say we should forfeit ALL rights, just allow the government to do its job. The whole slippery slope argument doesn't really apply. All of your examples assume that we are, in some way, realistically denied our civil liberties. We still have an OVERWHELMING majority of our rights. The effects of the Patriot Act are exaggerated. It simply allows the government to cut through red tape in times of urgency and importance. The police (etc.) are still subject to warrants and reviews and must still illustrate probable cause.

The bottomline is, all the more intellectual members of society can propagate this notion of abstract civil liberties and talk about how our civil liberties are being violated, but in reality, right now, the effects of losing the rights we have lost are vastly trumped by the safety we have achieved.

As far as terrorism is concerned. This is a matter of principle versus application. It would be foolish not to further ensure our safety in the face of this new threat. The claim that protecting ourselves is 'letting the terrorists win' is ridiculous. Their aim is to tear down our way of life, it's ludicrous to claim that the patriot act does any kind of real damage to civil liberties. If you went to the streets every American would not have even known the act was passed.

If we REALISTICALLY weigh the pros and cons this is all obvious.
hattopic

Con

The arguments I make are popular because many people share the same views. In fact the majority of the people in this country oppose the patriot act.

1) "Government's constitutional duty is to protect its citizens"

This government is a government of the people. In theory each persons opinion should be valued equally. The majority of the people in this country do not support the unwarranted surveillance the the Patriot act allows. As a result it should be struck down.

2)"Right to being alive is the most important of all"

Since when is being alive a right? It's simply a biological fact, either you're alive or you're dead, you don't have the right to live.

3)"The argument that our civil liberties are being denied has no real world correlary as there are few, if any accounts of this realistically affecting anyone"

The Patriot Act specifically targets immigrants and people of Middle Eastern dissent, you don't hear about it because there are no white males being affected by the Patriot Act. And since the surveillance doesn't require warrants for all we know the infringement of our civil liberties may be extremely widespread.

4)"Terrorists only win when we DRASTICALLY sacrifice our rights or we all die"

completely untrue, the point of terrorism is to breed fear in a population, and to degrade a population, terrorists aren't working on completely conquering all western civilization, they're working on decreasing the quality of our lifestyle, as well as lowering the number of freedoms we have.

5)"All of your arguments, though popular, only apply to a far greater sacrifice of rights"

Once again, popular arguments are the arguments of the people, and your argument is that we should ignore rights and civil liberties. You never mentioned how far we should be willing to go. You're supposed to be supporting the greater sacrifice of rights, after all that's the topic you created.

6)"The sacrifices we are currently making are small and will not lead to greater sacrifices due to a further increase in public awareness at that time and the nature of our government"

Yet again, while you may not thing the current sacrifices we are making are great (which they are), you're still a proponent of making those greater sacrifices.

"We can sit here and talk about how we have to defend our rights and protect citizens from government, but does it have any real effect on your life?"

Of course it has an effect on my life. If the government continues to ignore our civil liberties then it will have an impact of every single citizen in this country in a huge way.

"All of your examples assume that we are, in some way, realistically denied our civil liberties"

We are being denied our civil liberties. If our rights are being infringed upon in any way that simply opens the door to the same thing in the future. And of course any ignorance of the rights of citizens infringes upon their constitutional rights, which is BAD.

"As far as terrorism is concerned. This is a matter of principle versus application. It would be foolish not to further ensure our safety in the face of this new threat. The claim that protecting ourselves is 'letting the terrorists win' is ridiculous."

Principle's extremely important in our society. And what we're doing right now is singling out all the people in our country of Middle Eastern decent simply because of their heritage. The same thing happened in WWII right here in the United States. Japanese people who were citizens of this country were rounded up and put into camps simply because they were Japanese. Today it's agreed that what we did then was wrong. And what we're doing now isn't that different. Discrimination of people based on their heritage should have been eliminated from this country long ago, but it sticks around because fear-mongerers use threat of attack as an excuse.

And we are letting the terrorists win by limiting the civil liberties of the people in this country. Contrary to what you might believe, it's what they want.

"If we REALISTICALLY weigh the pros and cons this is all obvious."

Your right, let's do that:

Pros: Increased safety (questionable)

Cons: Promotes fear, Scraps our civil liberties, encourages discrimination, not actually proven that our safety has increased.

"the effects of losing the rights we have lost are vastly trumped by the safety we have achieved."

And is the safety we've "achieved" because of our lack of care when it comes to rights? No! What was the last major terror attack prevented because of the Patriot Act? Riddle me that.

The limiting of our rights IS a slippery slope, though you might claim otherwise, and the limitation placed on us now isn't increasing our safety, it's simply allowing the government to have an excuse to lock people up, and to ignore the laws that are their job to uphold.

You can claim that this doesn't have any impact on our day to day lives, and you might be right. But what about 10 years down the road? What about 20 years down the road? What happens when the Patriot Act is used as precedent for limiting our rights even more? In Pakistan right now the constitution has been suspended in the name of "safety" and it's the same type of person that agrees with that, as agrees with the limiting of rights here at home.
Debate Round No. 2
wingnut2280

Pro

First, let me just say I'm not "supposed" to be arguing the abolition of rights. I stand by my opening statement which directly asserts reasonability. The topic was meant to be instigatory.

1)The Constitutionality Question
Your rights argument is grounded in the Constitution, which we can both agree is good. My argument proves that both civil liberties and the governments duty to protect its people are represented there. This serves to place the arguments on equal ground. You argue as if I am against the Constitution, my argument points out that both sides of the debate satisfy constitutionality.

As for your argument of a government of the people, I don't know how this is in any way responsive. Still, you provide me with no evidence that most people dislike the patriot act and furthermore, your arguments are still trying to function in this abstract, idealist realm. All of these "in theory" arguments are completely non-responsive as I am trying to draw the distinction between what should ideally happen and what should realistically happen. Ideally, I agree, we should be safe and have all of our rights. That would be awesome, but that is not the case.

2) The Right to Life
Your whole constitution argument implodes on itself. Every fourth grader can tell you the essential rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we are going to have a discussion on fundamental princples you are clearly on the wrong side of the fence here. If I do not have the right to live, what is stopping something/someone from taking it from me on a whim? Why is it so heavily gaurded? I, as well as your constitutional principles arguments, would both say it is most important. You contradict yourself here.

This means that the right to be safe and alive would outweigh any kind of privacy (or other) rights you would claim.

3) The Real World Correlary
Your argument is that a lack of press coverage and our ignorance makes the abuse of our rights possible. Again, you fail to give me any real world ground where this has ACTUALLY happened. So, your argument seems to function on the possibility of my rights being violated. From a realistic standpoint, doesn't this function on the same level as the U.S. possibly being attacked? Also, you ignore my argument that the Patriot Act's effects are exagerrated and do, in fact require these warrants. Section 21 of the PA states that feds are required to appeal to a survellience court after serving the warrant. The inaction of the PA maintains the governments need for warrants, despite popular opinion.

4) Terrorists win when...
You argue terrorists try to spread fear. I would say the attacks themselves do this rather than the actions we take to step up security. Increased security decreases fear, as people feel safer. This is common logic. You argue that terrorists are not trying to conquer us, but lower our lifestyle and freedoms. I would agree to a point. They are trying to KILL us. Terrorist organizations are not concerned about wire-tapping and survellience on soccer moms. They want to kill us. That much is obvious. The only response is to protect ourselves.

Here, note the "drastically" distinction. Your argument only functions when our lifestyle and freedoms are changed. As per your above arguments we are ignorant to these apparently devastating changes, therefore our lifestyle remains the same.

5) Popularity vs. Correct
Again, you make this "argument of the people" claim. I am not sure how this is true or relevant as I explained above. The "supposed to" stuff, I explained at the top. The only real response on this point is that I don't provide a brink for reasonability. Reasonable is defined as moderate or not excessive (dictionary.com). This is exactly why I made the distinction above. My reasonability claim accesses all of the positive benefits of safety without threatening our essential or realistically important liberties. The pure nature of "reasonable means" automatically finds itself in a balance between rights and safety as it is 'not exceeding' the impairment of rights and allows us to be safer.

6)Sacrifice status quo/slippery slope
I give two unanswered reasons as to why rights interference will not increase. At some point, the ignorance you say we have will cease to exist if it gets severe enough, and the natural checks and balances of our government will stop anything important from being violated. Also, the use of the term reasonable would ensure this doesn't happen. So, all of your "10 years from now" arguments cease to be relevant.

After this there are a couple of key points to note. First, you reassert the slippery slope argument (see above) and then you state that violating our constitutional rights is bad. I agree. Violating the constitution is bad. But, there are instances in which the constitution conflicts. Refer to point 1 here. The duty to protect is also in the constitution. A failure to do that would violate it as well. At the very least these arguments function on the same level. As both instances violate the constitution, neither of us can really make that claim.

Next, your internment camp example. Here again, the question of drastic vs. reasonable comes into play. Obviously, internment camps and RACIAL profiling are excessive. Nowhere does racial profiling, or rounding up middle-eastern americans come into play in my argument. Profiling, sure. I do believe that a 90-year-old woman or a 6-year-old girl does not have anywhere near the chance to commit a terrorist attack. This does not make me, or the government, a racist. In fact, many government officials have stated that middle-eastern americans should not be viewed as terrorists.

We have not had a terrorist attack since 9/11, as opposed to other countries that have and do not have the measures in place that we do. The government has issued reports on the VAST number of attacks halted since 9/11. At least part of this is due to our increased security. As for the Pakistani analogy, refer to my numerous answers above on the now notorious slippery slope.

Some important things to note: My arguments help to ensure the CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED right to life, which is valued above all other rights. If there is no life, there are no other rights. Second, these "constitutional rights" claims function on the same level as the government's duty to protect its citizens. This nulls any claim that they would be superior to increased safety. Next, the real world contradiction. You claim on one hand that these violations are killing our way of life, but on the other that we are ignorant to them, if they are even there. This contradiction is important because either we are ignorant, and there is no reason would shouldn't sacrifice them, or they are killing our way of life, which holds no realistic weight as you have provided me with no evidence that the PA or anything else has drastically effected anyone. Also, you fail to refute the fact that the PA does call for warrants and does not do the things you claim it does. Finally, the notion of reasonability allows me to access all of the positives of security without commiting these terrible rights violations.
hattopic

Con

You're right, I was a little confused about how the Pro stated their arguments.

Alright, I'm gonna start dropping the arguments I'm not doing well on, so:

2) The right to life.

Ah but what exactly is life? I hate to argue semantics, but the constitution is only what we interpret it as. Life can of course mean the right to be alive. But it could just as easily mean the right to live life. You know what I mean? The right so enjoy life. No where in the constitution does it say specifically that you have the right to be alive.

AND nothing stops people from killing you on a whim. You could be murdered at any time. There are thousands of homicides a year in this country. And here is where your argument starts to fail. If I have the right to live then that is my right. I don't have to guard it. Just as I shouldn't have to guard my right to privacy, or my right for freedom of speech. Unfortunately things like the Patriot Act require people to stand up and speak out, because more and more the people of this country are finding themselves guarding rights that the government has no right to infringe upon.

3)The real world corellary.

Alright, a specific example when our ignorance made it possible to exploit our rights? The unwarranted wiretapping that has been exposed. I'm sure you've heard about it, but for the benefit of anyone who hasn't: The Bush administration performed wiretaps on US citizens without warrants, and without probable cause. It took place for years before it was finally exposed. This was a direct violation of the 4th amendment right of US citizens. In the case of the warrantless wiretapping, there is no exaggeration, what the government did was a violation of the constitution. All of this was made possible by the lack of knowledge of American citizens, when the story was broken, the wiretapping program was halted.

4) Terrorists when when...

Interesting point. But think about it like this. A few months ago there was a major bomb scare in Boston. What happened was Cartoon Network put up little LED pictures around the city in an effort to promote a television show. A few concerned Bostonians didn't recognize them for what they were and reported them to the police. Around the country security was stepped up causing a panic among a ton of US citizens.

The security increases around the country caused fear. You might argue that increased security makes people feel safer. However, do people feel safe after a bombing even if there are a ton of law enforcement officials around? No. It's a combination of the threat of attack, as well as the awareness of the threat of attack (promoted by law enforcement officers), that creates fear. They're called TERROrists for a reason, they exist to spread terror. Killing people is important to them yes, but since they can't kill everyone scaring them is just as good. And, we are protecting ourselves, at home and abroad. That protection can take place without infringing upon our civil liberties.

"Your argument only functions when our lifestyle and freedoms are changed. As per your above arguments we are ignorant to these apparently devastating changes, therefore our lifestyle remains the same."

Touch´┐Ż. However , the lifestyle of the average American citizen does stay the same, while the lifestyles of some citizens change drastically. People that are selected for extra screening every time they go to an airport. People that are shunned by society simply because of their heritage. People that end up in prison camps because they weren't born in this country. And of course, while the lifestyle of the average citizen may not be affected today, their lifestyles will most definitely change when civil liberties are limited even more in the name of "safety".

6) Sacrifice status quo/slippery slope

It's nice to think that if our rights begin to be infringed upon more that people we speak up and it will stop. However that's historically proven not to be true. The government won't dare limit the rights of the white male citizen, as those are the people that still have the most influence on this country. However the government will slowly take away the rights of citizens not born in the US. The people of Middle Eastern decent that are suffering today will continue to suffer more in the future, and no one will speak up. Take the always used example of WWII. When Hitler began to take away the rights of the disabled no one spoke up. When the blacks were discriminated against, no one spoke up. When the Jews were rounded up and put in camps no one spoke up. It took an all out war with Germany for the injustices there to finally be silenced.

"Obviously, internment camps and RACIAL profiling are excessive. Nowhere does racial profiling, or rounding up middle-eastern americans come into play in my argument. Profiling, sure. I do believe that a 90-year-old woman or a 6-year-old girl does not have anywhere near the chance to commit a terrorist attack."

I'm glad we're in agreement. Unfortunately the government does racially profile, and they use the PA as an excuse. Since you didn't specifically state that you were against racial profiling, I assumed that you agreed with the government on this one. I'm glad that's not the case.

"We have not had a terrorist attack since 9/11"

We also didn't have a terror attack before 9/11, when the PA was not in place. It's been demonstrated that we can protect this country without infringing on individual's rights.

"My arguments help to ensure the CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED right to life, which is valued above all other rights. "

Again, we disagree on the meaning of life, and it's not valued above all other rights. If we take your idea of life to be true, then what's the point of living if we live under a tyrannical government (not the case today, but perhaps in the future). If the government continues to limit our rights in the name of safety, and protecting our lives, than the environment created might not be worth living in.

"You claim on one hand that these violations are killing our way of life, but on the other that we are ignorant to them"

No I don't. I claim that these violations are unconstitutional, unwarranted, and will EVENTUALLY kill our way of life. And yes we are ignorant to the small injustices that take place daily.

I was looking around for your arguments on the "Slippery Slope" and I'll I could find was this, in your second argument:

"The whole slippery slope argument doesn't really apply. All of your examples assume that we are, in some way, realistically denied our civil liberties."

Which doesn't make a ton of sense. You can say that the slippery slope argument doesn't apply, but that doesn't make it true. The idea behind a slippery slope is that it may be insignificant now, but in the future it will be extremely significant. Today the average citizen is not denied civil liberties that effect their day to day lives. Some citizens lives are effected drastically, and a lot of citizens rights are being infringed upon without their knowledge. That's the top of the slope. If we don't stop now, we'll end up at the bottom.

And I'd like to point out a couple of things:

1) Before 9/11 the Patriot Act was not in place and there were no major terror attacks (Other than the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma city) on the US.
2) Our government is treating it's citizens like criminals. The government has infringed upon the rights of it's citizens based on suspicions, not facts.

Safety is a convince argument, there's no denying it. It's hard to say that the right of citizens are more important than the lives of citizens. But no where do you assert that that safety requires the violation of our rights. You say that safety is paramount, (which I disagree with, a safe but lifeless life is not one I'd like) but are the violations necessary for our safety? You don't have any evidence to say so.
Debate Round No. 3
wingnut2280

Pro

I DO NOT advocate the actions of our government. I am arguing a hypothetical principle, not the legitimization of things the government has done.
1) Constitutionality

This is bad for you because winning this argument allows my claims to function on the same level as yours. Your main claim throughout the debate is that rights are consitutionally gauranteed. This arg means that the government's duty to protect us is also constitutionally mandated, and therefore, carries the same weight as our rights. By dropping this argument, you make the debate a weight of harms rather than principles. If both of our duties are constitutionally mandated, you have no abstract claim to civil liberties in the face of government duty. This means I only have to prove that not protecting citizens is worse than not protecting a reasonable amount of rights violations on a actual, rather than an abstract level.
We both agree the rights I speak of are lettered in the constitution. I could literally read them to you. The "rights" we would violate aren't there. Where is the right to privacy or the mandate that says the gov has to be PC in the face of danger? I don't see how the harms you talk about are actually violating the constitution.

2) The right to life

First, let me point out that the right to live is rooted more deeply in the consititution than any other right, as we both agree. Now it becomes a matter of how you define that right. Essentially, your argument functions on the idea that without rights, life isn't worth living. This is ridiculous in the scenario I have presented. Remember that I defend REASONABLE rights violations. Would you RATHER DIE than live in a world where the government needs fewer warrants to check your record at the public library? I'm sure many (including myself) would argue that without ANY rights, there is no point to life, but I wouldn't discard myself over technical constitutional infractions.
This means the right to be safe/alive functions on the same level as your claim to rights. This makes the debate boil down to risk. Which rights need more protecting or are in the biggest jeopardy? Obviously, since the rights violations would be reasonalbe ones (allowing us to maintain any crucial rights that would affect us), we should protect right to life (in whatever sense), which is being inherently threatened and has been severly taken from us before, (9/11).

3) The Real World Correlary

I'm not saying the gov is just, or that the acts they have done are legal. What I DO argue is that a reasonable denial of rights has no REAL WORLD effect on society. Yes, there have been instances where the gov has done bad things. That has no bearing on my arg. Does anyone's life get altered when we let grandma through the security checkpoint so we can check capable people? The important rights ARE those that protect us from those situations. I'm advocating the REASONABLE sacrifice of rights, in order to let the gov do its job. These small sacrifices of rights are not responsible for immigrants being put in detainment camps and people of middle-eastern descent being sought out by racial profiling. These rights sacrifices simply look at the practical sacrifices we can make in order to make our protection more efficient and secure. With all of the wiretapping stories come just as many stories about a 7yr old girl getting patted down by a fed. marshall and his drug dog. The terrible things that have happened to some people are not supported in my claim. I think they are terrible. Because irrational, illegitimate actors have done terrible things in the name of safety does not mean that we can't do practical things for that same cause. That would be like saying "Since the Crusades were in the name of religion, no one can act on behalf of religion anymore".

4) Terrorists Win

While the people who are trying to hurt us are trying to scare us, they do this by killing people. The 'terrorists' don't have this 'yell boo' mentality. We have a reason to be sacred. They ARE trying to kill us, whether fear is a result of that or not, we NEED to protect ourselves. Letting the terrorists win should not be relevant. Thats a common argument, but why should we care? As long as we are safe and secure, I don't really care that the terrorists believe they are victorious. Reasonability comes into play here too. Are terrorists like "Hell yea, Bush installed wiretaps on 3,000 Americans today!"?. The stripping down of our rights is only good for them when it is significant enough to change our way of life. My case obviously doesn't do that because of the very nature of reasonbility.

5) Reasonability

The nature of my reasobility claim allows me to access safety (to whatever degree is settled later in the debate), allows me to avoid all of these "immigrants get sent to death camps" scenarios, and implies that we would find ourselves in an appropriate balance between safety and rights. Now that you have conceded this notion of reasonability, you have to win that a SMALL sacrifice in non-vital rights is worse than the harms I indicate.

6) Slippery Slope

First, the checks of our government will keep the reasonable that I advocate from turning into the significant. Second, the people will stop any significant rights violations from happening. Look at the uproar over profiling at the airport. Can you imagine if the gov started quartering troops in homes or taking away free speech? The only response you make that applies is that we would be ignorant to these rights violations, in which case, THEY DONT MATTER. If they don't have any effect on us, why not sacrifice them in the name of keeping ourselves alive? Furthermore, you give me NO reason to believe that rights violations now will lead to violations down the road. Historical examples don't apply. Those things were done illegally and were clearly not reasonable (for more on this refer to my above point 3).

You have made it seem like I am defending what the gov is doing. I'm not. My argument is not responsible for the current or past atrocities that have happened. I advocate the REASONABLE sacrifice of rights in order to better ensure our safety.
Next, your arguments functions on constitutional infringement. Where are the rights you speak of in the const.? Second, the gov's duty to protect its citizens and our right to life are in clear, undeniable print in the document. Any intepretation can see this. These function on the same, if not better, ground as your rights violation claims because ignoring either would violate the const.
Sacrificing rights does lead to safety. These small rights sacrifices make the gov perform its job exponentially better, giving exponential amounts of safety. Without safety, we get attacked and our citizens die. Common sense dictates, if they don't have to perform each PC move, they can more effectively take the steps needed to protect us. However, rights violations have diminishing returns, which is why I advocate a reasonable amount.
In weighing the harms of each scenario, because of the constitutional duty of the government, and the right to life you can only claim actual consequences of rights violations and can no longer argue it on principle. Also, because of the right to life debate, the only question is risk and harm. Violating the right to life would cause death, rights violations would cause discomfort or inconvenience. As the risk of our right to life being breached increases we have to sacrifice our meaningless privileges in order to be safe. When the sacrifice of rights outweighs the safety risk, then come talk to me. The important rights are those that prevent the bad things you talked about from happening, the gov IS violating THOSE rights, but I'm not sacrifing those. We can give up certain rights and privileges in order to ensure our safety, as long as that insurance outweighs the damage the sacrifices. Reasonable sacrifices obviously accomplish this.
hattopic

Con

I don't know how you can say that you're not arguing in favor of our government. In your opening statement you said "I think the patriot act has merit". The government does too, they're the ones that enacted it, they're the onces that act on it. If you don't support our government then how can you support the patriot act? In essence your saying:

The patriot act is good
BUT the government has done bad things with it

The two can't be reconciled. If you're in favor of the PA than your in favor of the government employing it, which they've already done, which means that you have to support their actions.

1) Constitutionality

I happen to agree that the right to life is just as important as the right to freedom of speech. Or the right to a fair trial. Or the right to due process of law. However those rights are equal. If we lived in a nation where we had no rights but were still alive then our lives wouldn't have the weight they do today. The right to life in the constitution is only made possible by the other rights granted in the constitution. Take away those, and there is no point to life.

I'd continue to rebut you point by point, but frankly I'm tired of debating. Your argument is that safety is more important than a reasonable sacrifice of rights, and that's hard to argue against. My main argument is that these sacrifices will lead to more sacrifices, until we live in a society not worth living in. Your slippery slope arguments in your closing are sort of non-responsive. I said that as long as the government takes away the rights of the minorities the general population will turn a blind eye. You responded by saying that minor rights violations don't matter. I don't see the connection. You claim historical examples don't apply. I don't see why not. I hate quoting songs but history repeats itself. If it's happened before it's guaranteed to happen again. There are only so many different scenarios that play out in societies. Once again I assert my argument that the government will continue to infringe upon the rights of the minorities in this country. They're doing it now, and they're getting away with it. It will continue, cross apply my arguments from round 3.

Anyways. Very nice debate, I didn't think that anyone could defend the idea of taking away rights and liberties, but you did a very good job.

-Matt
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HatedvsLoved 8 years ago
HatedvsLoved
I didn't read all the way and might have missed it but the main idea of terrorism is not only to enforce what they want but to do it by stripping you of your rights and installing fear. I don't believe in the PA but I do think we need to take every measure we can to protect ourselves.
Posted by Lydie 8 years ago
Lydie
Way to throw around ¨rights and liberties¨ like their insignificant.

uhh...

they´re ESSENTIAL.
Posted by my.matryoshka 8 years ago
my.matryoshka
I liked how wingnut questions the PA's effects on life in the US as we know it. Really, I don't think the PA has changed or altered any life-styles at all... I could go to the BP down the road and ask the Middle-Eastern cashier about how the PA has affected him. He'd probably shake his head or raise an eyebrow.
Posted by hattopic 8 years ago
hattopic
Umm, Connor, I'm not sure that that's true. Maybe in the US,where we haven't had one in a while, but there's usually a terror attack a week around the world if not more.
Posted by killa_connor 8 years ago
killa_connor
2) Right to being alive is the most important of all

Hahaha what a ridiculous way of rationalizing the Patriot Act. You do realize that more people are eaten by sharks every year then killed by terrorists? You're even more likely to be killed by a refrigerator then you are to be killed by terrorists. It's a simple cost-benefit evaluation, does this threat of terrorists constitute a large enough threat to the United States to justify the suspension of civil rights and privacy?

I guess "The War on Refrigeration" isn't as catchy. good point.
Posted by tjzimmer 8 years ago
tjzimmer
i hate reading debates that are along as some novels in my library...short and to the point would save me some time lol good debate though :)
Posted by hattopic 8 years ago
hattopic
Just so you know, I'm working on a project, so I probably won't get my next argument out until Saturday.
Posted by hattopic 9 years ago
hattopic
Yeah, well the devil needs an advocate, or else we have no chance to shout him down. Great job so far by the way.
Posted by wingnut2280 9 years ago
wingnut2280
this is more of a devil's advocate argument, but I wanted to see the overwhelming objection I would get.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
lolzzzzzzz. i like your style ;)
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