The Instigator
Sizami
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
LightC
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Who is to judge what a crime is?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,199 times Debate No: 6342
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

Sizami

Pro

Who is to judge what a crime is?...if the people who make the laws have no idea of what its like to be in a position where crime is prevalent. Ultimately life is about making choices, with the notion that there will be subsequent consequences, whether they be positive or negative. One false move can have you put away for life...but then again can a second chance mean, a shot at a new life? Maybe to some, others however find themselves right back in situations where there progress is only based on trying to beat the system! The same system that swears every man is created equal! If so then why is it that the rich get richer as the poor get poorer! A poor man might have an idea that can spark a change in the world, to him however that may mean nothing because at the end of the day, he has to find a way to feed himself. If someone is psychologically shattered, how can we expect them to feel emotionally? When all fails, people take matters into their own hands, and try to put themselves in a better position they found themselves in when they were feeling down, used and abused. America is about the people, but which people? Is it people who carry a large balance in their bank account, knowing they can help the prosperity of the economy! Or is it about the people who find themselves struggling everyday to make ends meet!? Its all complicated and obviously there are some things we will never know about the system, which therefore means analyzing what's justice and what's unjust should not be up to those who have no insight on what being judged feels like!

Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?
LightC

Con

I'll go AC (rebuttal) then go NC (My Case)

Premise question: Who is to judge what a crime is?

[AC]

"if the people who make the laws have no idea of what its like to be in a position where crime is prevalent. Ultimately life is about making choices, with the notion that there will be subsequent consequences, whether they be positive or negative."

--> I have 2 responses:

First, this argument can be turned and used agaisnt the pro because in his first sentence he concedes the existence of a form of law and crime. If the premise question is over who can judge what a crime is, then he is making the position that crime exists. "in a position where crime is prevalent" implies the existence of crime and thus law enforcement.

Second, he concedes the idea of consequence, this will be important when I state the NC.

"One false move can have you put away for life...but then again can a second chance mean, a shot at a new life? Maybe to some, others however find themselves right back in situations where there progress is only based on trying to beat the system!"

--> I have 2 responses:

First, the punishment of life sentencing is used for the most egregious of crimes. Surely no one reading this would agree that murder and rape deserve lenient sentencing.

Second, just because progress comes from beating the system does not justify crime. For example I could kill someone and gain 1,000,000 dollars, but that would not justify the means of degrading and dehumanizing another human being.

"The same system that swears every man is created equal! If so then why is it that the rich get richer as the poor get poorer! A poor man might have an idea that can spark a change in the world, to him however that may mean nothing because at the end of the day, he has to find a way to feed himself."

--> I have 2 responses:

First, my opponent cites the philosophy of egalitarianism. I.e. everyone being created equal. However he makes a horrible assumption about this idea. The key idea in egalitarianism is everyone is CREATED equal. Meaning we are all created with an equal amount of rights, the inalienable rights. Life, liberty, and property. My opponent makes the assumption that this means everyone throughout their whole lives are equal. Our actions dictate what happens to us. Furthermore, your rich get richer poor get poorer example is flawed because it assumes the idea of absolute equality. However absolute equality = absolute poverty. For example, the communists could take over in the US and make everyone "equal" but by doing so makes every one poor. This flawed idea of equality goes agaisnt the basis of equality itself, i.e. justice which is giving each their due. Thus we can now infer that equality is made by opportunity not forced givings.

Second, his changing the world example has no impact to the round because it has nothing to do with judging crime.

Ok, basically his argument is that you cant judge other people because you don't understand their side of the story "Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?" This leads me to the NC.

[NC]

"Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?"

--> Opposing quote: "The right to swing your arm, ends at another's nose."

NC Premise: Proper Allocation of Due; Justice

Contention I: Right Violations

"Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?" Simple questions when dealing with right violations. I'll split the dichotomy into negative and positive rights.

A. Negative rights, i.e. the inalienable rights. When someone says kills for instance and violates your right to life, they have basically dehumanized you in every way. Who am I to judge what you do? Simple. It comes from an ends based moral system. The end of killing is death. Thus, you have violated someone else's rights, and therefore you deserve to lose your own rights.

B. Positive Rights. E.g. right to free speech. Lets say someone violated your right to free speech, they are taking away a right that you as a citizen deserves. Therefore, the government must step in and punish you for that action.

Contention II: Social Contract Theory

Basically this theory states that when governments and societies form, they leave a state of nature and form order. However order is only as good as the actions of individuals. Locke explains that when someone commits a crime, they wage war agaisnt society itself. The person has shown contempt for the alw, and thus returns to a state of nature, a moral void so to speak. Therefore, the very existence of society and law depends on punishing those that wage war agaisnt it. Thus, punishing and judging an individual is necessary.

For these reasons you can negate.
Debate Round No. 1
Sizami

Pro

My opponent implies that I do not believe that crime exist. Crime exist in the eyes of the law. I am stating that the only person who can know if I am right or wrong is myself. No one knows the cause of my actions. I take responsibily for my actions, but who knows what has caused them.
At the end of the day, how many people are wrongfully persecuted? This proves that the system is flawed. This proves that the system is in the eyes of a human.
"The key idea in egalitarianism is everyone is CREATED equal. Meaning we are all created with an equal amount of rights, the inalienable rights. Life, liberty, and property. My opponent makes the assumption that this means everyone throughout their whole lives are equal. Our actions dictate what happens to us."
My opponent makes the assumption that I assume that everyone throughout their lives are equal. The law states that we are created equal. To clarify, that we all start at the same starting line. But that is not so because the rich are getting ahead because they have a head start.

(I must say, great argument, I had this very argument with my brother and I was on the Con side, but he managed to bring me to the other side)
LightC

Con

I'll go to the counter offense from the "pro," then move to provide defense to my own case.

"My opponent implies that I do not believe that crime exist. Crime exist in the eyes of the law. I am stating that the only person who can know if I am right or wrong is myself. No one knows the cause of my actions. I take responsibily for my actions, but who knows what has caused them."

--> I have 3 responses:

First, what I was saying was that your first-second sentence implies that crime exists.

Second, if individual moral relativism existed then order could not be maintained. Furthermore, your logic can be extended and come to the conclusion that slavery and the holocaust are right, because the people doing them thought they were.

Third, the idea of taking responsibility for your actions just negates the resolution.

"At the end of the day, how many people are wrongfully persecuted? This proves that the system is flawed. This proves that the system is in the eyes of a human."

--> I have a 2 responses:

First, yes, people are wrongfully prosecuted however this can be turned against you. If people can be wrongfully prosecuted that implies the fact that there are right prosecutions.

Second, procedural failure does =/= the principle of a punishment being unjust.

"My opponent makes the assumption that I assume that everyone throughout their lives are equal. The law states that we are created equal. To clarify, that we all start at the same starting line. But that is not so because the rich are getting ahead because they have a head start"

--> I have 2 responses:

First, my opponent misunderstands my argument. I am saying that the diea of being created equal has to do with inalienable rights.

Second, extending my logic above comes to the conclusion that there is no negative right distinction between a poor person and a rich person. If you kill either one it is still murder.

"Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?"

--> Opposing quote: "The right to swing your arm, ends at another's nose."

NC Premise: Proper Allocation of Due; Justice

Contention I: Right Violations

"Who are you to judge what I do? Who am I to judge what you do?" Simple questions when dealing with right violations. I'll split the dichotomy into negative and positive rights.

A. Negative rights, i.e. the inalienable rights. When someone says kills for instance and violates your right to life, they have basically dehumanized you in every way. Who am I to judge what you do? Simple. It comes from an ends based moral system. The end of killing is death. Thus, you have violated someone else's rights, and therefore you deserve to lose your own rights.

B. Positive Rights. E.g. right to free speech. Lets say someone violated your right to free speech, they are taking away a right that you as a citizen deserves. Therefore, the government must step in and punish you for that action.

Contention II: Social Contract Theory

Basically this theory states that when governments and societies form, they leave a state of nature and form order. However order is only as good as the actions of individuals. Locke explains that when someone commits a crime, they wage war agaisnt society itself. The person has shown contempt for the alw, and thus returns to a state of nature, a moral void so to speak. Therefore, the very existence of society and law depends on punishing those that wage war agaisnt it. Thus, punishing and judging an individual is necessary.

For these reasons you can negate.

--> My opponent never responds to any of my arguments/contentions, thus you can extend them for the entire debate.
Debate Round No. 2
Sizami

Pro

First, the Holocaust and slavery are not right just because the people doing them believe they are right. To society, a majority will conclude that these acts are wrong. But like the people who are wrongfully convicted. Are you guilty simply because society believes you are guilty? Are you innocent simply because society believes you are innocent? What dictates right and wrong?

My beliefs in right and wrong, are just simply my beliefs. But when action must be taken, this needs to go into account. When a Judge must make a decision, when a jury must make a decision, they must take into account that they ultimately are not in a position to judge another human being. Only God can judge and only God knows ultimately everything.

The Law, the system, are run by what the majority believe. But when you are in a courtroom, it doesn't matter if your guilty or not, its how much you can convince the courtroom.

"Second, extending my logic above comes to the conclusion that there is no negative right distinction between a poor person and a rich person. If you kill either one it is still murder."
If you kill either one, yes it is murder. But two people can commit the same act, and get two different sentences. It is clear in the past, that a rich person, can find a brilliant lawyer, and get off clean.

When someone kills, there are many different circumstances. They might be in the right, if they are defending themselves. They are in the wrong, in the eyes of the law, when they violate another human rights with bad intentions.

If you have ever lived in a bad neighborhood, you would know that, the law isn't on your side. And human nature tells you what to do, in order to survive, whether the law agrees with it or not. When you are in a bad neighborhood, the cops don't rush to help you, and you can technically say that the law does not exist, and that the law does not care about you.
What you say, can be applied anywhere else in the U.S. But when you are poor and live in a bad neighborhood, it seems like the law only sees you when you can be found guilty. You would not know what it is like, but I do. I have never stated that the Holocaust or slavery were right. When crime is prevalent where you live, when the law fails to take action, you tell me what you'll do to survive. If the law cannot take action, and fails to take action, who do you think is going to take action?
LightC

Con

"First, the Holocaust and slavery are not right just because the people doing them believe they are right. To society, a majority will conclude that these acts are wrong. But like the people who are wrongfully convicted. Are you guilty simply because society believes you are guilty? Are you innocent simply because society believes you are innocent? What dictates right and wrong?"

--> There are 2 main points that can be concluded from this:

First, my opponents logic will come to the conclusion that all punishments are dejusitifed because the system has minor flaws.

Second, culpability determines your guilty/innocence however there needs to be an agent to deliver the result of your culpability. For example, yes I can murder someone, and yes that is wrong, but whats the point of outlawing murder and saying tits wrong if I can't be punished for it.

"My beliefs in right and wrong, are just simply my beliefs. But when action must be taken, this needs to go into account. When a Judge must make a decision, when a jury must make a decision, they must take into account that they ultimately are not in a position to judge another human being. Only God can judge and only God knows ultimately everything."

--> Again 2 important conclusions:

First, "But when action must be taken, this needs to go into account." You can vote negate right here, your actions dictate if you are culpable.

Second, judges are given that right because the consent of the governed has elected them to that position, or they were appointed indirectly (like supreme court judges)

"The Law, the system, are run by what the majority believe. But when you are in a courtroom, it doesn't matter if your guilty or not, its how much you can convince the courtroom."

--> "The truth will out." This phrase from a Separate Peace can be equated to your argument. Yes, it is a matter of argumentative skills. However the idea of a court is to determine the truth from the given circumstances, i.e. the truth will eventually out.

"When someone kills, there are many different circumstances. They might be in the right, if they are defending themselves. They are in the wrong, in the eyes of the law, when they violate another human rights with bad intentions."

--> 1 conclusion:

First, my opponent is right about KILLING. But I said MURDER. There is a big distinction between the two, morally and legally.

"If you have ever lived in a bad neighborhood, you would know that, the law isn't on your side. And human nature tells you what to do, in order to survive, whether the law agrees with it or not. When you are in a bad neighborhood, the cops don't rush to help you, and you can technically say that the law does not exist, and that the law does not care about you.
What you say, can be applied anywhere else in the U.S. But when you are poor and live in a bad neighborhood, it seems like the law only sees you when you can be found guilty. You would not know what it is like, but I do. I have never stated that the Holocaust or slavery were right. When crime is prevalent where you live, when the law fails to take action, you tell me what you'll do to survive. If the law cannot take action, and fails to take action, who do you think is going to take action?"

--> 3 conclusions:

First, yes, i agree the law may not be on yuor side, but that does not mean you have the right to undermine the rule of law itself. I may need to kill a little girl to eat her flesh to survive, but that does jsutify the action.

Second, you never warrant why the law would always find you guilty

Third, your logic does indeed jsutify the holocaust because you are advocating a method of survival morality, which Hitler preached. I.e. let Germany survive and kill the Jews, Christians, gypsies, gays, etc.

[Voting Issues]

1. My opponent never proves the resolution and its advocacy. He only tries to prove survival morality and flaws within the system. THIS DOES NOT PROVE THAT LAW OUGHT NOT BE ENFORCED INT THE FORM OF PUNISHMENT.

2. My case which I presented was never responded to at all in this entire debate.

A. Dichotomy of negative and positive right violations.
B. Social Contract Theory

3. My opponent conceded that your actions dictate your culpability. Thus the courts have a right to punish that action.

For these reasons you can negate.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by tomkb 8 years ago
tomkb
it would seem that over many hundreds of years, systems in our civilization have lead us to certain ideals, wrongs and norms. in terms of certain crimes, it is certaintly true that punishment can seem harsh because the law has been written into our society for so long. take fraud for example. yes its wrong because its technically stealing, but whose to say its not just modern day enterprise. worse things have been done legally!
as civilisations evolve we collectively write our own sense of wrong and right. look at the romans- they saw it as fine to put two gladiators in a ring and fight to the death- now that seems pretty fucked up! looking to the future and the evolving internet generation- we can all testify to this- we are generating a sense of decent conduct even though the boundaries are considerably looser- we all hate pop ups and would like to get our hands on the guys that sit there sending us viruses etc etc. maybe there will be a time when our intenet conduct is governed as closely as you could argue our lives as a whole are. i live in england and i tell you what, it always feels like someone wants to tell you how to live your life! rules for everything- some necessary, but is human nature really so bad as to spin out of control should there be no laws and rules??
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
I agree the system is flawed, but not with the idea that you are the only one that can judge yourself. You actions have consequences in any reasonable society. It does not matter why you did what you did-- ultimately what matters is if your actions caused harm. And a reasonable person can judge that, then if possible take into account extenuating circumstances. (why, etc)
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by philosphical 8 years ago
philosphical
SizamiLightCTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
SizamiLightCTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
SizamiLightCTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Rawlsfulcopter 8 years ago
Rawlsfulcopter
SizamiLightCTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by patten618 8 years ago
patten618
SizamiLightCTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03