The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
superbowl9
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

'defense of others' is 2 limited in practice, bob the serial killer should be killed in this hypo

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
superbowl9
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 411 times Debate No: 59225
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

'defense of others' is too limited in practice, bob the serial killer should be killed in this hypothetical

bob is a serial killer on the run and's shown every reason he'll continue killing. you see him by chance at a state park. a high reason to think if you try to call authorties he will get away. u have a gun- moral to kill him?

remember, 'defense of others' as a legal and moral system is often said to be only permissible if the pending harm to another is 'imminent' which usually is said to mean 'right about to occur'.
here we are talking just about morality.
superbowl9

Con

I disagree that said gun owner would have the right to kill Bob.

It should not be up to just any old gun owner as to whether or not Bob's life should be taken.

Bob has the right to a trial by jury, as everyone does.

Vigilante justice is not acceptable nor moral. This is not The Dark Knight.

Where do you draw the line for this? If you see your friend steals some skittles is it O.K. to murder him?

If Bob is coming at you with a chainsaw, that's another story, it's your life or his, but in the hypothetical you state that if you call the authorities Bob will get away, so it doesn't seem like he's really out to harm you.

In this situation the appropriate action would be to notify the authorities and hope their methods are good enough to catch Bob.

Let me know what you think of these arguments, they were quite short but I'm more throwing out ideas to get more information on your view of this.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

jury might be understandable if there's a question of whether he's guilty. if there's no question, why does there need to be a jury? how is it permissible to just let him get away if that's the probably consequence of not shooting him? it's okay for more people to be killed so bob can have some probably ill advised trial by jury? based on some man made notion of what 'justiice' should constitute, based on some man made notion of what 'imminent' death should involve? if these are man made notions, why not expand 'justice' to include not always trial by jury? to not always have to have 'imminent' mean 'about to occur' but rather 'will occur soon enough'?

stealing skittes is in no way comparable or analogous to killing. we don't kill in defesnse of skilltes, we kill in defense of self, or others. the only questions are those of 'justice' and 'imminence', and how those should be viewed.
superbowl9

Con

Thanks for making your side a bit clearer, Pro.

REBUTTAL

"jury might be understandable if there's a question of whether he's guilty. if there's no question, why does there need to be a jury?"


There always a question about whether or not someone's guilty. Innocent until proven guilty is the philosophy of our country, and I do agree with that. Until a fair trial is held in a court of law, there will always be question as to whether or not someone's guilty. Even if the FBI has fingerprint evidence on him, there's a chance someone cut off his fingers and used them for prints. There will always be that slim chance that the person really is innocent, and it is impossible for people to know otherwise until a trial has been conducted.

"how is it permissible to just let him get away if that's the probably consequence of not shooting him? "

Would you rather have people going around shooting others that may be innocent? How is that permissible? What if the person just happened to resemble Bob? There's too much room for error.

"it's okay for more people to be killed so bob can have some probably ill advised trial by jury?"

Yes. Just because something is probable does not make it the truth, and we should rely on the criminal justice force to do their job and apprehend Bob to limit the number of further deaths. I argue that Bob should have the same rights as everyone else, as he is human and it is unfair to deny anyone of constitutional rights.

"based on some man made notion of what 'justiice' should constitute, based on some man made notion of what 'imminent' death should involve?"

Yes, the definition of justice that the country has chosen to adopt is more valid than an individual opinion. Again, vigilante justice is catastrophic to society as most people cannot have all the facts and will make mistakes. It is much better for a jury to convict someone than it is for a random person to serve "justice" to someone else. Man-made notions are the best we've got and although the legal system is far from perfect, it's far better than people running around on the streets exacting revenge on one another.

"if these are man made notions, why not expand 'justice' to include not always trial by jury?"

The right to a trial by jury is a right for a reason. In fact, it is to prevent vigilante justice and unfair representation of people. If we take this right away, the police could lock you up for life at any time for any reason. Trials are necessary to determine what crimes were actually committed and what punishments should be justly administered.

"to not always have to have 'imminent' mean 'about to occur' but rather 'will occur soon enough'?"

This rule is also in place for a good reason. Nobody can predict the future. It's possible that tomorrow Bob turns himself in and recounts a horrible story of how he was framed by his twin brother in an elaborate plot. It's possible that Bob will do no more killing and did not deserve death for his crimes. This is why defense of others is limited in its time frame: so as to prevent meaningless loss of life. If I see a man on the street with a bloody knife in his hand running, laughing, and looking over his shoulder, do I have the right to kill him because I think he will eventually kill someone else? No, he could have just been in a friendly bet with his good friend at the butcher's store that the butcher couldn't catch him if he stole his knife. You have the right to protect your life, but only if your own or another person's life is being threatened in that moment. Even then it is still debatable as to whether or not taking another life or even injuring someone is the correct course of action. It's impossible to know all the facts when you're simply on the streets, and nobody can see the future.

"stealing skittes is in no way comparable or analogous to killing. we don't kill in defesnse of skilltes, we kill in defense of self, or others. the only questions are those of 'justice' and 'imminence', and how those should be viewed."

Yes, this is a ridiculous example, but the point is where do you draw the line? Is it purely personal opinion on what crimes (which we don't even know will be committed yet) are worthy of murder? If you're drawing the line at murder, what if the murder was an accident? How could anyone know whether or not it was an accident but the offender if not for a trial by jury? Is taking another's life really the correct action to take for the taking of another? Should we encourage revenge killings?
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

it is not always completely uncertain about someone's guilt. if the person who sees him at the park saw him kill before, in video or perhaps in person to make the point, then it is not necessary to say 'till proven guilty' cause he is guilty.
we could have said the person in the park happened to be the brother of some of the victims, and he saw it happen. anda neighbor to another victim, and saw that happen. and saw plenty of others on tape.
your point about verifying the innocence does carry some weight, in that often it is preferred. but it's not always necessary is my point, and my main point, is that it is not inherently necessarily wrong to do vigilante justice.

"too much room for error"

that may be the case, it'd have to be a case by case bassis on how much the eye witness knows.

you go on a lot alot about the constitution and right to trial by jury. this would only prevent the government from enacting arbitrary justice, like your example of police taking people away without a trial etc. but we aren't talking about the government, we're talking about vigilantiism.

it seems like con is trying to make the debate about 'absolutely verifying' everything, which i undertsand. but my point isn't so much to find 'loophole examples' so much as to show that it's not inherently impermissible to kill him. in fact, one might suspect con would be open to the idea, if there were no questions invovled. cause all con offers is practical points about uncertainty, nothing in the way of it being inherently wrong to kill him if the practical uncertainties weren't there.
superbowl9

Con

Instead of refuting Pro claim by claim I'll do it as a general rebuttal because most of his (her?) major points are connected.

A perfect situation such as the one you are describing is unreasonable.

Yes, there will always be that little bit of room for doubt, because as I said earlier, the person you see may not be the same person who committed the crime. They could just be wearing the same clothes or a variety of other scenarios.

You use the claim of verifiable innocence to justify vigilante justice, but that is not my main contention with it. My problem is that unjust punishments may be given to people who are not deserving of said punishments, which brings me back to my "where do you draw the line" point.

Yes we are talking about the government, because everyone deserves a fair trial in a court of law which is held by the government, and you also said "if these are man made notions, why not expand 'justice' to include not always trial by jury?" Also government is the alternative to vigilante justice so it is tied into it.

My examples weren't "loopholes", I'm proposing things that could actually happen and do happen (the butcher's knife example was a little out there but I was trying to make a point about how you don't know someone's intent). Many killings have happened in which the victim was mistaken for another person. I believe I have stated that it is wrong to practice vigilante justice and that killing someone without a fair trial is wrong several times. I nor you (I would hope) would pull the trigger in this situation.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
dairygirl4u2csuperbowl9Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Vigilante justice is often unjust.