The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
knock_down_argument
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 333 times Debate No: 59226
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

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.
knock_down_argument

Con

No, its not okay to simply whip out your six shooter and blow his brains out. This is not the wild west. People have rights and among these rights is a right to a trial by jury. If this right isn't protected what's to stop someone from locking you up permanantly for not mowing the lawn? You may be mistaking this guy for bob which would be horrible since that would make you a murderer. By doing this you are also endangering the wildlife ( what if you miss and hit a mama bear? what will happen to here cubs?). But on a more serious note, you do endanger the lives of others and yourself by escelating the situation needleesly. There is also no reason to think the authorites can't handle it. Assuming you know his location, and given that this is a dangorous serial killer the cops will be all over this guy, besides given that this is a state park there may be park rangers nearby that are better equiped to handle the situation. Finally if you insist on pretending your John Wayne and confronting him, you still have a moral obligigation to allow him a chance to surrender. If we do not recognize this, we again create a slippery slope. Do we really want to live in a society where suspected criminals are shot on the street without any attempt to apprehend them?

So to sum up my points ( in case they were lost in the retoric)
You should not shoot Bob because:

He might not be Bob at all, but just An inoccent look-alike

Even though he may be a serial killer, he still has a right to a trial. If this right is not upheld it creates a slippery slope.

If you escalate the situation further than neccasary you do more harm than good because while no one was previosly in immidieate danger you have created a lethal situation.
Given that you have the opportunity to report his location without him knowing, it is likley that the police will be able to handle it more effectivly.
Since Bob is not currently a threat to anyone, he must be given a chance to surrender.

Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"People have rights and among these rights is a right to a trial by jury"

they only have those rights with teh government. they don't have those rights with vigilantees. the question is whether vigilanteeism is okay here.

"If this right isn't protected what's to stop someone from locking you up permanantly for not mowing the lawn?"

mowing the lawn is in no way similar. i see your point in that we could argue that if vigilanteeism with bob is okay, someoe else might see it as permissible to lock me up for what they see as going too far with teh lawn. the problem, is that this relies on lunacy.. no one thinks that vigilanteeism is okay. the only difference here with killing him or not is a matter of imminency, whether it should be a killing is "about to occur" or "will occur soon enough". that's the extent of diffeence between killing him i the park v when he's about to kill someone. this is sufficiiently similliar enough that to compare it with not mowing the lawn is just poor judgment.

"You may be mistaking this guy for bob which would be horrible since that would make you a murderer."

i recognize that often or even usually that the person who might shoot him needs to be sure of the facts.given con just gives practical concerns of uncertainty, one might think con doesn't view killing him as inherently wrong. well, the shooter could have a special inside knownledge of bob and his murders. if that's the case, it's known 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that he's the bad guy and will kill again. i realize his 'beyond a reasonable doubt' isn't the same as a jury's... but it's close enough cause society already views bob's death as okay, albeith with a slight tweek on what it means to be 'imminent'.

yes there are practical concerns that we must weigh and consider. but again my point is that it's not inherently wrong.

"By doing this you are also endangering the wildlife"

con is just going off the deep end here. animals may be killed for practical purposes. no need to further dignify this with a response.

con argues that the cops could handle the situation just as good or better. but that's the problem, the facts lend themslve sto the fact that they won't be able to. by teh time they get to where bob was, he will be gone. it is more effectively handgled by the guy who sees bob, as long as his certittude is high enough of all the facts.

con argues he should be given a chance to surrender. sure, the guy who sees him can offer for bob to surrende. if bob doesn't, the n the guy should do what is necessary to stop him, up to and including shooting him.
knock_down_argument

Con

In reply to my first point, that Bob has the right to a trial by jury, pro offers the following:
"people only have this right with teh government. they don't have this right with vigilantes the question is whether vigilantism is okay here"
The problem with this statement is that rights do not work this way. The government is not the only agent that must respect your rights. Wouldn't we say that a lynch mob during the Jim Crow era violated their victim’s right to a fair trial? These were also vigilantes. By applying moral principles to one moral agent but not another, pro is being inconsistent. Pro may have meant that vigilantes do not recognize this right. This is, however, irrelevant given that we are debating morality in other words what a person ought to do. So Pro has not avoided the argument that the perpetrator has the right to a fair trial.

Pro then attempts to refute my supporting argument with the following:

"mowing the lawn is in no way similar. i see your point in that we could argue that if vigilantism with bob is okay, someone else might see it as permissible to lock me up for what they see as going too far with teh lawn. the problem, is that this relies on lunacy.. no one thinks that vigilantism is okay. the only difference here with killing him or not is a matter of immanency, whether it should be a killing is "about to occur" or "will occur soon enough". that's the extent of difference between killing him in the park v when he's about to kill someone. this is sufficiently similar enough that to compare it with not mowing the lawn is just poor judgment."
You may note that Pro contradicts her earlier quote here as she went from stated that vigilantism was okay in some circumstances ("the question is whether or not vigilantism is okay here") to saying it is never permissible ("no one thinks vigilantism is okay."). So I would like to pose this question to pro: Is vigilantism okay in some circumstances or not? I will put this aside for now and address pro's stronger point about whether immanency should mean killing that is "about to occur" versus "will eventually occur". Pro is arguing that there is no significant difference between the two. But there is a fundamental difference between the two. Imagine ( as in the film Minority Report) that you have a choice to kill a man that you somehow know will murder someone in the future. Yet the person, as of right now, is not guilty of any crimes (this is similar to the "Baby Hitler" dilemma). There is an intuitive difference between this and using lethal force to stop a shooter in your office building. The final point I need to address is about my alleged comparisons between murder and mowing the lawn. Contrary to what Pro has asserted, I was not comparing the two, but rather I was arguing against the kind of arbitrary justice being considered in this example.
Pro then goes on to address my point about the potential for mistaken identity by arguing that shooter might have some "special inside knowledge of Bob and his murders" But even Pro acknowledges that this would not -- in the legal sense—Be a valid proof of Bob’s identity. Also given that someone’s life is at stake “close enough” just doesn’t cut it. This is not merely a practical concern, as Bob having a right to a trial by jury is a moral principal. And one man’s hasty judgment is not enough to justify ending someone’s life.

My point about endangering the wild life is, of course, absurd when taken as an argument in itself. But it was meant as a rhetorical point to demonstrate that you are putting others beside yourself and the serial killer at risk. Since Pro did not address the other half of my argument, she is attacking a straw man.

Regarding my argument that you should contact authorities rather than handle the situation yourself, Pro argues that the situation is better handled by the person that see’s Bob. But this is not true, just because you see a problem does not mean you are the most well equipped person to address it. The police force is trained to handle these types of situations as, the vigilante may not be.

Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

i've said what i need to say. for the most part i would be repeating myself.
knock_down_argument

Con

Since Pro did not address my criticisms of her argument, I cannot build my case any further. Because of this I would ask that voters cast their vote in favor of Con, since by failing to respond to my rebuttal, Pro is essentially forfeiting the round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by knock_down_argument 2 years ago
knock_down_argument
Cool.. I accept
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
format, just start arguing and i argue back till the end
Posted by knock_down_argument 2 years ago
knock_down_argument
This sounds like a really good debate, what is the format?
Posted by KhalifV 2 years ago
KhalifV
bob is a proven serial killer or merely an asserted serial killer? What are the circumstances of the previous murders? Is there reason to suggest he will continue to kill? Maybe he is now going to cause well-being? Who did he kill?
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