The Instigator
sedgwick1991
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

if taking drugs harms nobody else but yourself then in a democracy should it be a crime ?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 698 times Debate No: 22013
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

sedgwick1991

Con

i believe that in a democracy if you wish to take drugs then you should be alowed to by your own free will and it should not be illegal
thett3

Pro

Thanks for the debate sedgwick. I'll be playing devils advocate and arguing in support of drug criminalization laws. I look forward to your opening argument
Debate Round No. 1
sedgwick1991

Con

welll to that i say that there wouldnt be need for drug criminals if the drugs were legal and there for the laws wud be useless lol
thett3

Pro

In this round, I'll write my arguments. In the next I will refute my opponents claims.



C1. Drugs cause crime

Drugs cause us to make irrational decisions; this is even conceded to in my opponents definition. Crime is, generally, an irrational decision. Since the substance causes crime, than the government is justified in criminalizing it, in fact if the government did not try to suppress this than they it's failing in the governmental obligation to defend its citizens.

Of course, I'm not going to just make baseless claims. The correlation between crime and drugs is something firmly established. The National Institute for Victims of Crimes reports[1]:

"In the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correction Facilities, 32% of State prisoners and 26% of Federal prisoners said they had committed their current offense while under the influence of drugs. Among State prisoners, drug offenders (44%) and property offenders (39%) reported the highest incidence of drug use at the time of the offense. Among Federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes. "

I would remind the audience that this is in no way implying that drugs are the sole causes of crime. I gladly concede to the fact that other factors also affect crime, however; my argument is not a correleation-causation fallacy because logic indicates that the causation exists. Irrationality indeed is linked to crime; as indicated in Psychologist Richard Herrnsteins famous (and controversial) book "The Bell Curve". Herrnstein reports that the "cognitively disadvantaged" are far more likely to commit crime than the rest of society. Since drugs decrease our rationality, than they surely increase crime.

James R. Mcdonough, the director of the Florida office for Drug Control[2] writes:

"Law-enforcement officers routinely report that the majority (i.e., between 60 and 80 percent) of crime stems from a relationship to substance abuse, a view that the bulk of crimes are committed by people who are high, seeking ways to obtain money to get high or both. These observations are supported by the data. The national Arrests and Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program reports on drugs present in arrestees at the time of their arrest in various urban areas around the country. In 2000, more than 70 percent of people arrested in Atlanta had drugs in their system; 80 percent in New York City; 75 percent in Chicago; and so on. For all cities measured, the median was 64.2 percent. The results are equally disturbing for cocaine use alone, according to Department of Justice statistics for 2000. In Atlanta, 49 percent of those arrested tested positive for cocaine; in New York City, 49 percent; in Chicago, 37 percent. Moreover, more than one-fifth of all arrestees reviewed in 35 cities around the nation had more than one drug in their bodies at the time of their arrest, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse"

Thus, you can see that drugs cause crime so you must negate. It may be objected that the crime caused due to the "drug war" outweighs this. While this claim has serious flaws, it's flawed even further in the fact that it fails to address the actual resolution. It's not necessarily my burden to argue for the status quo, but rather to justify the criminalization of drugs.

C2. Drugs are dehumanizing

The most significant difference between Humans and other animals is that Humans have the ability to rationalize. A vegetarian might accuse me of speciesism, but mainstream society clearly values Humans over other animals. What then, defines what is truly human? After all, most people support Capital Puishment in extreme cases[3], and many who dont object to it on practical grounds. This shows us that humanity is not something that can be societally defined simply on physical grounds, but that there must be some underlying aspect that all humans have that is all-encompassing and defining. So what, other than an ability for rationality, can bes define human? I contend that no such trait exists, and that intelligence is what distinguishes humans from animals. Thus, since drugs destroy this rationality, than they ought to be banned because they violate the most sacred value of society, which is the value of human life itself. Legalizing drugs destroys the social stigma behind them. Destroying the social stigma behind something inherently bad, like drugs, is most unjust, and creates a soeciety where Humans can begin to be treated as a means to an end, rather than beings of intrinsic value. Two primary objections against this can be made, both of which I will address.

The first objection to my position is that it creates a situation where intelligent people are viewed as inherently more valuable than the unintelligent. This objection falls however because in all Human societies that I've heard of, people are judged by their decisions, and since intelligence leads to better decisions, it can clearly be seen that the objection can't be used against my position because a societal bias for intelligence is natural (further evidence for this can be seen in how college grauduates generally make far more money than the undereducated). Therefore any society that does not value intelligence is contrary to human nature, and therefore unjust. Furthermore, humans are distinguished by their intrinsic ability to rationalize, something that all humans have. The degree of this rationality varies, but that's irrelevant to the key issue that reason is a defining characteristic of Humans, a characteristic that drugs destroy.

The second objection I see would be that my position dismisses those with mental disabilites as sub-human. There are three principle issues with this:

A) The mentally handicapped, in all but the most extreme of cases, have some ability to rationalize. Recall that its theintrinsic ability to reason that defines human, which these people still have.

B) This objection ignores the advance of science and culture in curing these mental problems. While modern science cannot fully cure these things, they certainly can treat them. The patients occasionally cure themselves as well, as can be seen in the people who overcome autism. Under my position, dismissing a mentally handicapped person as worthless would be similar to someone dismissing a broken ring as worthless. The metal in the ring still has intrinsic value, and a goldsmith can fix it. Similarly, the degree of rationality the handicapped people still have has intrinsic value, and a scientist/psychologist can fix the broken mentality of a handicapped person (in theory at least).

C) This is judging something by an exception to the rule. That would be comparable to judging utilitarianism (in the kill 1 to save 1000 scenario) from the perspective of the one person killed, rather than from the perspective of society as a whole.

So I urge you to vote Con.

Sources:

1. http://www.ncvc.org...
2. Mcdonough, James R. "Liberalizing Drug Policies Would Increase Crime and Violence"
3.
http://www.angus-reid.com...
Debate Round No. 2
sedgwick1991

Con

sedgwick1991 forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Extend and vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
sedgwick1991

Con

sedgwick1991 forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Dont you all wish this sweetheart was your man?
Debate Round No. 4
sedgwick1991

Con

sedgwick1991 forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Triple forfeit + no arguments = I win.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by innomen 4 years ago
innomen
Too many debates going like this lately.
Posted by hunnydew 4 years ago
hunnydew
sedgwick1991 check out the chalange i gave you
Posted by sedgwick1991 4 years ago
sedgwick1991
well to me certain ones but im arguing all a think that in a democracy witch ismeant to free then i think they shud be legal
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
I would assume that it refers to all drugs due to the lack of clarity
Posted by angrymen 4 years ago
angrymen
Are you talking about all illegal drugs, or just certain ones?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by devinni01841 4 years ago
devinni01841
sedgwick1991thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: the forfeit of 3 rounds by con equals an atomatic win for pro
Vote Placed by PARADIGM_L0ST 4 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
sedgwick1991thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: An easy win for Pro in lieu of forfeit, but even taking the Devil's Advocate position, Thett assuredly would have been a force to be reckoned with based on what was offered in Round 2.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
sedgwick1991thett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit....