The Instigator
livinthelife
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
plainsillylol
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points

in a democratic society felons ought to retain the right to vote

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,030 times Debate No: 5881
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

livinthelife

Con

When you kill a man, you steal a life. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing. Where when dealing with a democratic society which strives for justice by means of considering its consequences one must negate the following resolution resolved: In a democratic society felons ought to retain the right to vote. Ones sole value is that of punishment supported through a value criterion of retributive justice.

The following definitions need be offered to earn weight in the round: steal, retributive justice, and punishment.

Where steal is defined as the deprivation of something, in this case steal refers to the taking or depriving of others rights.

And retributive justice is defined as a matter of giving those who violate human rights law and commit crimes against humanity their "just deserts." Punishment is thought to reinforce the rules of international law and to deny those who have violated those rules any unfair advantages. Together with restorative justice, retribution is concerned with restoring victims and offenders to their rightful position

Punishment in its most simplified form is constituted by imposing some burden or by some form of deprivation or by withholding some benefit. Specifying the deprivation as a deprivation of rights is a helpful reminder that a crime is (among other things) a violation of the victim's rights, and the harm thus done is akin to the kind of harm a punishment does. Deprivation has no covert or subjective reference; punishment is an objectively judged loss or burden imposed on a convicted offender. Which is why we must look to retribution to justify the act of stealing or depriving of the right to vote. Its merely a more sophisticated version of an eye for an eye mentality.

Brief overview
The purpose of imprisoning felons is to remove them from society because they've been deemed a harmful influence. Allowing them to vote (the sole purpose of which is to influence government and therefore society) would be counterproductive to imprisonment. This is why for the following reasons you must oppose the resolution

Con 1
Felons are considered less trustworthy. Full rights are often not
completely restored following conviction.

society considers convicts, even those who have completed their prison terms, to be
less trustworthy than non-convicted citizens. For example, federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm for anyone indicted for or convicted of a felony punishable by at least one year in prison. Also under federal law, anyone who has a "charge pending" or has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year or more cannot serve on a jury. So if someone who has a "charge pending" against him is deemed incapable of
sitting in judgment of the fate of a single litigant, it hardly seems unreasonable to say that
someone convicted of a felony cannot help shape the fate of a city, a state, or the entire
nation. Even outside the realm of civic rights and privileges, society recognizes that an exconvict may be less reliable than others. For example, employers routinely ask prospective
employees whether they have been arrested (let alone convicted of a felony) because they
suspect that the mere fact of an arrest may be an indication of untrustworthiness. Where in a democratic society untrustworthiness is not a value to be upheld.

Con2
Felon disenfranchisement is justified by "distribution."
according to the theory of Universalizability: "whatever is right (or wrong) in one situation is right (or wrong) in any relevantly similar situation" (Harris et al., p. 37).
Universalizability as described above is a basic logical feature of all moral discourse. That is, in making a distinctively moral judgment, you commit yourself to its universalizability. If in making a judgment you refuse to recognize its universalizability, then you are actually refusing to make a moral judgment. Essentially it's a principle of consistency. Where sense it is consistent and applied to all cases its in turn just.
Under the affirmative they have to say felons who have committed voters fraud should be able to vote.

Con 3
Requirements
We don't let everyone vote; children, noncitizens and the mentally incompetent don't. Voting requires certain minimum, objective standards of trustworthiness, loyalty and responsibility, and those who have committed serious crimes against their fellow citizens don't meet those standards. If you refer to the meaning of mentally incompetent you can see that incompetent means one who cant weigh morally right or wrong, thus is deprived of the right to vote. Whereas if you apply that understanding to a felon you can clearly see they were not able to weigh the difference between morally right and wrong, which deems them as mentally incompetent which limits them to the right to vote. Because to participate in self-government, you must be willing to accept the rule of law and even more so understand it.
plainsillylol

Pro

I will begin by addressing my case and then my opponents.

Many great philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and Thomas Paine have all believed that every individual has inalienable or in other words natural rights. There are 2 types of rights humans are indebted to. The first type of rights is legal rights which are rights created by a society and natural rights which are rights that are consistent in any society. Legal rights can be changed, however inalienable rights are consistent in all situations. By preserving inalienable rights, I will affirm the resolution that in a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.
I would like to clarify the following definitions from the Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Grant- to bestow or transfer formally Ought- used to express obligation; Retain- to keep.
My value for this case is equality. My value criterion is preserving Natural rights. I have 1 observation in this case. The resolution must be consistent with both felons who are currently serving their punishment and felons who have finished their punishment.

I have 1 observation in this case which is the way of determining who is eligible to vote in any democratic society.
My first contention is by not allowing the felons to be granted voting rights, we are oppressing them. According to the widely accepted Doctrine of Inalienable rights, Article II states that Humans are granted liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. If we do not believe that every human has inalienable rights, then we cannot have:
1)A democratic society because democracy depends on every member of society to have a way of voting for what they want. However, if some people who contribute to society do not get these rights, then it is contradictory democratic ideals because the felons are not being granted equal representation.
2) Equality among humans because the lack of inalienable rights would give some humans a greater intrinsic value than other humans. Without equality among humans, that it would be okay for slavery to exist. It would also be okay to disrespect a felon because they are less in value.
Clearly, by not owing the felons the right to vote, we oppressing them from having a say on what direction they would want a certain government to run. Is it fair that you as an individual be deprived of these rights? Would that allow you to disrespect felons? Felons are no less than you if you cannot treat them with proper respect.
My second contention is that by not giving the felons a right to vote, then we are not allowing them to have a second chance at redemption. Currently, we are in a world in which it is natural to make mistakes and faults, however we must be able to learn from those very mistakes and prosper as humans. By taking away their rights to vote after they have served their term you are not allowing redemption in that democratic society. Even convicted felons can still contribute to society. Gandhi and Malcolm X had been considered felons for they served time in jail, however they revolutionized his nation. So such figures like them cannot be treated right just because they are felons?
My third contention is that by not giving felons the right to vote, we are encouraging the felons to commit another felony in the future. For example, say a person commits embezzlement and is on probation as a punishment. Now, say the person, who contributes to society, is denied from this society which does not welcome the person back. However the person is expected to follow all of the rules again however, loses his/her rights. Should the person continue to be less than all of the individuals in the society? NO! By taking away the felon's rights you are saying its okay to disrespect the individual. Empirical studies supporting my reasoning have been conducted which show that in those societies in which felons retain the right to vote, they are 50% less likely to commit another crime than in places which deny felons the right to vote.
With natural rights in mind, we cannot allow felons to be valued as less of humans than others. Felons are people just like me and you. In William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, this quote holds true to this situation "If you prick felons, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? From the contentions above it can safely be stated that in a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.

Now i will address my opponent's case.
My opponent's value and criterion are both controdictory because punishment's purpose is redemption. When you give felons punishment, the goal is for them to rehabilitate. So if they are rehabilitated, they should be welcomed back with open arms.

My opponents first contention is that Felons are considered less trustworthy. Full rights are often not
completely restored following conviction. however, it is not true because felons are rehabilitated after they serve punishment. Remeber felons are people too. So this contention does not stand

My opponents seconds contentions is that Under the affirmative they have to say felons who have committed voters fraud should be able to vote. However, i have proven why they should within my case so this contention is not pertainant.

My opponent's third contention is that voting needs requirements. However, the resolution suggests a purely democratic society in which everyone can vote; it does not specify whether kids can vote or not. With this inconsistency this contention does not stand.

I have proven how every part of my opponent's case does not stand while my case is the best resolution.
Debate Round No. 1
livinthelife

Con

I will first address the affirmation and then lead into extensions and clarification on the neg.

As it pertains my opponents observation, it is flawed for the following reason

My opponent claims that every citizen has inalienable right, yet what you need consider is that voting does not apply. clearly every citizen doesn't have the right to vote or else four year olds and people of a mental iq 0f 20 could. Resulting in extremely inaccurate and pointless results. Sense there is such a requirement one must look to voting as a privilege rather then a right.

Now onto the con1 of oppression

you need to understand again that voting is a privilege not a right.

Con2 redemption
you need to see that felons don't need voting as a form of redemption just the mere fact that they have been released from prison gives them a chance to redeem themselves. defeating the entirety of con two

now briefly to go over my case

you need to extend my v and vc as being paramount for we need consider the victims rights in the situation. Equality as presented by the affirmative cant even be achieved with out looking to the opposition as well as the fact that natural rights as a vc doesn't apply as well.

My def were not attacked therefore they still stand and will be used throughout the round which essentially in doing so agrees to the negative position in regards to the resolution interpretation.

My con still stand as well for rehabilitation hardly has a great enough effect to make a difference, through examples such as background checks, not being able to bare arms, and not serve on jury. (all points opponent fails to address). As well as my con 2 as well as 3 for although its not mandated in the resolution its implicate why would you want kids to vote no society would ever allow people that are not even capable of spelling there name the PRIVELEGE to vote

thank you
plainsillylol

Pro

okay, first of all, I will go over my opponent's case and then my case then voting issues.

His rebuttal to his first contention is that rehabilitation hardly has an effect. However, rehabilitation's purpose is to correct faults, otherwise we would not have rehab. this also makes his V/VC not stand

does not support his second con. so that does not stand

his 3rd contention doesn't stand because they will be tested by society (as mentioned in my observation)

Now to my case
My obs= by saying voting is just a privilege, my opponent just dismisses the significance of voting. The same can be said for the right to speak; that can be a "privilege". We need to respect all inalienable rights so my obs. stands

Con 1= my opponent mis understands my contention and just trys to use my observation to contridict, which is errroneous. Since i have proven why inalienable rights are important, we can come to the conclusion that my opponent does not believe in alienable rights. In my first contention, i made it clear that one supports slavery if they do not believe in inalienable rights.

Con 2= my opponent has not proven that a democratic society of 4 felons would not want felons to vote so this does not stand.

My con 3 stands because it is unaddressed.

Voting Issues:
1) By voting neg, you support slavery because you put greater instinsic value in different people; UNFAIR!!
2) If you do not let felons vote, you will be responsible for more felonys in the community (con 3)
3) My opponent cannot respect other humans
4) My opponent overlooks how heros could be felons.
5) My framework stands

I urge you all to vote affirmative
Debate Round No. 2
livinthelife

Con

Ill be going over extensions/clarifications leading into voters

First my v and vc the idea of punishment as it is supported through retribution as been remained touch less. My opponent fails to address my link to all crimes being the act of stealing and deprivation and that how in a democratic society one needs to value retribution that states in addition to regular sentencing we need deprive or steal the right to vote from the criminals while still allowing them the ability to take part in other means of society.

My second point is that of the jury where if you refer to my initial statement felons don't even have the permission to serve on jury showing that they don't have the privilege or worthiness to vote for the innocence or guilt of one individual. So why should they be able to determine the lives of potential millions if their not even allowed to determine one

My next point is that of my universalizability claim. The resolution is to circumstantial and sense such is true it demeans the rule of law or taught of justice, in that its inconsistent.

Next my claim of being mentally incompetent and that their are prerequisites still stands and need be considered. For essentially I'm proving that voting is a PRIVELEGE not a right something my opponent fails to understand.

As for my opponents voting issues, they are in their entirety flawed for the opposition doesn't lead to slavery that's making an inferential and absurd link. More felonies aren't going to increase as a by product for the neg in that if such was true then my opponents entire claim of rehabilitation woulndt stand, but sense there is not a clear distinction or advocacy between the two contradictory statements you must value neither. POint 3 I value victims rights by upholding my vc something the affirmative lacks. Heroes cant be felons for heroes would never deface the law. And finally my opponents framework clearly doesn't stand.

Which is why you must look to my voting issues

Neg wins because

V and VC better uphold idea of democracy and better support opponents claim of equality through retribution

natural rights clearly are not of concern for we are debating as proved privileges

Con 1 of trustworthiness still stands

Con 2 of consistency is still paramount for its circumstantial reasoning

con3 of requirements still stands in that that distinguishes between rights and privileges

and most importantly my resolution interpretation of the definitions still stand for they went uncontested proving that retribution is A VALID AND DEMOCRACTIC VALUE

For such reasons I urge an opposition
plainsillylol

Pro

First, i would like to clarify that my whole rebuttal addresses retribution which shows that my opponent has not payed attention to my rebuttals.

So this shows how his V and VC fail.

my opponent's second point is irrelevant because felons have obviously proven to affect other's lives, that is why society cares to punish them.

my opponent's third point is contridictory to his idea of punishment because he claims the resolution demeans the rule of law, so nothing for my opponent stands, and all my claims against his case stands.

my opponent's final point is that voting is a privelige, however that makes voting obsolete. What if i told you that your "priviledge" to represent yourself is taken away. Its more than a priviledge, it is a way of our life. If we let society solely decide our fate, that would NOT be democracy, that is a dictator ship.

NOw, my opponent fails to realize that my case, V, VC, and contentions all stand so his frame work is FLAWED.
I have proven all his contentions to be false in the previous rounds, and my voting issues is the final thing i shud clarify.

my opponent tries to hide the fact that he/she puts greater intristi value in others; which is the neg's. only argument.

So, with all of these points, I urge you to vote Aff :)

--- I would like to apologize if I seemed demeaning in this debate, I really mean't to be firm, rather than mean. Which is 1 reason I dislike typing what I am saying. So I thank the Instigator for the debate ---
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by spiralangell 8 years ago
spiralangell
(livinthelife) Rather then use punishment you could use an Idea we came up with as a group (me and a few friends) could you use the idea of Justice? Because the grounds of the loss of voting as a punishment sounds like we as the people determined the punishment as we went along. When in actually if you put the Social Contract into the picture it laid down the laws and consquences within the democratic society. So it could be that justice was simply enforcing what our government was already based on to help protect those in society. So then you could put the voting as an accurate punishment because they cannot vote since they decided to seperate themselves from the contract with their crime, then regain also fits nicely since you are accepted into society again once your term is completed.
Posted by jasonxxx102 8 years ago
jasonxxx102
alright plainsillylol give more detail when saying his contentions are wrong dont just say im right your wrong.
Posted by livinthelife 8 years ago
livinthelife
please vote i need comments and what not for practice
Posted by plainsillylol 8 years ago
plainsillylol
LD practice? me 2
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 5 years ago
Willoweed
livinthelifeplainsillylolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Doing bad things shouldn't make it so you cannot vote
Vote Placed by spiralangell 8 years ago
spiralangell
livinthelifeplainsillylolTied
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KeithKroeger91
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baseketballer
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