The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
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security > liberty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 343 times Debate No: 55702
Debate Rounds (3)
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it is common, and frankly par for the course, for people to quote many great founders, that say that he who wishes for security over liberty, deserves neither liberty or security.

i draw issue. would you rather die, or have your 'rights' compromised? i agree that there is an issue with proportion. frankly, i would guess most people even if they didnt come out and say it, would be for some slight compromises so as not to die. heck, if you put it that way, most would take some major compromises. it's just not politically popular to admit. and not something people really think about enough to admit.
and i could possibly agree that major compromises should not be allowed for the most part.
it is mostly an issue of proportionality. what it is not, though, is all all or nothing liberty being trumped by liberty.


I accept my opponent's challenge.

I intend to show that not only is liberty greater than security, but also that liberty and security from the governing body go hand in hand; conversely, the more rights and freedoms you surrender, the less secure you become.

1.) The Freedom of Speech
The freedom of speech is highly important to maintaining a secure and free system of government. What would happen if we made just a slight compromise such as throwing people in jail for treason over "traitorous" speech. That sounds reasonable doesn't it? We can't have people saying things that might stir up a rebellion.
Such a compromise is detrimental to the freedom and security of citizens. Suddenly, it becomes illegal to suggest impeaching the President. Any support shown to militias ( militias are constitutional ) would be classified as "aiding an enemy". The government would have the foothold they needed to begin eroding other rights.

2.) The Right to Bear Arms
The Second Amendment guarantees citizens of the United States of America the right to own and carry firearms. Although firearms are highly regulated, let's make a new provision that each and every firearm should be registered by the owner anytime the weapon changes hands. Doesn't sound to harmful does it?
Once the federal government knows where all the guns are that means they could confiscate all the guns. The Second Amendment is there for the protection of citizens, wether they need to protect themselves from criminals or their own government. Such a small infringement as listed above would endanger that right.
I hope I have made it clear how easily rights can be jeopardized by the slightest "compromise".

I apologize for the delayed argument. I have had a very busy few days.
Debate Round No. 1


con doesn't really argue against proportionality, my strongest point in the debate. would he rather government sometimes wiretap without a warrant, or die?

he gives a couple examples, but these are mostly just specific argumentsthat don't negate the bigger point that sometimes security trumps liberty.

but to address them to an extent. yes free speech can be regulated too much. it's important to remember though, that there are more than a handful of speech that is regualted. fighting words, slander, obscenity, incitement, child porn, etc etc here's more.
this better illustrates that sometimes it is better to infringe on rights. con argues points no one would disagree with. when we get into a realm of what peple might go for, it favors my side more.
as to bear arms point. having greater checks could also lead to less criminals with guns, and less violence.

but again, those arguents are really distractions to the greater points being made.


My opponent claims that I did not address his point of proportionality. If he had been closely following my arguments he would have seen that I did address the issue with points 1 and 2. They were used as examples.

My opponent brings up another interesting scenario that I choose to play along with. My opponent states, " Would he rather the government sometimes wiretap without a warrant or die?" First I wish to point out that's no government offering such an ultimatum has shriveled into a totalitarian rule. It cannot be trusted to provide any safety wether you obey it or not. Liberty and safety are entertained and cannot be separated.

As for laws regarding free speech, slander and liable are the only ones with any real backbone. Other things such as "hate speech" are twisted and perverse weapons that are abused far to often.

I ask my opponent what would he do when he wakes up from his sheepish peace-craving slumber and sees the fragments of his former rights lying before him? Will he come to the same realization as many slaves? Will he realize then that with each liberty he sacrificed to preserve his life, he gave up hope for his safety?

My opponent is traveling down the path of many Jews during the Holocaust. The Jews followed the Germans thinking that they could work their way out of the camps ( signs suggesting such a notion were posted on the gates). I ask my opponent to recall where those Jews drew their last breath. I ask him to explain to me why they did not get safer as their liberty was taken.
Debate Round No. 2


con argues if we allow some compromises on liberty, that hte government will inevitably become totalitarian etc. first, he doesn't demonstrate that hat has always been the case. second, he doesn't argue how it's not possible for us to 'at least sometimes' allow compromises. it seems that it'd be extremely realistic to allow compromises sometimes. and third, he doesn't really address the proportionality issue, again.
he says he addressed that issue, but i dont see how he could have. he just gave some examples of things he would prefer not be violated. and then i went on to explain that there are in fact commonly accepted points where those things are violated, which proves my point more than his. and he probably didn't even consider them due to his ignorance. especially he he acts as if it's either we have complete liberty, or we don't.... i dont see how he's really addressing the proportinality point, unless his point is that there is proportionality should never be the rule. and he's an either / or cat.

con begins asking rhetorical questions as if i would suddenly reject any compromises on my liberty, once i saw that it happened. i just don't agree. i would be happy that i was wiretapped if it caused new york to be saved from a bomb. or wahtever.
as usual when someone analogizes about the holocause, con doesn't follow to our current debate. the jews weren't giving up liberty for security when they went to the camps. they had no choice but to go to the camps. or they would die. i feel foolish even entertainging this anaology much longer.


I would first like to apologize for my amusing typos made in my previous argument. Alas, I thought I had thoroughly proofread it but they slipped by.

Secondly, I find my opponent's blatant use of the AD Hominem fallacy repulsive. Clearly note that no offense has been taken though. I wish to issue a friendly reminder that when calling someone an idiot you should re-read multiple times to catch any errors.

I wish to remind my opponent that the debate is not about wether compromises should be made at all; the debate centers around wether or not liberty is greater than security.

I would also like to clear up a little confusion. I do not believe that the slightest compromise will cause a government to degenerate into a totalitarian rule, I believe that many compromises are abused and used to limit the liberties they effect. Once again, that isn't what this debate is about, the debate is about wether liberty is greater than security.


1.) Pro states that the fact that regulations exist regarding firearms and speech proves his argument. If my opponent was arguing that reasonable laws not impeding or infringing upon the citizen's rights are acceptable then he would be correct in saying so, but he is arguing that security is greater than liberty.

2.) "I would be happy if that I was wire tapped and it caused New York to be saved from a bomb." I would like to point out that if in fact a wire tap on my opponent' address had saved New York from a bomb that would mean he had been in allegiance with the perpetrators of the crime and consequently he would most likely be quite unhappy that his nefarious scheme was thwarted. Furthermore, the NSA's surveillance of private citizens of the United States of America failed miserably at stopping the Boston Bombers.

In conclusion I would like to reiterate that liberties and security go hand in hand. Without even the most common freedoms the people are subject to the villainous tyranny of their own government. As usual I ask spectators to cast aside their own opinions and judge this debate fairly and without bias. This concludes the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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