The Instigator
gamingmaster42
Pro (for)
Losing
38 Points
The Contender
Justinisthecrazy
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Vigilantism is Justified when the Government has Failed to Enforce the Law.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 21,855 times Debate No: 7217
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (14)

 

gamingmaster42

Pro

[I would like to debate this LD format]
[I used this site to make part of this case]
[Please don't accept this debate unless you will actually debate it and not forfeit]
[This is my first debate on this site :)]

In this round I will be debating affirmative for the following resolution:
"Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law."
For clarification I offer the following definitions:
vigilantism- "The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.";
when-at any time;
government-the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states;
failed-been unsuccessful;
enforce-ensure observance of laws and rules;
the law-the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.

I also offer a few observations of the resolution:
a) The resolution uses the word when as opposed to if. This indicates that these failures to enforce the law by the government are already taking place.
b) My next observation concerns the definition of vigilantism. Classic vigilantes, according to the American University Law Review: 1. are members of an organized committee, 2. are established members of a community 3. proceed with definite goals, not with the intention of random violence and 4. act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system. From this definition, we must see that true vigilantes only act to enforce laws the government cannot or will not enforce. True vigilantes strive to uphold the current legal system by preventing, deterring, or providing justice for crime.
c) There is a definite difference between what is justified and what is just. Justified simply implies permissible, or allowable. Thus the burden for the affirmative is to prove vigilantism to be allowed when the government fails to uphold the law and the negative must prove vigilantism to be not allowed when the government fails to uphold the law.

Onto my value. The government ultimately is able to enforce the law by the courts. So if the government has failed to enforce the law, then the courts are therefore ineffective. The purpose of a court system, or any other method to enforce the law, is to achieve justice. Therefore, my value is justice (defined as: The equilibrium between the full freedoms of the individual and the restrictions necessary for the safety of society, according to Lucilius A. Emery, Maine Supreme Court Justice). When a government fails to enforce the law, there is no other means to attain justice except through the citizens of that society. Hence my value criterion is preserving autonomy. (autonomy defined as: the power or right of self-government). Preserving individual autonomy--including the ability to exercise discretion in going after villains--is a necessary route to justice when the government has failed to enforce the law. Autonomy precedes any sort of societal or law-and-order consideration, because it is the foundation of human rights and societal order. Furthermore, justice would not exist when autonomy is not preserved when the government has failed to enforce the law, because there would be no system to achieve justice. Thus, vigilantism, while preserving autonomy, will lead to ultimate justice in any society.

Onto my contentions.
1. My first contention is the government failing to uphold the law justifies the actions of the vigilante, because he is exercising his autonomic power in the society that he lives in to achieve justice.
Subpoint A: Under a governmental system the government is the highest power, because it has the ability to enforce laws and punish those who break them. However, in a case such as one advocated by the resolution, the government has failed to uphold the law. As the government is the basis of the law this essentially means that the government is illegitimate and without any de facto power. If the government, the highest power that asserts its power on the citizens according to its singular ideals of structure, has failed, the vigilante is justified in enforcing the law by exercising his autonomy over the society that he lives in. This struggle against his surroundings is justified as the government has essentially relinquished power over the people by failing to enforce the law.
Subpoint B: Gloria Steinem, founder of Choice USA, has stated, "Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it." This indicates that even if the actions of the vigilante break the law, his actions are justified nevertheless, because the ultimate goal of the vigilante is to achieve justice in the society. With a government that has failed to enforce the law, there is no means to attain justice, and the vigilante is filling in this gap.
Therefore it is seen that vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

2. My second contention is that there are many countries in which the current government has failed to enforce the law, and has led to an excess of crimes, and thus a lack of justice. In Brazil, for example, as few as one percent of all robberies are successfully investigated by the police (Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, American Academy of Arts and Sciences). Furthermore, Jose Gregori, the secretary of state for human rights stated: "[Brazil] is a chronically violent country. The police are not efficient, it does not fight crime, and it is violent. The justice system is very slow." From this we can conclude that the only hope of justice in Brazil comes from vigilantism, seeing as the government actually furthers crime, and brings the inhabitants away from attaining justice. Justice is, as I previously stated, the equilibrium between the freedoms of a citizen and the restrictions of a society. In Brazil and many other countries, these freedoms are too extreme. Again, it is the responsibility of the citizens to exercise their right of autonomy to maintain justice.

3. My third contention is that Socrates the famous Greek philosopher has stated, "Nothing is to be preferred before justice." This indicates that justice must come before the law. Thus, it can be said that law is a means of attaining justice. When the government has failed to enforce the law, then the law fails. But even when the law fails, justice must still be upheld nevertheless. Therefore a different means of attaining justice must be followed. Vigilantism ultimately leads to justice through the preservation of autonomy. This is seen in our own development of America. When the British were overtaxing the colonists, the colonists decided to revolt. This action stemmed from the colonists' sense of autonomy within them and their goal of justice. The revolt can be classified as a form of vigilantism because it fulfills all four of the requirements of vigilantes. Thus, it is seen that vigilantism ultimately leads to justice in any society, and so vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

Thank you, and I now stand ready for cross-examination.
Justinisthecrazy

Con

I would like to post my case
Donna Leons once said I find the idea of vigilante justice very attractive. I like the idea that the murderer decides that this person has gone too far, and nothing will happen to him unless she does something to stop him.
I strongly negate the resolution: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
I offer the definitions
Vigilantism occurs when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system.
The Government refers to the United States government and its checks and balances. Including the judiciary, Executive, and legislative branches.
For this debate my value will be justice. Justice is meant more for the society as a whole than for the individual victims because it is designed to prove repeatedly that people are safe within their society.

My value criterion will be Protecting Rights
Vigilantism offers no protections of due process rights, no checks on cruel or unusual punishment, no accountability to any exterior force. Suspects--or even known criminals--are still humans, deserving of fair trials and humane treatment.
The key point is this resolution is "when the government has failed to enforce the law". However, the government's motivation for failing to enforce the law is not addressed, nor at least in my honest opinion is it implied in the wording of the topic. There are many potential reasons why a government may fail to enforce the law

Contention 1) the law itself might be unjust or even criminal under international law.
Consider the historical examples of the Fugitive Slave Act. The earlier Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was a federal law, which was written to enforce a section of the United States Constitution that required the return of runaway slaves. It sought to force the authorities in free states to return fugitive slaves to their masters. The Jim Crow laws in the United States are another example. They called for segregation of public schools, public places and public transportation, as well as the segregation of restrooms and restaurants for blacks and whites. Now assume these laws were not being enforced. Would it be desirable for one or more private citizens to go out and enforce these unjust and inhumane laws? In short, "law" is not the same as "justice" Do not assume the two are the same or even remotely similar.

Contention 2) Vigilantism leads to anarchy
An imperfect democracy, yes, even an imperfect democracy, is still the best form of government that is known to humankind from America to Zimbabwe. The same is true of constitutions and constitutional imperfections; it is better to have rules, with some flaws, than not on have rules at all. Having and respecting rules, is what the rule of law and due process is all about. Good people sometimes, out of frustrations and accumulated disappointments and anger take the law into their own hands; they resort to what lawyers call self-help. Self-help is vigilantism; this enforcement leads to lawlessness and anarchy, because there is no set of rules. There are no dispassionate and objective arbiter or fact-finder; it is like a Basketball game without a referee. The teams may cheat or elbow each other, because there is no referee to enforce the rules. Therefore the aggrieved party becomes the judge, the committee or jury, and the executioner all in one. That is the equivalence of absolute power. We have a legal system for a reason. Who are they to decide what's wrong and right? Anything else is called anarchy, where only the strong survive. Think about it. What if I decided that your car was too noisy? So I decided to set it on fire. Would you be happy? Is that anyway to run a society.

Contention 3) Vigilantism is unjust
Vigilante justice is often a cruel form of justice and can often involve the person being beat to death by an angry mob; looking for blood because something happened to someone they don't know. When an air-traffic controller in Switzerland had no reliable radar, no phone and limited radio contact, two planes collided. One of the fathers of the victims shot the ATC although he actually had no control over events that happened. Vigilantism can go wrong. The law makes mistakes and even hangs the wrong man but after he has been found guilty by a Grand Jury. The fifth amendment protects this right and is violated when vigilante's take the decision to kill in the name of justice in there own hands. Because Vigilantism doesn't always have the benefits of proper investigation it is unjust.

Contention 4) Vigilantism interferes with constitutional rights

Among the legitimate purposes of government is the punishment of those who violate the rights of others through the commission of violent or forceful acts, such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, or trespass. The Sixth Amendment reads as follows: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his Defence. But in vigilantism the offended party becomes the judge and jury and acts as they see fit for the crime. The constitution right to an impartial trial exists no longer thus making vigilantism unjust.

Contention 5) Know your Rights
There is a reason we have law enforcement and a judicial system. If we allowed vigilante justice our society would be chaotic. What my opponent is describing is not vigilantism but defense of another. It is justifiable for a person to intervene and use violence if another person is being attacked. Defense of an individual occurs during an attack/rape/assault whereas vigilantism occurs after the fact. If you witness a rape or any other assault you are only allowed to use as much force that's required to stop the attacker and get the victim to safety and then call the police. It doesn't mean you have the right to go get a chainsaw and slice the attacker into 75 pieces. So, rather by executing there right to defend the person being attacked they are not doing a vigilant act and therefore are not a vigilante, making my opponents examples of these un-topical.

6)The government may simply be strapped for resources.

Take at good hard look at the U.S. today - both in terms of the fiscal crisis and the problems we are having with court clog and prison overpopulation. Washington may need three new prisons by 2030 if its jail population follows current trends. But with each prison costing $250 million to build and $45 million per year to run, are more jails the best option? Incarcerating more criminals does have a positive effect: WSIPP calculates that boosting the prison population by 10 per cent can cut crime by up to 4 per cent. However, it is expensive, and the returns diminish as more offenders are put inside. So WSIPP has put forward a portfolio of alternative policies designed to stabilize the state's prison population at current levels, including treatment for drug addicted prisoners and MTFC. This would leave Washington about $1.4 billion better off by 2030 compared with a business-as-usual approach, which would involve building new prisons. There, are other ways to deal with criminals than by putting them behind bars or being a vigilante and advocating the law as you see fit.
Conclusion
Justice is upheld through protecting rights and the executing of those rights. Everyone deserves equal treatment in this world and through the Constitution these rights are upheld correctly. When vigilantism exists the rights are gone. The
Debate Round No. 1
gamingmaster42

Pro

[Thank you for accepting this debate]

Rebuttal:

I disagree with my opponent's definition of vigilantism. His definition states that a person violates the law to ensure justice when they think that the criminal will not be be caught. However, it is not necessary for one to break the law to ensure justice: for example, if one steals food from a grocery store, and another stops him, then the second person is not breaking the law, but is still acting as a vigilante to ensure justice in the society.

I disagree with my opponent's definition of government. He states that the government refers to the United States. However, because the US is not stated in the actual resolution, government cannot mean only the United States government.

My value is the same as my opponent's, so I have no argument.

My opponent's value criterion is protecting rights. He cites that vigilantism offers no protection of various governmental rights. What he fails to note is that when the government has failed to enforce the law, the government is null and void, because the government does not do its job of protecting its citizens. If the government is null then so are the rights it "guarantees".

My opponent's first contention claims that the law itself might be unjust or even criminal under international law. He cites the Fugitive Slave Act and the Jim Crow laws. However, no international organization was existing when these laws were being implemented, so no international law existed.

My opponent's second contention claims that vigilantism leads to anarchy. He cites that an imperfect democracy is the best form of government. However, a democracy is run by the people. Vigilantes are also people, so won't they have input in the democracy? So, under my opponent's contention, if vigilantes are really criminals, then criminals would be running the democracy. So if this occurred wouldn't the best form of government would be republicanism, where leaders are elected by popular vote. Criminals make up for a small minority of the population so their votes would not really be existent.

My opponent's third contention claims that vigilantism is unjust. He admits that the law can go wrong, but only after being found guilty by a jury. However, remember that vigilantes would only act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system. So only if the government wasn't willing to convict a murderer in which there was clear evidence of the crime would vigilantes act.

My opponent's fourth contention claims that vigilantism interferes with constitutional rights. He cites the Sixth Amendment, stating that an impartial jury should be reviewing the case. Again, remember that vigilantes would only act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system. Only if this system did not work would vigilantes take place.

My opponent's fifth contention is an attack on my case, claiming that my examples are untopical. He states that we "are only allowed to use as much force that's required to stop the attacker". The question then becomes how much force is required. If one is intent on raping someone, for example, then I am sure that telling the rapist "Don't do that, that's against the law" won't do much. Rather, what one must do is not chainsaw the attacker, but ensure justice occurs in a meaningful way.

My opponent's sixth contention claims that the government may be strapped for resources. However, I don't exactly understand where my opponent is heading with this. Doesn't this support my side: the government is unable to enforce the law because of lack of money, and so it is upon the citizens to ensure justice in the society. If my opponent could elaborate on this contention that would be helpful.

My opponent's conclusion is cut off, so I don't have any comment.

I await my opponent's response. Thank you.
Justinisthecrazy

Con

My definition of vigilantism comes from the American University of Law System and therefore outweighs his definiton and we must use the definition Vigilantism occurs when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system.

By limiting the debate the United States government it is easier and put into a prespective we can more easily relate to. I offer my definiton of government again as a means to limit the debate. The Government refers to the United States government and its checks and balances. Including the judiciary, Executive, and legislative branches.

My first contention was attacked as there was no international. Law but by limiting the debate to the US government. The United States law is at hand. Through his VC of individual autonomy people would go out and enforce these unjust laws becuase they thought they were just.

My opponent attacks my 3rd contention claiming that if the government wasnt willing to convict a murderer and there was clear evidence of the crime that only then would vigilantes act. Well, excerising the death penalty is a big deal and if they are put to death it is because they were found without reasonable doubt to be guilty. Just because they were not put to death does not mean they were not guilty, it just means there was doubt to whether or not the accused was guilty.

To address our founding fathers
If revolution is ever justly undertaken as a means to redress grievances, then the revolutionaries are, from the outset, legitimate forces and not vigilantes. I think any definition which would make the majority of the American founding fathers vigilantes is simply too broad to allow for negative ground. Vigilantes avenge unpunished crimes, not unchecked criminal regimes.

My fifth contention is addressed. He addressed how much force is required. If someone is raping someone you have the duty to protect that person by subduing them from stopping the rape and holding them tell you call authorities. You can even issue a citizens arrest.

I would like to add that his contention two is untopical through my definition of government. Also, I would like to furthermore add that. Specifying a few instances of where vigilantism is acceptable is a huge ground skew, as well a predictability skew.The burden doesn't even function under you defending multiple instances, you could win off of extending anyone of them. That's also a reciprocity issue, there would be no turn ground on that AC, because even if in one scenario vigilatism is bad, if it's ok in another it's justified. Further, I don't even think that interp is true, the qualifier is "when the government fails to act" not just debate about vague instances of vigilantism

My oponnents VC
Autonomy is not a desirable trait : the right to set your own agenda to conduct your own affairs with a minimum of outside interference. I propose that the concept of autonomy is extended to cover the smallest group in society: the group of one, the individual.To be autonomous is to have the right to self-determination to order your affairs as you see fit. Of course, that doesn't give you the right to impose your order or beliefs on any one else, because they're autonomous also. So, this brings us to the point of who decides what is justice. What you consider justice and what I consider justice may be remarkably different. So if you act and set your own agenda based on your theory of justice than it may be a skewed form of justice in my view and therefore actually being unjust.

However, by supporting my VC we are portecting the rights of everyone and allowing the majority to choose what is just and unjust. As that is why we have a law system. His value of justice is the same as mine and upheld through the protection of rights.
Debate Round No. 2
gamingmaster42

Pro

My opponent's definition of vigilantism comes from the American University of Law System. My definition, on the other hand, (The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.) comes from the Black's Law Dictionary."Black's Law Dictionary is the definitive legal resource for lawyers, law students and laypeople alike. Edited by the world's foremost legal lexicographer, Bryan A. Garner, Black's Law Dictionary is known for its clear and precise legal definitions, substantive accuracy, and stylistic clarity — making it the most cited legal dictionary in print." (blacklawdictionary.com)

My opponent claims that by limiting the debate to the United States it is easier to relate to. But, in this debate we must prove that vigilantism is or is not justified when the government has failed to enforce the law as a general rule. We cannot conditionally make vigilantism unjustified only in the United States: the resolution asks us to decide if vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law overall. Therefore my definition of government (the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states) better addresses the resolution.

My opponent responds to my attack on his first contention by saying that by limiting the debate to the US the US law is at hand. There are two problems with this:
1) The debate should not be limited to the US (as explained above)
2) The resolution asks us if vigilantism is justified when the government fails to enforce the law. Essentially this means that no law is existing because a law not enforced is a law that is virtually nonexistent. So the US or international law becomes void.

My opponent responds to my attack on his third contention by claiming that the death penalty would occur only when there was no doubt that the offender was guilty. However wrongful convictions can and will occur in the "imperfect democracy" that my opponent wants, so people can be convicted wrongly.

He then addresses the founding fathers. I never claimed that the founding fathers were vigilantes; I said that the colonists were vigilantes. Furthermore he claims that "vigilantes avenge unpunished crimes, not unchecked criminal regimes." However the crime was committed BY the regime BECAUSE they did not enforce the law. So basically they avenge criminal regimes.

My opponent then responds to my attack on his fifth contention by saying that we have the duty from protecting that person by subduing them and holding them. However what happens if the rapist (or murderer, etc.) has a weapon? Holding them down won't do much good: they would simply use said weapon.

He then claims that my second contention is untopical through his definition of government. As discussed above my definition of government is better since it addresses the entire world as opposed to a single country. Thus you can drop his attack on my second contention.

My opponent then attacks my value criterion, citing that it eventually comes down to who decides to what is justice. But, isn't that what happens present-day in the courts: the judge ultimately decides if the offender is guilty? And who votes these judges in? The people. So, essentially, the people shave the right to decide what is justice in either case, which is exactly what vigilantism is.

He then supports his VC by claiming that we are protecting the rights of everyone. Really? Is that even happening now? Previously, my opponent claimed that these rights included cruel and unusual punishment. Isn't that happening now, in many cases throughout the world (Guantanamo, etc.)? Therefore you should accept my VC over my opponent's.

Onto voting issues:

My opponent does not attack my first or third contentions, so these can be extended throughout the round.

My opponent does not respond my attacks on his second, fourth, or sixth contentions. These are therefore considered agreed upon, and his contentions are dropped.

My VC better achieves justice than my opponent's because many people's rights are not even being protected now. What is the guarantee that they will be in the future?

In conclusion I urge you to vote affirmative for this round. Thank you to my opponent for an excellent debate.
Justinisthecrazy

Con

My oponnents VC
Autonomy is not a desirable trait : the right to set your own agenda to conduct your own affairs with a minimum of outside interference. I propose that the concept of autonomy is extended to cover the smallest group in society: the group of one, the individual.To be autonomous is to have the right to self-determination to order your affairs as you see fit. Of course, that doesn't give you the right to impose your order or beliefs on any one else, because they're autonomous also. So, this brings us to the point of who decides what is justice. What you consider justice and what I consider justice may be remarkably different. So if you act and set your own agenda based on your theory of justice than it may be a skewed form of justice in my view and therefore actually being unjust. I would once again like to state that is why we have a system of checks and balances to make sure that what is just is actually just.

His value and my value of justice are better upheld through the protection of rights. TO respond that is happening now and we are talking about the United States. Once again i offer my definition of government to limit the debate and allow for some negative ground. The Government- refers to the United States government and its checks and balances. Including the judiciary, executive and legislative branch. We must look to my definition of government because he has dropped his definition and because it is more topical because it allows for the negative to actually build a case.

I offer my definition of Vigilantism again My definition of vigilantism comes from the American University of Law System and therefore outweighs his definiton and we must use the definition Vigilantism occurs when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system.

I would like to state that the resolution says nothing about the future and only implies that the government has failed to enforce the law.

The law does not become void if it is not being enforced because that would be anarchy. Autonomy leads to anarchy because Autonomy is the right to set your own agenda to conduct your own affairs with a minimum of outside interference. I propose that the concept of autonomy is extended to cover the smallest group in society: the group of one, the individual.To be autonomous is to have the right to self-determination to order your affairs as you see fit.
Thus leading to anarchy. Anarchy bad because it is not constricted by a set of rules, doctrines, or laws allowing people to run wild and create there own agendas like my opponent so desperately wants with justifying vigilantism.

People can be wrongly convicted but it is highly unlikely as the death penalty. There is absolutely no proof for this statement. Before any person is executed in this country, twelve members of a carefully selected jury have to decide -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that a defendant is guilty. The possibility of an innocent person being executed is extremely small, and continues to decrease with the improvement of forensic science. It is true that death row prisoners have been released, but it is not always true that they were innocent.

Consider the following fact: A judgment of acquittal is final. Even if overwhelming evidence is later uncovered, the prosecution can never appeal. A retrial would constitute "double jeopardy" which is not permitted under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Likewise, if a conviction is reversed on appeal because the evidence of guilt was legally insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant cannot be retried. Furthermore, if a court decides that the evidence brought against the defendant was legally insufficient, it is not saying that the defendant was actually innocent. By making this decision, the court is merely saying that the prosecution did not prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, with vigilantism the offended party because the judge, jury, and executioner all in one thus killing the innoncent.

My opponent attacks my fifth contention by bringing a weapon into view. Well, using force means you have to ability to fight to protect them, so by exercising your right to protect you can fight back even if they have a weapon and subdue them, issue a citizens arrest, and call the police.

I would like to furthermore add that. Specifying a few instances of where vigilantism is acceptable is a huge ground skew. The burden doesn't even function under you defending multiple instances, you could win off of extending anyone of them. That's also a reciprocity issue, there would be no turn ground on that AC, because even if in one scenario vigilatism is bad, if it's ok in another it's justified. Further, I don't even think that interp is true, the qualifier is "when the government fails to act" not just debate about vague instances of vigilantism.

He fails to show how vigilantism does not lead to anarchy sufficiently enough and through his VC we can see that it does. Through my VC more people are protected and kept safe therefore my VC of Protecting Rights is better in bringing out justice. Thank You I urge you to vote neg.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HippiePolo 3 years ago
HippiePolo
Oh, hey. I know it's like a year since this has been posted, but I just wanted to let ya know that this helped me a ton with my debate homework. Thank yous!!!
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 5 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
I switched my neg case and use the rule of law hopefully its better
Posted by Lamer 5 years ago
Lamer
you could try something like this: When government fails to protect rights or itself threatens them, the people have a right and duty to alter or abolish it." – Declaration of Independence

It doesn't link to autonomy specifically, but the basis for the people's ability to overthrow the government is autonomy. or something to that end, there are quotes out there I'm sure. Try reading up on philosophical theories on autonomy.
Posted by gamingmaster42 5 years ago
gamingmaster42
okay thanks then lamer. but the only problem i have is that i can't find an autonomy quote that links it to justice.
Posted by Lamer 5 years ago
Lamer
On Neg:
1) I don't really understand the Donna quote at the beginning. you probably want a stronger intro, unless there's something I'm missing.
2) Your definition of government is really obviously outside of the resolution and abusive. If the resolution wanted to narrow "government" to the U.S government they could have easily done so, and the fact that they didn't clearly implies that they were intending a borderless philosophical debate. I strongly recommend changing this definition.
3) Your fugitive slave act is contradictory. Your definition implies that vigilantes are outside the law, but then this contention states that vigilantes are bad because they are so strictly inside the law that they will enforce the wrong laws. This is really helping the aff because you're saying vigilantes are within the law, which you don't want them to be.
3) A Lot of your contentions, especially the fourth one, ignore the "government has failed to uphold the law" part of the resolution, which is paramount, as you even admitted later in the debate. Some examples of this are "We have a legal system for a reason." "Among the legitimate purposes of government is the punishment of those who violate the rights of others through the commission of violent or forceful acts..." "The constitution right to an impartial trial exists no longer thus making vigilantism unjust." "There is a reason we have law enforcement and a judicial system."
you clearly state repeatedly that the government is preferable to vigilantism, which it obviously is except in the case of the resolution where it has failed. Your alternative to vigilantism has been taken out by the resolution and you offer no other alternative. I recommend clarifying your definition to prove that vigilantes are outside of the law and offering citizen's arrests and other lawful citizen acts as an alternative.
4) Contention six makes no sense to me.
Posted by Lamer 5 years ago
Lamer
Critiques for you because I am borrreeeed:

On Aff:
1) your definition "The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals." is pretty lame, because it implies that it is permissible for vigilantes to be lawless, which you do not want on the aff side period. you should can it and substitute it with "Classic vigilantes, according to the American University Law Review: 1. are members of an organized committee, 2. are established members of a community 3. proceed with definite goals, not with the intention of random violence and 4. act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system" There's going to be a lot of clash on that definition with this topic, so be prepared and don't offer contradicting ones.

2) You need to offer a more clear definition of autonomy, and you need to make sure to link autonomy strongly to "The equilibrium between the full freedoms of the individual and the restrictions necessary for the safety of society," with a good quote from somewhere, because the neg will always say that autonomy means people doing what is best for themselves while completely ignoring the rights of others. I don't really advise autonomy because the neg is kindof right about it, but aff C's are really difficult to come up with so you could probably run with it. you might also want to look into social contract a bit.

3)Please god site the Decorabilia quote, or reword it. I cringed when I saw that. Not cool.
"preserving individual autonomy--including the ability to exercise discretion in going after villains--is a necessary route to justice when...preserved when the government has failed to enforce the law, because there would be no system to achieve justice"
Posted by gamingmaster42 5 years ago
gamingmaster42
@ justin yah i think that when the government hasnt enforced a minor law then it doesnt really matter but if they didnt enforce a serious law then vigilantism is okay

@ flare umm yah. i got that statistic from one of the debates on this site. i looked for it but couldnt find it either, so i just took the citation that they took. im seraching for a new statistic like that, but if u find one u can put it up here.

o and by the way people i dont want no one copying my ENTIRE case down...or justin's for that matter...you can take part of it tho. or i will find u and beat ur little sorry a$$ down.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 5 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
i personal believe there is a time for vigilantism and time not for it and it also depends what law is being broken which would have been a great aspect to bring up natural law, god's law, universal law, government law, could be interesting twist
Posted by flare1234567 5 years ago
flare1234567
great job. but i wonder where you, gamingmaster42, got that statistic saying that one 1% of robberies were investigated in Brazil. i looked for it.
Posted by gamingmaster42 5 years ago
gamingmaster42
true that. i like the topic. what do you personally believe though.
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