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January/February LD Debate resolved

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,290 times Debate No: 20534
Debate Rounds (5)
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This Debate will be on the LD January/February resolved" It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence

I will go Negative since I need practice

This Debate will be in LD format.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Aff Case, Neg Case/Rebuttal
Round 3: Aff Rebuttal, Neg Rebuttal
Round 4: Aff Rebuttal, Neg Rebuttal
Round 5: Closing statements

I look forward to my opponent (Whoever accepts) and I having a great Debate ^.^


I accept, and look forward to an interesting debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


I just realized since Neg goes first there's nothing for me to rebut.. So Aff will present a case and rebuttal to my case in the second round. Also I apologize for the case being rather short since this is the case I use at actual debate tournaments... I would also like to thank EthanHu for accepting this debate and I look forward to a great round ^.^ Here I go.

Since we need institutions of Justice in order to make sure Justice is served negate the resolution: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated Domestic Violence.

It is necessary to understand how we will weigh the arguments in this round the resolution asks is it morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence. So the resolved presents the issue of Repeated Domestic Violence and offers Deadly Force as a Deliberate Response as a justified answer, but if we were to justify the resolved then we would be justifying vigilantism because we are saying it is ok to take the law into your own hands. The resolved is justifying Deadly Force as a Deliberate Response because it delivers Justice but at the point where we justify Vigilantism we are undermining institutions of Justice and Justice is lost because without these institutions Justice can't be delivered.

Therefore my Value for this round is justice; Justice is defined as giving each their fair due. The reason I value Justice is because the resolved seeks it. The resolved presents the issue of Domestic Violence and justifies Deadly Force as a Deliberate Response to end this issue. My opponent must defend the statement that the use of Deadly Force as a Deliberate Response gains more justice than loses. I on the other hand must defend the statement that it loses more justice than gains.

My Value Criterion is to uphold Institutions that provide Justice. Upholding Institutions of Justice will gain Justice because without them there would either be no reinforcement of punishment when a crime is perpetrated or unfair/disproportional responses from a possibly biased party. These institutions include the police force, and the due process system. So whoever can better uphold these Institutions of Justice should win the round.

Contention I: The Aff creates a world of anarchy where people are able to take others natural rights without any consequences.

Joshua Dressler, a law professor at Moritz College of Law, writes in his Book Battered Women and Sleeping Abusers: Some Reflections.

My concern, however, is not with the case of the woman who uses deadly force against her abuser during an attack or because of an immediately impending one; rather, my focus is on the morally perplexing situation of the battered woman who kills her tormenter when he is not attacking, or about to attack, her. I am interested, in other words, in ‘nonconfrontational homicides,' such as when the abuse victim kills her abuser while he sleeps, or as he is watching the Super Bowl game, or eating dinner. The traditional rule, which still prevails in most jurisdictions, is that self-protective force can only be used to repel an ongoing unlawful attack or an imminent unlawful assault; and ‘imminent' or ‘immediate' has come to mean that the attack will occur momentarily, that it is just about underway. By definition, of course, no assault is taking place or imminent in nonconfrontational cases. Stemming from the common law, a core feature of self defense law is that the life of every person, even that of an aggressor, should not be terminated if there is a less extreme way to resolve the problem.

Joshua Dressler 2

I fear that the result of expanding self-defense law to the extent required to justify the killing of a sleeping abuser would be the coarsening of our moral values about human life and, perhaps, even the condonation of homicidal vengeance. . . . I believe that we should be very, very slow to suggest that the killing of a sleeping abuser is a ‘proper' or even ‘tolerable' moral or legal outcome.

The danger of allowing nonconfrontational homicides to be considered morally permissible is a slippery slope. If a woman hits a man twice, according to the resolution, he can then kill her at any point in her life. Her life has become forfeit. A whole slew of dangerous self-defense claims then become possible. When we affirm the resolved we are justifying the use of vigilantism. The reason being is that as long as someone claims they are being abused they can then justifiably kill their supposed abuser. This undermines institutions of justice because then all people have to do to kill someone is claim they were domestically abused even if they weren't. This would result in many more innocent lives being killed and it would all be considered justified. Institutions of Justice wouldn't be able to deliver justice anymore because the killing of that innocent person is considered justified and delivering justice. At this point institutions wouldn't be able to function the way they are supposed to and they would eventually break down. When that happens no ones live will be protected. This is why we must negate to ensure justice is served which is why I urge a negative ballad.


I affirm the resolution that states: Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence. For clarity in the purpose of this debate, I will provide the following definitions:
Moral Permissibility: Permitted´┐Ż[means] "refers to" behavior that is within the bounds of the moral system. It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms (Ethics in the First Person, Deni Elliott)
Deadly Force as an amount of force capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to another person (Thomas Gale Legal Dictionary).
Domestic violence: The inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior. [6] (Merriam Webster)

Deliberate: Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional (The Free Dictionary)
My endorsed value is morality, or the principles concerning right and wrong, as according to The Oxford Dictionary. I advocate the contractarian view of morality that concerns the mutual agreement established to achieve ethical grounds. The criterion that provides full consideration for the context of the resolution would be Contractualism, and thus I uphold permissibility under the social contract.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Contractualism, which stems from the Kantian line of social contract thought, holds that rationality requires that we respect persons, which in turn requires that moral principles be such that they can be justified to each person. The social contract has two fundamental elements: a characterization of the initial situation, called variously the "state of nature" by the modern political philosophers, the original position" by Rawls, or the initial bargaining position" by Gauthier, and a characterization of the parties to the contract, particularly in terms of their rationality and motivation to come to agreement. The initial situation posits what in bargaining theory is called the "no agreement position," the situation to which the individuals return in case of failure to make an agreement or contract or by violation. (1988, 148)

Observation 1: The explicit wording of the resolution as confined to "moral permissibility" makes it a burden for me only to uphold and endorse the enactment of deadly force that does not cause unjustified harm, and for the lowest bar of morality in which impermissibility is complete intolerance. As such, the affirmative has no need to provide consideration for ALL circumstances, but only those in which the intrinsic safety of the victim is being violated.

Contention 1: The doctrine of self defense is morally permissible under the social contract.

Subpoint A: Self defense upholds inalienable rights that give definition to morality. The mutual agreement that forms the backbone of the social contract mandates the protection of inalienable rights, such as life and intrinsic safety. Our present social community revolves around such an assumption, that the social contract is present and preserves every individual's inalienable rights. As Kimberly Kessler from the Institute of Law and Philosophy explains it concisely, "Self-defense is a relationship that exists within the state of nature that is preserved through the social contract. In forming the social contract, man could not alienate the right to self-defense and retain the right to use deadly force against anyone." It is exactly such a contract that gives a definitive benchmark for the permissibility of morality, as it shows the impermissibility of infringing upon another individual's intrinsic rights.

Subpoint B: The abuser forfeits his/her intrinsic rights when repeatedly abusing the victim. The social contract makes it a central value that all individuals refrain from infringement upon others' inherent rights, under penalty of forfeiture of theirs. As Kasachkoff writes, "Everything else being equal, persons have the right not to be killed. However, rights, even the right not to be killed may sometimes be forfeited. [Anyone] who attacks or threatens another without a valid moral reason forfeits his or her right not to be killed." Proportionality is derived from the assumption that the social contract is still intact; certain responsibilities and obligations come with the preservation of such rights, and without them, the social contract deteriorates. Robert F. Schopp states, Professor of the University of Nebraska College of Law, 1998, In a liberal society, any culpable criminal conduct infringes on the victim's concrete interests and violates her sphere of sovereignty. The aggressor [is] violating the victim's protected domain...The victim may exercise any force necessary, therefore, to protect her sphere of self-determination against an aggressor whose culpable conduct extends beyond his own protected domain. Indeed, according to the National Clearinghouse in Defense of Battered Women studies show that the vast majority of women who use deadly force do so as a last resort in defense of their lives or the lives of their children. At such a point where self-defense is exacted as a last resort, the obvious moral permissibility of such actions becomes objective and unquestionable. My criterion of permissibility under the social contract is upheld in the full consideration for exactly such a contract, and hereby the resolution as well.

Contention 2: The failure of legal parameters or alternatives to preserve the social contract gives permissibility to individual response.
Subpoint A: Lack of plausible alternatives provides moral permissibility for deadly force. Moral permissibility in the context of the resolution is determined by the right and tolerable course of action in the imminence of the occurrence. In such a vein, the exact lack of plausible alternatives gives leeway for the obvious permissibility of deadly force on ethical grounds. As Elisabeth Ayyildiz explains, "Deadly force on the part of the battered woman [is] justified in several ways. The battered woman may not be able to confront the batterer without a deadly weapon because of disparities in size, strength and emotional control." Even if the option of leaving were plausible, a study National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found that women who leave their batterers are at a 75 percent higher risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay, which provides the fundamental barrier to a plausible alternative. To such a point, the lack of a plausible alternative gives full permissibility on ethical grounds to deadly force.

Subpoint B: Lack of legal policies to promote the social contract and preserve rights morally justifies individual response. Now, on a global context, especially in third-world countries, where the sovereign neglects to acknowledge the inherent value of the social contract, such individuals are abused without repercussion, for which abuse is not only tolerated, but also expected. In such cases, individual reciprocity in the form of deadly force, known as "vigilantism" is absolutely permissible on moral grounds. As Joshua Dressler writes, "Under the social contract theory if the state fails in its obligation to protect citizens the people are entitled to provide for their own protection." Indeed, the exact failure of a legal system's preservation of such inalienable rights endorses full moral permissibility for deadly force.
Ayyildiz, Elisabeth. 1995. "When Battered Women's Syndrome Does Not Go Far Enough: The Battered Woman as Vigilante." American University Journal of Gender & the Law. 4:141.] Vigilantism as a permissible mode of self-help for battered women may be justified under social contract theory in two ways. First, the breakdown of the social contract occurs when the state fails in its obligation to protect the individual. This breakdown justifies the individual's resort to self-help.

Thus I strongly urge an affirmative ballot.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his speech. I will now start my rebuttal of his case.


On to his Frame Work. His value is *Morality* I have no problem with this since *Justice* and *Morality* pretty much go hand in hand. His Value Criterion is Upholding the Social Contract. The social contract and morality both rest on proportionality. When someone breaks the social contract their rights are forfeited to maintain equality, but only the rights they violate are taken away. An abuser does not sacrifice his right to life because it would be disproportional, not moral and is not upholding the social contract. The Aff also creates a world where it is difficult to uphold the Social Contract. My Value Criterion of Upholding Institutions of Justice is vital to achieving his value criterion of the social contract since it is these institutions that judge if there truly has been a breach in the social contract and provide Especially since they are un-biased. We must look to my Value Criterion before my opponents.

===Contention 1===

Sub Point A- His Sub Point A basically supports his claim. It talks about how the Self-Defense doctrine is morally permissible under the Social Contract. I agree that the social contract is a means of morally justifying actions. This argument can actually be a turn though. He provides no impact so I will impact Sub Point A myself. Sub Point A proves how Self-Defense is something that is morally permissible. Self-Defense is the allowance to justifiably kill someone who threatens your life. The resolved says it is justified for the victim to attack his/her abuser with deadly force. What happens when the abuser retaliates against the abused and kills them rather than vice-versa ? This then becomes extremely morally perplexing. Is the abuser to blame for his actions ? Under this sub point he is not to blame. Rather he is justified. This is precisely why we must seek out alternatives. We must get help from institutions that provide justice in order to ensure justice is served and the *Moral* thing is done. Also the resolved is *Not* a situation of Self-Defense. The definition of *Deliberate* is Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional. In order to be in full consciousness of the nature and effects there needs to have been time to *Think* Which means we can't appeal the heat of passion Self-Defense since there *Needs* to be time to deliberate.

Sub Point B- He also fails to impact this argument. He talks about how when someone violates another persons rights they *Forfeit* their own rights. He then goes on to card Kaschkoff. Kaschkoff says that when one threatens another's life then their right to life has been *Forfeited* However this is very bad. This results in a *Disproportional* taking of rights. I do admit when one violates another's rights then their rights are *Forfeited* but only the rights they *Violated* are *Forfeited* Otherwise there would be quite a low bar for retaliatory murder. If someone were sitting on me preventing me to move I can then push them off to regain *Liberty* but I can't kill them. This is extremely *Disproportional* Then he talks about *Necessity* using Robert F. Schopp. Its true one may be able to perform anything *Necessary* to defend themselves when being abused. This doesn't mean to use deadly force. If someone is beating me with a stick I simply need to disarm them from attacking me any further. There is no threat of death needed to do so. Even if you don't buy that the situation of the resolved Deadly Force isn't *Necessary* due to the *Deliberation Process* In that time one could seek help from the police or leave the abusive relationship. Therefore *Self-Defense* is not applicable to the situation in the resolved. Against the statement of women using deadly force as a last resort I have 2 responses. 1) He doesn't provide an actual statistic or empiric of how this is true. For all we know there might be 1% of women truly doing the act out of *Self-Defense* when the abuser was attacking. While the other 99% had done so without seeking alternatives. My opponent cannot gain the permissibility using the self-defense plea, or the principle of *Necessity*

===Contention 2===

Sub Point A- My opponent states that a lack of alternatives results in affirmation. While this may be true there are still alternatives present. He then cards Elisabeth Ayyildiz. She basically says the * Disproportionality* used by a woman is justified. This statement assumes that 1) The abuse victim is a woman and 2) The abuse victim can only fight back with a weapon. An abuse victim could be a body builder. There is no limit of who an abuse victim is. We can't assume that only women are abuse victims. Also turn the Elisabeth card. This is precisely why we go to Institutions of Justice because the abuse victim cannot fight back with brute force. If they attack with *Disproportional* action it is still immoral. Since *Proportional* violence may not work they should then get help from alternatives. The exact reason she uses to *Justify* Deadly Force is a reason to *Condemn* it. He then gives a statistic on the likelihood of being killed when you leave a relationship. Turn this argument. This is precisely why you must seek help from institutions of justice to ensure safety.

As Brian Stipak, a Professor Emeritus of Public Administration, says in his article "Domestic Violence Reduction Unit"

In 1993 the Portland Police Bureau created a special unit, the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU), designed to reduce the level of domestic violence. A product of the philosophy of community policing, the DVRU represented a new way of doing police work, one that more accurately reflected the cultural values of the community in the enforcement of the law. The formation of the Unit symbolized the growing view that domestic violence resulted in public crimes and required special attention.

A neighbor calls the police because the people next door are having a loud argument and she is concerned for the woman's safety. The officers arrive and enter the house after knocking. There are broken dishes and the couple is struggling with each other. Separating the couple, the woman is taken into the kitchen and the man is taken outside. The woman shows the officer scratches on her arm and the marks around her neck which she says resulted from when he tried to choke her. The officer explains the man must be arrested because there is probable cause that a domestic violence crime has occurred. The officer asks the women if she wants to leave for a safer place. The women says she is fine as long as he goes to jail. She is assured by the officer that the man will go to jail and will not be released until the court hearing the next day. The officer explains the process by which she can get a family abuse restraining order and encourages the woman to follow through with prosecution. She says she is not sure she will go that far. The officer talks about the "cycle of violence" and refers her to the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU). The officers confer, read the man his rights and he is taken to jail. The next morning, an officer from the DVRU calls the woman and offers information about filing a restraining order and support in developing a safety plan. The officer explains that she must take some type of action to stop the violence.

This shows how there ARE alternatives and they've begun to recognize Domestic Violence as an issue more and more. There are now DVRU's all around the country and the world. More will come over time.

Sub Point B- In other third world countries there is still the alternative to *leaving* the relationship. Also seek help from *Friends* or *Family* The more people present the less likely for someone to abuse. The social contract theory is correct but the threat isn't imminent therefore they can seek help from these alternatives.

Thus I urge a negative ballad.


EthanHuOnDebateOrg forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


It seems my opponent has failed to respond back in time for round 3. In order to maintain fairness in the round I will not respond to any arguments any further. I hope my opponent will respond for round 4 in time.

I await my opponents responses for round 4.


EthanHuOnDebateOrg forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Sigh it seems my opponent has forfeited once again. I don't want to extend any offense seeing as it would be extremely unfair since he hasn't had a chance to argue against it at all. Since it is also the last round I can't formulate any new extensions even if he does respond in time.

I urge my opponent to also not extend any offense/don't refute his case and allow the voters to decide based on the rebuttal and original cases who should have won.

This will maintain all Fairness in the round.

I would like to thank my opponent for a good round.

Vote Pro ! :D


EthanHuOnDebateOrg forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit