The Instigator
ButterEater
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
revenant_a
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Taxation is Theft

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
revenant_a
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2018 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 808 times Debate No: 109656
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

ButterEater

Pro

Before beginning terms must be defined.

Theft - The immoral non-consensual taking of another's justly owned property, via force or fraud.

Justly owned property - Property acquired without force or fraud.

Taxation - compulsory taking of money and assets by a government usually to provide services to the citizens.

My arguments:

P1. Theft is the immoral non-consensual taking of another's justly owned property, via force or fraud.
P2. Taxation is the non-consensual taking of justly owned property via force
C . Therefor, taxation is theft

P1. Theft is immoral
P2. Taxation is theft
C . Therefor, taxation is immoral

If you dispute the concept of theft, and justly owned property, then we can debate over that as well. I'd prefer if you'd put your arguments into a syllogistic form as I've done for my arguments, if not I will do it for you.
revenant_a

Con

Pro defines theft as both
1) immoral
and
2) the non-consensual taking of another's "justly owned property"

He then says that because taxation is "the non-consensual taking of justly owned property", it must be theft.

See the problem? While the definition of theft includes the definition of taxation, it also involves an additional the qualifier of "immoral." This means Pro can't say taxation is theft just because it involves taking people's "justly owned property." He must show that it is an immoral taking of such properties. Until Pro can show that, his case is incoherent; after all, he can't equate "taxation" with "theft" when "theft", by his own admission, has a quality that "taxation" does not necessarily have, too.

Summarized:
1. Pro defines "theft" as x and y
2. Pro defines "taxation" as y
3. Pro then says that "taxation" is "theft" because both are y
C: Pro's case is wrong, because he hasn't shown "taxation" is also x. And if he can't do that, his conclusion is contrary to his premises.
Debate Round No. 1
ButterEater

Pro

The Immorality is a consequence of it being theft.

If something is theft, then it is immoral (A=Theft B=Immoral)

(if A then B)

Taxation is theft (A), therefor taxation is (B)
revenant_a

Con

Like Pro's earlier case, this is bullsh!t. The bullsh!t comes in Pro's attempt to act like because taxation is like theft in one way (that it involves taking someone's "justly-owned property"), it must be like theft in another way (it must be immoral).

After all, who wouldn't agree that theft is wrong? At the same time, most people don't really think of taxation as inherently evil. So, by their insisting on involving morality, as Pro has done, we can see what someone saying this (like Pro) is trying to do: to make people think of taxation, and by extension, the government, as inherently immoral.

Of course, this isn't obvious, so Pro has to try to convince us by using special definitions. Not only do his definitions not reflect what most people try to communicate by these words, they also have 0 serious legal precedents. Why then should we use Pro's definitions, when they only exist to make us think taxation = theft? Why should we beg Pro's case for him?

I can rephrase this challenge with Pro's special definitions: Prove that taking justly-owned property is immoral.

Notice how this doesn't "sound right," which is exactly the point of Pro's system: he wants to make disagreement "sound wrong," instead of giving us a direct reason to oppose or condemn taxation.

Pro's definitions in round 1 made more sense, because most people do think theft is wrong. But because they don't think taxation is evil, Pro must demonstrate that taxation is also evil. Pro has not done that, and he's only trying to make his ultimate point (that taxation is bad) by demanding special definitions no one has any reason to use. If Pro wants us to use his definitions, he should give an honest reason to think of taxation as badly as we generally think of theft.
Debate Round No. 2
ButterEater

Pro

"Like Pro's earlier case, this is bullsh!t. The bullsh!t comes in Pro's attempt to act like because taxation is like theft in one way (that it involves taking someone's "justly-owned property"), it must be like theft in another way (it must be immoral)." - That's not an argument. I laid out very clearly, that immorality is a consequent of theft.

"After all, who wouldn't agree that theft is wrong? At the same time, most people don't really think of taxation as inherently evil. So, by their insisting on involving morality, as Pro has done, we can see what someone saying this (like Pro) is trying to do: to make people think of taxation, and by extension, the government, as inherently immoral." - Not an argument either! Of course I'm trying to make people see the immorality behind the state.

"Of course, this isn't obvious, so Pro has to try to convince us by using special definitions. Not only do his definitions not reflect what most people try to communicate by these words, they also have 0 serious legal precedents. Why then should we use Pro's definitions, when they only exist to make us think taxation = theft? Why should we beg Pro's case for him?" - Of course they have no legal precedent, they are moral/colloquial terms, not legal terms. If your argument were to be put into a syllogism it would be:

P1. Theft is illegal
P2. Taxation is not illegal
C . Therefor, taxation is not theft

You've committed an equivocation fallacy, by conflating the moral/colloquial term for theft with a legal term. Also, what is wrong with the definitions I've provided? They're just the normal moral/colloquial definitions of the words/phrases?

"I can rephrase this challenge with Pro's special definitions: Prove that taking justly-owned property is immoral." - Be more specific within your language. What do you mean? Do you want me to explain the definitions?

"Pro's definitions in round 1 made more sense, because most people do think theft is wrong. But because they don't think taxation is evil, Pro must demonstrate that taxation is also evil. Pro has not done that, and he's only trying to make his ultimate point (that taxation is bad) by demanding special definitions no one has any reason to use. If Pro wants us to use his definitions, he should give an honest reason to think of taxation as badly as we generally think of theft." - I'm still using those definitions, like I said in round 2...If it is theft, it is immoral (If A then B). If I can prove (which I have) that taxation is theft, it then follows that taxation is immoral, because immorality is a consequence of theft

Again...

P1. If something is theft, then it is immoral (If A, then B)
P2. Taxation is theft
C . Therefor taxation is immoral.

Also, I see you complaining about the definitions, but you've yet to posit your own...Wonder why...
revenant_a

Con

Pro totally misunderstood my case, really, on every possible level. Let's examine how he's wrong:

1: Pro says that his special definitions are of "normal moral/colloquial terms." If this is true, most people would already think taxation is theft; after all, the provided definitions treat both as the exact same thing. But this isn't the case, so Pro's definitions cannot be colloquial. Pro can argue that these should be the colloquial definitions, of course; but given that he is using them as premises for his argument, he has to give us reasons to grant him that much.

So far, Pro has not done that.

2: Pro is wrong that I did not make a case using other definitions. I did agree to an earlier form of the definitions (seen in Round 1), because they fit colloquial understanding. There is an important difference between the two systems:
- in the first, theft is defined as both immoral and "[the] taking [of] justly-owned property"
- in the second, theft is understood as being immoral because it involves "taking justly-owned property." This makes its definition mostly the same as the one provided for "taxation."

The critical differences are that
- definition #1 implies that it is possible to take "justly-owned property" without being immoral
- definition #2 is just the same as his definition for taxation. I explained why this is misleading in Round 2.

So, Pro is wrong, I did, in fact, work with other definitions earlier in the debate. And when we use the first set of definitions, Pro's case totally falls apart, as I demonstrated in Round 1.

For Pro's case to not totally fall apart, he has to explain that taking "justly-owned property" is necessarily immoral. He failed to do this in Round 1, did not do so in Round 2 (where he re-defined taxation, but maintained the link with morality) either, and continued the tradition into this round too.

3: Even if we grant Pro's arbitrary, self-serving re-definition, his case is still hollow. Let's grant, to be very abstract and ignore the obvious social connotations of the word, that "theft" includes taxation. Given this, to reiterate, Pro still has not demonstrated that such taking is inherently immoral. Instead, all he has done is assume it is immoral, and try to stretch how many things he can cram into that assumption.

4: To make a new argument, there are positive reasons to think that theft and taxation are different things:
a) Theft and taxation incur different social costs. While taxation is, at worst, protested or begrudgingly tolerated, theft is punished wherever possible. The very act of calling something theft is usually insulting. So, it's very clear that taxation and theft are very different socially.
b) Theft is conducted by non-state actors (whether individual citizens, foreigners, or groups), taxation is conducted by the government. The idea of governments "stealing" isn't even popularly applied to cases of international interactions like conquest, for example.

Other comments:

- Correct, the first two comments Pro responded to are not arguments, because they were never meant to be arguments. Pro confused my description of his argument instead, which I wrote to point out what I found relevant about them

- Pro totally misunderstood the context where I brought up legal definitions. I did not say that because taxation is not defined as theft, legally, it therefore can't be theft, morally. But if he's talking about colloquial definitions of terms, he can't ignore the law. After all, theft and taxation are unique among social concepts given the government's relation to each (it generally punishes one, and conducts other). I did, however, say that his definitions have no precedent in the law, which is true, so we're only left to guess why he uses them at all.

Conclusion:
Pro has not provided any reason whatever to use his premises. They do not correspond to everyday understanding of these concepts, and by his admission were formulated specifically to further his own politics. Furthermore, he has not demonstrated why, even given his definitions, "immorality" follows from taxation/theft. In sum, Pro fails to meet his BOP, not giving us any reason to ditch the colloquial understanding of theft and taxation as different things. Additionally, I'd tell voters to punish Pro for trying to obscure the debate by re-defining key terms in his favor, halfway into the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
ButterEater

Pro

"1: Pro says that his special definitions are of "normal moral/colloquial terms." If this is true, most people would already think taxation is theft; after all, the provided definitions treat both as the exact same thing. But this isn't the case, so Pro's definitions cannot be colloquial. Pro can argue that these should be the colloquial definitions, of course; but given that he is using them as premises for his argument, he has to give us reasons to grant him that much." - Your argument in a syllogistic form would be

P1. If Pro's definitions are colloquial/moral terms then taxation would colloquially be referred to as theft
P2. Taxation is not typically colloquially viewed as theft
C . Therefor Pro's definitions are not colloquial terms

First, you've yet to provide your own (as doing so would show that these terms are colloquially used, as your definitions would lead to absurdity) Your argument also begins with an unproven premise, (premise 1) since you didn't support these premise the argument is not yet valid, and can be discarded.

"2: Pro is wrong that I did not make a case using other definitions. I did agree to an earlier form of the definitions (seen in Round 1), because they fit colloquial understanding. There is an important difference between the two systems:
- in the first, theft is defined as both immoral and "[the] taking [of] justly-owned property"
- in the second, theft is understood as being immoral because it involves "taking justly-owned property." This makes its definition mostly the same as the one provided for "taxation."" - Immorality is a consequent of theft, the definition never changed. Not an argument :D

"The critical differences are that
- definition #1 implies that it is possible to take "justly-owned property" without being immoral
- definition #2 is just the same as his definition for taxation. I explained why this is misleading in Round 2." - Strawman, the definitions never changed, and never implied that taking justly owned property could not be immoral, as immorality is a consequence of taking justly owned property.

"For Pro's case to not totally fall apart, he has to explain that taking "justly-owned property" is necessarily immoral. He failed to do this in Round 1, did not do so in Round 2 (where he re-defined taxation, but maintained the link with morality) either, and continued the tradition into this round too." - Oh, I see....I was confused, I apologize, here is my arguments for why taking of justly owned property is always immoral. Ima' start from the very beginning and clarify the stuff I didn't in round one.

P1. If taking justly owned property is not immoral it is moral or neutral
P2. If two people conflict over justly owned property, then the aggressor (theif) is being moral/neutral.
C . Therefor if premises are true, then defending justly owned property is immoral

P1. If defending justly owned property is immoral, then property cannot be justly owned
P2. Property can be justly owned. (You've already admitted this)
C . Therefor theft is immoral

P1. Theft is the non-consensual taking of justly owned property
P2. Taxation is the non-consensual taking of justly owned property
C . Taxation is theft

P1. Theft is immoral (A->B)
P2. Taxation is theft
C . Therefor taxation is immoral

"3: Even if we grant Pro's arbitrary, self-serving re-definition, his case is still hollow. Let's grant, to be very abstract and ignore the obvious social connotations of the word, that "theft" includes taxation. Given this, to reiterate, Pro still has not demonstrated that such taking is inherently immoral. Instead, all he has done is assume it is immoral, and try to stretch how many things he can cram into that assumption." - Just did. Also argumentum ad populum fallacy...

"4: To make a new argument, there are positive reasons to think that theft and taxation are different things:
a) Theft and taxation incur different social costs. While taxation is, at worst, protested or begrudgingly tolerated, theft is punished wherever possible. The very act of calling something theft is usually insulting. So, it's very clear that taxation and theft are very different socially.
b) Theft is conducted by non-state actors (whether individual citizens, foreigners, or groups), taxation is conducted by the government. The idea of governments "stealing" isn't even popularly applied to cases of international interactions like conquest, for example." - So for argument (A) your argument in a syllogistic form is

P1. Theft is socially repressed/punished
P2. Taxation is not socially repressed/punished
C . Therefor taxation is not theft

You've committed an equivocation fallacy. You've conflated the moral/colloquial term of theft with your own definition of theft. Your second argument (B) is...

P1. Theft is conducted by non state actors
P2. Taxation is conducted by the government
C . Therefor taxation is not theft

Well, you see...I kind of had a problem putting this argument together, because I didn't think you would commit a non-sequitur fallacy, but you did. I could add a 3rd premise in for you, excluding the state, but then I'd actually misrepresent your argument (and it'd be a special pleading fallacy)
revenant_a

Con

First, I'll respond to Pro's main case:

The first syllogism's first premise ("If taking justly owned property is not immoral it is moral or neutral") is false, because it confuses a necessary quality for a potential quality. Remember, my contention so far has been that taking justly-owned property is not inherently or necessarily immoral. So, it's not necessary for "taking justly owned property" to be either moral/morally neutral or immoral, as far as the alternatives to Pro's case are concerned. However, Pro's case rests on the assumption that it's always/necessarily wrong, which he hasn't supported.

This premise being false negates the second premise and the conclusion conclusion. It also negates the second syllogism (because defending just property won't be necessarily moral or immoral). However, I'll offer another quick comment on the latter: "Justly-owned property", as it has been defined so far, has no inherent relationship to morality. After all, many things that fit into Pro's definition (acquired without force or fraud) are obviously immoral, like slavery. In pre-Civil War America, wealthy plantation owners did not need force to buy slaves, let alone fraud. Obviously, that's not to say "justly-owned property" in general is immoral, but that it can be moral, immoral, or otherwise. So even if we grant the first, false premise, the second syllogism doesn't work.

With both premises shown false, the third syllogism has no legs to stand on. In sum, Pro has failed to meet his BOP.

Now, to defend my earlier arguments:

1. Pro is just plainly wrong when he says that I didn't support my "first premise." I did in Round 3: "[if Pro's definitions reflected colloquial understanding] most people would already think taxation is theft [because] the provided definitions treat both as the exact same thing." Pro did not explain why that justification is wrong, either, he just handwaved it. Since Pro still hasn't addressed my point, this means the weight of my initial argument still holds. Pro's definitions are not colloquial, and he has to justify using them as premises.

Pro also complains that I didn't use other definitions, which is both false and pointless. My job as Con is to explain why taxation is not theft, not to tell you how you should be thinking of taxation and theft, precisely, to any extent beyond that. I also provisionally agreed with earlier definitions, so Pro can't say I haven't proposed anything better.

2: (A) Pro's point here makes no sense. Where am I equating my "own definition of theft" (whatever that is) with the "moral/colloquial" definition? I've said before that the only definitions proposed, so far, are those that I consider to be those that meet moral/colloquial definitions. So I have no idea what he means.

Either way, my argument doesn't use precise definitions either way, so Pro's counter doesn't matter whether he's right or wrong. The point is that we shouldn't talk about very different things like they're the same, or like one is just a simple subset of the latter; if that means revising the definitions provided so far, all the better.

(B) Pro doesn't explain why this is a non-sequitur either. Remember: The point of my arguments isn't to "deduce" anything from Pro's definitions or the earlier definitions that I accepted for the earlier rounds. The point is to give us a concrete reason to separate both concepts. Pro hasn't given us a reason to dismiss the role of the government to taxation as opposed to theft, or the obvious social and political significance of this role, so Pro hasn't challenged the actual thrust of the argument.

Conclusion:
- Because Pro's criticism of my attack on his use of definitions failed to address my position, voters can extend the argument.
- Pro's main arguments rest on two false premises, so he has not met his own BOP.
- Pro's critique of my positive arguments for treating taxation and theft as distinct miss the point, and make false assumptions about whether certain definitions are relevant to my arguments at all. They can be extended too.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
ButterEater

Pro

You should've mentioned you were a moral relativist before beginning the debate.

If the terms moral/neutral and immoral are valid, then premise one is valid. However, by rejected premise one, and accepting the terms moral/neutral and immoral you've contradicted yourself.

If it is not always wrong/good, then nothing can be wrong or good, because it becomes entirely relative upon subjective value. Since I've established that taxation is theft, and that theft is immoral, I do not have the burden to prove that taxation is not exempt from this principle. Now you claim that slavery is not forced...At this point, I don't know if you should be taken seriously. What happens when a slave wants to leave??? Force! Also owning slaves violates self-ownership, and as a consequent the idea of property anyway, so you've contradicted yourself again.

Now to your defense of previous arguments. First your argument either commits an equivocation fallacy, or an argumentum ad populum fallacy.

Now to defense of argument (B) I didn't explain why it is a non-sequitur, because I didn't want to undermine your intelligence. "The point is to give us a concrete reason to separate both concepts." - Your argument was intended to deduce the difference between theft/taxation, but on the other hand you claim your argument wasn't meant to deduce anything, so again you've contradicted yourself.

You keep contradicting yourself. At one point you accept the concept of justly owned property, and then claim that slaves fall into the category of justly owned property even though slavery is antithetical to property rights. You also tried to shift the burden of proof by calling upon me to prove taxation is not exempt from theft. You also contradicted yourself by claiming that you accept the terms moral/immoral/neutral, but then show yourself to be a relativist.
revenant_a

Con

First, Pro's just handwaving my contention with his first premise. He doesn't explain why my response was wrong, in fact, he doesn't seem to be aware of its existence. Instead, he says it the conclusion follows from his premise (I exploded this nonsense in R4). Since Pro dropped the argument, everything he said concerning this point has sub-zero value. Extend.

On Pro's second point: I have no idea where he got the idea that our only options are moral absolutism or moral relativism. I can say, for example, that stealing bread to feed your sister's infant is morally acceptable, while stealing bread because you're too lazy to go to the shop is wrong. That would obviously be contrary to moral absolutism (because it means the morality of stealing is not absolute), but it doesn't make me a moral relativist either (because I'm still positing that such are right and wrong irrespective of what anyone thinks). So, Pro's core assumption is wrong.

(On a side note, I'm not a moral relativist, and I have no idea how Pro supposes I "showed" myself to be one. Not that it would matter if I were -- I can make anti-relativist arguments all the same.)

Pro states that he established taxation was theft, and that theft is immoral. He didn't, I explained why he didn't, and he's apparently not ready to come to terms with that. He might never. But that's okay. Extend!

"Now you claim that slavery is not forced...At this point, I don't know if you should be taken seriously."
At this point, I don't know if Pro's supposed ability to read should be entertained.

What I said was that property can be traded between parties without the transaction itself involving force or fraud. In the case of slavery, the prospective slaveowner does not have to force of defraud the slave trader to buy a slave. This does not mean that the slaveowner does not later use force to ensure his property; just as it does not mean that we don't ensure our voluntarily-exchanged property from theft by force either.

Next point: again, Pro handwaves everything I brought up in R4. Like his first and third points in his confused mess of a response, there's literally no explanation given. That included the defense of my positive arguments (which fulfilled my end of the BOP), and most of my responses to his main cases. So, voters should extend all of it.

Finally, Pro resorts to the time-dishonored tactic of making sh!t up and lying that I intended to "deduce" that taxation cannot be theft. That misses the entire point of my case. This is my ultimate point: When we use definitions as premises, particularly to justify defining those very definitions, the debate can not be about pure "deduction" anymore. Particularly, because our would-be premises are also the subject of the investigation. So, instead, the debate becomes about how we should use language. So, no, I'm not trying to "deduce" the definition of whatever; I'm telling you why you should not define two very different things as (largely) the same. Pro can't explain why my reasons were wrong, so that point can be extended.

Strangest of all, Pro acknowledges that I anticipated his mistake, but then tries argue that this is a "contradiction." I'm not sure how that works, but I know Pro isn't either. Either way, he missed the point, and the counter is 100% cr@p.

Conclusions:

Pro either dropped or misrepresented all my points. So, my positive case holds (thus fulfilling my end of the BOP), as do my criticism of Pro's own arguments. There's really nothing...like, at all...to salvage or address from Pro's performance thus far, so I rest my case.

Vote Con to put this sad, sad debate out of its misery.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
---RFD---
Pro's case is dependent on the resolution being a truism, and could not entertain the idea that it required proof beyond it being self evident. Okay, he did use some badly circular reasoning that he says it's theft, and therefore it's immoral, and because it's immoral it's also theft, etc., but once con called out the error in such reasoning it needed to be corrected to reattain BoP.

Not my usual, but to explain why this type of reasoning doesn't hold up once challenged:
-Cats are cats. Dogs are cats. Therefore dogs are cats.
-But dogs lack retractable claws, which is a part of the definition of cat.
-Fine... If something is a Cat, then it has retractable claws. Dogs are cats. Therefore dogs are cats.
The scientific method would first note that the initial proof is missing, and then again once challenged it would need to be retested rather than treated as dogma.

Had pro proven rather than asserted that taxation is non-consensual and involves use of force, he could have won. Instead it stood as an explanation of his way of thinking, rather than a fully formed argument. As is, the word theft could have been replaced by the word slavery, and his argument would be unchanged (with some work, a pretty good debate could be had on Taxation is Slavery).

The slavery arguments were an interesting part of this debate. Pro basically stabbed himself in the foot with them while trying to strawman con. It did end up showing that sometimes taxes are quite moral (taking away slaves by force, even while they often fit the definition of justly owned property). Pretending to not understand an argument, weakens the credibility if the average voter can understand it easily.

Con's weakest point was the legality argument, as he had already shown legal doesn't mean moral. But this was done in an attempt to get pro to bother meeting his BoP of showing Taxation fits the definition of Theft, which pro continued to refuse to do.
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
There we go, fixed it. Thanks man.
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
I didn't? OOOPS, I'm a little tired right now, Yes sorry, replace theft with immoral. I messed up there.
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
MagicAintReal
Instead of your 2nd syllogism:

P1. Theft is immoral
P2. Taxation is theft
C . Therefor, taxation is theft

Shouldn't you put:

P1. Theft is immoral
P2. Taxation is theft
C . Therefor, taxation is immoral

?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wizofoz 2 years ago
Wizofoz
ButterEaterrevenant_aTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never showed the immorality and, in any case this would not matter as he would also have had to show ILLEGALITY. He made emotional pitches not backed by fact or citation.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
ButterEaterrevenant_aTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
ButterEaterrevenant_aTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro defines 'theft' and 'taxation' similarly, with the former defined as immoral. He then concludes that latter must be the former. As Con explains, this is a non-sequitur, since taxation was never proven to be immoral. Pro doesn't figure this out till Round 4, at which point he alleges via a series of syllogisms that taxation must be immoral, and therefore theft, because of the already held premise that stealing justly-owned property is wrong. Con points out that 1) an action can't be assigned a moral quality by virtue of the assumption that it isn't a different one, and 2) there is no inherent relationship between morality and owning property, as demonstrated by the slave example. Pro responds by saying that the use of force in deterring slave escapes illustrates that owning property can be moral, but Con explains that force/fraud isn't needed in transacting slaves as property, and thus lacks a moral connection. Pro failed to prove taxation=theft, and thus I award arguments to Con.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.