The Instigator
ButterEater
Pro (for)
The Contender
JTWEST
Con (against)

Taxation is Theft

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2018 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 455 times Debate No: 108231
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

ButterEater

Pro

Before we start, terms must be defined, so here they are.

Theft - The immoral non-consensual taking of another's justly owned property.

Justly owned property - Property acquired without the initiation of force, or fraud.

Taxation - Compulsory payment from the citizens to their government, to be spent by the government.

My argument(s) are as follows

P1. Theft is the non-consensual taking of justly owned property.
P2. Taxation is enacted by force, and is non-consensual.
C . Therefore taxation is theft.

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

Con

Taxation in America, under its current form, is not theft. It is an altogether necessary if unsavory part of living in a society.

Society is defined as "a voluntary association of individuals for common ends; especially : an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession". Working together takes on many forms but, in general, means supporting each other and, indirectly, the society as a whole. The larger the society is, and the more advanced it is, the more it takes to keep it working smoothly.

Take for example, infrastructure: a conglomerate of public works, created by and maintained by a city, county, or state, which provides services to the public. While these services, which include garbage disposal, plumbing, and electricity are not free, the operation of these systems alone costs much more than we pay per month for these services. This is where taxation becomes necessary. The additional income created by tax revenue allows these systems to be maintained and continue operating at the most efficient level possible. Granted, electricity is usually provided by private companies, but these companies get government funding.

So, we have a system which everybody but the most dedicated off-grid citizens uses, which requires tax dollars to operate effectively, and which would cause large disruptions to our daily lives if they were to be lost.

So, unless you are 100% off the grid, and obtain no services from the government and do not use roads and infrastructure, which I imagine is a very small percentage of the population, than the government has every right to tax you for the services it provides.
Debate Round No. 1
ButterEater

Pro

Thanks for accepting. I'm going to put your argument(s) into their syllogistic forms. Not to be bothersome, but next round could you put your arguments in a syllogistic form? I don't want to accidentally strawman your argument(s)

P1. It is not theft if used to pay for public services (keep the society running)
P2. Taxation is used to pay for public services
C . Therefor taxation is not theft.

Within the argument above you've committed an equivocation fallacy. You've redefined the definition of theft, and equivocated it with the colloquial/moral definition I stated in Round 1. If premise one of your argument is removed (it is not explicitly stated within your text) then the argument becomes a non-sequitur.

Your second argument in it's syllogistic form is...

P1. If services are used it is consensual
P2. Citizens use taxation funded services
C . Therefor taxation is consensual (and of course not theft)

This argument begins with a false premise. Take this argument, it is the same as your's just with the subject changed.

P1. If services are used it is consensual
P2. Slaves use their master's resources
C . Therefor slavery is consensual

You see, the argument itself stays exactly the same, but I'm sure you'd object to it. Here is another version of the same argument, just with subjects replaced.

P1. If services are used it is consensual
P2. Shop owners use the mafia's services
C . Therefor the relationship between the mafia and shop owners are consensual.

Thanks again for accepting, but please put your arguments in their syllogistic form. I really don't want to accidentally strawman you. Thanks.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
The first premises of your first two arguments are false, effectively making your argument a non sequitur.
Posted by Beansandrice 2 years ago
Beansandrice
My arguments are as follows:

P1. Justly owned property must be defined by laws (in order to be just).
P2. Taxation is a law which defines property ownership.
C. Justly owned property must be defined by the laws of taxation.

P1. Justly owned property must be defined by the laws of taxation.
P2. Taxation is levied prior to just ownership of property.
C. Justly owned property does not include taxation.

P1. Theft is the non-consensual taking of justly owned property.
P2. Justly owned property does not include taxation.
C . Therefore taxation is not theft.
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
"It's easy to argue against taxation being theft because nobody is really forced to pay it. You don't have to stay or work in this country. You can simply leave and go enjoy many of the great alternative countries out there... LOL! Good luck with that." - I refuted this claim in round 2.

"Taxation is required for a society to work. You can't have an honor system because most of society has no honor. Each person would not do what was best for everyone, they would only want their money going to serve their own needs once they realize the amount of people who don't do their part." - Proof? Human society has spent 99% of it's history without government

"Government protects my rights to own my house, my vehicles, and everything else I have without me having to defend it all 24 hours a day. This isn't the old west where everyone works and lives within a 100 foot radius of everything they own in order to protect it all 24/7. Most of us have to go to work and leave our houses unprotected. What are you going to do with the knowledge that nobody is out there doing anything to stop anyone from taking over your house. No police, no laws, no courts, nothing. There would not be enough volunteer money to cover these costs. Everybody would be armed and ready to just shoot each other to end even the most ridiculous and pathetic arguments. Think not? You clearly live under a rock and never pay attention to how many are willing to kill even though we do have all this protection in place." - Prove these claims plz?

"Most of the anti-tax people are also gun nutters. They believe themselves to be expert marksmen, ready to protect and serve the world. It's the old "dirty harry" fantasy! Everyone is a bada$$ until shown otherwise!" -
Posted by MotoAtheist 2 years ago
MotoAtheist
Strictly speaking about the United States here...

It's easy to argue against taxation being theft because nobody is really forced to pay it. You don't have to stay or work in this country. You can simply leave and go enjoy many of the great alternative countries out there... LOL! Good luck with that.

Taxation is required for a society to work. You can't have an honor system because most of society has no honor. Each person would not do what was best for everyone, they would only want their money going to serve their own needs once they realize the amount of people who don't do their part.

If those of us who are willing to work and earn a decent living don't agree to sacrifice some of our earnings to support a government infrastructure, it would be chaos. It's been tried and failed in this country, just read up on history. It's kind of well known you have any education at all.

Government protects my rights to own my house, my vehicles, and everything else I have without me having to defend it all 24 hours a day. This isn't the old west where everyone works and lives within a 100 foot radius of everything they own in order to protect it all 24/7. Most of us have to go to work and leave our houses unprotected. What are you going to do with the knowledge that nobody is out there doing anything to stop anyone from taking over your house. No police, no laws, no courts, nothing. There would not be enough volunteer money to cover these costs. Everybody would be armed and ready to just shoot each other to end even the most ridiculous and pathetic arguments. Think not? You clearly live under a rock and never pay attention to how many are willing to kill even though we do have all this protection in place.

Most of the anti-tax people are also gun nutters. They believe themselves to be expert marksmen, ready to protect and serve the world. It's the old "dirty harry" fantasy! Everyone is a bada$$ until shown otherwise!
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
@JTWEST

The argument from personal incredulity fallacy.

Where I live, I see private police, ambulances, and fire services. Also, in some rural areas you do actually have to pay a bill when the fire department puts your fire out. Moreover, I see strong incentive for home insurance companies to have their own fire brigade.

If you're wondering about the roads, check this cool little video out.

But remember, an anarchic society would be built bottom up, just like nature. There is no one consciousness that knows how to organize society. Here is another little video you should watch about this. Watch until he starts talking about the pencil, it's actually kinda amazing:

Ignore the atheism stuff, it isnt important for this.
Posted by JTWEST 2 years ago
JTWEST
How, exactly, would any of those things be privately funded without A: government support or B: charging you directly for those services. So, unless you want a bill from the fire department after they stop your house from burning down, taxes are really the only reasonable way to go.
Posted by ButterEater 2 years ago
ButterEater
"Most notably. WHO MAKES THE MONEY? The government. It's illegal to destroy money because you don't own it, it is property of the government." - Yeah, but they garnish your assets that aren't reserve notes too.

"Without tax you wouldn't have schools, police, fire or any other services." - Argument from personal incredulity. There are many ways to privately fund these.
Posted by Masterful 2 years ago
Masterful
Most notably. WHO MAKES THE MONEY? The government. It's illegal to destroy money because you don't own it, it is property of the government.

If you disagree then you're welcome to live out in the woods. Only your therapist would try to stop you.

Without tax you wouldn't have schools, police, fire or any other services.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
canis
Yes. Taxation is theft. There is no way you can argument against it...The arguments for taxation are only arguments why theft is ok..
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