Instigator / Pro
4
1473
rating
102
debates
31.37%
won
Topic

Mysterious topic

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
2
2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
1
1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

That1User
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Miscellaneous
Time for argument
Three days
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Open voting
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Two weeks
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Contender / Con
7
1461
rating
11
debates
40.91%
won
Description
~ 185 / 5,000

Rules: the odds are slightly stacked against con, I will pick a topic from https://www.speechanddebate.org/topics/, I am pro and opponent is con. The topic will be declared in round one

Round 1
Pro
The topic is Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

Definitions: 
Civil disobedience: the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.
Democracy:  system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
Morally justified: more right than wrong in the spectrum of morality.

Reasoning

Usually people use civil disobedience in order to reject laws that have severely gone out of hand. Perhaps the most famous example was the Salt March by Ghandi against Britain's unfair tax on salt. To protect India's sovereignty and independence, he did what he felt had to be done. Clearly, we can see a solid ground for civil disobedience. If con believes that mere protest is immoral, he must fulfill the idea that people cannot use their freedom of speech guaranteed in the US (the most influential democracy) to say that they feel like what is wrong. If I can send a letter to a senator and say "I'm sorry, but I don't support your policy, and I think it's too extreme", why can't people gather together to show how much support there is against a policy?

Keep in mind that the people who are in danger or oppression may be the minority, and this protects their rights. It ensures there is greater fairness as the government is under scrutiny of the people as well. It gives them greater power when they are dissatisfied at the people they elect, and things go wrong. Indeed, nonviolent protests work very well, as an article notes, "Our findings show that major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns. There are two reasons for this success. First, a campaign’s commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy and encourages more broad-based participation in the resistance, which translates into increased pressure being brought to bear on the target. Recognition of the challenge group’s grievances can translate into greater internal and external support for that group and alienation of the target regime, undermining the regime’s main sources of political, economic, and even military power. Second, whereas governments easily justify violent counterattacks against armed insurgents, regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime. Potentially sympathetic publics perceive violent militants as having maximalist or extremist goals beyond accommodation, but they perceive nonviolent resistance groups as less extreme, thereby enhancing their appeal and facilitating the extraction of concessions through bargaining."  (https://pubpub.ito.com/pub/violence-and-civil-disobedience/release/1

As you can see, civil disobedience is very hard to counter, and forces the government to listen. It is reasonable especially when massive groups of people work together to, for instance, go on strike, or refuse an extreme policy, so on and so forth. 

Perhaps the best summary is by Pope Francis's quote regarding nonviolence: "This is not the same as weakness or passivity; rather it presupposes firmness, courage and the ability to face issues and conflicts with intellectual honesty, truly seeking the common good over and above all partisan interest, be it ideological, economic or political," Pope Francis said." (https://charterforcompassion.org/practicing-peace/pope-francis-nonviolence-is-not-weakness)

Conclusion: Civil disobedience gives another check and balance on the government that is important when their policies are nonsense or when they did something wrong. It is an important way that gives the people a way to speak out, and is far more reasonable than violent counterparts. It is far better than doing nothing and not speaking out, as otherwise the government would not know for certain that people are suffering or feel unjust. As such, this action is morally justified in a democracy.

Con
Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.
For anything to be morally justified you first have to justify morality. 
“There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Morality does not exist concretely in physical reality, it is immaterial, an abstraction of the mind. This abstraction is in direct conflict with civil disobediance, which seeks to change one's physical reality by changing the material conditions of law and its enforcement. The change that is sought by civil disobediance is physical,to change day to day life in physical reality, thus civil disobediance exists outside the confines of morality, reality is not primarily concerned with abstractions like morality, reality is concerned with reality, how people really live, and civil disobediance seeks to change how people live within the world. The means to achieve change in physical reality is through physical action.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi
This action is what facilates change, it is one's actions to the self and those who exist outside the self that changes the world, not abstract moral systems. In order to enact change in the world, one must act regardless of the world's morality, feeling, or thinking. This action, at its heart, is amoral,  it exists beyond morality for being primarily concerned with physical reality. The systems that are primarily concerned with physical reality, with influencing law and policy to change material conditions in life are political, thus Civil disobediance is politically justified, not morally justified, for civil disobediance has political ends, seeking to change hearts and minds to change the material conditions of physical reality. Civil disobediance is not a question of morality or moral justification, but of changing the lives of people who exist in reality, morality merely being a weapon of perception to influence public opinion for or against a cause. 

Pro cites compelling evidence of civil disobediance being politically justified, citing the political effectiveness in nonviolent movements to change perception and force the government to enact change. 
major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent 
a campaign’s commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy
 Recognition of the challenge group’s grievances can translate into greater internal and external support for that group and alienation of the target regime
regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime. 
but they perceive nonviolent resistance groups as less extreme, thereby enhancing their appeal and facilitating the extraction of concessions through bargaining."
civil disobedience is very hard to counter, and forces the government to listen.
The goal of civil disobediance is to ultimately force the government to listen to their demands, the means of getting there, through nonviolent resistence, are used effectively to gain members, legitimacy, a sympathetic public, both domestic and international, discourage violence against them by the state, and ultimate concession by the government to enact their demands into law and its enforcement.


Sources: 108."There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena."
Round 2
Pro
con tries to assert that morality is ambiguous and since civil disobedience is a physical action, it cannot be considered morally just or unjust. But this is absurd. From Merriam Webster, it's said that Morals mean "of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior". Standford has written an extensive summary analyzing this, and concluded with "descriptively to refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior, or
  1. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people."
If con concedes that it is politically justified, then therefore it fits the democracy expectations and code of conduct and does not go against it. Therefore it is morally justified. If con is correct, that would mean even murder of an innocent person to escape boredom (a concrete action) cannot be considered unjust despite the amount of harm and incredible malice it would take to commit this action. And having a doctor saving an innocent person from dying would not be morally just, despite our human desire to save each other, the obligation of the doctor himself. Both of these having no relation to morally just or unjust would be absurd. Con states that civil disobedience is a physical change, but this is also illogical, as taking away the salt tax itself cannot be physically grasped in Ghandi's movement (you cannot touch the lack of something!), and is hence just as abstract as morality.

Because civil disobedience protects our natural rights and gives us a way to speak up, in a way, it indirectly saves our lives (recall that Martin Luther King's movement to help blacks is just as symbolic against racism as it is against the past of slavery; though we moved past the direct lost of autonomy, during King's time, whites still viewed themselves superior to blacks and mistreated them heavily.) 
Con
Morals mean "of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior". Standford has written an extensive summary analyzing this, and concluded with "descriptively to refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior, or
  1. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people."

The state, in rational action, seeks to preserve and its own power and secure itself from internal and external threats, thus it rationally opposes civil disobediance as being lead by rational people. Since the code of conduct of civil disobediance is opposed by rational people, ie the state leaders, civil disobediance cannot be moral under pro's own definition, thus civil disobediance is not morally justified, even in a democracy. 

The democracy Pro calls out by name is the US.
he must fulfill the idea that people cannot use their freedom of speech guaranteed in the US (the most influential democracy) to say that they feel like what is wrong.
The FBI agrees. To suppress dissidents, those the FBI saw as threats against the state and national security, the FBI rationally launched COINTELPRO against the Communist Party of the United States, the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Worker's Party, and the Black Panther Party, rationally violating their First Amendment Rights in order to secure and preserve the United States. It is rational for the state to eliminate and suppress subversive threats, even those engaged in civil disobediance, MLK being a promiment example.  

the democracy expectations and code of conduct

 Is to be liberal, conservative, or inbetween, not a radical, those engaged in heavy civil disobediance are deemed radicals by the government and rationally supressed, even in the most influencial democracy the US, you are expected to follow the code of conduct of a non-radical, one that doesn't disrupt the current order and cause chaos in the streets, those who do are brutally suppressed by the state via the police, with the President announcing the use of military force against protestors causing chaos.

@realDonaldTrump
I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.....
@realDonaldTrump
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!

Even during the Civil Rights Movement, a majority of Americans polled by Gallup were against it, many being rational people, since rational people were against civil disobediance, civil disobediance is immoral because majority opposition goes against 
certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group 

and excludes
all rational people.


Con states that civil disobedience is a physical change, but this is also illogical, as taking away the salt tax itself cannot be physically grasped in Ghandi's movement (you cannot touch the lack of something!), and is hence just as abstract as morality.
The British government reversing the Salt Tax is achievable in physical reality and will affect the material conditions of reality, the Salt Tax can be measured, felt, and quantified, the reversal of the Salt Tax can be me measured, felt, and quantified, hence a physical change, thus politics is not just as abstract as morality, something that cannot be analyzed materially.

 And having a doctor saving an innocent person from dying would not be morally just, despite our human desire to save each other, the obligation of the doctor himself. 

The human desire to save each other can be seen as mere biological and evolutionary inclination to save members of our own species, that's why it's percieved as moral. It's the doctor's obligation to save lives because that is the doctor's profession. The Doctor saved lives with action and thorough application of knowledge and this action is deemed moral. It is action that defines morality, not morality itself. The murderer, by extension, is considered unjust for going against members of their own species and is judged unjust under the law for comitting the illegal act of murder.

Because civil disobedience protects our natural rights and gives us a way to speak up, in a way, it indirectly saves our lives (recall that Martin Luther King's movement to help blacks is just as symbolic against racism as it is against the past of slavery; though we moved past the direct lost of autonomy, during King's time, whites still viewed themselves superior to blacks and mistreated them heavily.) 
Civil disobediance protects our natural rights through political action and changes perceptions of morality and reality via political action, with Selma being the turning point of the movement, through political effort and action the Civil Rights Movement was deemed as moral and recieved majority support from the government. The current movement, however, is deemed as chaotic and is rationally suppressed by the state.

Sources: 
Round 3
Pro
The big problem with con's argument is that it fails to refute the points I put forward in R1. While the rational majority seems to have power and the sense to be right, that does not negate the ability for the minority to also step up and object against what they believe is immoral, if the majority out numbers them severely. Just as blacks were minority and yet still held in slavery, we now realize the constitution is correct, all men were born equal with certain unalienable rights, even if the majority of some communist country believes that a dictator should be able to destroy these rights, it does not mean it is suddenly immoral to object against the majority. This makes zero sense whatsoever. In order for con to win, he must now assert that even in the situations where we accepted the minority's plight (Ghandi's salt march succeeding) is still immoral because the majority felt pressured to oblige. There is nothing inherently wrong that he points out that goes directly against the code of conduct. The fact that we have not prohibited civil disobedience goes to prove that the majority still agrees that this is moral, and hence fulfills my burden of proof. Con must show that the negatives outweigh the positives, and gives very little concrete proof. He has admitted that it can change depending on the situation, as Selma was highly praised, while current situation has escalated to chaos and violence. However, as it has gone into violence, it goes to prove the exact point that nonviolence is far more moral because even Con feels like the current destruction of shops is bad, so civil disobedience by contrast is very reasonable and moral. Con has not refuted this idea.
Con
There is nothing inherently wrong that he points out that goes directly against the code of conduct. 
To be protesting is seen by the police and the government as contributing to the current chaos, violating the code of conduct the government has against contributing to chaos and disorder, with President Trump calling the police shooting of journalist Ali Velshi with rubber bullets (which he claims was tear gas,), "a beautiful sight," demonstrating that the mere act of covering protests, and by extension, being in one, to be anthithetical to "Law and Order," [1] for the police shot into the crowd of protesters who were acting in civil disobediance, civil disobediance that is increasingly prohibited, with police shooting at protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas [1} [2} (President Trump even wants to make flag burning illegal punished by a year of imprisonment for contributing to chaos. {3}) This is proof if you are percieved as a threat, if you are seen as a radical even for merely protesting you violate the code of conduct against chaos and for "law and order." What is inherently wrong with protesting, with civil disobediance, is that it violates the code of conduct for contributing to chaos and increasing the proliferation of violence against dissenters.This is why basing morality on a code of conduct like pro is advancing is so dangerous, because going against a code of conduct, (which those in civil disobediance do). is deemed immoral, and with it being deemed immoral any means of suppression are justified. Anything can be done to uphold the code of conduct of Law and Order, and would be moral under Pro's definition of morality. Ironically, Pro's definition of morality makes Civil disobedience in a democracy morally unjustified. Causing or contributing to chaos under the code of conduct of law and order is perfectly irrational and immoral, with civil disobedience becoming increasingly prohibited, using Pro's own logic civil disobediance is immoral, Pro refutes Pro, vote Con. 

Sources: