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It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence

In cases when a spouse is repeatedly abusing the other spouse, is it right for the abused to kill the abuser?

All the Yes points:

  1. yes it is right
  2. YES, It is right
  3. yes, read this (i did not write this) the case i wrote is safe on my usb cuz im not dumb enough to put it online…

All the No points:

  1. Not it is not right ,
  2. No, because the resolution states the action as “in response” rather than “in defense”.

yes it is right

Yes because…

You keep living under pressure circumstances, fact (knowing) that they can abuse you anytime anywhere is much worse than die instantly. Most of these “domestic abussers” do that because they can, discovering how far they can go. Alternate solutions many times are not available a)you are prisoner of yourself – you are not sure about the border or whether is that abuse or not(domestic – someone very close to you) => you are letting abuser to go to the next level => still you cannot decide from what point is behaviour of abuser considered objectively as abusement :) = infinite circle which end up as a murder from victims or attackers side.

Showing them (attackers) that this could lead to mortal (life or death) choice (this does not mean necessarely kill but showing that you are capable of such an action) is sometimes only solution how to set the new borders when the acceptable behaviour stops and violence (domestic) starts.

i hope it is understandable.

No because…

That “it is human nature to want to be free” may be true, and the attacker certainly is violating this right of the victim by abusing them. But what your point does not explain is why a desire to be free leads to a right to kill. Just because the abuser has in some way restricted the freedom of the victim does not necessarily mean that the victim is allowed to KILL the abuser. In order to claim to make this claim, that the victim is acting in self-defense, defending their rights, one must look at the qualifications for a self-defense argument.

a. The threat must be imminent, and
b. Alternate solutions must have been exhausted within reason.

Because of the use of the word “deliberate” which is defined as premeditated, neither of these criterion are met. If the victim has time to think of killing the abuser, if it is a deliberate, carefully thought-out action, then the threat is not imminent and alternate solutions have not been exhausted. The victim could go to the police, leave the house, or even mildly debilitate the abuser, without having to resort to deadly force. Even just five minutes with a telephone or a computer, and the victim could have found some other solution. In this situation the victim is planning the crime, not because of necessity, not because they must protect themselves or their rights, because the threat is not imminent and there are other solutions, no, they are committing murder for revenge. And that is the sort of vigilante style justice that is truly unjust and leads to chaos.

YES, It is right

Yes because…

1. I’d like to start with the definition of “deliberate” as premeditated. This is completely false. “Deliberate” means that the actor has intention or purpose behind the action itself. Because of this, self-defense could qualify as a deliberate response, while satisfying the imminence requirement.

Agrees self-defense is applicable.

2. “The threat must be imminent”. This is true (if we were discussing LEGAL permissibility, but we are discussing MORAL peermissibility). Thus, anyone who says this is wrong because the threat must be imminent, please prove WHY the threat must be imminent because we cannot believe it as a valid LEGAL point.

If we look to accepted social norms for this topic, then yes moral permissibility is based on adherence to law, but we’re looking at individuals and their actions, meaning that we cannot look to laws, especially when law has failed in its duty to protect the individual from harm (Social Contract Theory). Something can be moral while being illegal, i.e. vigiliantism (when the law fails in its duty), thus that is not a valid statement.

3. Alternatives have been exhausted through the inclusion of the word “repeated” in the resolution. It implies there has been no change in the nature of the domestic violence (which means physical abuse, does NOT include verbal abuse) because it has occurred several times. As such, either (1) others have failed in their duties to protect the victim from violence (through the social contract) or (2) alternatives have been non-existent. Anyone who truly believes the victim can simply leave is naive. Victims ought to be treated as people under coercive control because they are under the control of the abuser.

A) Of course repeated applies to domestic violence in saying that it has occurred several times. It is because of this reason that we can understand that alternatives are non-existent or the law has failed in its duty to protect individuals. Many court cases prove the latter. Even if alternatives did exist, as stated above, “Anyone who truly believes the victim can simply leave is naive. Victims ought to be treated as people under coercive control because they are under the control of the abuser.” No response to this statement.
B) In (1) the negative stated “It can be pre meditated action or self defense, either is applicable.” Now they state that self-defense does not apply. There is a contradiction present.
C) Self-Defense is NOT against the law.
D) Social Contract is not a law, so if the negative wants to use laws to determine morality, then you can’t judge on the social contract because it’s not a “law”, hence the term “social” contract, not “legal” contract. Even if you want to accept the Social Contract Theory, it also applies to the affirmative. Once the state fails in its duty to prevent violence (as is with REPEATED domestic violence), Social Contract Theory says the state shall be dissolved and individuals provide their own protection, thus supporting the affirmative.

4. Apply the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would wish to be treated.” This is enough justification alone because it is a moral ideal which can be applied to EVERYONE.

The Golden Rule can still be applied because we have to look to individual actions, which allows the application of the Golden Rule, and not social norms. Moreover, it is not a “loop” argument. It is based on initial actions not those in response to another’s initial actions, thus still being applicable.
The Golden Rule applies to individual actions, not societies!

No because…

Let it be known that this is not my case. I will not release my case and do not ask for it but if you have any questions on the content that I posted on here or if you would like links to evidence comment on this and I can help you out.

1. When looking to the definition of deliberate it dosent matter how it is defined because it will simply lead to a pointless debate. It can be pre meditated action or self defense, either is applicable.

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENTS: We both agree so this point is no longer needed.

2. When looking to a morality claim we must look to morality as being defined normativley to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. The given conditions as mentioned previously can be simply defined as deontology or the normative ethical position that judges the morality of an action based on the actions adherence to a rule or a law. In so far as that is true the idea of legality is used to define if the action is moral or immoral.

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENTS: The deffinition of morality itself states that we must look to laws to define what is moral thus laws are applicable under the idea of morality even if looking to the individual and furthermore there is no proof that the government has failed to do its duty. In so far as that is true it cannot be said that the government should be disolved.

3. No where in the wording can it be derived that all alternatives have been used. The word repeated simply applies to the act of abuse. In so far as that is true there is no warrant that all other meens have been exhausted and thus the action is still not in self defense. Moreover, even if you wish to argue that all other meens are exhausted that still does not make the action moral as it still breakes laws created both withing any just society as well as the social contract itself. Therefore the act of deadly force is still not moral.

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENTS: A) Once again no emperical proof is present that shows that victims have tried to contact governmental authorities or leave the relationship in any other way. In so far as that is true there is no way to say that alternatives do not exist nor have they failed since there is no proof that they have even been tried. B) even if you wish to look to self-defense there is no applicable warrant that shows all other options have been exhausted and in so far as that is true there is no proof that your point is valid. C) The resolution is not just asking about self-defense though but also non-confrontational settings which are illegal. D) The social contract was the basic formulation for law so it applies to legal theory as a whole. Furthermore it is also known as the law of nature thus the social contract stands. The social contract also does not go to the affirmative as there is no warrant that shows that state has failied to uphold its duty as there is no proof that the abused contacted the authorities or looked to other outside meens.

4. Finally dont look to the golden rule as it is not applicable in all societys but beyond that it is a loop argument in that if you justify killing because of abuse against you then you yourself wish to be killed as that is how you treated others so by looking to the golden rule you are simply asking to be in essence killed as that is how you treat others.

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENTS: Even in looking to individual actions the golden rule is not applicable in all situations and in all societys. As it is not a universialy agreed upon term we therefore cannot look to it as a deffinitative weighing measure of morality. Moreover, there is no claim in the deffinition of the resolution that states it only applies to the initial action so it is a loop argument. But if you dont want to buy that argument you can also see that the murder of the abuser can be considered the initial action in response to the abuse and therefore it is once again a loop argument that disproves your own side.

In so far as the previous points are true we therefore cannot deem deadly force moral.

yes, read this (i did not write this) the case i wrote is safe on my usb cuz im not dumb enough to put it online…

Yes because…

Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.

Resolutional Analysis: Since the word response in the resolution implies that the victim was provoked by the attacker, we know that the victim, in this sense, would only use deadly force if provoked. Also, The resolution specifically points out morality, are the actions morally permissible? The main focus of this debate will be the morality issue and wither the action itself is considered moral.

My Value for this debate will be Justice. Plato defined justice as “…doing good to one’s friend if he is good and harming one’s enemy if he is evil.” Repeated domestic violence is certainly an evil both to the victim and outsiders. We must uphold justice in this debate round, because justice is also defined as the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. When we look to morality as i stated, we must also look to justice.

The Criteria for this debate will be Due Punishment. Is it morally permissible to let a murderer get probation, or a Rapist due 2 years in a county prison? Is it morally permissible for a violent person who inflicts harm on his/her family to receive no punishment at all? Every criminal must receive their due punishment and that is through justice and giving each their due.

For Clarification, i offer the following definitions:
Moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong.

Victim: A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency.

Deadly Force: Any force brought upon a person, whether accidental or intentional, which is potentially fatal or may cause serious damage to a persons body, such as loss of limb, internal damage, etc.

Repeated Domestic Violence: Includes but is not limited to physical abuse, rape, overall physical and/or mental domination, intimidation, terrorizing, stalking, and burglary. Domestic violence is statistically shown to increasingly intensify with each repeated offense, whether it’s reported or not.

Contention 1) No way out.
Victims suffer from the abuse that is inflicted upon them. Wether its a broken nose, black eye, or having the mental stability of a frightened teenager for the rest of their lives. Repeated domestic abuse is both physically and mentally harmful in exponential ways. My opponent may state that the victims can simply get out of the situation, or call the police. The reality is, its not that simple. Take for example a child being abused by one of his parents while the other sits back and does nothing. I ask then, what are that child’s options? He/she doesn’t have the means or money to leave the situation, nor can he run away because his/her abusive parents could file missing persons and the child would be sent strait back to the abusive home. Not every person as the option to get out, therefor when the victims life is being threatened or the lives of the victims family is at stake, do you expect them to stand by and watch as they are beaten and abused? I ask, what is more moral? let the abuser keep attacking his/her family, or stop the violence with whatever means necessary?

Contention 2) Justice for the victims and due punishment.
The law justifies deadly force in the event lives are in danger, such as in the case of an escalated domestic violence incident. “In the United States, a civilian may legally use deadly force when it is considered justifiable homicide, that is to say when the civilian feels their own life, or the lives of their family or those around them are in legitimate and imminent danger.” If domestic violence escalates every concurrent time it happens (which it does: “Data from the National Crime Survey indicates that once a woman is victimized by domestic violence, she is at high risk for being victimized again. During a six month interval following an incident of domestic violence, approximately 32% of women are victimized again.” (Violence Prevention Center)) and we’re talking repeat offenders, the person’s life may very well have been or is at risk. Threatened life through violence is an evil, so it demands justice through the due punishment, which is deadly force. Not only is morally justified that the victims use deadly force to prevent more abuse, it is also justified because, quite often, victims are hunted down. Abusers commonly hunt their victims after they leave. Leaving your abuser sends them into a rage because it means they have lost temporary control over you so, when they do find you the attack will be much more severe than what normally occurs, that is also when most domestic violence deaths occur. The victims, ultimately, are in a lose-lose situation. Using deadly force against their attacker is sometimes the only way to save themselves, the ones they love, and get justice in return.

Contention 3) It is as simple as self-defense.
Keep in mind while debating this topic, that we are talking about victims using deadly force. The definition of victims itself (A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency) constitutes self defense. My opponent may try to say that most often deadly force is used while an attack is not taking place. However, With Repeated Domestic Violence, a lull in the abuse does not mean that the victim is safe it just means that at the moment the victim is not being abused, the smallest thing can set off an attacker such as making the wrong dinner, folding the socks wrong, talking on the phone to long and to the wrong person. So the repeatedly abused is in constant danger. It is considered self-defense in any setting and therefor is most certainly morally permissible.

In conclusion, I would like to once again point out that the resolution asks weather or not the action of using deadly force is morally permissible. We are debating the morality of the action. Ant, therefor, deadly force is morally permissible against REPEATED domestic abuse, for the reasons i have given above.
(copied from debate.org’s nikki24)

No because…

I would provide my case (which would destroy this affirmative…just saying) but like the affirmative, I’m not that dumb.

So just a few ideas:
1) The affirmative states this is a matter of Morality, but how does achieving the Value of Justice affirm the resolution, which speaks of MORAL permissibility.

2) How does the abuser obtain his due punishment in these cases. Any just court of law would not impose the death penalty upon an abuser; However, the affirmative affords a private right to impose the death penalty, which would not typically provide due punishment in this situation.

3) NONE of the contentions truly uphold the criterion, which puzzles me. Contention 1 states there is no way out for victims. What does that have to do with due punishment? Contention 2 touches on it lightly, not strong enough to support the criterion. Contention 3 covers self-defense but how does that uphold the criterion?

Overall, not a strong case…
In my opinion.

Not it is not right ,

No because…

The argument that capital punishment is the same as deadly force is incorrect and illogical as capital punishment is controled by the state and deadly force is an act of the individual. Two diffrent things all together.

Yes because…

Yes it is right, the same reason capital punishment should return.

No, because the resolution states the action as “in response” rather than “in defense”.

No because…

The issue presented revolves around on thing: the context of the situation. Because the topic states that deadly force is a response, it’s immorally justified because deadly force in a legal context can only be used IN DEFENSE when all other deterrent options have been exhausted.

Yes because…

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Anonymous Indian
3 years ago

The answer, as far as I am concerned, is YES!

Domestic violence is, in practice, directed by the stronger partner (phsycially stronger, as well as stronger in financial and social terms) on the weaker partner.

You can’t have a level playing field between a 6 foot rich man and and 5-and-half foot economically-not-as-stable woman, when it comes to a one-on-one.

So, if the man repeatedly and physically assaults the woman, the woman is well within her rights to retaliate as she can, when she can. Or at least, she should.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dave


Last edited 3 years ago by j
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