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  1. #1
    Brad's Avatar
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    Default Civil Liberties vs. Security - Ends 30th of April


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    I saw a post on facebook in which someone stated; "a just government would prioritize civil liberties over national security", which ultimately motivated me to make this debate. Now to be honest, I have always been a person who sided for an individual's liberty, and freedom but I know that there are many reasons I can think of when national security could, and should overrule the liberty of an individual but I'll let you all have that discussion in the debate below.

    So my question to all of you is;

    Should a country prioritize the civil rights of their people over national security?

    Many situations have occurred in which countries have used companies, such as apple in one instance, to override civil liberty to help national security.
    Quote Originally Posted by Huffington Post
    A Federal Court has ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock the cellphone of San Bernardino terrorist Sayed Farook. Apple CEO Tim Cook opposed that order, citing concerns over the privacy rights of all Americans.
    To bring some argumentative points to this debate, I've posted one from both sides;
    Security over Liberty Liberty over Security
    Quote Originally Posted by Debatepedia
    There is a large threat to our security. The current level of international tensions is likely to increase, leading to more and more dissatisfaction with American policies, which in turn may result in more terrorist attacks. The nature of contemporary terrorism has become far more frightening with fundamentalists ready to commit suicide, and fears that terror groups are seeking access to biological, chemical and nuclear materials. Old-fashioned terrorism has transformed into high intelligence networks of hard-to-track terrorist cells. It is not possible to curb terrorism without curbing some of the rights of citizens.
    Quote Originally Posted by Debatepedia
    Many evil events in history started with good intentions and few cases of injustice. Allowing even a few abuses as an acceptable side effect of improved security will change the tolerance level of the public and lead to a belief that rights such as the presumption of innocence and habeas corpus (which prevents the state from imprisoning someone without charging them with a crime and then trying them) are a negotiable luxury. Furthermore, abuses of the system are likely to victimise certain minority groups (e.g. Muslims, Arab-Americans) in the same way that Japanese-Americans were persecuted in World War II, something about which Americans are now rightly ashamed.

    I will rest the debate into your hands. What do you think?
    Let the Debate begin!

    This Debate will end on 30th April, 2017 at 11:59PM GMT

    The debate is now up to you! Good contributions will be rewarded with likes and/or royalty points throughout the thread and the member who makes the best contributions throughout the month may give you any of these rewards found here. Also, with contributing towards the Featured Member Debate will get you this reward!
    Last edited by Brad; 19-04-2017 at 11:34 PM.
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  2. #2
    FlyingJesus's Avatar
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    Default

    This is, as most political "freedom" based issues, a case of freedom to vs freedom from. This distinction provides the basis for just about every legal discussion, and is the main point between true left-and-right policy: in the world of philosophy, left doesn't mean communism and right doesn't mean Nazis. Left wing as a base means putting faith in the state to look after its people and be an active part of everyday life, very much sacrificing certain liberties (which are meant to be those which are least important and least intrusive if possible) in favour of security from others exercising harmful liberties upon you. On the flipside, right wing (far from meaning totalitarianism, which is a very strange aspect to grant right wing politics when one looks at base definitions) favours the rights and freedoms of a person to do as they please, at the expense of being saved from the actions of others. For me, the concept of the Golden Rule as an adage - popularised by that Jesus chap but exercised by a great many ancient philosophers well before his time - is one that works admirably as long as everyone obeys the social contract of it: this being that fabulous and oft-repeated phrase "do unto others as you would have done unto you". This ethical law, as extrapolated upon by JS Mill, seems a fair and protective code, allowing under his particular brand of utilitarianism any act whatsoever that does not infringe upon the liberties of anyone else. To this end, outward violence is obviously not accepted, nor is defamation or wilful deception, but acts committed in ones own privacy with no effect on anyone else are all given free reign as far as possible. This still requires some level of policing of course, as simply saying "this is what you can do" doesn't actually restrict a human's actions, and therein lies the problem: at what point do you suggest that an individual's act effects another? Would the emotional distress to the mother make a son's self abuse illegal? Does the literature of a fiction author cause enough upset to a biographer to count as harm? And if yes to either of these, can an enforced governmental discipline really put an end to such problems even on a domestic level, let alone an international one? The true problem is often one of limits. Not many (outside of militia group forums) would suggest that everything should be legal and no laws should ever hold, but as a species we are not always happy with boundaries imposed upon us. Part of this problem is that people often look to an absolute answer: one act or another is either good or bad, with no room for discrepancy. The human condition, however, along with the fact that organic life does not follow binary codes, means that the reality of a situation needs to be taken into account in just about any case of one person broaching the liberty of another, and so it is impossible to state outright whether liberty or security is prefered as a universal rule.

    tl;dr: **** knows mate, depends
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  3. #3
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    Hi everyone,
    I apologise for my lack of debates as there was an issue in my personal life that had to be dealt with. (which will probably be used as a debate next week)

    Thank you to all who had participated in this Debate. It is now closed.
    Remember that there will be a couple more debates posted by the beginning of next week.


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