Open Ended Questions for Debate. (1 Viewer)

ConnorGiles

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Noticed that the debate thread is dead!

Lets spark some life into it :D

Here are a few open ended questions that I would be greatful to recieve answers for ( Maybe even post your own Open ended questions to spark debate, totally up to you! ):

What are your thoughts on the death penalty and should it be brought back?


What are your views on animal rights?


Has health and safety gone too far?


If you had a choice, What laws would you re-instate or abolish?

Hope this livens up the place a bit! Love a good debate :)

Look forward to hearing from you all :D :p
 

Libre

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Noticed that the debate thread is dead!

Lets spark some life into it :D

Here are a few open ended questions that I would be greatful to recieve answers for ( Maybe even post your own Open ended questions to spark debate, totally up to you! ):
What are your thoughts on the death penalty and should it be brought back?
There is no advantage to the death penalty and the potential for quite a lot of harm. That's one side of my brain. The other side says, if they fry this Boston Marathon bomber, I won't shed any tears for him.


What are your views on animal rights?
Animal cruelty is a serious crime and the penalties for needlessly subjecting an animal to cruelty should be harsh. Yet, there is another side to the argument: what about testing of drugs and treatments? what about using animals for food or for their skins or pelts? Are humans "worth" any more than an animal? Are ALL animals "worth" the same? Is a roach or an amoeba entitled to the same protections as a person, or a puppy?
Bottom line, the use of animals is justified in some instances - those that tend to improve the human condition in an important way. But I am opposed to using animals for entertainment (circuses, zoos) and certainly opposed to any intentional cruelty or neglect of animals.


Has health and safety gone too far?
Yes. Health and safety regs have gotten extreme, due to the litigious nature of the population. If you suffer ANY injury, even if your fault, the most popular response is to SUE SUE SUE. That's a big problem and the more litigations the more health and safety regulations you will see. They are more about limiting the liability of the providers than protecting the potential victims - just listen to the segment of a medicine commercial, dealing with the possible side effects - often including death.

If you had a choice, What laws would you re-instate or abolish?
Abolish the victimless crimes - drug possession and prostitution primarily. These have no place on the books. I'm not saying they should not be regulated in any way, but these regs should be more like civil statutes than criminal complaints.
 

ConnorGiles

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What are your thoughts on the death penalty and should it be brought back?
There is no advantage to the death penalty and the potential for quite a lot of harm. That's one side of my brain. The other side says, if they fry this Boston Marathon bomber, I won't shed any tears for him.
I agree, in the terms of it has potential for quite a lot of harm - I'm not against bringing it back whole heartedly, If they did bring it back personally I would need to see damn good reason as to why someone should be put to death. Some might say locking them away for the rest of their lives is more punishment, But the way our jails over here are its like stopping at a hotel with a bed time. As you said, I wouldn't shed a tear if the boston bomber was put to death and that is just one case with a damn good reason for the death penalty.

I wouldn't like it to be brought back willy nilly like the queens and kings did back in the medieval periods. "He looked at me funny, Off with his head". But serious crimes such as the boston bombings require a lot more punishment than a cell with a bed. Such as the Lee Rigby killing over here.


What are your views on animal rights?
Animal cruelty is a serious crime and the penalties for needlessly subjecting an animal to cruelty should be harsh. Yet, there is another side to the argument: what about testing of drugs and treatments? what about using animals for food or for their skins or pelts? Are humans "worth" any more than an animal? Are ALL animals "worth" the same? Is a roach or an amoeba entitled to the same protections as a person, or a puppy?
Bottom line, the use of animals is justified in some instances - those that tend to improve the human condition in an important way. But I am opposed to using animals for entertainment (circuses, zoos) and certainly opposed to any intentional cruelty or neglect of animals.
I have been raised with a variety of animals and would rather get neglected or tested on myself rather than my pets. I do think that all animals are worth the same, even humans. Necessary testing or killing of animals such as for food is a different matter. As you said, Testing drugs on a primate for the prevention of illnesses in human beings. It isn't exactly the prettiest thing but it is necessary. I think hunting is an awful thing, killing animals for the pure fun of it - mounting their stuffed body parts on a wall, Its barbaric. I do believe we should only kill what we need to survive. But that's just my opinion.

Has health and safety gone too far?
Yes. Health and safety regs have gotten extreme, due to the litigious nature of the population. If you suffer ANY injury, even if your fault, the most popular response is to SUE SUE SUE. That's a big problem and the more litigations the more health and safety regulations you will see. They are more about limiting the liability of the providers than protecting the potential victims - just listen to the segment of a medicine commercial, dealing with the possible side effects - often including death.
I totally agree, It has gotten to a ridiculous standard today. Children being stopped from using monkey bars in playgrounds. "JUST IN-CASE THEY FELL" I think there comes a time where common sense kicks in, But on the other hand I guess that's what health and safety is about. Keeping people informed of the dangers if they have no common sense :D.

If you had a choice, What laws would you re-instate or abolish?
Abolish the victimless crimes - drug possession and prostitution primarily. These have no place on the books. I'm not saying they should not be regulated in any way, but these regs should be more like civil statutes than criminal complaints.
I'm with you on the most part, Prostitution should be up to the woman/man in question - it shouldn't be illegal, maybe frowned upon. The main reason it's probably illegal is because there is no way the government can access any of the money due to it being in cash usually. Drug possession is a different story depending on the drug I suppose. Drug possession with intent to supply would be a crime in my books because the drug is potentially harmful to the recipient. Even if you are going to use the drugs yourself, I would say it depends on the class of drug. Marijuana isn't really a problem, It's when its cocaine and meth that's when it can start to harm you dangerously. Some people would say that the drug possession laws are there for your own safety.

Thanks for replying Libre :) Nice to hear some opinions :D
 

Rabbie

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If you had a choice, What laws would you re-instate or abolish?
Abolish the victimless crimes - drug possession and prostitution primarily. These have no place on the books. I'm not saying they should not be regulated in any way, but these regs should be more like civil statutes than criminal complaints.
I disagree with what you are calling victimless crimes. Many women are not prostitutes from choice - they are forced into it by threats of violence etc. Perhaps though we should change the criminal law to make people who use prostitutes the criminals rather than the women.
 

Libre

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I disagree with what you are calling victimless crimes. Many women are not prostitutes from choice - they are forced into it by threats of violence etc. Perhaps though we should change the criminal law to make people who use prostitutes the criminals rather than the women.
The law says having sex for money is a crime. That is a victimless crime and the law makes no sense at all.
Engaging in sex (consenting adults) is no crime, and agreeing to perform a service for money is no crime (again, consenting adults). Therefore a law against an agreement to exchange money for sex makes no sense to me.
I realize that some people can force others to do things against their will.
There may be people (not only women) who are forced into becoming prostitutes, just like people can be coerced into doing anything at all. It's the coercion, not the activity, that should be the criminal act. Some people may be forced into becoming farmers. Should we make farming illegal then?
It might make sense to criminalize forcing anyone into prostitution, but it makes no sense to criminalize prostitution itself.
 
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scott-atkinson

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The law says having sex for money is a crime. That is a victimless crime and the law makes no sense at all.
Engaging in sex (consenting adults) is no crime, and agreeing to perform a service for money is no crime (again, consenting adults). Therefore a law against an agreement to exchange money for sex makes no sense to me.
I realize that some people can force others to do things against their will.
There may be people (not only women) who are forced into becoming prostitutes, just like people can be coerced into doing anything at all. It's the coercion, not the activity, that should be the criminal act. Some people may be forced into becoming farmers. Should we make farming illegal then?
It might make sense to criminalize forcing anyone into prostitution, but it makes no sense to criminalize prostitution itself.
That law would be completely unforceable, how would you possibly prove that somebody had been coerced into providing sex for money. More often these women would be too afraid to come forward and testify for fear of reprisals to their friends, families. They may not even be able to speak the native language.

Street Prostitution should remain a criminal offense
 

pbaldy

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I'm with Libre; prostitution is a victimless crime and should be legal (I live in a state where it is, outside the larger metropolitan areas). If coercion exists, that is the crime. Much like drugs, most of the crime surrounding it is because it's illegal. Legalize and regulate it, and there's no motivation for coercion. Plus instead of spending money chasing criminals, government takes in tax dollars.

I'd make similar arguments about drugs. If I want to smoke dope, pop pills or whatever, who's the victim? It's my body. We supposedly live in a free country, and that includes the freedom to make bad decisions.
 

scott-atkinson

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the freedom to make bad decisions.
I make enough bad decisions in my life without legalizing Prostitution and Drugs...

A Scarlett Johansen lookalikey offering me sex and drugs... how could I possibly refuse.. :eek::cool:;):D
 

Libre

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That law would be completely unforceable, how would you possibly prove that somebody had been coerced into providing sex for money. More often these women would be too afraid to come forward and testify for fear of reprisals to their friends, families. They may not even be able to speak the native language.

Street Prostitution should remain a criminal offense
Why would it be unenforceable? How do you prove ANY crime was committed? You take the testimony of the witnesses and you examine the physical evidence.
How do you prove that somebody murdered somebody else? It's hard to prove that somebody is a murderer. Murderers normally try to conceal their identities and escape prosecution - that doesn't mean we should remove the law for murder and instead, make the act of BEING murdered the crime, simply because determining the identity of the victim is usually much less problematic than determining the identity of the killer.

Why should anyone tell consenting adults what they can and can't do - as long as they're not impinging on other peoples rights? So called morality laws are hold-overs from our devout, Puritanical beginnings and should be exorcised from our legal system.
 
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kevlray

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Sex for money. Is that not what the porn industry does, yet I have never heard of any of them (actor or production companies) get arrested for prostitution. Sounds like a double standard. I am against prostitution in general. But a local community arrested some prostitutes a few days ago. It is a minor crime, not much reason for them to stop.
 

scott-atkinson

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Why would it be unenforceable? How do you prove ANY crime was committed? You take the testimony of the witnesses and you examine the physical evidence.
How do you prove that somebody murdered somebody else? It's hard to prove that somebody is a murderer. Murderers normally try to conceal their identities and escape prosecution - that doesn't mean we should remove the law for murder and instead, make the act of BEING murdered the crime, simply because determining the identity of the victim is usually much less problematic than determining the identity of the killer.

Why should anyone tell consenting adults what they can and can't do - as long as they're not impinging on other peoples rights? So called morality laws are hold-overs from our devout, Puritanical beginnings and should be exorcised from our legal system.
I didn't quite get to finish my post, what I was trying to say is that Street Prostitution should be a crime, but there should be regulated and legalized Brothels where adults can go and pay for sex as a service.

The girls or men who work in these places can then be vetted, health screened, hell even given pension rights...etc... You would help to root out the criminal elements associated with this trade.
 

ConnorGiles

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I didn't quite get to finish my post, what I was trying to say is that Street Prostitution should be a crime, but there should be regulated and legalized Brothels where adults can go and pay for sex as a service.

The girls or men who work in these places can then be vetted, health screened, hell even given pension rights...etc... You would help to root out the criminal elements associated with this trade.
Nothing is fun when made legal. Why would you pay a back alley pimp for a prostitute when it is perfectly legal in a brothel. As Scott said. Maybe even safer if they have been screened and vetted. More jobs too! ;)
 

Steve R.

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I'd make similar arguments about drugs. If I want to smoke dope, pop pills or whatever, who's the victim? It's my body. We supposedly live in a free country, and that includes the freedom to make bad decisions.
Given the trend, in the US, towards making government "responsible" for the health and welfare of its citizens (and even non-citizens) we need to re-examine what constitutes a victimless crime.

For example, the US is moving towards a national health-care system supported through taxation. If someone acts irresponsibly and fries their brains by taking drugs, the victim becomes the taxpayer who is forced to pay for keeping a "brain dead" person alive for the next XX umpteen years.

Recently there was an influx of illegal immigrants into the US, many of them children. While one wants to be compassionate, why should those entering the country illegally be entitled to welfare benefits and other benefits of citizenship?

The trend towards the government being "responsible" for the health and welfare of those residing in the US is eroding the concept of personal responsibility for one's actions and shielding those adversely affected from the consequences of bad decisions. The student loan bubble will soon be a repeat of the housing mortgage bubble. The taxpayer (actually the National debt since everything is now being put on the "credit card" for future payment.) has now become the victim.
 
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pbaldy

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Given the trend, in the US, towards making government "responsible" for the health and welfare of its citizens (and even non-citizens) we need to re-examine what constitutes a victimless crime.
I would prefer we re-examine making government "responsible" for...everything. It is, in my view, an unsustainable model. As you rightly point out:

The trend towards the government being "responsible" for the health and welfare of those residing in the US is eroding the concept of personal responsibility for one's actions and shielding those adversely affected from the consequences of bad decisions.
I would like to move in the direction of restoring personal responsibility, not move further away from it.
 

The_Doc_Man

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What are your thoughts on the death penalty and should it be brought back?
In the USA, not all states have removed it. Texas, for example.

I think the death penalty is entirely appropriate for certain Wahabbi sect extremists who like to slice off the heads of others. They need to be stopped and I guarantee you, if you cut the head off of a Wahabbi extremist, he will never again decapitate anyone.

On the other hand, the death penalty is overapplied to too many groups. I would say that we need to tightly limit those cases where death is the penalty and must also require both direct evidence (=testimony of MULTIPLE witnesses) and supporting (=forensic) evidence.

This willingness to keep the death penalty is because sometimes society needs to be able to say, "This person is like a cancer and must be cut completely out of society forever." If a state WOULD allow a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole, pardon, commutation, or compassionate release - and MEAN it, I might be less in favor of the death penalty. But in the end, society has to be able to tell someone, "You cannot stay in contact with our society."

Now, if we do like Robert A Heinlein's novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and send all criminals to exile in a lunar penal colony from which there is no escape... maybe I would say we could abolish the death penalty. Maybe.

What are your views on animal rights?
Many people ask atheists if they have any firm moral principles. We do. One is "Do no unnecessary harm to others." Note that we don't specify the species of those others. By the way, most of the world's religions have that in one form or another. In Christianity, it is the Golden Rule. It also appears in Buddhism.

Has health and safety gone too far?
Only because litigious yammerheads have sued the pants off the governments at national, state/province, and local levels. There is no excuse for selling something that you know to be unsafe. There is no excuse for misrepresenting something as having a health benefit when you know it does not. But what do you do when you realize that there will always be that fringe element for which "stuff happens"?

If you had a choice, What laws would you re-instate or abolish?
I would abolish the Affordable Care Act if there was something reasonable waiting in the wings to replace it. I would reinstate campaign finance reforms. There are quite a few laws that have been warped by societal forces that I might try to unravel. The Patriot Act and other acts that allow the U.S. Government to perform surveillance without a bit more stringent judicial oversight - simply has to go away. No questions about it.

OK, now to another topic: Is prostitution a victimless crime? According to some, yes. According to many others, no - the prostitute is the victim of her pimp and of the societal pressure to sell herself to survive in a world where money rules too many parts of your life. When you see a woman on the street corner and she is wearing "working girl" clothes, she might be doing it for herself - but she might also be an immigrant who has been lured into a life of degradation by broken promises of bright futures. Typically, for those cases, the women answer ads, come to their new countries on a visitor visa, and suddenly have no paperwork at all - because their pimps have confiscate their passports, visas, driver's licenses, and whatever else they had. Then they are forced to sell themselves, with promises to get their papers back after X number of years. But it doesn't happen because they either die first or get discarded when life has turned them from the flower of femininity to the stubble of a field that has been plowed too often.

Before you characterize prostitution as "victimless" you should first find out whether the working girl is self-employed or pimp-owned. And yes, all too many pimps think they DO own their girls - like they would own any other livestock.

We have to take classes in this if we work for the U.S. Government because of the risk of being compromised if we use the "services" of one of these working girls. The training makes it clear. Sometimes the girls are just out making a living for themselves. Sometimes the girls are out making money for someone else who will beat them to a pulp if they don't produce.
 

pbaldy

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Before you characterize prostitution as "victimless" you should first find out whether the working girl is self-employed or pimp-owned.
I submit that it was the earlier acts by the pimps, etc that were crimes, and the woman was certainly the victim of them. To say the "transaction" between the prostitute and the customer was not victim-less implies that the customer was the perpetrator, which would generally not be true (presuming he's just a guy out looking for a girl that will have sex with him for x dollars).
 

The_Doc_Man

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If the transaction is enabling the pimp to continue his predation of his "ho" then the john is guilty of aiding and abetting a continued crime of assault and felonious imprisonment or improper involuntary servitude, the latter of which is expressly and explicitly forbidden in the USA, Paul.
 

pbaldy

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To be guilty of aiding and abetting, wouldn't the customer have to be aware of that crime? If the only person he deals with is the woman, and she doesn't mention it, how is he culpable?

If an old friend who is "on-the-run" comes by my house and stays a few days, am I guilty of aiding and abetting if I was unaware he had committed a crime and was fleeing the police?
 

The_Doc_Man

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Paul, the distinction is that (like it or not) prostitution in and of itself is already known to be a criminal offense whereas housing a friend for a couple of days is NOT known to be a criminal offense (unless your friend can't keep his mouth shut about why he is visiting.)

I am sympathetic to the woman's plight and don't want her to be severely punished. It is sad that the only solution is often to arrest the woman and get her off the streets that way even though it is the pimp who should be beaten to a pulp. But this is a case where the odds are very much against "independent contractors" working an area if any pimps are around at all. They are the territorial predators.

The problem with how you treat the johns is that without them, the whole situation quickly falls apart. Stated another way, if there is a transaction-based crime, it takes not less than two parties to have a transaction, so if it is illegal for the working girl, it has to be illegal for the johns, too.

Let's do this with a different crime, shall we?

Consider folks who buy a pack of weed for smoking. Where is the crime? Well, that is being revisited in some states, but where it is still illegal, the crime is buying an illicit substance where, if there were no buyers, you would have no sellers either. I.e. the guy at the bottom of the "food chain" - the individual consumer - is the reason that there is in fact something available for consumption - supply and demand. The demand exists regardless of whether the act of supplying is legal.

We cannot lose sight of the hard truth, that there are those in government who will always want to control others' lives by imposing laws in place of their own warped view of morality. We can't forget Prohibition as another case of tea-totalers trying to force their own morality on others. (This could quickly devolve into a religious debate, but this site has enough religious threads already, so let's not go there, please.) Because these "high moral ground" types are sometimes successful, laws exist to ban lots of acts that are otherwise innocuous.

If we are going to repeal the laws, fine. But until they are repealed, the act of soliciting for prostitution is illegal. We can make a different argument about whether changing the law to remove the criminal penalty is a good idea, since it would kill the profit margin associated with those who supply things "under the counter" for things that can't legally be "over the counter." But the only way that the johns should get away with a "slap on the wrist" for solicitation is if the working girl ALSO gets away with a slap on the wrist. I.e. balance of penalties, or fairness. Letting off the john without letting off the working girl is not a balanced solution. Either BOTH or NEITHER should be punished, but don't make it yet another example of male privilege and female disadvantage. The legal (equality) status of women was decided 100 years ago. Let's not step back into a prior century.
 

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