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 Alex Hendrix's Negative Contructive/Rebuttal against Ali N.

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Number of posts : 69
Age : 23
Location : Wake Forest
Humor : I love a good joke
Registration date : 2010-08-26

PostSubject: Alex Hendrix's Negative Contructive/Rebuttal against Ali N.   Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:27 pm

Alex Hendrix's Negative Case

"Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing." This quote by Ronald Reagan states that the main reason the Government even exists is to protect the rights of it's people. This is why I negate this year's resolution. Resolved: A government's legitimacy is determined more by it's respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.

Definitions: (only state if you disagree with the opponents definitions)

1. Government: The exercise of authority over an organization, institution, state or district.
2. Legitimacy: The quality or state of being legitimate
(this definition does you no good unless you know what "Legitimate" means. I will define it.)
3. Legitimate: Sanctioned by law or custom
4. Respect: To feel or show honor or esteem for
5. Popular: of or carried on by the common people or all the people
6. Sovereignty: The state or quality of being sovereign
7. Right: That which a person has a just claim to; power, privilege, etc. that belongs to a person by law,
nature or tradition.

My value for today is freedom according to law. If individuals are allowed to do whatever they wish, and have complete liberty, then they could impose on the rights of others. That is why we have laws. My criterion for freedom according to law is individual rights. A government that gives freedom to it's people according to the law is legitimate.


#1. If there is Freedom, why must there be laws?
This is a question that many people ask: "If I am free, why are there laws preventing me from doing certain things?" Well laws preventing stealing, murder and privacy violations keep one individual from stealing from, murdering, or violating the privacy of another individual. For example, the law preventing murder: this law prevents one individual right taking the right to life away from another individual. The first individual was exercising his freedom to bear arms, but when he goes out and kills someone, he is taking away the right to life from another individual. You see what I mean? Even though we have freedom to do what we like, we cannot take away rights from other people i.e: killing them. Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, sums up my contention in a quotes: "While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” He is saying that we are free to choose what we do, but not the outcome or consequences of our actions.

#2. A Government is legitimate if it's people are free according to law.
"The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors." This quote by Thomas Jefferson states why a government exists: "To enable the people of a nation to live in safety and in happiness." In order for the government to ensure "life in safety and happiness" it must create laws. If the governed are allowed to live freely within those laws, that government is legitimate. Otherwise, if a government makes laws and the people are not allowed to live freely (within the laws) the government is illegitimate. If people are not given freedom, they are simply slaves. In my introduction, I quoted Ronald Reagan. He said: "Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing." If the government does not ensure rights to it's people (freedom), it cannot protect those rights! If there are no rights to protect, then there is no reason for a government! Therefore, a legitimate government must ensure freedom to it's people and
#3. Freedom in accordance to law ensures equality.
It is impossible for every individual to have whatever they want or have the freedom to do whatever they please. So you may be thinking that I agree with the resolution, that a government is legitimate if it respects popular sovereignty. However, I am not agreeing with the resolution, I still firmly negate it. I will explain my statement: If one individual has whatever he/she wants or has the freedom to do whatever he/she pleases then that individual will eventually impose on another individual's rights. You still may be thinking that I affirm the resolution, this is still not the case. This is a complicated issue, so I will try to explain my reasoning as clearly as possible. I will start with a simple historical analogy. Before the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 A.D. rulers all over the world were able to do whatever they please -- even take the life of a human. The governments that these rulers were completely illegitimate. They most certainly did not ensure freedom to their citizens in accordance to law. Of course there were laws, and there were punishments for laws but their people were not allowed to live freely under the law. If the king or queen simply did not like an individual he/she could have them executed. Now, to give you an example of a legitimate government: The United States. Our nation has a document called the Constitution. One of the main reasons it was created is to protect the rights of the individuals from the government. Another main reason for the Constitution is to create a central government with powers like collecting taxes, making laws and others. The reason for making laws is to prevent one individual from taking the rights from another individual. I know I have said this many times, but it is key that my point is understood in this debate round., that is why my value today is freedom in accordance to law. If the government ensures freedom to it's people under the law, than it is legitimate.

In conclusion, freedom in accordance to law is my value because if you are completely free then you will eventually impose on the rights of another free individual. Therefore, laws must be in place to maintain freedom for everyone. Laws against murder, stealing, lying etc. If any of these are permitted then you are allowing one individual to impose on the rights of another individual. Now, you still may be thinking that I stand in agreement with the resolution, which is not true. Individual Rights is the way to achieve a legitimate government, but you MUST have laws in order to ensure individual rights to everyone.

1. Ronald Reagan Quote: brainyquote.com/quotes
2. All definitions: Webster's New World Dictionary: College Edition
3. Stephen Covey Quote: thinkexist.com
4. Thomas Jefferson Quote: goodreads.com/author/quotes

Alex Hendrix’s Negative Rebuttal
against Ali Nailor

I will now begin to rebut the Affirmative case presented by Ms. Ali Nailor. I will start with her introduction and reveal a key point that is said by Abraham Lincoln.

My opponent opened with a quote from Abraham Lincoln that stated a government was of the people, by the people and for the people. My opponent then went on to explain that government is made up of several people. One thing that I would like to point out is this: Aren’t all of those people individuals? Don’t they all have their own rights? So, Popular Sovereignty is composed of individual rights.

I shall now move on to my opponents definitions and discuss her definition of “Legitimacy”. She defined legitimacy as “the quality of being legitimate (according to law).” The “According to law” part directly corresponds to my Negative Constructive Case. We must have laws to prevent one individual from imposing on the rights of another individual.

Now I will move on to her value of unity. My opponent agreed with my in cross-ex that everyone will never agree with same principles. She even agreed that a government isn’t legitimate even if the majority is unified. If a people can never be fully unified, then they can never be fully legitimate. So her value is vague and ambiguous and it does not correspond to the resolution.

I will move on and briefly discuss 2 of my opponents contentions starting with number 1.
My opponent said that if every person does what they think is their right, then there will be havoc because there are no laws to prevent them from doing whatever they please. This is not true. There are laws preventing individuals from doing what they please. For example, you cannot simply kill someone and not be punished. They may do what they like, but there are laws preventing them from doing so and there are punishments.

Contention number 2. My opponent claims that when different people agree on one standard, this “agreement” unifies them. Just because they agree on one standard does not make them united. For example, let’s say 6 million people all agree on one standard: freedom. The standard of freedom can be and most of the time is, interpreted differently by each individual. So, there can be quarrels and arguments about the certain standard.

In conclusions, I hope to have shown you that complete unity cannot be achieved, therefore a legitimate government cannot be achieved according to my opponent. So, I strongly urge a negative ballot.
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