Motion: Mandated vaccinations are incompatible with the values of a free society.
Welcome all to another video debate. This debate featured now veteran video debater James Chillemi as well as brought on past written debater Daniel Thomas Mollenkamp.
For some brief introductions (for those that haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with our gracious participants before): James, who argued in the affirmative, has a BA from Ave Maria University in Politics and History and a JD from Ave Maria School of Law. He is also a Fellow at the Stonegait Instititue. He is the former co-founder of LibertyHangout.org, and has been featured on several websites and podcasts, including TheLibertarianRepublic.com, therevolutionaryconservative.com, the Logical Anarchy, the Conscious Resistance, and Peace Propoganda Podcast. Additionally, his impressive resume includes being the author of “Leaving the Cave, An Amiable Introduction to Anarchy: A Free Market Manifesto”.
Daniel, who argued in the negative, is an independent journalist who has filed reports from three continents. He has focused on East Africa and North American markets, in particular, and has worked in a variety of newsroom and online settings. He is on the board of Abukloi, a secondary school in South Sudan. He holds a BA in government from the College of William and Mary.
The motion that James and Daniel tackled is the following: Mandated vaccinations are incompatible with the values of a free society.
The debate followed an Oxford Style. The format is posted below the video.
Without further ado, the debate!
The debate was structured as follows (roughly):
A. Affirmative intro (James): 5 minutes
B. Negative Rebuttal (Daniel): 3 minutes
C. Negative Intro (Daniel): 5 minutes
D. Affirmative Rebuttal (James): 3 minutes
II. Question and Answer section
A. Moderator asked question of Affirmative
B. Response from Affirmative (5 minute)
C. Rebuttal from Negative (3 minute)
D. Moderator asked question of Negative
E. Response from Negative (5 minute)
F. Rebuttal from Affirmative (3 minute)
G. Negative question to Affirmative and Response
H. Affirmative question to Negative and response
III. Concluding Remarks
A. Affirmative closing (5 minute)
B. Negative rebuttal (3 minute)
C. Negative closing (5 minute)
D. Affirmative rebuttal (3 minute)
For reference, these were the questions asked by the moderator (me) and links to the articles the passages come from:
Question for Negative: I am going to read to you the portion of an article by Jeffrey Singer, a fellow from the Cato Institute. I will attach this article to the blog later on. I would like you to respond to the passage, most specifically to the question it ends on:
A free society demands adherence to the non-aggression principle. No person should initiate force against another, and should only use force in retaliation or self-defense. Forcibly injecting substances-attenuated microbes or otherwise-into someone else’s body cannot be justified as an act of self-defense, because there is no way to determine with certainty that the person will ever be responsible for disease transmission.
Ronald Bailey suggests that the choice to remain unvaccinated is analogous to “walking down a street randomly swinging your fists without warning.” But this is a poor analogy. Such a person is engaging in a deliberate action, as opposed to choosing inaction. And, unlike those prevented from opting out of vaccination, the fist-swinger incurs no threat to life or limb when prohibited from throwing his punches.
If someone chooses the inaction of non-vaccination based upon the belief-right or wrong-that the vaccination is harmful or even life threatening, then coercive vaccination in this context is clearly a case of aggression. For it to be otherwise requires certainty that those beliefs are wrong. And certainty in this case is not possible. How can you be sure, for example, that a child won’t have an adverse or even fatal reaction to a vaccine? And how can defending forced immunization as self-defense be justified when it can never be shown with certainty that the non-vaccinated person would have been responsible for another person’s harm?
Link to article:
Question for Affirmative: I am also going to read to you a portion of an article which I will link to. This article contained multiple authors, but the individual making the point was Reason magazines Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey. I would like you to respond to its content. How would you argue against the point it makes?
“As central to libertarian thinking as the non-aggression principle is, there are other tenets that also inform the philosophy. One such is the harm principle, as outlined by John Stuart Mill. In On Liberty, Mill argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." Vaccination clearly prevents harm to others.”
Link to article: