The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
2 Points

A person's vote should be counted differently based on their intelligence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 834 times Debate No: 37488
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I'm con on this debate.

Today we're going to be debating over whether we should change the voting system to count your vote differently based on your intelligence.

The arguments will start in round 2. I hope for a good debate.

I thank you.


I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Atrag for accepting this debate.

Executing the plan

Trying to actually to this would be a humungous obstacle. First, you need a test that you can be sure will show an accurate measure of intelligence. Second, you need every single person who is old enough to vote to take that test and make sure that they aren't cheating in away. Third, you need to create a fair system that figures out how much a person's vote would count, based on their intelligence. The massive hassle should make you question whether the whole idea is worth it anyway. But is it?

Why Intelligence?

Why should a person's vote count more or less based on intelligence? Intelligence certainly doesn't correlate with make better or worse decisions, what matters is knowledge on the subject, and that is not the same as intelligence, defined by an online dictionary as "capacity for learning, reasoning, undertsanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings etc." []

Furthermore, intelligent people tend to believe weird things just because they can defend them, which is further explained by Michael Shermer [].

Pro may argue now that the less intelligent's votes should count more, but the obvious flaw in that is that we won't get a better society because they, as defined by an online dictionary, less "capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding..." and we certainly don't want that kind of voter.

I thank you.



Atrag forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


That's disappointing.

Extend all arguments.


I will be arguing that votes of people that lack intelligence to make rational decisions should be discounted. I will be defining this as anyone with an IQ of less than 70: i.e. those that suffer from a general learning disability.

Firstly, I apologise for forfeiting the last round. I was waiting for a moment when I had enough time to sit down and give this he thought that it deserves - that moment never came!

Intelligence as the best predictor of ability to make a rational decision

My opponent states that knowledge of the subject is more important than intelligence. It is inclear what subject he is referring to. What subject is important when deciding on a president? Perhaps economics, sociology, international relation - the list goes on. The fact is that there is no single subject that a person must have knowledge on to be able to identify a good candiate for presidency and the best indicator we have for whether someone will make a rational decision on who to vote for is intelligence.

A high intelligence is linked to high academic achievement (1). With the definition my opponent has given we can clearly see that intelligent people are more likely to have to ability to aquire the knowledge they need to evaluate to make an informed decision on who to elect. Once they have gathered this knowledge they are then more able to form a rational conclusion based on it; they have an 'aptitude in grasping truths'.

According to David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University voters generally lack the intelligence to distinquish good policies from bad(2). I argue that we resolve this by prohibiting voting of people that profoundly lack intelligence.

Examples of the purposal in the US

In the states of Kentucky(3), Mississippi,(4) Ohio(5) and New Mexico(6) people with an extremely low IQ are already excluded from voting. Do not be fooled in to thinking that excluding such people is an extreme narzi-eque policy. It makes absolute sense to disallow the votes of people without the capacity to recognise good ideas.

3. Kentucky Section 145
4. Mississippi Constitution of the State of Mississippi article 12, section 241.
5. New Mexico Constitution, Article VII, section 1
6. Ohio Constitution, Article V, Section 6
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you.

Clever people and others

Whilst the less intelligent may generally have a harder time distinguishing good policies from bad policies, as I've said before, the intelligent have their hidnerances too. They tend to believe stupid things, just because they are better at rationalizing such absurdities, whilst their "lacking in the old noggin" counterparts wouldn't fall for it. [;]

So with each group of people having their advantages and disadvantages in this area, there's no reason why one should be singled out when it comes to voting.

I feel that pro missed out on that when forming his argument.


There's no reason why one regular citizen's vote should count more or less than another person's vote. It is their country as much as yours, so they should have equal say in how the country is run.

Furthermore, you have the problem of drawing the line as to what IQ (or whatever system you'll use) is enough to be able to make a good enough decision.



To conclude:

My opponent is asserting that intelligence is a hinderance when deciding good policy by suggesting that inteligent people lack common sense presenting single article that mentions specifically a prepensity to believe psuedoscience rather than not searching for an explanation at all. I do not find this article persusaive when talking about intelligent people and decision-making as a whole and therefore have not addressed the phenomenon in detail.

On the other hand, I have followed the definition of intelligence presented by my opponent that intelligent people are, in general, moe likely to make good and rational decisions. I also stated that an IQ of under 50 is where to draw the line. No one that has an IQ of under 50 should be allowed to vote.

I am not going to address the new points my opponent has raised as it would be unfair as I forfeited a round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
Sorry, my two links sort of formed together, They were and;
Posted by Atrag 3 years ago
To clarify: which country's voting system are we talking about?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: My opinion was slightly swayed by Pro, but overall I feel Con gave the better arguments. Both were guilty of ignoring or failing to properly address the other's arguments. However, since the burden of proof was on Pro (although Con did take some of it on himself), and the fact that Pro changed the number from 70 to 50 IQ; I went with Con for arguments. Conduct is tied, because although Pro forfeited, he did redeem himself by refraining to address one of Pro's contentions in round four for the sake of fairness. Spelling and grammar were fine and Pro used more reliable sources; sources to Pro.