The Instigator
Zaradi
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/16/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,337 times Debate No: 79806
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (83)
Votes (2)

 

Zaradi

Pro

Challenging kasmic so he can take the side he wants.

Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.

Definitions will be debatable and presented within the debate.

Round structure will be like this:

Round One: Acceptance
Round Two: Pro case, Con case + rebuttals
Round Three: Rebuttals all around
Round Four: Rebuttals all around. No new arguments at this point.

72 hours. 10k Characters. Minimum 2k elo to vote.
kasmic

Con

I accept!
Debate Round No. 1
Zaradi

Pro

I value Morality, which requires analyzing the ontological state of being before analyzing the being. Ontology comes first for three reasons:

1. Before we can debate who or what individuals have moral obligations to we must analyze and understand what is an individual and where the identity of the individual comes from.

2. Ontology precludes epistemology since a) knowledge is itself something that must be in order to weigh into our actions and b) knowledge is irrelevant without a subject to apply it to.

3. Any normative statement has to make an ontological assumption. Campbell[1]:

  • “ontology … is fundamental and inescapable. For one cannot say anything about anything that is, without always already having made assumptions about the is … Any mode of thought, … always already carries an ontology sequested within it. What this ontological turn does to other – regional – modes of thought is to challenge the ontology within which they operate. …”
And, in constructing ethical theories, the first evaluation of the self is to allow for the formation of the “I” through contesting stable gender identities. Butler[2]:

  • ““effects” of gender hierarchy … are … foundations, … There is no ontology of gender on which we might construct a politics, for gender ontologies always operate within established political contexts as normative injunctions, … Ontology is, thus, … a normative injunction that operates insidiously by installing itself into political discourse … The deconstruction of identity … establishes as political the very terms through which identity is articulated. … If identities were no longer fixed as the premises of a political syllogism, … a new configuration of politics would … emerge … Cultural configurations of … gender might then … become articulable within the discourses that establish intelligible cultural life, …”

Thus the standard is disrupting fixed gender identities. The affirmative burden is to show that permitting intersex adolescents to choose their own identities enables the disruption of fixed gender identities. Prefer this standard for 4 reasons:

1. Absolutist identities preclude moral language because they’re grounded in universal images, which prevent different perspectives in discourse. Butler 2:

  • “The … plasticity of language, … resists the fixing of the subject position as masculine. … A woman cannot use the first person “I” because as a woman, the speaker is “particular” … and the invocation of the “I” presumes the capacity to speak for and as the universal human: … the speaking subject … “reappropriates language as a whole, proceeding from oneself alone, with the power to use all language.” … This privilege to speak “I” establishes a sovereign self, … speaking establishes “the supreme act of subjectivity.” …”

Therefore coherent moral statements require a dynamic self-identification.

2. Our view of the body must be contestable since a binary categorization precedes an accurate evaluation of epistemology. Butler 3:

  • “Categories of … gender, … have constituted the stable point of reference for … politics. These constructs of identity serve as the points of epistemic departure from which theory emerges and politics itself is shaped. … the category of sex … presuppose[s] a generalization of “the body” that preexists the acquisition of its … significance. This “body” … [is] a passive medium that is signified by an inscription from a cultural source figured as “external” to that body. Any theory … ought to question “the body” as a construct of suspect generality when it is figured as passive and prior to discourse. …”
3. Disrupting gender identities is key to escaping an ontological essentialism grounded in pre-existing identities that function before our actual discourse which allows for ethical violence and exclusion. White[3]:
  • “ontological essentialism [is] at work in … conceptualizations of … gender … ontological claims … [are] nothing more than dissimulation strategies of discursive regimes of power. There is no entity … behind its acts; rather such entities are always "produced …' in the very performance of linguistic actions. The continual reiteration of social scripts - and thus regimes of power - is what gives life and specific shape to what are then mistakenly identified as pre-existing entities with ontological status.”

Thus, the plan: ADOLESCENTS WILL BE GIVEN MEDICAL AUTHORITY TO HAVE GENDER TRANSITION OPERATIONS PERFORMED ON THEMSELVES.

A: INHERENCY- Many individuals are born as intersex, having both male and female parts. Most of these individuals do not know they have multi-genitals until they hit puberty, or the beginning of adolescence. Alice[4]:
  • “Intersex, … is a variation in sex characteristics … that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. … Intersex … may be surgically … altered to create … acceptable sex characteristics. … Research in the late 20th century indicates … that diverse intersex bodies are normal … forms of human biology.”
These surgeries can be done anywhere from birth to adolescence, but as of now, the status quo requires no form of consent from the individual being operate on. Instead, many are lied to and manipulated after surgeries. Intersex Society of North America[5]:

  • “Though the Hopkins team wrote early on that children should be told … about their intersex … many medical care providers lied to patients … surgeons performed cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children without their consent, …. Endocrinologists … manipulated patients’ hormones to try to get the bodies of patients to … look sexually “normal””
B: HARMS- the psychological effects of this unconsented surgery are substantial. Schober[6]:
  • “intersex individuals become aware of their genitals as anomalous from an early age. … shame and isolation, may be provoked by the child’s realization … by ongoing attention to the child’s genitalia during … medical visits, or by parents’ and physicians’ silence … A feeling of having been betrayed often accompanies the discovery of an intersex condition … The damaged ability to trust may interfere with … families, and compromise … relationships with medical … professionals …”
Furthermore, the standards for gender change are arbitrary and sexist. Intersex Society of North America 2:
  • “The system … treats children thought to be girls differently than children thought to be boys. … doctors’ primary concern for children thought to be girls is preservation of fertility (not sexual sensation), and for children thought to be boys, size and function … the “standards” used for genital anatomy have been arbitrary and illogical. … boys … were made into girls—even though … doctors believed … they could be raised as boys without … surgery, …”
C: SOLVENCY- In medical practice, adopt the Yogyakarta principles of intersex surgery. The principle statement defines gender identity. Yogyakarta[7]:

  • “each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, … (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, … means) …”
This definition protects the right of people who are intersex to choose freely their gender identity. In particular, Principle 18 of the Yogyakarta Principles outlines the right to be protected from medical abuses based on gender identity. Yogyakarta 2:

  • “No person may be forced to undergo any form of medical or psychological treatment … based on … gender identity. … a person's … gender identity is not, … a medical condition and is not to be … suppressed.”
The Yogyakarta Principles state that countries shall, among other things. Yogyakarta 3:

“Take all necessary … measures to ensure that no child’s body is irreversibly altered by medical procedures in an attempt to impose a gender identity without the full, free and informed consent of the child …”

Therefore, in order to preserve the gender identity of adolescents, the affirmative adopts these principles as a mindset in the biomedical community, ensuring that before any sort of intersex operation, adolescents are able to make completely free and informed decisions in regard to gender operations.

Sources:

[1] - (Michael, and Campbell, professor of International Relations at the University of Lancaster, Moral Spaces: Rethinking Ethics and World Politics, p. 97-8)
[2] - Judith Butler [PhD, Yale, Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature]. “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.” Routledge, 1999
[3] - Stephen K. White. As the World Turns: Ontology and Politics in Judith Butler. Polity, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Winter, 1999), pp. 155-177
[4] - Alice Domurat Dreger, "Ambiguous Sex"--or Ambivalent Medicine?",The Hastings Center Report May/June 1998, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp. 24–35.
[5] - “What's Wrong with the Way Intersex Has Traditionally Been Treated?" What's Wrong with the Way Intersex Has Traditionally Been Treated? Intersex Society of North America, n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2015.
[6] - Schober JM. 1999. Quality-of life studies in patients with ambiguous genitalia. World J Urol 17:249-252.
[7] - "Yogyakarta Principles: English." Yogyakarta Principles: English. Yogyakarta, n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2015.

kasmic

Con

1: Observations

OB1: "Ought" Implies "Can."It would be unjust impose impossible obligations. Capacity to perform obligations is a prerequisite to any moral system. "[T]he point of uttering moral judgments disappears if the agents involved are not able to act as proposed."(1) Thus Pro must not only show that we should give adolescents the right to autonomous medical choices, but that we can.

OB2: We are talking about Adolescents as a whole, that is to say…. “on balance.” This is an important distinction to remember in this debate as there are exceptional individuals; pro may attempt to steer the debate to the topic of individuals. We are not talking individuals; per the resolution we are talking about adolescents as a whole. Whether male, female, or intersex the term adolescent is inclusive of all.

OB3: Pro has outlined his burden as “The affirmative burden is to show that permitting intersex adolescents to choose their own identities enables the disruption of fixed gender identities.” I accept this, if pro can demonstrate that, it would affirm the resolution.

2: My Case

I stand opposed to the resolution as I value Justice. BSH1 once stated “Justice is fairness or reasonableness, as well as giving each their due. “(2) It is only through reasonableness and observing what is due that we can measure Justice.

Justice precludes morality as Justice is the goal of morality. Morality is the means to an end. That end is Justice. If something is unjust, it is immoral. What is just must be determined, therefore before what ought to be done. Consequently, we cannot determine what we ought to do before we identify what results are necessary.

It is not reasonable or due to give adolescences autonomy.

Have you ever found yourself reminiscing about the society and home you grew up in? I have, and often amuse myself with memories as a typical rebellious teenager. At that time in my life, I often found laws as restrictive or oppressive. As a smart a$$, I recall arguing certain restrictions an infringement of my personal liberty and reciting that “an unjust law is no law at all.” The concept being that not have autonomy is unjust. Now I am older and wiser. To my younger self I would explain why it is only just to limit the autonomy of adolescents.

To understand why minors have limited autonomy or liberty (as they are synonymous http://www.thesaurus.com...) , it is important to understand what Liberty entails. Often times, it seems, when people define Liberty they do so negatively. As in Liberty is the freedom from something. For example: liberty is the freedom from oppressive governments, or the freedom from taxation, the freedom from sin, etc. Often overlooked are positive definitions. That liberty is the freedom to, as in liberty is the freedom to establish a government, the freedom to religion, to speech etc. To understand liberty, both positive and negative definitions are necessary. Liberty is the freedom to, as well as the freedom from. (Feel free to check out my article on Liberty http://www.infobarrel.com...)

John Stuart Mill in his work "On Liberty" stats:

"It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say that this doctrine (of liberty) is meant to apply only to human beings in the maturity of their faculties. We are not speaking of children, or of young persons below the age which the law may fix as that of manhood or womanhood. Those who are still in a state to require being taken care of by others, must be protected against their own actions as well as against external injury.” (3)

An interesting concept wouldn’t you say? Do you agree that liberty is intended to apply only to those who have met the “maturity of their faculties.” Does liberty exclude children as Mill suggests? Furthermore modern society has done just this; the law often affixes when a child becomes an adult. This leads us to an important question. Should liberty apply to Children as it does to adults?

John Locke, known as the "father of liberalism," had this to say about liberty. (taken from "Second Treatise of Civil Government" Chapter 6) "The freedom then of man, and liberty of acting according to his own will, is grounded on his having reason, which is able to instruct him in that law he is to govern himself by, and make him know how far he is left to the freedom of his own will. To turn him loose to an unrestrained liberty, before he has reason to guide him, is not the allowing him the privilege of his nature to be free"(4)

It seems that John Locke and John Stuart Mill agree that giving liberty to those unable to reason is not an increase in freedom. Rather, it is potentially harmful. How are we to determine when children become adults? How do we measure the ability to reason?

We are privileged to live in an era where science can help us find these answers. To conclude when one is capable of reasoning, we need only observe at the brain. The Prefrontal Cortex or PFC to be exact.

"The PFC is located in the very front of the brain, just behind the forehead. In charge of abstract thinking and thought analysis, it is also responsible for regulating behavior. This includes mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events… Since the PFC controls intense emotions and impulses, it is sometimes referred to as the seat of good judgement. As such, a properly functioning prefrontal cortex inhibits inappropriate behaviors " including delaying gratification of needs, for things like food or sex " while encouraging wise, acceptable choices. In part, this occurs because it works to allow humans to balance immediate reward with long-term goals."(6)

Children, and others whose PFC is not fully developed, do not have the full capacity to reason. (5) You may be wondering when the PFC is fully developed.

“Medical studies have shown that the PFC is the last section of the brain to mature. In other words, while all other brain regions are fully developed early in life, its development is not complete until around age 25."(6)

You read that right! Not until the age 25 is the part of the brain that enables us to reason fully developed. "As a number of researchers have put it, "the rental car companies have it right." The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car."(5)

Conclusion:

Remember Pro has stated that his “burden is to show that permitting intersex adolescents to choose their own identities enables the disruption of fixed gender identities.” We cannot permit adolescents the ability to choose as their ability to reason rationally inhibits them from making reasonable choices.

Society on balance recognizes that adolescents are less capable if not incapable of making rational decisions. Science supports such an understanding of an underdeveloped brain. As a result autonomy of minors is justly and severely limited. Justice demands autonomy of those who are capable. Justice demands that such autonomy should be limited for those not yet able to govern themselves. This includes adolescents.

Sources:

(1) http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk...

(2) http://www.debate.org...

(3) http://www.bartleby.com...

(4) http://www.constitution.org...

(5) http://hrweb.mit.edu...

(6) http://www.wisegeek.org...





Debate Round No. 2
Zaradi

Pro

Going to start by responding to his case before going over my own.

Starting on the observations. I meet them all:

I meet observation one because I outline specific policy options. My plan outlines exactly how we go about giving adolescents the autonomous medical rights to have intersex changes performed on themselves via their own decision and not the decision of others. I'm showing you that we can.

I meet observation two because the plan includes all adolescents. whether or they actually want to have an intersex operation. The plan gives this right to all adolescents.

And his third observation is just saying that if I'm winning off of the plan that's sufficient to win via the affirmative burden.

Then onto his case. He's arguing for justice over morality that if something is unjust, then it makes it immoral as well.

First, prefer morality over justice because our conceptions of what is just and unjust are predicated around what is good and bad. WIthout this internal justification of what's good and bad guiding our conceptions of justice, there'd be no reason why anything was just or anything was injust. Morality must come first for any claim of justice to make sense.

Second, prefer morality because because morality provides the internal warrant for why things are just. If I were to ask why something was just or unjust, the answer would rely on violating this or not following this rule of justice is bad, a claim that relies on a moral justification.

Third, even if you don't buy those reasons to prefer morality to justice, the claim that what is immoral is unjust equates the two of them to be equal. By his own argument, justice and morality become the same, meaning that the whole value debate becomes irrelevant.

Then the rest of his case kind of culminates into the singular argument that people who aren't rational and can't make rational decisions ought not have autonomous rights. Adolescents can't make these rational medical decisions because of brain functionality, therefore we shouldn't give them this right. This makes the negative case pretty simple: if I can show that they can make these decisions, then the negative case goes away and I meet his framework of deserving of rights.

So, source spam time. Here's all the studies that show that adolescents can make rational decisions. Sloninat '07[1]:
  • "empirical research on cognitive development and medical decisions supports Piagetian theory that around age fifteen children have the same decision-making capabilities as an adult ... In a well-known 1982 study ... They took a test group of 96 subjects ... The subjects' responses to questions were evaluated and scored by a panel of twenty experts on four standards of competency: evidence of choice, reasonable outcome, rational reasons, and understanding. The results indicated that fourteen-year-olds demonstrated a competency equal to that of eighteen and twenty-oneyear- olds ... the older adolescents ... were able to list a greater number of benefits and risks of the medical treatments and were able to anticipate the consequences of treatment in more abstract manner ... Comparisons of adolescent and adult decision-making with regard to risky behaviors ... have demonstrated that adolescents and adults are equally able to identify possible consequences of risky behavior. In addition, adolescents and adults assess the consequences similarly; they estimate similar probabilities or likelihoods of consequences."
And, Will '06[2] continues:
  • "studies suggest that older adolescents are no less ... competent to provide consent than adults. Lois Weithom and Susan Campbell specifically compared the decisionmaking capabilities of variously aged minors and young adults. They found that minors aged fourteen and older "demonstrate a level of competency equivalent to that of adults."' These results support earlier work performed by Jean Piaget which suggested that individuals enter the "formal operational stage" during adolescence, and thereafter "possess the cognitive capability to reason, understand, appreciate, and articulate decisions comparable to young adults."
Then, Derrington '09[3]:
  • "Weithorn and Campbell tested specific components of competency, showing that adolescents ≥ 14 years of age did not differ from young adults in their ability to understand diagnostic and treatment information, rationally consider alternatives, and make reasonable choices. Developmental analyses indicate that by age 11 children begin to understand the physiologic basis of disease, and children as young as 8-10 years may be capable of an “adult” understanding of death as universal, unalterable, and permanent. With support from legal cases and professional societies this body of work has resulted in general agreement that we ought to obtain informed consent from adolescents with “appropriate decisional capacity”, usually those ≥ 14 years, and that we should seek the assent of younger children along with informed permission of their parents."
Prefer these studies because:

a) On sheer number. I have far more evidence showing that adolescents have no difference to adults in their decision making than he has showing that they don't.
b) On relevency to the resolution. His evidence just talks about how the brain isn't fully developed until 25 so adolescents don't have a fully developed brain yet but my evidence shows that even with that being true, adolescents still are making rational decisions. My evidence is far more specific to the actual topic at hand, thus has the best chance of being true in the case of this specific debate.
c) On substance. Making sweeping generalizations about the brain capacity of adolescents misunderstand the maturity required relevent to decision making. Only by looking at empirical tests of adolescents decision-making capabilities can we come to some sort of accurate conclusion. Steinberg '13[4]:
  • "The importance of maintaining a distinction between cognitive and psychosocial maturity in discussions of the legal status of adolescents is supported by other research that has examined age differences in each of these domains. Studies that have examined basic information processing skills and logical reasoning, for instance, find no appreciable differences between adolescents who are at least 15 and adults; any gains that take place in these domains during adolescence occur very early in the adolescent decade, and improvements after this age are very small ... When it comes to decisions that permit more deliberative, reasoned decision-making, where emotional and social influences on judgment are minimized or can be mitigated, and where there are consultants who can provide objective information about the costs and benefits of alternative courses of action, adolescents are likely to be just as capable of mature decision-making as adults, at least by the time they are 15 or so. In contrast, the literature on age differences in psychosocial characteristics such as impulsivity, sensation-seeking, future orientation, and susceptibility to peer pressure shows continued development well beyond middle adolescence and even into young adulthood ... Consistent with this, and in contrast to the pattern of age differences seen in the information-processing, logical reasoning, and informed consent literatures, studies of age differences in the sorts of risky behavior likely to be influenced by the psychosocial factors listed above—such as reckless driving, binge drinking, crime, and spontaneous unprotected sex—indicate that risky behavior is significantly more common during late adolescence and early adulthood than after ... In other words, adolescents may demonstrate adult-like levels of maturity in some respects by the time they reach 15, but in other respects they show continued immaturity well beyond this point in development. Taken together, these bodies of neurobiological and behavioral research indicate that it is not prudent to make sweeping statements about the relative maturity of adolescents and adults, because the answer to the question of whether adolescents are as mature as adults depends on the aspects of maturity under consideration ... In essence, the skills and abilities necessary to make an informed decision about a medical procedure are likely in place several years before the capacities necessary to regulate one’s behavior under conditions of emotional arousal or coercive pressure from peers."
But, even if he's winning that the lack of brain development means that they can't make good decisions, this doesn't matter in terms of giving adolescents the right to make these decisions. We still give the right to make these decisions to adults who make horrible decisions. The justification for why adolescents don't deserve equal treatment isn't there. Baldwin '13[5]:
  • "[A]lthough rights to speech, procreation and the like are justified for adults in terms of their capacity for rational choice, the extension of these rights to minors has never been explained on grounds assuming the same capacity for choice ... the only constitutionally tolerable justification for denying children rights would be that children lack full capacity for individual choice ... This argument relies on children making seemingly immature decisions and adults finding these children lack capacity; however, if adults made the same decisions, they would merely be considered bad decisions and adults would still be viewed as capable."

Sources in comments as agreed upon.
kasmic

Con

Justice and Morality:

Pro makes three arguments, well really two arguments as to why he thinks we ought to prefer morality over justice.

1. He argues that without an internal justification of good and bad guiding justice there would be no reason anything is unjust. This is blatantly untrue. Consider the physco path who murders. Such a person would have no internal justification of good and bad but still clearly can act in just or unjust ways. Thus Justice is separate from any internal justification. The second argument he makes is essentially the same.

2. Pro claims that my argument makes justice and morality the same. This is untrue. I clearly argued that morality is the means, while Justice is the ends. They are interrelated topics, but as demonstrated above, justice remains constant with or without a moral internal justification.

Thus we see that Justice must be preferred to morality.

Liberty/Autonomy of Adolescents:

Pro says “if I can show that they can make these decisions, then the negative case goes away and I meet his framework of deserving of rights.”

This is almost true. He must show that adolescents can make rational decisions. This is because one is not really autonomous without that ability. Last round it was determined (and as pro did not contest accepted) that autonomy is synonymous with liberty. Liberty is both the freedom from external influence and the ability to act independently. This means pro must show that a) adolescents should be both free from outside influence to this freedom, and b) have the capability to act independently.

I demonstrated last round that neither is the case.

Due to the underdeveloped PFC adolescents are subject to react to circumstances rather than act. They are subject to their environments and emotions. They are unable to act for themselves as they are unable to inhibit inappropriate behavior.

Since the PFC controls intense emotions and impulses, it is sometimes referred to as the seat of good judgement. As such, a properly functioning prefrontal cortex inhibits inappropriate behaviors " including delaying gratification of needs, for things like food or sex " while encouraging wise, acceptable choices. In part, this occurs because it works to allow humans to balance immediate reward with long-term goals."(See previous round sources)

Thus, we see that adolescents have neither the capability to be autonomous or the freedom from outside influence.

Pro contends this and provides a few studies that he thinks negate this truth, but on further observation we see this to be entirely untrue. He quotes that “Comparisons of adolescent and adult decision-making with regard to risky behaviors ... have demonstrated that adolescents and adults are equally able to identify possible consequences of risky behavior” Each of the studies cited by pro essentially say the same thing.

These fails for one simple reason.

"Reasoning according to hypothetical situations might not be affected. When dealing with actual events, though, function is impaired." (1)

As is clear the studies cited from pro where on hypothetical situations and thus do not negate my own. In fact, it is consistent with my sources. Consequently, we see then that pro’s sources do not contend that when dealing with actual events, functionality for adolescents is impaired.

On Identity:

Pro argued that “in order to preserve the gender identity of adolescents, the affirmative adopts these principles as a mindset in the biomedical community, ensuring that before any sort of intersex operation, adolescents are able to make completely free and informed decisions in regard to gender operations.”


Such a decision about one’s identity in adolescence should not be allowed.

“A large and relatively new body of research is revealing that young adulthood is a time of dramatic change in basic thinking structures, as well as in the brain. Consensus is emerging that an 18-year-old is not the same person she or he will be at 25, just as an 11-year-old is not the same as he or she will be at 18. They don't look the same, feel the same, think the same, or act the same.” (2)

It is unreasonable to allow an adolescent incapable of rational thought to make a decision autonomously about their gender identity when their decision would affect their whole life. This is especially harmful as the adolescent brain is incapable of assessing long term consequences and will have a different identity when fully developed.

A misunderstanding:

Pro concludes by contending that “We still give the right to make these decisions to adults who make horrible decisions. The justification for why adolescents don't deserve equal treatment isn't there.”

This misses the mark. The argument is not that adolescents make horrible decisions and thus should not have rights. It is that they cannot rationalize their decisions and are thus subject to external influences…. They react, as oppose to act. They don’t “decide” so much as instinctively respond. Adults are free to choose to act poorly because they can reasonable be held accountable for their actions. Society does not hold an adolescent accountable in the same way as an adult largely because they cannot act in the same autonomous way.

Overview:

Pro has not met his burden of proof and seemingly cannot.

This is due to adolescents not being capable of autonomy. The resolution is soundly negated as due to this inability, Adolescents ought not be given medical autonomy. It would be unreasonable and consequently unjust to require such autonomy when adolescents are not capable.

Sources:


(1) http://www.wisegeek.com...

(2) http://hrweb.mit.edu...

Debate Round No. 3
Zaradi

Pro

My opponent drops a few key arguments and misunderstands a few others, and because of it he's losing the round. Let's start on the framework debate.

Extend Campbell. Campbell talks about how any time we make a normative claim about anything, including concepts like Justice, that they carry ontological assumptions within them. Until we address the ontological questions assumed within normative statements, normative statements are meaningless. Con never makes any kind of response to Campbell. This means that you're preferring morality to justice, as I'm the only one questioning these ontological questions. Don't let him make a response to it in the last round because I won't be able to make any kind of response to it. This means that I'm winning the framework debate entirely because I'm the only one making any kind of attempt to link to morality, whereas Con doesn't even attempt to link into it.

But, if you don't buy that, extend my response that by his own literal statement (a.k.a. where he says "If something is unjust, it is immoral."), morality and justice are equatable. He responds by saying that morality is the means for the ends of justice, but he provides no warrant for why they still can't be interchangable. In fact, it begs the same question of what the actual difference is, which is a question he's not providing a good answer to. This means that even if you prefer his framework to my own, then I can still link into it.

Moreover, according to his entire page about positive and negative liberties, the only thing that's preventing me from linking into justice is me showing that adolescents can't make rational decisions. So let's go to substance now.

Extend the three studies that I provided in the last round talking about how empiricially it's been shown that adolescents have the same rational decision making as adults do, especially in terms of making medical decisions that affect their health and being in the long term. His sole refutation to the three studies I show is that they deal with hypothetical situations and not with actual events, thus we should prefer his evidence about the brain studies. There's a number of responses that can be made to this:

1. This is blatantly untrue, and any brief scanning of the studies I cited will show this. Look to "The subjects' responses to questions were evaluated and scored by a panel of twenty experts on four standards of competency: evidence of choice, reasonable outcome, rational reasons, and understanding. The results indicated that fourteen-year-olds demonstrated a competency equal to that of eighteen and twenty-oneyear- olds" from the Sloninat evidence, look to "They found that minors aged fourteen and older "demonstrate a level of competency equivalent to that of adults."' These results support earlier work performed by Jean Piaget which suggested that individuals enter the "formal operational stage" during adolescence, and thereafter "possess the cognitive capability to reason, understand, appreciate, and articulate decisions comparable to young adults." from the Will evidence, and look to "showing that adolescents ≥ 14 years of age did not differ from young adults in their ability to understand diagnostic and treatment information, rationally consider alternatives, and make reasonable choices. Developmental analyses indicate that by age 11 children begin to understand the physiologic basis of disease, and children as young as 8-10 years may be capable of an “adult” understanding of death as universal, unalterable, and permanent." from the Derrington evidence. All of this speaks to specific, real-life event calculation of consequences.

2. His refutation to this makes no sense: if we can't test people's competency with hypothetical examples, then that takes out literally every way of testing anyone for an understanding of anything. His argument is absurd.

3. Extend the second reason I gave you to prefer my evidence that says that even if his arguments about brain development are true, then the fact that these studies exist show that his evidence doesn't actually matter. Even with lesser developed brains, adolescents possess the ability to make these kinds of decisions. This should tell you exactly how important the brain development is to the resolution (hint, it isn't).

4. But even if you don't buy that, extend the Baldwin evidence which is talking about how making bad decisions shouldn't exclude one from having rights. Adults are capable of making mistakes as well, and we still give them the rights to make their own autonomous decisions, even before they hit the magical "25 years old" mark. His response is that it's not about the making of decisions, but rather the rationalizing of decisions, and that we don't hold adolescents to the same standard as adults.

But a) this misses the mark of what Baldwin is even talking about -- it doesn't matter whether it's the acting or the rationalizing that's the key distinction because there are adults that fail in this regard too. We don't punish those adults, though, which seems to suggest that this actually isn't a relevant distinction, or at least ought not be a relevant distinction, and b) We actually can and often do hold adolescents accountable on an adult-like standard for their actions. Adolescents can and have been tried as adults under the judicial system and last I checked insurance companies don't really make distinctions for minors who get into car accidents and forgive them for their "inability to rationalize the situation". Last I checked they're punished more severely with higher car insurance rates.

So Baldwin stands. Even if he's right and that adolescents aren't able to rationalize their decisions as well as adults can, that ought not be a deciding factor in whether or not they deserve the right to make their own autonomous decisions. The negative case actually drops from this card alone.

5. But even if you haven't bought a single word of what I've said so far, you can extend Steinberg. Steinberg is the game-over mistake from Con because it talks specifically about how making generalizing statements about things like brain development in adolescents misunderstands how we actually make decisions and misunderstands the maturity requirements that are relevant in decision making. Only looking at empirical trials and tests of decision making capacity can we actually come to understand adolescents potential in making good, autonomous decisions.

This is the game over mistake because this goes entirely, 100% dropped from my opponent's last round. He doesn't make a single response to the very long, lengthy card that explicitly states that everything his case is about is entirely wrong.

Don't let him stand up and make a response to this card. He had the chance to respond to it and didn't. Hold this mistake against him. And I won't have a chance to actually defend myself after this round, so letting him respond to it in the last round is inherently unfair.

Because I'm winning Steinberg, you don't look to any of the brain studies and PFC evidence. Since that's entirely what con's case and refutations are based around, his entire case drops at that point, as do his responses to the plan as they were all predicated around the brain studies as well.

So let's go to the plan.

Extend the framework. The only way to be moral is to reject fix gender identities, which is coming from all the Butler evidence I read. The only way to actually go about doing this is this is the plan, which go almost entirely unaddressed throughout the entire debate.

Extend the harms of not doing the plan, which is the Shober and the ISNA 1 evidence talking about the psychological harms of not affirming as well as by not affirming we're re-enforcing and re-entrenching sexist and patriarchical standards within society that we ought to reject. None of it goes addressed. It outweighs the negative case in that even if he's right that adolescents brain deveolpment isn't quite there, the harms are more harmful and more important to solve for. There's no actual harm listed by the negative to affirming the plan, and he's not doing any work to show that by affirming we don't solve for the harms, so I'm the only one with any kind of actual impact toward the resolution. I'm the only one with actual offense.

Then extend the solvency of adopting the Yogyakarta method. This ensures that adolescents are making decisions that are free of unwanted outside influences and are purely autonomous. There's no response to the solvency other than adolescents brain development isn't there, but that's already responded to.

Conclusion:


The debate breaks down really simply.

The framework debate is a wash. Either I'm winning it in which case you affirm the resolution because I'm the only one trying to disrupt fixed gender identities, or you throw it out entirely because I'm showing that I can adequately link to his framework of justice.

The plan goes entirely unaddressed. I'm extending off clean offense from the imacpts of not affirming the plan, and giving you weighing to show that even if his case is right and the brain development isn't there, that the harms of not affirming are too great for that to matter.

Also I'm winning that adolescents can make rational, autonomous decisions on the negative side of the flow, so the entirety of the negative case falls away at that point from the three studies I showed and the Steinberg evidence.

And even if I'm not winning there, I'm showing that it's not even important to the ultimate decision through the Baldwin evidence by showing that this ought not be something that actually distinguishes adults from adolescents.

There's literally no place you can negate the resolution and I'm the only one with any kind of offense back to the resolution.
kasmic

Con

Overview:

Extend preferring Justice to morality. Pro does not contend my reasoning here, merely restates his ontological contention. It is clear that justice precedes morality as it is the goal of morality itself. Pro ignores the example I gave demonstrating that people can have a lack of morals and still act in a just or unjust way, extend that as it negates his petty claim that the two values are equitable.

So far as the subject of PFC development, notice that he never really responds to my concern. Each study Pro provided concerned hypothetical circumstances and are thus dismissed as "Reasoning according to hypothetical situations might not be affected. When dealing with actual events, though, function is impaired." (see previous round for source.)

Pro claims this absurd as there is no way to test competency… except there is. As mentioned in this debate, age is the best indicator on balance to one’s ability to rationally make decisions. Adolescents are underdeveloped and shown to be incapable of such rationality. While imperfect in regard to specific individuals, it is the most reliable source presented in this debate concerning adolescents on balance and should be preferred.

Pro, in an attempt at ridicule calls 25 the “magical” mark. It is the scientific mark as indicated by any and all sources in this debate. The PFC is not fully devolved until 25. It seems pro is ridiculing science to magic and dismissing it as such. To do so undermines his studies that are also based in science. Note this hypocrisy.

Pro does bring up one somewhat reasonable concern. “There are adults that fail in this regard too.” To this I again respond that “Adults are free to choose to act poorly because they can reasonable be held accountable for their actions. Society does not hold an adolescent accountable in the same way as an adult largely because they cannot act in the same autonomous way.”

Pro does respond to this stating “Adolescents can and have been tried as adults under the judicial system and last I checked insurance companies don't really make distinctions for minors who get into car accidents and forgive them for their "inability to rationalize the situation".”

Remember my second observation. These are specific cases; we are debating “on balance.” When adolescents are tried as adults it is the rare exception to the rule. That rule being accepted that adolescents are not tried as adults, as they are not as capable as adults and not as accountable. As far as insurance, the companies do take adolescents inability into account demonstrated by the mere fact that adolescents insurance cost more to offset the larger likelihood that they will be in an accident. Besides this, the insurance is concerned about the financial aspect, your insurance company is not in the business of determining justice or morality, it is in the business of covering costs. So this sad attempt to refute is not linked and dismissed easily.

Conclusion:

Pro is right, “The debate breaks down really simply.”

I laid out 3 observations early in this debate, to which pro did not object, and yet he fails to meet all three.

OB 1: we see that adolescents have neither the capability to be autonomous or the freedom from outside influence. Pro fails here. Ought implies can, and we cant give autonomy to someone incapable of receiving or exercising it.

Referring to observation 1 it becomes clear that this causes pro to value to meet the burden of “ought.”

OB 2: Pro does attempt to give examples that some adolescents seem to act as rationally as adults, and some adults act irrationally. This contentions ignore “on balance.” Thus pro fails to meet this observation

OB3: As far as choosing identities it has become clear that such a decision about one’s identity in adolescence should not be allowed.

“A large and relatively new body of research is revealing that young adulthood is a time of dramatic change in basic thinking structures, as well as in the brain. Consensus is emerging that an 18-year-old is not the same person she or he will be at 25, just as an 11-year-old is not the same as he or she will be at 18. They don't look the same, feel the same, think the same, or act the same.” (see previous round)

It is unreasonable to allow an adolescent incapable of rational thought to make a decision autonomously about their gender identity when their decision would affect their whole life. This is especially harmful as the adolescent brain is incapable of assessing long term consequences and will have a different identity when fully developed.

Pro has clearly failed to meet these observations though he accepted them and failed to provide a convincing case. Furthermore, I have demonstrated that adolescents on balance do not have the capacity for such autonomy and should then not be given this autonomy.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Zaradi for debating me,

Vote Con!

Debate Round No. 4
83 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I wish more votes had been cast.
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
donald.keller
I'll vote by the end of today.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
Well sources are a big deal..but okay.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I dont think that Zaradi or I want points for sources, conduct, or grammar.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Well, whomever you would give the 3 points for arguments to is who you should select. That is at least what I would prefer.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
This is a very close debate....both of you did seemingly well. I'm not sure who to vote for since its a select winner system.. -.-
I wish this was 7-point system.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
I just got done reading half of this. I'll read the other half tomorrow, and vote.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
..... But I didn't.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
You heard me.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
? Nac
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
Zaradikasmic
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R34fYUgslO7dkunn6IWETHgcOfqm9Lvug8QOm5fWAv8/edit?usp=sharing
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
Zaradikasmic
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: I will vote on this tomorrow with my RFD in a google document.