The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/30/2015 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,158 times Debate No: 81517
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (2)




Welcome, DDO!

I'm starting yet another debate on this resolution.

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

First round will be acceptance. No new arguments in the last round.

This debate will be a HALLOWEEN THEMED DEBATE!!! I made a forum post detailing what this means here: ( Long story short, expect some fun arguments from me :3

10k characters. Select winner voting. 2500 elo minimum to vote.


I accept!
Debate Round No. 1


Traditional personhood fails — resolutional ontology is centered on an idea of a subject that has always necessarily excluded those that don’t fall into a calculable spectrum. It creates a an autonomous, self-independent decision maker, appealing to some transcendental humanity that exists between people, and confines beings into the narrow category of the political realm through rights. These ideas were created to exclude certain groups from moral calculation as a whole. Rather, we should view existence as something incoherent under traditional models, something completely different. Weheliye[1]:
  • We … need … alternatives to the … conception of personhood … to not lose sight of … what it cannot magically transform into the fantastic form of … ownership. … the focus on inclusion, recognition, and equality based on a narrow legal framework … not only hinders the eradication of violence against … vulnerable populations but actually creates the … possibility for the continued unequal “distribution of life chances.” … demanding recognition and inclusion … will lead only to a … notion of personhood as property that zeroes in … on only one form of subjugation at the expense of others, thus allowing for the continued existence of hierarchal differences between full humans, … and nonhumans. … To make claims for inclusion … removes from view that the law … continues to be one of the chief instruments in creating and maintaining the racializing assemblages in the world of Man. …
AND, medical choices beg the question of what a medical choice is. Logically medical choices inevitably apply to the body. BUT, the primary site of totalization i.e. the creation of a subject that I criticize is the body, the flesh. Western philosophy, i.e. fascism, seeks the creation of a unified organic body by which to normalize ideas of identity as a whole. Kriss[2]:
  • sport is fascist bullsh*t. … The fundamental fascist vision is one of a cohesive … society structured around the metaphor of the healthy body. Any politics of the body will by necessity be a politics that acts on the body: the healthy body becomes a regulative ideal, … spectacularisation of the body is always present … but it’s always also accompanied by the idea that health is good in and of itself … Individual health means social health. … The ideology of sport and fitness has its roots in Victorian England … the desperate belief that sports will prevent masturbation … Fitness and beauty are still good, sickness and ugliness are still bad, …
We need to find a space beyond these things. Look no further; you’ve found what is capable of creating space - me. Adopt the methodology of becoming vampire. This allows us to exist in a space between boundaries — to not view ideas of the subject as normative, but to see the infinity of factors that create the things that we eventually label as subjects. Subversion of intrinsic properties is necessary to discover the inherent whiteness of an eternal subject because intrinsic properties are illusions created that allow for more exploitation and exclusion. Winnubst[3]:
  • All boundaries are crossed here—human/non-human, organic/inorganic, … and, yes, alive/undead, … a world that echoes the worlds of vampires, “any interesting being, . . … should—be teased open to show the … political, … historical, mythic, … threads that make up its tissues” In teasing open such threads, the structures … of both racism and sexism often surface. … race, which continues to haunt us in its biological appearances … despite all our talk of social construction, may finally begin to appear as the … effect of investments in 19th century concepts of the organic, the ‘natural,’ … Investments by that absent body, the body-in-control, the straight white male body. … we need not continue …
The Vampire is antithetical to Western metaphysics, it is mutually exclusive with the idea of a subject, because it has no process of self-recognition, precisely because there is no fundamental self. Vampires are key because their very existence is a threat to the philosophy of the hegemonic west. Vote aff since my vampirism contests the white subject at it’s core — it’s also contagious. The more we bite, the more we turn, and the more of the West we destroy. Winnubst 2:
  • the vampire can never become a legible subject in the straight white male symbolic … western … America. He … can never become a subject … for the vampire does not have the one necessary condition … it has no mirror reflection. This ‘lack’ … is … read as the lack of a soul, … the lack of a mirror reflection troubles the logics of subjection … that we find in the … schema of our cultural psyche. The vampire does not … register on the radar of identity-formation—he … does not have the necessary condition for … becoming a subject. But, … nor can he … be fully abjected, nor can he … be … categorized … as the Other. … The vampire, … is forever haunting because he … is forever beyond the grasps of … subjectivity. The vampire infects his blood, alters his spirit and … exceeds his concepts. And … he … always carries the power to expose them, … and their anxieties—about blood, … boundaries, …
Thus my advocacy is that adolescents ought to be able to make the autonomous medical choice to become vampires. Before the topicality rebuttals come pouring out, here’s some clarification. The adolescents here are us, right here in this debate round. My medical choice is a choice relating to the body, the tearing down of my body as something that must be healthy or even unified in favor of the chaotic mass that is the process of me becoming vampire. Becoming vampire is already occurring, because it’s already a part of our existence, everything is — potential to exist is just as real as physical existence. We just need to activate that becoming.

The role of the judge should be about what WE CAN DO in round not about what WE CAN MAKE BELIEVE ABOUT in round. I can make the choice RIGHT NOW to become a vampire. I cannot make the choice RIGHT NOW to restrict all adolescent autonomy to what the neg wants to advocate for.

This centers the role of the judge in the most realistic and true description of debate as an activity. Our use of fiat is a utopian tool to imagine a better life, which has no impact whatsoever so the judge’s decision is an intellectual endorsement of a position. McGee[4]:
  • judges are only capable of … intellectual endorsement, … neither debaters nor judges are capable of … the adoption of a plan of action, fiat is always a utopian gesture that hints at the creation of a better life. From this point of view, both aff … and neg … are utopian literatures from which the judge must choose. … the … judge is the particular audience addressed by debaters, … the judge is the only living … individual who will choose between the equally utopian possibilities …
An aff vote is not only an acknowledgement of my existence and the possibility of vampirism as a whole, but also an invitation into the room — I can’t just walk in, I need a little bit of help, so invite me in so I can spread my poison. I am making my claim to existence. Any rejection is a hopeless appeal to the problematic metaphysics of the West — the intellectual endorsement is of me making my claim to vampirism.


Being is transformative and exists in terms of potential and interaction. The illusion is the subject is created through the idea that, for example, I am Zaradi and Zaradi has brown hair. But in reality, brown hair isn’t something attributed to me; it’s just as much Zaradi as anything else is. Without it, I’d be a fundamentally different kind of Zaradi. Liberation happens when we realize that there is no such thing as a permanent Zaradi, Zaradi is just an affect of many phenomena, including the existence of brown hair. The vampire destabilizes the subject and embodies existence beyond categorization — this is also a key component of what we call knowledge. In order to learn, the only possible method of engagement is one that is beyond stable existence. Each activation of potentiality is new knowledge, like the activation of the vampire. Stable existence can never induce true knowledge production. Thus, the role of the ballot is to activate spaces of possibility — to liberate existence from the West’s false tales of subjectivity. Ramey[5]:
  • The real question is not "What is swimming?" but " Where can I swim? " " When can I swim?" … To learn to swim is to conjugate the distinctive points of our bodies with the singular points of the objective Idea in order to form a problematic field. This conjugation determines … a threshold of consciousness at which our real acts are adjusted to … the real relations, … These syntheses are produced not at the level of … stable objectivities … but with … subperceptual forces … every perception is a new creation, and learning happens when a new mode of existence comes into being. … every mode of life is a form of becoming that actualizes virtual potencies, creating new assemblages of bodies and sense. Learning takes place … through … a projection of activity toward a virtual whole … that is never completely or directly lived, but manifest or ramified over multiple series of iterations
Thus the only something that we can actually get out of this round is a form of becoming. Affirming new existence only takes the form of becoming, and I am literally doing that in round, I am becoming vampire. The ballot story is like so: nothing we do here really matters beyond intellectual engagement, so the ballot is of endorsement. I tell you how knowledge is created through Ramey, contextualizing that the endorsement should be one of becoming. Then I become vampire right here — and reasons why the vampire is good, why I destroy the boundaries Weheliye talks about are reasons why I win. Close the windows, if you ate garlic today brush your teeth, dispose of all silver items, and embrace my fangs.



Insignifica forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Passing the round over to Con so he can continue with rebuttals.


I apologize for the forfeit. Got knocked off the power grid for a while.

Pro seems to be implying that I should just stick to presenting a rebuttal this round, rather than making a constructive case against the resolution. I'll go ahead and oblige.

Western Philosophy is okay

Pro says that all traditional conceptions of personhood fail because they unjustly exclude certain "vulnerable populations". Firstly, this is an a very vague and unsubstantiated assertion; Pro has conveniently neglected to cite even a single specific example of a population being unjustly excluded under a reasonable view of personhood, so we have no reason at all to accept his claim. Such an absolutist dismissal of Western philosophy requires much more warrant than what Pro has given.

Secondly, this is a fine example of circular reasoning. Who cares if some beings are excluded? Pro gives us no real answer. If a criterion for personhood is accurate, then beings who do not meet it are not considered persons, and there's nothing wrong with that. The only reason to consider it problematic would be if there existed some other, more accurate criterion indicating that the excluded beings ARE persons; for Pro's concerns to have any merit, he must advocate an alternative conception of personhood... which would refute the thesis of his case (that personhood is an illusion). The takeaway here is that the objection grounding Pro's entire framework relies on reasoning which contradicts his own advocacy.

Anyways, the assumptions Pro makes later in his case completely undermine this framework. Quoth the affirmative: "the vampire can never become a legible subject in the straight white male symbolic western America. He can never become a subject, for the vampire does not have the one necessary condition -- it has no mirror reflection. This 'lack' is read as the lack of a soul". In other words, Pro's entire case is based on the premise that human souls exist (and vampires don't have them). However, souls provide a perfect basis for personhood and the existence of the "subject" -- being immaterial and eternally-existent, souls are capable of 1) providing their physical hosts with a a stable sense of identity, and 2) distinguishing their hosts from the rest of the inanimate universe. Yet another instance of self-refutation within Pro's case.

Vampires are not anti-thetical to personhood

A vampire's lack of reflection in a mirror does not imply that he/she lacks a soul. Mirrors have nothing to do with souls; they are all about the reflection of light, which distinctly deals with the physical realm [1]. As such, we should turn to physical theories to explain the mirror phenomenon, which there are plenty of [2]. This knocks out the viability of Pro's only 'evidence' that vampires are soulless. Not only that but, vampires also possess all of the fundamental factors which have traditionally defined personhood, like self-awareness, conscious experience, capacity for suffering, self-motivated movement, etc [3].

This is problematic for Pro because his entire case depends on the idea that "becoming a vampire" destroys the traditional conception of personhood. It doesn't. Vampires are "persons" under any reasonable interpretation of the term. Even if we accept that there's something egregiously wrong with all conceptions of personhood, the resolution is not affirmed because making the medical decision to become a vampire accomplishes absolutely nothing, metaphysically speaking.

Pro cannot become a vampire

Remember that the "subject" is NOT impermanent -- Pro's assumption regarding the existence of souls provides us with a stable sense of self & identity. Really, just the fact that Pro is able to consistently refer to himself "Zaradi" is sufficient evidence that the "subject" is not just an illusion. It is a construct which objectively exists in reality, and even if we have trouble explaining what exactly it is, we universally operate under the assumption that it does, indeed, exist. The implication of all this is that 'being' is not "transformative", and Pro cannot simply turn into a vampire at will. No matter how impermanent Pro believes himself to be, vampires have a huge array of defining physical characteristics which are simply unattainable by humans [3]. Moreover, if it is true that vampires don't have souls, then it is even more absurd to believe that one can become a vampire, because it would require somehow getting rid of your own soul... good luck with that.

I will conclude this section by turning Pro's voting paradigm against him: if the judges must vote for the advocacy which is most realistically implementable, then they are obligated to vote Con. We don't need to do ANYTHING to negate the resolution because it is already the norm for adolescents to be deprived of the right to make autonomous medical decisions [4]. Meanwhile, there has been much doubt cast upon whether or not it is even POSSIBLE for Pro to become a vampire. It is clear that my position is more realistic, and thus more deserving of endorsement.

Vote Con because my round was actually comprehensible, unlike Pro's.

Debate Round No. 3


So even though this round went a little strangely, I'm going to be spending this last round summarizing the debate and why you're affirming the resolution.

Reason One You Affirm: Role of the Ballot

Extend McGee. McGee talks about how using fiat to create imaginary worlds where policies come and go is a utopian rejection of reality and isn't feasible within the world of debate. Saying we should create a system where all autonomous medical choices is based upon the Mature Minor Doctrine or that we ought to base all of our moral questioning on what's best for the community is pointless because nothing we say here will have any kind of policy-impact outside of the debate -- our cases don't become law if we win the debate. This means that the role of the ballot is for the judge to intellectually endorse a position, not to decide on which side is most feasible/probable to occur. This debate isn't going to make either side occur - the likelihood of implimentation is irrelevant to a position being correct. So you as a judge should evaluate each case to determine which one is more likely to be correct and which one is something that we can do within the round.

This is problematic because my opponent doesn't provide any kind of position of his own. There is no case that he is advocating for, which means there's no position for the judge to endorse. This means that the only position that there is available for a judge to endorse is the aff.

And, don't listen to his turn to McGee. Just because adolescents not having medical autonomy is the status quo doesn't actually show us why it ought to be the status quo. The likelihood of something happening is irrelevant to its correctness. He's not fulfilling this, therefore he can't link into the role of the ballot, which means you as a voter cannot vote for him. Moreover, his position needs to be one that we can impliment within the round. Talking about outside the debate round impacts is irrelevant because our cases won't actually create those impacts if we win the round. Impacts must be something we can do RIGHT NOW. I'm the only one doing this -- I can reject the metaphyscial expectations of the Western fascist philosophy and become vampire RIGHT NOW. There is no negative position that can compare to this. Thus, I'm the only one who is linking into the role of the ballot.

So, this debate is really simple. It doesn't matter how far-fetched the idea of becoming a vampire might seem to you as a voter. The role of the ballot is to endorse the position that is most intellectually correct and can be done within the space of the round. Whoever best meets these criteria win the round. I'm the only one doing this. So even if you buy 100% of his responses against the plan, you're still affirming because I'm the only one who is accessing the role of the ballot.

But, his refutations don't really hold water, either.

Reason Two: The Plan

Extend Weheliye. Traditional views of personhood are used to reject and exclude minority populations and exclude them from moral consideration. We need to radicalize our conception of what it is to be a person from the stable forms of identity that we have today to something more fluid and relative.

His first response to this is silly. I shouldn't have to mention the past instances of slavery, the suffrage movement for women's rights, and the LGBT movement for gay rights for there to be examples of this happening.

His second response is just flat out wrong - there's no circular reasoning. Weheliye specifically talks about how the inclusion of only people who meet our narrow confines of what it means to be a person prevent us from stopping violence commited against others and prevents us from ever righting inequality that exists between the minority populations and the majority.

Moreover, my opponent vastly misunderstands the aff. Literally nowhere in my case do I argue that identity is an illusion. I ask him to point out where I make that claim, because I never do. Weheliye's argument is that our traditional conception of personhood is horrible and we ought to reject it. And the analysis I give above Ramey isn't that identity is an illusion, but rather the concept of a stable, static form of identity is a) false and b) incompatable with how we create knowledge (which is what Ramey is talking about). He's putting words in my mouth that I never said.

And his third response is another misunderstanding of the aff. I'm not arguing for a stable conception of identity. That's specifically what I'm rejecting via Weheliye. The using of needing a soul as a benchmark is specifically the instance of needing a stable sense of identity to extend the hegemonic white control of Western society.

So, to be perfectly clear: I'm /not/ advocating for a stable, objective sense of identity. I'm arguing for a radical, subjective sense of identity.

Then, extend Kriss. The need for a stable sense of identity and personhood is an instance of fascism that's constantly replicated within Western philosophy. When we're looking for some stable identity, we're regulating what people are and are not allowed to be i.e. If only x, y, and z are things that a person is, I'm not allowed to become 'a' or I'm no longer considered a person. We ought to reject this fascist mentality of identity in favor of something that exists between the realms of the traditional sense of existence and non-existence.

Kriss is important because this is precisely why I ought to be allowed to become a vampire. Becoming a vampire is exactly what will allow us to reject the Western fascist ideology. There's no response to the warrants coming out of Kriss anywhere within his arguments. Don't let him make an arguments against Kriss in the last round since I won't be able to respond to it. He had the room and chance to respond to it but didn't, so hold it against him.

Then, extend Winnubst. Winnubst talks specifically how becoming a vampire allows us to deconstruct the boundaries of the stable identities of the fascist philosophy and why these boundaries should be deconstructed.

And extend Winnubst 2. The vampire is anti-thetical to traditional senses of personhood because it's lack of mirror reflection is indicative of it's lack of a soul, which has been referenced in classic literature. The more we spread our vampirism, the more of the West we destroy.

His sole response to vampirism is that the lack of a mirror reflection isn't indicative of the lack of a soul. But a) this isn't responsive to the amount of classic lit and Christian lit that make this claim which is referenced in Winnubst, b) his source is literally just random people from the internet posting their opinions without any kind of warrant behind any of their beliefs. There's no reason to accept his source. But then c) his own source backs up my position. To quote directly from the source: "The original explanation was that mirrors reflected the soul, and since vampires didn't have a soul there was nothing to reflect." This is directly warranting my position.

The only other response that he puts against the idea of vampires overall is that identity isn't impermanent, that who we are and what creates our identity cannot change, and that the physical changes that would make becoming a vampire are impossible for me to undergo.

To hit the first part, there's two responses to this.

First, Extend the analysis I give above Ramey. I never deny that the construct of an "identity" exists, rather my objection is that this construction is not objective and permanent. To say that "I am Zaradi, and Zaradi has brown hair" prescribes brown hair to my identity. If I were to then go dye my hair blonde, I would be a fundamentally different Zaradi than the Zaradi that had brown hair. Brown hair does not belong to me, since I'm not the only one in existence that has brown hair.

Second, Extend Ramey. Ramey talks about how the only way we can gain knowledge is through the rejection of objective forms of existence and the realization that the things we experience that make up our identity and our existence are constantly changing into new possibilities and new forms of existence. This is the only way that knowledge can be created. This means that the only way that we can really understand the way that we exist is through the rejection of objective modes of existence. Affirming does this as I literally change the form of my existence mid-round. And since I'm the only one who's doing this, I'm the only one who's meeting the requirements of existence set up by Ramey.

He drops Ramey and doesn't make any kind fo response to it. Hold him to this drop.

Then, on the second part:

First, he takes his "physical descriptions" from Twilight. I reject Twilight as an accurate description of what a "vampire" is. My vampires don't sparkle, tyvm.

Second, these objective physical descriptions are the very thing that the aff rejects via Ramey. Obviously not all vampires meet the same descriptions as multiple descriptions of vampires exist. Reject his categorizations of what I need to meet to become something as an example of the fascist West's attempts to control our identities.

Third, cross apply the role of the ballot being about intellectual endorsement of an idea. Likelihood of me actually becoming a vampire doesn't make the idea of becoming a vampire less of a good idea. His response misses the mark.

Reason Three: Burdens

Resolutionally we both have to defend our sides of the resolution. I have to show why adolescents should have the right to make autonomous decisions and he has to show why they can't. I'm the only one doing my side. He has no case of his own for his side. So if you don't buy literally anything this round I've said, you affirm because I'm the only one with offense in the round toward the burdens.


I'm meeting the role of the ballot, he's not. The plan stands, let me be a vampire. And I'm the only one with a case. Affirm.


I'm just gonna go ahead and concede. My forfeit messed things up.

Without having presented a negative case of my own, the debate's structure is screwed over, and Zaradi's criticism objectively wins him the debate:

" opponent doesn't provide any kind of position of his own. There is no case that he is advocating for, which means there's no position for the judge to endorse. This means that the only position that there is available for a judge to endorse is the aff... Just because adolescents not having medical autonomy is the status quo doesn't actually show us why it ought to be the status quo... he can't link into the role of the ballot, which means you as a voter cannot vote for him."

And I already agreed to his voting paradigm, too, so there's no way for me to win this debate without introducing new arguments in the final round (either putting forth a negative case or advocating an alternative voting paradigm).

Sorry, fellas.
Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 2 days ago

The Aff, by framing the non-stable, subjective identity as "radical," is perpetuating the very fascism he wants to eradicate - to affirm he needs to show that becoming a vampire changes the notion of identity objectively and therefore is a "medical" choice. The problem is that the affirmative rests on Western philosophy's notions of identity as DEFAULT which is perpetuating the stable mono-identity again and is fundamentally fascist.

Only by rejecting the idea of "choice" and "change" itself because it is the default and requires no description can you truly negate Western philosophy. Vote Neg.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
I can do p much anything with Postmodern philosophy...
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
Lol, I wonder if I could craft this into a K of surveillance
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
This presumes I ever didn't. :P
Posted by ShabShoral 1 year ago
Zaradi, do you only think in postmodern critical theory now?
Posted by Insignifica 1 year ago
Alright. Thanks for the feedback. I'll keep that mind.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
Regardless of where the BoP is, you need offense to win a debate. If you're not getting offense from your case, you need to get offense from your refutations.

But even if the BoP was on me in the first place, you should still look to make offense off of your rebuttals anyway. It literally just gives you more ways to win the round and makes your opponent's arguments look weaker. There's literally no good reason why not to make offensive rebuttals when you have the chance to.
Posted by Insignifica 1 year ago
That is true. I didn't foresee the issue coming up. Kinda just assumed (wrongly) that BoP is on you and that defensive arguments are all I need to win the debate.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
But you didn't do it in the third round either is what I'm saying.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
But you didn't do it in the third round either is what I'm saying.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Con in the last round.