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

Affirmative Action

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 304 times Debate No: 94550
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I am doing several debates on the Big Issues. This is the second. My opponent and I will debate on the topic of affirmative action. I am for affirmative action while my opponent is against it. Round 1is for explaining rules and acceptance. Round 2 is when I place down several arguments and my opponent provides a counter-framework. Rouen 3 is for rebutting the arguments placed in Round 2. If either my opponent or I forfeit a round, voters should be aware of this and penalize that person by voting against them. If any of these rules are broken, voters should also penalize that person who broke the rules.


I accept and wish my opponent good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting. Just a little reminder: For this round, I will give several arguments and my opponent will provide a counter-framework.

There a few reasons that support the idea of affirmative action being good. But first of all, what is affirmative action? Affirmative action is the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who currently suffer or historically have suffered from discrimination within a culture (1). So why is affirmative action good?

1. Affirmative action breaks down barriers. There have been many barriers over the course of our history. Man against woman, black against white, rich against poor, and so on. It is true that many of these barriers may have been broken, but there is still another barrier we have to break: the barrier if acceptance. We have to learn to accept one another regardless of race, gender, or income status. Affirmative action was introduced United States first by John F. Kennedy in 1961. He wanted to "ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin" (2). In other words, this helps to protect workers and it gives them rights. Why wouldn't we want that? Court cases have been held regarding college admission based on race, gender, or beliefs including the Fisher v. University of Texas in 2013 and 2016 (3). Both cases ended fairly.

2. So what can we conclude from this? Based on this information, it seems that affirmative action benefits everybody, so why would we want to get rid of something like this? Affirmative action protects workers and gives them rights, it makes sure that students are accepted into college regardless of race, color, religion, and gender. Affirmative action breaks barriers, but we still need to break the barrier of acceptance. All people should accept one another.

I hope that this is a good start for this debate. These statements that I have made help support the idea of affirmative action being helpful, not harmful to people. I look forward to my opponent's response.



Kingdom of Ends

In a civilized society, we as humans must live together peacefully. One key issue is that we should move to create a Kingdom of Ends. The Kingdom of Ends is where people are treated as an end of themselves, not a means [1]. This is important as it is part of the soceity that we should strive to as it maximizes human equality and the ability to live together peacefully. The Kingdom shows that many people can live together under common just laws as they are able to live as ends instead of means. At the End, they are able to live together as citizens in this Kingdom to be treated as ends and this will lead to an equality through individiual rights [2]. Affirmative Action violates the Kingdom of Ends as it uses the instance of a racial or sex that was discriminated to institute a punishment on the firm to higher a set standard. This isn't equality towards the Kingdom of Ends as you are using the individual as a means, not an end. Harming this violates the Kingdom of Ends which makes things harder, as a society, to move towards this utopia and this plan is unethical due to this.


The second main aspect of this debate should revolve around Utilitarianism, which can best be sumed up as the greatest pleasure of the greatest sentient beings. This is an important aspect of this debate as we look at how it affects the most people in this debate. We would have to look at any situation where the discriminatory action that would happen and see that one or a few members would be discriminated against by a firm. The people who were discriminated against are not compensated for with a hiring from the firm or any other. Instead they require the business to meet certain requirements that would harm the business with financial issues. Am I stating that the minorities aren't as skilled as white males? No. The Oppertunity cost of Affirmative Action is over $200 billion [3]. We can see that there really anyone that actually benefits from Affirmative Action, but a small select few. Those discriminated against aren't helped and businesses tend to suffer financial losses. We see that there is more of a harm to more individuals than would great a net benefit and as a result, we see that Affirmative Action is unethical.

1. (
2. Stephen Palmquist "'The Kingdom of God is at Hand!' (Did Kant really say that?)", History of Philosophy Quarterly 11:4 (October 1994), pp.421-437.
3. (
Debate Round No. 2


In a civilized society, we as humans must live together peacefully. " That isn't going to happen if we don't take affirmative action. So without affirmative action, there will be no Kingdom of Ends. If we want everyone to be treated equally, the first thing we have to do is to make sure that the ones who are treated badly get benefits.

Even if a small portion of people who get help from affirmative action are actually helped, it does not mean that we should stop it. Besides, money here is wasted anyway, but spending it on affirmative action is a good idea.

Please forgive me for such short arguments as I am in a hurry and do not have much time.


My opponent brings up how Affirmative Action has helped bring together everyone, but he doesn't explain how Affirmative Action has done that. He makes Causality Fallacy, just because we have made progress and affirmative action, does not mean it's due to affirmative action. He brings up college and affirmative action, which is a funny one. Blake V California Regents, saw California use Affirmative Action to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, the Supreme Court found the case in favor of Blake [1]. I would go further, but there isn't anything else to refute.

Thank you and please vote Con!

1. (
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 months ago
RFD - Arguments (cont)

Finally, Con argues from the Kingdom of Ends and shows that Affirmative Action violates this by "Affirmative Action violates the Kingdom of Ends as it uses the instance of a racial or sex that was discriminated to institute a punishment on the firm to higher a set standard." Pro doesn't seem to be able to understand how to properly rebut claims and simply states that AA helps us to get there, but without explaining *HOW*.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 months ago
RFD - Arguments

Pro's arguments are that Affirmative Action breaks down barriers and brings us together. However, as con noted, he never really explained *HOW* AA does such a thing. Thus he is left begging the question.

Con argues that affirmative action violates utilitarianism, the idea that we should seek to get the greatest pleasure of the greatest sentient beings. Con shows *HOW* it violates utilitarianism by continuing down the path of discrimination. Pro drops this point completely.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 months ago
RFD - Sources

I'm going to start with sources as this is the easiest to deal with.

The reason Con wins sources is based on Con's handling of sources in this debate. Pro doesn't seem to understand how to properly cite his work. It is not enough to simply say the name of the website that you got the information from (i.e., Huffington Post, Wikipedia) as he does in round 2, but you must Copy and Paste the entire URL into the debate as Con does.

Impact on debate: Whenever I read a debate or attempt to vote, I always like to try and verify sources and verify where they got the information from. Because I was unable to do that with Pro, and was able to do that with Con, the source vote went to con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ThinkBig 2 months ago
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Total points awarded:05 
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