The Instigator
Caploxion
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points
The Contender
khatijasayani
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Child birth should be considered immoral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Caploxion
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 463 times Debate No: 43410
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

Caploxion

Pro

5 rounds, 48 hours to argue, 8k characters and a 2 week voting period.

Morals - Principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.

Discomfort:

1. Mental or bodily distress.

2. Something that disturbs one's comfort; an annoyance.



First round is for acceptance.
Second, third and fourth for arguments and counter-arguments as you see fit.
Last is for summary and counter-arguments (no new arguments).

Burden of proof in on me.

If there is a problem with the rules of the debate, say so in the comments before accepting the debate, or else you are bound by the rules.

I wish my opponent strength in argument for both of our sakes.
khatijasayani

Con

I accept this debate. Just elaborate on your debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Caploxion

Pro

I wish to thank khatijasayani for accepting this debate, and I hope that we both argue well.


Discomfort is bad

In a world where there is only discomfort and comfort (i.e. no context), no rational sentient animal would choose discomfort over comfort. It is only with context that discomfort could ever be considered preferable, such as a deal that if you were to be uncomfortable now, you would be comfortable for twice the amount of time afterwards. Therefore, it appears to be no less than a truth (be it objective or inter-subjective).

Life is (almost certainly) more discomfort than comfort

I will now argue that life is essentially a ‘negative-sum game’, in which there are states of comfort that all fall below the ‘0’, rather than anything that is truly positive. In other words, positives and negatives are not opposites, rather, states of overall discomfort.

Anything that is positive is, overall, a result of overcoming a negative. To feel happy, you must have no lingering, serious discomforts. To feel healthy, your body cannot be burdened with ailment. To feel pride for your son/daughter, he/she must overcome something and you must be hoping that he/she will overcome it to begin with. It is not sufficient a counter-argument to say that for every negative there is an equal positive always met, because discomfort requires ‘no alignment of the stars’, rather only the sentient psychology feeling deprived; whereas, elimination of discomfort is not necessarily assured. For example, you cannot be sure that you will be hired for a certain job, yet you can far more easily wish that you could.

Certain actions can produce more positive than negative, but only within themselves. For example, going to the fridge to eat whilst starving, would be an enormously positive trade (the discomfort of having to go the fridge and select food to eat etc. , versus the elimination of starvation). However, given context, it would be apparent that you were unable to satisfy discomforts to begin with, hence the starving state that you found yourself in. Overall, the sum can never reach a true positive, as you have, in reality, only experienced great relief by suffering greatly beforehand.

Conclusively, relative to this section, it would be virtually impossible to reach the ‘0’, as every possible discomfort would have to be accounted for. Therefore, in the event that you cannot eliminate every discomfort, you will have an overall negative sum, meaning that your life is more discomfort than comfort.

Permanent state of discomfort

Through our perception, our mind gives us tasks. Production of these tasks are like the ‘building of broken chairs’, in that there exists no problem in reality outside of our perception. For example, a woman’s nails need not be coloured or manicured; it is only through a combination of a sexual drive and vanity does this ‘broken chair’ seem to need fixing. In other words, if you were without the filter of sentient psychology, you would be able to see that these ‘problems’, in reality, do not exist. Furthermore, the illusion that these broken chairs need to be fixed, need not exist. Does it really achieve anything to say ‘thank you’ after someone has done something nice for you, other than satisfy ego and other products of sentient psychology? Is there some greater purpose for this psychology that ordains its existence? Why must the psychology exist if it is designed to produce these broken chairs that need not exist in reality, yet only serve as discomfort?

It will never be enough to acquire one million dollars as you could have ten million dollars, and for all the brilliance of earning such a large amount, as soon as the psychology becomes accustomed to it, more will be required. If you are able to resist the natural urge for more, then it will be another field of desire that will strike your attention, such as the growing of a simple garden, or the gathering of family. Either way, your sentient psychology will always want more of or ‘one more time’ of anything. And such, it is apparent that a permanent state of discomfort rules whenever a sentient psychology exists.

Seeing as coming into existence will almost certainly bring about more negative than positive, it follows that it should be considered immoral to bring any sentient animal into this.

That is all for my main line of argument

It is better to have never been

Benatar’s Asymmetry:

(1) If a person exists, then his/her discomfort is a bad thing.
(2) If a person exists, then his/her pleasure is a good thing.
(3) What does not exist cannot be uncomfortable (therefore this non-existing discomfort is a good thing).
(4) What does not exist cannot be deprived of any pleasure (therefore this non-existing pleasure is not a bad thing).

This is a simplified version of David Benatar’s work, found here: [1]. It is mathematical proof that not existing should be preferred over existing. The first two lines should be accepted by all, but the latter two is where the asymmetry occurs. I think this version of Benatar’s Asymmetry is so simple that I could only repeat it in trying to explain it. From this, it is better to not bring people into existence, making child birth immoral.

I would like to use a couple of analogies to express some other issues with child birth. These two analogies do not rest upon any argument above, thus should be taken as arguments within themselves.

Gambling Analogy

If you go gambling (procreating) with another person’s life inheritance (state of being), without his/her consent, that is immoral. You do not own the person’s inheritance, so you should not have the final word in how it is used. Even if the likelihood of you being able to increase the inheritance via using the inheritance is high (the child will likely have good health/a good life etc.), it would still be immoral to gamble with it without permission, much as it is immoral to sign contracts for people without their permissions.

Driving Drunk Analogy

Many societies have rules against drunk-driving. This is because drink-driving causes unnecessary risk. Let’s assume that it is necessary to drive a car. It is not necessary to drive-drunk in order to drive. Similarly, it is not required of your life to procreate in order for you to live/ experience pleasure. The risks of causing harm increase substantially in drunk-driving (procreating), and even if the risks are low, the ramifications that result could entail catastrophe (serious disabilities, a truly nasty experience in life etc.).

Conclusion

Discomfort is bad. Since life is basically about experiencing discomforts and then feeling the need to fix them in order to experience some kind of positive, it seems as if you can only lose the game of life. The best you could possibly do with your life is reach ‘0’ in the negative-sum game. Besides, it is better to have never been than to be thrown into this silly life game, without giving consent, in order to try and feel some kind of comfort when it is the function of sentient psychology to be uncomfortable.

References

‘Negative-sum,’ gambling, driving drunk and ‘Broken chair’ analogies taken from the Youtube channel ‘Inmendham’.

[1] http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com......

khatijasayani

Con

khatijasayani forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Caploxion

Pro

Extend my arguments.
khatijasayani

Con

khatijasayani forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Caploxion

Pro

What a waste of time...
khatijasayani

Con

khatijasayani forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
khatijasayani

Con

khatijasayani forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Caploxion 2 years ago
Caploxion
"I think I'm right in saying that, your argument rests entirely on whether or not the sum of life experiences warrants it being labelled "discomforting". Correct?"

Correct.

"In all cases, I don't feel convinced that "discomfort" in any way can actually translate to "immoral"."

It would be immoral to bring someone into existence because he/she would then be subject to the psychology imposed on sentient life. It's not that discomfort can translate into immoral directly, it's the imposition of a provably less-than-ideal existence that is immoral. Think about it like this (it's an extreme example, but the message will get across): would it be moral to bring a person into existence if you knew he/she was going to be diseased by crippling cancer?

"Afterall, events of discomfort are subjectively viewed as such; what is bad to one may be alright to others, as this debate category seems to imply."

If the discomfort was viewed as 'good', then why are people trying to nullify it?
Posted by FluffyCactus 2 years ago
FluffyCactus
So If I get your right. It is Child Birth is "immoral" because in the act of birthing the child you impose upon them the discomfort of living. Correct? So then the thing that is to be disputed is whether David Banetar's work holds up. I certainly would never agree that it is a better thing to not exist than to exist. Non-existence is not a greater quality than Existence. At least this is what I would say.

I think I'm right in saying that, your argument rests entirely on whether or not the sum of life experiences warrants it being labelled "discomforting". Correct?

In all cases, I don't feel convinced that "discomfort" in any way can actually translate to "immoral". I may be in a disconcerting and uncomfortable circumstance, this doesn't mean that the one who has imposed this circumstance upon me is at fault. Afterall, events of discomfort are subjectively viewed as such; what is bad to one may be alright to others, as this debate category seems to imply.
Posted by Caploxion 2 years ago
Caploxion
You can't take over debates for other people, which is somewhat of a pity.

"It seems to me that you have presupposed that "discomfort" is "bad"."

I haven't presupposed it. If discomfort was a good state to be in, or even a neutral one, then people wouldn't be trying to get out of it.

""Bad" meaning 'less preferable'. However, we it has not been shown that this is the same as being 'immoral'."

It's immoral to impose this bad on someone else.

"It would be redundant to apply morality to that which does not exist."

If he/she going to exist, then we can make some very reasonable assumptions. Is there any doubt as to what will be conceived and born? Child birth is about bringing some kind of human into the world, and I have argued that it is immoral to impose the human psychology.

Thank you for highlighting the vagueness in the term 'child birth' -- I will fix this up for my next debate.
Posted by FluffyCactus 2 years ago
FluffyCactus
Excuse me, is it possible to take over the debate for someone. I signed up for this specific purpose. If I cannot, that is fine, I'll just post my refutation here.

It seems to me that you have presupposed that "discomfort" is "bad". "Bad" meaning 'less preferable'. However, we it has not been shown that this is the same as being 'immoral'. That is to say, David Banetar's work only reflects the preference of a thing as to the morality of a thing. If we reduce morality to mere preference, then morality is non-existent and we are arguing about nothing. Morality, that is the aptitude for a thing to be moral or immoral, must first be ascertained.
We also need to ascertain what exactly we mean by Child birth. It seems that you presume that Child birth is the moment at which the new creature, child, exists. The words 'child birth' denote that being the moment of actual birth. If this is the case, your argument on "existence" has no bearing, i think, as the thing that is born has existed since conception.
Further, 'morality' is only something that can be applied to that which exists.. It would be redundant to apply morality to that which does not exist.
Posted by Caploxion 2 years ago
Caploxion
Yeah, it's little bit more exciting than the average debate here.
Posted by arctic 2 years ago
arctic
This is an intense debate
Posted by Caploxion 2 years ago
Caploxion
Bah, I accidentally made it 24 hours to argue; is this okay with you, Khati?
Posted by Caploxion 2 years ago
Caploxion
First round is for acceptance, what is taking you so long?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
CaploxionkhatijasayaniTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, and it could have been so much fun to see the real debate :(
Vote Placed by Matt_L 2 years ago
Matt_L
CaploxionkhatijasayaniTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gave all points to Pro by forfeiting.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
CaploxionkhatijasayaniTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. As much as something erks me about pro (maybe the picture?), I must give credit to how cleanly he formats his debates.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
CaploxionkhatijasayaniTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Easy pro wins due to forfeits
Vote Placed by Mysterious_Stranger 2 years ago
Mysterious_Stranger
CaploxionkhatijasayaniTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had terrible conduct and also FF.