The Instigator
saar.cone
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TSH
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Every human is unique.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,737 times Debate No: 30241
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

saar.cone

Pro

Resolved; Every human is unique.

This argument hinges on the idea that humans are sentient. That they have a inner reflective self that is capable of observing the world.

I argue that this must be true not only because we as humans can know it ourselves when we reflect on our own condition, but that our moral and legal structures that we take for granted require it to be true.

My argument here is that the way humans interact with one another is only explainable by the fact that we treat every human as unique; not interchangeable, irreplaceable, and impossible to place monetary value upon.

So my opponent should have an easy time defeating me as this person will only need to give me another reasonable explanation for why we believe the following:

1.) If a 6 year old child is murdered, it is not sufficient for the murderer to return any number of 6 year old children to the family even if they were exact replicas or clones. The only way to compensate the family fully would be to bring the same child back to life.
a.) We treat this totally different than if someone had destroyed any other property the family possesses. Often compensation is twice the value of the item plus compensation for mental distress. Why does the same reasoning not apply to murder?

2.) Slavery is unacceptable.
a.) If humans are just another animal, how can it be morally impermissable for some animal to own the same type of animal? That is, it's not logically impossible for an animal to form hierarchies, even if they are all the same animal.

As a condition of this debate, my opponent must concede that slavery is morally wrong, and that a family of a murdered child can only be fully compensated if at least their child is returned to life.

My argument is that any moral framework that posits those ideas can only be logical if humans are unique.

Try to avoid symantics, and keep in mind that you will have 24 hours for each round and there are 4 rounds.
TSH

Con

Not every human is unique. This conclusion can be reached both logically and because our moral and legal structures that we take for granted require it to be false. This round, however, I will just respond to Pro's arguments.

"1.) If a 6 year old child is murdered, it is not sufficient for the murderer to return any number of 6 year old children to the family even if they were exact replicas or clones. The only way to compensate the family fully would be to bring the same child back to life."

First off, I concede that "a family of a murdered child can only be fully compensated [by the knowledge that] their child is returned to life." Consequently, it is possible "for the murderer to return [a] 6 year old [child] to the family" in place of their murdered child, as long as the family thinks that the returned child is their child. For example, Frederic Bourdin managed exactly this feat: he convinced a family that he was Nicholas Barclay, the 13-year old child that they were missing [1]. Thus, Nicholas Barclay is not a unique human being: in the eyes of society, he was considered to be the exact same person as Frederic Bourdin.

This is because society judges people based upon their changing behaviors and appearances instead of upon more permanent characteristics; over time, it possible for people to change in almost every way imaginable, deliberately or unconsciously, as to resemble others and be completely different from the way they were before.

"a.) We treat this totally different than if someone had destroyed any other property the family possesses. Often compensation is twice the value of the item plus compensation for mental distress. Why does the same reasoning not apply to murder?"

Actually, the same reasoning does apply to murder as long as another equivalent child is returned to the family. Indeed, the punishment for kidnapping a person and then releasing them in a safe place is often less than that of some crimes against other people's property, since as copyright infringement. Of course, the child returned may not actually be the same as the one kidnapped; the family and all of society, however, will consider them to be the same person instead of different, unique individuals.

"2.) Slavery is unacceptable."

Slavery is morally wrong precisely because humans are not unique. Indeed, it is not the unique fate of certain individuals to be enslaved to their masters; rather, all people are born equal under the law and ought be treated identically, based upon societal choices and actions instead of predestination. This is why people are considered innocent until proven guilty.

"a.) If humans are just another animal, how can it be morally impermissable [sic] for some animal to own the same type of animal? That is, it's not logically impossible for an animal to form hierarchies, even if they are all the same animal."

Logically and empirically, it's more likely for animals of different species to form hierarchies than for animals of the same species. Humans, too, used to use superficial characteristics such as skin color to justify slavery. In fact, one of the reasons slavery was outlawed is that people started to realize that there was no master race and that skin color really was just a superficial characteristic instead of an indicator of intelligence, ability, superiority, or uniqueness. Thus, it is much less likely for animals of the same species to form hierarchies (since they all have similar abilities, similar strengths, similar weaknesses, and similar problems) than for animals of different species to.

In fact, Karl Marx observed that before the agricultural revolution, human hunter-gatherer tribes practiced a form of primitive communism [2]. If Pro's claim regarding animals of a single type forming hierarchies is correct, why is it that early human societies, which consisted of members more homogeneous than those in modern ones, did not institute slavery but instead practiced primitive communism?

"My argument is that any moral framework that posits those ideas can only be logical if humans are unique."

Utilitarianism is logical but places a monetary value on human lives, indicating that humans are not so unique that their behaviors and actions cannot be quantified and classified.

Sources
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
saar.cone

Pro

“First off, I concede that ‘a family of a murdered child can only be fully compensated [by the knowledge that] their child is returned to life.’ Consequently, it is possible ‘for the murderer to return [a] 6 year old [child] to the family’ in place of their murdered child, as long as the family thinks that the returned child is their child. “ - Con

In principle, this has not answered the philosophical question posed to you. You haven’t described what the family is demanding for compensation and why.
The family of any murdered person requires at the least the return of the same murdered person, because they view that person as individually unique; irreplaceable and not interchangeable.
Just because a family was tricked into thinking they’ve been compensated for the wrongdoing, doesn’t change the principle of the matter.

Consider if a judge had ordered me to compensate you to the order of 100 ounces of gold for property I had stolen. You were happy with this settlement and placed the gold in your safety deposit box, thinking you were that much richer. You happen to die shortly thereafter and it is found out that the gold was fake.
You were not compensated for your loss even though you felt like you were; You were deceived, nothing more.

“…it possible for people to change in almost every way imaginable, deliberately or unconsciously, as to resemble others and be completely different from the way they were before.” -Con
This is not true. Humans appear to have a sort of Hierarchical Temporal Memory system[1] that not only is resistant to change, but only allows superficial changes to occur.
Our brains take in information about our surroundings and make prediction based on what was true in the past, and filters out the “noise”. It takes a tremendous amount of information over many many years for people to establish this ability.
What this means is that to really fundamentally change the brain of a human would be to utterly destroy their ability to comprehend the world around them and then to rebuild it from the ground up.

When a human is conceived they have no myelin, but as they get older the myelin sheathes that protect the neural pathways in the brain get thicker and thicker.
Even before we are born we are beginning to acquire neural pathways that are becoming resistant to change. [2][3]

To fundamentally change a person would be to destroy the myelin sheathes and the pathways they coordinate and then to rebuild it from the ground up. If you didn’t kill the person outright, you would certainly destroy the essence of the person.

The point is that people are only capable of superficial change, and the essence of what makes a person individually unique is persistent.

“Indeed, the punishment for kidnapping a person and then releasing them in a safe place is often less than that of some crimes against other people's property, [such] as copyright infringement.” –Con

Kidnapping is fundamentally different than murder because the person can be returned. The severity of punishment for kidnapping versus copyright infringement is irrelevant because it doesn’t address an attack on the individuality of a person like slavery or murder.

“Slavery is morally wrong precisely because humans are not unique. Indeed, it is not the unique fate of certain individuals to be enslaved to their masters; rather, all people are born equal under the law and ought be treated identically, based upon societal choices and actions instead of predestination. This is why people are considered innocent until proven guilty.” – Con
This is a complete non-sequitur. If people are unique, it doesn’t mean that they are predestined for anything, nor that they can’t be afforded the same fundamental freedoms (negative rights), nor that justice shouldn’t be blind.
Even if all people were identical, having no gender or biological differences, slavery could still exist. It’s not logically or physically impossible.

You could just make an axiomatic statement that slavery is wrong because we’re similar to one another, but that’s not apparently any more superior than the argument that slavery is fine because the bible condones it, like Jefferson Davis argued.

"In fact, one of the reasons slavery was outlawed is that people started to realize that there was no master race and that skin color really was just a superficial characteristic instead of an indicator of intelligence, ability, superiority, or uniqueness.” - Con
It is a fact that Europeans and Americans had more wealth, power, and knowledge than their slaves. It is also a fact that humans can be bred to be less intelligent than others. In other words the variance in human DNA permits absolutely the creation of a “master race”.
So if that is your reason for opposing slavery, I wonder if you would still oppose it if the conditions that inform that position were made untrue.

Slavery is impermissible under any circumstance because every human is fundamentally unique due to its sentience. In Latin they call it the “Imago Dei”, the “image of God”. Others have called it the “soul”, “consciousness”, “self awareness”, and “sentience”.
Whatever you want to call it, this fundamental experience of reality sets every individual human apart from the rest. It cannot be replicated, replaced, or exchanged in an open market.
This is what makes every human impossible to logically bond into slavery; Because any price put on that slave cannot account for his Self.

“If Pro's claim regarding animals of a single type forming hierarchies is correct, why is it that early human societies, which consisted of members more homogeneous than those in modern ones, did not institute slavery but instead practiced primitive communism?” -Con
My point was that it is possible that hierarchies form, not that it’s impossible for small communistic societies to form.
In other words; if humans are not fundamentally unique then slavery can’t be logically absurd. Especially under some sort of Utilitarian ethic. Eventually the price of the slave would be high enough that it would justify the exchange.

In fact if the price offered for the person were high enough, say 1 billion dollars for some average shmuck, paid to the family, it seems that Utilitarianism would demand that such a transaction take place. That it would be immoral for the man to turn that kind of money down when he’ll never provide that much for his family.

TLDR:
My opponent hasn’t met my challenge as he hasn’t been able to satisfactorily explain why we treat murder and slavery the way we do without acknowledging that every human is fundamentally unique due to their sentience.

1: https://www.numenta.com...
2: http://www.wisegeek.com...
3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

TSH

Con

"Consider if a judge had ordered me to compensate you to the order of 100 ounces of gold for property I had stolen. You were happy with this settlement and placed the gold in your safety deposit box, thinking you were that much richer. You happen to die shortly thereafter and it is found out that the gold was fake.
You were not compensated for your loss even though you felt like you were; You were deceived, nothing more."

Actually, you were compensated because what God knows has absolutely no impact on your compensation. Even if the gold is fake, if no one else in society recognizes that it is fake and everyone accepts your gold, then you have been compensated. Otherwise, no one could ever be compensated, since as far as humanity is concerned, God might have tampered with the compensation. Compensation is based solely upon the person doing the compensating, the person being compensated, and the rest of human society. Facts known only to God have no impact upon the compensation.

Thus, if God tricks all of humanity "into thinking [the family has] been compensated for the wrongdoing," humanity will consider them compensated and consequently they are compensated according to the "moral and legal structures that we take for granted." That they may not philosophically be compensated has no relevance to this debate, which is centered around the practical, societal concept of compensation.

"You haven't described what the family is demanding for compensation and why."

The family demands as compensation the following: a person that is fairly similar to the person that has been lost. This person must be similar enough that it is conceivable for the latter to have become the former. Consequently, all of society may consider the returned person to be the same as the lost one.

"Humans appear to have a sort of Hierarchical Temporal Memory system that not only is resistant to change, but only allows superficial changes to occur. "

This is true; however, it does not invalidate my statement that "it possible for people to change in almost every way imaginable, deliberately or unconsciously, as to resemble others and be completely different from the way they were before" because resemblance is based upon superficial characteristics and behaviors.

"Our brains take in information about our surroundings and make prediction based on what was true in the past, and filters out the noise". It takes a tremendous amount of information over many many years for people to establish this ability."

Again, although this is true, it is also irrelevant since it is impossible to read people's minds or determine what they are thinking.

"What this means is that to really fundamentally change the brain of a human would be to utterly destroy their ability to comprehend the world around them and then to rebuild it from the ground up."

The human brain does not have to be fundamentally changed; society's perception of the person, which is NOT based upon what they are thinking or how they are processing information, must be changed.

"The essence of what makes a person individually unique is persistent."

This is the major flaw in Pro's argument: he implicitly assumes that humans can detect this essence. However, I argue that only God can detect it and have backed up my opinion with a source about Frederic Bourdin (http://en.wikipedia.org...). If only God can detect it, then that it exists is irrelevant when considering practical matters such as justice and compensation.

----------
Con: "Indeed, the punishment for kidnapping a person and then releasing them in a safe place is often less than that of some crimes against other people's property, [such] as copyright infringement."

Pro: "Kidnapping is fundamentally different than murder because the person can be returned. The severity of punishment for kidnapping versus copyright infringement is irrelevant because it doesn't address an attack on the individuality of a person like slavery or murder."

Response: I was assuming that the person kidnapped (Nicholas Barclay) was murdered and someone else (Frederic Bourdin) was released in his place, in which case an attack on the individuality of a person would occur and yet society would not care about it since his family was compensated and everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
----------

"If people are unique, it doesn't mean that they are predestined for anything, nor that they can't be afforded the same fundamental freedoms (negative rights), nor that justice shouldn't be blind."

The inverse, however, is true: if people are not unique, then it does mean that they are not predestined for anything, that they are afforded the same fundamental freedoms (negative rights), and that justice is blind.

"Even if all people were identical, having no gender or biological differences, slavery could still exist. It's not logically or physically impossible. "

Empirically, this is not supported. Hypotheticals do not matter in a debate about the practical effects of the uniqueness of every human. What is important is that history has demonstrated that slavery was brought about by the presence of unique characteristics in certain groups of people (see http://en.wikipedia.org...). So, even though it might still be possible for slavery to occur, history has shown that it is a lot less likely in a homogeneous society than in one that glorifies individuality and uniqueness.

"You could just make an axiomatic statement that slavery is wrong because we're similar to one another, but that's not apparently any more superior than the argument that slavery is fine because the bible condones it, like Jefferson Davis argued."

Correction: Jefferson Davis argued that slavery against African Americans, a distinct class of people, is fine because of the bible. He did not support enslaving Caucasians or everyone else part of the homogeneous society at the time. This is why slaves were imported from Africa and not taken out of Europe.

"So if that is your reason for opposing slavery, I wonder if you would still oppose it if the conditions that inform that position were made untrue."

I (and most people) would not and do not oppose "slavery" between superior and inferior beings. For example, the relationship between a man and his pet dog is not unlike the one between a master and a slave. The only real difference is that since humans are superior to pets, it is not called slavery per se.

"every human is fundamentally unique due to its sentience"

This is what makes humans superior to animals. If a master race was created that was infinitely more "sentient" than humans, then it would be superior to humans.

"Whatever you want to call it, this fundamental experience of reality sets every individual human apart from the rest. It cannot be replicated, replaced, or exchanged in an open market."

Actually, it can be replicated (see http://en.wikipedia.org...).

"In fact if the price offered for the person were high enough, say 1 billion dollars for some average shmuck, paid to the family, it seems that Utilitarianism would demand that such a transaction take place. That it would be immoral for the man to turn that kind of money down when he'll never provide that much for his family."

Some people would accept the transaction. Do you think they are all immoral? It's not slavery if it's voluntary... in this case, it would be more like indentured servitude and consequently could still be considered moral.

TL;DR Although humans may be fundamentally unique, society is unable to appreciate or handle their uniqueness and consequently, "our moral and legal structures that we take for granted" function based off of the assumption that all humans are not unique. We too do not "treat every human as unique" but instead identify and interact with them based upon their behaviors and superficial characteristics (see http://en.wikipedia.org...). Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
saar.cone

Pro

“Actually, you were compensated because what God knows has absolutely no impact on your compensation.”-Con
The problem that my opponent isn’t grasping is that we treat murder and slavery utterly differently when addressing human beings as opposed to the way we treat any other object that can be exchanged in aggregates.

He’s obfuscated the issue by presenting the argument that since a person, and a society, can feel a matter has been resolved, that it has been resolved in principal. Just because society has been deceived does not address the problem presented to you. Which is; Why does society demand as compensation the return to life of the same individual person, and not demand in return a similar person?

This is a fundamentally different demand than if a car was destroyed, or a bottle cap with sentimental value was stolen. In either case a similar value (or double) without consideration of sentimental value is usually acceptable, without any requirement of deception.


“The family demands as compensation the following: a person that is fairly similar to the person that has been lost. This person must be similar enough that it is conceivable for the latter to have become the former. Consequently, all of society may consider the returned person to be the same as the lost one.” –Con

That is not what the family is demanding. I would put it to you that ever since the dawn of man there has never been a single formal argument put forward before a judge that calls for the murderer to return to society a person that can be used as a doppelganger of the person murdered.

My opponent is conflating a deception with what the society is actually demanding. They are not the same thing.

“…does not invalidate my statement that "it possible for people to change in almost every way imaginable, deliberately or unconsciously, as to resemble others and be completely different from the way they were before" –Con (Emphasis mine.)
I suppose I must have read too much into what you were saying. I agree then, that a person can superficially change, but since the person cannot totally and completely replicate a person, it doesn’t satisfy the actual demands of the family and society.
That demand being that the murderer return precisely the same murdered victim to life.

My challenge to you was to give a philosophical reason why this demand exists if the victim is not unique. This challenge has not been met.

“This is the major flaw in Pro's argument: he implicitly assumes that humans can detect this essence.” -Con

We assume that everyone shares this trait, and this informs the way we treat each-other.

“The inverse, however, is true: if people are not unique, then it does mean that they are not predestined for anything, that they are afforded the same fundamental freedoms (negative rights), and that justice is blind.”-Con
None of that follows from the idea that every human being isn’t unique.

“Correction: Jefferson Davis argued that slavery against African Americans, a distinct class of people, is fine because of the bible. He did not support enslaving Caucasians or everyone else part of the homogeneous society at the time. This is why slaves were imported from Africa and not taken out of Europe.” -Con

Here is Jefferson Davis’ promotion of slavery:
“They see that the slaves in their present condition in the South are comfortable and happy; they see them advancing in intelligence; they see the kindest relations existing between them and their masters; they see them provided for in age and sickness, in infancy and in disability; they see them in useful employment, restrained from the vicious indulgences to which their inferior nature inclines them; they see our penitentiaries never filled, and our poor-houses usually empty. let them turn to the other hand, and they see the same race in a state of freedom in the North; but instead of the comfort and kindness they receive at the South, instead of being happy and useful, they are, with few exceptions, miserable, degraded, filling the penitentiaries and poor-houses, objects of scorn, excluded in some places from the schools, and deprived of many other privileges and benefits which attach to the white men among whom they live. And yet, they insist that elsewhere an institution which has proved beneficial to this race shall be abolished..."[1]

He’s not saying that whites, by virtue of their skin color, are better than blacks. He’s pointing out that African Americans under slavery were doing more for society than when they are freed.

Here is Frederick Douglas, who was once a black slave around the period in dispute:

“The slaveholders of America resort to every species of cruelty, but they can never reduce the slave to a willing obedience. The natural elasticity of the human soul repels the slightest attempt to enslave it. The black slaves of America are not wholly without that elasticity; they are men, and, being so, they do not submit readily to the yoke.” –An address Delivered in Cork, Ireland, on 14 October 1845

He like many abolitionists, appealed to the idea that we all have a human soul.

Why is that so important? Because abolitionists often talked about the cruelty of the slave masters, but that begged the question, “Why should we care?” If someone wants to beat or slaughter their cattle, that’s the owners right.
Empathy, or putting oneself into the experience of another, is only relevant if that “other” is sentient, and this is why the abolitionists appeal to the soul.
This is a property that only humans, as far as we can tell, possess.

“For example, the relationship between a man and his pet dog is not unlike the one between a master and a slave.” –Con
The issue you’re avoiding, is that some humans either are or can be made to be inferior to humans. So by your argumentation slavery isn’t immoral per se, it’s only immoral if the humans are sufficiently alike.

“’every human is fundamentally unique due to its sentience’

“Actually, it can be replicated (see http://en.wikipedia.org......).” -Con
Imitation is not replication.

“It's not slavery if it's voluntary... in this case, it would be more like indentured servitude and consequently could still be considered moral.” –Con
I was pointing out than utilitarianism would demand that if an offer was sufficient that the transaction would morally need to take place. Suppose instead that the person was just kidnapped and taken into slavery and the slave-owner offered to pay the family and/or the society what he is worth.

So the position could not only be seen as not anti-slavery, but actually pro-slavery under the right circumstances.

However, our society is completely anti-slavery under all circumstances (voluntary slavery is not slavery.) Since I’ve shown that the position you’ve put forward demands that under certain circumstances slavery is the morally right thing to do, it doesn’t satisfy my challenge to show why slavery is immoral without admitting that humans are individually unique.

TLDR: My opponent has tried to meet my challenge by showing how a family could be compensated for a murdered child by replacing the child with an imitated child. However, this didn’t satisfy my challenge because it doesn’t address why the family requires the precise revival of the same child.
He also tried to explain that society views slavery as morally wrong because we are all the same kind of species, and none being sufficiently superior to another. This doesn’t satisfy my challenge because it only describes slavery as morally wrong under certain circumstances, that are both vague and arbitrary. It is further defeated by the fact that people didn’t abolish slavery during its time because they saw slaves as too similar to the slave master to be a slave, but that they appealed to the human soul. (Sentience.)

1:http://www.confederatepastpresent.org...

TSH

Con

"the argument that since a person, and a society, can feel a matter has been resolved, that it has been resolved in principal. Just because society has been deceived does not address the problem presented to you."

Again, the problem with Pro's logic is that it is impossible to tell whether or not God has deceived society, rendering compensation impossible. Consequently, although philosophically it might be argued that the matter is not actually resolved, in practice, it is resolved if everyone in society agrees that it has been resolved. Remember: This debate centers around what Pro has referred to as the "moral and legal structures that we take for granted." These structures define compensation in a societal context; according to the law, if everyone in society agrees that compensation has taken place, then compensation has taken place.

"Why does society demand as compensation the return to life of the same individual person, and not demand in return a similar person?"

Again, society does not demand as compensation the return to life of the same individual person since this is impossible to verify. As far as society is concerned, whenever someone is returned, it is possible that God caused a different person to be returned, similar to the one lost but a different person. Consequently, society can only and does only demand that which can be guaranteed: that the person returned is similar enough to the person lost that it is conceivable for the latter to have become the former. Understandably, the person may hope for the exact same person to be returned, unaffected by the experience, just as one would hope for the same item that was stolen to be returned, untouched; however, this does not affect the actual compensation that can be given or that the family is willing to accept.

"I would put it to you that ever since the dawn of man there has never been a single formal argument put forward before a judge that calls for the murderer to return to society a person that can be used as a doppelganger of the person murdered."

There has been no formal argument put forward because doing so would defeat the point of returning a doppelganger: if society acknowledged him as a different person than the murdered man, then it would be impossible for "all of society [to] consider the returned person to be the same as the lost one." Instead, the formal demand would call for the return of the real person, and it would be the murderer's responsibility to furnish a doppelganger.

"but since the person cannot totally and completely replicate a person, it doesn"t satisfy the actual demands of the family and society. That demand being that the murderer return precisely the same murdered victim to life."

A person does not need to "totally and completely replicate a person" to satisfy this demand because "resemblance is based upon superficial characteristics and behavior." For example, in a colorblind society, two poles that are colored differently may be considered to be the same.

"My challenge to you was to give a philosophical reason why this demand exists if the victim is not unique. This challenge has not been met."

The demand exists so that a person with the same superficial characteristics and behaviors is returned instead of a completely different person. Similarly, if a chair is stolen, the owners will want a chair of the same model back instead of just any chair.

"We assume that everyone shares this trait, and this informs the way we treat each-other."

If everyone shares the same trait of sentience, why would we treat each person uniquely? It is much more likely for us to follow certain guidelines when dealing with sentient beings. These guidelines would result in us treating people in much the same way (instead of uniquely), especially seeing as Pro has conceded that multiple people can behave in exactly the same way and also have the same exterior appearance.

"None of that follows from the idea that every human being isn"t unique."

Empirically it does (this was explained last round).

"He"s not saying that whites, by virtue of their skin color, are better than blacks. He"s pointing out that African Americans under slavery were doing more for society than when they are freed."

Ok. Some other slaveholders did justify slavery using skin color, however.

"Why is that so important? Because abolitionists often talked about the cruelty of the slave masters, but that begged the question, "Why should we care?" If someone wants to beat or slaughter their cattle, that"s the owners right. Empathy, or putting oneself into the experience of another, is only relevant if that "other" is sentient, and this is why the abolitionists appeal to the soul."

Sentience != uniqueness. Since sentience beings comprise a homogeneous society, it is not okay to harm any of them. If slaves really were unique, with some being more sentient than others, then it would be okay to beat some of them and not okay to beat others. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org....

"The issue you"re avoiding, is that some humans either are or can be made to be inferior to humans. So by your argumentation slavery isn"t immoral per se, it"s only immoral if the humans are sufficiently alike."

My point is that if humans are not sufficiently alike, then it is no longer called slavery. For example, if a human cell is used to create a dog that is then "enslaved", this would not be considered slavery.

"Imitation is not replication."

It servers the same purpose in a societal context.

"I was pointing out than utilitarianism would demand that if an offer was sufficient that the transaction would morally need to take place. Suppose instead that the person was just kidnapped and taken into slavery and the slave-owner offered to pay the family and/or the society what he is worth."

Under utilitarianism, no such offer would be sufficient for the transaction to take place. This is because the moral transgression associated with involuntary enslaving someone is so great that no amount of moral actions can compensate for it. One cannot steal an item, pay its value to the owner, and then claim that their stealing of the item is justified; it is the owner's choice whether or not to sell, regardless of the value offered.

"Since I"ve shown that the position you"ve put forward demands that under certain circumstances slavery is the morally right thing to do"

It does not; it at most demands that indentured servitude is the best course of action. Indentured servitude is not inherently immoral.
Debate Round No. 3
saar.cone

Pro

"Sentience != uniqueness." - Con

Since this is a new argument my opponent as put forward I will do away with it and go on to my conclusion.

Sentience absolutely necessitates uniqueness, but in a particular sense that I've taken pains to try to describe. Human beings, because of their sentience, possess an "Self" that cannot be replicated, transferred, or exchanged.

Evidence of this is the way we treat one another in societies, since we do not allow slavery under any circumstances, and since murder requires the return of that particular person.

Conditional Pro-Slavery verus Absolute Anti-Slavery
My opopnent, as pointed out, is conditionally pro slavery. If the circumstances are right, then it would follow that people could morally be subject to others.

But look at the abolition of slavery today. Do we see any conditions written in its abolition? No!

So how can we draw any other conclusion than that we view slavery as absolutely immoral under alll circumstances.

So what my opponent describes does not conform to the challenge posed to him; Which was to give a rational moral framework that would describe why socities today treat slavery the way that they do. He has perhaps described his own personal feelings of slavery, but that is irrelevant.

My argument describes that not only is slavery absolutely immoral, but is also economically illogical.

Since each human being is sentient, they are unique in value. A value that cannot be found in the open marketplace because one persons Self cannot be compared to another.


Principle versus deceit
Imagine that one day I accidentally flew my 747 into my opponents parked car. If I followed my opponents reasoning for murder and applied it to his car, I should actually steal whats left of his car, replace it with one that is mostly identical, and pretend it never happened, and should I actually tell anyone I did this, it would defeat the whole purpose and he would not have been compensated for his loss.

Of course, he doesn't actually apply the same reasoning to cars as he does to people, and this is particularly the problem I wanted addressed: Why don't we treat cars the same way we do people?

Why is it that, since I'm a far superior human being, I cannot go out and get a slave to replace him with if I should accidentally fly my 747 into my opponent rather than his car?

He hasn't made any effort to actually address the challenge posed to him, and therefore my position stands; That there is no other reasonable explanation for the way we treat murder other than that we societies in general recognize that each individual person is unique due to their sentience.


Sorry for the text change in the last page. There was some confusion, and as a result, some people at the agency have been fired.
Please vote on the side of absolute anti-slavery and individual unique value and against my opponents conditional pro-slavery and pro-deceit. Think of the children!
TSH

Con

TSH forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by saar.cone 3 years ago
saar.cone
Erm... I promise I did not fly a 747 into TSH...
Posted by saar.cone 4 years ago
saar.cone
I know this debate topic seems silly, but this has moral and legal ramifications that most people don't seem to want to accept. When it's convenient they will look at a human as something that can be traded or destroyed in a utilitarian manner as if in principle humans are similar to livestock, but at the same time will uphold that humans have a special place when it comes to their destruction or theft.

A quanta is unique because it existentially occupies a unique position, but humans are individually unique in a separate manner; consciousness. No one can argue that everyone has a unique physical position in the universe, but what I'm arguing is that no two people have comparable value. They cannot be exchanged like livestock, or cars, or anything else.

Any object is unique in the universe in that they are all distinguishable in some way one from another or else we wouldn't know of it, but that is not what I'm arguing with here.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
Just remember you are unique just like everybody else.

Oh the irony.
Posted by Connoisseur 4 years ago
Connoisseur
*every quantum particle
Posted by Connoisseur 4 years ago
Connoisseur
Every quanta is unique.

This is undebatable.
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