The Instigator
xXCryptoXx
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Stephen_Hawkins
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Generally, Sex Before Marriage is Not Morally Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,287 times Debate No: 34791
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (5)

 

xXCryptoXx

Pro

I have made this debate nearly impossible to accept.

Anyone that would like to accept it, please post in the comments section and I will decide whether or not I want to debate you.

Anyone that finds a way to accept this debate without my permission will automatically forfeit all rounds and all 7 points will go to me.

Definitions

Sex - Sexual Intercourse

Marriage - the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

Moral - of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior

Sound - free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension

Rules

No trolling, no semantics, nothing that would be deemed innapropriate by the average DDO user.

Good luck to my opponent!

First round is for acceptance.


Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Under the assumption that the definitions given are bare minimum and not steadfast (e.g. sex has more than one meaning, morality extends further than the definition provided, etc.) I accept.

I look forward to a great debate.
Debate Round No. 1
xXCryptoXx

Pro

In order to fully understand my arguments, we must first analyze the things I will be talking about.


What is Sex?

Although the most common answer to this question would really just be the literal definition, I will take it further than that.

Let us remember that sex between humans and sex between animals are not the same, nor should they be treated the same. Animals cannot add in the one major factor all humans can, love.

There are many ways to show your intimacy for another, and there are different levels of intimacy that can be shown. For example, you may give a handshake to your professor, but not a hug. You may kiss a girl you like, but not a stranger.

Sex, unlike these other forms of intimacy, is the most dramatic level of intimacy, and when used correctly, is the greatest way to physically use your body to show love.

Sex, when used purely out of love, has no barriers. It tells your partner that you are completely vulnerable, that you are putting all your trust into them, and that you are totally giving yourself to them. It freely gives your total self to them; an act that only true love can do.

Sadly, current society has twisted sex to be about an act of pleasure, and although it may look like you are giving yourself to your partner, it turns into an act of selfishness, and not out of true love.

Sex can also be abused to be less about how much you love someone, and more about how much you want their body.

Those who have sex before marriage generally do it out of a desire for sexual pleasure, and not a want for true love, which degrades sexual intercourse down to a selfish act.

Although the act may not be selfish in whole, it still doesn’t use sex to be the greatest it can be.


What is Love?

Love despite what many may think, is not just a physical attraction to another person.

Love is the ability to want to sacrifice for another human. Love is what happens when you are willing to suffer for another. Love is the absolute giving of yourself to another person, for them. True love is the exact opposite of selfishness, for it is about sacrifice, and wanting what is best for an individual.

Love can only truly be repaid by love itself.

In the same way when a couple enters a relationship about love, it should focus on the desire to sacrifice and do what is best for each other. They should love, and be repaid with love.

Sex before marriage has many risks; if you truly love someone you will desire what is best for them. What is best for them, would be to use sex for love and love only.


What is Marriage?

Now despite the thought that marriage is only a contract between consenting adults (depends on the culture), it actually has a deeper meaning than that.

Marriage is the commitment to be faithful to the one you love, to sacrifice for the one you love, to take care of them, never leave them, always desire what is best for them; marriage is the commitment between two people to true love itself.


My Arguments

Now that we have analyzed what sex, love, and marriage truly mean, I can make my arguments.

I have explained that sex is the complete giving of yourself to another human in the most dramatic form of intimacy.

I have explained that love too, is the complete giving of yourself to another.

I have explained that marriage is the commitment to fully give yourself to the person you love.

We look at this and we realize that all three have something in common; the complete giving of yourself to the person you love. It would only be appropriate to save something as special as this until you take a commitment that is equally as special.

We can now come to the conclusion that the best way to use sex, is to not only use it out of true love, but to save it for when you make the commitment of marriage which focuses around the promise that you will completely give yourself to a person.

To use sex for anything but love, turns into a selfish desire for pleasure and misrepresents what sex is best used for.

To have sex outside of marriage is to not hold that commitment that sex needs in order to truly make it out of love.

Sex before marriage cannot be morally sound because it is most definitely not free from error or fallacy.

To truly love someone would be to want was is best for them; if sex is best done when a couple has a commitment and love each other then that is what it should be preserved for.


Faithfulness

Having sex before marriage can affect the faithfulness of an individual to another in a marital, or non-marital relationship.

Abstinence from sex allows you to save sex for the person you truly love; abstinence makes it easier to stay faithful to one person, because you are specifically saving yourself for that person.

Sex with your future spouse will hold a special meaning because you saved the most important form of intimacy for them.

Having sex before marriage (generally multiple times) causes the meaning of the most important form of intimacy to degrade to the point that it is no longer special. It is no longer about love. It is about your personal desire for pleasure.

Sex turns into something about fun, and not something used to express your commitment and love to your spouse.


Abstinence Allows You to Express Love in Non-Sexual Ways

The best part about abstinence from sex till marriage is that no matter what, your partner will love you for you, and not for the sexual pleasure you may give them.

Couples that abstain from sex are going to find others way to express their love for each other.

It allows their relationship to experience a “variety” of intimacy and shows your love in many different ways. This is important for when you decide to be with that person for the rest of your life.


Risk of Conceiving a Child

I think if there was one argument you were expecting, it was this one.

Getting pregnant is a serious risk when having sex before marriage and should not be taken lightly.

However, when a couple is married they will generally welcome a child into their life, whether or not the child was conceived on purpose is irrelevant.

However, when someone who has sex before marriage conceives a child it will inevitably affect their life in a negative way. This is because the two people do not share the commitment marriage calls for. If they truly desired what is best for each other would they take a risk neither are prepared for?


Morality and Sex

Now at this point you might be thinking something along the lines of, “Okay, he’s shown that sex is best saved for marriage, but he hasn’t shown that sex isn’t morally sound.”

Well let’s look at the definition of morality (moral): of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.

We can now see all the consequences and risks that sex before marriage brings; we can also see that saving sex for marriage has many benefits for the couple.

Let’s look at the definition of sound: free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension.

Now if we re-worded the resolution, it would actually go along the lines of this:

Generally, sex before marriage in not free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension according to principles relating to right and wrong behavior.

Principles are a set of laws, or rules. Meaning that marriage can only not be morally sound compared to a set of rules already laid out.

However, my arguments I have presented are that set of principles saying that sex before marriage in not morally sound. For as long as my arguments stand, my set of principles are still intact therefore showing that sex before marriage is not morally sound.


Conclusion

I have shown that sex before marriage is generally flawed and is not morally sound in relevance to my arguments defending that sex should be preserved for marriage.

I have never seen, or done a debate like this, so I am hoping this debate should be interesting and fun.

I look forward to your response.

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Hello, and welcome to my half of the opening round. We’ve heard why sex before marriage is allegedly morally wrong. I want to propose instead why sex before marriage in fact is healthy, acceptable, and reasonable behaviour in a modern, liberal society.

Firstly, I want to discuss the legacy of this site of debates on this issue. The most famous one is between Contradiction and WriterDave. The two users, both incredibly popular at this time, gave one of the most powerful debates on the issue that the site has seen, and currently being voted as to whether it should be in the “debates of fame”. Its admission, I have no doubt, is certain. Yet similarly, a debate involving 16kadams and SeelTheMan also took place on the same resolution, the former being the foremost conservative on the site. So there is certainly a great heritage to this discussion, which we should be proud of as a community to be so openly discussing.

However, what is always promoted seems to be a biblical battle between the secular atheist and the Christian philosopher. My opponent has taken the route of Natural Law, with its roots in Aristotle and Cicero but most firmly in Aquinas. Christian Natural Law, among other things, claims that God has given us rational will and we utilise it to observe the world and learn God’s will, or the Natural Law. I want to show however that biblically we have strong support for another, more appealing, more loving ethical theory. Situation Ethics.

Situation Ethics was promoted by Bishop Joseph Fletcher, but has gained support across protestant traditions as well as Catholic and other denominations. It is unique in that its appeal to God is indirect: its arguments are supplemented by God, and proven by His Word. His ethical theory arose when his friend has a conversation with a cab driver in New Orleans. The taxi driver said “I’ve always voted Republican, same for my daddy, same for my daddy before him”. His friend replied “So are you voting Republican again then?” as it was an election year between the two parties. The Taxi Driver responded: “Sometimes you’ve gotta put aside your principles and do what’s right.”

Remember the Two Greatest Commandments of them all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”[1] The first, greatest commandment is that of love God. The second is that of love your neighbour. So the greatest value, the greatest virtue, is love. This is sometimes known as agape, or unconditional love of all. “To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices”.[2] Loving God is most important. And to emphasise this, Paul tells us: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”[3] and “The entire Law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”[4]

Is the Law, the Natural Law or Revealed Law, enough to save anyone? As the Bible teaches, “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”[5] “The Law by itself was unable to save anyone since no one was capable of its fulfilment.”[6]

Now I shall draw my theological defence of Situation Ethics here with a final biblical quotation. “[Jesus] said unto them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath””[7]. What does this Bible verse actually say? This has been a plague for the absolute ethicists conforming to unbending rigid laws, as its conclusion is this. What it is ethical to do depends on the situation. It depends on what the most loving thing to do is. It does not have an unbending, careless, dispassionate stance. What it is right or wrong to do depends on what is the most loving thing to do. The Greatest Commandments say it is love that is paramount and supreme, and all else is subservient to its irresistible power.

How does this relate to sex before marriage, I am sure you are impatiently asking? Well, once this moral standard is established, I want to bring in a problem by Joseph Fletcher:

As the Russian armies drove westward to meet the Americans and British at the Elbe, a Soviet patrol picked up a Mrs. Bergmeier foraging food for her three children. Unable even to get word to the children, she was taken off to a POW camp in Ukraine. … in Ukraine, Mrs. Bergmeier learned through a sympathetic commandant that her husband and family were trying to keep together and find her. But the rules allowed them to release her to Germany only if she was pregnant, in which case she would be returned as a liability. She turned things over in her mind and finally asked a friendly Volga German camp guard to impregnate her, which he did. Her condition being medically verified, she was sent back to Berlin and to her family. They welcomed her with open arms, even when she told them how she had managed it. And when the child was born, they [her family] all loved him because of what they had done for them.[8]

Is this morally acceptable? We must keep in mind the greatest command: promote agape. This is the birth of a child in a loving home, with loving parents. If not done, this woman would be horribly harmed and love is reduced and marginalised. It is more than moral to promote agape and allow sex before marriage in this situation.

But what about more generally? I shall say now that in many situations, sex before marriage is ill advised. There are many cases in marriage it is ill advised, for that matter. Marriage itself is a union that is to promote love and cement the beautiful relationship between two people. Intercourse is an expression of this love that is shared between the couple. However, and this is the crux of my case, intercourse is still an expression of love. It is still an expression of the great love a couple share with one another, and that is what is key. If the couple are expressing the great love with one another, what reason can we possibly have to stop the purity and greatness of agape?

Agape is, in a secular sense, parallel to empathy. Empathy is a value that all truly valuable ethical theories, from utilitarianism to contractarianism to Kantian Ethics to Natural Law value - whether the value of seeing things from other people's perspectives or acting with the interests of everyone in mind. Empathy is by far the most important trait in forming a society. While marriage can be an expression of this virtue, it is not necessary to express it. Marriage is a social institution to express it, and so is not necessary. Its modern meaning is just that - modern. Empathy, however, is the universal value that we all know is good, and as sex is an expression of love and care for your other, it is moral before marriage.

The Bible reminds us that when the Pharisee said that love was the primary virtue, Jesus responded “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”[9]. The Kingdom of God, a state Natural Law ethicists can call eudaimonia, or human flourishing, is achieved when we promote agape, in all its forms, including sex before marriage. I’d like to close with one of my favourite pieces of poetry, a response to the Natural Law by Omar Khayyam, to complete my case, but before I do so, I want to say thank you for reading. I look forward to my opponent’s response.

So I be written in the Book of Love,
Do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.



[1] Matthew 22

[2] Mark 12

[3] Galatians 5:6b

[4] Galatians 5:14

[5] Romans 8:3

[6] Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics

[7] Mark 2:27

[8] Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics

[9] Mark 12:34

Debate Round No. 2
xXCryptoXx

Pro


I would like to thank my opponent for his response; I found it quite intellectual and enlightening.


I will respond to anything that I think is important to this debate then allow my opponent to finish his opening argument and contend to my own.


I trust my opponent will be responding to my opening arguments next round, because if he didn’t he would either drop all of my opening arguments or respond to them in the final round. If my opponent chooses to respond to them in the final round, you should not take them into account while voting because I will have had no chance to respond.


I would like to note that I am not arguing from a religious or biblical point of view at all; although I do hold these beliefs as personal to my own religion I am simply arguing from an ethical point of view and nothing else.


I’ll quote the main point of my opponent’s argument:


“What it is ethical to do depends on the situation. It depends on what the most loving thing to do is. It does not have an unbending, careless, dispassionate stance. What it is right or wrong to do depends on what is the most loving thing to do. The Greatest Commandments say it is love that is paramount and supreme, and all else is subservient to its irresistible power.”


Contentions


“I shall say now that in many situations, sex before marriage is ill advised. There are many cases in marriage it is ill advised, for that matter. Marriage itself is a union that is to promote love and cement the beautiful relationship between two people. Intercourse is an expression of this love that is shared between the couple. However, and this is the crux of my case, intercourse is still an expression of love. It is still an expression of the great love a couple share with one another, and that is what is key. If the couple are expressing the great love with one another, what reason can we possibly have to stop the purity and greatness of agape?”


My opponent agrees with me that for the most part sex before marriage is ill-advised, however he argues that sex is still an expression of love that a couple shares with each other and that that is perhaps enough to justify sex before marriage.


You yourself argue that what is best in a situation is the one that produces the greatest amount of love, and that justifies doing something that may generally be considered morally wrong. However, sex before marriage almost never produces even the same amount of love that marital sex does.


If sex before marriage generally does not produce the same or a greater amount of love that sex saved for marriage does, then your own arguments don’t work.


Sex is an expression of love, but it can also be an expression of lust when used incorrectly.


You talk about how we shouldn’t stop the “purity and greatness of agape” but sex before marriage turns something that could have been true, pure agape into something that gets muddied with lust and the desire for one’s body.


The very fact that lust becomes part of the issue is why sex should be saved for when a couple chooses to make the commitment to true love.


There are two types of love, agape and eros.


Eros is the desire to be with someone and agape is the desire for what is best for someone.


Eros without agape turns selfish, you want a person for how they benefit you; you don’t desire what is best for them.


Marriage is a commitment to a perfect balance of both agape and eros.


Sex before marriage put eros over agape; they desire being with a person and wanting their body more than they want was is best for the person.


This imbalance of agape and eros negatively affects both the individuals because they are putting their desire for each other over what is best for the each other.


Sex before marriage focuses on eros, not agape.


You cannot have an agape type love and have sex before marriage because the consequences and risks of sex before marriage contend to the desire for what is best for the individual.


“Empathy is by far the most important trait in forming a society. While marriage can be an expression of this virtue, it is not necessary to express it. Marriage is a social institution to express it, and so is not necessary. Its modern meaning is just that - modern. Empathy, however, is the universal value that we all know is good, and as sex is an expression of love and care for your other, it is moral before marriage.”


Marriage is more than just an expression of empathy to an individual. Marriage is the true commitment to an individual that says, “I love you and no one else. I am dedicated to you. I will never leave you. I will always work towards what is best for you.” Yes this is empathy, but it is also a dedication to true love. Now I’m not going to say that true love is not possible before marriage. What I am saying is that marriage is a finalization, like an official stamp, to your dedication to that person.


It is important to recognize a commitment like so in order to show true love through a physical intimacy as strong as sex.


“sex is an expression of love and care for your other, it is moral before marriage.”


To what point is it an expression of love though? If love is the desire for what is best for an individual and sex before marriage has many risks and consequences how can you show true love? It cannot be morally sound because it negatively affects both individuals more than it has a positive effect on them.


Conclusion


In a very general sense, two people only practice love to some degree when having sex before marriage. Unarguably, in a general sense a couple does not have the kind of dedication to each other that marriage calls for; therefore it cannot be morally sound as understood by my opening arguments and arguments presented in this round.


I await my opponent’s response.


Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Thank you. I’ll firstly address my opponent’s rebuttals to my case, before moving on to criticise his and build further on mine.


I’d firstly like to point out my case is not that sex before marriage is for the most part immoral, but there are simply many cases where it is ill advised: as my opponent pointed out, sex which confuses eros, or lust, compared to agape, a higher love, ought to be treated with extreme caution. However, this is true both before and after marriage. The act of sex is only an expression of agape or eros depending on the circumstance, and in itself is not an expression of either.


My opponent claims marriage makes sex about agape and eros, but why? Is sex the night before a marriage done by two individuals expressing their love towards one another immoral, but the sex the night of a marriage between two coerced into marriage only for financial gain moral? Of course not! It is the other way around: the expression of agape is what makes it moral. Marriage ought to be the clear signifier to society that two people truly love one another, but it is not a good in itself. It is a covenant with society for secularists and a covenant with God for the religious that highlights how these people care for one another. Highlights. It does not create agape, but makes official its existence.


This is important as it moves to my opponent’s second point that marriage says “I love you and only you.” However, this isn’t what marriage says. In Islamic and Mormon culture marriage can be polygamous. In some Indian subcultures marriage can be polyandrous. Moreover, it is not only about “I will never leave you”, at least not in the sexual sense, as Fletcher’s thought experiment conveyed.


To conclude my defence, my opponent is right to say that sex before marriage has many risks and consequences, and they are what are important when considering whether to have sex before marriage. However, this is also true after marriage, which he seems to forget.


Now, I shall move on to my opponent’s case, after defending my position of agape justifying sex before marriage, as long as it promotes love and is done for the right reasons. I mention this because most of my friend’s case in fact lies in line with mine. We agree that the key virtue is agape, and that sex is how we can convey this, but it has been misused by many. Moreover, marriage, the institution we use to symbolise this, has been misused and devalued in modern society. We can agree that the cases such as Kardashian and Spears’ Hollywood marriages lasting no time at all and being done for the wrong reasons. However, I’d also point to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson being married now for 25 years to show how what marriage ought to be like. As Tom Hanks said: “When I met Rita [Wilson], I thought, 'oh, this is what it’s supposed to be like when you are married to someone. It’s supposed to be this carefree and easy.’”


I bring this up because the message is the one I convey. While one can still show agape while not having sex, as my friend Crypto rightly said, that doesn’t take it off of the table. It is in fact the way for many, many people to really bond with the other person. Again, to quote Rita Wilson: “[Tom] leaves me notes, by the phone or the coffeemaker. I keep them all. He also sends me pictures from his phone all day—where he is, what he’s doing, something he saw”. You don’t need to have sex. But there is no reason why you ought not have sex.


Moreover, having a child, everyone can agree, changes things. However, it does not necessarily change things for the worse. For many, it makes things better. To again point to the thought experiment by Joseph Fletcher, “When the child was born, they [her family] all loved him because of what they had done for them.” If the child is loved, truly loved with agape, then it is fine to have a child out of wedlock. On the other hand, a child in a loveless marriage is in fact a terrible thing to do to the child, and having a child in a marriage where you and your spouse no longer love each other will harm the child as well. While it’s true that children in marriage are generally cared for, the same is true for children born out of marriage; children truly loved is a great thing, and simplifying it to being inside or outside of marriage is crude and simply doesn’t cohere to reality. Children born in a loveless or unready relationship outside of marriage is just as bad as in one. Again, a loving relationship is all that is important.


Finally, I’ll conclude by adding one more arrow to my bow: sex before marriage makes sure you’re compatible with the other person. Sex before marriage is useful in working out whether you have the chemistry to be together. My opponent points out that you need both eros and agape in a relationship. I disagree that you need them in balance, or even at all, but if you’re going to have a sexual relationship, you need to be compatible and have chemistry with one another. To tell the story of Jessica, who remained abstinent until her wedding night:


Our bodies wanted different things from one another, so what we ended up with was a horizontal battle. I would hear married girlfriends talk about the joys of make-up sex and continue to sip my coffee in silence. We would fight, and then have bad sex and then fight some more. Every flaw in our marriage … seemed much more miserable when combined with the possibility of faking orgasms until death did we part. There was no relief. Six months into our marriage, the idea of separating seemed more appealing than feigning headaches for the rest of my life.[1]


While the agape possibly was originally there, the notion that they needed to have sex drained away and killed the love that originally blossomed.


To conclude, I wish to quote Shakespeare: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is wingèd Cupid painted blind.” Agape is what is most important. In a sexual relationship with another, as long as we keep agape central, sex before marriage is a perfectly moral thing to do, and will express agape on the deepest level.


1 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;

Debate Round No. 3
xXCryptoXx

Pro


Thank you for your response.


Let’s look at my re-worded resolution to remember what exactly I am arguing:


Generally, Sex Before Marriage is Not Free From Error, Fallacy, or Misapprehension According to Principles Relating to Right and Wrong Behavior.


Let’s keep in mind that we are completely discussing a general case.


I agree with my opponent that it is possible to share that perfect balance of agape and eros that marriage calls for before a couple gets married, but let’s be real here; the majority of couples, especially teenagers and college students do not take love as seriously as a marital commitment calls for.


In addition, I must only show that sex before marriage has some kind of error, fallacy or misapprehension in order to affirm the resolution.


Sex before marriage has error because of the risks and consequences. Even my opponent agrees that most of the time (generally) sex before marriage is ill-advised. Well the only reason something could be ill-advised would be if there was some kind of risk or consequence to it.


This is enough to fulfill my resolution but I’ll take it further.


Sex before marriage is in a way a fallacy because it misrepresents true love.


Sex before marriage is also a misapprehension because it misrepresents true love.


This is all of course, in a general case.


There are few ways someone could practice the kind of love marriage calls for before marriage; that would mean the couple must either (a. Have a true commitment to each other that would allow agape to grow naturally or (b. fully understand the concept of agape and eros and be able to act upon it.


Both of these options are unrealistic to the average young couple.


46% of teenagers between the ages of 15-19 have had sex at least once (1), and I don’t even know the statistics for students in college, but I could only imagine they are the same or a bit higher.


“For teens having sex for the first time, the majority identify their partner as someone with whom they were "going steady" -- 70% of females and 56% of males.”(2)


These are general cases, and I find no way that these people could have a true commitment to each other nor could I ever imagine they have a good understanding of agape and eros, and choose to act upon it.


My opponent says it himself: “the expression of agape is what makes it(sex) moral.”


We look at these general cases and we understand that agape has very little meaning to them.


Marriage is important because without having an understanding of agape, agape naturally becomes part of their life with each other. The commitment a couple makes to each other through marriage will naturally cause agape to grow. This is why marriage is so important.


You brought up cases such as divorce or polygamy.


You see, a couple can make a commitment to marriage. However, it is up to them to uphold that commitment and you act as if marriage means nothing because these things happen. A couple should wait to be married when they already have an agape type love. Marriage simply makes this agape grow further. With polygamy: Marriage can be misrepresented. If the largest amount of agape grows through two people being with each other, then it would be a misapprehension to allow more people into that kind of relationship. Marriage is about the greatest amount of agape, if a polygamous type relationship does not support this then marriage is being misrepresented by allowing it.


I do not deny that couples practice agape besides through sex with each other. What I am arguing is that not having sex allows you to put more effort into finding those ways to express agape to your lover. In addition, the abstinence from sex allows your partner to know that you love them and want to be with them regardless of the pleasure they may bring you.


“If the child is loved, truly loved with agape, then it is fine to have a child out of wedlock”


I absolutely, 100% agree. However, is this a realistic thing? I will tell you that there are few circumstances when a child born out of wedlock is put in the same or better kind of environment that a married couple has. Remember we are looking at a general case of pre-marital sex. In general, a couple that has pre-marital sex does not share the same kind of commitment or agape love that a married couple has. Even more so, teenage and college students are at one of the worst points in their lives to have a child.


“On the other hand, a child in a loveless marriage is in fact a terrible thing to do to the child, and having a child in a marriage where you and your spouse no longer love each other will harm the child as well.”


Like I said earlier, a couple can make a commitment to marriage but not actually live it out.


A couple that truly shares love and agape with each other (Generally in marriage) like you said, will raise a child properly to be loved. You have everything backwards. You give me a rare case with marriage yet then say that unmarried young couples who share a pure sense of agape will welcome a child into their lives. Both of these examples are not general cases. They are simply can’s. There is no point in arguing whether something can happen if it usually won’t.


“Children born in a loveless or unready relationship outside of marriage is just as bad as in one, and having a child in a marriage where you and your spouse no longer love each other will harm the child as well.”


However, it is far more likely that a child will be born in an unready relationship with a pre-marital couple then it would be with a married couple. Why? Because a pre-marital couple does not share the true commitment to love and agape that marriage calls for.


My opponent argues that a couple needs to know whether their bodies are compatible with each other for sex before they get married, then provides a story about someone who suffered for not having done so.


First off, just read the story. Can you not see that this woman does not share a very great love for her husband?


Think. She stated that she would rather divorce him than have bad sex. She would rather divorce him than have bad sex. This obviously shows she has no true love for him. A couple that shares true love and agape with each other would not be bothered nearly as much as her that the sex wasn’t up to par. In addition, a couple that shared true agape would work through such a thing. Obviously no one is great their first time and I assume both of them stayed abstinent.


In addition, they fight. A lot. This just hints us that perhaps they weren’t ready for marriage in the first place.


Your point fails because a couple that truly loves each other would work through such a thing.


Conclusion


It would appear that the only argument my opponent dropped when responding to me would be my point on faithfulness in my opening argument. If he chooses to argue it in the next round, disregard it because I will have had no chance to respond.


I have shown that marriage is in general, a needed commitment for a couple in order to express true love and agape for each other.


I have that marriage can be misrepresented and that cases such as polygamy should not be taken to mind.


I have shown that marriage is at no fault if a couple was not ready to make a commitment and did, resulting in a divorce.


I have shown that abstinence from sex shows that a couple loves the other for them, and not for the pleasure they may bring.


I have shown that generally, a child raised in marriage is better off than a child raised outside of marriage.


I have shown that a couple who has remained abstinent will work through their sexual life together in true love, but only if they are truly dedicated to each other.


This was a great debate and I’m very glad to have participated in it. Good luck to you in your final round. ^^


1 - http://womensissues.about.com...


2 - http://womensissues.about.com...


Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Thank you for the debate. Now, as it is the final round, I’ll follow common etiquette and simply sum up my argument and the debate as I see it.

We have both accepted the ethical bindingness of situation ethics. Therefore, the question is whether “Situation Ethics” can condemn generally any act. “In general” is in fact a logical term parallel to ceteris paribus, meaning “all else being equal”, and in layman terms ceteris paribus means ‘in general’[1]. So the question we have been discussing is whether, all else being equal, sex before marriage is permissible. Or, whether there is something inherently bad with sex before marriage.

As I have said repeatedly, there are many cases where sex before marriage is a bad idea. What I feel I need to emphasise – my friend keeps missing out this key point – is that there are many cases where sex after marriage is a bad idea. There are many times where in fact charity is a bad idea. However, just like charity, there are many times when sex before marriage is morally acceptable.

Love can be permanent or fleeting. Marriage is a way of cementing a permanent love between two individuals and strengthening and officiating the agape they both share for one another. Sex, however, is simply an act that two couples share. It is an act which can be a vehicle to express love, or it can be a vehicle to express pleasure, the latter of which is not wrong in it even then. The constant badgering and narrow-mindedness of some, where ethics becomes wholly about sex, needs to be dismissed. To quote Singer:

“[T]he first thing to say about ethics is that it is not a set of prohibitions about sex. Even in the era of AIDS, sex raises no unique moral issues at all. Decisions about sex may involve considerations of honesty, concern for others, prudence, and so on, but there is nothing special about sex in this respect, for the same could be said about driving a car.”[2]

Peter Vardy, strong Catholic, similarly claims the same issue in The Puzzle of Sex. I claim my friend has had the same problem: he has become held up with the issue of sex, and I’ll say this because for my friend to be consistent with the dangers of sex, he would have had to extend the claim that “sex before marriage” is just as dangerous as “sex after marriage”.

I of course claim this. Marriage is not a magical condom which protects you from disease, pregnancy, falling out with your spouse or any of the problems which divorce leads to. This is evident now we live in a society where more than four in ten married couples are expected to get a divorce[3]. Recession in fact is one of the major reasons people are staying together now. Marriage, it is becoming abundantly clear, is not a protector of agape, but merely a form of expressing it. A unique, valuable form of expressing it, but at the end of the day, it only expresses the value of marriage.

Sex itself is one of the most primary acts two people can share. If they lack sexual chemistry, this will impact and exacerbate problems elsewhere in life, causing agape to dwindle and be pulls couples away. Before and after marriage, it can kill a potentially happy life. It can also be what saves it and keeps people together. As long as it is an expression of love, then sex before marriage is perfectly acceptable, and to criticise it as uniquely immoral is simply inaccurate. Thank you.



[2] Peter Singer, Practical Ethics

Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Interesting topic, Late but hope to read and vote tomorrow.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Thank you, and I'll enjoy reading your final round. Debates are usually thought of as extremely confrontational, but in fact they're just discussing issues where two people each take a side.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
You have a great grasp at what love is; I am definitely glad I chose to debate you. ^^

I find myself taking this less as a debate and more of me wanting to continue to see what you have to say.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
I'd prefer complete disengagement with comments during debate, and moreso people to refrain from commenting on arguments until the debate is over, in order to keep it a debate between two, not a debate between an audience and the debaters.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Oh really? ;D
Posted by JZ42 3 years ago
JZ42
Too easy an argument, all con has to say is morality is relative and done.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Generally means in most circumstances.

I did this to weed out uncommon or even extreme circumstances.

I will be arguing that sex before marriage is generally not morally sound.
Generally meaning it is not morally sound most of the time.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
What's with the "generally"? Are you going to argue that sex before marriage isn't wrong in itself? Or is this "excluding extreme circumstances"? Or is it "ceteris paribus"?

I am trying to quickly work out whether you meant it as "in some circumstances", or "in almost all circumstances".
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Boom.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
I will either accept Cody_Franklin, Ryuu, or Stephen_Hawkins for this debate.

If one of you comments before Cody_Franklin messages me back about the debate I will allow you to accept it.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
xXCryptoXxStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: What 1HistoryGenius said.
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 3 years ago
ClassicRobert
xXCryptoXxStephen_HawkinsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments go to Con, because Pro didn't prove why, morally, sex before marriage is unsound, and Con effectively showed that there is little difference between premarital sex and marital sex. Conduct, S&G, and sources are all close enough to be equal.
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
Skeptikitten
xXCryptoXxStephen_HawkinsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to provide any reasonable argument for how sex before marriage and after marriage must necessarily differ in character or how marriage becomes some kind of magic bullet that makes sex moral. Conduct, grammar, and sources fairly even.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
xXCryptoXxStephen_HawkinsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I felt that the sources were pretty much even. Con used a lot of biblical quotes, but this is all from once source, so I kept that in mind. In addition, I'm a fan of organization, but I didn't really see that in Con which personally confused me. I liked Pro's arguments on the morality, love, and faithfulness. I felt Com did better on the discussion over a child, but arguments narrowly goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
xXCryptoXxStephen_HawkinsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that some times it is not a good thing to have sex before marriage, but the same is true for sex after marriage. Pro failed to show that sex before marriage was not morally sound, as Con showed that one can have sex for all the right reasons and still not be married. This was more convincing than Pro's argument. Con also had a richer variety of sources. Both of them had good spelling and grammar, and neither of them violated conduct.