The Instigator
jpvn14
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
drafterman
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

I will not contradict myself

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
drafterman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 474 times Debate No: 18741
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

jpvn14

Pro

The Rules are like the regular ones for this debate. Con asks me 10 questions, and I will answer them all w/o contradicting myself.
drafterman

Con


1. You find yourself prisoner at the hands of a mad scientist who indicates that he is planning on torturing you. However, prior to actually torturing you, he will replace your mind (thoughts, personality, behavior, memories, etc.) with the mind of someone else. Does this fact reduce your fear of the torture?



2. You find yourself prisoner at the hands of another mad scientist, along with another individual. The mad scientist indicates that he will torture one person, but free another. However, prior to doing that, he is going to swap your minds (thoughts, personality, behavior, memories, etc.). Furthermore, he is going to let you chose who is tortured and who is freed. Do you free the person with your body?



3. Can an act that harms no one be morally wrong?



4. Is incest morally wrong?



5. If you take a car apart then put it back together, is it still the same car?



6. If you replace a single part on the car, is it still the same car?



7. You wake up one morning after a fun night out with a horrible hang-over. In fact, you can't even remember anything from the night before. To your horror, you find yourself surgically attached to another person. As memories from the night come back, you realize that, in your inebriated state, you agreed to this procedure. It is possible to separate the two of you, with minimal risk to yourself, but it will kill the other person. Do you go through with the separation?



8. Is abortion always morally wrong?



9. Does moral responsibility depend on being able to do otherwise? That is, if I engage in an action whose outcome I have no choice over, can I still be held morally responsible for that action?



10. Yet another made scientist has installed a microchip in your brain. He did this because he found out about your plan to kill your coworker. He wants you to go through with this plan, but installed the microchip in your brain as a fail-safe; should you have last-minute doubts, the microchip will force you to kill your coworker. Nevertheless, the fail-safe is not needed; you go through with the plan and kill your coworker. Are you morally responsible?

Debate Round No. 1
jpvn14

Pro

1. You find yourself prisoner at the hands of a mad scientist who indicates that he is planning on torturing you. However, prior to actually torturing you, he will replace your mind (thoughts, personality, behavior, memories, etc.) with the mind of someone else. Does this fact reduce your fear of the torture?

No it does not. It actually makes me more nervous as I know that I might get the mind of a psychopath or the operation could go incorrectly.


2. You find yourself prisoner at the hands of another mad scientist, along with another individual. The mad scientist indicates that he will torture one person, but free another. However, prior to doing that, he is going to swap your minds (thoughts, personality, behavior, memories, etc.). Furthermore, he is going to let you chose who is tortured and who is freed. Do you free the person with your body?

I may or may not. Since he swapped my minds, it is impossible to answer that question.


3. Can an act that harms no one be morally wrong?

Yes it can.


4. Is incest morally wrong?

believe that it is morally wrong.


5. If you take a car apart then put it back together, is it still the same car?

If you did not take out the engine than it is still the same car.


6. If you replace a single part on the car, is it still the same car?

It's still the same car, but the parts are diffrent.


7. You wake up one morning after a fun night out with a horrible hang-over. In fact, you can't even remember anything from the night before. To your horror, you find yourself surgically attached to another person. As memories from the night come back, you realize that, in your inebriated state, you agreed to this procedure. It is possible to separate the two of you, with minimal risk to yourself, but it will kill the other person. Do you go through with the separation?

I would not go through the operation, but maybe my "new" mind would.


8. Is abortion always morally wrong?

Yes it is. Even if it was a malestation.


9. Does moral responsibility depend on being able to do otherwise? That is, if I engage in an action whose outcome I have no choice over, can I still be held morally responsible for that action?

Yes you can. You get to choose if you want to engage in it.


10. Yet another made scientist has installed a microchip in your brain. He did this because he found out about your plan to kill your coworker. He wants you to go through with this plan, but installed the microchip in your brain as a fail-safe; should you have last-minute doubts, the microchip will force you to kill your coworker. Nevertheless, the fail-safe is not needed; you go through with the plan and kill your coworker. Are you morally responsible?

I am morally responsible, since it was my intention to kill my cooworker any way. If I had no intentions of originally killing him, then the scientist wouldn't have installed a microchip in my brain.

drafterman

Con

Point of Clarification

The scenarios presented are not meant to be answered cumulatively. That is, you don't answer #2 in light of your answer to #1. Each is to be answered with respect to how you are now.

Additional clarifications:

#2 - Your decision is made prior to the swap/torture/release. So you are making with your mind in your body. After you make the decision, he will then release the body-mind pair you decided to release, and torture the other. So you can decide to release what will be your body-other mind or other body-your mind. Which would you have released?

#5 - The car is completely disassembled, even the engine, into its most basic constituent parts. Then it is reassembled using those same exact parts. Is it the same car?

#7 - In line with the clarification above, this has nothing to do with the swapped minds scenario. Given that, I will take "I would not go through [with] the operation" as your answer unless you object.

#9 - The question is in regards to actions where I don't have a choice, even a choice whether or not I want to engage in it. If I have no choice, am I still morally responsible?

New Questions

1. Similar to #7, you wake up one morning surgically attached to another person. However, this was not as a result of any agreement on your part. You were kidnapped and forcibly attached to this person. Staying attached presents no harm to you and detaching also presents no harm to you. However, detaching would kill the other person? Do you go through with the separation?

2. Also similar to #7, however a complication to the attachment process now threatens both of your lives. If you stay attached, both of you will die. If you separate, the other person will die and you will live. Do you go through with the separation?

3. Similar to #10 however, the scientist puts the microchip in your brain before you even ever meet this coworker. Everything else plays as described: if you decide to kill your coworker, the scientist does nothing. If you decide not to kill your coworker, the scientist activates the microchip to force you to kill your coworker. You decide to kill your coworker without the influence of the microchip. Are you morally responsible?

4. Consider an event that no person is responsible for, like a tornado. Also consider that this tornado destroys a house and kills the family inside and that no one is responsible for that causal connection. That is, no one is responsible for the fact that the tornado destroyed the house and killed the people. Is it then logical to conclude that no one is responsible for the death of the family?

5. Can the logical principle in #4 be generalized? That is, can we say that for any event X for which no one is responsible; and a causal connection "X causes Y" for which no one is responsible; can we say, then, that no one is responsible for Y?

6. You decide that you really don't like your coworkers, and plan to kill another. At a very formal function, you decide to lure one of your coworkers under a large crystal chandelier. The chandelier hangs by several chains that loop through eye-bolts in the ceiling, then hang down and are anchored in various places in the wall. However, it was poorly designed. The chandelier is so heavy that if any of the anchors are removed, the chandelier will pull the remaining anchors out and fall, killing whoever may be underneath. You exploit this weakness and do just that: you lure your coworker under the chandelier, remove the anchor, and watch as it falls. Unbeknownst to you, however, was the fact that, at one of the other anchors, the wood was infested with termites and, at the exact same time that you pulled your anchor, the wood around the other anchor gave way. In short: had you not pulled your anchor, the other anchor would have fell out, causing the chandelier to fall at the exact same time, killing your coworker. Are you still morally responsible for this death?

7. Do you believe you have a soul?

8. If so, is that where your identity resides? That is, if you believe you have a soul, could your body and mind be destroyed while your identity still remains intact in your soul?

9. If not, do you believe your identity resides in your mind such that if your mind is kept alive while your body is destroyed, your identity will remain intact in your mind?

10. Is torture ever permissible?

Debate Round No. 2
jpvn14

Pro

New Questions

1. Similar to #7, you wake up one morning surgically attached to another person. However, this was not as a result of any agreement on your part. You were kidnapped and forcibly attached to this person. Staying attached presents no harm to you and detaching also presents no harm to you. However, detaching would kill the other person? Do you go through with the separation?


No I wouldn't. If it doesn't have an harm to me than I wouldn't go through with a surgery. You never said what harm was (physical, emotional, paycheck), so I can't really answer this adaqueately.


2. Also similar to #7, however a complication to the attachment process now threatens both of your lives. If you stay attached, both of you will die. If you separate, the other person will die and you will live. Do you go through with the separation?


I would not go through with operation. I instead would give my life up to the other person, so that he has more time to accept Jesus as his personal savior.


3. Similar to #10 however, the scientist puts the microchip in your brain before you even ever meet this coworker. Everything else plays as described: if you decide to kill your coworker, the scientist does nothing. If you decide not to kill your coworker, the scientist activates the microchip to force you to kill your coworker. You decide to kill your coworker without the influence of the microchip. Are you morally responsible?


If I killed my cooworker without the influence of a microchip, than I am morally responsible.


4. Consider an event that no person is responsible for, like a tornado. Also consider that this tornado destroys a house and kills the family inside and that no one is responsible for that causal connection. That is, no one is responsible for the fact that the tornado destroyed the house and killed the people. Is it then logical to conclude that no one is responsible for the death of the family?


No it's not. God let Satan direct that tonadoe into the family's house, and kill them. Fortunatley God puts limits on evil, as He is just.


5. Can the logical principle in #4 be generalized? That is, can we say that for any event X for which no one is responsible; and a causal connection "X causes Y" for which no one is responsible; can we say, then, that no one is responsible for Y?


Someone is alays responsible for death.


6. You decide that you really don't like your coworkers, and plan to kill another. At a very formal function, you decide to lure one of your coworkers under a large crystal chandelier. The chandelier hangs by several chains that loop through eye-bolts in the ceiling, then hang down and are anchored in various places in the wall. However, it was poorly designed. The chandelier is so heavy that if any of the anchors are removed, the chandelier will pull the remaining anchors out and fall, killing whoever may be underneath. You exploit this weakness and do just that: you lure your coworker under the chandelier, remove the anchor, and watch as it falls. Unbeknownst to you, however, was the fact that, at one of the other anchors, the wood was infested with termites and, at the exact same time that you pulled your anchor, the wood around the other anchor gave way. In short: had you not pulled your anchor, the other anchor would have fell out, causing the chandelier to fall at the exact same time, killing your coworker. Are you still morally responsible for this death?


Yes I am, as I intended to kill my coworker in the first place. As the Bible says, "If you do not show love to your brother, you have commited murder in your heart."


7. Do you believe you have a soul?


Yes I do, and Jesus is living in it!


8. If so, is that where your identity resides? That is, if you believe you have a soul, could your body and mind be destroyed while your identity still remains intact in your soul?


Yes it can. I can be physically killed, but my mind remains intact, as I will not die spiritually.


9. If not, do you believe your identity resides in your mind such that if your mind is kept alive while your body is destroyed, your identity will remain intact in your mind?


I will never be dead, as I will go to heaven and life forever. But If on earth I was physiclly dead, than I could not keep intouch with my mind.


10. Is torture ever permissible?


Yes it is. For example: disbelievers of Jesus will go to Heaven. That is permissable because they refused to accept God. It is their own fault.


drafterman

Con

Pro, you did not seem to address my requests for clarification. I feel that these are important and, in the interests of a fulfilling debate, I'd ask that you address these since, technically, the questions to which they relate aren't answered until you do. I will post those requests again for clarity:

#2 - Your decision is made prior to the swap/torture/release. So you are making with your mind in your body. After you make the decision, he will then release the body-mind pair you decided to release, and torture the other. So you can decide to release what will be your body-other mind or other body-your mind. Which would you have released?

#5 - The car is completely disassembled, even the engine, into its most basic constituent parts. Then it is reassembled using those same exact parts. Is it the same car?
#7 - In line with the clarification above, this has nothing to do with the swapped minds scenario. Given that, I will take "I would not go through [with] the operation" as your answer unless you object.
#9 - The question is in regards to actions where I don't have a choice, even a choice whether or not I want to engage in it. If I have no choice, am I still morally responsible?

Thank you. In light of the four restatements above, I will limit the new questions this round to 6.

New Questions

1. Similar to #4 above: Consider an event that no person is responsible for, like a tornado. Also consider that this tornado destroys a house and kills the family inside and that no one is responsible for that causal connection. That is, no one is responsible for the fact that the tornado destroyed the house and killed the people. Is it then logical to conclude that no human is responsible for the death of the family?

2. Similar to #5 above: Can the logical principle above be generalized? That is, can we say that for any event X for which no one is responsible; and a causal connection "X causes Y" for which no one is responsible; can we say, then, that no human is responsible for Y?

3. You are courier delivering important medical supplies to help combat a disease epidemic. On your way to the delivery site, you come to a fork in the road. You know that the path on the left is clear, but longer. You estimate that, out of the 1,200 victims, 800 (2/3) will die before you can get to the site. The path on the right is shorter, but not always clear. If it is clear (1/3 chance), then you can get there in time to save everyone, if it is not clear (2/3 chance) then you won't get there in time to save anyone and all 1,200 will die. Let's assume that the numbers here are accurate and beyond questioning, which path do you take?

4. Does God define what is moral? That is, does the moral quality of an act derive solely from God's will?

5. If you can save someone from harm at absolutely no cost to yourself, are you morally obligated to do so?

6. In continuation of #5, if you deliberately refrain from helping the person, and sit idly by as they come to harm, are you, in any way, morally responsible for that harm?

Debate Round No. 3
jpvn14

Pro

Sorry about not answering those other questions, was confused

#2 - Your decision is made prior to the swap/torture/release. So you are making with your mind in your body. After you make the decision, he will then release the body-mind pair you decided to release, and torture the other. So you can decide to release what will be your body-other mind or other body-your mind. Which would you have released?

I am slightly confusby the question asked here, but I would not have my partner totured. I would give them a functioning mind, so they could live their life. I also find this qustion ridiculous, as this would never ever happen in reaf life, so it's almost virtually impossible to answer.

#5 - The car is completely disassembled, even the engine, into its most basic constituent parts. Then it is reassembled using those same exact parts. Is it the same car?

It's still the same car, it's just consisted of different parts.

#7 - In line with the clarification above, this has nothing to do with the swapped minds scenario. Given that, I will take "I would not go through [with] the operation" as your answer unless you object.
#9 - The question is in regards to actions where I don't have a choice, even a choice whether or not I want to engage in it. If I have no choice, am I still morally responsible?

If I have no choice, thhan I'm not morally responsible...but someone is.

Thank you. In light of the four restatements above, I will limit the new questions this round to 6.

New Questions

1. Similar to #4 above: Consider an event that no person is responsible for, like a tornado. Also consider that this tornado destroys a house and kills the family inside and that no one is responsible for that causal connection. That is, no one is responsible for the fact that the tornado destroyed the house and killed the people. Is it then logical to conclude that no human is responsible for the death of the family?

I believe that it's logical to conclude that a human did not make the tornado, but someone is at fualt. Weather it be the weather man for not explaining the tornado properly, or the people unwillingness to lieave the area.

2. Similar to #5 above: Can the logical principle above be generalized? That is, can we say that for any event X for which no one is responsible; and a causal connection "X causes Y" for which no one is responsible; can we say, then, that no human is responsible for Y?

Yes you can. If something that humans don't have power over, than it's not their fault.

3. You are courier delivering important medical supplies to help combat a disease epidemic. On your way to the delivery site, you come to a fork in the road. You know that the path on the left is clear, but longer. You estimate that, out of the 1,200 victims, 800 (2/3) will die before you can get to the site. The path on the right is shorter, but not always clear. If it is clear (1/3 chance), then you can get there in time to save everyone, if it is not clear (2/3 chance) then you won't get there in time to save anyone and all 1,200 will die. Let's assume that the numbers here are accurate and beyond questioning, which path do you take?

I think that in the heat of the moment I would go to the clear path and longer path. I never want people to die by ny means, but I want people to live that have a higher ercent of chance. I would pray that the people knew Jesus.

4. Does God define what is moral? That is, does the moral quality of an act derive solely from God's will?

Yes it does. God says what is moral, and what's not.

5. If you can save someone from harm at absolutely no cost to yourself, are you morally obligated to do so?

I think it's dependant on the situation, but if someone is in real pysical harm, than I would go save them in a heartbeat. I am moally obligated to due so, as that is what Jesus would do.

6. In continuation of #5, if you deliberately refrain from helping the person, and sit idly by as they come to harm, are you, in any way, morally responsible for that harm?

Yes you are. If you didn't help them, and they get injured, then you are responsible along side the person who was beating the other person.

drafterman

Con

Time to start tying things up.

Clarifications and Explanations

Mind Swap Scenario

I apologize if the mind-swap scenario was confusing. However, its unrealistic nature doesn't make it impossible to answer. It's a thought experiment. In fact, one could argue that thought experiments such as this one are deliberately unrealistic to focus on the concepts that are being analyzed. By making it unrealistic, it prevents the discussion from being derailed by distractions present in more realistic scenarios.

To explain, you, as you are, are being offered a choice in light of details of the scenario. You are informed that, after your decision, your mind ill be swapped with the other's. Then, in accordance with your decision, one person will be released and the other will be tortured. So, would you have your body released, even though it has the other's mind, or would you have your mind released, even though it was in another's body?

The concept being analyzed here is the concept of identity. Do you associate your identity with your mind or your body? The scenarios are presented in conjunction, because people's answers are typically contradictory. Most people answer as you did with the very first question: their fear of torture is not reduced. This suggests that they associate their identity with the body. However, most people would choose to release the person that has their mind, leaving their body to be tortured, which suggests that they associate their identity with their mind. Hence the contradiction. Without an answer to the second scenario, we can't analyze this for you.

Car Disassembly Scenario

I'm not sure how this scenario invokes confusion. How could it consist of different parts if it was reassembled with the same parts?

Proposed Contradictions

I know I asked some new questions last round, but I want to give you a chance to adequately refute any contradictions I come up with, and you only have one round left. Some of this will involve educated guesses.

#1 - Mind-Body contradiction

In Round 2/Question 1 you indicated a fear of torture, despite the fact that your mind would no longer be in your mind. This indicates that identity resides in the body/However, in Round 3/Question 8 you stated that your body could be destroyed without affecting your identity.


#2 - Theseus Paradox

If you take apart a car, then put it back together, it's the same car. However, in Round 2/Question 6, you stated that we could replace a part and the car would still be the same, just with a different part. If we extend this, we end up with a contradiction. We can, over time, continuously replace the parts of the car. It's the same car, just with different parts. Eventually, all the parts will have been replaced. Again, same car, different parts. But, if we retain all of the original parts, and then reassemble the original car, that, too, is the same car. Yet two different objects can be the same. Thus a contradiction.

#3 Moral Responsibility

In Round 4/Question 2, you stated that "If something that humans don't have power over, than it's not their fault." However, in Round 3/Question 6, you said that you would be morally responsible for the death. But in that scenario, you don't have power over whether or not the coworker dies as, if you did nothing, the chandelier would have fallen anyway and killed the coworker. Since you have no power over their death, you shouldn't be responsible, yet you still claim moral responsibility.
Debate Round No. 4
jpvn14

Pro

jpvn14 forfeited this round.
drafterman

Con

My opponent has not addressed the proposed contradictions, so all I can offer is elaboration and further support.

In addition, I will provide background into the series of questions as a whole.

My Round 1 - Questions 1 & 2
Source: http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

The presentation in the link is longer than mine. In mine I focused on Statement 4 of Scenario 1 (for my question 1) and the question for Scenario 2 (for my question 2). According to the site, 72% of people respond a contradictory manner. They do not feel reassured by any of the statements in Scenario 1, which indicates an association of identity with body, but they reward the mind in Scenario 2, indicating an association of identity with the mind.

My opponent did not answer my question 2, so I had to resort to other answers to determine his identity association.

My Round 1 - Questions 3 & 4
Source: http://www.philosophersnet.com...

Specifically, my question 3 corresponds to question 4 in the link, and my question 4 corresponds to question 8 in the link. My intention was to draw a contradiction as most people would say that an act that harms no one can't be morally wrong, but would ill treat incest as morally wrong. My opponent was consistent here, so no contradiction.

My Round 1 - Questions 5 & 6
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

An ancient paradox involving our conception of identity of objects made of constituent parts. My previous explanation is all that really needs to be said. There were potential refutations here, but my opponent, for whatever reason, elected not to make them.

My Round 1 - Questions 7 & 8; My Round 2 - Questions 1 & 2
Source: http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

My exact scenario doesn't appear here. Mine is of my own making, though the underlying concepts are the same. I admit that my opponent surprised me here, as I think many people would elect to separate. The scenario is designed to test the underlying reasons behind being against abortion, with the rationale being that, if you are against abortion, then you should be against separation in the scenario. I commend my opponent for his consistent thinking here.


My Round 1 - Question 9 & 10; My Round 2 - Questions 3 - 6; My Round 3 - Questions 1 & 2
Source:????

Unfortunately, I can't find the source for this, as I'm using a different computer. I will try and post it on Monday if I remember. The goal here is to criticize the notion of moral responsibility depending on being able to do otherwise as many people would still hold the murderer responsible, even though they couldn't have done otherwise due to the chip. I could not catch my opponent in a contradiction here.

My Round 2 - Questions 7 - 9
Source: http://www.philosophersnet.com...

This test is designed to see if one's perceptions about where identity resides are consistent. It does this my putting body, mind, and soul in danger, and seeing what actions people take to preserve what. I was unable to complete this line of questioning, but was able to use answers here in other places.

My Round 2 - Question 10
Source: http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

Another line of questions designed to test moral consistency. Really only works if the participant does not allow for torture.

My Round 3 - Question 3
Source: http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

This is a pair of questions that use framing to illicit contradictory answers from people. I was unable to present the second question, as I wanted to give my opponent time to address what I already presented.

My Round 3 - Question 4
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Initially, I did not want to deal with contradictions involving God, so I did not inquire into religious matters. However, my opponent volunteered this information, so I chose to go with the Euthyphro dilemma which deals with the relationship between God and morality. I was unable to complete this line of questioning.

My Round 3 - Question 5 & 6
Source: http://www.philosophersnet.com...

At this point I was reaching for questions. I would probably have either tried to invoke a direct contradiction among my opponent's answers, or an indirect contradiction between his answers regarding morality here and the "morality" of God.

Conclusion

My proposed contradictions stand unrefuted. So other than the elaborations I have provided above, there is nothing left to add.

Parent Sources:
http://www.philosophersnet.com...
http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...


Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by drafterman 2 years ago
drafterman
Additional Information:
For the sourceless thought experiment:
http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

Also, I mistakenly said I could not get my opponent in a contradiction here. This experiment is actually two-fold. One I was unable to evoke a contradiction, the other I was.

Point 1:

In this scenario, it establishes the morality of the "no one is responsible for x, no one is responsible for x -> y, therefore no one is responsible for y." Ultimately I got my opponent to agree with that. This conflicts with the chandelier scenario here, and the avalanche scenario in the debate.

Point 2:

In this scenario, it establishes the morality of "unable to do otherwise" which is the followed up with the "chip in the brain." As stated, I was unable to evoke a contradiction.

I hope everyone enjoyed the debate.
Posted by drafterman 2 years ago
drafterman
Thanks! When I'm done I'll provide a link to the source of my inspiration.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
I love the questions in this debate haha
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by mongeese 2 years ago
mongeese
jpvn14draftermanTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con pointed out contradictions, and Pro failed to defend against them.
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 2 years ago
jm_notguilty
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Reasons for voting decision: FF and Clear Contradictions.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 2 years ago
BlackVoid
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Reasons for voting decision: Thought experiments ftw
Vote Placed by Kinesis 2 years ago
Kinesis
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow, awesome job Con.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
jpvn14draftermanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's contradictions stand uncontested.