The Instigator
JBphilo
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Low
Con (against)
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In the USA/ UK its better to be born disabled than able-bodied.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 207 times Debate No: 81227
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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JBphilo

Pro

I believe that it is now the case, in some parts of the world, that you are more likely to live a happier life if you are born disabled than if you are born able-bodied. To some this may seem a strange view to hold. However, I'd like to ask the reader what are their main causes of unhappiness (or if there is none what do you imagine are other people's main causes of unhappiness)? Failing to have/ achieve personal goals/ financial hardship/ not enough free time/ worries about how others see you? There may be others but I would expect you see these four as high up on your list.

So, I will argue that disabled people are better off in these four areas (and any others you propose). Then I will argue that these benefits outweigh the hardships of being disabled.

Such a view may require I accept that it is not wrong to make another disabled and that it is wrong for a mother to take a pill to cure the blindness of your fetus. I will refute such views.

SOURCES OF UNHAPPINESS (and why disabled people are more likely to be better off in these areas)
1. Failure to have/ achieve personal goals. Having a goal gives one's life a purpose. Not having a purpose makes most people unhappy. There are more goals for disabled people and they often have more time to pursue them. Many able bodied people will not pursue a goal as they need to spend their time studying/ working a if they do not they fear they will live unhappy lives. Its a sad state to be in if you do a job out of fear of falling into poverty and doing so means you deprive yourself of the time needed to do something really great with your life. Admittedly some people love their jobs and feel they give purpose but nearly everyone would opt to do something else with their time if they were paid the same. So this tells us our time is dominated by money worries rather than achieving personal goals. A great many disabled people are supported by the state so they don't need to get a job and have time to pursue their life's purpose. Whether its art, sport or music, disabled people are able to spend all their time doing something they love. I think sport especially is an opportunity that you are more likely to do professionally if you are disabled. I know sport isn't everyones cup of tea but everyone can see the appeal of being a pro Paralympic athlete. You keep fit, meet great people and play the sport you love. You have a constant goal driving you which many people strive to find. Paralympic sport means that whatever you disability you now have a chance at winning gold at a Paralympics. There is a higher number of the disabled population (proportionately) competing in elite sport than able-bodied people. I'm sure most of us would drop our jobs now if we could play sport for a living. Furthermore, the very fact that you have survived with a disability is an achievement that many disabled people are proud of. To have past achievements is key to happiness. Jonathan Heidt in 'Happiness Hypothesis' argues that there are two kinds of happiness and we need both to be truly happy.[1] These are momentary and memory happiness. Memory happiness requires we have a past we look back on fondly.

2. Financial- most disabled people in developed countries are supported by the state. They don't have to get a job out of fear but have the option if they want. Imagine if you never had to worry about money again. How much worry would now be gone?

3. More free time- proportionately disabled people are more likely to have more free time. Many of them don't need to get a job so can spend that time doing whatever they want.

4. Not worrying about how others see them- many people worry about looks but as most disabled people realise they are never going to look like Pamela Anderson they just accept themselves for themselves and don't care what others think. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are and not have the stress trying and be someone they're not.

I believe my opponent should to some degree see these areas as significant and more likely to happen for the disabled. It is debatable whether these benefits outweigh all types of disability but I believe they do.

[1] https://books.google.co.uk...
Low

Con

My main goal here is not necessarily to prove or disprove that being disabled in different parts of the world is not a plausible argument, but if one analyzes it from a more celestial perspective, they might find that they have no base upon which to build their argument. For example, happiness and unhappiness are not necessarily indicative of having a better life, because something being better than another is a subjective way of thinking. Superiority is a social construct which is concocted by humans to help make sense of the world (which doesn't exactly make sense from my point of view), and better what they perceive to be necessary or of increasing value to themselves.

This perspective is one that directly attributes happiness to materialistic acquirement, which is a slippery slope to walk down, considering the fact that the only way we can account for our incessant askance of such materialism is with selfish desire for the oh so illusory "self". And of course there are many people in the wide wide world that associate a stigma with selfishness and otherwise "bad" things. Morality has no ground to stand on in the most base form of the natural world.

Paralympics, are not based off of a system that is justified. What I mean by this is that the participation requirements do not account for different levels of disability. One man may have a different level of disability than another, but they are still considered equal in this Paralympic event, even though one can potentially have an advantage over another in whatever physical activity it is that they are doing.

Money is another social construct that humans give value to based upon what other people influence them into believing, and worry is a personal item that will vary from individual to individual.

Free time is also a result of personal preference, as one does not need money to be part of this society, and thus one does not need a job either. And without a job you will generally (but not always of course, as that disallow for personal experience) have more free time. Nor does having free time mean that you have a better life, mind you.

I agree that people should not worry about exterior perspective on appearance, however this is not an indicator of happiness, because there are many people who are not clinically disabled who are also happy. Though of course, happiness is not an indicator of better either.

In conclusion, all I have to say is that it will always come down to which individual you are talking to, because the beliefs in the clinically disabled community are widely divided. I would also like to add that to some degree, everything is disabled.
Debate Round No. 1
JBphilo

Pro

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Low

Con

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Debate Round No. 2
JBphilo

Pro

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Low

Con

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Debate Round No. 3
JBphilo

Pro

JBphilo forfeited this round.
Low

Con

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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by WAM 1 year ago
WAM
What disabilities are you talking about?
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