The Instigator
philipisbad
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cecilia
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Is bearing a child immoral?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Cecilia
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,100 times Debate No: 82936
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

philipisbad

Pro

The moral argument against bearing a child can be told in a short parable.
Once upon a time, there was a man who was leading a banal life style. He was living boring but pain-free life. Then, a demon approached and suggested a gamble for him. There were 100 cups with clear solutions. 99 cups contained water. 1 of them contained poison. If the man chose a cup with water and drank it, he would lead a happy life in everlasting paradise. If the man chose a cup with poison, he would regret the very fact that he came into existence.
The farmer took the gamble, and won. He knew he had the probability on his side.
Many years later, the demon came to the man and suggested the same gamble. This time, however, the man would be gambling for a stranger he did not know. He took the gamble because he thought that he had the possibility on his side. But alas, he chose the poisoned cup this time.
Many years later, the stranger happened to walk by the man. The stranger asked why the man gambled and put him in much pain. The man answered that he had the possibility on his side.
However, it is evident that the stranger would have been better off if the man did not gamble. It is also obvious that the man should not have gambled for someone else"s life and force great pain on the stranger.
It is obvious that there is always a small possibility that the child born will live a miserable life. Then, who are you to gamble for life of a person you do not even know?
Cecilia

Con

Even though there is always a chance that the baby will have a bad life, that doesn't mean people should just stop having babies or even that it's immoral. Most parents are prepared for their child, they know they have enough money to support it and they can most likely afford healthcare for it too. Even if they weren't prepared, they can always give it up for adoption and the people that end up adopting it are definitely prepared for it.
Now that we've proved that, I'll move onto the next topic. You may be referring to the fact that it could have a birth defect, or some kind of genetic disorder. First of all, just because they have a disorder doesn't mean their life will be bad. You've probably heard many heartwarming success stories of people with down syndrome or cerebral palsy or cancer. Of course it's not good that the child may have a disorder like that, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't live at all. Second of all, many birth defects are curable or at least treatable. The chances of a child having a severe disorder at birth that isn't treatable are very low. But I know your debate is largely against statistics, so I will say that usually there's not a choice between "great life" and "horrible life", most people have a life that's in between.
If you have any other reasons the baby would have a bad life, please specify in the next round of debate.
Debate Round No. 1
philipisbad

Pro

Even if one is prepared for the child in every aspect, that does not mean that the child will CERTAINLY live a life worth living. My point was that even if there was a really low chance that the child would live a bad life, there is still a chance.
For example, I would like to state a Belgian woman named Laura as an example. She was a Belgian woman who was given admission for euthanasia for depression. She suffered all her life from depression, and she has tried everything he could. For her, death was the only viable option because of her miserable existence. And this depression was from her childhood. There was nothing no one could do. To quote her, 'Even though my childhood certainly contributed to my suffering, I am convinced that I had had this death wish even though I grew up with a quiet, stable family.' From this, it is quite obvious that her miserable existence was from her existence itself. From this proof, we can safely say that Laura would have been better off if she was not born. Was it not for their parents to bear her then?
The thing is, this can always happen for anyone, even the most prepared parents. Many people kill themselves, and that is not because their parents were not ready. Many times, parents were not even able to help. They are things that parents cannot control. For this reason, it is obvious that parents are gambling when they are bearing a child. As you have stated, it is true that if parents are prepared for the child, it is a very low-risk gamble. However, it is still a gamble. You are still gambling for a life of a complete stranger. And as in the case of Laura and many people who kill themselves, there is nothing that parents can do about the pain in their existence. You cannot feel pain for them instead. Bearing a child in this aspect is quite irresponsible. You are doing something that you cannot be responsible for. There is always a chance that the child you bear will live a painful life that parents cannot do anything to prevent and render the life to the point where the child would have been better off not being born. It is a very rare possibility, but it happens like in the case of Laura. Therefore, bearing a child is a gamble, a consequence of which you cannot be responsible for. As you can quite obviously see, you should never gamble for a life of a complete stranger. If the stranger comes back to you and ask why did you gamble, is the answer that there was a really small possibility of messing things up justify your action? Most certainly not.
Regarding genetic disorders, you are right that some people live a good life with genetic disorders, but you would be wrong to say that ALL people live a good life. Some will definitely live a bad life and would have been better off not being born. Tay-Sachs disorder is an example of that. This disorder kills the baby in 5 years, in progress causing much pain such as blindness.
It does not matter that most people will live so-so life. You are still gambling when you bear a child, and that is irresponsible and immoral.
Cecilia

Con

There is a point where a gamble stops being a gamble, or at least comes close to it. "Gambling" is generally a term used to describe a high risk activity, however, even as you yourself have stated, there is a "really low chance that the child will live a bad life". Anyway, it's often better to try and see what happens instead of just automatically fearing something bad will happen and choosing not to do it because of that.
I'd like to refer back to the parable you used in the first round of debate. It can hardly be used in this situation, seeing as the stranger whose life was gambled had already been a living person with feelings associated with memories and an experience of what life was like. Babies who have not even been born yet can not really be compared to such a person. They are almost always born into the life they have, and so may never know anything else. Of course, even if I led a horrible life, I would never have angrily confronted my parents, asking them why they gave birth to me. I wouldn't do this because I would understand that they didn't know what they would be getting into, so they can not take the blame. In fact, no one can. As I read through the comments, I saw that you said "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get". So things happen, and you can't blame anyone for making the "wrong" or "immoral" choice when even they would never have known what could happen to the child.
Once again, I'd like to say that statistics do, in fact, play a part in this. Anxiety, the most common mental illness in the US, affects only 18% of the adult population. Major Depressive Disorder, 6.7%. Persistent Depressive Disorder, 1.5%. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, 1%. (Source: http://www.adaa.org...) You can clearly see that, yes, proven statistics are on parents' side. Also, these percentages include everyone with the mental illnesses, not just the extreme cases. Extreme cases are even more rare.
Let's just consider the fact that people shouldn't feel bad and uncertain about having a child just because it's "immoral". Having children is completely natural in every animal species on Earth, and I can guarantee you no other species feels bad about having offspring.
Debate Round No. 2
philipisbad

Pro

Gamble- to bet on an uncertain outcome. You are still betting on an uncertain outcome.
Let's say we can make humans like we make computers. Out of many humans made, few human will live miserable, painful, horrible life and die. Some will live good life, and most of them will live normal life.
Of course, a person who make these factory-made humans would have never known what would have happened to the miserable humans.These humans were born into the life they had. And they would not have any right to get angry at their creator because the creator did not know what he was getting into. Is the creator justified in trying and see what happens?
Let's say in one case 1 out of 1000000 factory-made humans lived a miserable life. This would have meant that if the creator did not make humans, he would have spare the miserable human of his pain. As you claim, not making these humans would have resulted in sacrificing the happiness of 999999 humans. However, it is always better to sacrifice happiness to spare the pain of the others. For example, let's assume that torturing a human will make 9999999 sadistic humans happy for life. This is an absurd comparison, but let's assume that. Then, it is almost intuitive that sparing the pain of one human and sacrificing the happiness of 999999 humans is better than inflicting pain on one human to make 999999 humans happy.
Procreating is no different from the example of human factory I stated. It is obvious that the miserable human is entitled to be angry, since his creation was on careless assumption that most humans created will be happy. If human race stopped procreating, this would mean that there will be no more misery or unhappiness. It is better to sacrifice the potential happiness of many people to spare the suffering of many, speaking in a global sense. This is about stopping human misery, which quite frankly will never be stopped unless procreation stops.
Of course, humans have the selfish gene. They have the natural urge to preserve their gene pool. However, humans are better than animals. Let's sacrifice the potential happiness of some to spare the suffering of many. It is always better to stop the suffering than to enforce the happiness.
Cecilia

Con

Actually, Gamble: a venture in a game of chance for stakes, especially for high stakes. (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com...) The stakes for giving birth are not high, as I proved with the statistics in the previous round of debate.
I'm not saying someone with a horrible life has no right to "get angry at their creator", I am simply saying there's no real reason to be upset at your parents and most people don't do it anyway. What exactly would be the point of doing it? It certainly doesn't get rid of any darkness in their lives.
"This is about stopping human misery, which quite frankly will never be stopped unless procreation stops." If procreation stops, that dooms an entire species to die out completely. To me, that doesn't really sound like it would make everyone happy. It surely doesn't sound like it would stop misery. First of all, misery already exists on the planet and halting reproduction won't stop that for the people who are already here. There's nothing we can do to stop that for anyone, in fact. If we stop procreation, it means we stop the human race. You would rather erase everything, get rid of every bit of happiness and memories everyone has, just because a small percentage of people on the planet are unhappy? Misery is just a part of life. And the people who have those unfortunate lives almost definitely have good moments. Sure, we could try to stop people from having children, but that totally eliminates the freedom of choice for couples who want to have children. That would cause misery for them, and isn't your argument supposed to be against unhappy lives?
No one's life is pure desolation. Not one person on the planet can say they've never felt jovial or happy. Of course that doesn't solve the problem of their misery at all, but you make it seem like the people who suffer are just being tortured every day of their lives. Human existence is so wonderful, so amazing, because it offers something for everyone, no matter who you are and what your life is like. To me it seems a little hypocritical of you to say those 9999999 humans are sadistic when you yourself are willing to wipe out an entire species just because you believe preserving it is immoral.
Procreating is plenty different from the human factory. (I saw something related to this is the comments and I would like to go a bit further with it.) Humans are one of the only species on Earth that has the capacity to love, especially the way we do. So of course that love people share with others is incredibly special. You are acting like humans are mere machines who do not care for each other at all. But we do, and that's one of the great things about us. Almost all babies are made by two parents who love each other so much, and they love the baby just as much. Your argument takes away the human feeling. Don't you think a parent would see their child suffering and feel its pain? They probably feel bad enough already about the choices they made, even though they shouldn't feel that way. They don't need people shaming them for doing something "immoral". People who have children are not betting the life of a total stranger, they are taking a very small chance with someone they love, and that chance will almost surely be worth it.
I wish you luck in the voting period.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
@philipisbad. That is not allergy. It is you being picky....
Posted by Cecilia 1 year ago
Cecilia
Please vote soon, everyone! The last debate I was in only had one person voting! Thanks
Posted by philipisbad 1 year ago
philipisbad
I would have been fine with that.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Then you would never have been born...
Posted by philipisbad 1 year ago
philipisbad
Actually, some people are allergic to chocolates.
Posted by philipisbad 1 year ago
philipisbad
I guess not all chocolate tastes good.
Posted by philipisbad 1 year ago
philipisbad
While depression is not wholly from genetic, it is thought that it is linked. I would have no problem believing that she was born that way. Even if she was not born that way, it is obvious that she would have been better off not being born.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
"Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what tou gonna get"..
Posted by StefK 1 year ago
StefK
In the case of Laura, I wouldn't say she was born that way. Our DNA states how our bodies are formed, our mentality is the result of years and years of living and experiences. I believe in the Con, but good luck to all nevertheless.
Posted by philipisbad 1 year ago
philipisbad
Dogs have children. Apes have children. If you think "love" can justify anything, you should realize love is just an animalistic urge to protect the gene pool. Love is nothing special.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
Zarroette
philipisbadCeciliaTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The problem which Pro incurs often, in this debate, is that his arguments are purely rhetorical and without impact. Where, in any of his arguments, is demonstration of negative impact in regards to child-bearing, let alone immorality? Even if I accept that child-bearing has negative consequences, how do I, as Con demonstrates, accept that: (1) child-bearing is significantly detrimental to (2) necessitate the status of immorality. Pro has the framework, just not he impacts. Meanwhile, Con demonstrates, in her third round, that affliction in life is relatively uncommon, hence overall, life is positive With this, there is impact which I can vouch for, and since this winning impact came via a source, I can give Con argument and source points.