The Instigator
funwiththoughts
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Chrysippus
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Life is worth living

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Chrysippus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/2/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,965 times Debate No: 38134
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

funwiththoughts

Pro

First round is acceptance only. Standard behavioural expectations apply.
Chrysippus

Con

I accept funwiththoughts challenge, and will endeavor to postpone my demise until after posting my fifth round. It my not be worth it to me personally, but I accept the pain it will cause me in the interest of the public good.
Debate Round No. 1
funwiththoughts

Pro

My opponent is still alive. This shows that he has chosen to live life, thereby meaning that he has decided that the benefit of living life is greater than the costs. Thereby, my opponent's simply accepting the debate shows that life is worth living.
Chrysippus

Con

I am still alive, but not of my own volition. I did a careful cost-benefit analysis, taking into account my statistical probability of significant future happiness, and the regrets that I will carry with me until my memory becomes too unreliable, and decided that life is simply not worth it. The brief moments of happiness are more than set off by the long stretches of unrewarded stress and deep chasms of pain and anguish - I didn't choose this life, and I certainly don't see any reason to continue on a course of action that I have not chosen for myself.

Upon reaching that conclusion, I set about the process of ending my life. I won't bore you with the details; merely suffice it to say that I was interrupted before the happy conclusion, and spent the next six months under medical observation.

My usual track record of failing at everything has haunted me here. I have not yet, in six attempts, been successful in ending my life. I intend to find a quieter spot for it this time, and have settled on a foolproof method. At the conclusion of this debate, I intend to carry it out; so I thank my opponent for his cooperation in making this a quick and relatively painless debate.

I return it to him, with my thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
funwiththoughts

Pro

My opponent provides no evidence for his assertion that the costs outweigh the benefits, and therefore I cannot respond properly.
Chrysippus

Con

It is obvious that the cost MUST outweigh the benefits to some people; else the concept of suicide would be a myth, and we would not be having this debate.

Every 13.7 minutes, another man, woman, or child in the US takes their own life. One hundred and five do so every day. [1}
Every forty seconds, someone on this planet takes his own life. [2] Each of these people obviously felt, for some reason, that life was not worth living.

That there are people who have not yet ended their lives proves nothing; they may have lacked opportunity or courage at the vital moment. They might be terrible procrastinators, putting off the last decision of their lives. They might not have thought it out thoroughly enough. The fact that there are over 788,000 each year [3] that do commit suicide is ample proof that life is not worth living for no small number of people.

We need not stick to bare statistics, either; if my opponent call for it, I can provide individual cases of people who have gone through hell on earth, and quite logically decided to risk the dreams that may come in lieu of the nightmare they were living. Does my opponent disagree with their choice?

The resolution is phrased in universal terms. The burden of proof is on my opponent; can he show that life is worth living, period, full stop? That it is intrinsically worth living, despite circumstances? Does he have any proof that people who conclude that their lives are NOT worth living are wrong? Can he argue against the collective voice of the 788,000 suicides each year?

If he cannot, and I cannot imagine how he can, then the resolution is negated.

[1] http://www.suicidology.org...
[2] http://www.who.int...
[3] The WHO (source 2) gives a rate of one every 40 seconds; over the course of a year that comes to 788,400 http://www.wolframalpha.com...
Debate Round No. 3
funwiththoughts

Pro

"It is obvious that the cost MUST outweigh the benefits to some people; else the concept of suicide would be a myth, and we would not be having this debate."

Yes, this is true. However, the question regards life in general, not any particular circumstance of life.

"The fact that there are over 788,000 each year [3] that do commit suicide is ample proof that life is not worth living for no small number of people."

There are 7 billion+ people on this planet, none of whom have committed suicide. The statistics my opponent shows give a global suicide rate of approximately one and a half people per capita-hardly an overwhelming number.

"They might not have thought it out thoroughly enough."

My opponent claims that it is possible that all people who are still alive had the kind of circumstances he mentions. While this is true, I could just as easily say that it is possible that everyone who has committed suicide didn't think it out thoroughly enough. If anything, I could do it more easily, since I have much smaller numbers to get out of the way than my opponent does.

"We need not stick to bare statistics, either; if my opponent call for it, I can provide individual cases of people who have gone through hell on earth, and quite logically decided to risk the dreams that may come in lieu of the nightmare they were living. Does my opponent disagree with their choice?"

I cannot respond to this, as my opponent provides no examples.

"The burden of proof is on my opponent; can he show that life is worth living, period, full stop? That it is intrinsically worth living, despite circumstances? Does he have any proof that people who conclude that their lives are NOT worth living are wrong?"

The fact that there are 7 billion+ people still living it in one year while only 788,000 choosing not to in one year shows that it is worth living to many more people than it is not.

"Can he argue against the collective voice of the 788,000 suicides each year?"

Notice the backwards logic in my opponent's argument: 788,000 people is too high a number for them to be wrong-but 7+BILLION people can be wrong no problem!

Also, note that my opponent drops his original argument.
Chrysippus

Con

Let's review the case so far, shall we?

My opponent has the burden of affirming the value of life. He must show that life is worth living.

He did not define this as "Life is worth living for most people," or that "Life is generally considered to be worth living;" either of which are reasonably defensible positions. He did not qualify in his first round that he sought to show life's inherent value based on some value system; we might have had something to argue about, if he had.

Instead, he tried a cheap rhetorical trick, basing his entire argument on the fact that I, personally, had not yet comitted suicide. Not only does that predicate the value of life on my personal -and wholly subjective - judgement, it also establishes his position on the value of life to be one of personal cost-benefit analysis. Is life worth living, as a personal value judgement, to me or anyone else, right now? If it is not, the resolution fails.

My R2 argument is completely fictional. I am not, in fact, looking to take my life. I was illustrating the vital weakness of his argument; based on my own completely unverifiable outlook on life, his argument cannot hold any weight in this debate -and he has, in fact, dropped it.

He then takes the extraordinary measure of refusing to post ANY argument in favor of his position, claiming in R3 that he cannot respond properly to my non-argument. My R2 "argument," as far as it went, was simply providing counter-evidence to his highly-flawed R2 claim that life is worth living because I find it to be so. He still has not provided any evidence that life is actually worth living, nor has he any sufficient answer to the fact that a great many people find it to be NOT worth living.

In fact, the universal and subjective nature of the resolution as he has interpreted it means if even ONE person, in all of human history, has ever concluded that life is not worth living, then his position is false and the resolution is negated. If life is only worth living because we decide it is so, then for anyone who decides it isn't the resolution is false. My opponent's statements about the greater preponderance of people who have not yet committed suicide are misleading and irrelevant. Since there are people who have taken their own lives, the statement "Life is worth living" cannot be held to be universally true.

He has phrased the debate in such a way that the value of life is a universal positive - and his solitary argument places the determination of this value on a reasoned cost/benefit analysis on my part, and by extension, on the part of everyone who has ever lived.

Not only does this show an overly-simplified view of human nature, but it also gives the opinion of suicide committers equal weight with those who live out their lives. If the value of life for me is dependent on my viewpoint, the value of life for you is dependent on yours; which is certainly a reasonable position to take. Circumstances vary, after all. But the resolution does not give room for any variance; "Life is worth living" does not give any wiggle room for any exceptions or dissenters. A universal positive is almost always a form of over-generalization for this very reason; it only takes one counterexample to make the universal positive false.

This is a serious problem for my opponent. He has so far failed to present any case for his side of the debate. He is the one supposed to be making the case for the value of life; if he does not, he cannot win.

I extend my arguments, as he has merely quibbled at the details, rather than answering their substance. I ask him to provide some substantial case that life is in fact worth living to everyone, as that is what the resolution demands. I also call for a reasonable response to my arguments of people who have committed suicide; his attempts to downplay the number are irrelevant, and ignore the fact that even one person taking their own life is a tragedy that raises the question: why is life worth living?

My opponent has not attempted to give an answer to that question, and has only one round left to do it in. I thank him for the debate, and return it to him.
Debate Round No. 4
funwiththoughts

Pro

My opponent is correct, I cannot show that every life is worth living. I am ceding this debate. Vote Con.
Chrysippus

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Chrysippus 3 years ago
Chrysippus
@swedenrules & Orangatang:
Let's hold off on arguing the case in the comments until after the debate is over, eh?
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
@swedenrules115:

What about people in constant excruciating pain? Cluster headaches, kidney stones, Trigenanal neuralgia, Crohn Disease, Migraines, Arthritis, Appendicitis, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Fibromyalgia, Ebola, Causalgia, and let's not forget Cancer. These are things which the subject has no control over and many have no treatment that can dull the pain, and no cure for the disease. Living with excruciating pain everyday is only one reason a person may decide suicide, add to this some depression and it becomes ridiculously hard for that person to not commit suicide (or have suicidal thoughts). One does not choose to live, but I think any conscious individual should have the right to take their own life away, as he/she chooses. There are many situations in which it may seem reasonable to choose death over life however, I think anyone considering death should look upon the unimaginatively vast spectrum of possibilities that life may entail. A countless number of individuals have lived through depression, poverty, and illness to finally find comfort and warmth in a consist and new lifestyle. Those who choose death have an innate sense of understand of oneself and are thus justified in ending their own life, I would just try to point out to them that the future is not bleak, it is infinite. It may take a few days or a few months of hard work, struggling, and perseverance but the end result is truly worth it. Those who take on life with an unchangeable determination are those who find what they seek most.
Posted by swedenrules115 3 years ago
swedenrules115
any one who wants to commit suicide is fucked up
Posted by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
I could not have responded to your argument, because you made no argument, only bare assertions.
Posted by Chrysippus 3 years ago
Chrysippus
You posted a very short first argument. My reply was entirely on-topic, if completely fictional. You could have responded to my argument that life isn't worth living to me; you may now respond to the same argument in real-world terms, backed by statistics.

Not trolling this debate at all. This is my chosen line of negation for this topic.
Posted by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
You realize this isn't a troll debate, right?
Posted by Chrysippus 3 years ago
Chrysippus
And, before anyone gets concerned or offended and reports this debate, and I get a really nice note from Airmax - I'm just going to leave this here: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by kawaii_crazy 3 years ago
kawaii_crazy
I don't think u'll find anyone unless they like, r really depressed.
Posted by kawaii_crazy 3 years ago
kawaii_crazy
I hope the contender doesn't commit suicide. Either he wants to or he's religious.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
funwiththoughtsChrysippusTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Vote goes to Chrysippus, who, in 5 meager rounds of debate, has managed to depress my emotional state remarkably. Congratulations on being depressed. (P.S. - don't kill yourself; you're a good debater.)
Vote Placed by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
funwiththoughtsChrysippusTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded, Con made excellent arguments.