The Instigator
LeoL
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Making Euthanasia Illegal is Selfish

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
LeoL
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,395 times Debate No: 17068
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

LeoL

Pro

Resolution: Making Euthanasia illegal is selfish


Definitions


Euthanasia: Also called mercy killing. The act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition

Illegal: Forbidden by law or statute

Selfish: devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, values. etc., regardless of others.


Pro vs Con

Pro must prove that the illegalization of euthanasia is selfish.
Con must prove that the illegalization of euthanasia is not selfish.


Debate Procedure

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Main Points [No Rebuttals]
Round 3: Rebuttals [New points may be introduced]
Round 4: Conclusion, Final Rebuttals.

*If statistics are given, sources must be provided.


Good luck to whoever accepts my debate!





Cody_Franklin

Con

I accept. As a brief opening remark to orient the debate (and Pro's arguments), the position I will be taking is that pushing for legal bans on euthanasia is not inherently the "selfish" thing to do. In other words, I will be arguing that, though banning euthanasia may conceivably be selfish, it is not necessarily so for all actors.
Debate Round No. 1
LeoL

Pro


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.


In order for my opponent to win this debate, he must prove that making euthanasia illegal does in fact acknowledge the needs of EVERYONE. Since selfishness acknowledges only the needs of the self, my opponent must prove that making euthanasia illegal does not ignore the needs and values of others.


My basic argument revolves around the following:


Banning euthanasia does not accept people who value a peaceful death; rather it only accepts people who value a death with suffering, and this is selfish. When euthanasia is illegal, people who want to die with ‘dignity’ cannot, because banning euthanasia ignores their needs and values.


I would not euthanize myself, because it is in my belief that it isn’t the right thing to do. However, I would not make euthanasia illegal because I am not selfish. I accept/approve other people’s values, needs and beliefs.


First of all, if someone thinks euthanasia should be banned because it is wrong, he is selfish because he doesn’t accept what others think is right or wrong and he thinks that what he believes should override what others believe, when they are making a decision about their own life. But if someone thinks euthanasia should be banned for another reason, he is not acknowledging the importance of others values, therefore he is selfish. He is not willing to compromise, and find a way where people who value euthanasia, can have access to it, and make sure it is used properly and safely. Here is an example:


If someone bans euthanasia because it is ‘a slippery slope’, rather than ‘wrong’, they are essentially stating that because we cannot control euthanasia, it should be banned. They might argue that they aren’t selfish because they are fighting for the greater good, but the fact remains that people’s needs and values will be ignored. If they really want to control euthanasia, and not be selfish, there are other ways of doing it, instead of banning it completely. For example, stronger government regulation can be a solution. If they aren’t willing to try other ways of controlling the abuses of euthanasia, and they just want it to be banned automatically, they are being selfish because they don’t think that others needs and values are more important and worth their time, than their need to fix a problem that is created because of the legalization of euthanasia, without proper regulation.


Inherently: existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute


To conclude, making euthanasia illegal is inherently selfish because it simply doesn’t acknowledge the values of others. I urge my opponent to find a situation where banning euthanasia does not have ‘selfish’ written all over it.


I look forward to my opponents’ arguments, and I would like to remind my opponent that rebuttals are not allowed in the second round, as agreed to in the introduction.


Cody_Franklin

Con

Introduction

Though I have agreed to refrain from rebuttals, there is one technical point that I feel needs to be cleared up. I feel justified in responding to this because it is something used by Pro to frame the debate. Pro makes the following statement:

"In order for my opponent to win this debate, he must prove that making euthanasia illegal does in fact acknowledge the needs of EVERYONE. Since selfishness acknowledges only the needs of the self, my opponent must prove that making euthanasia illegal does not ignore the needs and values of others."

My objection is that Pro cannot wait until R2 to set what he thinks my burden of proof/line of argument must be. In R1, he established: "Con must prove that the illegalization of euthanasia is not selfish." Though it is certainly the case that a potential line of argument could center around how a ban accounts for everyone's needs, I clearly established in R1 that my line of argument would be that advocating a ban on euthanasia is not inherently "selfish". As I noted in R1:

"I will be arguing that, though banning euthanasia may conceivably be selfish, it is not necessarily so for all actors."

Consequently, I reject his framing of Con's BOP, and will construct my argument as clearly stated in the first round.

Contextuality and Value Heterogeneity

In this debate, we're confronted with a question of whether advocating for a ban on euthanasia can be categorically regarded as selfish; however, whether a case can be affirmed as selfish is entirely contingent on the context in which the case occurs, because the motives, desires, and interests of individuals are not inherently homogeneous. AnCaps and socialists, for example, have vastly different political agendas and values, which means that the kinds of interests each would pursue differ. It is true that individuals often share fundamental interests, such as seeking food, shelter, and a mate, but the case of euthanasia does not appear to fit within the realm of these basics. It is within the realm of what we may call "higher-order value judgments", and can be classified with things like debates over abortion, drug use, and gay marriage. A perhaps oversimplified way of looking at it is to say that the basics can be conceived of as survival values, while the latter can be conceived of as ideological values.

Consider, for example, two people: a libertarian and a socialist. Suppose that they happen upon a magic welfare machine equipped with two buttons. One button causes all welfare to cease and never return--the goal of the libertarian. The other button causes welfare to expand, covering the needs of all in a perfectly-organized redistribution of wealth--the goal of the socialist. Clearly, it is selfish of each to pursue his ideological agenda, especially where it is easy enough to maximize personal utility at the push of a button. However, the contexts of each sort of selfishness differ: for the libertarian, ending welfare is selfish, and perpetuating it is unselfish. For the socialist, the opposite is true.

Take this analogy, and apply its mechanics to euthanasia. Depending on the agent and his interests, different courses of action could be classified as selfish or unselfish. For a politician getting paid to pass anti-euthanasia legislation against the effects of which he is politically insulated, we can say that pushing a ban on euthanasia is selfish. For a terminally-ill patient who has the de facto option between euthanasia and months of suffering before being taken by the disease, it is clear, assuming that the patient's self-interest lies in euthanasia, that advocating such a ban would be unselfish. If the patient values the emotional condition of his family more than the eradication of his own pain, it may very well be considered "unselfish" by Pro's definition by virtue of taking others' needs and values into account. Similar value analyses may be conducted for each group of individuals (e.g. "patients", "doctors", "family members"), and even for particular individuals within a group (e.g. Karen Ann Quinlan [vegetative state aside], Dr. Gregory House, Julia Quinlan). Recall my earlier point that individual values aren't homogeneous, even within particular social groups, which means doing 1,000,000 calculations for different patients, doctors, and family members could yield a plurality of results. Consequently, it would be naive to claim that all cases of wanting to ban abortion are selfish.

Conclusion

I think my beginning argument is sufficient to negate, as it clearly demonstrates that, though advocating a ban on euthanasia may conceivably be selfish, things like context, heterogeneity of values, and unaccounted-for agential differences provide a strong basis for arguing that it is not necessarily so.
Debate Round No. 2
LeoL

Pro

Regarding Con's BOP

In order for my opponent to prove that euthanasia is not inherently selfish, he must prove that making euthanasia illegal does not ignore the needs of others. We have both agreed on the definition of selfishness, therefore if pro is saying that making euthanasia illegal is selfish, con must prove that making euthanasia illegal is not selfish by proving that the reality is the opposite of what the pro is stating. This is quite obvious and I do not understand his objection.

My opponent says that he will be arguing that it is not necessarily selfishness for all actors of banning euthanasia; hence he must prove that selfishness is not directly linked to banning euthanasia, which he has not been able to thus far. To prove that selfishness; (concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits etc.),is not directly linked to banning euthanasia; he must prove that banning euthanasia doesn't have qualities of selfishness; (concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits etc.)

There is no reason why my explanation of Con's BOP in round 2 should be ignored. I will give an example. If my resolution was 'euthanasia is bad', my opponent must prove that it is not bad, by proving that the qualities attributed to bad are not linked to euthanasia. No matter what other points he has, my opponent must;

"
In order for my opponent to win this debate, he must prove that making euthanasia illegal does in fact acknowledge the needs of EVERYONE. Since selfishness acknowledges only the needs of the self, my opponent must prove that making euthanasia illegal does not ignore the needs and values of others."

However I apologize for not stating this in round 1, but this is quite obvious and it should not in anyway be ignored, because in order for my opponent to win the debate, it is a naturally contingent thing that he must prove.


----------

Rebuttals

The main reason of my rebuttals will be to prove that his arguments intending to prove that banning euthanasia is not selfish, do not in fact do that. They might prove other things, but his arguments do not prove wrong the resolution which he is opposing.


---------Rebuttal 1------------

"Whether a case can be affirmed as selfish is entirely contingent on the conext in which the case occurs, because the motives, desires, and interests of individuals are not inherently homogeneous."

homogeneous:
relating to a differential equation in which a linear combination of derivatives is set equal to zero.

What my opponent is saying here is that a case can only be considered as selfish, according to how the case occurs, because of the interests of individuals which cannot in anyway equal eachother. This is false, because interests of individuals can be homogeneous, and in the case of euthanasia, the legalization of euthanasia, provides the ability to be euthanized to the 'pro-crowd' and gives the people who oppose euthanasia the chance not to, if they choose not to. In some situations interests in individuals cannot be homogeneous, but with euthanasia this is absolutely false.

-------Rebuttal 2---------

"It is true that individuals often share fundamental interests, such as seeking food, shelter, and a mate, but the case of euthanasia does not appear to fit within the realm of these basics."

My opponent is saying that euthanasia does not fit within a realm of basic fundamental interests. Freedom of choice is a fundamental basic interest, actually. If freedom of choice was not a fundamental basic interest, we would not live in a democratic society. It is absolutely wrong to say that a mate, food, and shelter is a fundamental basic interest and that freedom of choice is not a fundamental basic interest. Later on my opponent goes on to say that this interest is not a survival value, rather it is only a ideological value. My reply is that, yes it is an ideological value rather than a survival value, but it is a fundamental ideological value, since our society is built on 'the choice of the people'.

--------Rebuttal 3--------

"Consider, for example, two people: a libertarian and a socialist. Suppose that they happen upon a magic welfare machine equipped with two buttons. One button causes all welfare to cease and never return--the goal of the libertarian. The other button causes welfare to expand, covering the needs of all in a perfectly-organized redistribution of wealth--the goal of the socialist. Clearly, it is selfish of each to pursue his ideological agenda, especially where it is easy enough to maximize personal utility at the push of a button. However, the contexts of each sort of selfishness differ: for the libertarian, ending welfare is selfish, and perpetuating it is unselfish. For the socialist, the opposite is true."

His main argument thus far is that ideological values aren't basic interests, such as food and shelter, therefore they aren't particularly selfish. However, in this paragraph above, he finishes of by stating that selfishness exists within socialist agendas and libertarian agendas, which are ideological. So now his contradiction, and my acknowledgement of it, completely refutes this argument of his.

---------Rebuttal 4----------

"For a terminally-ill patient who has the de facto option between euthanasia and months of suffering before being taken by the disease, it is clear, assuming that the patient's self-interest lies in euthanasia, that advocating such a ban would be unselfish.

"If the patient values the emotional condition of his family more than the eradication of his own pain, it may very well be considered "unselfish" by Pro's definition by virtue of taking others' needs and values into account."


In round 2 I urged my opponent to find a situation where banning euthanasia does not have 'selfish' written all over it. I found this in his text and I will gladly point out how this is not a situation where somebody is making euthanasia illegal, and are not selfish.

First of all, he says that a terminally ill patient, who is interested in being euthanized, and would advocate a ban on euthanasia is unselfish. It is unselfish in a sense that he is ignoring his own need, for others. However what about all of the other people who are interested in euthanasia? This is not unselfish, it is still selfish.

In his second example, he says that if someone wants euthanasia to be banned because he values his families emotional state rather than his own need to ease the pain, he is unselfish, because he wants to put ahead others needs before his own. It is selfish, because he values his families need more than his own, but what about all of the other people who would value their need to ease their pain rather than their families emotional condition? Just because he doesn't want his families emotional condition to be bad, doesn't mean that every other person should not be allowed to the same choice of importance which my opponent gives.

i) emotional condition of family
ii) eradication of his own pain

--------------------------

Through his main points, my opponent was unable to prove that making euthanasia illegal is not selfish.

His arguments were easily refuted, and he still has not given a good situation where making euthanasia illegal is unselfish.

My opponent is con to "making euthanasia illegal is selfish" therefore he must prove that it is not selfish, by proving that selfish qualities are not attributed to making euthanasia illegal. He has not been able to do this yet.

I will be waiting anxiously for my opponents rebuttals, and I thank my opponent for his patience and willingness to debate properly.
























Cody_Franklin

Con

BOP

First, the warrant he gives for Con's BOP completely ignores the argument I made in R2: my case demonstrates that the quality of selfishness or unselfishness is not an essential quality of banning euthanasia. Consider the difference between essential and nonessential properties. Say we have an apple, and we're asked to make an identity claim about what makes an apple an apple. Some of its essential properties, i.e. its identity properties, include being of the species M. domestica, the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, and so on. If a thing does not fit into these categories, it is not an apple. One of its nonessential properties, however, is color. An apple can be red, green, yellow, and some other colors I'm forgetting about--what's important is that color isn't essential to something's being an apple.

Consequently, we can tie the BOP argument into my offensive case, because Pro's framing of the BOP presupposes that "selfishness" or "unselfishness" is an inherent and essential property of the action, whereas my case is predicated upon placing a challenge to this presupposition. In other words, he frames the debate under the assumption that selfishness is an essential property of banning euthanasia. I'm arguing that it's nonessential to the identity of the action. As this ties directly into my case about contextuality and value heterogeneity, I shall address the relevant arguments below. For convenience, I'll follow my opponent's formatting.

Rebuttals

Rebuttal 1

First, I would like to point out that Pro offers a weird, outlandish mathematical definition of "homogeneous" dealing with differential equations. To clear up any possible confusion, I've pulled the definition I'm using from dictionary.com:

"of the same kind or nature; essentially alike"

Personally, I think Pro understands my argument just fine, but I want neither him nor voters operating on a false definition.

Second, I never said that individuals cannot ever have common values. I even provided examples of cases where this is possible, such as in the search for food and shelter. It's also true that some people share the same views on whether euthanasia should be banned; however, this has no bearing on my claim to value heterogeneity, because A) I'm not measuring solely at the level of whether people think it ought to be banned, and B) even on that level, ideological and philosophical heterogeneity is visibly present. Going down to deeper levels, and examining individual motives, interests, value considerations, etc., this heterogeneity becomes even more obvious. Contextual examination of each individual's advocacy can tell vastly different stories, even if they are comrades in a particular ideology or in one side of the debate over euthanasia.

In fact, examining the same individual on different levels can also tell different stories. With regard to the potential interests of every person on the planet, one might call the action selfish because the total possible interests of 7 billion other individuals aren't accouned for. In the context of a dying man and his family, we might classify the same action as unselfish because of the man's concern for his family outweighs his desire for the alleviation of his personal pain. Pro offers us no justification for excluding contexts which prove inconvenient to his case, and instead cherry picks a particular way of examining the action which causes the action to appear in a certain way.

The context/heterogeneity argument gives you two clear dimensions for negation. On the one hand, differences between individuals--even individuals within the same group--fail to justify Pro's absolutist commitment to proving the advocacy in question to categorically be selfish or unselfish. On the other hand, evaluations of selfishness are inconsistent even when examining the same individual, as different scales of observation appear to yield different results. As noted in my discussion of the BOP, the action could conceivably appear selfish, depending on the method of observation employed; however, it is not necessarily the case that the action is inherently selfish or unselfish. As I pointed out, Pro has to presuppose that selfishness/unselfishness is an essential property of the action to force me to commit to proving the false extreme opposite his own.

Rebuttal 2

Pro misconstrues my argument here, and resigns himself to toying around with conceptions of "fundamental interest" and "fundamental ideological value". My intent, however, wasn't to talk about normative value structures: it was to highlight value heterogeneity. Pro goes on to talk about the importance of freedom of choice to democratic societies, and basically commits himself to some political argument. I could probably make the argument that some people believe, out of empathy for others or a utilitarian desire to bring about "the greatest good", that exercising power over people's decisions is acceptable, so long as the agent exercising power is doing so for the sake of the interests (or for the sake of the expected maximization of utility) of the individuals over whom power is being exercised.

It doesn't really matter whether I make this counterargument, though because his rebuttal here fails to even affirm that pushing for a ban on euthanasia is inherently selfish (or even to prove that selfishness or unselfishness is an essential property of the action in question).

Rebuttal 3

I never said that ideological values weren't particularly selfish, which means that the alleged tensions between that statement and my claim that selfish motives exist in ideological agendas is nonexistent. Yet again, Pro is guilty of trapping me into false binaries. What I argued is that whether a case can be affirmed as "selfish" is contingent on the context of the case, because of the heterogeneity in motives, values, etc. I discussed earlier.

Simply put: Pro wants you to think that I'm saying "Ideological values aren't selfish and they are selfish", which would indeed be contradictory. What I'm actually saying is "Selfishness isn't inherent/essential, but things can conceivably be selfish".

Rebuttal 4

Mainly, he runs back into the scale problem. Though he's willing to admit the action of the patient to be unselfish with respect to his immediate circumstances, he calls it selfish for failing to account for the interests of the other 7 billion people on the planet (or 300 million, if he prefers to keep the debate isolated to the United States). Just look back to my previous analysis here, which basically points out that he's relying on a single context to make his argument true, while ignoring other contexts, like the immediate surroundings/circumstances of the patient, within which Pro admits his actions would, "in a sense", be unselfish. This is why I make explicit that the action can be conceived of as selfish depending on the scale of observation and upon the particular circumstances of an individual--in total, the context of the action. If he doesn't like the patient example, we can replace it with an authoritarian who thinks that he's protecting the interests (even if he is erring in the way he considers their interests) of his people by banning euthanasia. The hypothetical we use doesn't matter, because any hypothetical will just represent a different dimension of the same argument.

Conclusion

More or less, Pro tries to force mutual commitment to two absolutes--either total selfishness, or total unselfishness. However, I've clearly demonstrated several things, including: A) that selfishness/unselfishness isn't an essential property B) that different contexts yield different evaluations of the action, C) the absolutes and binaries to which Pro tries to force us to conform are illegitimate, giving way to a fuzzier logic where the "selfish/unselfish" value of the action in question isn't decided on an "all-or-nothing" basis.

In short: Pro can't claim victory by telling one story about the action while ignoring all the rest.
Debate Round No. 3
LeoL

Pro

BOP

Realistically, we are both agreeing what the BOP is, but we aren’t agreeing to as what are the right terms to identify the BOP. I agree that I am to frame the debate under the assumption that selfishness is an essential property of banning euthanasia, and him the opposite, however the key word is selfishness, and I am to make links to it, while my opponent is to deny that there are any legitimate links. I don’t feel like I should waste more time on this, since the debate is about the resolution and not the Con’s BOP, which should be easily identifiable.

Rebuttal 1

I gave this definition because it shows how ‘homogeneous’ has a specific point in which both sides (of the equation, or in this debate, viewpoints) can agree. I thank my opponent for including the other definition so voters can properly examine the discussion without confusion.


"Second, I never said that individuals cannot ever have common values."

I never said that you said that individuals can ever have common values, however I did say that you said that individuals can ever have common values concerning euthanasia. This debate is about euthanasia, I would not be talking generally about all values. Con is trying to give voters an image of me being too broad in my rebuttals, when the fact is that I did say in my argument "and in the case of euthanasia", to avoid being too general.

"Contextual examination of each individual's advocacy can tell vastly different stories, even if they are comrades in a particular ideology or in one side of the debate over euthanasia."

What Con is saying is that each individuals reason to ban euthanasia, can be for different reasons, even if they share similar political or philosophical ideologies, or common opinions concerning euthanasia. Apparently this validates heterogeneity, and ultimately validates whether 'making euthanasia illegal is selfish.'

If two religious people both want euthanasia to be banned, one person because of the slippery slope argument, and one person because he has strong religious reasons against it, it does validate heterogeneity (different reasons against it), but it doesn't ultimately validate the fact that they acknowledge others needs, which makes this argument false.

"In the context of a dying man and his family, we might classify the same action as unselfish because of the man's concern for his family
outweighs his desire for the alleviation of his personal pain. Pro offers us no justification for excluding contexts which prove inconvenient to his case, and instead cherry picks a particular way of examining the action which causes the action to appear in a certain way."


Let me justify myself. I am excluding this context, as it has to do with whether people 'would want to be euthanized', and not with 'people would want euthanasia to be banned', which is what the resolution of this debate is all about. I am not cherry picking a particular way of examining this, I am trying to make sure that examples are exactly related to the resolution, and not involving selfishness/selflessness regarding things like:

i) Family needs, because this has nothing to do with making it illegal or not.
ii) Need to ease pain, because this has nothing to with making it illegal or not.

These are unselfish reasons to not be euthanized or to be euthanized, but these aren't reasons why "banning euthanasia" is not selfish or not selfish.

Con is discussing the context of this debate vaguely, without acknowledging the resolution.

Rebuttal 2

"Pro goes on to talk about the importance of freedom of choice to democratic societies, and basically commits himself to some political argument."

Yes, I committed myself to this political argument because it proves that freedom of choice, is a basic fundamental right, which you have clearly opposed in R2; "but the case of euthanasia does not appear to fit within the realm of these basics." You acknowledge that basic rights such as food are fundamental interests, which are inherently homogeneous to all. Therefore, it is essential to prove that freedom of choice is a fundamental interest, to prove that it is inherently homogeneous to all, to ultimately prove that my opponents argument of heterogeneity is false.

"I could probably make the argument that some people believe, out of empathy for others or a utilitarian desire to bring about "the greatest good", that exercising power over people's decisions is acceptable, so long as the agent exercising power is doing so for the sake of the interests (or for the sake of the expected maximization of utility) of the individuals over whom power is being exercised."

Yes you can make that argument. However, how does this prove that making euthanasia illegal is not selfish, and that it still doesn't acknowledge both groups of people who would choose either;

i) a peaceful death
ii) a death with suffering

"It doesn't really matter whether I make this counterargument, though because his rebuttal here fails to even affirm that pushing for a ban on euthanasia is inherently selfish."

My rebuttal is not intended to affirm that pushing for a ban on euthanasia is inherently selfish, because this is a rebuttal not one of my main points. It is quite obvious that my intentions of my rebuttals were to prove that your reasons why banning euthanasia is not inherently selfish, were false.

Rebuttal 3

"I never said that ideological values weren't particularly selfish, which means that the alleged tensions between that statement and my claim that selfish motives exist in ideological agendas is nonexistent."

Con highlighted the difference between basic interests and ideological interests in round 2. The fact that he said that banning euthanasia does not appear to fit the realm of these basics, and the fact that he says that basic rights are inherently homogeneous (which would give them selfish qualities), and the fact that he is saying that banning euthanasia is not inherently selfish, give a completely valid reason to believe that he is trying to prove that ideological values aren't particularly selfish. This proves the contradiction which he has stated in round 2 is existent, which refutes his 'heterogeneity' argument.

Rebuttal 4

"Though he's willing to admit the action of the patient to be unselfish with respect to his immediate circumstances, he calls it selfish for failing to account for the interests of the other 7 billion people on the planet"

If the patients opinion is that euthanasia should be banned, just because he doesn't want to put his own family in emotional distress, he is simply saying that his situation shouldn't result in euthanasia, so everybody elses shouldn't as well. He is selfish because he doesn't want people to have that choice. It is not the interests of 7 million different opinions, it is the interests of two opinions and that is: 'I would euthanize myself' and 'I would not'.

Conclusion

I trust voters to realize that my opponents argument is not legitimate.
(Con cannot bring up new arguments in this round, as agreed to in the introduction)

I trust voters to realize that thus far my opponent has ignored the reality of the fact that banning euthanasia doesn't acknowledge the needs of a huge group of people.

I trust voters to realize that thus far he spent his time rebutting my rebuttals, and that he hasn't been able to rebuttal my main points from R2, however I expect him to rebuttal my main points in the final round to disable my ability counter argue his rebuttals to my main points.

Con says:

"Pro can't claim victory by telling one story about the action while ignoring all the rest."

I am only accepting stories that involve 'illegalization of euthanasia' and not stories that stray away from the resolution we are supposed to be debating.

My opponent has not proved at all how banning euthanasia is unselfish,and he hasn't given one decent situation where banning of euthanasia is unselfish, so he doesn't deserve the victory of this debate.

Finally, I thank my opponent for this interesting debate.












Cody_Franklin

Con

BOP

I never agreed to defend that pushing a ban is categorically unselfish. The whole point of my argument is that both extremes are illegitimate, because both presuppose that either extreme is an essential property of anti-euthanasia advocacy. It is this presupposition which my criticisms challenge.

Rebuttals

Rebuttal 1

Dispensing with all this confusing "I never said you said" business, I wholeheartedly agree that, in some possible world, people can all share a common outlook on euthanasia; however, we live in this world, not a possible world where everyone agrees for the same reasons. My argument is that, among different people, different opinions and values exist. Use DDO as a sample. Some people are pro euthanasia, others against, and others are on the fence. In the realm of pure opinion, there is heterogeneity. If you take the people who are anti-euthanasia, and ask what their justifications and motives for that position are, you will get more than one answer. In sub-opinion realm, heterogeneity also exists.

Indeed, individuals' reasons for seeking to ban euthanasia are not homogeneous, nor are they all selfish. Even if 95% of anti-euthanasia advocates are selfish in their justifications, this is insufficient to prove Pro's case, because such a contention merely demonstrates how many people are acting selfishly--not whether selfishness is a particular property of the action. The main thrust of my argument this entire debate is that selfishness is not an essential property of the action of opposing/advocating a ban on euthanasia--rather, it is a property of actors. Even if we up the previous number to 100%, Pro's case is not proven, because this argument does not preclude any individual from seeking to ban euthanasia for unselfish reasons. Pro's only defense here is to invoke an example of two religious people who are heterogeneous in their justifications, but are homogeneous in their selfishness. This is a bad argument on Pro's part, because A) the following claim rests on the essential property presupposition, and B) it's faulty induction: I noted above that, even if 100% of advocates are selfish in their advocacy, this does not prove that the action must inherently be borne of selfishness. If 100% of swans I've encountered are white, this does not preclude the possibility of a black swan.

Further, Pro picks on the dying man example, arguing that it's an example of someone who chooses not to be euthanized, rather than to advocate a ban on euthanasia. As I noted when proposing the examples, though, it doesn't really matter what our hypothetical is, because the argument doesn't change. If it's a "benevolent dictator", a dying congressman, a regular dying man, such as the one described above, who doesn't want other families to suffer--it doesn't matter, because the argument is that, even accepting Pro's hypothetical world in which everyone is homogeneous in their position on euthanasia, it does not refute my criticism of the essential property presupposition.

Rebuttal 2

First of all, ad hominem. He's trying to discredit my advocacy by claiming that I "clearly oppose" freedom of choice, the irony of me being an anarcho-capitalist (and therefore as hard-line a libertarian as you'll ever find) aside.

Second of all, that he's made a political argument is irrelevant. He's basically saying "Freedom is good", which doesn't have any bearing on whether selfishness is an inherent property of the action we're discussing. The thrust of the contention is basically that freedom is a fundamental interest, and is therefore something everyone has in common. The problem, however, is that Pro is basically theorizing in terms of a person who has two buttons in front of him--one banning euthanasia, the other dispensing total free choice in the matter. Pro is also theorizing that this individual has perfect information, e.g. everyone's interests, individual impacts on utility for both courses of action, etc. Even if we accept that the person is erring in his judgment of what peoples' interests are, we cannot deny that he is considering what he thinks their interests are. Perhaps he thinks that they would ultimately be happier with a ban than with free choice (coughOreElecough). Still, it's largely irrelevant anyway, given my earlier argument about selfishness being a nonessential property of actors, rather than an essential property of actions (which validates that we can conceive of selfishness as being "conceivably selfish", rather than "necessarily selfish", if we must characterize the action).

Further, he criticizes me for dealing only with his rebuttals, and not with his constructive; however, his argument is basically "Freedom is good, and banning euthanasia for reasons that contradict freedom is bad and selfish". Even if we accept this to be the case, my previous criticisms (e.g. heterogeneity, the scale problem, the essential property argument) all apply. There's nothing unique to his constructive that wasn't brought up as offense in the rebuttals. In fact, the political argument as refuted above constitutes a significant portion of his case.

Rebuttal 3

All that I need to do here is paste my response in R3, because Pro is just repeating his argument: "Pro wants you to think that I'm saying 'Ideological values aren't selfish and they are selfish', which would indeed be contradictory. What I'm actually saying is 'Selfishness isn't inherent/essential, but things can conceivably be selfish'." Sometimes advocating a ban is selfish, sometimes it isn't.

Rebuttal 4

This is a refutation of the dying man example, which I covered above in discussing how the example itself is irrelevant (though I clarified the dying man and re-offered alternatives anyway). See the last paragraph in Rebuttal 1.

Conclusion

More or less, Pro hasn't addressed my criticisms. He's pulled quotes or portions out of their full context, he's mischaracterzed my arguments, and he's continued to insist that I have to prove categorical unselfishness, despite my clear argument about the false binary within which he's trying to trap me. The tl;dr of it is this: Pro says that advocating a ban on euthanasia is inherently selfish, and I say that selfishness isn't an essential property of the action, i.e. not part of its identity, or what makes the action what it is. I leave it to you guys to decide which is more reasonable.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
homogeneous: relating to a differential equation in which a linear combination of derivatives is set equal to zero.

I lul'd. High fives to those that understand what this statement means.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
If they don't understand your arguments, maybe it's because it wasn't too relevant, like I have been saying.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Let the voters judge who won by themselves.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 5 years ago
Cody_Franklin
"Con did not show that making euthanasia illegal would not also take away the choice of another person."

Irrelevant, because I countered with the paternalism argument.

"Saying "oh, he didntz say that early!!!" is not a refutation."

It's a refutation of the BOP he tries to put on me. Based on R1 parameters, my argument was perfectly-suited to the topic.

"Pro shows a ban does harm the needs of many people."

Doesn't matter. See the "guy with magic buttons and perfect information" response.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 5 years ago
Cody_Franklin
"There is a semantic disagreement here which unfortunately splits the debate and both sides tend to soapbox different perspectives. I think Pro was able to make his POV reasonable that it is selfish to take away a choice of another, and handle Cody's alternative framing - though while sensible was not framed as part of the instigation and thus can not be demanded to be carried, though he did argue well for it. 3:2 Pro"

Pro's BOP layout in R1: "Con must prove that the illegalization of euthanasia is not selfish."

My argument was to prove that it isn't inherently selfish. He comes back in **R2**, i.e. **NOT THE INSTIGATION**, and says:

"In order for my opponent to win this debate, he must prove that making euthanasia illegal does in fact acknowledge the needs of EVERYONE. Since selfishness acknowledges only the needs of the self, my opponent must prove that making euthanasia illegal does not ignore the needs and values of others."

It was a total bait-and-switch. My argument was compatible with the R1 BOP, but then he sets up an outlandish R2 standard that deals a totally different hand.
Posted by debaterhui 5 years ago
debaterhui
uhhh, I would prefer a proof that the majority of the people who make euthanasia illegal are selfish (politicians, other people, etc.)
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
Con's framing of the BOP makes much more sense than Pro's--if Pro meant the BOP to be what he thinks it was, then he should've said so in R1. With the resolution what it was, the BOP was up for interpretation, and Con's interpretation was better. The apples example makes this very clear--it's as if Pro's resolution was 'Apples are red', but meant to argue that *some* apples are red. He should've put his framing of the BOP in R1, or changed the resolution to something like 'wanting to make euthanasia illegal is sometimes/often selfish.' Given this BOP, Pro clearly failed to prove his case, and Con wins arguments, as Con showed that selfishness is not an essential quality of wanting to ban euthanasia. At the end, Pro tried to argue that Con must show that making euthanasia illegal is categorically 'unselfish', but that is not what the resolution states: "Con must prove that the illegalization of euthanasia is not selfish." As Con showed that banning euthanasia isn't necessarily selfish, this fits the BOP given in the resolution. (Note that 'unselfish' isn't the same as 'not selfish'--neither selfish nor unselfish falls under 'not selfish').

S&G to Con for Pro's obnoxious formatting. Conduct for Pro's stupid homogeneous definition (not really conduct, but I felt he should lose a point for it).
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
A case can be made against me that I am selfish, that is true. However, this doesn't prove that making euthanasia illegal is in fact unselfish. Just pointing this out, in case my opponent decides to use this against me.
Posted by dinokiller 5 years ago
dinokiller
Kinda catches the idea.
The Instigator is selfish himself for believing that Making euthanasia illegal is selfish. :D
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Haha, i'm sorry but i'm busy right now with something else. I'll be have it tommorow.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ExNihilo 5 years ago
ExNihilo
LeoLCody_FranklinTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: BOP goes pro. It was trivially easy to prove something is selfish under his framework, which was justified well and not refuted successfully by the con. Con did not show that making euthanasia illegal would not also take away the choice of another person. Saying "oh, he didntz say that early!!!" is not a refutation. Pro shows a ban does harm the needs of many people. Also, Pro R2 case stands
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
LeoLCody_FranklinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: There is a semantic disagreement here which unfortunately splits the debate and both sides tend to soapbox different perspectives. I think Pro was able to make his POV reasonable that it is selfish to take away a choice of another, and handle Cody's alternative framing - though while sensible was not framed as part of the instigation and thus can not be demanded to be carried, though he did argue well for it. 3:2 Pro
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
LeoLCody_FranklinTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.