The Instigator
Lexus
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Roboman1723
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Plants Should Have the Right to Vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Lexus
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 962 times Debate No: 74153
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Lexus

Pro

Thanks in advance whoever wants to accept this debate, I appreciate getting back into the site now that I have more free time.

Resolution: Plants should have the right to vote.
[This resolution is focused on the United States, but we are disregarding the the 18 year old minimum voting age].

Resolution defined in less ambiguous terms:
Any organism within the kingdom Plantae ought to have the legal entitlement to the ability to make a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.

Rules:
1. Attacking the person, not the argument, is mean and not allowed in this debate (or any, really).
2. Semantics aren't allowed, thanks.
3. Sources are not required for this debate, so judges please do not count off either side for a lack of sources. Instead we will be using logical steps to prove our points, so use 'which side had better sources' for logic. Will report votes from judges that don't read this rule.
4. Forfeiture does not make you lose all of your points (I hate debates that say that if you forfeit you lose automatically, we have lives, you know?), but I'd appreciate it if you didn't. If I see a judge put 'ff' and nothing else then I am reporting their vote to be removed for not reading the rules of the debate.
5. Practicality and implementation are not the core of this debate, so don't argue with those kind of points. We're debating on the ethics and morals of plants voting, not whether or not it will cost the government .51222% of the FDA's budget.

My opponent will start in this round but waive the last round. Thanks again, looking forward to this debate.
Roboman1723

Con

This is a very odd topic that I just couldn't resist accepting. I look forward to what Pro has to say about it. Let's begin by looking at the definition of what it means to vote.

vote:
Aformal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.(1)

Right off the bat we run into a problem. In order to choose between two candidates one must have the capacity to choose. A plant obviously does not have the capacity to choose, nor the capacity to even understand what an election is. If this isn't enough to persuade someone, let's continue.

Secondly, to vote, you must be a US citizen: "To be eligible to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen."(2)

Well how do you become a US citizen so you can vote?(3) I'll even ignore the 18 year old rule as Pro requested.

  1. you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through asylum, spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel)
  2. you have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years
  3. you have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months
  4. you have not spent more than a year outside the United States
  5. you have not made your primary home in another country
  6. you are at least 18 years old
  7. you have good moral character
  8. you are able to speak, read, and write in English
  9. you are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (based on questions provided by USCIS), and
  10. you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States.

Looking at this checklist let's see which prerequisites plants are capable of meeting:

Yes:1,2,3,4,5

No:7,8,9,10

As you can see it's not possible for a plant to be a US citizen and therefore should not have the right to vote.

Sources:
(1): https://www.google.com...
(2): http://www.usa.gov...
(3): http://www.nolo.com...

Debate Round No. 1
Lexus

Pro

Is the table that the Declaration of Independance was signed on not an American?
Was the seat that our first President - Mr. President George Washington sat upon not an American?
The answer to both of these questions is yes, they were born here in the USA, so what denies them the rights GUARANTEED by the 14th amendment?

Contention 1. Plants have the capacity to choose.
According to research out of the Inhabitant, plants have the capacity to communicate with eachother through a series of 'clicks', when danger is present (such as a herbivore), or, if the ocassion arose, when they wish to vote for a particular candidate to represent them in the office of President, or in the House of Representatives or the Senate [1]. I understand that this is a technical contention, not a morality/ethical one, so I'll just keep this point short.

Contention 2. Discrimination against a sentient being has a negative effect on them.
Let us use this logical conclusion to figure out if this is true:
  • Premise I: Discriminating against a man on the basis that he is a man effects him negatively [2]
  • Premise II: We ought to not discriminate against those that are negatively impacted by the discrimination, in terms of morals and ethics
  • Premise III: Discrimination leads to a lack of natural rights (e.g. right to life, a right to vote), because bigotry and hate speech are more welcomed with more discrimination
  • Premise IV: Giving rights to a group leads to less discrimination (because there is less of a way to use bigotry against the group)
  • Conclusion I: We ought to not discriminate against a man on the basis that he is a man, and secure him his rights to prevent future discrimination (Using premises I->IV)
  • Premise V: Discriminating against a plant on the basis that it is a plant effects the plant negatively
  • Conclusion II: We ought to not discriminate against a plant on the basis that it is a plant, and secure it its rights to prevent future discrimination (Using premises II->IV and V)
Contention 3. Upholds the idea of representative democracy
"Representative Democracy comprises a form of democracy wherein voters [could be plants!] choose representatives to act in their interests..." [3].
Let me make a logical conclusion from this definition.
  • Premise I: ALL plants have things that are in their own interests [4]
  • Premise II: Representative Democracy is built on the idea of giving the right to vote to groups that need to have a representative act in their interests [3]
  • Conclusion I: To uphold the idea of representative democracy, we should give plants the right to vote for representatives to act in their interests.
So if we want to uphold the idea of a representative democracy for the United States (which, yes, this debate is on the idea that we should uphold representative democracy, thanks), we have to give plants the right to vote NOW, otherwise the government does not have a valid reason to exist as a whole.

Contention 4. This will solve the self-identity crisis that is currently affecting our tomatoes.
Currently, there is still a large debate over whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]. By giving plants, and more specifically the tomato plant, the right to vote, we would be allowing them to make decision to themselves that only affect them, and letting them decide once and for all whether to put FRUIT or VEGETABLE as their race for college applications.
We would be recognizing that there is a controversy around the self identity of the tomato plant, and would be trying to solve this societal issue at its very roots (plant pun intended).




[1]. http://inhabitat.com...;
[2]. http://www.goodtherapy.org...
[3]. http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au...
[4]. http://www.ekah.admin.ch...
[5]. http://www.npr.org...
[6]. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[7]. http://wonderopolis.org...
[8]. http://mentalfloss.com...
[9]. http://www.burpee.com...;(look at that link... classified under vegetables!!)
[10]. http://sciencebob.com...
[11]. http://en.wikipedia.org...;(even wikipedia has the debate!)
[12]. http://en.wikipedia.org...
[13]. http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com...

Thank you, back to you, CON.
Roboman1723

Con

"Is the table that the Declaration of Independance was signed on not an American?
Was the seat that our first President - Mr. President George Washington sat upon not an American?"

American
noun
1.
A native or citizen of the United States.
2.The English language as it is used in the United States; American English.

No, as plants are not citizens as proven by my last points. This is besides the point though.

---

Lets focus on your other points

"Contention 2. Discrimination against a sentient being has a negative effect on them."

I would argue it does not matter if you discriminate against sentient beings but only conscious beings as conscious beings have much more intelligence and even then only animals are able to feel prejudices. (i.e. a cricket cannot feel discriminated but a chimp can)

Let's look at the difference between two states of self-awareness to better illustrate my point.

Are plants sentient?

sentient
adjective
able to perceive or feel things.


Yes, they are

Are plants conscious?

conscious
adjective
1. Aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake.

2. Having knowledge of something; aware.
3. Painfully aware of; sensitive to.

No, they are not.

By these definitions, one must be conscious and sentient to be a US citizen not just sentient. Plants are only sentient and therefore cannot be a US citizen which, as we know, is a prerequisite to vote.

---

"Contention 3. Upholds the idea of representative democracy"

The US government represents it's citizens. Plants cannot be citizens (As per the logic in my first argument). Therefore, the US government is not obligated to represent plants.

---

"Contention 4. This will solve the self-identity crisis that is currently affecting our tomatoes."

I chuckled reading this. Anyways, to be aware of self-identity a specimen must have a certain level of intelligence. To my knowledge, a tomato has no intelligence. Therefore, it cannot have an existential crisis of identity.


Debate Round No. 2
Lexus

Pro

Thanks for the speedy response, con. I was expecting more puns in your case, but this will do.
Sorry that this response is shorter, by eliminating just one part of the checlist I effectively eliminate it all.

"Right off the bat we run into a problem. In order to choose between two candidates one must have the capacity to choose"
Plants have the ability to communicate, and if it was necessary, they have the ability to communicate who they would vote for in a series of clicks with a plant-vote registrar.

"Secondly, to vote, you must be a US citizen: "To be eligible to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen."
Giving plants the right to vote would be making them citizens. Remember rule 5: "practicality and implementation are not the core of the debate", but even with this rule aside, this isn't a way to criticize the topic at hand. We'd make plants US citizens if they could vote, because only US citizens can...

"A plant obviously does not have the capacity to choose, nor the capacity to even understand what an election is."
If a man does not have the capacity to understand what an election is, but is a legal american and is over the age of 18, do we need to bar him from voting without a real cause? I don't understand how this refutes my ideas.

"Looking at this checklist let's see which prerequisites plants are capable of meeting"
That checklist makes no sense, though.
Even if one american does not have good moral character, they still have the right to vote (e.g. unconvicted serial killers).
Because that one part of the checklist is false, we have to say the ENTIRE checklist is, just to be safe, and automatically refute this entire point.

Back to you, con.
Roboman1723

Con

1."Plants have the ability to communicate, and if it was necessary, they have the ability to communicate who they would vote for in a series of clicks with a plant-vote registrar."

Like I said before sentience isn't consciousness. They don't have the capacity to understand what or who they're voting for.

2."If a man does not have the capacity to understand what an election is, but is a legal american and is over the age of 18, do we need to bar him from voting without a real cause? I don't understand how this refutes my ideas."

I would argue 'yes'. If one doesn't have the mental faculty to understand the world around them how can they be trusted with the responsibility or capacity to vote someone into office.

3."That checklist makes no sense, though.
Even if one american does not have good moral character, they still have the right to vote (e.g. unconvicted serial killers).
Because that one part of the checklist is false, we have to say the ENTIRE checklist is, just to be safe, and automatically refute this entire point."

Hahaha, I can't tell if you're just messing with me on this one. First off, I don't make the rules, this is the US' official list of prerequisites to being able to vote. Second off, in general, if one part of a whole is false doesn't invalidate te whole. It's called a fallacy of composition.

---
Summarization of my debate:

Plants cant vote because:
1. They aren't conscious
2. At the moment, they can't become US citzens.

I look forward to seeing your conclusion PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
Lexus

Pro

"By these definitions, one must be conscious and sentient to be a US citizen not just sentient. Plants are only sentient and therefore cannot be a US citizen which, as we know, is a prerequisite to vote."
Is a person in a coma concious? Well, let's look at these logical steps:
  • P1: A person in a coma is not aware of, or respond to, their surroundings
  • P2: To be concious, you have to be aware and responding to your surroundings
  • C1: A person in a coma is not concious (P1->P2)
  • P3: You must be concious to have the right to vote (using your logic)
  • C2: A person who is in a coma cannot have the right to vote (P1->C1,P3)
Wait, what? We know that a person in a coma has the right to vote if they are legal citizens and all of those prerequisites, there are no federal laws that discriminate against coma patients on the basis that they are not concious, and there is nowhere in the current Constitution that says that unconcious people cannot vote.
Using the idea that a living organism must be concious in order to have the right to vote is flawed at its very core. But let's use some more logical steps, if you do not buy the awareness counterargument:
  • P1: It is possible for an American to not have any long-term or short-term memory due to amnesia [1]
  • P2: To be concious, you must "Hav[e] knowledge of something"
  • C1: A person with this condition is not concious
  • P3: You must be concious to have the right to vote (using your logic)
  • C2: A person with amnesia does not have the right to vote (P1->C1,P3)
Again, we know that this is not true. There's nothing that says if you have amnesia then you do not have the right to vote, so this entire point is invalidated.

"The US government represents it's citizens. Plants cannot be citizens (As per the logic in my first argument). Therefore, the US government is not obligated to represent plants."
The US government is not obligated legally to represent its constituents either. That doesn't mean that it should disregard the opinions of the citizens, does it?
If we give plants the right to vote, then they will become citizens, no matter what. That's the truth. Only citizens can vote, look into all of the laws of the US, so I am not really understanding your logic here.

"I chuckled reading this."
I'm glad that you find the discrimination of tomatoes to be something laughable, especially how they have been dealing with this issue for over 100 years!

"Anyways, to be aware of self-identity a specimen must have a certain level of intelligence. To my knowledge, a tomato has no intelligence. Therefore, it cannot have an existential crisis of identity."
Plants have intelligence and therefore have self-identity, according to what you just said [2].
Research has found that plants can learn, sense, even REMEMBER, which all meet the requirements of intelligence.
Let us use some logic to prove that tomatoes have self-identity:
  • P1: Tomatoes have intelligence [2]
  • P2: In order to have self-identity, a life form must have at least SOME intelligence
  • C1: Tomatoes have self-identity
  • P3: Having a self-identity can lead to worrying about it, making the life go through an existential crisis of identity
  • C2: Tomatoes may be dealing with an existential crisis of identity.
[1]. http://en.wikipedia.org...;(this is not an american BUT it is possible for an american to develop this condition)
[2]. http://www.pri.org...

Thank you for the debate, I appreciate having someone to converse with on this majorly important topic... one that I think will be defining the world within a few decades as more and more plant activists lobby their senators to accept that 1 PLANT = 1 VOTE.

Remember, you have to waive the last round. Thanks again!
Roboman1723

Con

It was all my pleasure Pro. Let's see how society dictates the rights of plants.

May the best MAN win.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Roboman1723 2 years ago
Roboman1723
There's also a mile difference between:

"Plants Should Have the Right to Vote"

"Plants Should Have a Right to Vote"

The first implies that plants should receive voting rights based on current statutes.

The second implies that the status quo should be changed and plants should receive citizenship.
Posted by Roboman1723 2 years ago
Roboman1723
Literally the second sentence:
Resolution: Plants should have the right to vote.
[This resolution is focused on the United States, but we are disregarding the the 18 year old minimum voting age].
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
Con, the resolution is not "Plants Have The Right To Vote", it's "Plants SHOULD Have A Right to Vote", implying a change in the status quo, by removing the restriction on vote to citizens. Secondly, nowhere were the US mentioned.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by asi14 1 year ago
asi14
LexusRoboman1723Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I'll start with con, since he's the one currently losing (and the one which I voted against) Con, while it's all good that you went head on in the issue of letting plants vote, you should have questioned the implications of letting plants vote, via the form of a Disadvantage. I like how you tried to target the pro's case through the definition of a citizen, but I would have focused on what makes a plant different than a man. Pro, Same thing goes. You should've focused on how giving plants the right to vote benefits America, as that would probably give a more solid case in giving plants to vote (think of giving this case against a bunch of plant-racists). But your current methodology was sound, so that was okay. Ultimately, I voted pro because while both points were good, the con nuanced his focus towards his points more and less on the pro's, while the pro stressed his points while equally rebutting the con's args, gradually making the con's answers insuff. to answer pro's args.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
LexusRoboman1723Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both sides maintained reasonable conduct. | S&G - Tie. Neither side made any major S&G errors and maintained adequate grammar. | Arguments - Pro. Con's entire case was on only Americans having the right to vote, which was flawed as Pro was cited a *change* in the status quo, and Con assumed a bare underline of the status quo in the voting. Secondly, the change implies that plants *should* be made citizens. Pro adequately defended plant sentience, and showed that plants have the ability to choose and are therefore *due* entitlements, specifically the ability to choose administration. Thus, arguments to Pro. | Sources - Tie. Both sides used reliable sources. | 3 points to Pro. | As always, happy to clarify this RFD. It was no doubt an interesting read!
Vote Placed by Luharis 2 years ago
Luharis
LexusRoboman1723Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate, and i feel i must award point to the Pro side for their use logic, and ability to flip and reverse any argument the con made. Still, a very good debate.