The Instigator
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
alto2osu
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

Polygamy is morally permissible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,841 times Debate No: 8267
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (8)

 

MTGandP

Pro

Definitions

Polygamy: marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time. (Merriam-Webster)
Morality: A code of conduct put forward by a society; used to determine right and wrong. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Wikipedia)
Morally permissible: Allowed or permitted by the rules of morality.

Pre-Contention/Secondary Definition: Source of Morality
Morality originates from evolution: what is evolutionarily beneficial is also moral. For example, murder is immoral because murder makes it more difficult for the species to survive. Selflessness is moral because it improves the species as a whole. So I will be taking an evolutionary perspective with regard to polygamy.

For my contentions, I will assume that the case of polygamy is a male who has multiple wives.

Contention 1: Polygamy allows for more rapid reproduction.
A female can only produce offspring once per nine months; but a male can fertilize multiple women within the same day. If a man has multiple wives, this rapid reproduction can be efficiently utilized to increase the vitality of the species as a whole.

Contention 2: Polygamy makes it easier to raise children.
When several women work together to raise children, their combined efforts make it much easier. They can fill in each other's weaknesses: if one wife has to work, for example, another can take care of her child. This sort of supportive structure is encouraged by polygamy.

Contention 3: Polygamy increases diversity.
A man with multiple wives has the opportunity to spread his genes further. This shuffling of the gene pool creates increased diversity, which is beneficial to the species. Diversity allows for a richer community, and is overall very helpful.

I look forward to my opponent's response.

[1] http://www.jstor.org...
[2] http://www.jstor.org...
alto2osu

Con

Luckily, my opponent and I agree completely on the source of morality, which will save us both a great deal of word count on a definition debate.

However, I will contest my opponent's definition of polygamy, as it is entirely non-applicable to his own advocacy. He provides the following definition:

"Marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time. (Merriam-Webster)"

In and of itself, that is correct, but all of my opponent's advocacy claims its moral and evolutionary benefits only from polygyny, rather than both polygyny and polyandry.

Therefore, the new resolution must read:

"Polygyny is morally permissible." With polygyny being defined as:

The state or practice of having several wives at the same time; marriage to several wives. (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary)

You will prefer this redefinition because:

1. Polygyny and polyandry produce entirely different evolutionary or population-related outcomes. The two can't even be partially combined, as they have clearly opposite effects on procreation;

2. The entirety of the affirmative's case and benefits stem directly from polygyny. If we don't redefine, then the affirmative is only conditionally or partially affirming his own resolution, so you can vote con on face. In other words, it behooves the pro to accept this new resolution, or he will automatically lose the round.

I assume that my opponent will remain legitimate and not incorporate polyandry into his advocacy in round 2, as that was clearly not his intention.

I will first forward an offensive con advocacy, and then rebut my opponent's case.

1. Due to exponential population growth and unprecedented resource competition, polygyny is no longer a viable moral standard.

Consider the effects of industrialization on the world, or at least the effects of population growth, as this argument applies to most third world or unindustrialized nations as well. Currently, the population of the world is around 6.7 billion people, with more people born every second. The population of the world in the year 1900 was 1.6 billion. In 1800, the population of the world was 978 million. An increase of a mere 100 million compared to that of 5 billion is phenomenal, and spells disaster for the world's resources even with non-polygynous breeding.

https://www.cia.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

If we look at the state of world affairs in regards to resource competition and the ability of the planet to sustain our species logically and empirically, dramatically increasing the population via polygyny is incredibly immoral, as it will lead to further resource competition. This will, as it has shown to do in the recent past consistently, lead to the following harms:

*Increased violent conflict between competing societies. As geographical societies compete for resource dominance for their ever increasing populations, they will inevitably clash, which will cause the unnecessary death of already-born human beings.

*Decreased quality of life: every human being on the planet must be guaranteed basic necessities in order to survive. Those basic necessities cannot be provided to approximately 1/3 of the planet's inhabitants, while another 1/3 are considered underfed. That's about 4 billion people that are not able to have the basic necessities of survival as it is.

http://library.thinkquest.org...

*Increased environmental destruction: as finite resources dwindle with today's population, polygyny will only increase the damage done. If 2/3 of the world is already not able to access the resources currently available, this problem can only continue to worsen with more unfettered population growth, especially since increased populations will not allow resources to naturally renew or expand.

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Now, to counter the affirmative's case:

Contention 1: Polygamy allows for more rapid reproduction.

See the harms outlined in my case. Right now, with the growth of the population as it is, we should be looking at natural and ethical ways to restrict population growth, like polyandry. Clearly, the world cannot sustain rapid reproduction. I've held off on offering a counterplan, as we aren't technically implementing a policy, but if we were, you can bet dollars to donuts I would be pushing polyandry as a morally and evolutionarily sound behavior. Polyandry allows people their sexual freedom, as well as works to the benefit of the human species as a whole.

Turn: rapid reproduction is antithetical to the biological imperative to help the human species thrive, as billions are sure to die in the ensuing population explosion. The terminal impact of polygyny in an already crowded world is the mass reduction or extermination of the species.

Contention 2: Polygamy makes it easier to raise children.

While it is true that it takes a village to raise a child, that village does not have to be a single man impregnating multiple women. We have schools and other child-rearing infrastructure that can supplement the 2-parent system just as effectively as multiple wives. If we consider the history of tribal communal child raising and simply modify societies based on the better principles of these tribes, we can achieve the benefits of communal child-rearing without the added harms of extra children.

Contention 3: Polygamy increases diversity.

While gene spread is critical to the evolution of a given species, it need to be achieved at this point. Gene diversity is pretty much guaranteed with a population in the world of 6.7 billion people. While this might be true of a species with incredibly limited numbers, it can no longer be said to be applicable today.

In fact, many, many nations encourage genetic diversity in their laws and moral structures already via laws that specifically restrict citizens from marrying their immediate or even extended family. Hence, the affirmative is claiming a benefit that is entirely law-based, and not polygyny-based. For example, I could be a man who chooses to marry and procreate with my 5 sisters. The man next door could choose to marry one woman from another nation. At that point, the next door neighbor is encouraging more genetic diversity than the man who married his sisters. Only laws can guarantee that a polygynous relationship genetically diverse.

I thank my opponent for posting this debate and look forward to his responses!
Debate Round No. 1
MTGandP

Pro

I accept my opponent's modification of the resolution, as it is more fitting than the original. I am glad that my opponent accepts my basis for morality, as it makes things much easier.

As a side note, I appreciate my opponent's frequent use of three to five lined paragraphs; it makes her arguments very easy to read.

I will begin by rebutting my opponent's case, and then will defend my own.

1. "Due to exponential population growth and unprecedented resource competition, polygyny is no longer a viable moral standard."
I have three counter-arguments:

A - There are enough resources in the world to support a larger population than it currently does. If resources were more efficiently produced and distributed, quality of life would not be much of a problem. Utilizing resources more efficiently is a good idea anyway, and if we did, it would make the population problem from polygyny not so much of a problem any more.

There are other solutions as well. We are working on colonizing other planets. With an expensive initial investment, we can dramatically reduce the population problem over time. Disallowing polygyny is not the only solution, nor is it even close to the best.

B - Why is it wrong to increase the potential for population growth via polygyny, but not wrong to continue having children at all? If more children is generally harmful, then why are we still allowed to have children? Increasing the population does not seem to be inherently immoral. I will elaborate upon this in round 3, after my opponent answers my questions.

C - Would the population even increase very much? The number of women with mates is what really matters in terms of population growth. This number would not increase very much due to polygyny, as many unmarried women are unmarried by choice[2]. But polygyny would allow women who want to get married more opportunities to marry.

"*Increased violent conflict between competing societies."
For the sake of argument, I will assume that resources will in fact become more limited.

There is competition over resources irrespective of the availability of the resources. One bases how much he has not on some absolute standard, but on how much others have. If all resources are reduced, competition will not increase. Competition only increases when there is an imbalance of resources. What truly matters in terms of competition is the relative resources possessed by each society. So if polygyny is allowed universally, and it does limit resources, competition will likely not increase.

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Contention 1
"I've held off on offering a counterplan, as we aren't technically implementing a policy, but if we were, you can bet dollars to donuts I would be pushing polyandry as a morally and evolutionarily sound behavior."
I agree that polyandry is morally sound. It may even be more sound than polygyny. But that does not mean polygyny is morally unsound.

I have no real rebuttals to this case, since all my rebuttals against my opponent's contention also apply here. This contention and my opponent's contention should be merged for the sake of convenience.

Contention 2
"We have schools and other child-rearing infrastructure that can supplement the 2-parent system just as effectively as multiple wives."
We do have some infrastructures in place, but they are not really as good as polygyny. Schools, for example, cannot watch your child while he or she is sleeping, and in fact cannot take care of your child most of the time. Daycares are better, but they are not there all the time, and there are still a few problems. Daycares cost good money, and while this is not so big of a problem, it still renders them inferior to polygyny. Additionally, daycares do not foster the same level of attachment. In a home, with multiple caring mothers, the child grows long-term attachments to each one and the mothers truly love the child. These deep connections are wholesome for the entire family, and cannot be effectively achieved in a daycare center. Daycare centers are temporary; motherhood is eternal.

"If we consider the history of tribal communal child raising and simply modify societies based on the better principles of these tribes, we can achieve the benefits of communal child-rearing without the added harms of extra children."
This would be better than a daycare center, and close to as good as polygyny. But it may not form the same level of bonding as true motherhood. And additionally, it is more logistically difficult. To modify society to emulate tribalism would be very difficult, much more difficult than polygyny.

Contention 3
"Gene diversity is pretty much guaranteed with a population in the world of 6.7 billion people."
Not necessarily. Some countries consist almost entirely of a single race, and need all the diversity they can get.

"I could be a man who chooses to marry and procreate with my 5 sisters. The man next door could choose to marry one woman from another nation. At that point, the next door neighbor is encouraging more genetic diversity than the man who married his sisters."
Yes, but that's not really a fair comparison. These comparisons would be better:
-I could marry and procreate with my five sisters. The man next door could marry his sister. I am encouraging more genetic diversity than my neighbor.
-I could marry and procreate with five women from completely different nations. The man next door could procreate with one woman from another nation. At that point, I am encouraging more genetic diversity than the man next door.

My opponent's example only proves that it is possible to not be genetically diverse, even when polygynous. But polygyny increases the probability of diversity, and provides more opportunities.

[1] http://healthandenergy.com...
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...
alto2osu

Con

I thank my opponent for his prompt and clear response.

I will use his order, and address the con advocacy and his responses first.

Con #1:

Pro response A: The colonization of other planets is a non-realistic, Star Wars-esque solution that is hardly an answer to clear and decisive empirics. My opponent is assuming that the problem of 2/3 of the world—4 billion people—can be solved by interstellar colonization and resource conservation, when the US refuses to even sign the Kyoto Accord. Without warrants as to these solutions being immediately implemented or being immediately effective against any of the data listed in my case, the harms still clearly outweigh.

Pro response B: While there are hindrances such as reproductive rights stopping us from ethically halting *all* birth of children in any sort of international sense at this time, it certainly is a moral imperative to illegalize polygyny. In fact, all of the world's major religions and many of the world's countries have already denounced or banned the practice for the very reason that it has no societal or biological benefits. If we are to equate morality with evolutionary or biological tendencies, then why would myriad societies ban polygyny if it was so useful to society? After all, law is the manifestation of a moral code.

Pro response C: Of course the population would increase. That's the whole point of practicing polygyny in the first place. If the affirmative is only affirming to allow more women to marry, then vote con right now for two reasons:

A) He just dropped every impact of polygyny in his case, and can no longer claim the benefits of diversity, increased species spread, etc.

B) Marriage, being a religious institution, is existent according to all religions primarily for procreation. This is true across all major religions, and permeates every piece of scripture regarding the bond of marriage. If those of any major religions are joining in polygynous relationships, then their first concern, dogmatically, is to breed more children which will practice that same religion. Hence, polygyny will always yield far more children than not.

On increased conflict in societies:

Yes, there is competition at times irrespective of the availability of resources. However, the basic premise of evolutionary theory, which I am sure my opponent is more than familiar with, is that resource competition drives evolution. The "fitter" a specimen is, the better it can adapt to a changing environment or survive when resources are in competition or scarce, the more it shall survive to breed, hence furthering itself. To say that violent conflict will not increase as resources dwindle is unwarranted, especially within the pro's own framework of evolution. Competition to survive, according to evolution, must increase as resources reduce themselves. See Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, & Steel for much more detailed analysis of how resource competition shaped the world.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To the Pro's advocacy and responses:

Pro's #1:

Offering up polyandry as a moral act actually is an independent reason to vote con, but only because the two practices yield directly opposite results. If an act that naturally saves the human species is considered moral, then the exact opposite act can be assumed to be generally immoral as it would logically hurt the species. For example, to save a person's life is considered an evolutionarily moral act (generally—I realize there are exceptions). To do the opposite, in general, and take a person's life, is considered immoral.

On merging my/his arguments (?): Please don't merge any arguments. Despite what my opponent tells you (and I don't understand the rationale in the first place), there is a clear counter-argument and turn on his contention 1. To repeat, since it was not addressed:

Rapid population increase will lead to the destruction of the human species at this time in our evolutionary history, rather than thriving, per the harms listed under my case, which were not properly covered. At the point where we are destroying the environment without remedy, increasing global conflict, and not providing basic necessities for 4 billion people in the status quo, the turn is proved and you should vote con.

Pro's #2:

First of all, my opponent ignores the biological instinct to raise one's young, which is incredibly powerful in the human species, as we are proven to be not only genetically social, but altruistic in nature. Plenty of societies world-wide have perfected the art of communally raising children, and to say that a co-wife will be any more qualified to raise another woman's children (whether she be married to the same husband or not) than a daycare provider is arbitrary, as there is no genetic link in either relationship. As a teacher and a speech coach, I can tell you with no hesitation that I see my students as my children, my responsibility. Teachers join the teaching profession because of this natural desire to foster children.

Polygyny is only "true" motherhood for genetic mother and child, assuming that true motherhood is simply a direct genetic link, as the biological need to raise children is inherent in the human species as a whole. Multiple wives are still only as good as step-parents, which does not establish any stronger of a genetic bond than any other human being who could come into contact with said child. And, emulating tribal behavior, I think, is being overcomplicated by my opponent. We can take basic principles of communal child raising, as observed in societies who have been very successful (not necessarily tribes, by the way), and then apply them as we have to the ideas of school and daycare.

Pro's #3:

My opponent misses the point entirely of my necessarily limited analogy. I was only making the distinction that polygyny, in and of itself, is not foundationally responsible for genetic diversity because it doesn't put restrictions on which women you can marry. Sure, at the point where you marry your 5 sisters, genetic variation will be *slightly* increased over the next door neighbor that marries his sister (and I'm talking slight), but that doesn't refute the actual argument I made. Legal interference in choice of partner is what encourages genetic diversity, not the act of polygyny all on its own. Number of partners won't inherently increase diversity. The proper biological choice of partner(s) will.

Not only that, but my opponent dropped the far more important response, so please extend the fact that, with 6 billion people in the world, we clearly have an abundance of partners to choose from if the only benefit we are trying to achieve is genetic diversity. The benefit of genetic diversity is already achieved, so this cannot possibly outweigh the outlined harms in my advocacy.

Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
MTGandP

Pro

"The colonization of other planets is a non-realistic, Star Wars-esque solution that is hardly an answer to clear and decisive empirics."
It may be science fiction right now. But our space travel is a lot better than it was a hundred years ago. This may be a viable solution within the 21st century. But more importantly, this point serves to show that banning polygyny is not the only solution.

"While there are hindrances such as reproductive rights stopping us from ethically halting *all* birth of children in any sort of international sense at this time, it certainly is a moral imperative to illegalize polygyny."
Why do monogamous spouses have any more of a right to reproduction than polygynous spouses? The answer is, they don't. Reproductive rights hold across different forms of marriage.

My opponent's statement "it certainly is a..." does not follow from the part before it.

"In fact, all of the world's major religions and many of the world's countries have already denounced or banned the practice for the very reason that it has no societal or biological benefits."
I do not think that most religions care very much about biology. In Christianity, for example, the church has held the notion that polygyny is wrong for much longer than biology as we know it has been around. So their reasons for denouncing polygyny are clearly not biological. I am less knowledgeable about other religions, though I am fairly certain that most religions are not motivated by biology.

"...why would myriad societies ban polygyny if it was so useful to society? After all, law is the manifestation of a moral code."
This is what I call an appeal to law: it's illegal, so it's probably wrong! This is fallacious in that the law, while sometimes intended to be a moral code, is not always. Sometimes law exists for reasons other than morals, such as for regulations, or to protect the ruling class. And even when laws do attempt to embody a moral code, they frequently get it wrong. Slavery was legal for hundreds of years, but we now agree that it is wrong. Abortion is legal in the US, but nearly half of the country thinks it is immoral[4]. So clearly, law as a moral code is far from perfect.

"A) He just dropped every impact of polygyny in his case, and can no longer claim the benefits of diversity, increased species spread, etc."
Diversity and population control are not mutually exclusive. Diversity is still a potential benefit. All that is necessary is an increase of diverse marriages and a decrease of less diverse marriages. I do not know what my opponent means by species spread, and so will not respond to that part.

"B) ...If those of any major religions are joining in polygynous relationships, then their first concern, dogmatically, is to breed more children which will practice that same religion. Hence, polygyny will always yield far more children than not."
The religious institutions may, but the institutions are not the ones who choose to have children. That choice is up to the spouses.

On competition:
Competition is not based on any absolute value. It is based on the relative values between different communities.

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Contention 1
"Offering up polyandry as a moral act actually is an independent reason to vote con, but only because the two practices yield directly opposite results."
Polyandry and polygyny are not direct opposites. They are opposite in that the gender roles are reversed, but that is about all. Some of the benefits and detriments of polygamy apply to both polyandry and polygyny. For example, the diversity argument applies to both. So it is entirely possible for both polygyny and polyandry to be morally acceptable alternatives.

Contention 2
"[T]o say that a co-wife will be any more qualified to raise another woman's children (whether she be married to the same husband or not) than a daycare provider is arbitrary, as there is no genetic link in either relationship."
There is no direct genetic link, but the links are still stronger. Marriage to a child's father forms a strong bond. Living with the child forms perhaps an even stronger one. The love that a concrete family can form is a powerful force.

"Multiple wives are still only as good as step-parents, which does not establish any stronger of a genetic bond than any other human being who could come into contact with said child."
This is true, but genetic bonds are far from the only factor. What is truly important is a richness and wholeness in the bond between parent and child. And this sort of deep connection can best be formed between close family. Step-parents can become just as attached to their children as genetic parents. The true bond does not come from genetics, but from a sense of motherhood that is best achieved through a lifelong adoption of the position of mother.

Contention 3
"Number of partners won't inherently increase diversity. The proper biological choice of partner(s) will."
When multiple partners are possible, not only is the possible diversity increased, the probability of diversity is increased.

"[W]ith 6 billion people in the world, we clearly have an abundance of partners to choose from if the only benefit we are trying to achieve is genetic diversity."
Theoretically, yes. But practically, we cannot choose any partner from anywhere in the world. In the vast majority of cases, choices for a mate is restricted to local geography. Polygyny increases the potential diversity even within a relatively small local community.

***

Even in the genetically rich world of today, polygyny can increase the possibility and the probability of diversity. Polygyny, when necessary, can take the rate of reproduction beyond the limits of monogamy or polyandry. And polygyny provides a strong structure for the rearing of children. Children raised in a strong but diverse family can reap enormous benefits from this cooperative enterprise. The possible achievements through polygyny, a simple choice of marriage, are astounding. Vote PRO!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.absalom.com...
[3] http://books.google.com...
alto2osu

Con

I thank my opponent for the spirited debate. I will close RD 3 in the same order he did.

Space colonization/alternative solutions:
First of all, we aren't talking about "banning polygyny." We are talking about whether it is morally permissible. Most societies have banned polygyny. And, just because space travel is "getting better," doesn't mean that it can combat the empirics in my round 1 post. You, as the voter, need to decide something: can things like space travel solve the problems of a 5 billion-person population increase in the last century? Also keep in mind that 4 billion people in the world right now are considered underfed or in extreme poverty. Should we hang out hopes on space travel? Please extend the fact that my opponent provides no warrants that conclusively tell you that this is even close to a viable solution to the overpopulation problem.

My opponent needs to realize that compromise exists in the world, and that includes with our rights. Most rights theorists, the good ones anyway, maintain that a balance of freedom and restraint is what leads to a healthy society. While entirely cutting off the right to reproduce may not be morally viable, limiting it by a certain percentage will save society from all the harms I've outlined. Hence, declaring polygyny to be immoral would be one way of restraining a harmful freedom without entirely wiping out our ability to reproduce. It's simple population reduction. Animals do it all the time. We simply have to rationalize our way to those same restraints.

Major Religions & Biology:
If my opponent actually believes in evolutionary-based morality, then he will readily concede that religious dogma is born directly from our biology. Whether they "care" about it or not, our instincts act subconsciously upon us. Hence, though a given Church may declare something right or wrong dogmatically, they do it either directly or indirectly because of the influence of biology on its members. Motivation is a mute point: the motivation is inherent in our genes. My opponent cannot disagree, since he is the one who limited to the debate to this theory in the first place. Also, polygamy was condemned by the Christian church during the Roman Empire's reign. This makes quite a bit of sense, considering that the Roman Empire was the most densely populated empire to exist in the world ever…While the Church said nothing about biology or genetics at the time, that certainly doesn't mean that the overcrowding of Rome had nothing to do with the policy.

Polygyny being illegal:
First of all, I know what appeal to law is, and clearly not all laws are morally justified. I'm not arguing that at all. This is merely a single statement in an entire chain of evidence that links the legal status of polygyny around the world to its evolutionary unfavorability. I didn't only argue that polygyny is wrong because the law says so. This attack is taken out of context.
Aff's Claim That He Doesn't Increase Population Dramatically:
If polygyny doesn't produce more offspring, the aff is not affirming his own case: My opponent missed the point of these two responses entirely. Here's a quick re-cap: he said, in RD 2, in response to my overpopulation argument, that polygyny wouldn't *really* lead to a huge increase in population because most unmarried women want to stay unmarried. However, he did say that it would allow more women who wanted to to get married, and somehow drew a conclusion, based on this statement, that the population would not increase. Well, that's a huge problem for his entire case, since all of his benefits in case stem from population increase and population diversity. If polygyny doesn't produce quantitatively larger numbers of offspring, there will be no noticeable increase in diversity (as the idea here is to spread diversity through diverse partners having more children) and there will be no chance of further domination for the human species. They really are not mutually exclusive, because to achieve more diversity, you have to have more offspring. Bottom line.
Species spread is my opponent's first contention. It's the ability to rapidly reproduce, and hence increase the prosperity of the species. He can't claim any of the impacts in his first contention if he isn't rapidly increasing reproduction. Nor can he claim the impacts of diversity, because you still have to have more kids with diverse partners to promote diversity. One would assume that, instead of 1 wife having kids, 3 wives will have kids, which is how you get that diversity. That means 2 more women are having kids. Hence, more kids…

Religious marriage always yields more offspring: This doesn't answer my argument. A vast majority of the world subscribes to some form of organized religion. Almost every single religion, especially the major ones, tell their followers to have lots and lots of children. Procreation is the reason for unions in scripture and dogma. Therefore, the more wives you have, the more children you will have.

Competition response:
No clue how the response to competition impacts the round because it isn't well explained. I reiterate that societies who spread exponentially will come into contact with one another in the search for resources to feed ever-growing families and communities, and will fight each other for said resources. Basic evolutionary theory at work.

Polyandry and Polygyny have similar results:
My opponent doesn't understand the mechanics of reproduction if he doesn't understand why polyandry will yield far less children than polygyny. Let me explain briefly:

If a man marries 5 women, he can impregnate all 5. Diversity will actually be a little better served, but to the detriment of the society itself because of overpopulation. If each woman has 3 children, that's 15 offspring.

If a woman marries 5 men, she can only get pregnant so many times. She'll have to wait at least 9 months (but let's be realistic, here) between offspring, unlike the man who married 5 women, who can fertilize an egg in any of the women on a regular basis. The woman in this polyandrous relationship may have 15 children, but the process will be much slower than with a polygynous relationship. Not only that, but having that high a yield for one woman is highly unlikely. Polyandry naturally results in far less offspring. This is why nomadic herdspeople in high altitude mountain regions use it—to conserve resources! Polygyny and polyandry are diametrically opposed.

Polygyny yields communal family bonding:
Besides the anecdotes I could give you regarding the complete lack of love by a step parent, note that step parent bonds are not logically different than a mentor or close adult friend. The same bond can be achieved by a guidance counselor to a child as a step parent to a child. This "love" is a product of evolutionary conditioning to nurture offspring of one's species, and my opponent has yet to prove that this relationship is exclusive to polygynous families. We only have his assertion that what he says is true.

Please apply my above arguments and extend those made in RD 2. While my opponent asserts that step parents can love a child as much as the biological parents, I argue that this is merely genetic conditioning, and that any adult and child has the same ability to form such a relationship. Hence, the relationship can be replicated without the dangers of polygyny.

Diversity is achieve by polygyny:
First of all, we can choose a partner from anywhere in the world if we so choose. This isn't a reason to reject the argument I've made. If polygyny is merely a matter of convenience, and not a moral imperative, then you should vote con. Also, extend all of my harms from RD 1.

Based on the above arguments, I strongly encourage a CON vote. The pro cannot achieve any more diversity than exists right now, and cannot stop the drastic harms outlined in my RD 1 post.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Next time, if that's the debate you want, I'd make it explicit :) Something like: The benefits of polygamy/polygyny outweigh the benefits of monogamy...or something like that. :)

Although, we did technically debate that :) Though implicit, I have to be arguing for monogamy, essentially, considering all my harms.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
I was hoping for a polygamy vs. monogamy debate, but I guess I didn't frame it very well. Still, it turned out to be a very enjoyable and informative debate.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Skeptic: thanks for the feedback :) This debate isn't a particularly good example of arguing evolutionarily based morality. To be honest, there simply isn't enough word count available to properly explain how many factors play into the development of morality via natural selection/resource competition. It's an interesting debate, though!
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
C: TIE. Both sides were courteous.
S&G: TIE. Both sides were well spoken.
C: CON. Her arguments about the overpopulation basically won her this debate, since PRO unfortunately argued for the morality of polygamy (though the term isn't fully acccurate in context of this debate) via evolutionary reasons. Not only did this play into CON's hands, the meta-ethical foundations (in my opinion) of a morality based on evolution is very weak.
S: TIE. While PRO had more sources, it wasn't enough to tilt it into his favor.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
While there might not be a technical term for it (like I know :D), appeal to law can be used as a fall back all on its own. You are right to say that it *alone* is unwarranted :) This, of course, assumes that the debater only says "it's the law, so it must be right." I mean, the law can be right, but it isn't inherent.

RFD= reason for decision. I just like to get helpful pointers from the debaters here who vote.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
alto, you deserve to win this one. Well played. Thanks for the fun debate.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
"I know what appeal to law is"
I thought I made up that term. Hmm. Oh well, it's not like it's unintuitive.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
What is an RFD?
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Grrr...I do wish people would leave RFDs. Thank you for the debate, MTG!
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Response to pro's contention 3: "it need to be achieved at this point."

I apologize for what appears to be my one serious grammatical screw-up :) No clue where that came from. Phrase should read:

"...it need NOT be achieved at this point."

Sorry :)
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