The Instigator
lannan13
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
That1User
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: Self-harm (including suicide) is morally permissible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
lannan13
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,619 times Debate No: 68619
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)

 

lannan13

Pro




WARNING!!!! THIS DEBATE WILL/MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHS THAT MAY BRING BACK TERRIBLE MEMORIES. THESE PICTURES ARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE DEBATE ONLY AND NOT TO JUST POST THEM. IF YOU ARE QUEEZY OR MIGHT RELAPSE INTO A DEPRESSION PLEASE MOVE AWAY FROM THIS DEBATE!

I would like to thank That1user for accepting this debate and I look forward to a great debate.

Rules

First round is acceptance.
Second round is opening arguments, no rebuttles shall be made.
The Procicuting side will call witnesses to the stand in Round 2.
Third Round is Rebuttles.
Forth Round is Rebuttles and conclusion.
Wikipeadia is not an acceptable source.
No Semantics
No Trolling
Upon accepting the debate you also accept the following definitions.

Self-harm- the practice of cutting or otherwise wounding oneself, usually considered as indicating psychological disturbance (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)
*Note- Self Harm may include suicide as well.*

Morally- Of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character: (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)

Permissible- Permitted; allowable (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)
That1User

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
lannan13

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting as I wasn't expecting him to accept until later this week, so I appologize as I wasn't as prepared as I was wanting to be.
Contention 1: Right of Noninterfearance


Now if we apply Libertarian thinking here we can observe that we must ensure the Right of Noninterfearnace here in order to confort them as they enjoy harming themselves (which I'll get into later) and we should not stop them from doing things that they enjoy. You can see it's one's own choice on what they want to do with thieir body and theirselves throughout their lives even if it means ending it. Any attempt to intervene and stop or even impead such freedoms and these are important to us and dennying rights would only harm society. (Szasz, T., 2002, Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.) The other reason that it is justifiable is that it violates no moral duties and since it does not violate any moral duties it should be acceptable.

"Our having a claim right to suicide implies that we also have rights of noninterference and of liberty and is a central worry about physician-assisted suicide." Pabst Battin (Battin, M. and Mayo, D. (eds.), 1980, Suicide: The Philosophical Issues. New York: St. Martin's.)

Though the above applies for PAS we can still apply it to this debate. It shows that we have the right to suicide. That these rights are that of noninterference and are a personal liberty that should not be violated. We know that it is widely accepted that we have the right to Life and the Right to Property. With our property, say a computer, we have our right to do with it what we want. Even if it's used, improved, or discarded, we can do with this lab top what we want to it. We own our very bodies and if we apply the theories of that of Materialist Philosophers from the Enlightenment we can see that we are not distint from our bodies and thus we own our bodies. (Kluge, E.W., 1975, The Practice of Death, New Haven: Yale University Press.) Theorectically our minds are who we are while the rest of the body is just our property. We can thus do to it what we please.

The second part of this area is that of the self-determination of that we have the rights to make decissions connected with that of our well-being. As shown in the "Death with Dignity" movement we can see that suicide and self harm is a natural corollary of the right to life. This is simply because a human does not have the right to end someone else's life, but they can end their own life. (Cholbi, M, 2011, Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions, Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview)

Contention 2: Sucide/self-harm as a Moral Duty.


If we observe many views of actutilitarians we can see that these acts actually outweigh their harm. These things can be things like saving other's lives and political protest all fall into this category showing that you may end your life and at the same time you may die for an honnorable cause. (Kupfer, Joseph, 1990, “Suicide: Its Nature and Moral Evaluation”, Journal of Value Inquiry, 24: 67–81.) When this theory is further examined, the Utilitarians want the maximum amount of happiness out of this and in many instances does that not only mean that it is morally permissible, but morally required. (Glover, J., 1990, Causing Death and Saving Lives, London: Penguin.) Before you call me crazy and ship me off to a mental ward let's examin Bioethics Philosopher John Hardwig's findings. He shows that a person's burden on their families may prove to be too much of a burden to where they cannot meet their moral duties and thus have no choice, but are required to die. (Hardwig, J., 1996, “Dying at the Right Time: Reflections on Assisted and Unassisted Suicide,” in Ethics in Practice, H. LaFollette (ed.), New York: Blackwell.) During the Ukrainian Genocide of 1933, the Russians had taken all of the food and shipped it to the motherland while the Ukrianians starved to death. Things got so bad that parents would starve so their children didn't. They're children would be then shipped to Orphanages where they would then eat the skin of the weakest child in order to have food. You can see that all of these things were neccessary and completely justified under the resolution no matter how horrible it was. (http://www.ukrainiangenocide.org...)

That1User

Con

The debate topic is Resolved:Self harm (including suicide) is morally permissible. In this debate I will argue that self harm (including suicide) is not morally permissable. Before I begin, I would like to quote Aquinas.

"(1) Suicide is contrary to natural self-love, whose aim is to preserve us. (2) Suicide injures the community of which an individual is a part. (3) Suicide violates our duty to God because God has given us life as a gift and in taking our lives we violate His right to determine the duration of our earthly existence (Aquinas 1271, part II, Q64, A5). "

Contention 1: Suicide is contary to natural self love, whose aim is to preserve us
This statement is supported by Evolutionary theory, which states that the purpose of living is to survive and reproduce. Killing oneself would go against our biological tendency to love our selves, ie surviving and reproducing.
This statement is also supported by Immanuel Kant, who stated

"To annihilate the subject of morality in one's person is to root out the existence of morality itself from the world as far as one can, even though morality is an end in itself. Consequently, disposing of oneself as a mere means to some discretionary end is debasing humanity in one's person" (Kant 423)"

According to Kant, the centre of morality was the self. When someone killed themselves, the centre of morality was gone, hence it was immoral to kill onself.

Contention 2: (2) Suicide injures the community of which an individual is a part.
According to Aristole,
"a community depends on the economic and social productivity of its members, its members have an obligation to contribute to their society, an obligation clearly violated by suicide (Pabst Battin 1996, 70"78, Cholbi 2011, 58"60)."

This is a part of the social-contract theory, in which people have a moral obligation to serve eachother. When someone takes their life away, the community is at a disadvantage, because it means less labor, less ideas, and less discoveries that could change the world for the better. Had Da Vinci, Pasteur, Duchesne, or Einstein commited suicide, the world would have been at a severe disadvantage, and we would not have scientific or medical knowledge we have now.

In addition to suicide and self harm potentially depreving society of great advances in the future, suicide and self harm directly effects others in a negative way. Often, a loved one blames the suicide or self harm on themselves. Feelings of guilt, and depression emerge, leading to severe psychological issues, all of which could have been avoided if one had not comitted suicide.
If what is unethical is determined by what gives more negatives than positives, than suicide and self harm is unethical, as it deprives the community of labor, discoveries, and ideas, as well as causing grief and depression to loved ones.

Contention 3: Suicide violates our duty to God because God has given us life as a gift and in taking our lives we violate His right to determine the duration of our earthly existence.

If the Judeo-Christian God is real, then he determines morality. If suicide and self harm is immoral according to God, then self harm and suicide is immoral.

Sources:
http://plato.stanford.edu...

(Note: I appologize for not fully developing my arguments, as I was running short on time. Hopefully I will be able to more fully develop my arguments next round.)
Debate Round No. 2
lannan13

Pro

I'll ask my opponent to please hold off on arguing until late Saturday as I will be gone for most of the weekend due to a drill competition and will be away from a computer. Please and thank you.

Contention 1: Suicide is contary to natural self love, whose aim is to preserve us.


Here we can apply the theory of Social Darwinism and see that it's the survial of the fittest. The strongest will survie why the weak were meant to die. I know this sounds bad, but we can see if a human being is unfit to deal with the real world and surive on their own they deserve to die. (http://www.allaboutscience.org...) It's like Panda Bears. They kill their own kids by suffocating them by rolling ontop of them. It's apparent that those pandas are going to die, because they are not fit to survive in the World and hence should be around due to Social Darwinism. We can cross apply this here and we can see that those who comit suicide are weak minded in this case and are killing themselves under whatever situation and like the panda they shouldn't be here. Yes I know that sounds harsh, but it's simply true in this case. When apply evolution.



Against Kant I counter offer my materialists theory of that the mind is the center and the rest of our body is only merely accessories to it. Hence you have people without limbs and such. The mind will still be intact even after the person's death as they would just ascend to a higher plane. When it comes to self harm we can see that it would not cause any harm here as they are only vandalizing themselves.



Contention 2: Suicide Injures the community of which an individual is a part of.



Here I cross apply arguments from my contention two. They showed that even though what my opponent had said is parially true these people can harm the society and other times there are people who end up killing themselves to save other people. By doing this they have saved a great ordeal of people and because of that they have fulfilled the utlitarian argument that my opponent brings up. We can also see that the social contract can go both ways too. As d'Holbach shows, if society fails to meet it's duty to the person then they have the right to terminate that contract. (d'Holbach, Baron, The System of Nature, or Laws of the Moral and Physical World, Volume 1, Robinson (trans.), New York: Burt Franklin, 1970) "mutual advantages between the contracting parties" Here we can see that if society doesn't provide the neciessary goods for a person to live thier life then the person does not have to be required to live to help society anymore.


Though this will cause psycholocial issues as I showed in my first contention that no one should interfear in this as it is what makes that person the most happy that matters rather than what makes the person across the street happy. It shows that these are key freedoms that we have and can use. There shouldn't be a single soul that interfears as that would be morally wrong as you are interrupting a person's happiness. (Szasz, T., 2002, Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.)



Contention 3: Suicide violates our duty to God.



My opponent doesn't go into depth here as he only merely states that if God doesn't like suicide then it's imorral. My opponent has nothing here to show that God disaproves of suicide and would like to hear my opponent go more in depth on it next round.



With that I'll pass it back off to my opponent. I remind him again to please not post until Saturday. Thank you.

That1User

Con

Contention 1: Suicide is contary to natural self love, whose aim is to preserve us.
Here my opponent uses social darwinism and survival of the fittest to counter my contention.
I will show that social darwinism is not a valid moral system, as it justifies massive extermination (ie the Holocost) which is certainly unethical. (http://www.allaboutscience.org...)

Also, suicide would go against the theory of evolution that social darwinism is based off of as the purpose of evolution is to survive and reproduce, and comitting suicide, ending one's life, would oppose the purpose of evolution, and self harming could ruin's one chances of both survival and successful reproduction, so both suicide and self harm would go against evolution, the basis of social darwinism.

The second objection was any materialist theory of the mind, as my opponent failed to counter this properly, I assume that Kant's argument goes unchallenged.

Contention 2: Suicide Injures the community of which an individual is a part of.
Arguing from the utilitarian theory, it seems that whatever has the net benefit in a certain situation would be ethical, so the ethics of suicide is ultimately dependent on the situation. On balance, however, it seems that comitting suicide is unethical according to utiliarianism because most people commit suicide because they are depressed, not to bring benefit to the community.

In fact, acts of self harm and suicide causes psychological issues such as depression for the members of the community and closed loved ones. The more people are depressed, the less they can work and produce ideas, and the less they reproduce, as this depression spreads, lack of productivity spreads, making it a net negative for all.

Contention 3: Suicide violates our duty to God.
Assuming the Judeo Christian God exists, He sets the standard of morality
God states that suicide is immoral (and by extension self harm is immoral)
Therefore, suicide is immoral.
Debate Round No. 3
lannan13

Pro

Contention 1: Right of Noninterfearance.

This contention was dropped and not refuted across the debate. This point is important as we can see that we shouldn't interfear in what they do as it's their own personal freedom and we, as society, want to advance or liberties want to expand it not shrink it.

Contention 2: Suicide is contary to natural self love.

Now first to counter the genocide argument brought up by my opponent. Though it is harsh and cruel it is still ethical (refuring to Social Darwinism), it is one's own natural preferance to prefer one's own race over another. The National Organization of Marriage or better known as NOM, has argued that is one's own natural preference to defend similiarities that one has which explains the defense of marriage and perfering one's own race over another. You can see that it's doing so is natural and since this is a natural thing anything other than that is not morally permissable.

My opponent states that I have not properly refuted this argument, but I have indeed. If we observe Cholbi's disecting of Kant's argument here we can see that God has given us the self-ownership of our body. So we have every right to cut, stab, or even destroy ourselves as we could a watch. (Cholbi, M., 2000, “Kant and the Irrationality of Suicide”, History of Philosophy Quarterly, 17(2): 159–176.) I remind you that I had also brought up this argument in my second round of arguing.
Contention 3: Suicide Injures the Community of which they are a part of.


My opponents bring up the thoery of utilitarianism where the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few and tries to justify not not doing self harm or suicide because of this theory. There are many times in history that we have seen that the needs of the majority have led to terrible things. My opponent's justification of the majority over the minority can be used to justify slavery as it could better the economy and that the masters in the nation outnumber the slaves. While in the Triangle Trade days, slavery was justified by saving them from the terrible living conditions, converting them to Christianity, and bettering the economy and benefitting even the slaves to not doing it and harming multiple people. (https://tylerquillin.wordpress.com...) I understand that utilitarianism is the greatest utility over the loss and slavery would meet that justification. (I’m not endorsing Slavery, but am just making this argument) You see we actually improved the lives of Africans by bringing them over here from Africa. The Slave trade took up place when tribal leaders would go to war and sell the defeated armies instead of killing them. So we firstly saved their lives. When we brought them over we gave them food, water, and housing. We also encouraged them to build a nuclear family on the plantation, though families were broken up often to build profit from sales. We also gave them a religion from their atheism or Muslim faith. The religion seemingly gave them a push to fight for freedom through their works as slave owners made promises if they met certain quotas that they would be free. The South also showed that the Slave in the South had it better than the freed black in the north by showing that in the north the freedman was poor, homeless, jobless, and starving, all things that slavery prevented. The North rejected them and it was obvious when the Civil Rights movement went north and the protests became violent. You can see that slavery is justified under utilitarianism and is a black spot.

My opponent drops my key argument from my last round stating that if society has not done its duty to the individual the individual has the right to break the contract and is able to commit self-harm or suicide. My opponent also drops my arguments showing how self harm and sucide is justified when we save lives. Which is also justifiable under this moral system.

Contention 4: Suicide Violates our Duty to God.

My opponent says that it's immoral under God's moral system, however the BIble actually justifies self-harm and sucide in Matthews 5:29-30.

"29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30"If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."
As we can see in the above Biblical verse God states that it's okay to harm yourself to get rid of the sin and that you should do so to enter heaven. So we can actually see that this contention goes for me as if we do not do this you will be condemning more and more people to hell because of this.
I thank my opponent for this great debate. I would also like to thank the judges for judging this debate.
Thank you and please vote Pro.
That1User

Con

That1User forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
That was a close one.
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
What a relief... On to you Lannan.
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
Hopefully I can post my arguments in time.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
It kinda did, but that's alright.
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
I should post my arguments after school tomorrow. I appologize if my early acceptance messed up your argument posting Lannan.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
I should post my argument sometime tomorrow.
Posted by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
I've tried numerous times to accept the judge nomination, but to no avail. I hope this debate can go on anyway. It looks interesting!
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
Erg, I can't take this until about a week from now. Would you like to wait that long? If so, I will accept the challenge in around 6 days, if not I will decline the challenge.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
That's okay.
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
Note: The challenge acceptance may be delayed.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
lannan13That1UserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro. Con forfeited the final round, which is unsportsmanlike behavior. S&G - Tie. Both had several errors in spelling throughout the debate. It's tied because they balanced eachother out. I would strongly suggest utilizing the spell check feature before posting rounds when S&G is worth points. Arguments - Pro. Ultimately, this win is due to Pro standing unchallenged in the final round. To be specific though, there were several arguments which went unrefuted by Con even before the final round forfeit, such as Pro's right of noninterference. Pro also soundly defeated each challenge raised by Con. One such case being Con's argument that God says it's immoral. In that case, Pro was able to offer Biblical verses which actually justify self-harm and suicide. For these reasons, among others that I must leave out due to space constraints, Pro wins arguments. Sources - Tie. Both had great sources, neither really outweighed the other.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
lannan13That1UserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff a round., so conduct to Pro. Arguments to Pro as his final round went unrefuted.