The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Should every child of moral conscience be free to declare their independence or family of choice?

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 293 times Debate No: 76217
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Hello Great Debaters!

I will be representing all the "runaway" and "delinquent" three-fifth pre-humans in this debate.

Round 1- Acceptance
Round 2- Definitions and Sources only
Round 3- Arguments only
Round 4- Arguments and Rebuttals
Round 5- Rebuttals and Conclusions

If you can't accept, leave a comment with your strongest point.


I accept this challenge.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello all who might partake in this thought excursion and thanks for any and all contributions in advance, foremost to my surely delightful debate partner.

The first round is one and done, being that it was only acceptance.
This second round, as aforementioned, is for definitions and sources. With any luck let us hope we can leapfrog this first mountain of burden.

So, with little further adieu, let me commence.

My style(which might be my fall yet undiscovered) is relatively light, in such that I do not source much externally. However, I practice compensating diligence in logical coherence and grammatical clarity. Still yet, language is a tongue of many forks(don't worry. I'll save the creative language later), so in the case that some actual or seeming inconsistency glares, let us rival the beast as if it is imagined.(And SCENE!)

My first definition is MORAL CONSCIENCE.
A standard definition rendered by Wikipedia goes as follows:

"Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms.[1] The extent to which conscience informs moral judgment before an action and whether such moral judgments are or should be based in reason has occasioned debate through much of the history of Western philosophy.[2]"[1]

I will add a postscript, mostly for clarity.

Morality is a social function of human nature, only necessary to a social existence. Sociality has innumerable manifestations and combinations. The individual's part in the moral schema whatsoever is occasioned is to satisfy social demands that are beyond convenience and appropriate those that are within convenience. In either case, the individual, to keep morality, must practice in the realm of consentual activity. Any individual cannot gain by an activity, in and of itself, at the loss of any other individual. (This will be vitally important to discussing parent-child interaction)

By "child" is meant any individual not yet the age of majority, or any individual remaining unwillfully in dependency.
*also, children are a form of provisional property, meaning that to the degree that they willfully assume control of their faculties and judgement, they assume self-ownership and independence.*

I believe the rest is self-explanatory.

Please, if any clarification is desired, leave a comment.


I have no problem with many of those definitions, however the defiition given of "child" is rather far reaching.

I find "any individual remaining unwillfully in dependency", however above the age of majority to be far to broad. I would appreciate it if the instigator would keep that rather odd exclusionary in mind as the case is put forth.

Further, I would like to add:

The following are taken straight from a Google and Wiki and are pretty straight forward:

Functioning- work or operate in a proper or particular way, fulfill the purpose or task of (a specified thing)
Cognitive development- is a field of study ... focusing on a child's development in terms of information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning, and other aspects of brain development ... compared to an adult's point of view.

I will further be sourcing from:

Each of these will be used to form a cohesive premise regarding the reasoning ability and functionablity a child migh be able to demonstrate, and why exactly "children" as a whole should not be granted independence until the age of majority.

In the event of a child's emancipation
( , it is assumed the basic criteria are met.

I too will be drawing a bit from common sense, and assume the age of majority is 18, however I am sure Pro and I can iron down a different number assuming the US is not the standard.

That in mind, I am interested in seeing how on the whole, our instigator will be able to apply the resolution in a blanket scenario.
Debate Round No. 2


Mremann87 forfeited this round.


Kids will be kids, right? Who hasn't at once thought about running away? As one grew older, it became apparent how such short sighted emotional rejections of authority were really just kids being kids. We thought that way because simply, we didn't know better.

Child development is not something that should be underestimated, but in the case of our instigator's resolution, it shouldn't be over estimated either. Jean Piaget studied this particular field, and came up with a few observations that over the years have borne out accurate and predictable results. Lets start with the most rudimentary:

The first 2 years of child's life is devoted to nothing more than basic reflexive and motor skills, and possibly object permanence. Up to the first seven years of the child's life, vocal skills are now getting devleped and honed, though the concept of authority is the only rule giver, the child cannot execute complex games, or follow detailed instruction to complete a task. The child has barely cleared the hurdle of remembering something in order to talk about it, as opposed to seeing it to spark recollection and rational discourse.

Its not until 12 years that reverse operations, formal logic, understanding of rules, what derives authority, etc etc finally begins to develop. I stress develop, as such is ongoing well into the teens in order to be reliable and then perfected. After the final stages of what Piaget identifies as "Concrete" are finished can a matured child develop and test hypothesis and form coherent logical models. The general consensus of when this occurs, at least as deemed by society, is a time generous to a developmental mind, 18 years of age. This clears development, and gives the budding mind new expirience through school to gain knowledge, and even allows for particiaption on a limited scope in the working world through job opporitunity.

Cognitavely, a child is not developed. They cannot possibly yet understand the full ramifications of their actions. They do not always know what is in their best interest, nor can they conceivably figure that out; they simply haven't been given the time and circumstance to flesh all that out.

Currently, our age of majority has work ability, education, and simple common sense built into it for giving a developing child the tools and time to be a functioning member of society, barring gross deficiency. My case is short but simple: Without the capacity to yet understand what they are getting into, they cannot possibly delcare independence. To allow such a resolution as proposed to be enacted in any variety would undermine societies' responsibility to its own must vulnerable and impressionable. We assume, as adults, that our intelligence and expirience is what should enable us to conduct business and be responsible for ourselves. If we have deprived or do not allow that to our children (through their expressed disagreement), what can we expect of them should they declare independence from those whom want to provide it?

Debate Round No. 3


Hello all.
I've incurred some unforeseen obstacles to my participation here. However, I'm going to put forth what time permits me.


1. As logic from individualistic perspective indicates that all human beings are equally valuable by virtue of value being derived from the valuer and valuation being only a function of the individual seeking means to the end in himself, his life, no other has any logically higher claim or consideration in the matters of his life and subsequent valuations. That unless he directly impacts matters of another's life without due consideration, another should not reasonably compel him untoward his free will. By equivalence and extension, no other can rightfully and supremely set the standards, principles and reasoning for him, until there is actual, not solely potential, conflict of agency.

2. By logical standards of facts and evidence, no one can preemptively police and regulate another until actual cause and standing are established. Meaning that No one can subordinate another without substantiating claim of harm by the alleged offender. Therefore, until children have actually demonstrated moral turpitude by their action, no other can bridle them for their own purposes, and in the instance that moral turpitude is demonstrated, the principle of proportionality should not be neglected(the reaction must be equal and opposite the action).

3. Because children are value-seeking, self-actualizing, conscious beings in the process of discovery just as adults but earlier stages, children should have the right to independence and choice pursuant to their inherent nature as concept-forming beings.

In short,

1. Children should be afforded their own judgement as much as possible. Only social persuasion should be used in influencing their judgement unless catastrophic harm is impending.

2. Without due consideration, another can not subdue a child's will. He must be at Liberty to define his beliefs, values and principles by his estimation of the standards of reality and the order of nature.

3. Children and their powers of cognition and intellect are severely underestimated and undermined due to widespread denial, youth bashing, and partisanship. Children are not cognitively dependent because they're developing at genetic rates. They are underdeveloped because they are treated as cognitively incompetent or impotent


1) Equally valuable intrinsically, not by ability, and ability serves as the means as one's means to function. Considering "ability to function" is the yard stick for autonomy in society, "value" is irrelevant to independence.

2)The cause and standing are indeed established, "Parent and Child". The inherent relationship infers that a parent has an authority over the child, this authority can be revoked with cause by illegal act from the parent, or certain qualifiers being undertaken by the child that demonstrate them to be functional in society without the aid of a benefactor.

Through a child's life when the child demonstrates and calls attention to themselves to be moral and good all year, they also compile a list to give to Santa because they were a good boy or girl. This is made possible through a child's inability to coherently function in society. That is for a parent to teach.

3) As demonstrated in the previous argument, children are in part those listed things, but without experience, and its experience that better completes the development. As revealed through the sources presented, children are not at all times able to process the ramifications of their actions, or entertain the notion that they could be wrong about a given scenario.

The arguments stated by Pro are great, were the child capable of doing half of those things. Evidence suggests it is simply not the case. I would like to see citation to the 3rd argument brought by pro: current evidence is not supportive of such a casual assertion that can be applied on a wide scale.

In good faith that the Forfeiture above was simply a lapse in available time, I will forgo further arguments as a courtesy to my opponent, and simply extend my previous as it was widely unrefuted.
Debate Round No. 4


Mremann87 forfeited this round.


Pro has asked that this be put off through PM until a later time. Aside from a condouct point or two, I would appreciate if those interested held on a decision. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by FaustianJustice 1 year ago
My opponent has indicated they are not able to fully mount a case, and that their time was underestimated. I would prefer to let this settle into "tied".
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