The Instigator
Clash
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
buckIPDA
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Should people in the US wear bicycle helmets while driving a bicycle?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Clash
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,210 times Debate No: 23943
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

Clash

Pro

Just a little cool topic I wan't to debate. As Pro, I will argue that people in the US should wear bicycle helmets while driving a bicycle. As Con, you will argue that people in the US should not use bicycle helmets while driving a bicycle.

First round acceptance.
buckIPDA

Con

This looks like it'll be a fun topic.
Let me offer a huge thank you to my opponent for instigating such as debate, I look forward to it!

Since this round is just acceptance, I'll leave it at that.
I look forward to a great, if not short, round!
Debate Round No. 1
Clash

Pro

Thank you, buckIPDA, for accepting this debate. I'm looking forward to debate with you.

Although there are many reasons why people in the US should wear bicycle helmets, I will only give two of those I think are the strongest:


1) Safety and protection

A helmet is used as a protection to your head, so if you don't wear a bicycle helmet and then crash, you can get bad injures. Indeed, wearing a bicycle helmet helps protect you from brain injury in the event of a crash, as studies have shown:

'According to a 1999 survey by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety injuries each year are severe enough to merit a trip to the emergency room. Wearing a bicycle helmet won't prevent an accident, but should an accident occur, your helmet can save your life by preventing a fatal brain injury.' [1]


Some statistics from 2008 data, also released in 2010:

'one-seventh of the cyclists killed were between 5 and 15 years old.

Average age of a bicyclist killed on US roads: 41

Average age of a bicyclist injured on US roads: 31

Bicyclists 15 and under killed: 93. Injured: 13,000

Bicyclists 16 to 34 killed: 168. Injured 20,000

Bicyclists 35 to 54 killed: 270. Injured 13,000

Bicyclists 55 and older killed: 179. Injured 6,000

Alcohol involvement was reported in 37% of 2008 deaths.

Nearly one fourth (23%) of the cyclists killed were drunk. (BAC over .08 g.dl)

Fatal crashes typically were urban (69%) and not at intersections (64%).

630 bicyclists died on US roads in 2009 (718 in 2008, 1,003 in 1975)

74 were 14 or younger, a reduction of 58 per cent from the 178 killed in 2000.

Bicyclist deaths represented 2 per cent of all 2009 traffic fatalities.

51,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic in 2009 (Up sharply from 43,000 in 2007)' [2]

As the first quote said: 'Wearing a bicycle helmet won't prevent an accident, but should an accident occur, your helmet can save your life by preventing a fatal brain injury.' Indeed, this could not be anymore true. If looking at all these deads and injures of bicyclists isn't enough for people to agree that people should wear a bicycle helmet which may save your life by preventing a fatal brain injury, then I don't know what does. In fact, Nearly all bicyclists who dies (97%) were not wearing a helmet.[2] Moreover, "It's estimated that 96 % of cyclists killed in 1996 were not wearing helmets."[2]

You can also go to this site and read a story from someone who says that his bicycle helmet saved him from a lot of pain and possibly a concussion and permanent disfigurement.[3]

In summary, people should wear bicycle helmets because a bicycle helmet helps protect your brain and head from injury in the event of a crash and may save your life. It basically keeps you protected and safe while you are driving a bicycle.


2) Setting a good example to your children

'A 20503 Purdue University report reminds parents to exhibit the type of behavior they want their children to display, because children naturally model the behavior of their parents as they grow. Although you may enforce a helmet rule for your children while they are small, if you don't wear a helmet yourself, your kids will naturally gravitate toward the same bad habit. Thus, even if concern for your own safety and the risk of a potential fine isn't enough incentive to prompt you to don a helmet when biking, the safety of your children may convince you.' [1]

Moreover, think if you one day get a big brain injury or even die after a crash because you didn't wear a bicycle helmet. What do you think your children (if you have children) would do? Would you risk your and your children's life just because of something as little as a bicycle helmet? A rational person would say, no.

In summary, people should also wear helmets as to set a good example for the children.


Sources

[1] http://www.livestrong.com...

[2] http://www.bhsi.org...

[3] http://www.sannerud.com...
buckIPDA

Con

= Introduction =
Allow me to start by again thanking my opponent for instigating such a subject. Because of the short nature of this debate, both in the number of rounds as well as Character count (5,000), I will be grouping the Con Constructive arguments, with the rebuttal of my opponent's arguments.

= Framework =
+ Should is not defined by my opponent, instead this obligation is interpreted casually as opposed the traditional "pragmatic obligation" which 'should' usually indicates. The impact here is that the manner of this obligation, whether moral or pragmatic, is unimportant. It can serve to mean either, neither or both.

+ Kant's categorical imperative[1] states that we should do what we do in such a way that we will them to become universal law. By this notion, the Pro's burden is to show that all US bike riders should wear helmets as a universal law (in the scope of this debate legislative law). The inverse burden for the con is to show it should not be universal law.

= Arguments & Clash =
The basic premise behind the Con's argument, will be an avocation for non-government intervention in the private lives of U.S. citizens. I aim to show that the dangers of not wearing a helmet which opponent cites, are not enough to warrant such legislation. And accordingly these pale to provide a compelling argument that all bike riders in the US should wear a helmet.

1. Scare Tactics-
[2]These are tactics which are not direct threats, but instead coerced conclusions stemming from a possible harm if an agent decides to do something other than the action originally suggested. In other words, if you don't do what I tell you to do you're going to get hurt.
These kinds of tactics extend beyond just harm to an individual, but can even go so far as to suggest that if the suggested action is not taken, then it would have negative implications for an agent's family, friends or society.

So why is this bad you ask? Because when we make decisions or laws based on the fear of what could happen otherwise, we sacrifice our freedom and ultimately harm justice. I think Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said that [3]"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

You cannot allow an argument which only has personal physical implications to define whether or not you should or shouldn't wear a helmet. That decision needs to be left up to the individual to decide for themselves.

Finally in case this isn't clear enough, I'll say it outright. This argument addresses the "setting a good example for your kids" argument as well. Fear that our children may make mistakes isn't ground to sacrifice free choice.

2. Personal Autonomy-
For those who are unaware of what Personal Autonomy is, Stanford defines it for us as[4] one being law unto themselves. In other words, Autonomous agents are self-governing agents. An argument for personal autonomy isn't an argument to throw out any and all form of government that extend beyond individual decision; The US government has the right to pass laws which prohibit an individual from causing harm to an/other individual(s), laws which protect the rights of citizens and laws which are necessary to carry out the [5]implied powers of congress. The argument for Personal Autonomy is one which asserts that individuals should, and do have the right to decide things for themselves insofar as that decision affects only themselves; thus they govern their own actions.

The problem here arises when we realize that requiring all US citizens to wear Bicycle helmets while driving, is not viably consistent with any of these things. By legally requiring all US bike riders to wear helmets, we violate this personal Autonomy and force government agents to play "Mommy" to otherwise free individuals. Government should never play "Mommy", it should exist as an agent to protect the rights of citizens. Not to diminish them.

= Underview/Conclusions =
The final point that I want to pull across is this: Yes people get hurt and die as a result of not wearing a helmet, however fear of getting hurt is not grounds to will that all people in the US must wear helmets when riding their bike. It would be cool if all these people wanted to wear a helmet, and I'm saying there's anything wrong with wearing a helmet. However, at the point that a person does not want to wear a helmet, no argument of danger to their person is compelling enough to say that they should wear it anyway.
It may not be that big of a deal on the surface, but in terms of justice and personal autonomy, it means everything.

= Sources =
[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu...
[3] http://www.whatourforefathersthought.com...
[4] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[5] http://www.shmoop.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Clash

Pro

Thank you for your argument and rebuttals.


My arguments

Con's objection to this argument is basically that when we make decisions or laws based on the fear of what could happen otherwise (my argument is saying that if you don't wear a helmet, you can get bad injures and even die. Wearing a bicycle helmet won't prevent an accident, but should an accident occur, your helmet can save your life by preventing a fatal brain injury), we sacrifice our freedom and ultimately harm justice. But how do we sacrifice our freedom and ultimately harm justice by make decisions or laws based on the fear of what could happen otherwise? And if that was true anyway, how does it refute the statement that people should wear helmets while riding a bicycle? Sure, they do it because of fear (which is logical because nobody wants to get bad injures or die from a brain injury in the event of a crash), but that however still doesn't change the fact that people should wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle.

Moreover, most people doesn't murder or rape because of fear of what could happen otherwise (i.e.., Going to prison for a long time or their whole life, or even get the death penalty). Are these people also sacrificing our freedom and ultimately harming justice because of their fear of what could happen otherwise? And if they did sacrifice their freedom and ultimately harmed justice , would that then mean that they (murders and rapists) should be allowed to murder or rape because of their fear of what could happen otherwise? Of course not. Con's objection to my first argument is very illogical and not successful.

In refuting my second argument, Con says: 'Finally in case this isn't clear enough, I'll say it outright. This argument addresses the "setting a good example for your kids" argument as well. Fear that our children may make mistakes isn't ground to sacrifice free choice.'

Fear that our children may make mistakes has nothing to do with sacrificing our free choice (whatever that means). Con has misunderstood this argument.


Con's argument

It seems like Con's argument here is 'that requiring all US citizens to wear Bicycle helmets while driving, is not viably consistent with any of these things. By legally requiring all US bike riders to wear helmets, we violate this personal Autonomy and force government agents to play "Mommy" to otherwise free individuals.'

I'm not saying that the US should require all US citizens to wear Bicycle helmets, but only that people individually in the US should wear it because of their own best. If they don't want to wear it then that's their choice and they should have the right to make that choice (I agree with the philosophical view of Personal Autonomy here), but that however doesn't change the fact that they should still wear it.

Just like people have their right to choice to eat or not. However, that doesn't mean that they should not eat. Indeed, they should indeed eat, and in fact must eat or they will die. Likewise, although people have their free choice to choice if they want to wear helmets while driving a bicycle or not, they should choice to do it, because it can protect them and may even save their life.


Conclusion/Summary

Con said in his conclusion at his round two: 'yes people get hurt and die as a result of not wearing a helmet, however fear of getting hurt is not grounds to will that all people in the US must wear helmets when riding their bike.'

We can clearly see here that Con is misunderstanding a lot. I'm absolutely not saying that people in the US must wear helmets while driving a bicycle, but only that they should. It's a difference.

Con mostly tries to make his case and rebut mine by talking about about free choice and that people should have the choice to decide if they want to wear helmets or not. What Con however fails to see is that I have no problem with this idea, and it can also not refute my case. People should indeed have their free choice, but again, just because of that, that doesn't mean that people should not wear helmets, and nor those it change in any way the fact that people should still wear bicycle helmets.

In fact, a rational person would use his free choice to choice the right thing, which is to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. A rational person would have dignity and respect for his life, and know that the consequence for not wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is far more worse than wearing it. Indeed, a rational person would wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle.

In conclusion, we can clearly see that Con's argument is very weak and have failed to convince us that people should not wear bicycle helmets. The basic argument behind Con's case is that people should have free choice etc. However, as I have shown, this argument is nothing more than a failure and is not successful in refuting my case. And so is all his objections to my arguments.

I strongly urge a vote for Pro.

Thank you and thank you Con for this good, and if not short, debate.
buckIPDA

Con

= Introduction =
I thank my opponent for a great round!
I apologize in advance if the following round is difficult to follow, I will be gruping various arguments together as opposed to following a line by line.
I ask that the voters utilize their discernment as judges to separate new arguments from necessary refutations. Since this is only a two round debate many refutations will require extension evidence. This is not meant to be a new constructive argument, but simply proof for extension.

= Pro=
> Kant's Categorical Imperative
My opponent did not cover Kant in the previous round. This is crucial as it not only precedes the warrants behind the Con's arguments, but also serves as a standard by which we interpret should. Kant states that if we believe we should do something, we should also assert it as universal law. In the United States this is done through legislative action, thus the arguments that my opponent simply throws out the window are still valid. I'll cover this further in the line by line arguments.

> Self-Destructive rebuttal
My opponent's refutation that just because we should do something, doesn't mean people really have to is a huge issue as It negates my opponent's entire argument.
My opponent spends a good deal of time in his first argument talking abut how badly people can get hurt from not wearing their helmet, but as soon as I raise the argument of enforcing this he mollifies the argument and claims that although they should, they don't really have to if they don't want to. This is equatable to a person passive-aggressively criticizing a friend; it lacks all authority and believability. You don't claim something should be a certain way without taking steps to me it how you want it, at that point there's no clash.
Beyond that, the categorical imperative is a huge voting issue here.

> Fear is not enough
Before reading this, I ask that you quickly re-read my opponent's second paragraph.

As simply as I can put it, fear of going to jail is not an adequate enough reason not to kill, rape or anything else. To claim that such a feeble thing as fear is an acceptable reason not to do such things, is to place humanity in a very bad place. Unless my opponent could equate this to a respect for human life, or at least some kind of common decency, it's just not enough
In the exact same way, if the only reason some-one has for wearing a helmet while riding a bike is that they could get hurt, then that's not good enough. You can get hurt, and even die from just about anything[8]. If fear is the only reason, then we might as well bury ourselves right now.

> Personal Autonomy
Legislation on helmets already exist[8][9]. I wouldn't have made the point on Kant in the first place where this not this issue, and it seems like my opponent just threw this out the window completely. It's more than just bicycle helmets though, this line of thought can easily be extended across to things like seat-belt laws, mandatory immunizations and even prostitution. Any law which restricts a person's right to do what they choose with their body is a violation of Personal Autonomy.

> False Dichotomy
Finally, my opponent last argument is a false dilemma when he equates his argument to whether or not people should or shouldn't eat food. Riding a bicycle isn't as simple as not eating; with eating there really are only two choices (unless you count intravenous feeding), with riding a bicycle you're not always going to die if you don't wear a helmet. you will however feed that ever-growing fear culture associated with such an argument of safety.

We need to affirm the negative rights of people to live however they wish and follow such dogmatic principles with no other warrant than safety.

= Conclusion =
There are many things I could bring up as voting issues; Dropped arguments, argument rejection, single-warrant and dropped warrant - I'm going leave you with something else entirely.

"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead." - Albert Einstein

If the only thing we allow to guide our lives is fear, then we aren't living for anything. This an issue bigger than just bicycle helmets it's one of the freedom to let go, the rejection of invasive legislation.

Vote Con and go ride your bike without a helmet.

= Source =
[6] http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com...
[7] http://www.spike.com...
[8] http://www.helmets.org...
[9] http://news.consumerreports.org...
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
As I understood it, the resolution states that citizens SHOULD wear helmets, not SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO wear helmets. So, this case has more to do with logic, not political philosophy. Con needs to do a better job of reading the resolution, so I also docked a conduct point.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
"Lol of course the LD debater argues categorical imperative...

I'm surprised I didn't see the maslows hierarchy of needs up in there as well lol.

Seriously, all LD debaters use the same arguments no matter what debate they take!"

I take offense to that, sir! You don't see me bringing up the social contract during rounds about the Federal Reserve :p And I don't even like the categorical impreative, or Kant for that matter...
Posted by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
Yes, I would also like to debate with you on another topic one day in the future.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
@Flame

no they wear seatbelts :)
Posted by FlameofPrometheus 4 years ago
FlameofPrometheus
My question is do people wear car helmets when riding in cars?
Posted by buckIPDA 4 years ago
buckIPDA
It was a fun round! Maybe not this specific topic, but I would like to debate you again in the future.
Posted by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
Great round buckIPDA. I will however in high probability not debate this topic again. I created this debate only as a 'one-time debate', and also as a short and fun one.

And TUF, thank you for your honest voting.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Sources awarded to con as well, as he introduced a vast plethora of sources proving that he both spent the time and effort into this debate, (while maybe not arguing for exactly the right thing).
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Okay I am giving conduct and arguments to the pro for this for a few reasons. One I read over the resolution very carefully, before reading this debate.

It clearly says "Should people in the US wear bicycle helmets while driving a bicycle?"

It clearly does not say "Should government agencies enforce people in the US to where helmets while driving a bicycle?"

The Con was massively arguing for the second.

This debate to me about whether it was logically something humans should do. While this is kind of a one sided debate, it still could have been argued. But it certainly was not pertaining to whether humans should have to or not. This to me should have been clear upon accepting the debate.

Thus I give the conduct point.

Con also argues for false dichotomy on the food analysis (which is really the only argument I felt was for the actual resolution). Unfortunately this was brought up in the last round where the pro didn't have a chance to respond, however I feel his anaylsis was perfectly sound. Humans have the basic knowledge that without eating, they risk starvation. Thus we eat to prevent this, though we still have the choice not too. Anorexics choose not to eat, and suffer the consequences of poor health. Thus by choosing not to eat, the experience negative consequences. Same goes for the bike riding. Humans know that biking accidents can happen. We also know that wearing helmets can prevent major injuries. So we know we can prevent potential harm by applying the safety methods of a helmet.

I completely agree with the pro, on this resolution based on the arguments presented.

I give spelling and grammar to Hello_Orange however. Noticed quite a few mistakes from the Pro side like:

"Moreover, most people doesn't murder or rape"

and

"In conclusion, we can clearly see that Con's argument is very weak and have failed to convince us"

There were other ones too

I saw only one on the Con side with the mis-spelling of "Group".

Sou
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Lol of course the LD debater argues categorical imperative...

I'm surprised I didn't see the maslows hierarchy of needs up in there as well lol.

Seriously, all LD debaters use the same arguments no matter what debate they take!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
ClashbuckIPDATied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Reasons in Comments
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
ClashbuckIPDATied
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.