The Instigator
EPQ
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Smoking age

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,067 times Debate No: 26678
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

EPQ

Pro

Should the smoking age in England be higher to 18 years old instead of 16?
socialpinko

Con

Thank you Pro for giving me the opportunity to do this debate. I look forward to it. Since Pro never detailed an order of events, I'll take the opportunity to provide my case in this round. But before I do that, I believe definitions are in order.


Smoking age refers to some age by which those under it, when caught smoking I suppose, are subject either to fine or some other punishment by the government. England I'm assuming either refers to Great Britain or to the United Kingdom as a whole. No matter though as my argument is conceptual, not specific to any time or place.


Contention 1. Arbitrariness.


The very concept of an age where on one side you may do something and on the other you may not is generally arbitrary owing to the fact that what is true of one sixteen year old may not be true of another. Whether a sixteen year old is mature or not is wholly a matter of fact, not at all contained or necessitated by age. Consider Keith who is sixteen and cannot be trusted to smoke because he's irresponsible. Now consider Brennan who is as responsible as they come and capable of weighing the cons and pros of smoking honestly. The only thing connecting these two people is the year they were born, not any other relevant factors such as maturity or responsibility.


Contention 2. Self-ownership.


People are generally considered to be the proper and sole owners of their own body. This was one of the main arguments against slavery and it explains out common sense belief that walking up to someone and punching them in the nose should be disallowed. However, on a more philosophical note, self ownership is a conceptual presupposition to the very act of rational argumentation and discussion.


Consider that in order to even argue that we don't own ourselves, one has to presuppose that very ownership in freely controlling his own body. Pro is in free control of his body when he writes his case, but since his case denies the necessary presupposition to even writing it, he engages in performative contradiction (meaning the conceptual nature of his statement is at odds with the necessary actions one must take in order to make that statement). Therefore, any argument against self ownership is basically a non-argument, like trying to convince someone to be your slave.


Now since we must freely own our bodies, any foreign entity enacting restrictions on what one can do that affects their and only their own body must necessarily be unjustified. This applies to age restrictions (driving, consent laws, etc.) as well as to substance laws (drug laws, cigarettes, alcohol). In order to argue for these restrictions, one has to either deny self ownership (resulting in contradiction) or throw off the chains of reason completely (leaving us no reason to accept the argument in the first place).
Debate Round No. 1
EPQ

Pro

EPQ forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend argument.
Debate Round No. 2
EPQ

Pro

EPQ forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend argument.
Debate Round No. 3
EPQ

Pro

EPQ forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend argument.
Debate Round No. 4
EPQ

Pro

EPQ forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend argument. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tulle 4 years ago
tulle
EPQsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: You scared him away Social lol
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
EPQsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: EPQ started this debate with a question and forfeited all his other rounds. Spinko provided one round of argument.
Vote Placed by DakotaKrafick 4 years ago
DakotaKrafick
EPQsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: This was, overall, a close debate, a real nail-biter. But I think socialpinko tipped the scale in the last round, just slightly. Better luck next time, EPQ. Maybe next time try to offer more than one sentence?
Vote Placed by emj32 4 years ago
emj32
EPQsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: derp
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
EPQsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.