The Instigator
Inquisitive
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Noumena
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

There Could be a Situation Where the Only Rational Option/Choice is to Commit Suicide.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Noumena
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,580 times Debate No: 29875
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Inquisitive

Pro

The task of pro, here, is to propose up to and including whatever number of scenarios they can fit in 8,000 characters.

Each scenario will be presented as the explanation of a dire situation of one or more individuals whereby at least one person per scenario will be asserted by pro to find that the only rational thing to do would be to kill oneself (or that the other action or option to do nothing would be far less rational).

Killing oneself can either be by active process or request of another to do so (voluntary euthanasia).

It is the task of con to counter each and every scenario's explanation of how the rational action would inevitably be suicide but if they find so much as at least one single scenario impossible to counter (or are proven to do so in an extremely irrational way by pro) they will lose the debate.

Sources are not allowed for debate and voters should not take them into consideration.

I hope a very intelligent debater takes up my debate because trust me, thinking on the spot is a highly required attribute for this.

48 hour rounds.
8,000 characters per round.
Rounds: 3
First round is for acceptance only (failure to abide will equal a 7 point forfeit)

Definitions

Rational Option/Choice: A choice that one opts for in a manner that shows clear sanity and logical analysing before concluding upon.

Committing Suicide: The voluntary killing of oneself by any particular means.
Noumena

Con

As per the rules I'll use this round for acceptance and nothing else.

Good luck Pro!
Debate Round No. 1
Inquisitive

Pro


The One Who Searched for Truth. (Decided to only do one)



Here we have Bob, the Pharmacologist.



Bob has been trying to formulate the truth serum perfume. It seems to relax mice and merely make them experience a near-sleep state of mind. However when applied to chimps he noticed far more aggression in the females and far less from the males.



Then he covered himself with it (wearing a mask of course) and went home to hug his wife Bob’s wife suddenly bursts into tears and explains how she had been sleeping with his brother for the past month or so and how she loved every minute of it and was looking for the first opportunity out of this nerd trap and into the lion’s den. She then snaps back to reality as he walks away and cries because she remembers what went on (unlike normal truth serum).



He divorces her immediately but in the meantime goes back to work to test it on humans (which he knows will work on females at least). What’s interesting is the male subjects start bleating all their insecurities (a strict male no-no in society) “Oh my lord, if you knew how much more deserving of my life you are than me well I supposed we’d swap lives in a day. No wait, of course we wouldn’t my life is so damn rubbish.” On the other hand all female subjects worried less about heir insecurities and more about expressing their inner hatred of people they’re supposed to love (as his own wife did to him) “My gosh, when I first met my husband I was like ‘O.M.G. He is such a virgin” but then when we began to talk I was like “O.M.F.G. He is so cute, no way is he a virgin!” Then when we got down and dirty I realised “O……R.G.A.S.M. is something I’m gonna have to give up for the rest of my life with this guy but then I was like, No don’t be silly there’s so much more he’s funny and stuff you know? But like ohh my gosh he is so lame after some time I mean hearing “Hey honey I love you” is such a lame way to be funny considering he NEVER puts out the damn trash!



He alters the formula about a hundred and eighty times before finally coming up with the truth serum to fit all (of course the amount to be inhaled for children to be honest was far less than adults). Also, the older you got the more must be inhaled to get past your natural inhibitions.



Anyway, years go by and the product is highly sold to detective agencies as well as CIA and FBI. It becomes the ‘cure to torture’ the ‘bane to all banes’ the ‘revelation of truth without force’. He is famous as a hero. Everyone loves him… But he still has no love life, no friends and no hobby other than science. He sees no way out and really has no reason to live anymore other than simply to exist in his lonely existence as an almost retired hero.



However, suddenly NASA reports that the world is going to end in a week. In 7 days exactly, but that they have calculated, beyond reasonable doubt, that if one were to end their life via cutting open a main artery (such as in the neck) the exact second before the world would end, the chemicals in the air would react with their blood and in fact revive them as a vampire so to say whereby the human’s body becomes a vessel that can move faster than any before, speed of light almost, it is invincible, indestructible and flawless by anything other than red sunlight and kryptonite.



Everyone doubts it. So expert mathematicians, MIT professors and students work together, in individual teams, to analyse and scrutinise any single part of the huge calculation. They all approve of it, each doing so individually in a private room with a robot that applies the perfume to the room beforehand.



With four days to go, the man wonders a single reason not to commit suicide in some way or another on that very second by slitting his throat. On the day he gets ready to do it, he trembles and does it (no one else opts to).



What NASA forgot to mention is that after the end of the world, their world has ended. Being superman and choking and reviving in space infinitely again and again with your lungs tearing at your insides with you constantly expanding and healing instantaneously doesn’t seem to fair too well. The pain becomes so unbearable that he doesn’t know what to do. Suddenly in a series of revivals he somehow uses the glimpses of sanity and living consciousness to, in stop motion, making a flying pose with one arm out and suddenly is shooting through space at near speed of light. He sees the red sun and gets nervous. He stops and the moment he does, the red sun starts pull him in with its huge gravitational force.



Suddenly Satan swoops out of the red sun and saves him. He looks him in the eye and sends a mental message between glimpses of dying and reviving again and again from the expansion of his brain cells in zero gravity (Satan is truly invincible and thus doesn’t feel any of the pain). Superman Bob understands the message “If you want to survive, you must agree to be my personal slave for eternity, otherwise I will throw you in this Red sun and you will die and go to heaven, which I assure you does exist and as you know the one moral code of the devil is, and always has been, that I keep my word. In this heaven you will experience more pleasure than you can possibly imagine, you will be able to artificially experience physical face to face interaction with loved ones or people you wish to, who are also in heaven but you can never be free enough to experience pleasure of any kind. If you first agree to be my slave and then let me throw you into the sun you will go to hell. In hell you will receive extreme pain and punishment but I assure you that because you are son invincible I will let you come to different planets from time to time as a materialised demon in whatever body fits a ‘hottie’ of that planet in whatever gender may be the superior or more dominant one. You will have to cause evil and mayhem but in return have completely limitless realms of pleasure. I will let you be so disarmingly hot and skilled at sex naturally to any girl you ever dreamed of (I will fool you to think you are dealing with humans so the interface will be that you appear real and speak their language but in your mind you are one hot human man speaking to humans in English (which is Bob’s mother tongue), I will let you be stronger than all, smarter than all in IQ and anything that you may request as a physical benefit or mental edge.


You can be to others what your brother was to you, you can have the love that you always craved. You will never get this in heaven and will be forever interacting with humans who made it there by merely being good souls and let’s face it the only good ones at sex and the only truly free spirits all ended up in hell with me. You can be in eternal limbo of huge periods of pain and huge period s of evil missions of destruction as I say. Once you have eliminated all men on that planet (or women, I don’t really care for your sexuality) you have done enough damage and will return to hell for more pain and agony. You will never be able to escape either hell nor heaven but the deal with me is 100% true. I can throw you into the sun now, and you will go to heaven I will give you eternal intensity and passion if you consent to slavery to me, and then throw you so you go to hell or, third option, I can merely throw you far enough from this sun to escape its wrath but leave you suspended in the same agonising anti gravity state of perpetual expansion and reforming that you have been experiencing the past 6 billion Earth years, yes time flies when there is no sun hahaha….” Then he asks mentally “So which do you pick?”



Remember, Bob is a loner and hated it all his life, his existence not only lonely but the very definition of agonising existence as it is. Any planet with life he might end up in is most likely not human and incomprehensive to his brain to receive any pleasure whatsoever from. He is doomed either way.



Both heaven and hell require voluntary suicide.


Noumena

Con

I applaud my opponent for the intricate scenario which he has concocted for this debate. Alas though I foresee this debate taking a turn towards focusing more on the unstated and presupposed standard which he supports, rather than any specific expounded in his scenario.

By "unstated and presupposed standard" I refer to Pro's equivocation of "rational choice" with whatever increases the overall pleasure experienced by the subject. Pro's scenario only states that the subject would experience more pleasure by killing himself, not that it is necessarily the most rational choice for him to take. This equivocation is what is presupposed. Throughout this debate my counter will be to dispute this equality, arguing that rational choice is not necessarily equal to a pleasure calculus.


===Justification of the Pleasure Principle===


As stated before, Pro has presupposed the pleasure principle (more formally described as the ethical principle that it is best to act in such a way that brings more pleasure to the subject than less) which is the foundational building block of the ethical system known now as utilitarianism[1]. But does Pro ever justify this presupposed standard? Unfortunately, no he has not. And until Pro does this you must default to the Con since Pro has failed to uphold his burden of proof. But now I will seek to show a coherent and more plausible alternative for the constitution of "rational choice".


===Consistency and Universality===


Immanuel Kant proposed, in his work, an ethical principle known as the categorical imperative. In its first formulation (which I will try to stick to considering that the second formulation deals more with interpersonal interaction and the third formulation is largely irrelevant in this context), Kant claims that one must “act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.”[2] In the context of this debate I will argue that killing one's self contradicts this basic maxim.


Kant said it best when he covered the application of the CI to suicide. He writes:

"A man reduced to despair by a series of misfortunes feels sick of life, but is still so far in possession of his reason that he can ask himself whether taking his own life would not be contrary to his duty to himself. Now he asks whether the maxim of his action could become a universal law of nature. But his maxim is this: from self-love I make as my principle to shorten my life when its continued duration threatens more evil than it promises satisfaction. There only remains the question as to whether this principle of self-love can become a universal law of nature. One sees at once that a contradiction in a system of nature whose law would destroy life by means of the very same feeling that acts so as to stimulate the furtherance of life, and hence there could be no existence as a system of nature. Therefore, such a maxim cannot possibly hold as a universal law of nature and is, consequently, wholly opposed to the supreme principle of all duty."


The categorical imperative prohibits suicide, in all circumstances, not because pleasure would be increased in doing so. For we have no reason to think that pleasure is the end all of rational choice. Rather, it is prohibited because to kill one's self means to act on an inconsistent or irrational will. Meaning the maxim is not universalizable since committing suicide purposely ends the existence of the will. But without the will there cannot be any rational choice since the will is precisely the mechanism by which we express that choice. Pro is thus contradicting himself in claiming that the will is acting most rationally in ending its existence.


===Conclusion===


My case against Con's arguments have been two-fold. On the one hand, I've shown that Pro fails to justify the metric by which he judges which actions are "rational" and which are not. He has simply presumed a pleasure calculus for the purpose of this debate without going into why he thinks we should accept it. Second, I've provided a more precise, justified, and plausible alternative to his conception of a rational will and shown why, under that metric, suicide under any circumstance cannot be considered a "rational choice". Pro is tasked therefore with not only justifying his own standard of "rational" measurement, but with refuting my own.


===Sources===


[1] http://www.uri.edu...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu... (Sec. 5)
Debate Round No. 2
Inquisitive

Pro

Inquisitive forfeited this round.
Noumena

Con

Extend my arguments and counters. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AaronTheGreat 4 years ago
AaronTheGreat
My apologies. Your name is Inquisitive.
Posted by AaronTheGreat 4 years ago
AaronTheGreat
The Instigator. I must applaud you for both easing my mental agony of being almost certain that I was the only mind in existence who could even begin to fathom a story of such magnitude and creativity. I also agree that rather than make an attempt to understand God, the majority seems to want to believe that God is basically, in so many words, a "Super Santa Claus" rather than a Supreme Being of Intellect.
Posted by Raisor 4 years ago
Raisor
This is a cool topic.
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
This one has potential, no semantics!
Posted by muffin8or 4 years ago
muffin8or
Oh, please. Now you're admitting that you created the debate to be unfairly worded in your favour? I think that's called bad faith. I don't think getting riled up about your plan to create and win an unfair debate being discovered is the best way to conduct yourself. Apologies if I rained on your contrived parade.
Posted by Inquisitive 4 years ago
Inquisitive
How cute, you not only hog attention in my debate but you now attempt to debate for me.
Posted by muffin8or 4 years ago
muffin8or
Look at the situation; self sacrifice for the greater (greatest in this situation) good of humanity is very Kantian. That's a world people want to live in. And no matter the principles you go by, throw in God and a resurrection and you're fine.

Situation: Kill yourself (God ensuring this is painless and pleasurable) and God will resurrect you immediately in better health than before.

Outcome: Suicide.

I'll give you a prediction: Con outlines a principle for rational judgement. Pro rebuts with an absurd (though satisfying the 'could' criteria) situation where the principle is turned on itself.
Posted by Noumena 4 years ago
Noumena
@muffin8or, it's not as obvious as you think considering you're just presupposing utilitarian calculation as *the* relevant test for the debate. For instance, I could simply run Kant's imperative as Con and win on that. But we would actually have to justify the standard beforehand. That's what I think (and hope) this debate comes down to.
Posted by Inquisitive 4 years ago
Inquisitive
but that would be emotional and not rational.
Posted by Inquisitive 4 years ago
Inquisitive
yes muffin8or we all love a spoiler.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
InquisitiveNoumenaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
InquisitiveNoumenaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Con's argument could have been overcome, but Pro forfeited and left it unanswered. The forfeit gives conduct to Con.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 4 years ago
BlackVoid
InquisitiveNoumenaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The KCI clearly contradicts the premise of Pro's argument, and he doesn't respond in R3 to explain why his framework is preferable. The pleasure principle is therefore unjustified, meaning Con's alternative method of evaluating suicide is the only one that stands. Also, the KCI (as Con explains) refutes *all* instances of suicide, not just the one provided in R2. Conduct for FF.