The Instigator
MechMage
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
ImAPanicBomb447
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Would be parents should need a licence to have intercourse.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,345 times Debate No: 2232
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (10)

 

MechMage

Pro

People are irresponsible. People have children when they can't afford them, or will neglect them. If licences were required for intercourse, then the conception of unwanted children could be prevented, and the need for social services could be minimised. This wouldn't help in the case of rape, but a rape victim should get an abortion anyway.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

I accept this argument, though I believe it may be some kind of joke. However, boredom has compelled me to take it on anyway.

Your argument seems to be able to be summarized in the following premises and conclusions:

Argument A:
P1.) People have children when they can't afford them, or will neglect them.
CA.) Therefore, people are irresponsible

This serves as a premise for the next argument:

Argument B:
P1.) People are irresponsible.
P2.) Requiring a license for intercourse would prevent the conception of unwanted children
P3.) Requiring a license for intercourse would minimize the need for social services
CB.) Therefore, we should require a license for intercourse.

This ridiculous argument can be dismantled from so many angles that I'm not sure of where to begin.

BP1 says that people are irresponsible. This is a very vague claim. All people all the time? Or just people who have children when they can't afford them or will neglect them?
If the former, then you're incorrect, since the existence of one responsible person would disprove you. And responsible people must exist; otherwise we wouldn't call people irresponsible. "People" would give enough information.
If the latter, then your argument is ridiculous, since we could only define irresponsible people as people who conceive children they can't afford or children they neglect. At this point they would already have committed the "wrongs" that this license is meant to prevent.
No matter what the criteria for an irresponsible person, we would have to require licenses for every person, in every situation. Responsible people included. People at a bar who meet for a one-night stand. Everyone would need a license not only to reproduce, but to just enjoy the physical pleasure of sex with another person.

BP2 says that a license would prevent the conception of unwanted children. If a couple only wants one child, but conceives twins, the license has instantly failed to do what you're claiming it would do.

BP3 says that requiring a license would minimize the need for social services. Minimize is a very strong word. Perhaps decrease would be more appropriate. But no matter what it's economic impact, look at the cost: Your freedom.

So now I ask some logistical questions that highlight the absurdity of this argument:

What are the criteria for getting a license?
Can only U.S. citizens receive a license?
Do you mean an actual license, or a temporary permit that would allow for some number of sexual encounters or sexual encounters in a given time period?
Is there a waiting period between applying and receiving the license?

Most importantly, how would this law be enforced? Driving without a license is far different from having sex. Being caught having sex by a police officer is only ever a concern if you are in public, and I assume this fact would not change with the invention of a license. To make it illegal to have sex in your own home without a license would be a grievous invasion of privacy, and would certainly open the door to unwanted intrusion into your home, since that is the only way you could be caught in most cases.
Debate Round No. 1
MechMage

Pro

Let me clarify.
By "people" I did not mean all people. You're right, such a statement would be ridiculous. I ment that, given a large enough sample, some people will behave irresponsibly, doing irresponsible things like having children that they can't support, or won't support. That list was by no means the definition of irresponsibly, but rather a list of examples. You say that we would need a licence for everyone, not just irresponsible people as if the purpose of the licence wasn't to separate the "responsible" people who could pass the exam, and the "irresponsible" people who can't. That's essentially the purpose of the licence. You also say that it would apply to all intercourse as if I was under the impression that it wouldn't. Not all pregnancies are planned. That was the basis for B2. I never said that it would stop all unwanted conceptions, but it would stop some. Just because a piece of litter doesn't destroy the environment, that doesn't mean that it isn't bad for the environment. You say that a licence would compromise one's freedom. Doesn't a driver's licence? A gun licence? Licences my compromise freedom slightly, but they do so in favor of the security of the community. I don't want to go into the details of the licence, because I don't have time to develop a working system right now, and you could easily pick apart whatever I posted now.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

"By "people" I did not mean all people. You're right, such a statement would be ridiculous. I ment that, given a large enough sample, some people will behave irresponsibly, doing irresponsible things like having children that they can't support, or won't support. That list was by no means the definition of irresponsibly, but rather a list of examples."

Then we have a definition, excellent.

"You say that we would need a licence for everyone, not just irresponsible people as if the purpose of the licence wasn't to separate the "responsible" people who could pass the exam, and the "irresponsible" people who can't. That's essentially the purpose of the licence."

In your first post you didn't make mention of any kind of exam. What would this exam test you on? There are plenty of college graduates who don't like wearing a condom.

"You also say that it would apply to all intercourse as if I was under the impression that it wouldn't. Not all pregnancies are planned. That was the basis for B2. I never said that it would stop all unwanted conceptions, but it would stop some. Just because a piece of litter doesn't destroy the environment, that doesn't mean that it isn't bad for the environment."

You said "If licences were required for intercourse, then the conception of unwanted children could be prevented…".

"You say that a licence would compromise one's freedom. Doesn't a driver's licence? A gun licence? Licences my compromise freedom slightly, but they do so in favor of the security of the community."
If you'd like to consider driving and gun ownership to be natural rights, as sex is, then I suppose I could see where you're coming from. But that's preposterous. The species would not exist without sex. It is a natural function of the human body. Government regulation would be despicable.
Perhaps I cannot convince you that sex is a natural right or function. Then surely you realize that the enforcement of this law would result in rights violations, as outlined in my first post. Sex in the home would have to be subject to intrusion, since that would be the only way to catch anyone doing it. Sex is not like the drug trade, where people will stand on the porch to make deals or be caught with drugs in their cars. The only way to catch someone breaking this law (unless they were having sex in public, which is already illegal) is to break into their home or spy on them. Please address this in the next round, as I already did in the first.

"I don't want to go into the details of the licence, because I don't have time to develop a working system right now, and you could easily pick apart whatever I posted now."

Well my questions should certainly be answered. The license would yield innumerable problems:

1)Is sex between a U.S. citizen and a citizen of another country who does not have a license okay?
2)Establishing what sort of knowledge will assure that a person will not produce unwanted offspring (so that we could create an examination, as you say)
3)Are there time limits? Should it be renewed? If so, what is the basis for any sort of time limit?
4)Can someone study for the exam?
5)Is there a waiting period? What justifies it, if yes?
6)What about gay or lesbian sex? With no risk of pregnancy, do the parties involved still need a license? If so, then we are discriminating.
etc., etc.
Debate Round No. 2
MechMage

Pro

It sounds to me that you're saying that an intercourse licence would not be practical. You gave a lot of examples, but that is what it boils down to. I have no counter arguments to this subset of your arguments. When I started this debate, I was trying to focus on the moral aspects of the licence itself, not of its enforcement. I thought that the exam was implied with the term "licence." It would have the sort of questions that are relative to the licence in question, in this case things about financial stability or decision making. There wouldn't be anything about calculus or ancient Rome, so it hardy seems to matter that your example is a college graduate.
I don't see how sex is a natural right just because the species needs it to survive. Just as you probably can't convince me that it is, I probably can't convince you that it isn't.
1. Just like an Englishman without a driver's licence can't drive in the US, he can't have intercourse in the US without a licence, even if his partner has one.
2. The sort of thing they teach in sex ed.
3. The licence would have to be renewed every couple years.
4. Sure, there are all sorts of books on relationships and parenting.
5. For the licence? I don't see why there would be. If there were, it would be for the same reason that buying a gun has a waiting period.
6. If there's no chance of having children, (assuming that no birth control is 100% effective.) then there'd be no need for a licence.

I apologies for the poor quality of my argument, I had to write this in a small window of time.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

"It would have the sort of questions that are relative to the licence in question, in this case things about financial stability or decision making. There wouldn't be anything about calculus or ancient Rome, so it hardy seems to matter that your example is a college graduate."

Smart people, even people of average intelligence who understand the risks surrounding unsafe sex still may not wear a condom for the reason that they don't enjoy it. That was my point.

"I don't see how sex is a natural right just because the species needs it to survive. Just as you probably can't convince me that it is, I probably can't convince you that it isn't."

Would you care to enumerate for me some examples of what you personally believe (if anything) to be a natural right? And why? Maybe then I could understand why you feel this way, because it's very puzzling to me that anyone would be so eager to have uncle sam care take part in their sex life.

Your last post puzzles me because you first claim that you are arguing a moral point, not about the practicality of a license. But you then address (to some extent, at least) the numbered points i made, all of which were specifically about it's practical application in the real world.

If you were to truly make it a strictly moral argument, i would say that it is completely immoral to regulate sex between consenting adults (not to mention unconstitutional).

I would concede that some people sometimes do not use contraceptives when they should, or have children before it is financially practical to do so. But this is a trivial point that everyone already understands.

Something I'd like to point out is that you say that the exam would ask questions about "The sort of thing they teach in sex ed". If your school was like mine, you probably took sex ed in 4th grade. Why don't we just say that those who have passed the 4th grade (or whatever year you learn sex ed in your particular school) should be allowed to have sex without obtaining a license? It is the same information, as you said yourself. And we'll add more instruction on the use of contraceptives to the course to add some legitimacy to the point.

So I now have a number of statements that you and I should agree on, if you take what I have said here to be sound.

The exam is about the kind of things taught in sex ed.
Sex ed is, of course about the kind of things taught in sex ed.

Passing the exam allows for you to get a license, based on the information you provided in the test.
Passing the course, should therefore be a sufficient qualification to have sex.

While i disagree with requiring a license, I do agree that sex education is important. To assist in your point, perhaps we should add that sex ed should include a more thorough explanation of contraceptives and their use. Though contraceptives have a nearly 100% success rate when used correctly, then the small number of pregnancies that result from their correct use could possibly be comparable to the twins, triplets, etc. that are possible under the license system. They are equally effective systems, one being intrusive into your private life, and the other involving education and information in school, a place where we all must go, by law, anyway.

I have class now, I have to run, but I think I addressed most issues.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ImAPanicBomb447 9 years ago
ImAPanicBomb447
Also, when i said "contraceptives have a nearly 100% success rate...etc." I meant condoms specifically. The effectiveness increases when spermicidal lubricant is added.
Posted by Miserlou 9 years ago
Miserlou
And it would be grossly unfair to say to some people "you can't have sex". Besides, I'm sure there would be ways to cheat an exam like that.
Posted by adamh 9 years ago
adamh
As if the government isn't already too involved in our lives...let's invite them into our bedrooms!
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Vote Placed by ImAPanicBomb447 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Miserlou 9 years ago
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