The Instigator
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The Contender
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Do married couples have the right to have 12 children if they want?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 420 times Debate No: 108068
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




I say yes, con says no. I just picked a random number. Con may go first.


I want to thank NKJVPrewrather for debating me. I'm sure this will be an interesting argument. This is one of my first debates so hopefully I won't embarrass myself.

I stand in opposition to the right of married couples to have a many children as they'd like. As of today, the world population is 7.454 billion people. As a result of this many cities are overcrowded and filled with smog. But the environmental cost can't be limited to just the obvious problems of crowding and pollution in places like China and India. We need to discuss the problem of children in the United States and Europe.

According to LiveScience "Under current conditions in the United States, for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent " about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible." Note that this is just for a single child. Each child after that requires more resources. For example,multiple children will require less efficient modes of transportation. This is where the notorious "gas guzzler" SUV comes in. Note also that population growth is exponential. Each child that you have is likely also to have children which accelerates the emissions problem.

My second contention is that quality of life has improved because of the decrease in family size. I would note that family size has been decreasing in every developed country in the world for years. Parents often cannot support the family that they have created. This is often a result of chronic food shortages. " the past twenty years saw an estimated 200 million hunger-related deaths worldwide. Relatively few occurred in countries where population was stable." Therefore it is worthwhile for governments to keep their population growth low.Incentivising large families simply doesn't make sense. Children are far less likely to graduate college when born into a large family.

My final contention is that there is no reason why having as many kids as one wants should be a right. I would draw attention to China"s infamous family planning policy. While obviously there were issues with the implementation of the family planning policy,the effects have been mostly positive. China"s heavy incentivization of having only 1-2 children was very effective. It curbed population growth that was likely to hit 2 billion rapidly and ended china"s near perpetual food shortages. While chinese implementation was imperfect it is a good example of what can go right when a policy is effectively implemented. I would also note that having one child isn"t necessary for a policy to be effective. All a country like the U.S. would need to do is tax those with more than say 4 children for each additional child they bear.

In the end, the global need for population control outweighs the infringement upon the rights of the parent that may or may not exist. The environmental,social,and economic cost of having large broods is simply too great to be ignored by governments.
Debate Round No. 1


This is why I disagree. The government has no right whatsoever to forcfully sterilize women. That is meant to be a volunary choice. As long as the children have what they need, who cares?


Firstly, I want it to be noted that my opponent failed to respond to any of my contentions about the harm of having as large a brood as one wants so I will view all of these points as conceded. I would also note that your main argument (pertaining to the forced sterilization of women) is in NO way implied in the question despite what you seem to think. You also address the very real problem of families having large broods without the ability to care for them with a flippant rhetorical question. Since you really didn't say anything I have no reason to continue but I'll address forced sterilization of women as it pertains to China's one child policy (since I assume that's what you're referring to).

While China did enforce their one child policy in unacceptable ways,the policy did have positive consequences. Your assumption that rampant fertility is simply a women's right is flawed. "Having more than one child is just something that none of us " Chinese or American " has a moral right to do," Sarah Conly Associate Professor at Bowdoin college. She also argues that "Uncontrolled fertility is likely to have worse consequences than the false cry of 'fire!' in a crowded theater,". As a result, all rights such as free speech have limits. While you have a right to fertility,you don't have a right to unlimited,uncontrolled fertility especially in the context of the environmental harm of child bearing.

Hopefully my opponent will rebut my points next round.If they fail to and only respond in a similar fassion to round 2 I urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 2


You don't have the right to choose how many children someone does or does not have. This is a religious liberty and a right to choose issue all in one. Saying otherwise is eugenics.


My opponent asserts that it is a matter of religious liberty to be able to choose the size of one's brood. But religious freedom has been used to justify discrimination and hate all over the world. Is it religious freedom to deny the rights of gays? But this is not relevant. I would also note that Eugenics pertains to trying to change the gene pool by selective breeding. Limiting brood size in no way is eugenics since people aren't being selectively bred. In conclusion,the harm of large families is greater than any potential ethical issues that may or may not exist (I would note that no ethical issues have been fleshed out by my opponent). As a result I urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by pi3.14 3 years ago
The world is not overpopulated. I heard somewhere that everyone on Earth could be fit into the state of Texas if it was one huge city (and I think it would be less dense than places like New York). Anyway, China's one-child policy was flawed because it doesn't meet the 2.1 average children needed to keep a stable population. This led to things like having way too many elderly compared to few workers.
Posted by AuntieN 3 years ago
The unchecked growth of a population affects all of us. A couple having 12 children impacts resources more than a couple with 2 children. Furthermore, some couples should not have children they cannot financially or emotionally support into adulthood.
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