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Round 2. Whatukno v Memoryshock: Married With Children *(TM)

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posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 02:10 AM
The topic for this debate is "Marriages between partners who can concieve children together are superior to those in which conception is for some reason impossible".

whatukno will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Memoryshock will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There are no limits on the length of posts, but you may only use 1 post per turn.

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In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

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posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 06:38 AM
Thank you The Vagabond for the opportunity for this debate. I would also like to thank my opponent MemoryShock for his involvement in this issue.

Topic: Marriages between partners who can conceive children together are superior to those in which conception is for some reason impossible.

Opening Statement

In this debate I am going to show the superiority of marriages between partners that can conceive by virtue of their offspring. A child born in such a marriage is a bond between the two parents that is hard to break. Through you and your partner you have created a life that is the culmination of the both of you. A sense of immortality is gained through the young child, and the life cycle of both parents has reached its climax.

While those parents that cannot for some reason conceive children themselves do not share that part of the life cycle. The sense of immortality is no longer available to them. They may adopt a child and love that child just as much as they would their natural born offspring, however, they do loose that important natural order of our life cycle and thus the instinct of procreation to pass on our own genes is subverted.

Scenario; Couples A and B

Couples A and B are virtually identical in every way except that Couple B cannot conceive children. Both have identical earnings, live in identical houses, drive identical cars, have identical education. What makes the couple that can have children superior? The knowledge that their legacy, their genes, and their heritage will live on through their naturally born children. The sense of immortality that comes from knowing that they have passed on the all too important genomes to their offspring and thus completed the cycle of life.

The natural order of life is the main reason that those couples that have the ability to procreate, their marriages are superior to those that cannot. The ones that have that ability have completed the natural order to the life cycle, and have thusly gained a modicum of immortality through the passing on of genes to the new generation.

The inability to create children in couples does diminish the bond between the pair. If a woman in particular is infertile it often leads to a sense of diminished self worth. As many women define themselves in their ability to procreate. An admittedly inaccurate description of these women for themselves, it is a description none the less that pops up sometimes. An infertile female sometimes referrers to herself as half a woman, because the important biological aspect of child rearing is not available to them.

Summary to Opening Statement

A Marriage between couples that cannot conceive is inferior to those of couples that can because it is the natural order of life instinctually leads us to procreate to perpetuate our genes and those that cannot are missing out on one of the greatest gifts of life.

Thank you.

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 08:45 PM
"Marriages between partners who can concieve children together are superior to those in which conception is for some reason impossible".

Superior? By whose estimations? My opponents perspective, whatukno?....who I would like to thank in advance for an engrossing debate. The Vagabond’s viewpoint?....whom I would like to repeat the oft stated but never overplayed gratitude for his hard work and dedication to this forum. Perhaps one of the many interpretations of the audience; who are the backbone of any and all debates.

Superior is just that, dependant on who is making the observation and assertion. If someone were to call (her)himself superior to another human being, the subject of the label will in most cases disagree. Two sides to a fence, many different factors to balance and consider in response to any stipulation of black and white that is bourne of opinion.

Originally posted by whatukno
They may adopt a child and love that child just as much as they would their natural born offspring, however, they do loose that important natural order of our life cycle and thus the instinct of procreation to pass on our own genes is subverted.

My opponent downplays the wonderful act of adoption. As well, he downplays what it means to be a human being. Sure we are here to insure our survival, however, survival has taken on a new meaning since the onset of civilized government and the organization of our society into an ever changing and increasingly progressive interaction. Survival is no longer about the individual and family. It is about the survival of our ideals and our fellow human, whom we may at first seem strange to.

But remember…your wife/husband were once strangers. So were your current friendships. We have many different types of relationships that do not have a direct genetic association. We take interest in other people because of their talents, because of their similar desires and because we enjoy their company. Where does genetics come into play as the foremost factor when one takes the big picture overview of our complex social system?

Consider that we have men and women of our respective militaries who are willing to put their lives at risk for the survival of complete strangers and their associated right; their ideals. Survival is no longer about ourselves. Survival is about all of us.

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. ~Alexander the Great[1]

I would like to place absolute clarity on the fact that adoption is not a loss of this ‘immortality’ that my opponent speaks of, nor is it an implicit acquiescence to being omitted from the “important natural order of our life cycle.”

The very act of being a parent is such that there exists a responsibility for a person who will follow your direction and example, or lack thereof, and apply that to their interactions with society. The impact a strong willed, positive and proactive parent of an adopted child can resonant through out humanity, by inspiring others into proactive and collaborative mindsets. The adopted child (her)himself can undoubtedly spread this example and influence throughout their adult years, having been inspired to pursue causes that benefit the whole of our species. The wave effect of ‘do unto others’ is a powerful social grace and the raising of a child to look out for the group is a potential world changer.

Likewise, a couple whom takes for granted their influence on their child; their own blood; may indeed be secure in the fact that their genes will live to see another generation. But we see many examples televised every day illustrating a lack of attention to the upbringing of one’s child(ren) and the subsequent effect on society. We often see uneducated, ignorant children and young adults. We see those who can only see the front of their face as well as many younguns who are forced to find their authority figures from displaced peers, often times resulting in unnecessary crime.

What good is the capacity to conceive a child if the requisite effort in producing a valid representation of your genetic collaboration isn’t there? Or in other words, if you are not consciously invested in how the behaviour of your child affects the surrounding environment and sociology, then why would the marriage of genes between two parents be a superior combination?

The social relationship between the parents and child, adopted or not, is more important then a genetic tendency to brown hair, the resultant conditioned behaviour of a person is more important then insuring the green eye gene is passed along.

To adopt a child indicates a strong desire to be apart of the social process between two adults and the group dynamics of their environment.

Originally posted by whatukno
The inability to create children in couples does diminish the bond between the pair.

I disagree wholeheartedly with this statement. A couple who takes on a partnership knowing full well that one or the other(or both) are incapable of reproducing does not take with it a need to create children. Indeed, what of the couple who chose intentionally to not have children? They have no need or want of this particular bond and the strength of their relationship is empowered through various other means, or a stronger attention to the other aspects of our reality. The bond is not diminished, rather it is completely different and no less strong.

Not everyone has the need or desire to procreate. Am I to entertain that a childless couple who focus their attentions on charity work and other altruistic applications is inferior because of their lack of progeny? Absolutely not. The positive impact on the well being of many other people directly resultant of this childless couple’s behaviour is an outstanding example of what it means to be a human being in our modern world.

Does this make my childless couple superior? Not necessarily. Does it make a child bearing partnership superior. No.

What criteria are we allowing to establish superiority. The personal satisfaction of an individual for successfully creating a family? While indeed an important aspect for the happiness and continued success of many partnerships, it fails as a sole qualifier. It neglects to consider the social implications of the interactions within and without the family unit and fails to quantify the reason for having pride in one’s creation. Many multiple child families have been created specifically as a means to abuse the American welfare system. Free money? Does a superior couple reproduce for such a socially reprehensible reason?

Of course not.

And I indeed recognize the fact that many families were created out of love and the desire to have a family. But creating a family does not preclude that the offspring will necessarily retain the ideals and beliefs of the parents. In today’s society, the media in its’ various forms; television, radio/iPod, movies, internet, etc.; have a much heavier influence on the thinking of today’s generation. These unfortunate babysitters and substitutes for social interaction will unfortunately have a greater impact on the minds and actions of many children…in an ever increasing fashion. The daily routine of the parents is often where both carry full time jobs and consequently require outside sources for the teaching of their children. Many times these other sources of authority are decidedly inadequate.

So does creating a new human being to be largely educated by third party associations make for a superior union? No.

Our society has turned into a very complex social structure, one in which we have daily interactions with faceless individuals and make many strange/new acquaintances. We have turned into a society that is concerned with the survival of all. Not just our respective selves. Throughout this debate, I will demonstrate that the ability to procreate does not make one couple better than a couple who for some reason is without this ability. I will cite various reasons and provide background regarding familial trends that will illustrate the lack of social concern beyond commercial interest. I am sure I will also cite sources that I am not currently anticipating. But this I do know for certain:

Superiority/Inferiority aside; it is about what one does in their life and how many people benefit from one’s existence; not about ‘who’ one makes with their life. Having a child is not a factor in determining the relevance of one’s relationship.

[1]Alexander Quote Source

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 05:52 PM
Thank you MemoryShock, I do appreciate your excellent points in this debate, and look forward to reading more.

Mommy, Daddy, You and I

In this debate what I am arguing is the differences between two similar couples Couple A and Couple B both couples are identical in every way except that Couple B cannot for some reason have children. Couple B is only inferior because of a defect in biology. Couple A is superior only because their anatomy allows for procreation. They may complete the cycle of life through natural means unlike Couple B.

Couple B may adopt a child and love that child just as intently as Couple A does their naturally born offspring. Couple B has a lot of love to give just as Couple A does. However they must go through another means in order to share what love they have to give.

Couple B’s only defect and the only thing that makes them inferior is the loss of procreative abilities.

Changing the Water of Life

What makes us unique of course is DNA The fingerprint of who we are and what we are is contained in our DNA. Of course that DNA is a combination of our parents individual chromosomes. Unique markers of both of our parents combine to form another unique marker that is us. This marker (rather set of markers) helps define us as the unique individuals that we are. If you are one that has perhaps that wild streak it is and can be explained through your DNA. Through your parents, however this does not wholly define you as a person. The lessons and encouragement/scolding that you received during your upbringing does have a lot to do with who you are as a person.

For those that cannot have children infertility can cause undue stress and anxiety in a relationship. According to the American Psychological Association

A diagnosis of infertility—the inability to get pregnant after a year or more of trying—can lead to depression, anxiety and other psychological problems, trigger feelings of shame and failure to live up to traditional gender expectations and strain relationships, say psychologists specializing in infertility.

I will not say that adopted children themselves are inferior or the bond made between adopted parents and the child is not real. It is all too real in these cases parents that cannot have children that choose to adopt have a great amount of love to share. What I am trying to share is the fact that these children are not of the bloodline of the parents and as such the natural order instinctually common among all mammals has been subverted.

The children themselves are not inferior but the adoptive parents are for the simple fact that they for whatever reason cannot conceive naturally. They are defective. Some part of them (Either partner or perhaps both) is broken and this simple tiny detail is the reason that they are inferior to those parents whom can and do procreate naturally. Does this mean that they are bad people? Nope. Does it mean that they have nothing to contribute to society? Nope. They just have a part of them that is defective and by definition: inferior :Ex: ADJECTIVE: Low or lower in quality, value, or estimation :ex: SourceThis is not an absolute, it does not state that being inferior makes one bad. There are varying degrees being associated here. I am only talking about the biological aspect not the moral or amoral aspects of the couple’s personalities nor am I discussing the parenting skills of the natural born parents versus adoptive parents. Only the reproductive the biological makeup of parents that can have children versus those that for some reason cannot.

And we’re wearing our grandfathers clothes

All of us every single one of us that exist or have existed throughout time come from a couple that has mated and are able to breed. The life cycle of mankind. We as a species however intelligent we are, are still drawn instinctively to our natural tendencies, we still have instincts. One of those instincts is to procreate and propagate our species. Is it a necessary instinct in this day and age? No it is not however it is an instinct that we have.

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 02:55 PM

Originally posted by whatukno
In this debate what I am arguing is the differences between two similar couples Couple A and Couple B both couples are identical in every way except that Couple B cannot for some reason have children.

But we are not just talking about the circumstances of just two couples. The very existence of these two couples is contingent upon the last paragraph in the previous argument…we come from a couple who bred, from a couple who bred, and so on. You an I did not come from the same couple four generations back.

This debate truly is about the social implications of the circumstances of the ‘two couples’.

The debate topic states clearly, "Marriages,” in the first breath regarding one set of "Couples". Plural.

Consequently, we are debating the generality of the concept of (in)fertility as applied to the whole of society which necessarily brings along with it an incredible amount of variance in circumstance. Diminishing the relevance of ones contributions and experiences in this reality based soley on an inability to procreate is an invalid parameter set. Further, to demean the relationship experienced by two people because they are 'sterile' is neglectful in that the inherent omission of the rest of their attributes and application of time and effort go unnoticed.

Life is never about one or two aspects. It is an everchanging complex system of interactions that influence the (re)actions of the next and so on and so forth. To state that a man and a woman, because they can concieve and birth a child, are superior because of that one 9 month period is completely missing the point. Our lives are not comprised of one 9 month period of one marriage of one man and one woman; or 'Couple A'.

Besides, who cares about the superior/inferior/neutral designation of just one couple?

No one cares solely about one couple. Not even that one couple.

So it follows that we are discussing and arguing the social relevance of the two couples.

The social relevance is a complex one, in that Couple A from Palos Verdes, California is definitely going to be different than Couple A in a rural town of Nebraska. The differences are many and too much, obviously, to explicitly define in this debate, but the point has been made: people in this reality behave differently, even if they share a few common traits.

For this society to be successful, it takes all kinds. It takes every single human interacting together to keep this society together and functioning smoothly. A childless couple not only has more time to give themselves for personal pursuit, but as well has more time to give towards the overall functioning of their society. A couple with a child(ren) are indeed creating another individual for the society, but it isn’t always to the betterment. The parents may have to sacrifice a valuable friendship; one of the parents may have to sacrifice the relationship with the other parent to attenuate better to the needs of the child.

There are positive and negative consequences to every decision.

In theory, these links probably exist; in practice, however, researchers have been unable to isolate traits that are unmodified by environmental factors. For example, musical aptitude seems to recur in certain families. While it is tempting to assume that this aptitude is an inherited genetic trait, it would be a mistake to ignore the environment. My Emphasis [1]

Genetics obviously contribute to the physical make-up of an individual and can undoubtedly influence the personality traits and mental abilities of each and every one of us. But genetics is what comprises the beginning ‘lump of clay’, so to speak. Environment has the rest of the life of the entity to mold that ‘lump of clay’.

How can that be discounted?

The premise of my opponent situates on the nine month period that is the average length of time needed to conceive a new organism and bring into our collective reality. What about the rest of the time said entity has to interact with us and their own immediate social influences?
This debate is centered on the rest of that time…the many years said entity/person will have within our society. The ability to produce another human for our world stops there and because we, as a species have been so successful in recent world history at proliferating our kind we as a species have found ourselves in a very complex social system that is not dependant on our capacity to reproduce.

There are many of us. And our influence; our ability to affect our personal capacity for immortality; extends beyond our immediate genetic contribution to one individual. Consider the term phenotype…

is also able to modify the phenotype — for example, someone with the genetic make-up to express an obese phenotype would not do so if malnourished.
My Emphasis[2]

The genetics of an individual are influenced by its’ environment.

Consider an adopted child that has no common genes with the parents. The genetic inclinations of the individual will invariably respond to the interaction with the unassociated parents. An inclination for rash decision and violent behaviour could be dissuaded by a pacifist upbringing. This ‘inflection’ of an individual’s behaviour will change, or make less likely the violent inclinations of the genetic material of the adopted individual.

This can influence the progeny of the adopted individual.

A future mate of said individual can be chosen based on the milder/structured behavioural values instilled and the resultant coupling could result in a lessening of these violent traits that began with our example. The ‘pacifist’ upbringing can influence how our adopted individual and mate decide to raise their child(ren). Over time, if this trend continues uninterrupted, the violent inclination will have lessened further and we can expect to see a violent genetic inclination wane into a more rational expression…which influences and impacts the rest of the society as time progresses.

We have an implicit proof of this scenario illustrated by the very reality of our current Western type societies; as well as indications and trends in the rest of the world.

We have evolved from animals…with physical reactions being the primary motivator for behaviour. Because of our application of technology and our expansion of application of ideas, we have collectively needed our old ‘physically reactive behaviour’ on an ever decreasing scale.

Originally posted by whatukno
Couple B is only inferior because of a defect in biology.


Choice; in this case; could be a reason that a couple has found procreation to be an impossibility.

There are some people who do not see the reason to bring another individual in what they perceive to be a degradation of past values and an increasingly violent and dangerous society. These individuals vehemently reject the concept of parenthood. There bond is strong and they interact with the environment and its' various inhabitants on whatever terms are dictated by their situation. They can see aspects and perspectives of every day occurrences that others can't see, a blindness that is perhaps induced by the need to focus primarily on the raising of children.

As with every situation in our society, different circumstances and values only translate into different perspectives. I will use the above quoted to segue into my invocation of the Socratic Privilege:

1) Is the choice made to not have children an inferior decision to having children?

2) Does a couple, after having brought a new human into this world, become isolated from all other social interaction?

3) What is the responsibility of the parent with regards to the instillation of beliefs and social mores; the needs of the many or the need(s) of one?

In closing of this arguement, I would like to make this clear. I am not demonizing couples who do choose to procreate. I am stating that they are not superior to couples who choose to not procreate.


posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 07:11 AM
Again MemoryShock I applaud your post, incitefull and poignant. The Admins of this site made a wise decision making you a moderator.

Again the only thing that makes my example Couple B inferior to the example Couple A is the fact that Couple B cannot through natural means create children. Either the father’s disability or the mother’s disability or a combination of both has rendered Couple B sterile.

If Couple B chooses to adopt a child they may indeed be as great or as poor a set of parents than Couple A, this is not at issue here. The upbringing we all have is different, that is what makes us unique and in and of itself is a great and wondrous thing. If we were al alike this world would be boring and mundane. Because of our individual upbringings and individual life experiences we have become a unique us.

The only point that this topic is about is, are married couples that can have children superior to those that for some reason cannot. The answer biologically is yes they are.

Let us take another example, two cars; two say brand new 2008 jet-black Ford Mustangs. Both came off the assembly line right next to one another. The difference between these cars is the first one got an engine and the second one did not. Which car is superior? I would choose the car that has an engine over the car that does not as the superior automobile. The simple reason being all things being equal the one I can get in and start up will work unlike the one that I would have to replace the engine in first. Sure you could get a new engine for the Mustang that came off of the factory floor without one. But would it be the engine that that car was supposed to have? Maybe, in fact it might be a better engine than the engine that came factory installed on the first Mustang. But initially the second car is inferior because of the simple reason that you cannot just get in it and start it up.

That is the “somehow” in the topic primer. Couples that can have children naturally are superior to those that cannot simply because of the fact that the ones that for some reason conception is impossible. Infertility comes in a wide range of diagnosis. From in men low sperm count, or inferior quality of sperm, to women a hormonal imbalance, to maternal age.

As I pointed out inferior does not mean bad. There is a wide range of possibilities to consider here. What the purpose of this debate is to find is are married couples that can conceive children superior to those that for some reason conception is impossible. The answer biologically is yes. They are superior only in this biological sense because simply they have the ability to procreate naturally; other factors that my esteemed opponent has graciously pointed out are important factors. Irrelevant as they might be to this debate, they are correct. The love, attention, moral factors, all are important to the upbringing of a child. Children no matter if they are the natural byproducts of a union between couples or a blessing of adoption are never inferior.

Again I would like to point out the original question posed in this debate, Marriages between partners who can conceive children together are superior to those in which conception is for some reason impossible.

The only thing we are debating here is the difference between marriages between partners that can procreate and partners who cannot procreate. The individual characteristics that make up the partnerships are irrelevant as are the offspring themselves. What is at issue here and the only thing in question is, are those that can breed and multiply by themselves better than those that for some reason cannot.

Personal choice to not to conceive children does not make it an impossibility to conceive. That is a personal choice, a choice that is neither wrong nor right. This in and of itself does not mean that conception is impossible in fact it makes the point that this couple in particular can conceive but for whatever personal reason chooses not to.

Also the rest of the time the child has in this world and the choices both the child and the parents have is irrelevant to this issue. The means at which the child arrives in this world is also irrelevant to this issue. What is relevant to this issue is the married couples that conceived the child, are they better than the couple that could not conceive the child and therefore no child exists for that couple.

I have been very succinct on this issue because my argument is a simple one. The only reason, and the sole reason that a married couple that can have children is superior to a married couple that for some reason conception is impossible is the fact that for the married couple that can have children biologically. The rest of the argument is irrelevant because that is the only thing we are discussing here. If the topic was, “Is the marriage of Mickey and Mallory Knocks superior to the marriage of Bonny and Clyde?” We would have much more data to go on. But from the topic we have little reference other than we know that one couple can have children and one couple for an unknown reason cannot.

Therefore logically we have to assume that both couples must be equal in every other way because there is no supportive data to conclude that they are otherwise different.

To make my argument a simple one I will start asking a few questions.

Q1 Would you buy a car knowing full well that there was some defect in it when you could buy the same make and model for the same price with no problems?

Q2 Why?

Q3 In nature what happens when a species cannot for some reason procreate?

Q4 What happens to a species if procreation is not brought into check by nature?

Q5 What qualities can one infer from the original question posed in this debate about the parents in question?

Mod edit: whatukno has submitted answers to his opponents questions which he forgot to include.

A1: No the choice to not have children is a personal one, it does not make that decision a superior nor an inferior one.

A2: In some cases yes, taking care of a child and child rearing does sometimes isolate one from social interactions. This is parenting it is a sacrifice that parents sometimes have to make. Parents often seek out other parents in order to fill the void left in the social calendar.

A3: This one of course varies with the parent’s it is hopeful that a parent would instill good morals and ethics into their children. However this is a decision between the partners on what morals and ethics they choose to imbibe to their children.

[edit on 5-3-2008 by The Vagabond]

posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 12:08 AM
I too would like to commend my opponent whatukno on a very concise presentation that has stretched my limits to the edge...

“Knock Out” Rebuttal…Rather Than “Knocked Up...

The fact of the matter is this: The purpose of this debate is not about Couple A vs. Couple B in a static universe, where there is nothing else surrounding them but empty space. If this were the case, then we would have to consider the fact that, yes, Couple A can probably reproduce themselves more quickly and eventually take up more space than Couple B Inc. as a result.

But this is not a static universe of empty space and four people. My source for this? All I need to do is get up and go to work. I find hundreds of people there. They all have their own concerns. They all have their own ‘hundreds of personal social interactions’ and this can be followed to understand this:

There are billions of people on this planet. They are all with their own concerns and they all must rationalize and collaborate those concerns with everyone else’s

The fact that a majority of the people are physically healthy and can reproduce at will is an indication that we are supposed to do so. But so can the rest of the animal kingdom. And, physically speaking, they are supposed to reproduce.

But here is one of the reasons why we classify ourselves differently than the rest of the animal kingdom…we care about what everyone else and thing does to an extent that we find it relevant to determine the status of everyone else and thing. We are socially conscious. The neighbor is of interest because of close proximity. The City Mayor is of interest because of that pothole in the middle of main street that provides an added strain on our tires as we run over it, day in and day out; causing at least an unnecessary financial burden and at worst an askew direction of our motion leading to potential accidents.

My point with the above is this:

We interact with each other on a day to day basis in an effort to insure the comfort level of each and every one of us first and foremost.

As the above is a truth in our reality, it must follow that it is an inherent consideration of the debate topic. My opponent, whatukno, suggested that there would be a greater amount of analyzable data should the debate topic instead be, “Is the marriage of Mickey and Mallory Knocks superior to the marriage of Bonny and Clyde?” I find that interesting to say the least.

The only information we have regarding two specific couples is that which was supplied by third party sources. It would be the telephone game…where someone begins by saying three sentences into the ear of another person and having that repeat twenty times. The three sentences spoken out loud by the twenty-first person is going to be, most likely, different than the original three sentences. We would in fact have less data. Besides, the marriage between Mickey and Mallory was superior by virtue of its’ fictitious nature…

Seriously, though, the topic we have available to us has a vast amount more verifiable data to draw from. And as we have established that the topic is not about two couples in a static environment of empty space…

Originally posted by whatukno in answer to Socratic Question number 2
Parents often seek out other parents in order to fill the void left in the social calendar.

….since the “void” is an obvious reference to the parents having previous social inclinations outside of the ’nine month period of gestation’, we can draw from personal experience and various social philosophies, ideals, values and all the other types of social gossip and rumination to determine whether or not a married couple who can conceive and birth a child are ‘superior’ to a married couple who cannot possibly mimic such an action.

While low-birth-weight babies born into advantaged families tend to do relatively well, most underweight babies are born into disadvantaged families[1]

It should be noted that we are all different. We do not all have the same genetic predisposition. Environmental factors and a huge genetic variance will keep our differences, albeit in different forms, a fact for many upon many generations, if not until the end of our species. But we do have very similar instincts. We all get hungry. We all get thirsty. We all get tired. And yes, we feel the need to procreate…or at least go through the motions.

But the excerpt above illustrates a scenario where an underdeveloped newborn can have a better chance at survival, physically at first and then socially, financially, etc, through the subsequent years, if born to a family with more money. Note that this source is an Australian one, but the generality is such that it is essentially universal for all first world societies.

Alongside this trend are increasing rates of psychological and psychosocial problems, which again are observed more frequently in children “living in low-income, step/blended and sole parent families.”1

More frequently in low income families. We have many social services that are designed to help in these areas, when individuals are unable to help themselves and their families. The article goes on to highlight the discrepancy of mental/overall health in higher class families then in lower class families. Where is the superiority in reproducing genes that enter the world with a disadvantage to begin with? And I want to emphasize that I am in no means unsympathetic or insensitive to various physical afflictions that unfortunately occur in this world. Indeed, we are all of this world and each and every one of us belong here.

But where do we stop when applying distinctions of superiority to a physical being based on variations within the physical being?

The autistic individual may not have functioned like everybody else in society by holding a successful job and frequently socializing, but said individual did have an impact on how our medical and psychological professions were able to interpret physical and personality traits in order to better diagnose and improve the quality of life for people everywhere. In this instance, I would argue that the life of the commonly held inferior handicap was in fact superior to the life of ‘just another cog in the commercial machine’.

I would like to appeal to the reader that the above example is in no means meant to belittle anyone for anything. Rather, it is an attempt to illustrate that there are many physical differences amongst our society. I argue that all of our differences are what make us able to understand and apply our collective knowledge better than static distinctions.

A child bearing couple is not superior to a childless couple. There is no way I can stress that enough.

I would like to answer my opponents questions at this time.

Q1 Would you buy a car knowing full well that there was some defect in it when you could buy the same make and model for the same price with no problems?

No. I Would buy the vehicle without the defects. But it is a just a vehicle that cannot make any decisions for itself.

Q2 Why?

It is only financially reasonable. I want to travel from point A to point B in the most comfort and least amount of money allotted by my circumstances.

Q3 In nature what happens when a species cannot for some reason procreate?

It either evolves or dies out. Evolution has been noted in some region specific amphibious species.

Q4 What happens to a species if procreation is not brought into check by nature?

They over consume the available resource(s) and diminish in their numbers. Extinction is a possibility but not always the case.

Q5 What qualities can one infer from the original question posed in this debate about the parents in question?

I infer qualities of caring. These are people who have an abundance of love for life and people and they desire to pass that on to someone else whom they readily identify with as their child and with whom they want to instill their own qualities to be shared with the world.

I fear that question number five(Q5) could be a debate in its’ own right. For one, the debate topic at hand does not stipulate that either distinction of couple is inherently without the distinction of ‘parent’. So I must assume that both distinctions of couple are included in the term you presented, “parents,” being an unspecified plural, and have answered accordingly.


I now hand the floor back to my esteemed opponent, whatukno.

posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 08:07 AM
So as we get over the “hump” so to speak and are now on the trailing edge of this wonderful and enlightening debate I would like to extend gratitude to my worthy opponent MemoryShock for his engrossing and grammatically acrobatic rebuttal, to this I can only add…

A Knocked Up rebuttal, with Pregnant Pause (insert groan here)

I must respectfully disagree with my esteemed opponent on being able to infer anything about the couples in question without any knowledge given. We cannot for instance garner any socioeconomic indicators from the topic primer. Perhaps the couple that can mate and procreate are horrible parents that lock their children up in broom closets for hours at a time while they worship a picture of Tom Cruz, likewise we cannot infer that the second couples infertility issues may have arisen from hard core marijuana and alcohol use. The data is just not available. So in this instance for all practicality purposes these two couples are indeed living in a static universe. We have no other data to go on than the biological facts given. One couple is able to have children while the other couple for whatever reason cannot conceive.

So in this instance given the data available on the pairs in question yes the couple that can have children are indeed superior to the couple that cannot, only because they have an ability that the other couple does not. This is the only reason that the married couple that can have children is superior to the other couple. This is determined by the given available data that we have to go on.

In our reality there are several different factors that would have to come into play. The socioeconomic situation of either couple in question for example. The home life of the children, the education level of the couples, the country that the couples reside in, all valid arguments and qualifiers that could be used to make a determination of superiority/inferiority. However again in this situation we do not have that data available.

Also the quality of the children in question is not at issue here. These may indeed be great children. Or they my be bebe’s kids, they may be gifted children well on their way to becoming Rhodes scholars, or they could be]the children of the corn" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">]the children of the corn. Either way is irrelevant to this issue. The qualities of the parents are at issue here not the quality of the children.

One of the most difficult and yet rewarding jobs in life is the job of raising a child. The joys and pains of parenthood are at times overwhelming. The first time you hold your child the first time your child rolls over, the first steps, the first word your child speaks is immeasurable in the joy that it will bring your life. Equally so is the heartache. The first time they hurt themselves. Get an inoculation and they look at you with eyes that question, “why daddy, why would you let someone hurt me?” It’s enough to make the most cold person cry.

These are lasting moments in a parent’s life. These are moments that a couple that cannot have children will never know without adoption.

The life experience gained by having children is the single most rewarding aspect of child rearing. You are solely responsible for the love the care and the upbringing of a child. At times this can become frustrating. When your child for instance draws all over the walls with a crayon or refuses to go to bed at bedtime. But these times themselves are rewarding to a parent. It is these times when your patience is stretched it’s thinnest that you gain knowledge of yourself. Will you look upon your child and remind him yet again to not draw all over the walls, will you set him in time out? Will you paddle him? The answers to these questions give us insight into who we are as a person. The reactions we show to our children also develop them on their way into adolescence and into adulthood.

In my own personal experience the best day of my entire life was the day my son was born. I remember every detail about that day like it was yesterday. This is a memory that a couple that cannot have children may not get to experience even with an adoption. I can tell you I am not the same man that walked into that hospital that day. For good or for bad your entire life changes the moment that child opens his eyes for the first time and looks at you. If I were for some reason unable to have a child I would never experience that moment.

This is the reason in this life outside of the static universe where Couple A and Couple B exist that marriages between partners who can conceive children together are superior to those in which conception is for some reason impossible.

A couple that cannot have children will never know the delights and agony that is involved with parenting unless they adopt. Even then, they have already missed out on so much. The miracle of birth (the single grossest thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life, puts any horror movie to shame.) Crying uncontrollably at the song “Cats in the Cradle”

We must see that when talking about married couples that can have children being superior to those couples that for some reason cannot we have to understand the implications on a person’s life and the journey they take along that road of life. Now with a little sign in the window “baby on board” The married couple that has children has the unique opportunity to mold shape and guide a life outside their own. Pitfalls and rewards await the parent. Watching their own flesh and blood grow into something they themselves wish they could have been. It is every parent’s dream that their children live better than they do.

If a couple that for some reason cannot conceive does not adopt they miss out on so much joy and pain in life that comes from being a parent. They miss out on one of life’s greatest treasures of life experience.

posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 10:33 PM

Originally posted by whatukno
The qualities of the parents are at issue here not the quality of the children.

Precisely. Why are the qualities of the parents at issue? Because they have social relevance towards the rest of our society and how they affect the rest of our social interactions. Why is that relevant? Because we have a population that is doing nothing but increasing and a direct consequence of that is the fact that we in America have only so much commercially available resource. The distinction on whether or not a child producing couple is preferable, or superior, to a non child bearing couple is predicated on what the effect upon society will be.

Originally posted by whatukno
So in this instance for all practicality purposes these two couples are indeed living in a static universe.

But it isn’t practical! What difference to the rest of society does a hypothetical ‘static’ situation of nothing more than time and space that contains nothing more than four individuals, with only two of those individuals being able to add to the count? Nothing! If it were that easy, then we wouldn’t have nearly the amount of legal literature we do…legal definitions that are there specifically to regulate how we conduct ourselves day to day…so that we all can make the most of our time within this reality.

Originally posted whatukno
However again in this situation we do not have that data available.

These couples aren’t living in a static environment, any more than you and I and our audience are. Period. And that is where we can find our verifiable data. In our real world experience.

Originally posted by whatuknow
I must respectfully disagree with my esteemed opponent on being able to infer anything about the couples in question without any knowledge given. We cannot for instance garner any socioeconomic indicators from the topic primer.

What about a google search for statistics of the average economic status of childless couples? Or for child bearing couples? Or for any combination thereof?

Here is a link that describes an Indian study done regarding the social connotation of childless couples. This link actually supports your side, whatukno. Or does it?

A Negative Association in Urban and Tribal Communities

Within a tight knit, communal setting, childless couples have a negative social connotation. It is expected as a natural way of life, as the normal flow of nature. But these thoughts are antiquated, to an extent, if one wants to hold them as an absolute for every individual in society. My opponent did agree that we are all different…

Originally posted by whatukno
The upbringing we all have is different, that is what makes us unique and in and of itself is a great and wondrous thing.

We are all different. Some of us live in a tribal setting. Some of us live in a metropolis with the advantage that all of modern technology has to offer. Some of us live on the outskirts of a metropolis, aware that technology can provide above and beyond our current state, but unable to do so because we have economic concerns.

A static environment this is not, and if we are to determine a positive or negative towards a couple based on their reproductive capacity…then we have to acknowledge all aspects of our reality.

A parent is not a parent all of the time. A parent is a friend, a brother/sister, an employee/employer, and a partner and much more. There are many social interactions that we as humans are a part of. A child less, or child free, couple is not defined by the lack of progeny. To define these humans, we must look to the relevant aspects of their lives.

Childless-by-choice couples say their education reflects who they are - their interests, personalities and priorities." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Childless ]Child Free Couples Are An Increasing Trend

As the population grows, it can be reasonably assumed that childless couples will grow in number as well. These humans still occupy a role; multiple roles; in our society. Now, should they be demonized? Should we lower them in our perception and relegate them to their own part of the world, not to interact with the rest of us? No…the very idea is absurd, despite the fact that the idea follows naturally if one were to hold that ‘Child-Free’ couples are inferior.

"Child free," however, connotes emancipation from the time, money, energy and responsibility that parenting requires. Same source as the immediate previous

Society requires a lot from its’ citizens. If everyone where to occupy the same role in society, then what would we have? Stagnation. How many of us want to hear from a new acquaintance exactly what we have lived? Is there not a certain attraction to the monk of eastern philosophy, whom has dedicated his life to searching for the ‘higher answers’? He is without child. Do we hold him in lesser esteem?

I would like to make this particular argument shorter in the interest of my esteemed opponent’s personal expression of his life with his child, an expression I personally respect and feel privileged to have heard. But this shortening of my argument carries with it one last Socratic Question…

“Do you believe that every married couple, whom has conceived and birthed a child; from the lowest economic status to the highest; perceives their own role as parent exactly how you perceive your role as parent; as you have described in the last post?”

posted on Mar, 7 2008 @ 02:19 AM
Alas we come to the bitter end of this fruitful and laboring debate
My esteemed opponent MemoryShock has delivered his sometimes witty and always informative rebuttals in a timely and respectful manner. I applaud you my friend and it saddens me to see this debate end. But it must…

In Closing

Let me first answer your question as so not to let it slip through my cut and paste

Do you believe that every married couple, whom has conceived and birthed a child; from the lowest economic status to the highest; perceives their own role as parent exactly how you perceive your role as parent; as you have described in the last post?

I would certainly hope so, I of course cannot speak for anyone else’s personal experience because each of us the experience is different. However anyone that is to be a father in their child’s life, when he walks through the door out of the hospital, wheeling his wife and newborn child he is indeed a different man then when he walked in. He walked in to that hospital a man when he walked out he is now a father.

Couple’s A & B were an overly simplistic example given by me to explain a simple truth. The only reason that we can quantify the superiority or inferiority of the couples in question is through the only data we had available to us. Biology. In my argument I have shown that this is the only reason that a married couple is indeed superior over a couple that for some reason conception is impossible is the simple fact that the couple that can have children are capable of doing so. Thus their biological capacity is intact while the couple that cannot have children for some reason, shows that their reproductive biology for whatever reason has failed and so is inferior. We cannot determine from the topic primer any other qualities of the couple in question. Yes we do not live in a static universe as pointed out by my esteemed opponent. But to argue that topic would be nearly impossible.

In my own personal belief having a child of ones own also gives us the modicum of immortality that we all seek in one way or another. We have by rearing a child given ourselves hope for the future of mankind. Having passed along our genes to the future generations and laboring in hopes to mold and shape the young life into someone that we ourselves wish we could be is the ultimate goal of any loving natural parent.

I have hoped to show that this is the natural order of life. Procreation is the climax to that life that we all go through. We still have the instinct to procreate, while not necessary for our continued survival on this planet is still intact within us. As a species we are instinctively monogamous life long maters. In which we choose a mate for life. While our current lifestyles and social climate makes that instinct hard to adhere to, we are still defined by that instinct.

In a biological sense those that for whatever reason conception is impossible can loose out on a great gift that is parenthood. Adoption is an answer to this biological flaw. This however circumvents the natural order to life. While these parents should be admired for the love that they obviously have and have showered on a child that is not theirs, the truth remains that for whatever unfortunate circumstance their genetic makeup will not pass along to a future generation and so unfortunately a lot of genetic history is lost.

Again I would like to point out that the children in whatever scenario we talk about in this discussion are neither inferior nor superior. Loving parents always should love children. Even if they are not parents by birth these parents have the responsibility and the obligation to love and raise these children in the best way they know how. Children are a precious gift to us all and loving parents understand that gift.

The only flaw, the only way to show that married couples that can have biological offspring of their own are superior to those that for some reason cannot is through the superiority of biology. The reproductive capacity of those parents that can have children is superior to those that cannot for some reason conceive. That is the point of the topic primer and the only reason and qualification that make these couples superior.

Couples that choose not to have children while readily capable of having offspring are not at debate here. As I have pointed out earlier in this debate a choice not to have children is not the same as the impossibility of conception. This choice is neither wrong nor right. It is a personal choice made by the couple for reasons exclusive to the couple in question.

Again what I would like to state is that by being infertile this does not make the person themselves inferior or worthless in our society. They do have much to offer our society and in this way are not inferior. The only reason that I state that a married couple that can have children is superior to those that cannot is through the biological capacity only. In a couple that cannot conceive for whatever reasons this is just a small broken part in a larger working whole.

This broken aspect of a person’s life can and does sometimes have negative consequences on the person, as they perceive themselves. It can produce a strain on a relationship, in women this sometimes brings about feelings of “half a woman” or in men of “shooting blanks”.

In Summation

In the natural order of life we as humans recognize aspects of ourselves to be true. We are born are raised up by our parents, grow, get married to a mate, and create offspring of our own, which we in turn raise to do the same. This is the natural order. The couple that finds conception impossible looses that small bit to the natural order in life. We have the capacity to overcome this obstacle through adoption, but the fact remains that the biological aspect of that couple that cannot have children naturally is inferior to the couple that does not have to face that hurdle.

Thank you

What U KNO

posted on Mar, 7 2008 @ 08:55 PM
Indeed, this debate must end, but I do share the sentiment with whatukno in that it is unfortunate. I thank you for a fantastic debate.

The social relationship between the parents and child, adopted or not, is more important then a genetic tendency to brown hair, the resultant conditioned behaviour of a person is more important then insuring the green eye gene is passed along.

We are coming upon a time when we as a species will be able to repair the biological organism in every way. We will be able to clone not only ourselves but specific organs of our bodies for transplantation. The body is a machine and there is no limit to our capacity to mimic that which we observe into a simulated example that is nearly identical to that which was observed. Life is our 'lump of clay'.

But I chose not to make this debate purely on the physical and biological. It is already a foregone conclusion that we have the medical knowledge to induce pregnancy and/or the reproduction of a 'sterile' couples genes. In vitro, surrogation, artificial insemination, etc. If a couple can't conceive via the normal means, then there are other answers. We no longer live in the 1600's where only one option for pregnancy was available. Reproduction can occur almost regardless of the sperm count, the virility of the sperm, the ovulation process, etc. If a couple is unable to do it on their own...there is a way to help them. The biology of it is already a moot point.

Originally posted by whatukno in response to the Socratic Question
I would certainly hope so, I of course cannot speak for anyone else’s personal experience because each of us the experience is different.

I would hope so too. But that certainly isn’t the case. There are many different reasons why people do the things they do. There are many different ways to feel about that which you have done. I personally know of several unwanted/unprepared pregnancies and the result for the people involved at times was that of obligation…not unconditional love. Sad but true.

Each of us is different. Physically different, economically different, different in so many ways. We do not have a static environment and we do not have a static relationship with our environment or its' multitude of inhabitants.

Originally posted by whatukno
Couple’s A & B were an overly simplistic example given by me to explain a simple truth. The only reason that we can quantify the superiority or inferiority of the couples in question is through the only data we had available to us. Biology.

Not enough data? What About The Census?

I have stressed throughout the course of this debate that indeed, the Couple A and B example was not only too simplified but inadequate. My opponent contends that Biology is the only data set we have to go on. But I of course have disagreed in that there are many sources for statistics and other intuitive data that can give us a big picture of what it exactly means to bring yet another human into this world. I have presented a few and alluded to many others. My opponent has markedly denied any relevance to these presentations. There are indeed many interpretations and directions we could have argued.

One of the more socially relevant issues facing the American Society is this:

Is a homosexual marriage inferior to that of a hetero-sexual marriage?

No. It is not.

My opponent has contended the entire debate that a childless(free) couple is inferior due to a malfunctioning of the reproductive biology of said couple. The reproductive biology of two married (wo)men are not malfunctioning. Could we have argued that they are mentally and psychologically inferior?

I have attempted to steer my esteemed opponent towards these socially relevant topics, however, he has been adamant that the debate topic really is as simple and straight forward as heating up a bowl of soup.

I of course do not want to put words in whatukno’s mouth, assuredly that is not my intention at this point. I am merely stating that the Couple A/B example in a static environment is not what this debate is about, precisely because there are many different types of child less couples and many different types of couples with children.

This debate was an opportunity to look at the various aspects of our societal framework and determine the answer to several questions begging to be answered by the debate topic and begging to be answered by society

Life is not a simple question nor is it a simple answer.

And neither is this debate topic.

Survival is not about the individual and the family unit any longer. It is about the species, about the progression of our ideals, the merging and evolution of our culture and the pursuit of technology by which the lives of each person can become more efficient as well as comfortable.

We have the luxury of taking a step back and examining our impulses and physical motivations. We can ask ourselves the questions, “What are we doing here?” and “What am I doing here.”

Many people have found that the ‘natural order of life’ is a variant these days. Life is. Some people choose to have children. Others don’t. There is rarely an instance that a couple is physically unable to reproduce, according to modern science. So in many cases, it is a choice.

In any case, the status of society is that not all couples who have children are superior. Many couples get together and procreate because that is the thing to do, for lack of any other idea of what is out there. Other couples get married and have children without any idea of what this means and end up in over their heads and disillusioned by the idea of marriage and family. I am not saying that family isn’t important, I am saying that many people don’t realize why it is important, or are confused on the idea and lose track of what they believed in. The proof is in the ever increasing divorce rates; an intuitive piece of information that suggests that married couples with child(ren) aren’t superior in some way shape and form.

The annual number of divorces was 17 percent higher in 1992 than in 1975, following a large increase of 116 percent between 1965 and 1975. The divorce rate (number of divorces per 1,000 married women) peaked in 1979 at 23. Since then, the divorce rate has dipped to about 21 per 1,000. About 1 million children were involved in divorces in 1988.

Divorce Rates

There is no 'superior' when applied to this debate topic. In many cases, I have more respect for a barren couple then I do for a family that is seven children strong and on welfare. But my opinion or analysis of the situation isn’t the only one. Hence the need for debate and discussion.

Married couples who have children are not superior to childless couples. There are just too many factors and subjective viewpoints to be able to make such an absolute resolution stick.

posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 03:51 AM
Memoryshock is victorious and will advance to round 3.

whatukno did an outstanding job of proving that couples who cannot reproduce are different, even unnatural, but he never laid out sound criteria for qualitative distinction, ie: superiority. Yes they lack something, but the question illustrated by his own car analogy is whether or not that something is central to their purpose. Memoryshock seems to have proved that it is not by demonstrating repeatedly that adopting couples can fulfill the purpose of parents as well as and in some cases better than birth parents, meaning that even if we grant the foundational assumption of the pro position- that marriage is a child rearing institution- that the ability to actually create children is not central to the purpose of a couple and therefore cannot determine superiority.

posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 04:44 AM
Congratulations to MemoryShock on a well deserved win.
I personally feel that this is not a loss to me for through this debate I have found great respect for my opponent. MemoryShock has demonstrated through this debate a cunning debating skill that has proven his abilities.

I feel that the judges decision was a wise one and again congratulate my opponent for a great debate and a new found friend.

This and the other debates clearly show why is such a great place to be a member.

posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 11:21 AM

Originally posted by whatukno
I feel that the judges decision was a wise one and again congratulate my opponent for a great debate and a new found friend.

I am humbled by your words and indeed salute you, whatukno; friends indeed.

posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 11:41 AM
Amazing debate, both of you. A learning treat for all readers.

posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 07:08 PM
This was an exceptional performance by two truly talented debaters....

Enjoyable to read and fun to follow...

MS, see you in the next round...


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