Round 2: nyk537 vs chissler: Guinea Criminals?

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posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 05:02 PM
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The topic for this debate is "It is Ethical To Use Repeat Felons For Experimentation With Or Without Their Consent."

nyk537 will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
chissler 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.

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 10:14 AM
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I’d like to open up as always by taking a moment to thank MemoryShock and the rest of the ATS debate staff for organizing this wonderful event. I’d also like to wish my esteemed opponent, chissler, all the best in our debate. Let’s try to have some fun.
 


"It is Ethical To Use Repeat Felons For Experimentation With Or Without Their Consent."

Ladies and gentlemen, we find ourselves facing a very interesting and treacherous debate topic. We have been presented with the task of debating what may appear to be a very ambiguous subject, and much of what we discuss in this debate will depend on the direction we choose to follow.

Over the course of this debate, we will need to examine several things.

First we must ask ourselves what ethical truly means. We will need to determine what constitutes ethical and unethical behavior before we can even begin to answer the question posed to us.

Second, we will need to discover what is truly meant by the word experimentation. There are several ways this could be interpreted, and we must examine them all.

Lastly, we will need to approach this topic though the lenses of both consensual and non-consensual experimentation.

As you can see, there are several aspects to our debate topic which could be interpreted in different fashions by different individuals. If a consensus cannot be reached on the meanings of these things, then a clear decision may be harder to reach.

Nevertheless, by the end of our discussion it will be apparent that the experimentation of repeat felons is in fact ethical behavior.
 


Before I turn the floor over to my opponent, I’d like to take a quick moment to address one of the main issues surrounding our topic.

Exactly what is ethical?

According to Merriam-Webster, ethics are defined as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.

Interesting isn’t it?

Given this definition of ethics, are we to approach our debate from a position in which we ask ourselves if experimentation of repeat felons is good or bad? Or should we approach it from a place in which we ask ourselves if the experimentation of repeat felons could be considered a moral obligation or duty?

As I will show you, this all depends on what types of experimentation we are dealing with.

If the experimentation of these criminals could lead to discoveries that could cure disease or greatly improve the lives of others, do we not have a moral obligation to seek such advancements, through any means necessary?

It is questions such as these that I will continue to pose throughout this debate in order to prove beyond doubt that it is in fact ethical to use repeat felons for experimentation.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:10 PM
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Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, members of all ages! What a great topic my opponent and I have been offered. I tip my hat to all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes, our faithful readers and our dedicated judges. Last, but certainly not least, I offer a sincere handshake to my opponent who I know is going to push me to the brink. If I recall correctly, this is a rematch between us. I'm really looking forward to the challenge that lies before us over the next week.

Away we go....

 
 


"It is Ethical To Use Repeat Felons For Experimentation With Or Without Their Consent."



That is a mouthful, isn't it?

My opponent has made one thing clear in his opening post. He fully intends to ask a lot of questions throughout the course of this debate. While my opponent spends his time asking questions, I will be providing answers.

What are ethics?



We can quote umpteen definitions of what an ethic is or isn't. But the long and short of it is that ethics are our basic motifs based on what is right and wrong. What these definitions fail to quote are that ethics are socially agreed upon. If one lives an ethical lifestyle, then they live within a standard that societal laws has placed before them. Ethics are not necessarily a bad thing, however they are a mutually agreed upon point by those who inhabit a society. In western society, we have mutually agreed that murder, theft, assault, exploitation, etc., are all unethical behaviors.

Throughout the course of this debate, it is my intentions to keep us from muddying the waters on morals and ethics.

Morals can be summarized by "to each their own".

We all live with our own moral compass. Morals are our personal filter of what is right and wrong. Ethics are society's way of telling us what is right and wrong. So more or less, ethics are mutually agreed upon morals that have been placed on a specific society.

 


With that said, throughout the course of this debate we will explore the basic human rights that have come so far in modern history. Regardless of the decisions we make in life, the ethics of the societies that we inhabit offers us basic human rights to safety, food and shelter. While some may feel that our morals would support the denial of the aforementioned, the ethics of our society make it quite clear that every human being is offered these basic human rights. Wars have been fought and countless have died fighting for the ability to offer basic human rights to all citizens around the world.

To state that it is ethically acceptable to experiment on a human being without their consent is horrendous.

Murderers, rapists, the true worst of the worst are protected from such actions because it is absolutely unethical to even fathom. And throughout this debate I will be emphasizing these points.

It is a slippery slope when we begin to remove the basic human rights of any individual and offer this absolute power to those with their finger on the button. If we take that step, it is within the blink of an eye that we will be going to sleep at night with a government at the helm that is not accountable to its' citizens. This is the precipice that we stand on when considering this topic. To state that it is ethical to carry out such actions is to offer absolute power to any body of government. And absolute power to any body of government; well, history shines a clear light on how that has worked out in the past.

 
 


Is it a secret that our justice system is flawed?

How often do we hear of innocent men and women being set free because they were convicted of a crime that they were not guilty of? Too often! And as despicable as this action is for a developed society of our own, we can attempt to repair the damages set forth through monetary reparations and the prospect of freedom. However, if we were to place these felons in experimental programs for various concepts, how could we ever fix that if the justice system failed them? We couldn't.

The capital punishment system is dragged out as long as it is to ensure that individuals are truly guilty of what they did. It takes years and years and years of appeals to make sure that beyond any smidge of doubt that what they have been accused and convicted of, is that they actually did. If our justice system opened the door to "experimentation" of these individuals, what of those who could possibly be innocent? The thought of one innocent man or woman out of tens of thousands being "experimented" on, who was completely innocent, is enough of an argument to completely undermine the position. And this position would only be considered if those that are guilty were determined of deserving such a treatment. And it is my opinion that even those guilty of the most heinous crimes are still not deserving of this treatment. But it is worth considering that if we open Pandora's box here, we are also opening up to the innocent who are convicted.

So no, to experiment on any felon is completely unethical.

To experiment on an animal is completely unethical and despicable, let alone a human being. And the ongoing experimentations on unsuspecting animals is also something we will be considering throughout this debate. As disgusting as it is on animals, the thought of it happening to someone's son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father.. it is unimaginable. What if it were your own? It is a question certainly worth considering.

Socratic Questions...



SQ1. In yes or no format, is it ethical to experiment on animals? Please, yes or no only.
SQ2. If your son or daughter were a repeat felon, would you support them being delegated to an experimental program?
SQ3. How would you react to hearing of an innocent repeat offender, which is not an impossibility, being experimented on?
SQ4. Experimentation without consent is torture. Do you agree?
SQ5. In your own words, what is the difference between a moral and an ethic?

 


Thank you.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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Ladies and gentlemen, do not fall into my opponents’ trap. Do not allow yourselves to view this topic as he firmly tugs on your heart strings. This is indeed a very sensitive subject, but we must remain neutral and objective in looking at this situation.

My opponent would have you believe that the experimentation mentioned in our debate topic is tantamount to torture, when in fact there has been no such discussion as to what said experimentation entails.

My opponent would also have you believe that this experimentation would be acceptable for every Joe Public who commits a crime, when in fact our topic clearly states it would only apply to repeat offenders.

It is very easy to allow the imagination to run wild when discussing a topic such as this. I urge you though; before we imagine the senseless torture of innocent people as my opponent describes, let’s look at the details.
 


Putting the failings of our justice system aside for a moment, let’s take a look at the people to which our topic would affect.

Repeat offenders .

So what are we talking about here? Could we be talking about such simple crimes as repeated jaywalkers or litterbugs? Or does our topic concern itself with more serious crimes such as murder and rape?

To answer that, all we need to do is take a closer look at our topic and find that it specifically calls out repeat felons.

So despite the best efforts of my opponent to make it seem as though we would be experimenting on possibly innocent people, we are only really dealing with repeatedly convicted felons.

Let’s move on to another interesting aspect of our topic and try to figure out what exactly we mean by “experimentation”.

When we hear this word, experiment, what comes to mind?

Torture? Wild operations and radical surgical procedures? Shock therapy?

Is that really the intent or the purpose of our topic, or could it be something a lot less sinister?

Although the above mentioned things certainly can come to mind when thinking of experimentation, that is not what we are talking about here.

My opponent implores you to consider how horrible it would be to experiment on someone’s son or daughter; but what if that experiment were not inherently harmful?

Consider for a moment that this repeatedly convicted felon is being used in an experiment to test a new cancer treatment, or a drug that combats the effects of prior drug or alcohol abuse. Imagine that a group of felons is taking part in a clinical trial to discover a new more effective rehabilitation program.

Does the experimentation still sound as horrible as my opponent first made it?

Granted this type of experimentation still may not sit well with some, and that will always be the case. Consider though that experimentation such as I have mentioned takes place regardless of whether or not we are using convicted felons as subjects. Our topic only suggests that we use these criminals who now serve no other purpose in our society, as opposed to civilians who do.

Now that we have a better idea of who we are talking about and exactly what types of experiments we’re talking about, I’ll give my opponent an opportunity to respond.
 


Responses to Socratic Questions.


In yes or no format, is it ethical to experiment on animals? Please, yes or no only.


Yes.


If your son or daughter were a repeat felon, would you support them being delegated to an experimental program?


I would. If there was a chance they could do something to help others after whatever horrible crime they had committed, I would be all for it.


How would you react to hearing of an innocent repeat offender, which is not an impossibility, being experimented on?


An innocent repeat offender? I’m not sure I’m familiar with such a thing.


Experimentation without consent is torture. Do you agree?


Absolutely not, and I believe I touched on that above.


In your own words, what is the difference between a moral and an ethic?


In their pure form I don’t believe there is any difference. Their roots are both drawn from what is right and wrong, and both could be applied to either an individual or a society.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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Tugging on heart strings? Traps? An interesting response from my opponent. Hardly am I attempting to tug at the strings of any of our readers. What I am going to do is present the facts and paint the clear picture of what it is we are dealing with. As my opponent manipulates the topic and attempts to offer definitions that suits his position, I'll be sure to offer as much transparency, as I truly see it, throughout this debate.

I'm going to begin this first rebuttal with a response to my opponent's recent post and then move forward with my position.



Putting the failings of our justice system aside for a moment, let’s take a look at the people to which our topic would affect.


I'm glad we agree that the justice system has its' failures. My opponent will have you ignore these in an attempt to illustrate what it is he wants you to hear. But in doing so, he concedes the failures of the justice system and it's willingness to convict innocent men. As we proceed through this response and this debate, I will be touching on the concept of "repeat offender".



So despite the best efforts of my opponent to make it seem as though we would be experimenting on possibly innocent people, we are only really dealing with repeatedly convicted felons.


Since we're at it, let's touch on it now.

If a man is convicted of a crime, what baggage does he carry with him for the rest of his life? A criminal record. And since we're dealing with the term "felony", let us take a moment to clearly define it.

As shown here, the definition of a felony is quite simply a serious crime. Listed here you can see a plethora of examples of various felonies that citizens can be charged with. Hopefully now my opponent sees that I am not trying to paint a picture of jaywalkers being persecuted. However, what I am seeing in this list is a list of crimes that every year too many innocent men and women are sent to prison on. If we consider for a second if an innocent man or woman is standing in a court room before a judge and jury having been charged with a serious offense, and they were to have a criminal record, the likelihood of them receiving a fair shake is hardly reasonable. What I speak of here is a man or woman who was guilty of a crime in the past. They did their time and paid their debt to society. At some point in the future they are once again brought up on charges that they are in fact not guilty of. The system is even more likely to fail them now as they'll consider them a high risk offender. An unlikely scenario you may be thinking? Consider how many citizens are and have been convicted of these crimes and are walking the street. Now how many of them are facing second charges? If in the hundreds of thousands of people that fit this demograph, only a handful are truly innocent and wind up persecuted. They would qualify for this program that my opponent supports. And they would be experimented on against their will.

It is completely unethical.

I have taken the time to consider how unethical it is to partake in such an action against potentially innocent men and women. I will now take that same stance with those who are in fact guilty and are actually repeat offenders. Our justice system is based on just that, justice. Justice is not revenge or unlawful punishment. If a person is guilty of a crime, they deserve to be punished with what fits. If it is life in prison, probation or even a death sentence, the necessary sentence will be handed down by those in charge. The logistics of the punishments handed down is certainly open to interpretation but that discussion is for another time and place.

In developed countries around the world and throughout history, who has supported the experimentation and torture of individuals against their will? Nobody has. Why? Because it is unethical and people will not stand for it.

Put them in a prison cell or condemn them to death. These are the harshest punishments handed out by developed justice systems. Why? Because it is the most that any body of government can do within the limitations of our moral compasses and ethical guidelines that we live by in a civilized world.

You know who would have supported the program my opponent speaks of? A program where those deemed unworthy are used as seen fit. Adolph Hitler. Hitler and ethics are not quite synonymous.



Torture? Wild operations and radical surgical procedures? Shock therapy?

Is that really the intent or the purpose of our topic, or could it be something a lot less sinister? Although the above mentioned things certainly can come to mind when thinking of experimentation, that is not what we are talking about here. My opponent implores you to consider how horrible it would be to experiment on someone’s son or daughter; but what if that experiment were not inherently harmful?


Pain is not a factor in the equation. We have basic human rights and an action that denies these basic human rights is unethical. No questions ask. It is a simple fact that you are ignoring.

My opponent has stated that the potential "negatives" in experimentation are not what we are here to talk about. Unfortunately, it is a part of it. It is the part of it that I intend to discuss. I thought my opponent would take the time to show the opposite side of the coin, however he has not. He has merely stated that what I am talking about isn't what we are here to talk about. Yet.. he has yet to tell us his position. He's told you I'm wrong, but has failed to say why he is right.

If someone came into my house right now and said he wanted to experiment on me and wouldn't comment further, his ass would be to the curb. Would my opponent do the same?

 
 


Two words that I think are worth our consideration at this point.

Side effects



My opponent quotes these utopian treatment plans where bad people are tested with good things to benefit the world. What my opponent fails to share with us are the side effects that are going to be evident in every test case and the potential risk we are opening these individuals up to. Even if the outcome of the test is a positive one, the side effects that may come with these unknown chemicals pose a great risk. And using these men and women as guinea pigs for this line of treatment is absolutely unethical.

Let's say the program would save some lives. We would have no possibly way of knowing it at the time, but for discussion.. let's say in the long run it would work out. We'd consider ourselves lucky and thankful for the lives we saved in the long run.

HOWEVER, it would not imply that the initial program was ethical. The fact remains, regardless of the final outcome, that the program is completely unethical. And any conclusion that is drawn at the end is going to have absolutely no bearing on how ethically sound the initial plan was.

It violates basic human rights, it is unethical.

I will now pose my Socratic questions to my opponent.

SQ1. Would you volunteer innocent men and women for these programs?
SQ2. In a yes or no format, is the denial of our basic human rights unethical? Elaborate if you wish, but please answer with a yes or no.
SQ3. Do you believe Hitler would support a program where humans were experimented on?
SQ4. If the participants of these programs died from side effects, would you consider it ethical?
SQ5. Without being a repeat felon, would you volunteer yourself for this program?

 
 


As we move forward with this debate, I will be touching on several points. It is my belief that if one is going to accept that these programs are ethical, than the variables should not be a factor. Whether they are a felon or not, whether the program is successful or not, none of these variables should factor in to whether or not the program is deemed ethical. World wide we have been offered basic human rights for a reason, and that reason was to fend of programs just as this one where a specific group of people are attempted to be persecuted in an unethical manner.

What my opponent supports is Apartheid for criminals.

I'll also be looking to hear from my opponent in future replies what exactly he considers torture to be. Since we disagree on these programs being a form of torture, I'm truly looking forward to what he has to say on the topic.

I need a drink though, so I'll exit stage left and offer the floor back to my opponent.




posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my opponent has stooped so low as to compare me and my position to that of Adolf Hitler.

I won’t lie to you and claim this upsets or offends me, but I will stress to you that it is a completely untrue and unfair assessment.

My opponent attempts in one breathe to take the high road and claim transparency and honesty, and then in the next follows the low road and compares me to perhaps the most evil man who ever lived.

Hardly the path of integrity.

In my opponent’s previous comments, he continues to stress to you that a policy such as this would end up hurting many innocent people.

That’s right, he claims it would hurt all of those repeatedly convicted felons.

Perhaps if the repeatedly were not included, we could be led to believe that; but how many of you honestly believe that someone can be wrongly convicted of a felony on more than one occasion?

I’d ask my opponent to provide some evidence for us of all of these felons who have been wrongly convicted on repeated occasions.

My opponent continues by stressing that this type of experimentation is wrong because it violates the person’s basic human rights.

I would ask him then if he believes that the felon’s victim(s) had their basic human rights violated by the crime committed. Or is this perhaps a case of caring more about the criminal than the victim?

Next my opponent moves on to the possible side effects that any experimentation could cause these “innocent convicted felons”.

He argues that any experiments used would cause harmful side effects when we do not even know what types of experiments would be included. Our topic does not specify for us what types of experimentation would be used, so it seems meaningless to me to condemn them. Although the “utopian treatment plans” my opponent refers to are just as likely to be used as the harmful ones he mentions.

My opponent stresses continually though his remarks that this program is unethical, but all of his reasoning is based on conjecture and details that we aren’t even sure exist.

Although the line of what is ethical and unethical is fuzzy and varies from person to person, I don’t believe there is as much love for our repeatedly convicted felons as my opponent believes there to be.
 



SQ1. Would you volunteer innocent men and women for these programs?


What programs?

All we know is that there will be experimentation, we don’t know exactly what types of experiments will be done.

I would say yes.


SQ2. In a yes or no format, is the denial of our basic human rights unethical? Elaborate if you wish, but please answer with a yes or no.


Yes I believe it is, but I fail to see how our topic in any way violates a basic human right.

Whatever it is the person has been repeatedly convicted of was a violation of human rights.

Any experimentation done would in no way equal the crime they committed.


SQ3. Do you believe Hitler would support a program where humans were experimented on?


He would and did, but I don’t believe that’s what we are talking about.

You’re comparisons between Hitler and I grow tiresome.


SQ4. If the participants of these programs died from side effects, would you consider it ethical?


I would consider it unfortunate and unnecessary. Nothing needs to be done in which death is a possible side effect.


SQ5. Without being a repeat felon, would you volunteer yourself for this program?


Depending on the experiment.

I have previously been involved in medical trails and experiments, and didn’t feel as though my basic human rights were violated in any way.
 


We’ll see where my opponent takes us next, but up to this point we have seen little more than conjecture based upon imaginary facts to prove his position.

Socratic Questions for my Opponent

SQ1 – Can you provide evidence of repeatedly convicted felons who were wrongly convicted on more than one occasion?

SQ2 – Do you believe that the victims of the felons had their basic human rights violated?



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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Nowhere in any of my previous reply did I compare my opponent to Adolph Hitler. I'm confident my opponent is aware of this but yet has clearly attempted to put one past our readers by twisting my words.


Originally posted by chissler
You know who would have supported the program my opponent speaks of? A program where those deemed unworthy are used as seen fit. Adolph Hitler. Hitler and ethics are not quite synonymous.


I've compared the experimentation program we are discussing with those that Hitler ran up to and throughout WWII. My opponent victimizing himself here is unfortunate. This is the last I will speak of this little ploy.

 
 


I'm going to be direct in this response but also attempting to keep from coming across as arrogant. But my opponent's previous reply was nothing more than a commentary of what I've presented thus far. He has completed over half of his debate and still has yet to present a sentence that supports his position. While I appreciate the commentary, I speak here as a plea to our readers to acknowledge the lack of a position that I am being offered to refute.

I'm going to skip over the commentary and respond to the answers my opponent responded with and then move forward with answering the Socratic questions posed.

In my first Socratic question, my opponent admits that he would volunteer innocent people to partake in these programs. Likely a wise answer to assert his position, but hardly an ethical one. The western civilization that we inhabit comes with clear ethics and clear laws, all of which any experimentation program against a persons' will would undoubtedly violate.

Secondly, I asked my opponent if the removal of a person's basic human right was unethical. I view this as a tough question to answer truthfully and yet maintain the position my opponent has been offered.

His response...



Yes I believe it is, but I fail to see how our topic in any way violates a basic human right.


So to deny a person's basic human right is unethical. My opponent has agreed with this statement. However, he asserts that this program is not violating any basic human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Now let's list a few of these that are mentioned.



  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law
  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile


  • The topic of this debate asks whether or not it is ethical to experiment on people with or without their consent. So within the topic of this debate, it is my position to illustrate that it is unethical to experiment on an individual regardless of their consent.

    My opponent concludes that none of the aforementioned are violated within such a program. I disagree.

    Thirdly I asked if he felt Hitler would support one of these programs. He agrees that he would. That is a stamp of approval that I am certain is not being sought after. But if Hitler is a fan of your work, it might imply that what your doing is wrong. It's no secret that he was guilty of a few unethical behaviors.

    In my fifth question, my opponent drops that he has given his consent to partake in such a program and doesn't feel he was violated. That's fine and dandy. But what if you didn't give your consent?

    If an individual vehemently opposes an experiment being performed on his body and the experiment is still carried out, this is a violation of their basic human rights that I have previously outlined. My opponent, who is a supporter of this program, may be singing a different tune if he was not willing to be experimented on and yet didn't have a choice.

     


    I will now respond to the Socratic questions posed by my opponent.



    SQ1 – Can you provide evidence of repeatedly convicted felons who were wrongly convicted on more than one occasion?


    See here.

    Robert Baltovich, Christopher Bates, Wilbert Coffin, William Mullins-Johnson, Romeo Phillion, Steven Truscott, Steven Truscott, Erin Walsh, Wilfred Beaulieu, Gordon Folland, Peter Frumusa, Clayton Johnson, Kulaveerasingam Karthiresu, Donald Marshall Jr, Richard McArthur, Michael McTaggart, Felix Michaud, Guy Paul Morin, Richard Norris, Wilson Nepoose, Benoit Proulx, Thomas Sophonow, Gary Staples and Donzel Young.

    ...just to name a few.

    Most of these men had criminal records and then were convicted of a second crime and would qualify for the experimentation program we speak of. And all of these men were innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. All of these men would have been subject to a program due to the failures of our justice system.

    I am glad you asked.



    SQ2 – Do you believe that the victims of the felons had their basic human rights violated?


    Yes, I do. They most certainly did. However, if you steal from me and I steal from you, my actions are not justified. The act of stealing from you is just as wrong as your initial action. The removal of any basic human right is unethical, regardless of who did what in the past.

     
     


    I will now pose my own Socratic questions.

    SQ1. If someone does not give their consent to participate in this program, however is still forced to, is this an unethical action? If not, please specifically outline for me how it is ethical to force someone against their will.
    SQ2. If the lasting effects of these programs were extremely debilitating to those being forced to bare the brunt of the experimentation, would you still consider it ethical?
    SQ3. If it was confirmed that the specific experimentations were sinister and were extremely painful for those involved, would you consider it ethical, even though it was without the persons consent?
    SQ4. Do you think these programs would ever make their way into American law as a means of replacing the prison system?
    SQ5. Who governs these bodies who are doing the experimentation to ensure they are done with respect and dignity for the individuals?

     
     


    Back to my opponent.



    posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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    Alright, let’s stop the rhetoric and cut to the chase here.

    My opponent claims I have not presented a formal position on this topic, when in fact I have.

    I have illustrated how there are many forms of experimentation, and it is impossible for us to judge based on our topic which ones would be used. Considering there are many perfectly ethical forms of experimentation, it is unfair to dismiss the entire premise.

    I have combated my opponent’s accusations that a policy such as this would unintentionally harm innocent people. My opponent did answer my previous questions and provide some names of some wrongly accused individuals. What he neglected to see though was these individuals; although they did have prior convictions, did not have prior felony convictions. We have still yet to see proof that anyone has been wrongly accused of a felony on repeated occasions.

    Furthermore, I have shown how experimentation is not inherently an unethical entity. My opponent assumes that all experimentation is unethical regardless of consent, but there is no real evidence to support this claim.

    Regarding the issue of consent, we must keep in mind that some experiments are for the benefit of the individuals themselves, and therefore may need to be conducted. Our topic does not specify for us that all experiments are to be done without consent, but it leaves the option open. A good example of a situation such as this is when a parent must do things his or her child does not like because it is for the best. In those situations, refusal to consent may simply be an unfortunate occurrence.

    These are all positions I have taken since the beginning of this debate, and I have stood by them continually.

    In his previous remarks, my opponent has done the same thing he wrongfully accused me of doing, and simply acted in response with little in the way of new information.

    For that reason I shall simply move on to the Socratic Questions posed to me.


    SQ1. If someone does not give their consent to participate in this program, however is still forced to, is this an unethical action? If not, please specifically outline for me how it is ethical to force someone against their will.


    I do not believe it is unethical, and I have outlined an example of why in my previous comments.

    Sometimes it is necessary to do things against someone’s will. Again, you are assuming all experimentation is inherently bad, when in fact something as simple as giving medication or treatment could be considered experimentation.


    SQ2. If the lasting effects of these programs were extremely debilitating to those being forced to bare the brunt of the experimentation, would you still consider it ethical?


    If it’s ethical to begin with, then it is ethical to end with.

    The outcome of anything cannot be used to alter the fact that it was still ethical behavior.


    SQ3. If it was confirmed that the specific experimentations were sinister and were extremely painful for those involved, would you consider it ethical, even though it was without the persons consent?


    I would consider it ethical if the experiments were to save their lives or necessary.

    You have no evidence that our topic demands painful experiments be used in the first place, so any answer on this issue is purely conjecture.


    SQ4. Do you think these programs would ever make their way into American law as a means of replacing the prison system?


    I don’t know why they would or who would want them to.

    Where in our topic do you find that is even an issue for discussion?


    SQ5. Who governs these bodies who are doing the experimentation to ensure they are done with respect and dignity for the individuals?


    That isn’t up to me to decide, as our topic doesn’t request it.



    posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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    24 extensions, please.




    posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 06:18 AM
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    I would like to take a moment to truly emphasize the term "experiment" and what exactly it entails for us in this debate. An experiment is really an unknown, because no matter what anyone says the conclusion can only be speculated as it is an experiment that is being conducted. These men and women are not being treated for any condition, they are being experimented on in various ways with unknown side effects and unknown conclusions. It is here within these two facts that the barrier of ethical behavior is breached.

    When I go to a doctor, a dentist, or any other professional that I've granted the right to treat my body or mind in any way, I've been assured that I am safe in their hands. The "experimenters" in these programs can not promise anything. The only absolute in these programs is that they don't know what is going to happen. As basic as the program could be, everything after the initial treatment is a complete unknown and thus renders the program an unethical action. Even if the individual consents, the professional in this situation has an obligation to restrict from performing any such experiment on a person where the side effects and conclusions are completely unknown.

    Let us take a minute to consider some components of the Hippocratic Oath, the pledge that governs those that care for us during our time of need.



  • I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
  • But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.


  • Those that have been bestowed the privilege of treating our sick have been offered it with restrictions. The experiments that we discuss here in this debate are a violation of the Hippocratic Oath that these medical professionals swear to at the time of their graduation.

     
     


    I've held off so far through this debate but I feel the time has come to take this next step and display two images that really offer us an overview of what it is we are discussing. We are discussing experimentation without the consent of individuals. The best example we can consider when dealing with this is the current experimentation on animals, as it is obviously without their consent. I apologize in advance because I'll be honest, it is extremely difficult to look at these pictures. I have selected two with no gore, but two that really show the emotions that these animals are feeling as their bodies are being treated in a manner that their heart does not desire.

    Actually, on second thought I won't post these images directly in the thread but will provide a link. That way if someone does not wish to see these images, then they do not have to. A note to the judges, if you do not wish to see these images, feel no obligation to click on the link.

    Image #1

    In this picture you see a cat with a cochlear implant attached to his head. The pain in his eyes is evident as even a cat can display the emotion that indicates that the sanctity of his own body and personal space has been violated. The emotions that this cat feels are no different than what you or I would feel.

    I ask you, looking into the eyes of this cat.. would you tell him that no ethics were breached in this treatment against his will?

    Image #2

    In this image we have a baby monkey having a small needle inserted into his face. No gore, but the pain I believe is evident.

    If we could speak to this monkey, would we tell him that we are within our right to do this because he may have made a wrong decision in life? What if the monkey had a family and that family came asking why, would we really be able to tell them that what we're doing to their dad is within ethical confines?

    On a side-note, I am an animal lover and I will talk to my pets as if they are talking back to me. No I'm not crazy but I know my pets and I know the personalities they have. If your not a person who loves animals and isn't grasping my personification of these animals, I'll explain that I am using these examples because these are the very programs that my opponent supports to be conducted on humans. So if it is tough to look at these pictures of animals, how could anyone be able to look at a picture of their son, daughter or even neighbor having the exact same experiments conducted on them.

    It is a shame that this occurs and it is a criminal action, in my opinion. And it would be equally, if not more, as criminal to conduct this on any human being.

     


    I will now respond to the answers my opponent posed from my previous Socratic questions.

    In a short summation, I am very disappointed in the lack of a response that I received from my opponent with regards to these questions. In those that he does respond to, he sticks to his guns that supports his position, which I understand and respect, but nowhere does he take a moment to substantiate this position. And in the others, he just doesn't respond. The rules of the debate are very clear that answers must be provided and must be direct. My opponent has been anything but.



    That isn’t up to me to decide, as our topic doesn’t request it.


    This is an answer that I received.

    Before I respond, let me quote the rules of this debate.



    When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.


    Where in those rules does it say that it has to be questions on what the opponents have agreed what the topic is? My opponent says it's not relevant so refuses to answer the question. If I asked my opponent what he had for breakfast three Tuesday's ago, I'd want an answer not a question of why it is relevant. I feel my opponent could have made an effort to be direct in these questions.

    However, I do understand why he didn't respond.

    When asked who would oversee these programs, who would? There is nobody. Thus, absolutely no transparency or accountability within these programs. And what does that spell? U-N-E-T-H-I-C-A-L. If I'm going to operate in an ethical manner, than I do so transparently and with accountability. This program would have neither as reinforced by my opponent who has done nothing to inform us of how either would be assured.

    I will now pose the last of my Socratic questions.

    SQ1. Are dictatorships usually ethical?
    SQ2. Do the images I link cause you to react in any way?
    SQ3. Do you really believe what you're saying or are you merely defending a position for this debate?
    SQ4. Should animals have rights that protect them from these experimental programs?

     


    Thank you.



    posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 08:36 AM
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    Well here we are, we have reached the end of our time together. Over the course of this debate, my opponent has continually attempted to tug at your emotions rather than your logic. This has culminated in the previous comments in which we were treated with pictures of animal abuse that have nothing to do with our debate.

    I have shown throughout this debate that experimentation is not always a negative thing; a fact which my opponent has agreed with. I have also shown repeatedly that a program such as we have discussed will in no way endanger “innocent” people. We have been over and over all of these points, and yet in the end, my opponent resorts to posting dreadful images to sway your opinions.

    Do not allow this to happen.

    Instead of furthering their agenda in this debate, my opponent used most of his final response detailing the abuses of animals.

    The abuse and experimentation of animals is surely an awful thing, but it is not what we are discussing here. It is also not the same thing we are talking about in relation to human experimentation.

    My opponent is simply attempting to make on final grasp at your hearts rather than your minds.
     


    I’ll now take a moment to respond to the final set of Socratic Questions posed by my opponent.


    SQ1. Are dictatorships usually ethical?


    What is usually? Some of them could be, but many of them are not.

    Again, I fail to see the relevance of this question to our debate.


    SQ2. Do the images I link cause you to react in any way?


    They disgust me quite frankly. Animal abuse is not something I support or agree with, but that isn’t what we are debating here.

    Your attempt to sway the judges by posting these images also causes me to react a certain way…


    SQ3. Do you really believe what you're saying or are you merely defending a position for this debate?


    I believe what I’m saying to be true. Absolutely.


    SQ4. Should animals have rights that protect them from these experimental programs?


    Sure, if those animals are also convicted felons.
     


    All I ask of you is that you take a close look at the facts that have been displayed here in this debate. When you do, I believe you will find that they speak for themselves.

    I’d like to once again thank MemoryShock for setting this debate up, and chissler for putting up one heck of a fight.

    This debate was a lot of fun, and I don’t know if I look forward to meeting chissler again or not.




    posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:11 PM
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    It's closing time...



    Yep, that's right. We're at the end of another, in my opinion, top notch debate on ATS. My opponent here, whom I have the utmost respect for, has proven to be a worthy adversary and should never be taken lightly. With that said, before I extend my hand to shake on a job well done, my sword has a few swings left. While we may swing with all our might, the respect I have for my opponent is unwavering.

    Thank you, nyk.

     
     


    I'm going to begin my closing statements with a summation in my own words of what I've witnessed thus far. Afterwards, I'll address the response to my Socratic question and then close up with why I feel I have presented the better case.

    Away we go.

     


    If for only a moment, ignore everything I have said in this debate. Only consider what my opponent has brought to the table. What are you left with? A position that is purely based in opposition of my own. While I have opposed what my opponent has said through all of this debate, I have gone a step further and presented a broad foundation for why exactly I believe in what I am saying. My opponent has failed on this front. My opponent has created a foundation for his position that is purely based on opposing my argument. Nowhere in this debate has he gone a step further and presented his own position, on top of what I have said.



    All I ask of you is that you take a close look at the facts that have been displayed here in this debate. When you do, I believe you will find that they speak for themselves.


    The irony in this statement. For it is I that has presented the facts and you that has simply opposed them. What facts has my opponent presented? Where? He hasn't.

    Now I'm also going to address this statement that I've "continually" tugged on the heart strings of our reader. My opponent began the debate with that statement and has finished the debate with that statement. But it's baseless. Once in the beginning of the debate I dropped the hint of what my intentions were at some point. My opponent took the bait and really geared up for what I was going to bring. But it was a very minor aspect of my position and it was a portion of my third rebuttal. Nowhere did I post a picture in this thread and nowhere did I ask anyone to look if they chose not to. I'm not trying to pull on the heart strings of anyone. I am merely trying to present the facts on an issue that needs to be addressed in a transparent manner.

    My opponent sticks to his guns that animal testing has no relevance to our debate.

    Why? Because it completely undermines what you're saying? I'm sorry my friend, but that doesn't cut it. You've said this and taken this position, but where did you elaborate to explain to us WHY it is irrelevant. I have shown why it is, you have simply said it isn't. It is relevant because this is the closest program that actually does exist that can be compared to the programs that could be used on humans, that my opponent supports. It is obvious the similarities between the two, yet my opponent refuses to acknowledge of concede on this point.

     
     


    As I move on to the answers from my Socratic questions, I must once again protest at the lack of responses that I have received. My opponent refuses to answer certain questions because he feels they are not relevant. No, you're not answering them because they undermine your position and you're wanting to convince us on your motif. But relevance aside, it is in the rules that you must provide a direct answer. And again, you have not.

    I asked if dictators are usually ethical and the response I receive is a semantics debate over the term "usual".

    The following is a direct quote from my opponent.



    They disgust me quite frankly. Animal abuse is not something I support or agree with, but that isn’t what we are debating here.


    He supports testing on humans but is disgusted by testing on animals. He supports and agrees with testing on humans but doesn't support or agree with testing on animals. That is interesting. My opponent has convinced himself that animal and human testing are not one in the same and has thus convinced himself that he can have opposing view points and still reinforce his own position in this debate.

    Experimentation on any living creature is wrong. Experimentation on any living creature against their will is despicable and criminal. While my opponent supports the experimentation on humans against their will, he is disgusted with it on animals.

    How can that be?

    I'll leave the reader to decide on this one.

     
     


    As we develop as a society, we have slowly put away our desire to inflict pain and suffering on those who have wronged us. In many places the governing body has deemed that it is not within their own ability to put a person to death, regardless of how many lives that individual has taken. The purest form of justice has finally been grasped by our society and has acknowledged that even the worst of the worst retain their basic human rights. Because someone wrongs us does not give us the right to torture them or experiment on them with unknown chemicals that come with unknown side effects. What we would be doing to them is no different than the actions carried out by the worst criminals we have come to know. Absolutely no different. Each action is equally as unethical and despicable.

    If a man wishes to have intercourse with a woman and she says no, the man must respect that. If a woman wishes to have intercourse and a man says no, she must respect that. With sexual relations, we are not permitted to infringe upon an individual's personal space if they have told us no. With personal property, if someone says no than I must respect that. So why would we permit a group of tyrants to experiment on men and women if they protested against it?

    Quite simply, it doesn't make sense.

     
     


    Thank you to my opponent, those behind the curtains and to you the reader.



    posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 12:02 AM
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    The judgment is in and chissler has won through majority decision.

    Chissler will be advancing to the Third Round.



    I believe nyk537 was under the proverbial “ethical rock” with the pro position, a difficult task.
    Leaving “experimentation” open to interpretation is risky, especially with a description of ethics attached to it as a moral duty or obligation.

    Our society in majority looks the other way with this in regards to animals, but not to humans. I believe chissler is right when he says that there is no difference between morals and ethics, as both can be applied to the individual or the group. Even when morals are individualistic, a society tends to reflect the average.

    I agreed with nyk537 that repeat felons are not as likely to be convicted by mistake. But then the question arises about whether or not being a repeat felon makes them deserving to have their basic human rights removed. I believe the societies average ethics on this issue are that they deserve to lose their social rights, but not their human rights.

    nyk537 proposes that this experimentation can be justified by reasoning that criminals “serve no other purpose in our society” and that there is not much love for them in our society. Even so, and if it was true, they are still human. nyk537 said “ but I fail to see how our topic in any way violates a basic human right.”

    From a scale of experiment types ranging from benign to torture, the fact remains that removing a persons rights to decide what is done to them by science is wrong in our society. The individual can decide through volunteer purposes, but to be made to volunteer is the same as non-consent, and to me is slavery. Which is a violation of basic human rights.

    nyk537s premise that “Any experimentation done would in no way equal the crime they committed. So you don’t know if it will violate a right if you don’t know what the experimentation is.” But he also does not know if the experimentation equals the crime if he doesn’t know what the experimentation is or what the crime was. It could be worse than the crime. The potential exists.

    nyk537 also said that he personally would volunteer depending on the experiment, and so then it would reason that consent should vary depending on the experiment for all other humans. He is free to decide in this case, and may do so from a sense of duty or moral obligation. So it doesn’t apply in this situation because he is free.

    The fact that a criminal has violated other’s rights does not give our society license to do the same to them. That is not how our justice system works. They are stripped of their social rights not human rights. chissler makes this clear with the statement “ it is unethical to experiment on an individual regardless of their consent.” I believe he never really had to say much more than this.

    nyk537 said “Considering there are many perfectly ethical forms of experimentation, it is unfair to dismiss the entire premise.” and followed with this statement.

    “A good example of a situation such as this is when a parent must do things his or her child does not like because it is for the best. In those situations, refusal to consent may simply be an unfortunate occurrence.” In this case experimentation has already been done on approved medications. He says giving medication or treatment could be considered experimentation. Treatments are usually weighed by the parents regarding the risks and benefits. It is not experimentation, but carefully considered options by a professional and a parent. And the medical field is overseen by ethics committees and has laws in place that protect human rights. Science doesn’t seem to have these committees as they can experiment all they like without our societies consent.

    My judgment is for Chissler.





    Round 1: Opening Statements
    10-9 Chissler.

    Chissler had the advantage by opening second, and therefore knowing his opponent's argument and using it against him. He used that advantage well. Great arguments presented by both, but Chissler effectively dismantled nyk537's argument early. It will be interesting to see how nyk537 rebounds.

    Quote of the Round:


    Originally posted by chissler
    We all live with our own moral compass. Morals are our personal filter of what is right and wrong. Ethics are society's way of telling us what is right and wrong. So more or less, ethics are mutually agreed upon morals that have been placed on a specific society.


    Round 2: Rebuttals
    9-9 Tie.

    Again, chissler did not let up and continued to attack nyk537’s argument. I, too, was perplexed at the lack of a stance on nyk537’s post. It would have been 10-9 chissler, but he lost a point quick with the comparison to Hitler.

    Quote of the round:


    Originally posted by chissler
    He has merely stated that what I am talking about isn't what we are here to talk about. Yet.. he has yet to tell us his position. He's told you I'm wrong, but has failed to say why he is right.


    Round 3: Rebuttals
    10-8 Chissler

    Again, chissler won by a well supported argument, but, more importantly, nyk537’s argument having little to no support at all.

    Quote of the round:


    Originally posted by nyk537
    Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my opponent has stooped so low as to compare me and my position to that of Adolf Hitler.


    Round 4: Rebuttals
    10-9 Chissler

    Generally the same as before. Chissler has just done an amazing job of presenting evidence and support for his argument.

    Quote of the round:


    Originally posted by chissler
    The experiments that we discuss here in this debate are a violation of the Hippocratic Oath that these medical professionals swear to at the time of their graduation.


    Round 5: Closing Statements
    9-9 Tie

    Both fighters closed up their arguments well, and kept it short and sweet the way I like it. The totals for my scoring are below:
    Chissler: 48
    Nyk537: 44

    Great debate, and a tough topic for anyone to go up against chissler on. I am not 100% sure that nyk537’s heart was in this one – perhaps he was busy or just had a strong moral opposition towards it. I wouldn’t be surprised if either of those were true. I think a few directions he could have taken this are:

    Moral relativism: Morals are only relative to a societies ethics (which are always changing). So while it may not seem moral or ethical at the time, it is only representative of the current time, and could easily be considered ethical and moral in the near future.

    Types of experiments: Before I am going to agree to this, I’d really need to know what we are talking about. Are we talking about experiments that benefit society (such as treatments for disease), or for the benefit of the prisoner (such as treatments for mental illness)?

    Who - What offenders would be experimented on? Yes, repeat felons. But drug users can be considered multiple felons. Also, how many felonies? For instance, would they need to violate a three-strike law? Would it only be violent and sex offenders?

    Overall, this was a tough debate for nyk537 to even approach. I have been in a couple like this, and if the topic actually goes against the grain of your morals, it can be easy to approach it apathetically.



    posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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    Congrats chissler.

    I'm gonna get you one of these days.....






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