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Round 1. benjj V Viendin: Parenthood

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posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 03:22 PM
Debate 7

The topic for this debate is "Parenthood is a privilege not a right."

benjj will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Viendin will argue against this proposition.

Each debator 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.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 24 hours, If the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this. However, if people are consistently late with their replies, they will forfeit their replies and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 04:25 AM
Firstly, best of luck to Viendin. Secondly a big thanks to Kano and the guy's for taking the trouble to set this whole thing up.

Now, down to business!

Parenthood. Privilege or right?

I am not yet a parent. I would dearly love to be one day, but not just yet. The reasons? I am not financially or mentally prepared for the arrival of a 'little Ben.' My wife is also not ready, she has a fledgling company to run she started up herself in Jan 2003.

These thoughts however do not seem to enter the heads of some people.

The world is a very busy place right now. We tipped over the 6 billion mark a year or two ago, so who knows where we are up to now? Resources, both natural and man-made, are not unlimited, and I think we need to think very carefully about the effects of continuing to over-populate the planet.

I will start painting with a very broad brush now, as I feel that this topic needs to be handled rather forcefully.

I believe that the people most responsible for abusing the privilege of parenthood are a mix of the poor and the needy. For some reason these two groups find solace in surrounding themselves with great big families. This presumably stems back to earlier times when the 'survivability' of new born children was very low, so the best bet was to have quite a few to ensure a hand full survived. This is not the world we live in now, and fortunately most kids survive their formative years.

I would never implement a 'licence' type scenario like the one Japan toyed with in the 90's (though it did work very well), but I feel that more education is needed to make these people realise, that in many cases, they are directly responsible in reducing our resources.

This is a very hard subject to argue (for either side), but I will go so far as to say that I really do believe than parenthood is indeed a privilege. Mainly for the reason that when I do eventually bring a new life into the world, I want him or her to have every chance, every opportunity, and every hope of living in a world that is not being raped of it's natural habitability.


Total Words (including these and my name!) - 397

posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 12:51 AM
I too wish to thank Kano and the whole ATS team for setting up the debates. I'd also like to thank benjj and Kano for letting me come late because of my hectic personal life. I'm sorry about that, and I hope to have enough time to keep up with everything in the future. That said, Id like to wish benjj the best of luck here, and may the best debater win!

I, on the side of the con, am here to prove to you that Parenthood is a right, not a privilege. When there is a union between a man and a woman, if it is willed by the forces of nature, a child is born. This isnt opinion, this is fact. Naturally, women often play the caretaker role, as is the generality in our species, and as they are the ones who give birth. The problem enters when you throw the father into the mix this is where it would seem almost all familial problems stem from. Abuse from the mother is generally a result of her abusive husband or father, abuse from the older siblings often comes from abuse from a parent, stemming again back to a father. While it is an opinion that fathers are most of, or the root of the problem, it is a well-based opinion, and based on the fact that abuse is often committed by the male-parent role in a family.

Looking closer at the parental dynamic, we have the source for love and safety, the mother. Next is the teacher of the grown up traits, like killing and surviving, the father. This is simple Freudian psychology. Looking deeper into the roles, at their cores, we see the birth-giver who must remain modest and take care of her child through nine months of suffering - then the sexual-aggressor, who instigates the sexual process and is then done. The females body divides resources across multiple tasks - the male has but one. Below food, fear, and hate, lies sex the root of all life.

Because of this, the male is inherently aggressive, the sexual urge drives him terribly. He is easy to arouse, and once aroused, loses most, if not all logic until completion of his sexual task. My point is that the father - the problem, is not a parent. He is a tool in the process of parenting; the mother is the parent. While the father can 'help', and he can do more than his tools share, he was made as a tool. His fatherhood parent-ship is indeed a privilege, but the true parent. The parent. They have the right because they were made to do this job. They are the one parent. If they are unable to fulfill their sole task in life, then they are not made right, and, all too bluntly, should not have been made. The properly made parent has a full right to be just that, as they are meant to be.

500 words.

posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:14 PM
Sorry benjj, too long on the reply, post forfeited.

posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:20 PM
Since benjj could not reply in time, I will make my post now, and though I have little to add to my previous post at the moment, and I am short on time, I will do so. Thank you Kano for allowing us to continue, and hopefully benjj, you'll be available soon.

I, as the con, attempting to prove that parenting is a right and not a privilege have this to say:

If parents are not ready, and end up having a child, then as a punishment to them, to teach them maturity and responsibility, they should have to raise the child. Rights can be given up - not removed by force, that is why I believe that if they really need to they can choose abortion, though I do feel it is a terrible thing to do, and likely will weigh in on them emotionally in a way that is punishment enough.

In the case of people who are truly unbalanced and should not take care of themselves let alone children, I see them as not being made properly, and as not being truly parents but malfunctioning tools. They are not losing a right, they, as those not meant to parent, and not really parents at all, never gained that right, and never lose it.

My stance is clear: A true, sane parent has the full right to parenthood. Someone who is not actually a 'parent', who was not made to parent, or intended to parent but not made properly, is not a 'parent', and only may have parenting as a privilege, for they are not a parent. Parenthood is a right for those who it was meant for.

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 04:29 AM
Firstly, excellent posts made there by Viendin. Secondly, apologies for my missing the first retort. My fault entirely.

Ok, seconds out, round two.

'It take's two to tango.' A phrase told to me by my father as I left the family home one hot summer evening years ago to spend my first 'official' night with my then girlfriend. Babies, like arguments, tennis and a game of scrabble take two participants. Be careful were his words to me.

I disagree whole-heartedly with Viendin's comments that the mother is the natural 'parent.' The natural 'carer' I would agree to, but parent NO. Those comments though, if true, actually go some way to corroborate with my side of the argument, that parenthood is a privilege.

I sincerely believe it comes down to a fundamental respect of the life you're about to bring into the world, and a sense of responsibility to give that child the best possible start in life. One of the reasons I have chosen not to father a child thus far is that I am not in a position to offer the child what I would deem to be prerequisites in comfort and security in today's world. When you see the lower classes of people popping babies out at will, it shows an inherent lack of respect and compassion to the child. Who would honestly want to think of their child being brought up in cramped, over-populated, and in many cases dangerous places.

I do not mean that each child needs to be showered in cash and gifts, but that in order to give the best possible start the parents must be able to offer the following; Financial stability, a safe, warm and child friendly home, a loving family.

That doesn't sound too hard does it? It's each prospective parent's responsibility to give a child a 'head start', and by doing that to provide a nurturing environment for a child.

If a person, through lack of education, respect or intellect can not appreciate that these things are an almost mandatory list in order to live up to the title of 'parent', then they are abusing their right to parent a child.


Word count: 365.

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 10:08 PM
Aha, the plot thickens. Good to see you're back, and it looks like I'm a few hours late again.
So sorry folks.

Alright, to begin, benjj, you have already acknowledged my point as the truth, with this statement:

If a person, through lack of education, respect or intellect can not appreciate that these things are an almost mandatory list in order to live up to the title of 'parent', then they are abusing their right to parent a child.

A tad too general. I'll zoom in:

their right to parent a child.

It would appear you've already acknowledged that they have a right, and not a privilege.

Now, onto the meat and the nitty gritty, folks!

I'm going to give you some 'case studies' - now these are examples, but they are intended to simulate realism, and to stimulate thought and show my position.

Two people: John G. Allen and Miriam L. McLewin.

John G. is in a position where he is a step below the Supervisor of a small motor company. He makes a modest-small sum, $38,000 USD /a - and he works a standard 8 hours 5 days weekly. He's a good man, finished high school and two years of college with some on hands work, held his job for eight years, and has been married to a great gal for three. He's going to be a father in three weeks.

Miriam is on maternity from her part-time job as a nurse at the local General Hospital. She usually works nights, because she's a real daytime person, and because she can go see her husband at his work during lunch, and occasionally other times. She finished highschool, and is planning on going to school once some money has been saved up. She's a few years younger than John, but their love is one for the ages. She's 8 months and a week.

The preceding was Case 1 of this Study.

Case 2:

Gerald P. Wilson & Joanne M. Ryerson

Gerald dropped out of highschool in his junior year, he joined a band and now, at the age of 29, is just about to sign a record deal. He's going to get a great bunch of money for it, some of which he can use to stock up on his 'habits' as he likes to call them, some of which he can use to make his, his girlfriend's, and his new child's life better. He'll be away a lot, and the kid's caused some fighting between him and his girl, but things should be fine. The kid'll get a good education and stuff.

Joanne met a good looking guy who said he had a lot of money coming in, and he turned out to be alright. They'd been dating for about a year when an accident happened, and she now had a child. Hopefully their new baby son would learn the right way to live - she had considered adoption, and because of her fights with Gerald lately, had considered leaving him. But soon there would be resources, and the little one would probably be fine - but is worried her.

That ends Case Study 2.

Now, according to what you've been saying benjj, it seems you'd rather a child be born into Case 2 - oh wait, there's money, but not much good there. So it should be Case 1. Not as much money but a loving family and a stable environment. Are you trying to say that Joanne doesn't have a right to raise her child? Does Gerald have a right to raise a child? I don't think he does - I don't think he's a parent. I think he's a moneymaker, and an aggressor, and an instigator of the sexual process. It's only natural. The same is sayable for John. As far as I'm concerned, no matter their intentions, no matter what, the father is not truly a parent and does not partake in the right of parenthood. Joanne however, Miriam however, both seem maternally capable, they both seem like parents. I feel that they have the right, and I am sure enough of myself to present this argument, to present that a parent does truly have the right to their parenthood. You admitted it yourself, benjj, they have the right.

725 Words in total. Fun post.

posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 02:49 AM

Excellent points my friend, but you do seem to be 'cherry picking' certain elements of what I said to further your cause (I appreciate that this is the very bedrock of a debate though!!).

Yes, I do believe that money, not necessarily in huge sums, is preferable to none when raising a child. However, this was not my only point. The point I made was that it took money, a loving family and a safe environment, in no particular order, and all essential.

Your previous post seems to focus entirely on the subject of money.

Secondly, you say I clarify your point by stating that it is a 'right' for anyone to parent a child. Now, forgive me if I am mistaken, but this in the present day is actually the case. I am arguing for a position that is not actually current fact, though you are.

I enjoyed reading your case studies, and they were well conceived and eloquently put. But (!), perhaps a little too simple. In your second case study you infer that the father is an 'absentee' (i.e. pops in and out when he feels like it) parent, with apparent drug problems. The child was an accident to a mother too young.

Is this an ideal environment for a child to start life in? My opinion on that is clear. Now, that's not to say that the child will be neglected or permanently scarred by his upbringing, but it is less than desirable.

We've got to start with the 'ideal' here, knowing that in many cases it will not be reached. For example, if people have it drilled into their heads that there is a certain situation when it is correct to have a child, many will strive to reach that target before having a family. Not all of course, but it will 'raise the game' a little and perhaps have a positive impact on many newborn's lives.

To cut to the chase here is my main point Viendin; You state that at present it is everyone's right to have a child, and that is a fact. My take on that is that the prerequisites for parenthood need to be made more stringent and taken more seriously. I seriously believe that if this were to happen that the lives of many new born babies would improve. This in my eyes can only be a good thing.

My very last point, and one just to clarify I am not simply putting the onus on money: If you had to be born again now as a new born, who would you rather have as your parent(s):

a) The couple in your Case Study number 1.


b) Michael Jackson

Word count - 452

posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 11:59 PM
Hm - benjj - I'm not sure you can do what you've just done. You've entirely changed you're argument.

The original topic was ''Parenthood is a privilege not a right."

And you were arguing for it, that being that Parenthood is not a right, but a privilege. Here:

at present it is everyone's right to have a child, and that is a fact.

You mistake what I've been saying, for I say not that it is "everyone's" but a "true parent's", that being by my definitions, a woman's, right, but also, you completely cede your point, you admit that parenthood is a right and not a privilege. By technical means I do win, and am now right, the rest of the debate should just be ceremonial.

To answer your question regarding my choice of parents, I am sad to say that I cannot. You have named a mother and a father for one choice, and a father alone for another. Michael Jackson, while having a lot of problems, is likely a fairly intelligent man who I am sure loves his children greatly, but he is not a parent, just a father, just the instigator. It is actually ironic that you should choose such a case - his previous 'actions' have shown him to be just that, an instigator, and not a caretaker. In order for me to make a decision I would have to know what my mother would be like, what her personality is, her background, my likeliness of seeing her often, etc...

As it stands, this is the last real post in the debate. We each have closing statements, but they are a sum-up, not a bust-open, so small business is left.

I do however wish to comment on something else you said, about how you would not like a child to be raised in the other environment. My point there is that while I personally do not see it as the ideal position for a child to live in, life is not ideal. The child must have obstacles to overcome, and may end up much the better for it. While I don't think it is at all 'in him' at all for Gerald to parent, I think Joanne could manage it, and it should be her right to try.

My point, as always, is that anyone who fits the description of a parent is a parent, that is their right. Women fit the description. They are caretakers, and they are patient and empathetic. Women, naturally, have the right to parent, unless they were created with a serious malfunction that prevents them from this.

As you've already ceded to my point benjj, I say that this has been a good debate thus far, and will be glad to see which of us prevails, you are a hearty opponent.

480 Words(Title Included, this too). Yay.

posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:29 AM

We're obviously talking at cross-purposes here. I was under the illusion that parenting a child is actually a 'right' at present. I was not conceding the debate (god forbid!), but was merely making reference to the fact that the side of the argument that I am taking is the one that requires change.

Yes, at present it is yours, my, Sadam Hussein and OBL's 'right' to have children, but my argument is that while I believe perhaps you or I may make good parents, the other two are some what lacking.

In summing up this debate I would recommend all readers, and specifically you Viendin, think about this; what is the ideal start for a child? Is it, as I am claiming, the ideal start to have as few challenges in those formative years as possible? I believe so.

I did like your comments about certain things making people rise and become stronger, but that's not really the argument here. The debate is whether parenthood is a right or a privilege, and I say privilege.

It couldn't be any simpler. We, as prospective (or current) parents have a responsibility to our offspring. That responsibility does not start when the baby is born, it starts when you meet that special guy or girl with the glint in their eye. We must, for the sake of each of our respective countries benefit, take this decision more seriously.

In a nutshell then; As a member of the British Empire it is, factually as we have ascertained already, my 'right' to have as many or as few children as I deem fit. However, I was lucky to be born a British citizen (just ask any Ethiopian). I have freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of pretty much everything. The majority of humans on planet earth would see that as one thing; Privilege. Ipso facto, my right to bear offspring is a privilege, and not, as you are petitioning for, a 'right.'

Excellent work V, let's see what happens!


Word count: 337

posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 09:57 AM

Yes, at present it is yours, my, Sadam Hussein and OBL's 'right' to have children, but my argument is that while I believe perhaps you or I may make good parents, the other two are some what lacking.

Ah, but that isn't what I've been saying. I don't believe it is yours, my, OBL's or Saddam's right to have children, because men do not make parents. As I've said all along, while men can help, and be wonderful as fathers, fathers are not actually parental figures, all that they have to do is instigate the sexual process and provide minor resources and aid for the parent and child. OBL's wife, Saddam's, Yours, and eventually Mine, all have the full right to be parents.

Unlike many civil rights, (ie. the right to freedom of religion, or the right to freedom of speech) which have been easily treated as privileges in the past, this, parenthood, is not a 'removable right' - It does not appear to be going wonderfully for China to try to say 'one baby limit', and even while they say that, the people are still allowed to parent, it is just a limited experience. In Ethiopia, In Zimbabwe, in Kenya, in Spain, Holland, and the UK, in the US, Canada, and Mexico, in Nepal, Mongolia and Japan, in Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela, in Australia and New Zealand, in Iceland and Russia, worldwide, nomatter who you are, what your government is, or what stands in your way, if you are made to be a parent, then you have the right to be one. Regardless of the poor Child's life and given circumstances, they have a right to live, and women have the right to parent them.

As an afternote, I'll say to benjj:

Yes, good luck, I hope it doesn't take too long for results, it was a very good debate, and you were a good opponent. I obviously hope I win, but at least I know that if I lost, it was to a good person. Too bad we weren't clearer with each other on the topic and the argument, but, oh well.

356 Words.

posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 01:47 PM
Good good, the judges have been wound-up and are on their way.

[edit on 18-6-2004 by Kano]

posted on Jun, 19 2004 @ 01:51 AM
The vote is in. The winner of this debate by a margin of 6-2 is Viendin.

Congratulations to Viendin and comiserations to benjj. Here are some comments from the judges:

Right, this was an interesting debate with a very difficult topic. Viendin started with the interesting twist that only capable mothers are parents and that these have a right to be parents. This didn't make it easy for Benjj, because by only calling capable parents real parents, Viendin limited the possibilities for Benjii. I thought both sides were defended equally well, but Viendin's good use of examples and asking Benjj to comment on those made me choose Viendin as a winner for this debate.

This debate could have gone either way, it was that close. In review, if benjj had not forfeited his second response/rebuttal, the debate outcome may or may not have been different. I found for Viendin. I want to thank both for their participation, efforts, and time. I congratulate both...well done.

From the perspective that both debaters took, this was a difficult topic. While I totally and vehemently disagree with Viendin’s opinion that the woman is the “true parent”, disagree with the position of parenthood being a right and disagree with the notion that Benjj ceded his point, I must vote for Viendin on this one, as he made a better and clearer argument.

Cast the votage towards Viendin. He seemed to do a whole lot better job. I think benjj must have realized that by the end, because he almost seemed like conceding defeat in the closing.

Best of luck to Viendin in round 2. I'm sure we will see benjj again in future tournaments.

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