Instigator / Pro
7
1435
rating
48
debates
37.5%
won
Topic

Legal ages for restricted activities(such as alcohol, weed, etc.) should be based on biological or physical age

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
6
Sources points
4
4
Spelling and grammar points
1
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 7 points ahead, the winner is ...

CaptainSceptic
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Society
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
14
1527
rating
8
debates
62.5%
won
Description
~ 0 / 5,000

No information

Round 1
Pro
Example 1: Supposed that you are suspended in a state similar to hibernation for 100 years and you are 12 before such an act, you are legally 112, but you are physically 12.

This would mean, in your side:
  • You can drive cars
  • You can drink fine wine
  • You can enter strip clubs
  • You can do all kinds of drugs
  • Liking people your own age(with no 100-year slumber, physically and legally 12) would be considered a pedophile
I will put an end to this argument. Before anyone even try to call me lazy, one example suffices.

Con
I will use my opponent's example to qualify the definition.

He is saying that the legal age is not the same as the developmental age.  If the development of the person is stalled, or impaired, then they should not qualify as being old enough to do restricted activities.  

I accept that distinction.

Age-restricted activities, for the most part, do not have a cognitive requirement,

  • There is not an intelligence test or biological capability test before the consumption of any wine. even fine wine.
  • There is no intelligence test to go to a strip bar
  • There is no intelligence test to get married
  • There is no intelligence test, financial test, morality test, or health test  to have children
  • There is no intelligence test to buy cigarettes
  • Thre is no intelligence test to be able to vote
The law provides an age as a general socially acceptable boundary where a significant portion of the population should have the appropriate faculties.

The law is not designed to deal with exceptions or unique cases such as the "centenarian minor" as described by my opponent.

To implement such a parameter would require a testing method for each "restricted activity" and then approval identification for each activity.  This is not the purpose of the government. 


I ask my opponent to try another example.
Round 2
Pro
I am obviously rushing, but here it is.

Thre is no intelligence test to be able to vote
"Thre". Yeah, fellow opponents should vote me for grammar and spelling unless I make a notable mistake.

Also, "should" represents an optimal situation. There should not have been a world war, there should be world peace, the US should have handled the coronavirus more strictly, etc... 

The reason the government didn't stall IQ tests to bars, tobacco shops, strip clubs, etc. is that they can't afford it. 


There are still about 60000-70000 bars and nightclubs, in which all of them are restricted to minors. Buying them brain detection devices isn't a problem, but it is kind of wasteful as that some bartenders want to earn money that they even advertise high school students to come in despite being illegal yet. "should" is always referring to things that are better if it happens, at least to them. All your argument is that it is a waste to buy them brain detection devices. 

However, because we are talking about the optimal situation, it would have been different. We are assuming that the majority of people obey and cope with the law. The world will also be better if the legal ages are based on biological ages. 

1. The method of getting alcohol and getting sex as minors will be dangerous if legal ages aren't based on biological ages

You may be surprised, but here is scenario 2: A group of minors who think they are cool and tough want to get laid and smoke. However, still being in High school, they aren't old enough yet to do these things. So that is when they go into the hospital and sign up for human hibernation. It then takes a few years as they wouldn't need to wait to be cool and break the law and get in jail. They want to do things legally. At the end of hibernation, they are still physically 17, but they are legally 21, so they are legally allowed to drive, get laid, and smoke and drink wine. Soon because of this, the rebellious teens across the nation will try to do this. Getting laid and smoking in a developmental age where they shouldn't be doing so. This will be a big loophole around the law. People can sign up for sports events for people older than 60 while physically being 20 and frozen for 40 years old, then crush the event against people much older than they are. It doesn't make sense for this to be allowed, so I'd stick to physical ages.

The reason what you are saying stands is because hibernation in humans is still in developmental stages, and thus every single person you would see would be the same both in physical and legal ages. Soon enough loopholes like these would be done, and the spoiled rich will cheat under legal loopholes that shouldn't be allowed if legal ages are based on biological ages. 

BTW, human hibernation is possible. 
Researchers have studied how to induce hibernation in humans.[31][32] The ability to hibernate would be useful for a number of reasons, such as saving the lives of seriously ill or injured people by temporarily putting them in a state of hibernation until treatment can be given. For space travel, human hibernation is also under consideration for e.g. missions to Mars. [33]

The law provides an age as a general socially acceptable boundary where a significant portion of the population should have the appropriate faculties.
The law is not designed to deal with exceptions or unique cases such as the "centenarian minor" as described by my opponent.
"Should" refers to situations that are better than the present and would be better if it happened instead, especially towards the speaker or author. The law can't deal with such people, so it is not the optimal situation.

To implement such a parameter would require a testing method for each "restricted activity" and then approval identification for each activity.  This is not the purpose of the government. 
Well if then, crimes of such loopholes will emerge.

In conclusion:
1. The term "Should" refers to the optimal scenario so my opponent's argument doesn't stand. 
2. Our legal ages are mostly based on physical ages because no one has been in hibernation and almost all people have the two consistent.
3. new methods of illegal activities will emerge due to the loopholes the legal ages would create. 
4. In the optimal scenario, physical ages are the way to go, no matter the method used to detect it.

Con

REBUTTAL

First Argument:

My opponent states that the reason why function tests are not given is because of cost.  

The reason the government didn't stall IQ tests to bars, tobacco shops, strip clubs, etc. is that they can't afford it. 
Yet there is no evidence that the government has even considered this.  In addition, my opponent fails to recognize that the regulation over bars, strip bars tobacco shops, are actually at a State level.   In addition, there is no evidence this "IQ test" has been proposed and rejected anywhere for any reason, let alone "because of cost"

This argument fails as being unsupported and inaccurate.

Second Argument

My opponent states that the acquisition of sex and alcohol could be exploited with their hibernation loophole.  There are a few assumptions here that render this argument unconvincing.

a). My opponent assumes that minors can sign up for a multi-year hibernation without parental or guardian permission.     There is nothing to suggest this would be permitted.  Further, if the minors had proper permission from their parents or guardians, why should the state interfere with their parental rights?

b). My opponent fails to recognize that many countries in the world have different ages for various controlled activities.   The perception of the impact of the activities my opponent references varies widely around the world, and the assumption that the laws set forth in the US are the only ones to protect health is erroneous.  

Alcohol, ranges from no age, --  banned.
Smoking ranges from no ages -- banned
Age of consent from as low as 12, or younger if married

My opponent's arguments about driving are not applicable as obtaining a driver's license requires a comprehension and performance test.

My opponent's argument about sports are not applicable because sports are generally not a regulated activity.


Third Argument

Hibernation does not mean the body does not age.  Hibernation is metabolic depression, not elimination.  The organism will still perform metabolic functions, which include cell division, etc.  HERE

My opponent has not demonstrated that hibernation would stop all bodily growth, and therefore has not demonstrated a plausible way in which a body would not physically age, yet their earth years would.    Further, my opponent has not shown a single actual example of this service in use.  So the risk is purely theoretical.  

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

My opponent has stated that it would be too expensive to implement a cognitive requirement for restricted activities.   However, even if the costs are not an issue, the invasion to privacy is significant.  My opponent's resolution would require the government to keep a close record on everyone's mental and physical abilities, and that seizure of information would be a violation of the 4th amendment.  

My opponent states this the "should" is enough justification to implement such a policy.  However in the US, if a constitutional right is to be restricted, the courts assess the measure based on "the strict scrutiny test".   Strict scrutiny requires the government to demonstrate that it is using the most narrowly tailored or least restrictive, means to achieve an interest that is compelling.

A theoretical risk is not a compelling risk.  

Finally, there are many people who may not have the cognitive capacity of  21 years old or someone who is older than developed dementia or some other cognitive impairment disease, would have their right to consume those legal products infringed.  

In short, there is nothing being solved by my opponent's proposal.  Forcing everyone to take cognitive, and performance tests for any regulated activity would be an unprecedented government interference with individuals' privacy.   That invasion is not supported by a compelling interest.   The current method of an age-based distinction purely tied to a birthday is acceptable.