The Instigator
LucaliCole
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
toolpot462
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Absolute universal love is impractical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,105 times Debate No: 29101
Debate Rounds (5)
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LucaliCole

Pro

First I will start with definitions that must be agreed upon before anyone takes on this debate.

1.) Like [verb]: The feeling that one experiences when one appreciates another individual thing.

2.) Love: The feeling that one experiences in relation to another individual, in which certain sacrifices may be necessary to preserve the well-being of said individual.

3.) Universal Love: To love all individuals equally.

My argument shall naturally be anthropocentric, on account of the fact that I am opposed to universal love. The extent to which my opponent intends to take universal love is inconsequential to my willingness to continue this debate: whether my opponent chooses to extend love to all humans, all animals, all life, or all inorganic matter, it matters not (no pun intended). I will, nonetheless, debate against any notion of universal love.

Rules:

1.) The first round is acceptance.
2.) Your screenname cannot be, "RationalMadman."
3.) This is a classic debate between Confucianism and Taoism. Still many other eastern religions espouse a view of universal love. That said, Scripture/sanskrit is welcome, provided that it is backed by reason. In fact, this exception is extended to all religious viewpoints, from the Judeo standards to the shamanistic traditions.
4.) Drugs are great, but experience based on drugs stands for nothing. Druggy experiences are tantamount to anecdotal evidence, and thus they are not acceptable in a debate.
5.) Your screenname cannot be, "RationalMadman."
6.) Your screenname cannot be, "RationalMadman."

Let's keep it pleasant, and may the best debater win.
toolpot462

Con

I accept.

Practical - (of an idea, plan, or method) Likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances; feasible.

Effective: Successful in producing a desired or intended result.

Pro must prove that: The feeling that one experiences in relation to all individuals, in which certain sacrifices may be necessary to preserve the well-being of said individuals, is not likely to be successful in producing a desired or intended result in real circumstances.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
LucaliCole

Pro

First and foremost, I reject the claim that I must "prove" anything, on account of the fact that the nature of this matter is not one in which mathematics can properly illustrate. However, I believe that I can still argue against the practicality of universal love with a certain amount of a priori reasoning by using a common method in ethical arguments: namely, through hypothetical case scenarios.

To begin with, I would like to point out that there are two different fronts that I must attack when it comes to espousing the view of universal love: 1.) the personal, in which a single individual wanders the world with these ushey-gushey sensibilities, and 2.) the ideal, in which all individuals in the world adhere to the mindset of universal love.

1.) The Personal
Case scenario #1
Joe is a man who feels the sensation of universal love. He treats all people and all things with an equal amount of care. From his mother to a complete stranger, he feels that all beings are worthy of equal sympathy. It turns out that his mother is suffering from cancer, and needs exactly $26,000 to afford proper treatment. Joe has exactly $26,000 in his savings account. On the day that he hears from his mother's ailment, he is deeply affected on account of his love for her; but he also sees an advertisement on the internet asking for donations for the well-being of old Frankie Wilcox, whom Joe has never seen before in his life. It turns out that Frankie also needs precisely $26,000 in order to survive from his particular ailment. Joe is equally moved by this advertisement, and suddenly does not know what to do, as each of these people are equally valuable to him by his sensation of universal love. The only logical explanation for him is to flip a coin; wherever it lands, one life must be as good as another.

This scenario illustrates how deeply Joe is capable of feeling for people. Even if his mother was not suffering from cancer, a random stranger can still suck him into forking out $26,000. But when one is willing to fork out that much money to absolutely anyone, what is left of ones own well-being? When one is capable of such deep love for any single being (i.e. to the point in which they make extraneous sacrifices), their love for the rest of the world would bleed them dry. This would naturally act counter to ones own survival, which is not practical for a healthy and normal existence.

Furthermore, what should happen when Joe is taken advantage of by a fake cancer victim? The world we live in is naturally inhabited by deceivers and manipulators. Joe could choose not to trust these people, but has he loved them equally without trust? Our intuitions would say no, as trust or mistrust are necessary conditions for equal treatment -and therefore- love.

Case Scenario #2
Carrie is a woman who feels very little for anyone besides herself. She treats people with respect and affection, but she does not show favoritism to any one person over another. When she sees that Frankie and her mother each need $26,000 in order to survive, she sends a card to each of them offering her condolences. While she values each of these people -along with every other person in the world- equally, it cannot be said that she loves anyone: she likes people, and gives them -what she feels to be- proper appreciation.

What have we learned: By valuing all things deeply, we demean our own success in life. By valuing all things shallowly, we never experience love.

2.) The Ideal

Case Scenario #3
Carl lives in a society in which everyone loves each other equally. People look out for complete strangers, and complete strangers look out for you; you can trust everyone to look out for the betterment of the community. But Carl faces a morbid misfortune while he is hiking in the local mountain with his daughter: as they make their way through the trails, they hear a shriek cry about twenty feet ahead of them. Carl rushes to help the mysterious individual, who is found hanging off the edge of a cliff. But Carl has only made it ten feet when he hears his daughter shriek as well. He looks over his shoulder to find her in the same position as the stranger that he sought to aid. Equidistant from both, he simply shrugs, flips a coin, and is content with whatever result may come.

Obviously, this rubs against our moral intuitions. It is biologically written into us that we ought to value our own flesh and blood over beings that we have no knowledge of; this is what allows us to successfully reproduce, pass on our genes, and survive. The whole point of love is to take care of your mate, your young, and whoever else needs a helping hand. What I espouse is something not unlike Confucius's' concept of filial piety; the difference, however, is that instead of strictly prioritizing your elders/ancestors, I feel that evolution teaches us to love in spheres of moral consideration: our immediate familial units come first (i.e. spouse, children, parents), our extended family second, our good friends third, acquaintances fourth, and so on. While it would be cute for humanity as a whole to work as a pack, this would run counter to the darker side of evolutionary biology, which is that we must compete -or at the very least, prioritize- in order to survive.
toolpot462

Con

---
Pro is making an argument out of sentiment: suppose one of Pro's scenarios occurs, and a stranger saves someone over their mother as a result of a coin flip. Pro's claim that this is wrong assumes non-universal love.

If Pro did love universally, he would see that, in such a case, one equally loved person is saved either way. I request that Pro explain exactly why saving a family member is better than saving a stranger.

Furthermore, Pro fails to see that love is not the only motivator of human action. If there is a reason to save a family member over a stranger that does not involve love, then universal love is not going to result in coin-flip decision making. If there isn't, then there is no fault to saving a stranger over a family member if both are loved equally.

---

"Joe could choose not to trust these people, but has he loved them equally without trust?"

Love does not imply nor require trust. For instance: a parent may love a child deeply, but this does not require that they trust them. Perhaps the child frequently misbehaves.

So an individual who loves universally is not necessarily more susceptible to being swindled.

---

"By valuing all things deeply, we demean our own success in life."

Firstly, that depends on what success is. Secondly, universal love implies an equal share of self-love. Thirdly, you have failed to explain why this is so.

---

"When one is capable of such deep love for any single being (i.e. to the point in which they make extraneous sacrifices), their love for the rest of the world would bleed them dry."

Love, by your definition, does not require sacrifice. One could go through life without giving a thing to anyone, and still love everyone.
Debate Round No. 2
LucaliCole

Pro

LucaliCole forfeited this round.
toolpot462

Con

Go ahead.
Debate Round No. 3
LucaliCole

Pro

Look, I apologize. My mother just died of a heart attack. I'm not trying to get out of anything, but if we could resume this debate a few of weeks from now, I would deeply appreciate it. Otherwise, I'll forfeit. I really don't F-ing care at this point.

Sorry if you felt like your time was wasted.

-L
toolpot462

Con

toolpot462 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
LucaliCole

Pro

LucaliCole forfeited this round.
toolpot462

Con

toolpot462 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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