The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

All Organizations Must be Self-Serving to Some Extent to Continue their Existence

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 510 times Debate No: 63483
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I assert that all organizations must be self-serving to some extent in order to continue existence.

My opponent must prove that an organization (government, religious, or social) can continue their existence without being self-serving at all.

No other rules than that. Have at it.


Pro says that all I have to do is find an (which I assume as one) organization to use as the basis of my argument I will use Saint Jude's research facility in Nashville Tennessee. A non-profit organization that doesn't even ask the patients for a dime and has around since 1962. It receives all money for funding and the continuing of research through donations provided for by the public. Since I have found an organization there is no need to continue the debate. I have upheld my burden of proof with a counter example that has sustained itself for 52 years.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate.

Yes, I will accept a single organization for use as a basis.

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a wonderful organization that does a lot of good...I'd say they even do more good than most. However, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital must be self-serving to some extent.

If the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital never advertised themselves, the public wouldn't know about the organization, and the organization wouldn't have the funds to continue their existence.
If the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital never paid their bills, the lights would be shut off.

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital must do what they need to do in order to continue their existence.

In the same way, a conscience human being must eat in order to continue their existence. Eating is a self-serving act.


I do not like the claim that Saint Jude's is self serving only on the basis that they have advertising to keep the lights on. As a non profit organization that is defined as a research institution that is grossing no revenue. I would rather look at Saint Jude's as an independent supporting a lot of dependent's who need the state of the art technology to give their loved one's a fighting shot at life. By getting the money through donations Saint Jude's is allowed to pay their bills which benefit a much larger community. The bills must be paid to ensure that people get the most gracious care possible. I do not equate that with self serving. I believe that if the hospital asked for the residents to pay fees than that is a self serving act to gross a profit. Stealing on the other hand is a self serving act because you deny the mutual rights of someone else's livelihood in favor of yourself. Now, if Saint Jude's didn't pay the bills and started asking for the families to pay up that is a different story. But asking for donations through ads to keep someone alive is admirable above all. Eating is not self serving but self sustaining.
Debate Round No. 2


Yes, "self-sustaining" is a better and more accurate term, which I should have originally used. But please consider "self-sustaining" and "self-serving" as synonymous just for the sake of this debate.

And I am not claiming "that Saint Jude's is self serving ONLY on the basis that they have advertising to keep the lights on." As mentioned, I believe that the St. Jude Children's Hospital is doing a lot to benefit the community at large. But as you mentioned "The bills must be paid to ensure that people get the most gracious care possible." This is a self-sustaining act.

My general point is, every organization must do some self-sustaining, even if it is to the lowest possible degree. The St. Jude Children's Hospital may act in a way that is 99.99999% self-sacrificing, but they must act in even the slightest way to support themselves in order to continue existence.

Thank you for debating.


Self Sustain -able to continue in a healthy state without outside assistance
Self Serving-having concern for one's own welfare and interests before those of others.
Both definitions provided by google

These terms are not synonymous and I will debate the resolution using both terms, but changing the resolution in the middle of the round gives me the ballot. However, Saint Jude's is not self serving by definition because they use outside funds to provide medicine and care for others without them having to pay a cent. This is generosity at the maximum and provides a sturdy example since the pro said I only had to provide an example of an instance of non self serving to continue their existence. I met my burden of proof and thus have provided a clear counter example that destroys the maxim outlined in the resolution.

If we implement the words self sustain into the resolution the resolution reads as follows "All Organizations Must be Self-Sustaining to Some Extent to Continue their Existence"Again I use Saint Jude's as a model because they need constant outside assistance to help themselves survive. They are 100% non-profit organization which means their very existence is dependent upon outside help.

Thanks for the great round
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by justiceandtruth 3 years ago
offensive to who?
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
Yeah I don't really think it's impossible either. I just decided to use that word because the word I would've used otherwise was 'ridiculous', and I thought that would've been offensive.
Posted by justiceandtruth 3 years ago
Thank you also pro, it is always fun to debate topics no matter the topic itself. I saw it as an exercise in thought as well, really thought provoking, and I need to polish my skills as well.
Posted by Jackconway 3 years ago
Thanks to Con for the great debate.

I didn't want to lead on very much about this. But I do know several people who work with St Jude's and it really is a wonderful organization. And I don't think anyone there is putting their interest before others.

The debate was just an exercise in thought. Although, it seems that I need to polish it up a little. Thanks again Con.
Posted by justiceandtruth 3 years ago
The definition doesn't make it impossible look up the word self serving and it means putting the interest of yourselves before others, let me finish the round.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
Pro's definition of self-serving makes debate impossible. That said, Con should've known he would've taken it the direction he did.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded that all organisations can be non self-serving, but must be self-sustaining. He asked, in the final round (!), for these two to be assumed to be synonymous. Obviously he can't do that. Con wins this debate.