The Instigator
swagner713
Pro (for)
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The Contender
philosophystudent231
Con (against)
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Anger can be a good moral motivation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 395 times Debate No: 42870
Debate Rounds (3)
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swagner713

Pro

Aristotle claims that anger is a useful attribute. He defines anger as a desire accompanied by pain, and says that it must always be felt towards some particular individual, and not men in general. Anger is also attended by a certain pleasure because the thoughts dwell upon the act of vengeance, and the images then called up cause pleasure. He also argues that anger stimulates the mind for deeds of war and enables men to be keener fighters.
In addition, Aristotle claims that the two types of virtues, intellectual and moral, are developed through teaching and habit, respectively. He argues that anger can be a good moral motivation as follows:
(1)Virtue can be either intellectual or moral in nature, with the intellectual being developed through teaching, requiring experience and time, and the moral being developed through habit.
(2)Some men become self-restrained while others become irascible due to their tendency to behave in either manner; these characteristics become, through habit, part of each mans moral virtue.
(3)The kinds of activities we undertake define our character, and thus our virtues, by encouraging us towards one kind of behavior over another.
(4)Virtues are destroyed by excess and defect and are preserved by the mean.
(5)The desirable amount of anger is the mean between too much anger and too little anger and is considered good-tempered.
(6)The good-tempered man is praised because he tends to be unperturbed and not led by passion but is angry in the way the rule dictates.
(7)Those who are not angry at the things they should be angry at are thought to be fools unlikely to defend themselves.
(8)Anger has several manifestations, the worst being called bad-tempered which cannot be appeased until they inflict vengeance or punishment.
(9)We idealize good temper and oppose excess more strongly than we oppose deficiency since bad tempered people are worse to live with.
(10)Acceptable factors for one"s anger can only be decided according to th
philosophystudent231

Con

IT IS IRRELEVANT that anger may stimulate the mind for deeds of war since deeds of war may may not have any relation to issues of morality. The link between anger and morality in the presented argument is tenuous. While anger may be a virtue in itself, IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW that anger can be a good moral motivation. We may learn moral virtues through habit but to make anger habitual does not make one a moral person.
it is possible that anger can instead influence us to make bad decisions. Anger can interfere with other motivations that do guide our moral judgments.
Seneca argues that anger, like drunkenness, fear and other conditions are vile and unsteady. Because of this they cannot be moral motivations but instead are weaknesses.
In addition, to pass moral judgment we cannot use anger to assess a situation because we may ourselves be guilty of the same misdeeds. Seneca argues that we cannot pass judgment on the rule of law alone because this forgoes the many other possible forms of guilt. To truly make a moral judgment against another we must consider our own actions independent of anger.
Debate Round No. 1
swagner713

Pro

You have made the statement, ""since deeds of war may not have any relation to issues of morality." This IS NOT THE CASE. Any issue dealing with deeds of war must have some relation to issues of morality. In addition, anger is useful once you find the middle ground between calmness and bad-tempered. As we see in the case of strength and health, exercise either excessive or defective destroys the strength. Similarly, too much or too little anger can be detrimental. However, if you are able to find the appropriate middle ground, anger will be useful.
You say anger is vile and unsteady, but you must treat anger as if it is one of the rank in file, not as your commander.
Of all the things that come to us by nature we first acquire the potentiality and later exhibit the activity; but the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. It is from the same causes and the same means that every virtue is both produced and destroyed, and similarly every art; for it is from playing the lyre that both good and bad lyre-players are produced.
philosophystudent231

Con

While IT IS POSSIBLE that war may be entered into based on issues of morality, it IS NOT NECESSARILY the case. The motivations to go to war may be based on virtues other than anger, such as hatred. Anger does nothing to inform the morality of such actions before or after the fact. Anger may instead make the situation worse by inflating tempers and inciting further violence.
Seneca argues that anger can make men reckless and in deeds of war this my make the situation worse. A middle ground or a good temper will still do nothing to prevent acts of immorality, rendering it useless except after the fact at which time the damage has already been done.
Debate Round No. 2
swagner713

Pro

IT IS IRRELEVANT that some wars may be entered into based on issues of morality, because at some point morality always comes up in war. In all wars, men intend to either kill or inflict injury upon the opposing side. In addition, innocent citizens may be affected by the conflict. So IT IS THE CASE that the issue of morality comes up in all wars.
Anger does not always make men reckless; if a proper middle ground is found than anger can be a crucial emotion that can benefit the individual. Anger has several manifestations and some of those do not always include bad tempers. If a proper middle ground can be found than it can boost the motivation of the individual and therefore, serve as a moral motivator.
philosophystudent231

Con

The causes of causes of war due to virtues other than anger are IRRELEVANT because if we pass judgment on those wars using anger, it has then been transformed into something else. Once anger is reasoned with, for example the examination of the causes of war, it is no longer anger. Anger does not guide our moral motivations. Instead it makes us reckless and unable to make informed decisions. We take action before evaluating the morality of something because it rushes our response to a situation. Our impulses are not always guided by ideals of right and wrong but can be twisted to serve purposes like greed. If we focus only on anger we do not truly understand the right and wrong of a situation because we are focused only on our own feelings and not the consequences of our actions. Those consequences may ultimately be immoral when examined by another and reflect poorly on our own moral judgment. Our anger does nothing to make us moral people. It makes us impulsive and judgmental without time for reflection.
Debate Round No. 3
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