The Instigator
Plumbum
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
baus
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Being taught to do good is better than being taught to not do evil.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Plumbum
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 785 times Debate No: 55729
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

Plumbum

Pro

In a society which proves progress is key, doing is much more contributive to progress than suppression. If a child is taught not to do evil, then he will possibly remain neutral - a fence sitter. However, this does not mean that he is no longer capable of doing either the good or the bad. He/she will just be more inclined on not performing evil deeds.

If a child is taught to do good, then he will continue making changes guided by values he chose to live by. The changes he/she makes may not hold a great impact, but a contribution non the less. This, however, again does not mean he is no longer capable of having twisted values that may actually be counterproductive to society (ie. Having Absolute beliefs that result to wars; Adolf Hitler). However, the chances of a misguidance is highly minimal.

The definition of good and bad in this debate are highly cultural, but still has to follow the universally accepted moral norms.
baus

Con

In order for teaching people to do good being better than teaching them not to do evil, it must be possible to do such a thing without teaching them to not do evil.

I challenge my opponent to give me a single example of an act that is neither good nor evil in any way whatsoever that could be done in a more good manner if the person had been taught to do good, instead of not doing evil.

Aside from this, the resolution is speaking from the point of view of the one who was taught, not the one who is teaching.

thus, if one is taught to not do evil, it opens their inner psychopath to carry out its malignancy in legally neutral ways that result in neutral benefits to the self whereas being taught to do good will likely lead a person into a lot of moral dilemmas whenever they do anything for themselves.

Imagine this:

You want to bang this really hot chick and give her the night of her life but you fear that by doing so you may marry her and that would be evil both to any other man who may have a crush on her or may end up alone because you took her before she could meet him as well as the same dilemma for why woman and you. Heck, you couldn't even breathe oxygen without fearing who you're stealing it from.

Being taught to 'not do evil' gives you a few boundaries to never cross, that gives you much more play area inside as opposed to being forced into a tight corner of 'good' actions that are almost boundlessly restrictive on what you can do in fear of indirectly harming another.
Debate Round No. 1
Plumbum

Pro

Accepting the challenge of my adversary, I would offer this example:

Refusing to give donations to a typhoon victim, is a neutral act.
At a basic depth of insight, the act proves to be neutral due to the fact that it did not provide both parties (you and the victim) any immediate benefit nor did it provide any further deepening of predicaments. Inaction is the key word in this specific scenario.

Providing aid to the victim in a holistic manner such as providing temporary basic bodily needs, empowerment, shelter, education, etc, however, is a relatively a better option than the said neutral act. It not only provides immediate benefit to the victim but also a long term one. Of course, simply providing a small donation such as $20 in this situation, is still to be considered an act of goodness.

The level of goodness, which may be determined by the level of benefit the act provided, is not important in this case.

Withholding yourself on intentionally discouraging other possible donors, can be classified of an action that does not promote or do evil.

Looking at this single situation, it is not difficult to see that doing the good provided more benefits.

Moving on, in response to my adversary"s conclusion, I would like to agree that not doing evil may provide some neutral benefits, but that is not to say that these neutral benefits are better than the benefits brought about by good deeds.

After reading the situation given to me on your first argument, I would like respond by saying that it lacks some explanation to properly support your argument. In fact, I believe that the very same example went against your point.

In that situation, unlike your interpretation, my interpretation states that the moral dilemma was made by thorough consideration of the evils that it may brought about. The persona was held indecisive due to his pursuit in not doing anything he considers evil.

Summing it all up, although I acknowledge that there are some neutral benefits brought about by neutral / "not doing evil" deeds, it can be seen that good deeds provide deeper and possibly more holistic benefits to possibly more than one party. In addition to this, unlike your claim, "not doing evil" may actually be the one giving moral dilemmas that leads to indecisiveness or inaction.
baus

Con

baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Plumbum

Pro

Seeing that my adversary will no longer be able to continue with our debate, I have no further intention to give out more arguments.

Thank you.
baus

Con

baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Con is gone.
Posted by Plumbum 2 years ago
Plumbum
Answering the questions given by oneloveworld, I would say that the debate works on extremes where in one is taught to do good with the absence of the negative reinforcement of doing evil deeds, and one is bombarded with negative reinforcement of doing evil deeds with the complete absence of positive reinforcement on doing the good.

It is undeniable, however, that using both options together would certainly be better.

Furthermore, the terms of "good" and "evil" in this debate is left to the definitions of universal moral norms. It was intentional to leave the terms loosely defined for the sake of giving the debaters more freedom in their thoughts, and to encourage deep thinking on a wide scope.
Posted by oneloveworld 2 years ago
oneloveworld
Also curious to hear your thoughts on this idea:

If we were to make the assumption that most children learn "correct" behaviors through operant conditioning, that is positive reinforcement of "good" behaviors and negative reinforcement of "evil" behaviors, it would seem that "being taught to do good" would be analogous with positive reinforcement of "good" behavior and "being taught not to do evil" would be analogous with negative reinforcement of "evil" behaviors. Would it not possibly be most beneficial for children to learn through both avenues, or would you argue that positive reinforcement is the superior option? Or that the analogy is weak?
Posted by oneloveworld 2 years ago
oneloveworld
"In a society which proves progress is key..."

Our particular society may operate on the premise that progress is "key", however, the fact that it operates on that premise does not in and of itself constitute proof of that premise. It seems that more evidence is needed to prove that assertion as it seems to be a fairly fundamental driving force behind your argument. It also seems that the definitions of "good" and "evil", as they pertain to this question, are shaped by that premise. If you were to substitute "utility" for "progress", then "good" and "evil" would take on slightly different meanings.
Posted by Duncan 2 years ago
Duncan
Does this mean the child who is taught ti do good is never taught not to do evil? You know that some consider refusing help to other to be an evil act? Morality may have some universal qualities, but Evil is an entirely subjective term.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
PlumbumbausTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
PlumbumbausTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Neither had poor conduct, therefore, it is a tie. S&G - Tie. Neither made any spelling or grammatical errors, therefore, it is a tie. Arguments - Pro. Successfully met the challenge presented by Con in R1. Although Con did not respond due to forfeiting, I have spared conduct points for that (as I normally take conduct points if forfeits occur under normal circumstances) and have instead applied them to arguments for Pro due to Con failing to cancel out the BOP that Pro needed to uphold. Sources - Tie. Neither utilized sources in this debate. ** I understand that Baus was banned from the site, possibly before this debate ended. Unfortunately, this debate needed at-least one vote to clear up the unvoted debate section. Pro maintained his position regardless of lack of involvement by Con, IMO. ** Feel free to PM me if you feel otherwise.