The Instigator
CiRrK
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
VirginianRobin
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Consequentialism is the most logical form of societal ethics

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
CiRrK
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,231 times Debate No: 15514
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

CiRrK

Pro

Resolved: Consequentialism is the most logical form of societal ethics

==Definitions==

1. Consequentialism: ethical theory which states that the most ethical action is the one which produces the best outcome

2. Logical: capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning

3. Societal: dealing with society as a whole by extension government action

4. Ethics: that which deals with correct or right action

==Rules==

1. Rd. 1 is for acceptance debating starts round 2

2. Drops are concessions

3. Rd. 4 is ONLY used for weighing and evidential analysis
VirginianRobin

Con

Thank you for the debate.

I accept definitions above, save the definition for societal. I would find it on the whole more apt, should it be as thus: "Societal: dealing with society as a whole."

I accept the rules.

I will argue that consequentialism is not the most logical form of society ethics; rather, virtue ethics is.

Good luck :D
Debate Round No. 1
CiRrK

Pro

==Definitions==

--> She agrees with all the definitions provided except for "societal." She cuts out the part of government, however I believe governmental action and responsibility is a necessary extension of societal analysis. Governments in a pure nature should represent the wills of the people. As such, when we analyze what is appropriate for society, by natural extension we are also analyzing governmental policy. Society is created, at this time in history, as a people and a government. We would not consider Somalia a "society," because it is not regulated as such with a structured form of norms and a governing body. Rather is in a state of anarchy. Therefore, analyzing society also encompasses analyzing the government.

==AC Contentions==

1. Society and that government MUST weigh consequences

Owen Harries, editor and founder of The National Interest, Senior Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies, Spring 1993/1994, The National Interest, “Power and Civilization,”


It is “the ethic of responsibility” rather than “the ethic of absolute ends” that is appropriate. While an individual is free to treat human rights as absolute, governments must always weigh consequences and the competing claims of other ends. So once they enter the realm of politics, rights have to take their place in a hierarchy of interests, including such basic things as national security and prosperity. Their place in that hierarchy will vary with circumstances, but no responsible government will ever be able to put them always at the top and treat them as inviolable and over-riding.

This is true because society and governments need to address the overreaching problems of society. This means that societal actions and policies need to produce the best outcomes. If not, then society and government is acting against itself, its own interests and its own people.

2. Societal interests first

George Kennan, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, Winter 1985-86, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 64, Iss. 2, “Morality and Foreign Policy,”

Second, let us recognize that the functions, commitments and moral obligations of governments are not the same as those of the individual. Government is an agent, not a principal. Its primary obligation is to the interests of the national society it represents, not to the moral impulses that individual elements of that society may experience. No more than the attorney vis-à-vis the client, nor the doctor vis-à-vis the patient, can government attempt to insert itself into the consciences of those whose interests it represents

3. Alternative results in ethical evasion, prefer consequentialism

Kai Nielsen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Calgary, 1993, Absolutism and Its Consequentialist Critics

Forget the levity of the example and consider the case of the innocent fat man. If there really is no other way of unsticking our fat man and if plainly, without blasting him out, everyone in the cave will drown, then, innocent or not, he should be blasted out. This indeed overrides the principle that the innocent should never be deliberately killed, but it does not reveal a callousness toward life, for the people involved are caught in a desperate situation in which, if such extreme action is not taken, many lives will be lost and far greater misery will obtain. Moreover, the people who do such a horrible thing or acquiesce in the doing of it are not likely to be rendered more callous about human life and human suffering as a result. Its occurrence will haunt them for the rest of their lives and is as likely as not to make them more rather than less morally sensitive. It is not even correct to say that such a desperate act shows a lack of respect for persons. We are not treating the fat man merely as a means. The fat man’s person his interests and rights are not ignored. Killing him is something which is undertaken with the greatest reluctance. It is only when it is quite certain that there is no other way to save the lives of the others that such a violent course of action is justifiably undertaken. Anticonsequentialists often point to the inhumanity of people who will sanction such killing of the innocent, but cannot the compliment be returned by speaking of the even greater inhumanity, conjoined with evasiveness, of those who will allow even more death and far greater misery and then excuse themselves on the ground that they did not intend the death and misery but merely forbore to prevent it? In such a context, such reasoning and such forbearing to prevent seems to me to constitute a moral evasion. I say it is evasive because rather than steeling himself to do what in normal circumstances would be a horrible and vile act but in this circumstance is a harsh moral necessity, he [it] allows, when he has the power to prevent it, a situation which is still many times worse. He tries to keep his ‘moral purity’ and [to] avoid ‘dirty hands’ at the price of utter moral failure.

Prefer action as logically superior to ethical evasion. By doing nothing, the very fundamentals of ethics are being degraded for the sake of a single instance of applying ethical action via ethical evasion. Consequentialism thus ensures that overall societal ethics are being maintained.

4. Consequentialism promotes societal egalitarianism

Ronald Dworkin, Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York University Taking Rights Seriously

Utilitarian arguments of policy, however, would seem secure from that objection. They do not suppose that any form of life is inherently more valuable than any other, but instead base their claim, that constraints on liberty are necessary to advance some collective goal of the community, just on the fact that that goal happens to be desired more widely or more deeply than any other. Utilitarian arguments of policy, therefore, seem not to oppose but on the contrary to embody the fundamental right of equal concern and respect, because they treat the wishes of each member of the community on a par with the wishes of any other, with no bonus or discount reflecting the view that the member is more or less worthy of concern, or his views more or less worthy of respect, than any other.

Thus, consequentialism produces the most beneficial form of egalitarianism because it precludes zeroing out anyone and maintains that since everyone is ultimately equal, one must maximize the protection of these equals.

5. Alternative leads to egregious violence; consequentialism protects against this

John C. Mohawk, associate professor of history at SUNY-Buffalo, member of the Seneca Nation, 2000, Utopian Legacies: A History of Conquest and Oppression in the Western World

People who believe that they are acting on a plan to solve all of the humankind’s problems think they are on a kind of sacred mission, even when the origin of their inspiration is secular in nature and makes no claim to intervention by a higher power. Although adherents may have only a vague idea about how the utopia will come about or what it will be like people caught up in such movements tend to be intolerant of others who are not part of this projected destiny, who do not believe in the same things, and are not expected to share in the future benefits. One reason for the popularity of these movements is that they exalt the importance of the group, praise their imagined superior qualities and future prospects. others who are not special or chosen are without significant value and may be treated accordingly. This kind of intolerance can result in the denial of rights, even genocide.

Thus, the alternative leads to intentful exclusion of those that disagree. This is true because the "ethic" or "virtue" is protected for at all costs, even at the cost of violence. Since consequentialism is doing which produces the best end, it protects against this.






VirginianRobin

Con

VirginianRobin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
CiRrK

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent forfieted. : (
VirginianRobin

Con

VirginianRobin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
CiRrK

Pro

Eh, she forfeited again.Oh well. Extend Arguments
VirginianRobin

Con

VirginianRobin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Ugh, thats why I dont trust new arrivals.
Posted by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
CiRrK seems like a debate coach I definitely would have vibed with, over my constantly PMSing coach
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
I wasnt expecting anyone to run virtue ethics as the alternative. Unexpected, yay funness. :D
Posted by CGBSpender 5 years ago
CGBSpender
I like the fact that Con decided to go with virtue rather than deontological. Deontological is the more natural opposing side, but virtue ethics has a lot to offer that people rarely consider.

Good luck to both of you.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Interesting matchup of ethics. Cant wait to see where this goes. Pretty cool avatar VR's got there.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
lol im always heavy on evidence xD but i mean ultimately it doesnt matter since analysis of the evidence should determine the win
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Since this is ethics, evidence will be minimal right?
Posted by mattrodstrom 5 years ago
mattrodstrom
Consequentialism 8)

"societal" ethics :/
Posted by Johnicle 5 years ago
Johnicle
Really close to taking this.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
If we end up getting paired in the tournament, we could possibly debate this. So I can put it on hold for you.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
CiRrKVirginianRobinTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
CiRrKVirginianRobinTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Via forfeit.
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
CiRrKVirginianRobinTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited every round.