The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Does evil exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 608 times Debate No: 56584
Debate Rounds (3)
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Citing your opinion of why historical figures act does not serve as supportive evidence to your claim. The act of any psychopath only at least validated the logical possibility of the existence of dispositional opposites. Hero, villain. Good, evil. Peace, mayhem.


I will acknowledge the argument made against my original thought.
Let us explore the psychopath, and the idea of the opposites. I will have to use another historical example, this one closer to home and more recent, and one who is widely considered to be a psychopath. Charles Manson.
Charles Manson is currently serving life in prison, though he did not kill any one, and denies that he had any involvement in any person's death. That is beside the point. He attempted to ignite a racial war between the blacks and the whites because he believed it would leave the world in a better state than the one it was currently in. Most people disagree with his views, and that is mainly because they do not read up on him. A lot of the Charles Manson philosophy does make sense. Not all of it, but he did hit the nail on the head with a lot of the the things he believes. He was wrong for the things he did, and he was wrong for trying to ignite a racial war.
Because of these things, most of the world sees him as an evil villain with bad intentions while the rest of us are good heroes with good intentions.
Manson's intentions were not bad. He thought that a racial war would leave behind a better world and future for our children. He believed that he was doing the right thing. He also knew that no one agreed with him. In his eyes, he was the hero with good intentions while the rest of the world were the evil villains with bad intentions.
There are the opposites, but from two different points of view.
Now Manson had good intentions, but his method was bad. The judge that sentenced him also had good intentions, but his method was also bad.

Any person who has good intentions but a bad method cannot be classified as evil. It is wrong to do so. It is the equivalent to the employee in the store who was trying to help you find the hot dogs, but led you to the underwear isle instead. His intentions were good, but used a bad method. That employee is not evil. He only made a mistake.
Manson knew what he was doing, so I do not claim that he made a mistake.

Psychopaths, assassins, and even the men who destroyed the World Trade Center, believed they were doing the world good. That doesn't make them evil. Just wrong in their methods.

Depending on what my fellow debater argues in the next round, I will be tackling the idea of those who do have bad intentions, but why they are still not evil.
Debate Round No. 1


I am glad you acknowledge that claims should have supportive evidence.
I do not know if Charles Manson is a good example of a psychopath, however Cons' example is appropriate.
Good and evil may be objective of the perception of the individual, however, the good of the many outweigh the good of the individual. The laws of man see to that. And Charles Manson broke several in his writings, for which he is incarcerated. Regardless of how he felt about what he wrote, the incitement of violence is an evil for the many for it brings about destruction, disorder, and harm. His contribution cannot be considered good unless weighed against the evil of essentially peaceful people, which I believe is a hard thing to argue. It can be considered evil for its fruits.
I have to challenge as well Cons definition of 'classified and 'wrong' in their usage context. I believe it is meant that jurors or judges or those who have objective cause to consider a person's intent and action need not discuss their moral disposition or character, only render a verdict of guilt or innocence. Whether or not a person can be said to be guilty of evil is not the subject of this debate, only whether or not evil exists. Burden of proof cannot change truth, only our perception of it. The fact that evil exists allows us to understand it and debate it. Without evil we would have no absolute or even remote idea of what evil could be.
We can understand a difference between good things and terrible things, so we can believe in evil and good. We do not need to know to believe.
One of the biggest arguments of the atheist is for proof that God exists, as if God is an experiment to be concluded upon. Such fallacy only brings one further from the truth. Ad that could be considered evil.


I cannot agree with the statement; "The good of the many outweigh the good of the few." Since we are speaking about Evil, we would have to acknowledge the morals and beliefs of the many that would place certain people and things as evil, against the morals and beliefs of the few that would do the same thing. The "good" of the many change on a decadently basis.

Less than 200 years ago, Most of white america found black people to be ungodly, unmoral, and evil creatures. They did believe that black men were works of god out of mans evil ways, and to be lesser than the white man. Little less than 50 years ago, its was the same thing, only with less slavery. Today, Gay marriage is becoming more and more acceptable where 10 years ago, it wouldn't even be thought of. Today you still see a lot of Americans complaining that Gay marriage is not moral, its wrong, and yes a lot of them use Evil as an argument.

People like Martin Luther King, Harvy Milk were people who went against the many. We now know that before the many was wrong, and that Martin Luther King was right. King was the good. The good of the few out weighed the good of the many. Times change and the many's perceptions of what is good and evil change as well.

We cannot get a good handle on what is good and evil, because there isn't one. As I said in the last paragraph, the ideas on what is good and evil, change. Evil is the ultimate bad, and there is nothing on this planet, or any other, that is an ultimate bad. Every single one of us have good and bad traits. Dr. King found that Gay's are an abomination, evil, and should never have rights.

Most of us do what we believe to be the right thing, and we try to make the world a better place. We have faults though. We do things wrong, and often enough we do things wrong while trying to fix things. Hitler, Manson, even Dr. King were trying to help, but they either had some parts of their philosophy that were misguided, or did the wrong thing when trying to make things better. They knew what they were doing.

Having differences in opinion does not make either party evil. Both think that they know what is good for the world. There is no evil there.
Debate Round No. 2


In closing,
Making a claim "Evil is logically impossible" can be supported with evidence which appeals to the soundness of logic, and how the premise 'evil does not exist' can be connected to the conclusion of "since a is true, evil does not exist".
Our thoughts and feelings about historical events and how we perceive the world around us cannot change the truth of the existence of anything, only can we strengthen how we feel about the truth, or lack thereof. I believe Con has not made a valid argument for his claim, as I cannot be led to the conclusion that evil does not exist. On account of Cons recurrent usage of good and evil, in his argument against the existence of evil, I have to wonder if perhaps the argument should be of a different claim.


I will close with this:

Our perceptions and feelings towards past events do rightly govern those things we consider to be good, or bad. Evil and heroic. Every action has a positive and a negative outcome no matter how big an impact that action has made.

There are good and bad people in the world, and I do not deny this. However I cannot make some out to be truly evil if what he does is out of what he believes to be good for the majority. No evil force acts on any one.

I also cannot call any one or any thing evil if we do the things we do out of our base instincts. We are animals in the literal meaning, and not in the metaphorical we all are horrible people pessimistic meaning. We do the things we do out of evolution; the things we believe will further not only ourselves, but the majority as a species. That is not evil, nor is it bad. If any thing it is good. Even if it has a negative impact on the world. We are all good people, even the worst of us.

I'll thank Pro for challenging me on this subject, and also thank Pro for putting up a good debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by AdamKG 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a good debate and was interesting to read. I agree with con's ideas on people not having evil intentions but just evil methods. If the same people attempted peaceful methods they would not be evil. While pro also argued well, con, overall, had the better argument.