The Instigator
CiRrK
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
Phoenix_Reaper
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

(ELO) Compassion is a more worthwhile human trait than intelligence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
CiRrK
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,162 times Debate No: 16797
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (6)

 

CiRrK

Con

Resolved: Compassion is a more worthwhile human trait than intelligence

[Definitions]

Compassion: sympathetic pity

Worthwhile: importance

Intelligence: capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity

[Rules]

1. Drops are concessions

2. No new arguments in the 4th Round

3. Forfeit will result in a loss of all 7 pts

4. No semantics

*Rd. 1 will be for acceptance. Rd. 2 will start argumentation*
Phoenix_Reaper

Pro

I accept. No semantics will make it difficult for myself. Should be fun!
Debate Round No. 1
CiRrK

Con

Resolved: Compassion is a more worthwhile human trait than intelligence

C1: Ethical Implementation

1. Consequentialism and Utilitarianism. Intelligence is more important in this this respect in that both forms of ethics collapse down to some type of decision calculus. A decision calculus depends on intelligence and not compassion. This is true because to come up with a decision calculus assumes rational thought and other mental processes none of which need compassion. On the contrary, compassion assumes a mode of feeling which would actually impair the consequential decision calculus. Take the famous trolley example. You have the ability to keep a trolley on one path which would kill 5 people. Or you can switch the track and have the trolley hit 1 person. I argue that intelligence is the most important trait here because the decision calculus would lead the person to switch the track and kill the 1 person instead of the 5. Compassion however would cloud this rational thought process and put doubt into the mind of the individual since then the moral burden is to proactively flip the switch which would lead to someone's death. Now is it possible to make the rational decision and kill the 1 person with compassion? Yes. But the impact on the round for this is 3-fold. First, you still would vote Con because both would still be equally important. Two, compassion would increase the timeframe of the action because of clouds of doubt which could be enough time to hit the 5 people. Third, intelligence would always outweigh because the rational decision process would always vie on the quantitative side whereas compassion might not.

2. Discourse Ethics. In short discourse ethics is a communicative ethical deductive system. Its basis derives from the fact that the deduction of ethical normative facts is predicated upon argumentation and discourse. This system seeks to address flaws found within Kantian deontological ethics. Which, it does. But, I digress. This system argues that since it is impossible to have moral norms within an isolated individual sphere, i.e. it is predicated upon human interaction and discourse, then moral norms can only be valid intersubjectively. Thus, intelligence supersedes compassion in this realm of discourse ethics because it is based on communicative rationality which is a major aspect of the definition of intelligence.

C2: Innovation

Insofar as intelligence is the root of innovation, you will always vie on the side of intelligence first since it is the basis of all progress, advancement, etc. This includes but is not limited to medicine, innovative-capitalism, and other scientific progress. Without innovation, compassion means nothing because compassion cannot be allocated except on an individual basis. Thus, macro impacts of compassion would be void. Thus the efficacy of compassion is based first on intelligence.

AND if this is rejected:

C3: Compassion before intelligence results in socialism

It is true that intent does not mean good ends. Compassion before intelligence will result in socialist-type scenarios. This is true because the "compassionate ones" want a quick fix to society's issues. And since a large portion of society is not well-read in economic theory or political theory then socialism or forms of social planning will be seen as desirable.

AND socialism is a flawed economic model which will result in more harm.

Summers, former president of Harvard and former Secretary of the Treasury argues that large scale social planning and federal spending results in the following harm: (1) the "crowding out" effect of investment, (2) lower productivity, (3) higher interest rates, (4) lower investments and (5) cycle of more public spending. Dorsch elucidates more harms: (1) dollar dumping by countries especially China and (2) hyperinflation.

This will turn any benefit of the Pro because it has the biggest impact of society as a whole and thus individuals working within that system.
Phoenix_Reaper

Pro

I would like to thank the Con for this debate.

Resolved: Compassion is a more worthwhile human trait than intelligence.

Compassion defined as "sympathetic pity" by the pro has a negative connotation. Without compassion we as a society would be worse off.

Contention One.

Compassion is the human trait which allows people to help eliminate pain and suffering. Compassion is not only a human ability is it rampant thought out the animal kingdom. If compassion was as useless as the Con suggests evolution would have dealt away with it long ago. The reason compassion sticks around is due to the Achilles heel of people, being social. Humans are naturally social animals regardless of who you are. Intelligence will make for great conversation and may help with decision making but people are incapable of being solely intelligent. Due to our nature instincts to talk to our friends, family, even the occasional stranger compassion assists in getting to know a person to create social bonds. Without some sort of connection to people we have no reason to use intellect to help fellow humans other than to just make it livable.

These social bonds are what create our world whether it a good friend or two nations. Compassion does play a role within our world and it is between nations. The helping of a foreign nation in need is an act of compassion that has great benefit because it helps create the social bond which also assists in making the world more livable. A decision calculus may not always account for the reaction of a nation due to not assisting them because it does not favor us enough. It is also a action of greed.

Contention Two.

Compassion has a larger role in ethics and morality than my opponent lets on. Compassion is a crux in morality.

Morals as defined by Oxford - concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.

To argue that intelligence is more favorable than morals leads to the idea of nihilism. The difference between right and wrong allow for people to feel compassion for the victim of wrong actions. Claiming that moral norms are valid subjectivity is true. One society will differ from another society. Claiming intelligence supersedes compassion in this realm is unsupported. A society different from my opponent and myself may live by their norms and not intelligence. I will even go as far to say such society's may even lack intelligence. No intelligence means compassion trumps.

Contention Three.

Compassion plays a significant role in politics. Regardless of what either of us think about intelligence not all people are capable of thinking critically. Within the political realm compassion can make or break politicians. Being in an office of power which is there to help the people, being solely intellectual based will harm the people it is there to assist. My opponent could argue that politicians are all corrupt with compassion, but with intellect base he or she would only help him or herself. An intellectual will only look out for ones self over the interest of the people.

In summation;

Compassion is an inalienable human trait that has not been eradicated from evolution.

Compassion leads to social bonds that may help everyone whether it person to person or nation to nation.

Compassion without politics will leads to a more hurtful government than Socialism.

Purely intellectual thought leads to nihilism.

Due to word count I suggest round three be rebuttals only I pass it on to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
CiRrK

Con

C1



Compassion is the human trait which allows people to help eliminate pain and suffering...

1. This is a semi-strawman argument. My position is not that compassion is useless as my opponent says. My burden is merely to show that intelligence is more worthwhile or is equal in importance to compassion (refer to C1 – impact 1).

2. No warrant provided about evolution. You would need to establish an evolutionary timeline that can be analyzed so we know specifically when compassion would have been eliminated. Ut obviously this can’t be done, and is thus unverifiable.

3. TURN: Intelligence is first needed before compassion as a mechanism of survival. Intelligence gives humans the ability to overcome the environment and use it for its own gain and own survival.

The reason compassion sticks around is due to the Achilles heel of people, being social...

1. No link provided between compassion and social bonds. Remember compassion refers to pity, and people all the time are social with others without having the feeling of pity for them. My opponent to prove this as valid would need to establish a prerequisite link between compassion and bonds.

2. TURN: Intelligence is more important in this case because as my opponent mentioned social bonds are predicated upon interaction which can only be done through communication and other forms of rational mental processes.



These social bonds are what create our world whether it a good friend or two nations...

1. No warrant on intent. How do we know nations act out of compassion and not simply guised self-interest? It is a big leap to say that nations help each other out of compassion. Moreover, I would say this is untrue because nations act within realms of realism, i.e. nations act out of self-interest and survival. This is seen historically, especially through alliance systems. E.g. World War 1.

2. TURN: Thus, the façade of “compassion” is simply a mechanism conceived by intelligence to further a nations own self-interest. Therefore, intelligence is more important again because it helps preserve the survival of different nation states.


C2



Compassion has a larger role in ethics and morality than my opponent lets on. Compassion is a crux in morality...

1. Non-sequitur. How does that definition lead us to the conclusion that compassion is more important? It simply tells us to follow the right. However, refer to my C1. The ethics of utility argue that ethics are based on rational decision calculus’s which are predicated first on intelligence.


To argue that intelligence is more favorable than morals leads to the idea of nihilism...

1. Nowhere in these “warrants” is there a justification for the claim that intelligence leads to nihilism. He basically jumps to that conclusion.

2. Cross-apply C1. I isolated two independent ethical systems, both of which rely on intelligence as its primary human trait.

3. Where’s the impact? Why is nihilism bad? There are many responses to nihilism that exist within ethical philosophy.

4. TURN: Intelligence solves whatever harms nihilism might produce because it protects against societal backlash.


One society will differ from another society...

1. My opponent makes a horrible logical fallacy. He says since other societies might value compassion over intelligence then you can’t negate.

(i) If that’s true then I can say that some societies value intelligence over compassion, so you can’t affirm either. This argument is a wash at this point.

(ii) Who cares if some societies might? That doesn’t make it correct or right; it just means that some people believe the wrong thing.

2. Every society will have intelligence, since it is a human trait. Some just utilize differently than others.


C3


Compassion plays a significant role in politics...

1. Again, no warrant, just an assertion.

2. Cross-apply C3. Compassion without rational calculus results in socialism. And cross-apply the impacts.

3. False. If a politican foucses too much on self-interest thy will lose their office.

Phoenix_Reaper

Pro

C1

"3. TURN: Intelligence is first needed before compassion as a mechanism of survival. Intelligence gives humans the ability to overcome the environment and use it for its own gain and own survival. "

Intelligence is gained over time. Compassion is a natural emotion that has become linked to our species. As a young child having this compassion may allow one grace for actions that one may have committed, sort of repentance. My point being that intelligence is gained from experience where as compassion is gained by birth, knowing when one has done something wrong or when to assist someone in need. By helping those who need it one may gain their grace and become an ally in life.

On social bonds of people.

"My opponent to prove this as valid would need to establish a prerequisite link between compassion and bonds. "

Compassion as defined is sympathetic pity. As stated prior humans are prone to being social. One thing that comes with life is pain and suffering in various forms. Those that are suffering have a hard time coping alone since most people are not intelligence based humans. The act of compassion allows for he or she to cope and may develop into a friendship due to assisting.

In response to turn.

"...communication and other forms of rational mental processes. "

People communicating rely upon knowing words and being able to make coherent sentences. A basic interaction may only be to talk about his or her day which will most likely lead to compassion due to it being unlikely that ones life is always happy. Unless the communication is a debate or discussion than intelligence is one step below personal discussion.

On social bonds and nations.

"Moreover, I would say this is untrue because nations act within realms of realism, i.e. nations act out of self-interest and survival."

A country that is driven on a pure self interest status quo may hurt others in that process. Yes, World War One and World War Two lead to alliances to help dismantle the same threats. Though some nations are known to help less fortunate country's out of compassion such as Haiti.

C2

"4. TURN: Intelligence solves whatever harms nihilism might produce because it protects against societal backlash. "

In an irrational society with day to day people that we live in societal backlash is inevitable with the idea of nihilism due to people thriving off of emotion. In reality emotion is inescapable of our lives. Intelligence may have the ability to problem solve but it is incapable of solving person problems that help one another which leads me back to social bonds.
Debate Round No. 3
CiRrK

Con

==My Case==

My opponent in Rd. 2 said that Rd. 3 would be for rebuttals, and by implicit extension Rd. 4 would be used to address the rebuttals. However, my opponent did not touch my case in Rd. 3 at all. And remember the rules state that drops are concessions. That means my opponent has conceded the entirety of my case.

Thus, extend all my arguments through as true.

And dont let him try and respond because I have no recourse since this is my last round.

==His Case==

C1

Intelligence is gained over time. Compassion is a natural emotion that has become linked to our species.

1. Intelligence is a gained trait as well, it just needs to be developed.


2. The time at which a trait is gained doesnt matter. You give no justification as to why it would matter anyway.

3. Your argument is false; even compassion requires time and development. If a child isnt taught to compassionate they probably wont be. This can be seen within kids around the age of 2 who discover the "ego." This prevents them from sharing unless taught to do so.

Social Bonds and nations

A country that is driven on a pure self interest status quo may hurt others in that process.

1. And as my argument implies; countries which do do that are hurt in return. It wouldnt be intelligent for a nation to soley act out of sel-interest since it would create enemies.

C2

In an irrational society with day to day people that we live in societal backlash is inevitable with the idea of nihilism due to people thriving off of emotion.

1. This doesnt answer how intelligence directly leads to nihlism. You give no justification.

==Extensions==

He dropped a lot of arguments from my rebuttal. Refer to my arguments in Rd. 3.

These can be cleanly extended.

==Voters==

1. Since my case was extended fully this gives clear reason to vote Con. Contention 1 tells you that in two forms of moral decision calculuses intelligence takes priority to compassion. Contention 2 tells you that intelligence is the way to innovation. At this point the only way compassion means anything is if people can be innovative to help others. Thus prefer intelligence first. Contention 3 tells you that compassion without intelligence results in socialism, and refer to Rd. 2 for the list of harms. These outweigh because it destroys the economic enviornment which affects everyone.

2. On-face negation. He dropped my argument that all the Con needs to do to negate is prove that compassion isnt MORE important than intelligence. Insofar as my kicks and turns on the Pro case have gone extended he gives no reason why compassionis more important - default Con.





Phoenix_Reaper

Pro

CiRik is correct I had dropped a lot of his arguments due to my own reasoning. Regardless of reasons, as agreed, I have conceded.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Very strong argument from CiRrK as expected, to expand on my RfD, consider the following :

"Insofar as intelligence is the root of innovation, you will always vie on the side of intelligence first since it is the basis of all progress, advancement, etc. "

the weakness of CiRrK's argument is that these points are not fully justified. Now CiRrK makes a common debating ploy and demands Phoenix rebutt this argument but how strong is it really? That is the problem with a large number of arguments they all end up being individually weak. From my perspective Phoenix would have had a much better chance demanding CiRrK provide full justification instead of just drive-by's such as :

"AND socialism is a flawed economic model which will result in more harm."

That can be easily refuted as it is simply stated with no justification aside from one quote.

All of this being said, CiRrK did force Phoenix to concede so there is little more than can be achieved interms of argument domination, though I would give one point to Phoenix because he did argue a number of interesting points, but CiRrK simply dominated in meta-positioning.
Posted by Sieben 5 years ago
Sieben
Pro - Tag your case more intelligently. Like have individual tags for each individual point you make.
Con - Use a different schema to tag your counterarguments. 1/2/3, a/b/c, i/ii/ii/.

Pro is just not a very good debater. Sorry. Maybe he didn't try very hard but dropping arguments is inexcusable. You're trying to convince judges you should win even though you ignore 75% of his case... yeah no.

Some notes for Con... Your C2 isn't really specific to discourse ethics. It would be better reformulated in terms of something like ethical dispute resolution, where you say that if two people have different ethical opinions they can only work together through the process of rationalization since they have different emotional goals.

Your C3 struck me as abusive because you're arguing against socialism... very quickly! You are using a whole bunch of appeals to authority to say socialism is bad. You're basically running this entire contention on an external website. There's no way anyone can argue against this except to call abuse or provide counterspam. So you're basically introducing an argument that you're refusing to debate and then capitalizing on it when your opponent stumbles.

I would even say that arguments whose rebuttal is more complex than their derivation are abusive because your opponent will (from hypothesis) run out of space before you do.

Moving on... It would make the round a lot clearer if either of you had clarified what "more worthwhile" meant and referenced it throughout the debate. Saying its "more important" is just a synonym so its kind of a circular definition. Maybe choose a standard like "Human Welfare", explain why its more important than your opponent's (non)standard, and show how you maximize human welfare.

Lastly, my personal preference is to have debaters tell me exactly what to vote for. You did that for arguments, but not for sources/conduct/grammar. Its up to you but it makes it easier to give you more points :)
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Note to all ELO participants, I will send out a PM on voting shortly. Please consider that how you vote directly effects the ELO score. The general thing to keep in mind is that a 7:0 is counted as a full win, anything less is considered a partial victory. Thus when you vote try to be as accurate as you can. Keep in mind that both the total votes and the distribution effect the score.

For example if you vote 3:1 for Con this means that Con's score is 3/7 and thus he effectively lost the debate, Pro would lose as well but even more dramatically as his score would be 1/7. However do not get hung up and freak out about th implications of your vote as ELO is inherently self correcting, that is the beauty of it.
Posted by Merda 5 years ago
Merda
Great debate so far.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
Well, that's because it's a good idea. :P
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
Haha a lot of ppl have said that xD
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
I want a CiRrK vs J.Kenyon debate.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
This debate has been Favorited~
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Con is using an unusual amount of fancy words. I feel like I'm reading one of Jeff's moral philosophy rounds.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
If the character limit becomes an issue we can change it, but we need to keep in mind that there is mandatory voting for all ELO members so debates should be short, sharp and focused for ease of voting.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceeded to Con's arguments
Vote Placed by Andromeda_Z 5 years ago
Andromeda_Z
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had good arguments, but there were so many that he couldn't justify them fully. He tried to do too much. Pro ended up conceding, which was disappointing. He could have done more. 5 points to Con.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Cliff is right. Con is missing a ton of justifications, especially on C3. But pro concedes, which is sad because he had a lot of ground to go on.
Vote Placed by headphonegut 5 years ago
headphonegut
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: While cirk did a good job of arguing why intelligence is more important and might be more valuable than compassion it seemed that phoenix argued that compassion was more worthwile but since he dropped all cons argument and did not effectively refute his attacks and did not effectively prove his points
Vote Placed by Sieben 5 years ago
Sieben
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: SEE COMANETS
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
CiRrKPhoenix_ReaperTied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Fairly dominating performance by CiRrK, Pheonix would have benefited by challenging CiRrK to fully justify his claims which would have been very difficult due to the amount of arguments presented.