The Instigator
benko12345678
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ajab
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Evil is a misunderstood and overused concept.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Ajab
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 708 times Debate No: 56358
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (7)

 

benko12345678

Pro

Note that in this debate, I am not defending the position of any of the holy books. Far from it, I am doing the exact opposite.

My argument

'Evil' is not a matter of choice, whether you like it or not.

Nobody simply 'chooses' to be evil. This brings me back to another debate on morals. We consider acts such as rape and murder 'evil'. However, evil is not an absolute concept either (as I pointed out in the morality debate). If a man raped a five year old girl, we would consider him evil, a natural and logical response. However, this brings us to his MOTIVATION. What MOTIVATES him to do this? Did someone force him to do this? If he was forced, is he still evil? The term evil is used to describe a person with little-to-no morals. I believe that there are only a few generalized motivations:

-Sheer stupidity. This applies to people who do such acts out of desire to be evil. Does this make them evil? No, it makes them stupid. The problem is that people often miscomprehend the definition of stupidity. Some people consider 'smart' to be able to count all the elements of the periodic table (I have experienced said fallacy). There is a difference between knowledge, wisdom and intelligence.

-Mental illness. No need to elaborate on this. We are all aware of the debates this topic has caused. I have question for my opponent. If an insane man beat up an old lady, would he be evil? Since evil is the absence of morals (according to the holy books) the answer would be yes...

-Traumatic experiences. This brings up a highly sensitive topic: Vengeance. For those of you who know the story of Batman, is Bruce Wayne evil for taking vengeance against his parents' killer? Do Batman fans consider him evil? No, they do not. Trauma slightly connects to the previous reason: mental illness. It causes psychological pain that results in justified but unmoral actions. Is this evil?

The opponent will refute my arguments as well as write his own, labeled from 1-? He can choose the number of arguments he wishes to make (of course). Thank you
In this opening round there shall be no links provided. Links can only be used when citing or disproving the opponent in this debate. The opponent can, however, provide his links for the rebuttal and personal arguments
-benko
Ajab

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. This debate has a vague motion: "Evil is a misunderstood and overused concept". I should remind the readers that as Pro is making the assertion, the BoP rests solely on him. As the Latin law goes: "Onus probandi incumbet ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat." Also since the resolution is rather vague this goes in my favor for the legal rule is as follows: When a certain statement is unclear it benifits the one negating it.

Now I will spend most of my time dissecting my opponents arguments:

1. "'Evil' is not a matter of choice, whether you like it or not."
This is a baseless assertion by my opponent and does not have any weightage. He doesnot show why and how it is a matter of choice he simply asserts so. I should like to inform the voters that this is actually contradictory to his case because he goes on to rest the case of evil largely on "motivation". If motivation is what evil is based on then it simply follows that one with an intentionally evil intent/motivation will have done an evil act. So you see my opponent, when he asserts that evil is a matter of choice self refutes himself.

2. "Nobody simply 'chooses' to be evil. This brings me back to another debate on morals. We consider acts such as rape and murder 'evil'. However, evil is not an absolute concept either (as I pointed out in the morality debate)."
Once more I see that my opponent has made claims. It is irrelevant even if his claims are correct (which they are not) for as Proposition and as the one giving an argument it is his duty to give arguments supporting his premises. Of arguments I see none. He states that evil is not an absolute concept, however once more if one is to consider his motivation argument later on then one could say than an evil motivation causes an absolutely evil act. This is shown to us by causality, where affect X is caused by cause B, as long as cause B is being fulfilled effect X is guarenteed. As my opponent gives great weightage to motivation then one can easily conclude than an evil motivation makes an action evil. Then my opponent would state that what is in fact an evil motivation? Very simply, I reply that an evil motivation is the motivation that a. negates good, b. is left out by opponent in his further case. I believe my opponent is talking about evil as an act here, quite different from an evil motivation.

3. "If a man raped a five year old girl, we would consider him evil, a natural and logical response. However, this brings us to his MOTIVATION. What MOTIVATES him to do this? Did someone force him to do this? If he was forced, is he still evil? The term evil is used to describe a person with little-to-no morals."
This argument and the sub arguments Benji attached with this are refuting to his case above. Also they make little sense. As my opponent simply mentions force or illness or trauma one could very easily ask why is an act not evil if a healthy, sane minded, man intentionally rapes a 5 year old girl? Until my opponent can answer this question his argument is moot.

--------------

As you can see my opponent has the BoP as he is the one affirming the resolution, in that matter he has failed. He did not provide a proper argument and he fails to properly show why his pseudo-argument stands. As I have shown that his argument has holes and he has not proved what he must this should fall to me.

That having been said I only had 16 minutes for this so I did it quickly, excuse my slightly harsh tone, I love you Benji! (How could I not his name is Benji :p)

Ajab
Debate Round No. 1
benko12345678

Pro

,,This is a baseless assertion by my opponent and does not have any weightage. He doesnot show why and how it is a matter of choice he simply asserts so. I should like to inform the voters that this is actually contradictory to his case because he goes on to rest the case of evil largely on "motivation". If motivation is what evil is based on then it simply follows that one with an intentionally evil intent/motivation will have done an evil act. So you see my opponent, when he asserts that evil is a matter of choice self refutes himself. '

Actually, what I meant by motivation was reasoning (which is really the meaning of the term so...redundant). Evil is the breaking of the moral code. Motivation comes in later. I am not asserting it is a matter of choice, I am asserting it ISN'T a matter of choice...I suppose that was a typo in your argument :P I know how it feels. What I was trying to say was: motivation is what derives into evil. If morals are not absolute, neither is evil (I hate how we both have to overuse that word...). Evil is not a matter of choice, it is either a personal motivation or mental illness that drives someone to do something others deem immoral. Here's an example: Murder is immoral. when an adult does it, everyone spits on him and starts despising him. But what if a rabid dog killed a person? Is the dog evil? No, of course not. ,,Forgive them father, for they know not what they do' Luke 23:34 (to quote a famous fraud). My argument was that ,,evil' is not a matter of choice, unless it comes from motivation. If a mad person stabbed a man, is he evil? Motivation is not neccessarily a malevolent intent. As I said, the Batman story...Bruce Wayne wanted to shoot the convict behind the death of his parents. Can you really call him evil? Is it an evil intent? It may be in our view, but not in his or even in someone else's. Nobody just says: ,,I'm going to be evil just to be evil' Even A.H. had a reason, to conquer the world, but in his eye he was doing what was neccessary, what he thought was right, he may have been an immoral monster, but behind every outer shell there is reason. Again, evil is dependant on what we consider moral.


,,Once more I see that my opponent has made claims. It is irrelevant even if his claims are correct (which they are not) for as Proposition and as the one giving an argument it is his duty to give arguments supporting his premises. Of arguments I see none. He states that evil is not an absolute concept, however once more if one is to consider his motivation argument later on then one could say than an evil motivation causes an absolutely evil act. This is shown to us by causality, where affect X is caused by cause B, as long as cause B is being fulfilled effect X is guarenteed. As my opponent gives great weightage to motivation then one can easily conclude than an evil motivation makes an action evil. Then my opponent would state that what is in fact an evil motivation? Very simply, I reply that an evil motivation is the motivation that a. negates good, b. is left out by opponent in his further case. I believe my opponent is talking about evil as an act here, quite different from an evil motivation.'

As I stated above, no one choses to do an evil act simply out of a desire to do evil, if that is so, they are sociopaths (at least in our opinion). However, this brings us back to another debate topic: morals. You still didn't provide proof that morals are absolute, therefore, evil is dependant on what we consider to be moral. We can't know whether something like childbirth would be immoral if we had a different upbringing. It all depends on upbringing and our beliefs-morals. A sociopath has a different perception of morality in general. Plain out evil is not a motivation, evil is derived FROM the motivation and, depending on the motivation, the act is deemed evil,neutral or good, not simply by the act. Take the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Several hundred thousand lives lost, it was an evil ACT and I do not approve of it, but the motivation was a justified one-to end the war. The categorization of an action as evil/neutral/good depends on the motivation, not as much the action. And as stated above, evil is not a motivation. This serves especially well when talking about morals. Why was the bombing of pearl harbour considered a tragedy? Why was the 9/11 attack considered a tragedy? Why are Hiroshima and Nagasaki barely mentioned and even then, considered to be acts of good? Because of the motivation behind the acts. The 9/11 attack was deemed immoral from the side of the general american public, as was pearl harbour, but through the eyes of the taliban and japanese, it was an act of righteousness (even if you believe the bombing of 9/11 was done by the american government, there is still a motivation behind it that was considered the only solution to getting the united states further involved in the war on terror). No one would perform an evil action simply for the benefit of pure evil.

,,This argument and the sub arguments Benji attached with this are refuting to his case above. Also they make little sense. As my opponent simply mentions force or illness or trauma one could very easily ask why is an act not evil if a healthy, sane minded, man intentionally rapes a 5 year old girl? Until my opponent can answer this question his argument is moot. '

Why would be rape her? There are several reasons that could answer this. If he felt it satisfied his needs, he would have done it, making it an evil act, but with a non-justified motivation behind it. As I said, we usually deem evil acts by motivation. Since we cannot see the man's motivation, we must venture into his mind. In his mind, it might not be a big deal, or he was considering it a ,,small evil for a greater good' (for him, not for us or the girl). He might have just done it out of pleasure, perhaps not even knowing it was wrong. There are millions of possibilities. Every person has a group of inbuilt instincts of different kinds, which are also present one each in every animal. So we can say everyone has many different animal instincts residing inside him. Which instinct grows up fully and which ones are suppressed and left untouched forever are the deciding factor for the actual character of the person.This again depends upon his or her childhood background, surroundings he/she is growing up in, and lastly his family background and social impact. Hence i feel if some persons develops an animal instinct towards sex to a high level and all other defending feelings are not working on him, even if given a free sex he will try to force it. He might want to establish his power, which brings us to the upbringing part of the argument. If he was brought up in a patriarchal enviroment, he would have felt a neccessity to enforce his power on those he deemed weaker. There are MILLIONS of possibilities, however, here I have a beautiful link to a wonderful site on which everything is explained >:)



http://www.buzzfeed.com...

(If I am correct, there should be a reddit link inside this link, it lists millions of reasons of WHY they raped women, as for why anyone would rape a little girl, same thing, but with pedophiles XD That's the easy explaination anyway. Read some of my reasons, they connect to both groups. Here's a link that refers directly to the little girl topic and is ironically about a five year old girl XD http://www.ndtv.com...)




NEVER attempt to point out the opponent's holes in the first round XD That's what refuting is for :P so he can fix the mistakes he made. Also, thank you for loving my name :P Ajab sounds like inspector Japp from Poirot XD that's why I like it even more.

-Regards
Benji
Ajab

Con

Benji and I are skipping this one round, so that only I will post and that will be the very last post.
Debate Round No. 2
benko12345678

Pro

Ok...I'm guessing you
a.Ran out of good arguments
b.Have a super-powerful argument that can crush me... :P also, I was at camp for 4 days, so I wasn't able to post anything recently
Ajab

Con

Benjamin and I will remove this round as well. Please only vote for the above debate, thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
And I'm happy (kinda) to clarify my RFD if need be.
Posted by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
I dont want to debate this...
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
ok :P
Posted by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
Hmmm ok I wil accept this tomorrow.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
Basically, what I'm saying is that no one is evil. It all comes from motivation so it's a question of morals again. If that's not clear I guess I'll start another debate. read it again and tell me :P
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
Sigh :P ok XD
Posted by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
Benji I don't really get your argument. Perhaps you could re-write it for better clarity?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: In this case, I must agree with previous voters in regards to this debate being unfinished. I must therefore abstain from awarding points to either side. If you guys feel like it, I would very much enjoy seeing this debate finished someday.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am going to give no points for this debate as it was unfinished due to unforeseen circumstances. Regarding the resolution I think Con did a good job to rebut it and show the problems with evil. I think with a stronger resolution this debate could have been very entertaining and had stronger arguments which could have reached a resounding conclusion. At the end of the debate I was siding with Con, but like I said the debate was unfinished so I feel its better no to vote as Con could not complete rebuttals as such the debate was lop-sided towards Pro even though Con was doing better. I feel like I would be cheating both debaters by giving points.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I thought that Pro opened with genuine ways in which evil could be misunderstood. However, I'm not sure the gap between 'could be misunderstood' and 'is misunderstood' was ever bridged. Pro's distinction between an apparently evil act, and evil intention, seemed to get him closer to the BoP. The disconnect between perceived evil action, and actual evil action was where the resolution could be fulfilled. However, I don't think evil was clearly defined, at any stage. It was more of an implied wrongdoing, than anything concrete. But the irony of not having a concrete definition, in which to understand, is amusing. Con latched onto this weakness, showing how evil is understood, if it is defined differently. I think that if Pro defined what evil he was talking about, then he would have been fulfilled his BoP. However, here, I can't give Pro victory when, as Con points out, the central term is vaguely defined, in that it is implied within Pro's work, rather than explicitly stated.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro missed his BoP
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's strange that, as Pro attempts to define the debate further, I get more and more confused as to what exactly he's arguing. It seems like he eventually turns to the argument of whether evil can be committed at all, but I have a difficult time determining what kind of evil. Pro tells me it's evil motivation, but then spends most of his time talking about evil actions. Since I'm uncertain which kind of evil is misunderstood or overused, and since Con tells me I have to prefer him in that uncertainty, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: As Pro is the one who is defending this statement, he had a higher BoP to uphold than his opponent. I felt that Pro had a couple good ideas, such as 'motivations/what the person was thinking', which if more polished and perhaps with a deeper examination, could be some winning arguments. I say this because motivations is on the way to Determinism. Another of Pro's points was that nobody ever does something 'evil' because their end goal is to be evil. Again, this could have led to something, but he never showed why that fact actually exempts them from evil. Pro never really reached a clear focus with his ideas, they came off more as a rant. I think if he examines the core ideas left behind in the text, and comes back with a more focused argument, he'll have a better chance of winning. However, for this debate I must award argument points to Con.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
benko12345678AjabTied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO had the burden to prove that evil is a misunderstood and overused concept. To misunderstand is to fail to interpret or understand (something) correctly and to overuse is to employ to excess. PRO failed to argue that either that evil is incorrectly understood/interpreted or that it is employed to excess. CON, therefore, wins.