The Instigator
JaisonCruz
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
JackFritschy
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Hope is a more influential and motivational emotion than fear

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 814 times Debate No: 54645
Debate Rounds (3)
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JaisonCruz

Con

Fear motivates and influences people more than fear. This is because when a person is given a consequence if they perform a certain action, they will be less inclined to perform said action. In example, if a parent would like their child to do their homework but the child refuses to do it, they can not simply hope that the kid will have a change of heart. However, if they lay down a consequence, such as "If you don't do your homework you will be grounded for a week". This will make the child fear "If I don't do my homework, I'll be grounded for a whole week". So in order to avoid this consequence, the child will do his homework.
JackFritschy

Pro

Hope is the end resolution of fear. Fear is the emotion that comes from contemplation of consequences. Hope is the belief in a positive resolution to a given situation. Hope triumphs over fear because fear is always felt when we think of what might go wrong. If we have hope however, we have already came to a conclusion that a positive resolution is possible. When partaking in a risky endevour, one will always have fear that their plans will go wrong. However this may not alter their actions. If that person has hope, thy have concluded that the situation is salvageable. While one may wrestle with their fears, one doesn't wrestle with their hope, for their hope is a culmination of emotion and calculation that have told them that things will turn out for the better. Hope is in this way a more developed emotion than fear. Fear is a primal knee-jerk reaction to a situation. It is a swirling formless mass of doubt and second thoughts. It has not taken root in a persons mind when it's encountered and only has the possibility of doing so. Hope is a emotion that only exist rooted in the human mind. Hope is developed, not encountered. It is rooted deep within the minds of men and once possessed makes fear irrelevant because the person has decided that there is no need for fear.
Debate Round No. 1
JaisonCruz

Con

Interesting, however I disagree that hope is the end resolution of fear. See, the person who wishes to instill fear in someone hopes that the fear will be strong enough for the subject to have his actions influenced. But the subject, if the fear instilled is strong, will not at all act off of hope. In example, a legislature passes a law making murder illegal, and if the law is broken than the punishment is death. Now, that legislature hopes that the death penalty will instill enough fear in his subjects so they will follow that law. That hope however, has no form of influence when a person contemplates whether he should break that law or not. It is fear that will influence that persons decision on whether or not to break that law. But even things Like a fat man dieting, an alcoholic trying to stop drinking, or a high school drop out trying to get his GED are choices heavily influenced by fear. A fat mans motivation for dieting is that he fears his lifestyle habits can lead to very dangerous diseases or even death. An alcoholic is motivated to stop drinking because he fears his unhealthy lifestyle is damaging his body and his psychological being. A high school drop out is motivated to get his GED because he fears that he might not be able to support his family working at a job that hires people without a high school diploma (or GED). These people hope they can be successful, but it is fear that motivates these people.
JackFritschy

Pro

Fear is indeed is the emotion that makes people do want they don't want to do. Hope is the emotion that tells us to do what we want to do. It is impossible to coerce someone, but it can't make someone do something that has a small chance of success as hope can. Even if you force a subject to preform task with fear, if he doesn't believe he can do it he will fail or preform below what was required. If the task was something the subject wanted to do, or a reward was provided, and the subject was convinced the task wasn't hard he would preform at a higher level. Hope is at some level required in all task because we must believe we can accomplish goals before we actually do. In this manner all the examples you gave are examples of hope. Yes, the fat man might be concerned for his health but will he really try to go diet crazy if he doesn't think he'll succeed? That's why on advertisements for extreme exercise programs don't say things like, "you're going to die if you don't stop being lazy and start working out!" Instead they show people who lost 70 pounds saying that anyone can do this if they try hard. That's because they recognize hope is necessary for someone to attempt something.

Hope also goes along with what we want. So fear has to be strong enough to override our instinct to obtain what we want and then convince us we can't obtain our need uprooting the hope of the achievement. Hope simply needs to give us the belief that we will be successful while fear must swim upstream and make us do something we don't want to do. Also, if fear and hope coexist hope wins. This is because despite their fears they now have decided the task is possible. So one must have no hope for fear to triumph. People also instinctively want to have hope. They always want to think things are better then they are. So people will cling to any hope in the face of desperation. In short term situations fear may initially compel someone, once given the time to think they will make things out to be better then they are.

Hope is also different then fear in the fact that only hope can alter someones mind. A person using fear can make people do things but has trouble changing their beliefs. Unless you systematically destroy everything that the person believes in using logic and fear then provide an alternative with hope can you alter a persons belief. Fear is not enough because consequences alone won't change the way the person thinks. You must show that the thinking is wrong then find a alternative using hope. Example would be that in 2012 Republicans used fear logic but failed to use hope to provided a alternative. Hope however is very good at changing peoples opinion. If the world is falling down and you stand up and say, "I have the answer, people will follow you." Lets look at some examples.

2008 Election: McCain raises fears about terrorism, Obama literally runs on nothing but hope.
1984: Mondale runs a pessimistic campaign. Reagen promises morning in America again. Mondale carries one state.
1980: Reagen promises a way out of depression and wins by a large amount.
1964: Both sides use fear mongering , but while Goldwater talked about the fall of America, Johnson made the promise to totally eminent poverty. Strangely, Reagen ran on many of Goldwater's issues but used them in a far more hopeful tone.

What politicians have used fear mongering as a way to get elected and that was the main theme of their campaign. I can only think of Nixon, and it only worked because his opponents were to far outside mainstream politics. Humphery was mainstream, but his supporters were to far left wing for America to swallow.
Debate Round No. 2
JaisonCruz

Con

JaisonCruz forfeited this round.
JackFritschy

Pro

Well my opponent forfeited. In conclusion, while fear can have powerful short term effects, hope actually gives people a reason to achieve something and is thus a more powerful emotion in the long run. Fear can also never convince someone of something unlike hope which can be used to influence people. People also inherently prefer hope because they don't want to believe a situation is hopeless.
Debate Round No. 3
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