The Instigator
lliwill
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
sherlockmethod
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

Humans are naturally inclined to being evil rather than good

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
sherlockmethod
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,792 times Debate No: 11177
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (9)

 

lliwill

Pro

I will let the Con go first, good luck to whoever excepts!
sherlockmethod

Con

I thank Pro for offering this debate, but I must allow him to present his case or I will define the terms in such a way as to win with simple semantics. This is no fun. As this debate has five rounds, I will accept and allow Pro to present his case and I will negate it; otherwise, I will define good and evil in some silly way and win. Pro, the case is yours; support the resolution. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
lliwill

Pro

I'm sorry Con i'm not familiar with the method, I'm new to this. When I said "evil" in the title, I didn't necessarily mean evil. I meant selfish, greedy, deceitful, careless, etc.

I will start off my debate with some people that are considered "evil," "bad," etc.

Adolf Hitler

Kim Jong Il

Bernie Madoff

Stalin

Adam Smith

Karl Marx

Jesse Helms

I can go on and on about some of the worst people of our world's history, but that's not the MAIN focus of this debate. It's the common man/woman/child. All of us look out for Number One: Ourselves. Granted, there are good people in our world, but they are greatly overshadowed by the bad.

Please watch the video located in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

When I watched this video for the first time, I originally thought: "Humans are naturally inclined to evil rather than good because they spared no money for the man." Then as I watched on, I discovered the man is indeed fake. A "double whammy." You have people not giving spare change to a man who appears to be severely disabled, which is not morally right. You also then have the "beggar" trying to trick bystanders into giving him money. That's just humans for you.

There is a study from the Psychologist Paul Ekman that states that the average person lies three times during every ten minutes of conversation[1]. That is a ridiculous amount of lies!

Now I'll talk about the Environment, and what we do to it.

Currently, the U.S. is in a "Green Movement." Everything we do is based off of the need to justify our consciences by "being green." We are not. We are merely lying to ourselves. According to Scholastic Update, five major sources of ocean pollution are: runoff from land 44%, air pollution 33%, shipping 12%, dumping wastes 10%, offshore oil production 1%.[2]

According to this study, in the U.S, humans have been responsible for the extinction of 37 species of animals in the last 50 years. How can we call ourselves good people when we allow acts such as this to go on right under our noses?

I will save the rest of my argument for later rounds.

Thank You

[1] http://kingme.wordpress.com...
[2] http://www.biol.andrews.edu...
sherlockmethod

Con

I thank Pro for offering his supporting arguments. Pro is basing his reasoning from three main areas:
1. A beggar video (listed).
2. The humans' relationship with other species and the environment.
3. A study by Paul Eckman

Pro further states, by "evil" he does not mean "evil", but means "selfish, greedy, deceitful, careless, etc."; For the purpose of this debate we will make evil synonymous with the other terms prior to "etc" since Pro offered these as support. I in no way advocate this position outside of this debate. I still stand in negation to the modified resolution: Humans are naturally inclined to being selfish, greedy, deceitful, and careless. Due to space limitations, I will focus on selfish, greedy, and deceitful.

I do not doubt for a moment that some people fit the bill in regards to all the traits Pro listed, but the resolution is that humans are naturally inclined to act in such a way. I disagree. In our daily lives we get comfortable. We tend to focus on items that benefit us and our families and expect others to do the same. When tragedy strikes, however, we are reminded how our daily lives are not all that matters. Examples include the enormous efforts made in just my lifetime.
1. Hurricane Hugo relief
2. 9/11
3. Hurricane Katrina
4. Haitian earthquake relief
These are just a few. In addition to these relief efforts, the Jerry Lewis telethon has helped millions. And the character limit on this debate does not allow me to list the plethora of organizations whose purpose is to help those in need.

Pro enlists the aid of a video showing con artists trying to make money by relying on other people's sympathies. If people were truly selfish then begging would not exist as it would not be profitable. The clips show people ignoring the con artist, but the producers never tell us if the people did so because they suspected foul play or were unsympathetic. Many of us work in areas populated with beggars. We know some of the tricks. I walk by them everyday and do not give money as I see them at the bar two blocks away (one of them worked there for a short time). Help is available and giving change is not the best way to help.

The video seemed to upset Pro, so I recommend this one (top clip)
Over 50 million views on YouTube. No scams, just hugs.

In reference to beggars, we should not substitute skepticism with the traits Pro put forward. When my neighborhood was built, we had con artists coming to our door claiming all kinds of trouble and I did not help one of them. I knew most of the cons, but I also had others come by and welcome us and others needed help with little things like jumping off a car or changing a tire. We were all willing to help, but not willing to fall for a scam. Hint: do not buy magazines from the college age students; this is a scam.

Now, what about the deceitful people praying on our sympathies? Pro linked a blog citing a book concerning the number of lies people tell, but I cannot see the study, or the methodology used. The author in question is associated with the show "Lie to Me" and I do not see a study anywhere. I cannot counter what is not there. Does the author mean we exaggerate? Flat out lie? Cheat? I don't know. I'm sorry but this point is not substantiated by the sources offered.

Environment:
Pro is unimpressed with humans in relation to the environment, but he links a blog that shows a number of laws in place to protect the environment and other species, specifically sea turtles and manatees. The blog entry gives tips and shows why certain precautions are made in reference to the environment. The entry has no listed author, but outlines several methods humans have devised to live with different oceanic life. If we are truly selfish, why bother? The author's rhetoric is strong at the end, but he/she is determined to help and efforts are being rewarded. One need not look far for support of sea turtles: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov...
http://myfwc.com...
http://www.fws.gov...

Or Manatees:
http://www.homesafe.com...
http://www.theinsite.org... (You too can see the human impacts and help as a human)

We love these guys! They have federal laws protecting them and organizations who fight for them. I cannot see how any of these facts help Pro's case. We do have an impact on the environment, but we have put protections in place which cost money and time and yet we still do it. I cannot align these actions with Pro's resolution. The facts do not line up.

Pro listed the number of species we destroyed. I want a source. I did not see one in the blog. I will note that if such a source exists I will counter with the number of species we have saved. But at this point, I have no need as I cannot evaluate material not offered.

Pro offered three points to support the resolution. I have countered two and ask for further support for one.

If we focus on the bad traits some humans espouse then Pro's position seems correct, but does the bad outweigh the good? No. The greedy, the deceitful, the selfish are canceled out by efforts of the majority. If everyone looked out only for themselves as Pro claims then the deceitful would have no victims and would not exist. We, as a species, tend to groups and some wish to take advantage of our goodwill, but Pro has not offered support that the deceitful, greedy, selfish people are in higher numbers. At this point, the resolution does not hold.
Debate Round No. 2
lliwill

Pro

I thank my opponent to responding to my debate.

I'm going to start off with a few statistics:

Current U.S. Population: 6,802,945,098[1]

Number of Non-Profit Organizations in the U.S: 1,461,074[2]

Is this truly a majority? I think not it's around 1/300th of the U.S. Population. Many others do donate to these organizations, but many don't as well.

Recently, I went and took a look at my opponents page on this website, and I looked at what he agrees with and disagrees with compared to me. These are some of the points that I thought was odd or not truly morally right:

What he was for:

Abortion

Death Penalty

War in Iran

War in Iraq

Water Boarding

What he was against:

PETA

How can you be against the Ethical Treatment of animals? How is that morally right? My opponent is also for the Death Penalty, and Water Boarding. Both are considered cruel and unusual. I assume my opponent will change these opinions on his page right after I have posted this argument and then state that the above is false. Well that would just prove my point. He would have to lie.

Now look at this: There was a study conducted by CNN news that stated that 69% think that Water Boarding is torture, but then 40% of the same people said the U.S. should be able to use it.[3] What? That essentially states that we condone torture. How does that make the majority of us morally good?

I look forward to my opponent's response.

Sources:
[1]http://www.census.gov...
[2]http://nccsdataweb.urban.org...
[3]http://www.cnn.com...
sherlockmethod

Con

I generally thank my opponents for their responses, but this makes the first where an opponent launches an ill conceived ad hominem attack based off of simple mistruths and avoids the main points of the debate. I will clear a few things up for my opponent and voters before I dismantle his very weak response to what should have been a fun debate.

First, my opponent lists several points to bring my morals into question. He states that I support the following:
Abortion
Death Penalty
War in Iran
War in Iraq
Water Boarding

I was very surprised to see this list! I do support abortion rights, but I do not support any of these other listings. I checked my profile to see if I made an error when I filled it out about 9 months ago. Nope, my profile is correct. I listed Con for all these points except abortion. And I do in fact oppose PETA as the organization has lost focus and has gone off the deep end. The ASPCA is much more in line with my standing, not PETA. So Pro managed to get two points (abortion and PETA) correct.

I give everyone the benefit of a doubt, so I thought Pro simply looked at the wrong profile, but his next sentence claims that I will change the listings proving me to be a liar. Pro, do you realize that changing my big issues would post in my activity? I can't change them without announcing them. You appear to have read the wrong profile, or you are simply one of the dishonest humans the rest of us must deal with at this time. Second, I am a democrat and a liberal. I make clear my stances in discussions. Ask around. Look at the forums. I just had a discussion concerning Gitmo where I make clear my feeling on the existence of such a place. Try harder next time, Pro and do not question my integrity.

Population/non profits
Really Pro, you must do better. How many people work for these organizations? How much of the population number listed includes people under the age of 18? How many donated to charities? How many benefited from charities? Of course the number of non profits will be lower, substantially lower, than the overall population. Did you see the total assets? 3,905,087,505 dollars, not bad.

Waterboarding:
According to the poll you cited 60% of Americans agree that waterboarding should not be used as an interrogation technique. That, Sir, is a majority even when applying the sampling error. In addition, if the question was, "Should waterboarding be used in the public school system" then the percentage points would be much higher in opposition to the technique. I oppose waterboarding and would have risked a court martial by not following orders if I was told to administer the technique.

Pro has left the debate. He did not address my contentions from the previous round and instead decided to attack my profile by lying about it. Pro seems to be experiencing a case of physiological projection in so much as he sees the deceit in the people around him because he is deceitful. At this point, the resolution is not upheld and Pro has abandoned his previous arguments and presented new ones in this round. The population argument is absurd on its face and the attack using my profile is false and an ad hominem. Pro has not met his burden as instigator.
Debate Round No. 3
lliwill

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

I do apologize, I misread some points on your profile.

I must point out that my opponent does not attempt to pose any counter-arguments, he solely seeks to criticize my own. It seems as though my opponent was only focusing on the negative, and was nearing the point of attacking me over this debate. Is this truly how humans would interact if we were naturally inclined to good?

In the last argument, my opponent wrote the following: "Pro seems to be experiencing a case of physiological projection in so much as he sees the deceit in the people around him because he is deceitful."

I would like to point out that I am deceitful, but in this debate, not rightfully so. As I stated earlier in this argument, I misread Con's profile, although I do believe that most humans are deceitful.

I'm going to create a new argument to support my thinking.

Currently, there are 340 million people that suffer from depression in our world[1]. Some of the causes of depression are:

Stress, Trauma, Genes, and Mental Illness.[2]

Examples of these are:

Moving to a new city, starting a new job, suffering the loss of a loved one, a stressful event in one's life, being raped, a serious injury, etc.[2]

If you did not notice, all of the points in the second column above are from a direct result from human activity. Every event listed had mainly to do with an interaction from another human.

Let's say you're a 15 year-old girl, you've just moved from out of state to a new town and school. You are extremely angry that you've had to move. When you arrive at your new school, no one talks to you. In class, when having to introduce yourself, you accidentally misspeak. The class laughs at you. At lunch, you attempt to sit with another group of girls. They pretend you're not there, and you go away and have to sit and eat alone.

I am currently in school, and I see this happen too often. Many of the people that sit alone are simply not accepted by their peers, and some may eventually become depressed. This is all due to the fact that these people were not kind, accepting, or even NICE to this person.

In our society, we focus on good things. We love to see a man running into a burning building to save a baby, we love to see a billionaire donate large amounts of money to non-profit organizations, etc. Granted, these things happen. The only reason we think it happens so much is because we publicize it so frequently. We shed very little light on those who cheat on their spouses, steal, lie, etc. I believe that the only reason my opponent is opposed to my view, is because he looks upon the surface of our society. He doesn't dig.

Thank you

[1]http://wiki.answers.com...

I am aware that my information is not completely backed up, but if my opponent is correct, and humans generally don't lie, then what do you have to worry about?

[2]http://www.allaboutdepression.com...
sherlockmethod

Con

Pro has abandoned all previous arguments and starts anew in the 4th round by offering anecdotal evidence concerning a new student arriving at school and the number of depressed people in the world. I will address some other matters before I challenge these two contentions.

First, Pro has apologized for his comments concerning my profile as he made a mistake. Apology accepted. Second, Pro tells voters that I have only presented negative arguments. I am in the con position so, to a degree, I must. I am attempting to negate the resolution, not make a new one. This is not a burden of proof issue per se, but Pro must support his position; I need only to refute it. I have found no need to offer a positive argument in this debate as Pro presents new arguments after each round. Lastly, Pro is upset at my response in the last round. Pro carried this point out by commenting that I must have changed my profile before user Lexicaholic could vouch for me. This appeared prior to my response so it appeared that Pro carried out his idea accusing me of lying. I did not get his message concerning the misreading of my profile until later. My response was blunt and this is how I deal with false accusations. Good people do not have to be pushovers.

Depression:
Pro's new argument cites a large number of depressed individuals and shows that outside factors can cause depression. I agree. Pro lists a few and claims they are related to human activity. I agree with this point also, but outside of rape the events provide many non human influences and are morally neutral.

Moving to a new city – causes stress which is directly related to depression. A new city can be strange and unfamiliar. Loved ones are left behind, and our comfort zones are far away. People can certainly get depressed, but not because the people in the new city are deceitful or selfish, but because the whole situation is new. People can be very nice and helpful, but a new city move can still cause depression despite others' attitudes.

Starting a new job – People were very nice at my new job, and the new one I had before that, but I was still stressed as a comfort zone was gone. I adjusted, but depression can still occur. A new job is a lot like a new city.

Loss of a loved one – Yes, but this can occur by accident or natural causes like a heart attack or a stroke. Deceitful, selfish humans need not be involved.

Stress – see above. Stress can be caused by morally neutral events. The fact that stress causes depression is not support for deceitful humans as it occurs without them.

Serious injury – can be caused by an accident and depression can ensue. Bad people are not necessary.

Rape – No question here, but I agree we have bad people. I stated as much in my second round. One of the methods of dealing with rape is a strong support network which is not possible without selfless people. We have free services for rape victims and special laws to deal with this horrific crime. Victims have been treated badly, but we as a species have fought hard to protect these victims from the worst among us. We have some more work to do, but the fact we are fighting for this goal says a lot for us.

The New Girl
The problem with this story is that I have seen the opposite happen many times. The street goes both ways. I have seen and been the new guy at school and teenagers can be cruel. I was not always the hot, intelligent man that I am today. A new person breaks the status quo a bit and can lead to many emotions among the established members of a group. As stated by Pro, a new job (or new school) is stressful. In times of stress we have heightened emotions, but those around us are not stressed so much. They have a comfort zone so they tend to be complacent to the needs of a new person. I have done this before, but now, I catch myself empathizing with the new girl. Not saying hello to a person I have seen everyday for years is fine, but to a new person this may be viewed badly. I am not being evil, just complacent. I was that guy in school who talked to the new people because I understood. I speak daily to two friends who came to me when I was the new guy 25 and 18 years ago.

As I stated earlier, sometimes we get caught up in our own lives and don't look around. Sometimes a jolt is needed. I recommend looking at starting basic training groups. Everyone is new, the stress level is high for everyone, but even in this state the group will mould together and lasting friendships are formed in days.

Pro feels I only look at the surface of society and he is mistaken. I have worked with people at their worst. I have been there when they were sick. I presented the flag at the military funeral; I watched them, watch loved ones die. I have seen the man being sentenced to die for his crimes and his victims. I have dug deep, Sir. And in the end I am still convinced we are doing it the best way we know how and the good ones outweigh the bad.
Debate Round No. 4
lliwill

Pro

Hello everyone, I'm sorry it took me so long to reply, I haven't been able to find a good time to debate.

I'm going to make this short and sweet.

We are not good as a whole.

We corrupt all that we touch, all that we influence dies, or comes close to us. We are mean to each other, we lie. We cheat. We steal. We don't seem to think this because we just dismiss these things as minor corruptions. Well minor after minor after minor combine, to become major. Unless something is changed soon, like we loose our natural instincts, then we always will be. No one wants to hear this, but it needs to be said by someone.

I thank the Con for this great debate and hope to meet him again soon.
sherlockmethod

Con

I will conclude quickly. Pro did not uphold the resolution, simple. He may be right but he did not show us why he is right. Each piece of evidence pro used for support was shown to be fallacious or I offered a more valid counter argument. I recommend Pro resubmit this debate will a few well established arguments and support those throughout the next debate. I urge a vote for Con as a review will show Pro's position was not supported. I thank my opponent for his time.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by warllamas 7 years ago
warllamas
Sigmund Freud was wrong! It's not that humans that are inherently evil, but the society which distorts values and emotions.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
All points to Con because his arguments were more convincing and I believe that Pro is guilty of vote-abuse.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
Thank you for taking the time to review the debate, voters.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
I think it's obvious enough that Con won this debate. I also gave conduct to Con because his arguments were a lot more on topic and he didn't call Pro a liar.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Marx is evil? I have to object. First of all, if you hate Communism then you simply don't understand it. I'm not saying that it is perfect or that it will solve all of the world's problems, or even that it is very good, but to hate it is far too extreme. Public education, the police department, social security, etc. are all based heavily on Communism.

And even if you do believe that Communism is evil, since when does that make Marx evil? Marx was an idealist. He came up with a revolutionary new idea that he wanted to use to help people. Even if Communism was evil, which it isn't, Marx only ever wanted to use it for good. To call Marx evil because he had an idea that you disagree with is just wrong. He was a philosopher, not a dictator.
Posted by lliwill 7 years ago
lliwill
Well he essentially created Communism, and I am everything that's against communism
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
Why is Karl Marx considered evil to you?
Posted by lliwill 7 years ago
lliwill
I'm sorry con yes I was misinformed, I thought I was right, but when I looked back to check I was wrong, I apologize
Posted by FREEDO 7 years ago
FREEDO
I think it is obvious that humans are naturally selfish but also think that is a good thing.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
You know this is not true, Sir. I have not edited my Big Issues. Are you lying to support your position? Or are you misinformed as you stated in your debate round?
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