If a person wants to live in a good world, he should ACTIVELY do things to make the world better.
Debate Rounds (4)
It is my position that those who don't want to improve the world and establish equality and justice for all shouldn't expect this for themselves! Ultimately this philosophy would justify a "Dog eat dog world", where technically everything is justified and morality fails to have any weight.
Con will argue that justice and morality exist independent of human action and purpose. I will argue that humans decide what is just and moral, and that if humans want to live in a just, kind world they should work hard to see justice and kindness EVERYWHERE. My position is that justice and morality are decided by humanity - and do not exist independent of human wants and concerns!
Ultimately it is what we strive for collectively that decides what is moral . . . thus morality does not exist independent from our collective wants.
Con should begin his argument in ROUND 1; ROUND 4 will be designated for our final statements on this topic.
I accept. Let us debate!
Seeing as you haven't made an argument yet, I will now.
It is a quaint notion, 'tisn't it? The idea that justice and morality exists because we exist. However, this notion is sadly inaccurate at describing the ethics by which we live.
There is one moral, one rule, one thing that drives us all. That moral, that rule, that driving force, is called "Survival". This rule, ingrained in our very being, is clearly demonstrated every day. Whether this rule was implanted by a divine creation, or if it was passed down, or rather up, the genetic ladder is yet to be seen. Regardless, however, survival is at the root of most interactions, human or otherwise.
All things, being a means of survival, then demonstrate a lack of real "justice" or "fairness", "purpose" or "meaning". These things are merely constructs of a feeble human mind that is barely able to grasp its own being.
Now, it is important to understand: just because these concepts are believed in by humans does not mean that these things' existences are dependent on human existence; a minotaur fails to exist even if we believe that it exists, and still fails to exist even if there are no humans.
On to proactivity.
Even if "justice", "fairness", etc. were existant in the ways you claim they are, then you still have not brought forth a reason why it is the responsibility for each utopia-desiring individual to work towards that utopia.
"Humans are motivated by survival." Kumquatodor, you are absolutely right! But humans are also motivated by pleasure (so as to seek it), and try to avoid things that directly contribute to their pain, suffering. For example, humans that know touching a burning stove will inflict searing pain will try to avoid touching it intentionally. Pain and Pleasure are not imaginary phenomena, but genuinely arise from the body's biochemistry, in reaction to things that can benefit us (keep us alive) and harm us (kill us). Pain and pleasure are rudimentary impelling forces used by the body (and evolved over hundreds of millions of years) to motivate us into action.
This is something common to all humanity. So why should a person desiring to live in a good world actively do things to make the world better for everyone? Because humans also interpret equality and fairness with respect to experiences of Pleasure and Pain. Equality Under the Law, Fairness Under the Law requires that everyone has Equal Rights under the law and is afforded opportunity to improve their comfort, their well being, their happiness to a state of pacified satisfaction. Every living human on the planet responds to pleasure and pain the same way. You can bet that wherever a human is annoyed enough, abused enough the experience of unhappiness and pain will pass a discomfort threshold - and he will lash out at society in some act of rejection, which might be violent. This can be an individual or it can be a group of individuals, and as long as they feel vulnerable, as long as a memory or a past experience calls up feelings of displeasure the society they live in serious danger of being attacked or being reduced to a barely manageable state - one where distrust and hate are high, crime is excessive, and society's laws are ignored. It therefore serves society (and all members in society) to promote Equal Justice, Equal Fairness, Equal Rights under the Law, ample (employment) opportunity for everyone, equal access to a great education because only with these conditions can people experience a sense of genuine comfort, where each member also understands that everyone else is comfortable with respect to legal social arrangements.
It also does society good to promote the well-being of all its members, because this communicates a sense of genuine caring (which optimizes comfort), which reinforces peace and one's loyalty to the people and laws of the community. Promoting good health and access to affordable healtcare optimizes comfort; encouraging charitableness and volunteering reinforces a sense of neighborliness, caring. These all promote comity in society and peace.
It benefits society to advocate Equal Rights, Equal Justice under the Law, equal access to a stellar education, good health and affordable healthcare, neighborliness and chariableness because this maximizes comfort, loyalty, and peace among every member! A society that fails to accomplish any of these only increases its displeasure.
Also true, any society that rejects the above egalitarianism (under the Law) and fails to reinforce policies that maximize comfort, rights, education, and health actually promote the likehood for war, combativeness, and instability, because such communities promote individual and minority displeasure, which naturally stimulates retaliation!
Despotic governments, tyrannies, dictatorships provoke retaliation necessarily, and militant theocracies breed anger, resentment amomg religious minorities. They threaten the world with economic instability, conflict, and continuing social upheavel!
It therefore benefits the world to promote egalitarianism and policies that optimize mutual joy and comfort.
Pain and pleasure are rudimentary impelling forces used by the body (and evolved over hundreds of millions of years) to motivate us into action.
It therefore serves society (and all members in society) to promote Equal Justice, Equal Fairness, Equal Rights under the Law, ample (employment) opportunity for everyone, equal access to a great education because only with these conditions can people experience a sense of genuine comfort, where each member also understands that everyone else is comfortable with respect to legal social arrangements.
It does serve society. Sure, safety does indeed serve the individual. However, one does not need to actively create safety for society in order to stay safe. It is perfectly reasonable to hide until someone creates safety for everyone, or for him to create safety for himself.
What if people want fairness, equality, etc., but they don't believe that this possible to acheive. Many people would desire utopia, but believe that it would be impossible to achieve, or that the means necessary are unjustifiable.
Kumquatodor said, "However, one does not need to actively create safety for society in order to stay safe. It is perfectly reasonable to hide until someone creates safety for everyone, or for him to create safety for himself." It is perfectly REASONABLE to hide until someone creates safety for everyone, of for him to create safety for himself. We both know that hiding from society, hiding from the world isn't reasonable. It's silly. We each have to live in the world. We can't run off and live in caves. It's also ludicrous for everyone in society to have to depend on a few "supermen" to fix the world's problems. If you were referring to elected leaders, that's understandable, but even then they can't make everything in our lives perfect. That responsibility lies with us. If we want to live in a kind, gentle, joyous world we have to make it happen. We each have to respect each other, we each have to respect the rules of society and encourage equality and fairness for all people (including minorities), we have to promote the philosophy that every child should receive an excellent education, and we have to promote a culture that sees the error in animalistic, self-absorbed human tendencies.
As long as society fails to accomplish any of these, there will be a lot of unhappiness, a lot of envy, and a lot of crime. A culture that established on the philosophy of me-me-me isn't going to be a very happy one. It's going to a very unhappy culture. Sure, some individuals will have it all (and argue that they should have it all - with tax exemptions too). Who knows? You might be one of the lucky few. But in such a culture there's going to be a huge swathe of the population that wont have it all - and guess what? Envy, jealousy, anger, resement will take over - and that's a recipe for dishonesty, combativeness, lawlessness, and corruption. Why support a system that just doesn't care about you anyway?
Instead, society needs to promote progress all around. It needs to invest in programs that will make everyone's life better if they at least attempt to put in effort! This maximizes loyalty; it maximizes individual and civic joy! People (as in you and me) need to take the time out of our busy lives (which is lopsided with too much entertainment, internet garbage, and unhealthy extracurricular leisure anyway) to improve the communities around us. If we fail to effect our environments in a positive way - then we deserve that bad world we live in! I believe there are way too many bullies, too many racists, to many people with grudges - certainly to many people who want to hurt others! I don't want to live in that kind of a world. I want a kind, gentle world - so I intend to promote that with my actions, and with the positions I take in these kinds of conversations and debates.
I'm part of the world. I contribute to what it is. I want my world to give me good experiences. I therefore need to give others good experiences too if I'm to be reciprocated with what I demand. All people that want a kind, generous world need to think this way too. Failure to do so will only result in a sad, miserable world.
Kumquatodor added, "What if people want fairness, equality, etc., but they don't believe that this possible to acheive. Many people would desire utopia, but believe that it would be impossible to achieve, or that the means necessary are unjustifiable." Ultimately we each decide the world we want to live in with our actions and attitudes. Mankind has slowly, maddeningly made gains in the improvement of global life. Some people continue to push that progress forward. Others do not. We each get to decide which a kind of person we want to be in this world. Ultimately that'll be decided by what you want.
But remember, there are genuine consequences to everything! Those that live only for themselves have no one to blame but themselves should they fail in their quest.
Rebutals will be in the speech; I won't rebut like in a normal debate, but you can probably find wear I rebut your points. This speech has been boiling up for a while.
I must say... this debate has affected me. These feeling that you've helped illicite from me today, I don't know what these feelings are, but I thank you for putting me in the position to feel whatever I'm feeling now. Humanity? Mortality? Contentment? Whatever I'm feeling, I thank you.
It is worth noting what my life is like. I am a young lad of not quite 15. What influence do I have? This is the question that I ask, and the answer tortures me.
I have zero influence on anything. I still try to change the world for the better, but all I can do is spout optimistic nonsense.
I sincerely want to live in a world without pain and murder, violence and hate, possesions and greed, but... I have no means of seeing that reality short of hallucinagens, and I don't have hallucinagens.
Maybe I'll mean something as an adult, but, as of now, I'm just a useless drone without a cent to his name... Excuse me, I have a five dollar bill on the dresser and a laptop under my fingertips.
I guess it's time to change the world! I have a YouTube channel (with no means of producing video) and barely enough money to make a cappicino! Let's change!
But, as you well know, proclaiming that it's time for change does nothing. We have to start the change. But I can't. To quote Charlie Sheen: "Can't is the cancer of happen".
Then that means that the world we live in is a tumor. So many people with different ideologies. It's a cluster of morons, extremists, and us (who are classified by others as morons and extremists).
We are all sad, strange little dudes to other people. What influence do we have? All I can do is manage to survive until everything's fixed or I reach 18.
When I reach 18, I'll... I'll... VOTE! Yes, I'll vote! I'll vote for the guy who supports my values! Mine! Forget everyone else!
Voting will do nothing. As you can see, the way you vote is based on each individuals values, leading to a dog-eats-dog mentality.
It's not as if these leaders uphold the values that got elected. Bill Clinton ran on integraty. Bush on security. Obama on ending the wars.
If it is up to each individual to encourage societal improvement, then we're screwed. I can't curse, so I'll only say "we're screwed". Indeed, we're dug in deep.
What would we encourage?
Education? Fair enough, we're low on the totem pole, but how does encouraging education fix the problem, especially considering that our leaders are greedy tools.
Equality? I don't know if you noticed, but blacks can vote. They are equal members of society. The President is black. Women? I don't know if you noticed, but women can vote. They are equal members of society. Hilary Clinton was nearly President. Muslims can vote. They are equal, etc.
So that must mean that we should be champions for those idea overseas. If I had a week, I couldn't explain all the reason why that won't work.
There is no way to change the greedy ideals short of John Lennon coming back alive or Jesus returning.
I kind of admire you. "If we fail to effect our environments in a positive way - then we deserve that bad world we live in!" Ha!. I don't have an impact on the environments. The oil companies do. The greedy bosses do. A billion drivers do. I do not. I cannot change anything.
You say you don't want to live in a vitriolic, biggoted world. Then move to Mars. Humans wont become nice and loving just because we want them to. You can promote all those things you try promote. I don't care. Or rather, 6,800,000,000 don't care. You are a speck of sand on a polluted beach. The catch? Most other grains of sand agree with you. They just can't do anything.
You say failure to pretend to be within a world where love is reciprocated leads to pain, but acting as if you are in utopia only makes the individual happy, and the individual is not the problem. The world is.
If believing that the world will reciprocate goodnes makes you happy, then more power to you!
But until we, we, not the individual, but the collective Earth, make a move to make a few things right... We're all screwed.
First, I want to apologize for posting this so late. This past weekend has been busier than usual for me, and so I didn't have time to respond as quickly as I should have.
In Round 3, my opponent's argument can be summed up in the following:
"I am a young lad of not quite 15...I have zero influence on anything. I still try to change the world for the better, but all I can do is spout optimistic nonsense."
"When I reach 18, I'll...VOTE! Yes, I'll vote! I'll vote for the guy who supports my values! Mine! Forget everyone else!
Voting will do nothing."
"If it is up to each individual to encourage societal improvement, then we're screwed...You say you don't want to live in a vitriolic, biggoted world. Then move to Mars. Humans wont become nice and loving just because we want them to. You can promote all those things you...promote. I don't care. Or rather, 6,800,000,000 don't care. You are a speck of sand on a polluted beach. The catch? Most other grains of sand agree with you. They just can't do anything."
My opponent takes the position that we can promote all the things we want to promote, but that we're in fact "screwed". In his words, we have "zero" influence on anything. We live in the world - and we're dictated by it (after all, as he says "the oil companies...the greedy bosses...have an impact", but we - the billions specks of sand - have no impact! We're automatons at the mercy of those with real power and influence, but we have no impact on the world. Yet it's funny, evidence shows we genuinely do have an impact on the world. The "oil companies" have an impact - well, get an electric/hyrbrid car (they're around!). The "greedy bosses" have an impact - well, don't buy their stuff! My opponent argues as if we have no power over our purchases in our culture.
Capitalistic theory and the power of the free markets shows us that we do! Take Paula Dean, the women who was recently accused of calling black people who worked under her the n-word. It's quite obvious right now that she's feeling the impact of her attitude, of her un-restrained mouth. She's losing businesses, she's losing sponsors, and she's losing money - and this impact is caused by consumers! It's not caused by oil companies, by the greedy bosses (unless they're bowing to the demands of angry consumers)! We in fact do have an impact.
Do we need more evidence of this? Fine.
We have no power to change society - except for the fact that we do. Slavery. Slavery. I remember reading about slavery in my U.S. History text as a kid. Where did that go? Oh yeah...a bunch of abolitionists (those offended by the practice) got to together and convinced the 16th President (Abraham Lincoln) to eliminate it should the North win the Civil War against the South. Impact. Abraham Lincoln, who was once willing to continue the practice, ultimately bowed to the abolitionists and set the trend to have it eliminated after the war.
Martin Luther King Jr. had an impact when he helped to organize the Million Man March on Washington and when he gave the "I have a dream" speech, which motivated the country into passing Civil Rights Legislation. He had an impact when he marched through Southern cities to stop segretation and to recognize African American rights. Rosa Parks had an impact when she refused to give up her seat to a white person in a city bus. Her courage caused the U.S. congress to act!
Cesar Chavez had an impact when he organized boycotts of the fruit industry, to bring attention to the dismal working conditions of farm hands and farm workers. He got the collective hand of the nation to recognize that farm workers deserve better working conditions; by this I mean he had an impact through law.
Mahatma Ghandi had an impact when he led India toward National Independence, liberating it for the first time in several hundred years from the grip of the British. He was arrested, inprisoned on several occasions, even while advocating non-violent civil disobedience, but ultimately the British Government acquiesed, giving India her independence. Impact!
South African President Nelson Mandela, now 95, had an impact when he and his reform-minded country men convinced the nation to put an end to segregation and the practice of apartheid, giving black Africans (in a majority black nation) the right to vote, the rote to vote for any candidate of any race! The multiracial elections of 1994 occured without a significant act of combativeness or violence, and won the praise of the international community! Like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela held a philosophy of non-violent civil disobedience and was imprisoned for over 20 years for his public anti-apartheid beliefs.
Originally this round was going to be dedicated to scientific support for classical conditioning, in defense of my position. But I think this is more appropriate.
We have an impact. You have an impact. The question is how will you use it?
Excuse the smaller font; I have no choice.
We have zero influence.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources - pro S&G - pro - it was difficult to read CON's round 4, and some of CON's paragraphs were difficult to follow. Both arguments were interesting, and PRO had a difficult position (moral should for practical effect) but CON lost my vote with his position "I have zero influence on anything." Conduct to con for kind words at beginning of round 3
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