The Instigator
funnycn
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Greeny
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

If you wished for someone to die, and they died are you responsible?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Greeny
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,207 times Debate No: 62193
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

funnycn

Pro

This is a philosophical debate about murder.Once you accept, your views about murder might change.Here are the rules...
Forfeit once and it's automatic loss.
No insulting.
The bible is a limited source. If you use the bible, it must have a secondary source to back it up.
This debate is to be taken seriously. No trolling, no nonsense, and I have no tolerance for it.
Round one is acceptance.
Round five is the conclusion.

Murder is defined as "The crime of deliberately killing a person". [http://www.merriam-webster.com...]
Greeny

Con

I'm accepting this debate on the understanding that you (as the "Pro" position) are answering "yes"to the question, and I am answering "no" (Con).

Responsibility, or culpability is directly tied to actions. A wish or desire without related action does not convey responsibility.

In the US legal system, there is a presumption of innocence, innocent until proven guilty.

Motive alone is insufficient to convict someone of murder.

Using this as a measure of "responsibility", the burden of proof lies with you, and so, I will respond to your assertions.
Debate Round No. 1
funnycn

Pro


I am now looking into your argument.

"Responsibility, or culpability is directly tied to actions. A wish or desire without related action does not convey responsibility."

Tied to actions? So is thinking not an action now? Is wishing not an action? If I thought about killing someone and did it I would be responsible. If I didn't directly kill them, I would probably feel responsible. Such a feeling can be related to accidental killings. Even though they weren't trying to kill them and they had no intent to, when they died they felt guilt. Darin Strauss would be a perfect example. About two decades ago, Darin accidentally killed a 16 year old girl when he hit her when she was on her bicycle. He blamed himself, saying he should have honked sooner or drove slower. How does this relate to wishing for someone's death?

[http://www.dailymail.co.uk...]

This mostly ties in with the guilt of accidentally killing someone. Ever said you wish someone never existed or you hated them? You'd know if something happened to them you would regret it, and that feeling ties in with this.

Now, my argument!

In the past there have been people that casted "spells" to kill kings and nobles. When they died by disease or sudden mishaps, the witches and pagans claimed credit for the murder. So while they didn't directly kill them, wouldn't they be responsible? Is it really a coincidence they died when a witch casted as spell on them? I don't think so. Ever heard of the...Tinker bell effect? Sounds silly right? Well maybe it isn't as silly as it sounds...

The "Tinker bell" effect is an expression used to describe something that happens based on belief according to a mass of people.
[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Could it be the Tinker bell effect is a possible explanation for unknown disappearances and suspicious but unsolvable killings? If not, there are other effects and theories. Another one is the Thomas Theorem. This is more real and explainable than the Tinker bell effect.

The Thomas Theorem states this
"If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences"
Or, "The interpretation of a situation causes the action"

If you don't get it here's an example. The 1973 oil crisis and the "toilet paper panic". During the oil spill a rumor spread that there would be shortage of toilet paper due to the lack of oil. This caused people to stock high on toilet paper. Because people bought so much toilet paper, it caused a shortage of toilet paper.

So let's toss the Thomas Theorem into a scenario that fits the topic.

Person A spreads a rumor on the Internet that there will be a big riot in a small town at 9:00 PM and everyone should be armed and not trust anyone on the street in that town. At 9:30 PM, Person B shoots Person C, who he thought was armed and going to break in his house. Person D, hearing the shot, fires at Person B and kills them. Person E hears Person D firing his gun and shoots and kills person D. This causes a big riot in the town. Would Person A be held accountable for those crimes? Yes, he would as the other people involved in the riot. The Thomas Theorem shows with the malicious intent, someone could kill someone based on their wishes, and supports my argument.
[http://en.wikipedia.org...]
Greeny

Con

In the beginning of Round 1, you used the word 'murder' twice, even to the point of giving it a definition. I accept that and am using 'murder' as our agreed upon benchmark.

Murder is defined as a crime, and therefore, I am using society's accepted arbiter of crimes and accusations, the US legal system as a measurement.

In your argument, you use several illustrations, and each of them demonstrate a 'cause' and an 'effect', which I use interchangeably with 'action'. Let's look at each illustration...

1 - Darin Strauss - Aside from the fact that his feelings occurred after the death, the girl was killed by being struck by a car...an action.

2 - "Spells" killing kings and nobles...Is there a specific scenario you can call to mind? A witch who claims credit for someones death means nothing in general terms. I might claim credit for my favorite sports team winning, but that does not demonstrate sufficient cause and effect relationship for our current argument. Again, the burden of proof falls to you to show a cause and effect relationship.

3 - The Tinker Bell effect - I reject this because we have already agreed to terms such as murder and crime, which exist in a common understanding of reality. Arguing for or against the "Tinker Bell Effect" is an entirely different conversation.

4 - The Thomas Theorem / Toilet Paper Shortage - Even though we are talking about a very specific situation, murder, let's take a quick look at this. There is a distinct cause/effect relationship here, even though it may be difficult to pin down the origen. A rumor of a shortage causing a shortage is not necessarily a rare or unique happening. Either way, the rumor influences, thereby a cause with a related effect. A cause that is quantifiable and measureable as it spreads.

5 - Thomas Theorem / Internet Riot - Well, there are several events here, B kills C, D kills B, E kills D. Each of these are distinct in that a weapon is used each time, not a "thought" or "wish" or "desire" that the person would die. No, there is a physical, quantifiable action that ends their life, a bullet...or bullets.
Person A accountable for resulting deaths? Now we are getting somewhere! This would definitely be an interesting case to follow, but, unfortunately for you, my worthy opponent, does not meet the criteria of our discussion. Spreading a rumor on the Internet involves an amount of activity and leaves the realm of thought. No, it is more than just thought, and to orchestrate a riot like you describe would probably take multiple posts and considerable effort, constituting considerably more than just a 'wish'.

In each of the situations described, there was found to be more than just a 'wish', there was, in fact concrete, measurable action that accompanied the 'wish'.
Debate Round No. 2
funnycn

Pro

"
" Darin Strauss - Aside from the fact that his feelings occurred after the death, the girl was killed by being struck by a car...an action."

Right, however I was not referring to the action, I was referring to the emotion he felt. Read my argument please.

"'Spells' killing kings and nobles...Is there a specific scenario you can call to mind? A witch who claims credit for someones death means nothing in general terms. I might claim credit for my favorite sports team winning, but that does not demonstrate sufficient cause and effect relationship for our current argument. Again, the burden of proof falls to you to show a cause and effect relationship."

Yet again, I feel as if you didn't really read my argument. As for the scenario, multiple. I read a book compiled of stories and one involved a witch casting a spell on a noble traveling to London.

"
The Tinker Bell effect - I reject this because we have already agreed to terms such as murder and crime, which exist in a common understanding of reality. Arguing for or against the "Tinker Bell Effect" is an entirely different conversation"

Yet again, not reading my argument. I discussed how it could kill.

"The Thomas Theorem / Toilet Paper Shortage - Even though we are talking about a very specific situation, murder, let's take a quick look at this. There is a distinct cause/effect relationship here, even though it may be difficult to pin down the origen. A rumor of a shortage causing a shortage is not necessarily a rare or unique happening. Either way, the rumor influences, thereby a cause with a related effect. A cause that is quantifiable and measureable as it spreads."

Did you read my scenario? I wasn't focusing on the toilet paper. I was focusing on the Thomas Theorem and MY scenario.

"Thomas Theorem / Internet Riot - Well, there are several events here, B kills C, D kills B, E kills D. Each of these are distinct in that a weapon is used each time, not a "thought" or "wish" or "desire" that the person would die. No, there is a physical, quantifiable action that ends their life, a bullet...or bullets.
Person A accountable for resulting deaths? Now we are getting somewhere! This would definitely be an interesting case to follow, but, unfortunately for you, my worthy opponent, does not meet the criteria of our discussion. Spreading a rumor on the Internet involves an amount of activity and leaves the realm of thought. No, it is more than just thought, and to orchestrate a riot like you describe would probably take multiple posts and considerable effort, constituting considerably more than just a 'wish'."

Again, my argument mostly ignored. At least you read most of this however you didn't understand it, by the looks of it. It does fit. One wish, one action, multiple deaths.

I ask of you, go read my arguments and try to make an understanding of them.




Greeny

Con

Couple basic points...The point being argued is as follows:

"If you wished for someone to die, and they died, are you responsible?"

You wanted the "Yes" position.

That's fine, I do not believe that anyone has been convicted of murder in a court of law for murder by "wish".

Reading in a book somewhere about a witch who cast a spell on a London noble does not constitute a legitimate claim.

A person who feels guilty about killing someone does not constitute a legitimate claim.

Actually, if you could find a scenario where someone's feelings of guilt brought that person back to life, then I would consider that worth discussing.

A theory about the cumulative effect of rumors does not constitute a legitimate claim.

A riot scenario instigated by internet postings does not meet the criteria of this conversation.

While you may wish for someone to die, that alone does not constitute responsibility.

I am still waiting for proof that wishing for someone's death makes one guilty of murder.
Debate Round No. 3
funnycn

Pro

I see what you mean now. If you wished for someone to die, and they did, would you be responsible? NOT if you wished and just by desire it's illegal. I think you got confused. Just asking, did you read the title? It seems like you're bent around just desire is illegal but that's not what I'm debating. I'm debating if they actually died because of your wish. You should read the title's more clearly.
Greeny

Con

"I'm debating if they actually died because of your wish."

OK, go right ahead and prove that your wish killed them!
Debate Round No. 4
funnycn

Pro

It's not the wish that directly kills them okay? I thought you would have understood that by now, but I guess not. If I say "I wish you died" and you suddenly, without reason and no known cause, died it wasn't the wish alright? It's not the desire either. It was my action of wishing that set forth actions that killed someone alright? It's not the wish that causes your unknown death without cause, it's the wish that set it in motion.

Think of it like Goldberg alright? Well, not exactly, there is no machine. But it's like this...

I'm in a restaurant. I argue with a person. We yell and get mad at each other. I wish he died. A waiter bringing the man I argued with a meal, trips and sends a few glass objects flying towards him that shatter on upon his face. The glass cuts him badly and moments later he dies.

The question is now, would I be held accountable because the people knew I argued with him and hated him so much I may have told the waiter to kill him, or I tripped the waiter on purpose? Or...was it just a freak coincidence? Would people be able to prove I killed him indirectly, or would the waiter be at fault? Sure the waiter might get sued but could I get in trouble if enough people believed I told the waiter to do it (tinker bell effect), or was it an accident? It may seem like I'm just describing not the wish of the action but something else, but I AM talking about how a single desire could lead to a series of actions that killed someone. Am I morally responsible, legally responsible, or not responsible? That is the question I hoped to debate but it seems like you never understood that.
Greeny

Con

In conclusion, I'd like to thank you, funnycn, for an interesting debate on a unique topic.

At this moment in time, we have no codified system of quantifying or measuring thoughts, intentions, emotions and the like. Further, there is no evidence that of a causal relationship between thought and the physical world. Therefore, there is no way to assign responsibility for having thoughts. As the age old axiom states, "Wishing does not make it so."

In this debate, several times, I've asked for proof. I can think of no court or legal system that considers "wishes" as admissable evidence, and my opponent has been unable to find one either. To the best of my knowledge, I don't know of any legal case that has assigned responsibility on the basis of wish. My opponent doesn't know of any either, apparently, and in his final comment, agrees with my original assertion.

Consider the following scenario:
Sally hates her neighbor, Judy. Taking a gun, she shoots Judy and kills her. Sally is convicted of murder.
Open and shut case, right?

Let's try it again:
Sally hates her neighbor, Judy. Time passes. One morning Judy happens to be in a bank when a robbery occurs. There is a shootout and Judy is shot and killed. Is Sally responsible?

In every reality I am aware of, the answer is 'No', an absurd claim and perhaps even offensive to the court.
According to funnycn, the answer is 'Yes'.

With all due respect to funnycn, there has been no evidence offered, no logical argument given, or scenario offered that might cause one to change their position.

"If you wished for someone to die, and they died, are you responsible?"

The answer remains "No"
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by funnycn 2 years ago
funnycn
Anyone up to the challenge? This might be a tense debate.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
@Jonbonbon IKR!!! I almost accepted, then saw the no troll warning. xD
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
I dare someone to accept and argue this by trying to affirm telepathy.

@Surrealism: that is actually a really good argument... would be interesting to actually see that run in this debate
Posted by Surrealism 2 years ago
Surrealism
If I accepted I would say that we only observe one timeline, so it's pragmatic to believe in only one timeline. Thus, any event is responsible for all events that succeed it. So if you wish for someone to do and then they do, you are responsible.
Posted by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
Jonbonbon
Tempted to troll.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
You can't be Pro or Con for a question. Your resolution should be a statement of the position either you or your opponent will be taking.
Posted by Longline 2 years ago
Longline
If You are making a wish for someone to die, that depends, whether you believe in wishes or not, on the philosophical aspect it all has to do with what happens in your mind. in this case that means believing is something very considerate. However, believing that you did something is quite different from doing the thing itself. If you can connect the mental action of your wish to the actual physical action of the person's death, or dieing action, that then you may find yourself guilty at some point, but I find that very impossible philolosphicaly. Because you have not met any of the qualification consider within a criminal mind, the thoughts are nothing but wishes, and the action of that persons death has non of your physical involvement in any ways. So you are not responsible even tho you might feel that way.
Posted by Burls 2 years ago
Burls
There is a pro position but it's more relevant to voting than wishing. If we vote on an issue where death is the penalty, are we responsible? In my opinion the answer is 'No'; What we are responsible for is agreeing to the system of resolving problems thru the vote, which leaves one vulnerable to the vagaries of the masses.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
This whole instigating as Cin thing, is really annoying, especially when nobody really holds the pro position.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
funnycnGreenyTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con clearly showed that the wish alone, absent other criteria and in a world where wishing doesn't have direct affect, doesn't tie to responsibility for later events. I think Pro would have benefited from a bit more clarity in his case, and what--specifically--he was arguing for. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.