The Instigator
syd123
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
THEBOMB
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
THEBOMB
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 21171
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

syd123

Con

(Lincoln douglass format)

Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

"We are deprived of strength where we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious; it may engender a total loss of life and vitality out of all proportion to the magnitude of the cause pity persuades men to nothingness!" Because I agree with Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, I negate.
The value of my argument is self-reliance. If we keep giving people things, they will not be able to fend for themselves. The criterion is maximizing self-reliance because people need to learn how to take care of themselves.
My first contention is that when we start giving people in need what they need, when are we going to stop? We can't just keep giving them everything because eventually nobody will be there to give them what they need and they won't know how to help themselves. Buddha states that "The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." This is saying that the people that always are reliant on other people will never truly be free. They will not know how to do things for themselves. So, by helping them are we really helping them in the long run?
Also, the graph above states that we have gone from a low of about 11% poverty rate to a high of 15% poverty rate. Since we are in a recession the poverty rates have raised dramatically. If we had taught people before the recession how to fend for themselves and not rely on other people, we might not have such large numbers of poverty because now there are very few people to give help to those who need it. This affects the people because they will not be truly helped if they keep being given everything they need.
My second contention is that people are more interested in helping themselves, rather than helping other people. When it comes down to it, people are really just plain selfish. If it came to a situation where a person could either help themselves or another person, the person would help themself. Lawana Blackwell states that "Forgiveness is almost a selfish act because of its immense benefits to the one who forgives." This is saying that people are selfish, and even when they do stuff for others, it's for selfish reasons. So, if a man helps a homeless man out, it comes back to the man being selfish because he helped the homeless man to feel good about himself, which is selfish. On finestquotes.com over 40 quotes are about how people are selfish. This affects the people because if people are helping people for selfish reasons, they will eventually find a different way to satisfy their selfishness and will forget about the people they are helping. Thus, I negate.
THEBOMB

Pro

I thank my opponent and shall begin.
Let's give you a hypothetical situation: one day you are walking down by a shallow pond. You see a small child in the lake drowning. If you could have and did not help this child most people would consider you a monster and you consider yourself a monster. How is saving this small child from drowning any different from donating money to save people from starving? The simple answer, it is not, and this is where I shall begin my case.

Value: Morality. First, since the resolution is a question of moral permissibility, this is the most logical and applicable value. Second, moral systems are designed to reflect and promote our ideals, so morality encompasses any other value. Third, the ability to develop and abide by moral principles is a defining characteristic of humanity and the source of much of our inherent worth.

Criterion: fairness, defined as a lack of bias or preference on arbitrary or irrelevant factors. All morale systems must be fair, even if the world is unfair. First, a logical moral system will be internally consistent and free of any contradictions created by bias. Second, our morals represent the rules and duties we would ideally abide by, and there is no justifiable reason for treating people differently, since there is no morally relevant difference between them. Third, any unfair moral system will be disregarded by the groups it disadvantages, which will weaken its effectiveness and likely lead to conflict. Therefore, the sufficient affirmative burden is to show that failing to assist people in need shows a form of bias, since individuals are morally obligated to act fairly.

Contention 1. Self-interest is a form of bias
"we ought to be preventing as much suffering as we can without sacrificing something else of comparable moral importance. This conclusion is one which we may be reluctant to face. I cannot see, though, why it should be regarded as a criticism of the position for which I have argued, rather than a criticism of our ordinary standards of behavior. Since most people are self-interested to some degree, very few of us are likely to do everything that we ought to do. It would, however, hardly be honest to take this as evidence that it is not the case that we ought to do it." (1) People should do what they can to solve suffering in the world. Simply stating that people have their own interests in mind and therefore, will not do everything they should does not change the fact that they should do it. I refer back to the hypothetical situation I presented above. Simply stating people have failed to "fulfill the requirements of a moral principle" does not mean this moral principle is null and void. (2) A truly moral person will commit an action out simply to follow morale law, not out of fear of God. If a person does act out of fear, then, that does not render their action bad but, rather a person's actions lack moral worth, but, it does not render a person's actions to be immoral.

Contention 2. Individuals are morally obligated to help those in need, unless the cost to themselves is significant
"if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it. By "without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance" I mean without causing anything else comparably bad to happen, or doing something that is wrong in itself, or failing to promote some moral good, comparable in significance to the bad thing that we can prevent. This principle seems almost as uncontroversial as the last one. It requires us only to prevent what is bad, and to promote what is good, and it requires this of us only when we can do it without sacrificing anything that is, from the moral point of view, comparably important. I could even, as far as the application of my argument to the Bengal emergency is concerned, qualify the point so as to make it: if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything morally significant, we ought, morally, to do it. An application of this principle would be as follows: if I am walking past a shallow pond and see a child drowning in it, I ought to wade in and pull the child out. This will mean getting my clothes muddy, but this is insignificant, while the death of the child would presumably be a very bad thing." (1) Once again I ask the question, how is saving this child any different from giving money to a charity to help those who are starving eat? There is no difference. If a person does not prevent an extremely bad outcome from occurring, death, by helping a person in need, and the cost to themselves is insignificant, getting clothes dirty, then their actions are biased by self-interest and thus, are immoral.

Sources:
1.http://www.utilitarian.net...
2.http://www.jstor.org...
Debate Round No. 1
syd123

Con

syd123 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

I'll give my opponent another round to respond.
Debate Round No. 2
syd123

Con

syd123 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

Another forfeit
Debate Round No. 3
syd123

Con

syd123 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

alright once again....
Debate Round No. 4
syd123

Con

syd123 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

ending this
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by THEBOMB 2 years ago
THEBOMB
how nice another non-debate....
Posted by syd123 2 years ago
syd123
Follow this link for the graph: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com...
Posted by THEBOMB 2 years ago
THEBOMB
"the graph above states that we have gone from a low of about 11% poverty rate to a high of 15% poverty rate. "

Ummm...what graph?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 2 years ago
Ron-Paul
syd123THEBOMBTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.