Individual's have a moral obligation to assist people in need
Debate Rounds (3)
It is because I agree with the words of Howard Zinn that I stand Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need. Before we begin I would like to offer the following definitions:
Moral obligation - A duty which one owes, and which one ought to perform (Law Dictionary)
Assist - a play that helps to put out a batter or base runner. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Or An act of help, typically by providing money
Need - A condition requiring relief.
The highest value of today's round is that of Human Dignity which is defined as the inherent worth of individuals that exists a priori, that is, exists independent of circumstances. Affirming Human Dignity means affirming the worth of individuals not because of what they do but because of their humanity. The criterion for the round is egalitarianism which is the belief that human worth is equal amongst all human beings. Egalitarianism the best criterion for the round because, while human dignity is a prerequisite of any other values and the foundation of a just society, egalitarianism is a prerequisite for human dignity, for once human dignity is not recognized as universal, it is then no longer inherent. I intend to show that the egalitarian ethic is exemplified in libertarian/socialist social structure, a structure that relies on a moral obligation to assist others.
Contention 1: Wealth inequality is inherently dehumanizing.
With the acknowledgment of equal human dignity, wealth inequality is an unacceptable form of dehumanization that places a value on an individual's worth to society. This lack of equality is not only an affront to egalitarianism and thus human dignity but also an affront to liberty, for equality is, rather than mutually exclusive as viewed by some, a necessary component of liberty. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy, "one can appreciate that having money gives one effective freedom to engage in a wide variety of activities and experiences. One has the option to purchase any of many commodities and do with them whatever is legally and conventionally allowed, up to the limit of one's budget. The ideal of equality of income and wealth is roughly the ideal that people should enjoy this effective freedom to the same extent." Inequality of income provides greater liberty to those with jobs supposedly more valuable to society. However, this belief has no basis in fact. Why should the street sweeper be said to deserve less income and thus less liberty than the banker or CEO? We should look to a world where professions are not chosen out of a drive for profit, a drive propagated by the notion that we are some how "worth more" by choosing a high class profession, and instead, look to a world where professions are done not based out of a desire for profit but a desire for meaning. This would not only be morally right but economically more efficient by allowing individuals to pursue career they find the most meaning from. Thus, Wealth equalization is a prerequisite to upholding egalitarianism and thus human dignity.
Contention 2: An egalitarian society can only exists through an obligation to assist those in need
By its very definition, need implies an inequality of condition. This inequality of condition, as has been stated, is unacceptable to a society that strives for the dignity of all members. The only way an ideal structure can be achieved is through the voluntary distribution of wealth exhibited in the communes. In this system of free association, individuals are free from not only the coercion of state control embodied in the Soviet Union but also free from the more subtle forms of social despotism found in capitalism. But this absolute freedom from coercion can only be achieved if from the bottom up, thus bypassing the state. Thus it is individuals and not the state that must act to end income inequality.
There is no "duty" in the world not even morally. That we owe to people. The homeless in America have every opportunity to better themselves. When it comes down to it all they have are excuses as to why they are in such a predicament. Some would argue that they suffer from addictions to drugs and alcohol that keep them from succeeding but again that's just an excuse and if they truly wanted to better themselves they would clean their act up. If someone is truly sincere about bettering themselves and show it to me, I would gladly help them but that isn't the case unfortunately with most people. I feel that the money and such should be given to better things such as children hospitals, cancer charities, ect.
Money would be better off some where else, other than in the pockets of a homeless man that "begs for food and water" when re they take those couple of dollars to a drug store (convenient store) and buy a pack of cigs with it. Or take to an alcohol store and buy some jack Daniels with it.
In conclusion, being morally obligated to help someone is complete bovine excrement. If you don't know for sure what you are doing to "help" that person "in need" than don't help them. It's simple, if you feel like you're just giving money to the homeless for them to buy drugs why should we be obligated to give them anything? We can put the cash to better and more giving events and charities that actually might help make a difference in the world. If homeless people want to get back on their feet then they are able to do it at anytime. They must be lethargic to not. Everyone has their own philosophy to different things. We shouldn't be put in the position to all have the same thing we need to oblige towards.
My opponent has demonstrated perfectly the dehumanization our social structure imposes on the poor. The poor are deemed "lazy" and "drug addicts" and it is simply accepted that they have somehow chosen to live in such a state. My opponent seems to disregard the impact of conditions of birth and the cycle of poverty. It is not a coincidence that children of the poor tend to be poor. It is not that this "choice" is inherited in families but, rather, because of the inherent disadvantage being born in poverty places on the individual. Freedom from violence and access to high quality education are powerful variables that make it nearly impossible for the poor to "raise themselves up from their boot straps."
My opponent has really only made one argument and that is that the poor and homeless are lazy and do not deserve or actually need assistance.
First, my opponents argument that we do not know if they are actually in need is moot because it is not what the resolution is asking us to evaluate. The resolution assumes a person is indeed in need and the question lies in whether we have a moral obligation to help people given that they are in need. We are not trying to determine whether we should help people who might be in need to whether we should help people who are in need.
Second, my opponent's entire case is just a series of claims without any warrants to back them up. He just repeats the claim that the homeless are lazy without providing any reason to believe this, and then categorizing all homeless people as drug addicts. In an economy where there are more people than jobs, it doesn't make any sense to say that the homeless can just choose to have a home.
My opponent also states that a homeless person can get back on their feet and the reason that they do not is because they are lethargic. So people starve to death, STARVE TO DEATH, because they don't feel like eating? I'll let the judges of this debate decide which is more plausible, that the homeless choose to starve because they are lazy or there are simply not enough jobs available.
My opponent has also failed to address my argument about how wealth inequality is dehumanizing. All he says is that people who are homeless are lazy but this fails to address the argument that wealth places a value on individuals and that we should be free to choose professions not out of a drive for profit but out of a longing to find meaning in work and to provide for society as a whole. He also doesn't address the argument that egalitarianism requires this moral obligation to others. As of now, I do not know if my opponent accepts the principle of egalitarianism or simply rejects that having such an obligation to other is necessary to uphold egalitarianism. Thus, this argument stands as well untouched.
My opponent has failed to meet his burden of clash by failing to respond to the arguments given. Thus, my opponent has failed to provide the con case enough ground to stand on in later rounds and therefore, Pro already wins the debate.
jackinthebox forfeited this round.
jackinthebox forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: con forfeits
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