The Instigator
larztheloser
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
BangBang-Coconut
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
larztheloser
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,750 times Debate No: 19216
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

larztheloser

Pro

Full Resolution-
Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need

This first round will be for acceptance.

+ Although this is the current LD topic, this debate will not take place in an LD format.
+ All arguments should be written to be as clear and concise as possible.
+ Arguments do not have to include data. However if data is not included, then clear philosophical warrants should be made.

I will be arguing that individuals have a moral obligation to assist others in need. My opponent can argue whatever he likes, so long as he stops me meeting my burden of proof.

The Voting period will be two weeks.
There will be three rounds of debate, and one round of acceptance.
There will be 72 hours to argue during each round.
There will a character limit of 8,000.
BangBang-Coconut

Con

I accept and eagerly look forward to a great round!
Debate Round No. 1
larztheloser

Pro

I'm really glad my opponent accepted and wish him the best of luck. I apologise for being slow to begin (I've had lots of work to do) so I'm keeping this brief and to the point, and hopefully I'll be able to elucidate my argument more fully in later rounds.

People can be "in need" for all manner of things. Right now I am in need of a better computer, a working TV, money and a large list of additional stuff. I'm not going to argue that you, or anyone else, should have a "moral obligation" to provide all these things for me. Therefore, I'm going to limit the standard of what qualifies as a person being "in need." Are you a civilian about to be killed for the personal pleasure of some tyrant? Congratulations, you qualify as being "in need." Are you being held as a sex slave? Well done, you're in need too. Have you been arbitrarily detained? Good, you also qualify. Do you long for a nice long vacation? So am I, but that is beyond the scope of this debate. Therefore, I will define "in need" as being people who have been denied commonly accepted human rights.

Why human rights? I believe in equality of opportunity - which is another way of saying, helping everyone who has less opportunity than you get as much as you have. I know I limited the scope of this debate to human rights, but if you don't have human rights, you don't have equal opportunity. Indeed, equality of opportunity can only be achieved with full equality under the law, which cannot be achieved when you afford certain groups "special" rights. If you do want a vacation or a new TV, a good place to start would be to fight for equality under the law, which will give you the chance to earn one. Therefore, by helping human rights, we help people in need everywhere.

Human rights are pretty cool. That's fairly self-evident - all people are more or less equal, so we need to treat them more or less equally. That's called the principle of reciprocity, and it exists in almost every moral framework on this planet. Why? Because you can't have rights without justice, and you can't have justice without reciprocity - treating people differently based on their beliefs, for instance, would clearly be unjust. You cannot establish a right for a people without entitling those people to the right. Rights cannot be applied to one belief, or one race (et cetera), because the characteristic cannot be justifiably linked to the right, so all rights must be either contingent upon circumstance, or universal, and must be afforded to all those for whom the right is established. That implies that universal rights exist - our human commonality of circumstance demands that there must be some basic entitlements for all people.

As Kofi Annan put it: “Human rights are what reason requires and conscience demands. They are us and we are them. Human rights are rights that any person has as a human being. We are all human beings; we are all deserving of human rights. One cannot be true without the other.

Having established that all people are entitled to basic rights, we have also established that objective morality exists. Human rights are fundamentally moral rights (also known as natural law), because they are not specific to a jurisdiction - they derive not from some government signing a piece of paper, but from our common and universal condition. In addition, they are objective, because they apply in exactly the same way to everyone. There is no contingency. So if there are objective, moral and universal rights out there, we are morally obliged to defend them. This can be shown by exclusion of the alternative - if we had no duty to defend the rights of others, other's rights would not be defended, and thus they would not be entitled to the right, breaking the premise that they are rights.

Enforcing universal human rights helps the victims of human rights abuse - the ones "in need". We are the individuals. We hold this obligation as self-evidently as we hold human rights. Doing nothing is doing something. If you stand idle while watching somebody torture some civilians, you are party to that torture, and you are culpable. We cannot allow human rights violations to continue in the world. Denying a moral duty to assist people in need of assistance for human rights violations is both a denial of all rights and a denial of all justice. Rights and justice are pretty cool too, but I doubt my opponent will deny them.

I hope that makes my argument reasonably clear.

The motion stands.
BangBang-Coconut

Con

I was really hoping it wouldn't come to this, but it looks like it has.
I'm sorry to my opponent but it looks as though I won't have time to type out my first round arguments. I'm going to have to pass this round. I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to my opponent, and ask that he as well passes next round so that we can continue this debate properly.

It would appear that I had accidentally erased the arguments I had written earlier.
Debate Round No. 2
larztheloser

Pro

No worries, con. Apology accepted, let's get back to it!
BangBang-Coconut

Con

BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
larztheloser

Pro

Well, that was disappointing.

Vote pro for taking the time to save frequently.
BangBang-Coconut

Con

I am about ready to throw this stupid computer into the middle the street. >->

Yes, vote pro. Also I'm extremely sorry for this round. Thanks for being such a good sport about my conduct, I wish we could have had a better round. I promise I had a lot to say, but I just never got the time.

(also for the record, I was saving often. My computer is just spazzing out on me when I'm DDO.)

Again, vote Pro. I'm sorry. I have to go spend my entire Thanksgiving break writing a college paper now.

Ugh...
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Crap, I just deleted all of my arguments >3>
I'm either going to not have enough time to post this round, or I'll be cutting it very very close.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Yes, yes, and more yes. I will acept this in a few days.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by cameronl35 5 years ago
cameronl35
larztheloserBangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeit
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
larztheloserBangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments and conduct to Pro for forfeit and concession. Too bad, I was really looking forward to reading this.