The Instigator
obscurity
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,170 times Debate No: 21167
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

obscurity

Pro

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

-This round will be for acceptance
-Voting period is 1 week
-Each debator will have 8,000 characters per round
-This will be a LD debate

I am doing this for school, and this is my first time debating
Zaradi

Con

I accept your challenge.
I hope that this is actually going to be formatted as closely to a LD round as possible.
But even if it isn't, I still look forward to being able to debate this again.
Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
obscurity

Pro

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." It is because I'm in agreement with historian Howard Zinn, that I must stand affirmative. Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

Individuals: 1a: a particular being or thing as distinguished from a class, species, or collection: as (1) : a single human being as contrasted with a social group or institution (2) : a single organism as distinguished from a group

Moral: 1a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical

Obligation: the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)

Assist: : to give support or aid

-Merriam Webster

Contention 1: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Would you like to be on the street wondering where your next meal will come from, being starved from water and shelter. If you saw a small boy/girl drowning in a near by pond, would you not help them? Sure, you might get your clothes wet, but that is insignificant to the fact that you assisted the child in need. It's estimated that 750,000 people in the United states are homeless. Not all of them are addicted to drugs and deserve to be there. Many have had a hard life. So there should be an obligation to do so.

Contention 2:Millions of people doing small things to help people out in need, can turn a simple action, into a major impact. Giving that man on the street a dollar to survive yet another day might not seem like much, but imagine everyone who is having a comfortable helps them out.

In conclusion, there is no other vote but negative today.
Zaradi

Con

I thank my opponent for responding. I will only read my case here, and will respond to the pro case in the next round.

First: Before any other evaulation of the resolution we must evaluate the effects on human ontology that the resolution has. Michael Campbell, a professor at the University of Lancaster, wrote that "the relevance of ontology to all other kinds of thinking is fundamental and inescapable. For one cannot say anything about anything that is, without always already having made assumptions about the is. Any mode of thought always already carries an ontology sequested within it. What this ontological turn does to other regional modes of thought is to challenge ontology within which they operate. The implications of that review...demand a reappraisal as fundamental as the reappraisal ontology has demanded of philosophy."[1]

I negate, negate is defined by Encarta World English Dictionary as to deny the truth of something, or prove something to be false. Thus, my burden as the negative is to only disprove the affirmative. The thesis of the negative case is that acting on the basis of minimizing suffering is wrong because suffering is needed in order to understand human fatality of the ontological mode of being. Eugene Long explains the way humans exist:

"we exist in the future that is coming towards us. Our bring is such that in the present we recollect the the past and anticipate the future...Our transcending or becoming, however, comes up against many boundaries along the way which set limits to our transcending or becoming. Suffering...stands over against our transcending, our acting. The process of becoming in which we act to realize some state of affairs that we desire and through which we find meaning in existence, the experience of suffering appears to be the opposite of activity. Suffering may bring us up against our finiteness and...suffering may be accommodated into our human becoming. For example, that although we would not have sought suffering we are better persons for having undergone the experience of suffering."[2]

Thus, the way in which humans exist is through the experience of suffering in oder to know the distinctions between gods and humans. This allows for human becoming and transcendence to happen. Eugene Long continues to explain why suffering is needed:

"suffering is necessary to a greater good or that it will be transformed or overcome in the future by a greater good. Persons are called not only to condemn such evil and suffer with those who suffer, butassume responsibility for working for new possibilities for good. Human suffering on the account is at one and the same time an experience of emptiness or nullity and the giving or loving of Being, the on-going creative activity or providence of of divine reality...In this giving of Being in reaction to the suffering of beings in the world."[2]

Thus, suffering allows prospering over future problems; the on-going creative activity of the diving reality, which allows people to come to their fullest being. This proves that suffering is a necessary part of human existence in order to find solidarity with others and confront our finiteness as human beings. The suffering of others calls us to question who we are, what actions we take as human meaning that it is necessary to understand the true function of being a human. This argument functions as an apriori because it disproves the assumptions the affirmative is founded on.

Additionally, confronting notions of death and suffering is how individuals conceptualize good and bad and this confrontation is the only reason why life has value. Jonathan Strauss explains:

Dasein...is the term to speak of individual human consciousness and is unique among entities in that it puts the whole of Dasein's own being at stake. In part, this is because death is "nonrealtional," which is to say that no one else can represent me or stand for me at my inevitable demise...dying is something that I must do for myself. I am therefore alone in the face of my death, and that mortal isolation informs me of my separation from others, makes me aware of my finitude in relation to them. The non-relational character of death, as understood in anticipation, individualizes Dasein down to itself. Me capable of being a whole to myself, and I actually do become whole to myself through my attitude toward that death. It is that a privative limit can structure experience into subjectivity and existence into a life. One's relation to death is either authentic or inauthentic. In the latter case a person tries to forget that he is finite and must die by imagining that he is the same as the indeterminate They. Authentic...anticipation turns out to be the possibility of unerstanding one's own most and utter most potentiality-for-Being-that is to say, the possibility of authentic existence. The ontological constitution of such existence must be made visible by setting forth the concrete structure of anticipation of death. The structure of our rlation to death makes our authentic individual existence apparent to us as a whole, and it is, consequently, through anticipating death that we authentically exist as whole individuals." [3]

Thus, it is necessary to confront death in order to find meaning in life.

For clarification, let me explain my position. I am not advocating that we advance suffering, but rather let the suffering in the world flow naturally and avoid trying to minimize it by assisting people, so any arguments about me justifying another holocaust or promoting extinction won't link into my case.

Furthermore, suffering is not something with a brightline i.e. we have never undergone enough suffering, it is always static because if it weren't then we would slowly be able to lose the ability to suffer which doesn't make sense because even people who have suffered through insane torture or crazy diseases will always have the ability to suffer more.

And my opponent is going to try and say that they know what it is like to suffer just by watching other people suffering. However, this is false for two reasons:
A) The warrants in the first part of the Long evidence say that it is the experience of suffering that calls into question what it means to be an to find meaning in existence
B) The warrants in the Strauss evidence are clear on the fact that it is the confrontation of death that only I can do for myself and it helps me realize my finitude in relation with others which would function just by watching someone confront death because that would only increase the false idea that we are in some relation to others.

Also, if the debate is at any point muddled or unclear on who is winning, presume negative is winning because there are more ways for a statement to be wrong than right. For example, if I have a red pen, it is only true to say that the color of the pen is red. However, there are a lot more wrong things I could say about the pen, like the pen was blue, green, black, yellow, etc.

Finally, this negates for two reasons:
A) I meet the inherent resolutional burden that the negative has to show why we ought not assist people in need.
B) This case turns the pro case because insofar as they are reducing suffering and functionally ruining the value to life. And the value to life is important because without it morality becomes irrelevant, thus making it impossible to affirm.

I await the pro's responses, since I lack the characters remaining to give a sufficient rebuttal. The rebuttal will come in my next speech.

Citations:
[1] Campbell & Shapiro 99 (Michael, and Campbell, professor of INternational relations at the university of Lancaster, Moral Spaces: Rethinking Ethics and World Politics, p. 97-8) google books
[2] http://www.jstor.org...
[3]
Jonathan Strauss. “After Death.” Diacritics. 30.3 (2000) 90-104.
Debate Round No. 2
obscurity

Pro

obscurity forfeited this round.
Zaradi

Con

Since my opponent forfeited, and I did not refute my opponent's case in my last round, I shall do so here, although I have the feeling the next round shall go forfeited as well.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

This is basically just saying "Do unto others as you would will be done unto you," correct? If so, then:
1) There's no warrant as for why this provides an obligation to assist. It's showing a benefit to assisting, but this doesn't mean we're obligated to do so.
2) This commits the fallacy of the slippery slope because if someone were to steal from me, I would be justified in stealing from them, which would justify someone else to stealing from me, which would justify someone else stealing from them, which would just keep spreading and spreading and enveloping our world in massive chaos and anarchy.
3) This principle is unreciprocal in some situations. For example, if someone were to shoot me in the head and kill me, I would then not be able to treat him as he treated me, since I would be dead.

So there should be an obligation to do so.

1) This very statement presupposes that an obligation to assist doesn't exist. Since the resolution basically is "Does an obligation to assist exist" and not "Should people act on an obligation to assist", this statement negates the resolution.
2) Just because something SHOULD be obligatory, doesn't mean that it IS obligatory. For example, the barrista at my local Starbucks is not obligated to provide my change for coffee in bills and as few coins as possible. He could, if he felt like it, provide my change in all coins. Just because he SHOULD be obligated to provide my change in bills and as few coins as possible doesn't make it an actual obligation.

Millions of people doing small things to help people out in need, can turn a simple action, into a major impact.

1) There's no reason why this provides an obligation to assist. I could do a small thing just because I felt like it, not because I was actually obligated to.

Again, since my opponent forfeited the last round, you can clearly extend out all of my arguments as to why we do not have a moral obligation to assist because assisting people and getting them out of suffering ruins the ontological value of life.

Thus, I urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 3
obscurity

Pro

obscurity forfeited this round.
Zaradi

Con

This is starting to dissapoint me...
Extend all my arguments as unrefuted. Extend my responses to the pro case as unrefuted.
Debate Round No. 4
obscurity

Pro

obscurity forfeited this round.
Zaradi

Con

This saddens me to no end. I'm not quite sure what to put here now. I was hoping for a fun debate, but it seems I was dissapointed and will not be getting one. Fair enough.

Extend all arguments made against the pro case. Extend my case. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
I figured. I wasn't going to run some sketch theory on the last sentance or anything. Honest typo is honest.
Posted by obscurity 4 years ago
obscurity
Disregard the last sentence in my second round.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Hey, if we're doing this close to LD, how are we going to figure out CX? Or will we just ignore it since we have 3 days to think about it?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
obscurityZaradiTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit...
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
obscurityZaradiTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Yep 4 years ago
Yep
obscurityZaradiTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious Con Vote, FF i feel as if Cons Case tied together both C1 and 2 as well as giving a broader scope of negation. Con ran the opposite of what alot of Pro's run the whole "suffering triggers rights" rather Con took this and made it to "suffering is necessary for a greater good" You inherently negate off of this point because an obligation would hinder a greater good, which was not refuted by pro. The reduction of suffering is a common argument against Pro, but was successful. Good job Con