The Instigator
lailaiwd
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Individuals have no moral responsibility to help others in need

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
lailaiwd
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,895 times Debate No: 18902
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

lailaiwd

Pro

Individuals have no moral obligation to assist others according to the theory of morality
It is impossible to argue that one has any moral obligation to assist another because one, in so doing, inevitably has an incentive.
What is immoral? Adultery, theft, felony, planned murder
Why is adultery immoral? Because a wife and a husband have signed a covenant dictating that they shall not seek other companions while in relationship.
Therefore, the basis of any form of morality is a perceived contract between two parties. For example, we would say that it is only moral if we spend our money on educating our children instead of using it on buying beer. The implications of morality are deep and complex: first it is tangled with the concept of justice, which is spontaneously spawned at the inception of the children's birth because it is just that the parents raise their children who they have borne to further their genetic identities. Also, it is just that the children's grandparents raised their parents, who have the obligation to do the same. This is moral equivalence.
Second, it is tangled with utilitarianism. Another perceived obligation in educating children is that the society needs educated offspring to sustain itself. It is in the parents' economic interests and social interests that when they are old, their children will bear the moral obligation to take care of them both economically and socially.
Third, morality is tangled with unjustified cultural beliefs and traditions. For example, women have for centuries been viewed as having a moral obligation to be subservient to men. The sole justification for this is perceived male superiority, and its history of such ignominy.
To start this debate
Contention 1: individuals are accountable for their charity, thereby creating an incentive for the beneficiaries to reciprocate. If the society were helping the needy, they wouldn't feel obliged to reciprocate to anybody. However, if helped by individuals, the needy have a moral obligation to reciprocate, which makes the benefactors prone to see their acts as investments.
Contention 2: Morality requires a premise that the topic lacks. For individuals to be morally responsible to assist others in need, the needy must have completed a moral equivalence to those individuals. For example, we say that knights have obligations to serve their ladies because the ladies have provided marriage prospects and maybe even sex for the knights. Please excuse me for my utilitarian point of view. Also, murder is immoral only because the murdered can't avenge for their own deaths, thereby tilting the balance of moral equivalence.
16kadams

Con

Well, America is falling apart, and the only way to make it better is through private giving. Further more helping people is another step to fix this mess. Yes people might be sometimes lazy, but what if their job was out sourced to another country? Your definition of morality is wrong, here is the real one: *the extent to which an action is right or wrong*. This is from the Oxford dictionary. And also I don't need to help someone because their not equivalent in moral standards, you help because you feel its the right thing to do or if your religious a possible calling fro god. Heres a bible take: Hebrews 13:16
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Debate Round No. 1
lailaiwd

Pro

As a road map, I will first respond to my opponent's response line by line. Then I will defend my own case.
"Well, America is falling apart, and the only way to make it better is through private giving."

I agree with your view since I also work in a non profit organization. However, making America better has never been the topic of this debate. Ironically, your saying that this makes America better corroborates my argument because this can be an incentive to help others. You're agreeing with my utilitarian point of view.

"Further more helping people is another step to fix this mess. Yes people might be sometimes lazy, but what if their job was out sourced to another country?"

Just what I said, you agree with me. We NEED to help because there is a disincentive in not doing so. If we don't help them, they will be burden of our economy, commit to crime, and therefore cause turbulence.

"Your definition of morality is wrong, here is the real one: *the extent to which an action is right or wrong*. This is from the Oxford dictionary."

Thanks for pointing this out, but I intended to debate without sources. My definition might not be accurate according the denotation you have pulled out. However, the dictionary definition fails to define what is right or wrong, thereby failing to define morality. My definition, however, explains that morality is a perception of moral equivalence between two parties. That being said, we can evaluate whether one thing is moral by noting whether it is morally equivalent.

"And also I don't need to help someone because their not equivalent in moral standards, you help because you feel its the right thing to do or if your religious a possible calling fro god. Heres a bible take: Hebrews 13:16
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."'

First, I have never said that the people in need aren't equivalent in moral standards. Precisely because they are equivalent, we don't need to fix the balance. Also, please list your reason for feeling that you should help other people, and be specific.

To further my argument, observe the example of any number of dying stars in distant universes. We would all agree, tell me if you don't, that we don't see that as environmental disaster. Why so is easily explained: they don't matter! The contrary is true, we should help the needy because we feel that they matter to us. Even my opponent can successfully prove that we don't necessarily treat them as investments, please tell me that helping them doesn't fulfill your christian values and make you satisfied. Now aren't those also incentives?

I challenge my opponent to cite a moral action we take in which we have no incentive whatsoever and in which ever form.
16kadams

Con

you actually did talk about moral equality in you first argument, so I decided to retaliate. And no i don not agree with you, I was taught since i was little to help others in need, and it was my moral binding. Now here's my more clear view of where I stand: If someone can help out somebody less fortunate, then it should be their moral right to help that person. When we enter this world and leave this world, it is all the same. If someone in need needs help, then you should try and provide help, if you are fully capable of doing so. If you cannot, then you shouldn't feel guilty about it.

If everyone agreed with this moral, then everyone would pitch in, and the world would be a great place. Now people think we don't need to help anyone without incentives because the government is doing it now. We still need follow the words of our heart and help others because we can use that money more efficiently. So people need to recognize this so we can have world wide helping morals. Now here,s the biggest reason to help people: Society should be obligated to help the less fortunate because they are, in effect, a product of our own creation.

This isnt an argument just a question. Why no sources?
Debate Round No. 2
lailaiwd

Pro

Most of my argument still stands since my opponent didn't directly address my contentions.

" Society should be obligated to help the less fortunate because they are, in effect, a product of our own creation."
You have given up this debate because you agree that it is society that's responsible for helping the needy, not individuals.

Speaking of having morals, please specifically illustrate the source of such qualities. How come we don't feel it is moral to save the dying stars in distant universes? That you're arguing we have a responsibility implies that we owe something to the needy. But what actually do we owe? That the needy have no jobs or suffer from diseases is a societal problem cannot be held accountable to individuals. You can't say because I am sick, you should give me money. In that case, aren't we doing what communism is doing? Assuming that people are poor because capitalists are making money.

Also, to define morality as what is right or wrong is a blatant mistake. Just because the South before the Civil War used slavery, was slavery moral in the South? We had the war precisely because the majority of the world believed slavery was immoral. This example tells us that a big part of morality is popular opinion. I mean somebody can be taught all his life that raping is moral. That said, how do you convince him that raping isn't moral? Being affected by your environment shouldn't be the criteria by which you determine something is right or wrong. Thus, the only clear criterion would be utilitarianism.

I don't want sources because I want to keep this philosophical.
16kadams

Con

I forfeit because i misread the position, it seems that i inadvertently agree. with about 90% of you view. lol sorry about that. I am a more political guy anyway. I hope no one votes :P sorry.
Debate Round No. 3
lailaiwd

Pro

I thank you for taking this seriously. I hope we will have an even better debate in the future. Also, I welcome anybody who still has questions or problems with my argument in the comment section. Fighting!
16kadams

Con

why did you say fighting
Debate Round No. 4
lailaiwd

Pro

Uhh, because I felt like it.
16kadams

Con

HA HA! Not fighting. because I don't feel like it.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by WriterSelbe 5 years ago
WriterSelbe
You worded this debate topic strangely. That's not how the November LD topic was supposed to be worded..
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
This isn't a valid debate. We killed halfway. so either tie us or just get rid of your vote.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
This isn't a valid debate. We killed halfway. so either tie us or just get rid of your vote.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
sorry about that guys unless you want me to act like i think im morally bound.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
It seems i agree with you too much to debate anything lol
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
3 days
Posted by WriterSelbe 5 years ago
WriterSelbe
How much time is there between a round?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
lailaiwd16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfieted the round
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
lailaiwd16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did forfeit but had the balls to admit he was wrong rather than. Often people on this site realize they are wrong but then try to twist their own words to mean something else, Con decided to accept his defeat and that was admirable
Vote Placed by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
lailaiwd16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Well that was awkward...
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
lailaiwd16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't make an argument.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
lailaiwd16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF