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Is Medea guilty?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,632 times Debate No: 28335
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)





In this debate, Sam and I have reason to believe that Medea is, indeed, guilty of killing her two children. In the famous play, "Medea," written by Eurpides, Medea drowns her two children in spite of husband"s behavior. What brought her to commit this heinous act was her own selfish reasoning. We will illustrate how her motivation was solely based off of anger, and not insanity.

Upon reading this play, we can clearly see that Medea struggles with an inner conflict; she is weighing out the consequences of her future actions. On one hand, Medea thinks with a rational mind, and dismisses the idea of killing her children, but on the other, she is driven with a passion to punish Jason for what he has done. She states, "Why should I, in harming them to give their father pain, make myself suffer twice as much?" This demonstrates how Medea is able to see, logically, that murdering her children will not bring her the revenge she desires. When she states, "Do I want to make myself ridiculous, letting my enemies go unpunished? I must go through with this. What a coward I am -- even to admit soft words into my mind," she proves to us that she is incapable of controlling her emotions.

When Medea weighs out her two conflicting sides, it becomes clear that she cannot be defended by grounds of insanity, since she is able to reasonably acknowledge that killing her children is not the appropriate answer. Someone who is insane is unaware of their actions, however, in Medea's case, she is well aware of her every move.

Now, to look at this in a more logical way, Medea is guilty simply because she murders two innocent children. Even if we took her foolish reasoning into consideration, she still commits a crime that is recognized by any government.


In this debate I will show how if a mother knowing that what she is doing is wrong and can't help herself is not a logical conclusion.
We all suffer anger, but being angry at I splinter does not cause us to cut our finger off. when your mother is made at your father do you feel she may kill you? when my parents divorced they fought to have my brother and I, perhaps in part to hurt the other, but that would show greed and self interest. You have helped to make my point. She knows what she is doing is not right but cant help herself. In heat of passion is a defence when something crazy is done in the moment without thought. The idea that she thought about this and came to the conclusion that is what she should do is why she is crazy. You proved my point a second time by showing that she knows she will suffer twice as much in doing this and does it anyway. Her thinking is crazy, to think and come to such conclusion as to kill you children and hurt yourself kill your own kids to hurt another person is by all means crazy, if you don't believe me ask your mom.
Now you are wrong again every government looks to see if a person is insane to see if they can even stand trial, because we understand it is wrong to prosecute a person that is crazy.
Debate Round No. 1


Okay, I will now offer my rebuttal to a few of your points:

1) You've stated, "She knows what she is doing is not right but cant help herself," so, you agree that Medea is, in fact, aware of her terrible intentions, but decides to go through with them anyway, however, you make a contradiction with your second sentence by stating, "In heat of passion is a defence when something crazy is done in the moment without thought."

2) From what I read, I'm assuming that the reason why you believe Medea is insane, is because she came to the final conclusion that killing her children was the only way to satisfy her inner conflicts. I'd like to know how, and in what way, you are qualified to make that prognosis. You are not a medical doctor, and have no experience in the mental health field, so your claim is solely based off of opinion.

3) When I illustrated how Medea states that her intentions will harm her twice, I was providing evidence to my claim that she is consciously aware of what a rational choice is. Medea consciously chooses to ignore her rationality out of selfishness, spite, and anger.

4) I believe you have misinterpreted my last statement in my previous argument. When I said, "Even if we took her foolish reasoning into consideration, she still commits a crime that is recognized by any government," I meant that murder is a crime, which is punishable by any government. Of course, by law, there must be a substantial amount of evidence to prove that someone is insane. If you look at this incident in an objective way, however, Medea would still be guilty merely based off of her premeditated actions.

5) How do you know what my mom would say! If she agrees with you, maybe her thoughts are flawed as well! Asking another person for their opinion does not prove certain logic correct.

6) You claim that Medea's "thinking is crazy", but yet throughout the story she is fully aware of her intentions as well as her reasons for them. Her rationality is not misguided, but rather her emotions are. Of course, she comes to what many would consider an insane conclusion, but is it really as misguided as we believe? An act that is performed based on logic and reason, regardless of its outcome, was still based off of solid judgment. As Medea committed the act of murdering her children, thus she was fully aware of the steps leading to her actions.


1)Yes it"s not a heat of passion crime because she did think about it and that"s makes it go from a heat of passion crime to one where she is just insane. Heat of passion is different in court of law heat of passion can be convicted, but on a lesser charge where if insane she cannot be tried in court.
2)You are the one trying to act as a doctor by saying she is not insane because she thought about what she was doing. I just stated the obvious; a mother who killed her kids to seek revenge at her husband is crazy. One does not need to be a doctor to know a mother killing her kids is far from in her right mind. On the other hand your argument that how she thinks makes her not insane would require being a doctor.
3)If that was a rational conclusion then she would probably run away with her kids, not kill them and in turn face prison and no children that she did state made her happy. And it does prove my point for that reason perhaps she was thinking, but her actions show nothing but insanity.
4)And you are wrong again in civilized society as in America evidence or not a person first has to be of sound mind just to stand trial, and has nothing to do with evidence. Because to prosecute someone sick enough to kill her kids for revenge would be considered cruel. And when we consider a person to not be in sound mind we send them to mental hospitals for their safety and the safety of others. So you do not understand most civil justice systems.
5)Almost all of sound mind would come to the conclusion knowing from experience that maternal instincts are for mother to protect their children at all cost. Perhaps you are of ill thinking if you think a woman is not sick if she kills her kids.
6)And again for six you are arguing as a doctor. I will not argue as a doctor only as common sense because you and I are not doctors. Common sense would tell you a mother killing her kids to hurt her husband is crazy. Living in the world tells you moms protect there kids at all cost. So to argue with you that because she was able to think and come to insane conclusions would be to argue if insane people think and how they think. I"m only explaining common sense too you.
Debate Round No. 2


1) You insist that she is insane but yet you still have not addressed how someone who is capable of a conscious choice is unfit in terms of mental capacity. You say that "she did think about [the murdering of her children]", so then what separates an insane individual from someone who is sane? The capacity for thoughtful reasoning or the action itself? Psychologists often classify individuals as insane based upon their illogical thought patterns; Medea did not fall into this category as she understood her thoughts quite well, but instead consciously chose to let her emotions guide her actions. Therefore, how can she be classified as insane? The murdering of her children was an act of emotion, not irrational thought. Is this not the same as every husband or wife who murders or injures their spouse because of infidelity. Then, you are contradicting yourself and this is in fact an act of "heat of passion" in terms of your logic.

2) If you were trying to use insanity as a defense in a court of law, you would need a doctor to diagnose a state of insanity in the accused individual. It is possible to recognize that she is, in fact, sane by the evidence of her being capable of rational thought and her understanding of consequences, so why would one even suspect insanity to be at play here? You regard her actions as insane, but what about her thought process? Was her understanding that killing her children would not benefit her in the long run sound like an insane thought? Of course not. Therefore, she is of a capable mind and not insane, regardless the moral implications that her actions seem to demonstrate and that you seem to base your argument upon.


Sorry you seem to be so lost in your argument constantly trying to diagnosing what insane is while telling me that I"m not a doctor. You are basing your whole argument on saying she is not crazy because she can think at the same time telling me I"m not a doctor. I guess you have nothing left to say other than to contradict yourself over and over. As you know I"m simply pointing out the simple logical facts, moms that are not insane don"t kill their kids to hurt their husbands. Your argument is so sad it"s not worth a response. Pleas in your next response do not try to play doctor again, while saying that"s what I"m doing it looks silly and sad. PS if you think killing you kids to hurt your husband is rational thought "GET HELP" just saying
Debate Round No. 3


You are merely basing every idea of yours off of your own personal beliefs and thus your argument is flawed. I have not seen your rationale as to why Medea is insane other than your repetition of "she killed her kids so she must be insane". These claims are unsupported by anything other than your interpretations of the judicial system and your own beliefs on the subject. You give no consideration to her capacity to reason or any explanation of her emotions, which are ultimately the driving factors in her decision

I cite your main argument from Round 1. "She knows what she is doing is not right but cant help herself. In heat of passion is a defence when something crazy is done in the moment without thought. The idea that she thought about this and came to the conclusion that is what she should do is why she is crazy." The basis of your argument is that because she is aware of her reasoning but incapable of preventing herself from murdering her children, she must be insane. For example, if you continue to follow this kind of logic, then a cigarette smoker who tries to quit but gives into the temptation of another cigarette would be insane as well. The cigarette smoker logically realizes that the cigarette is unhealthy and that succumbing to his/her addiction would not be beneficial, but the reward of the cigarette and the temptation to feel that relief drives the user to smoke the cigarette. Your whole basis for insanity is on the act itself and not the inner battle of logic versus emotion. In her thoughts, Medea recognizes logically that killing her children will not benefit her, but her drive for revenge against Jason leads her to her action. If and only if, it was her logic that told her killing her children was right, then you might have some plausibility in your arguments, but this is NOT the case. Emotion guided Medea, not logic. She was aware of the consequences of her actions, but let emotion guide her. In this manner, she is no different that any other individual giving into their feelings despite knowing what is the right decision. Since when does a lack of control in any individual imply insanity? If this were true, every weak-willed person in the world would fall into your definition of insanity. So as you can see, your argument is unclear and unapplicable in this debate until you understand your own stance and choose to clearly define where the motivation for Medea's actions came from.


I will start with your idea of smoking cigarettes. A physical addiction is a silly comparison to killing your children. I smoke cigarettes and I wish I could quit, but it"s a physical problem of need that stops me and if my kids depended on it or another life I would quite with without a problem. Again you fall on trying to say a mom is normal by killing her children like a person smoking was the same. Your argument is sad and lost, so I will help you. You started from a losing position. You can"t argue on emotion without logic. You not being a doctor can"t say because she is able to think crazy she is not insane. You can"t say that a mother killing her own kids is a normal thought process. That leaves you only to argue that because you are upset by the idea that she killed her kids you want her to pay. Your argument is stuck with nothing more than silly emotion. You fell you have to say something because you have to argue 4 rounds so you try to make your emotion and sadness run your debate. So it goes like this. I say mothers don"t kill their children for husbands leaving unless insane, that"s common sense. You say but she did it and in some way can think so she is not insane. I guess you get the point now. Next time argue on logic and not silly emotion. I feel bad for her. Insanity has caused her to lose all that is important in her life. She is in need of obvious help. People like yourself that are so insecure worry that you could fall into same problem as her. Well you will not unless you are insane as she is. Having said that feel more confident and understand it is not human nature to kill ones kids and 50 percent of the marriages that end in divorce don"t end up killing their children either. To think your logic is so much greater because you may not kill your children is dumb, silly and arrogant.
Debate Round No. 4
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Vote Placed by Khaos_Mage 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I can't cancel this vote, as my vote was for a different Medea debate. I may come back to this to judge later.