The Instigator
Smartiez
Con (against)
Tied
4 Points
The Contender
Sheldor
Pro (for)
Tied
4 Points

Is Social Darwinism Wrong Or Right?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 14,439 times Debate No: 29646
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Smartiez

Con

In class today we were discussing Social Darwinism. For a grade, we are to prepare a full argument for or against it and this is preparation. The argument is whether or not Social Darwinism is acceptable and not evil.
Sheldor

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Smartiez

Con

To the readers, I shall first explain this topic and about Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism was developed byy Charles Darwin. He was an English Scientist as well as a Natural Philosopher. In the theory of Social Darwinism, the idea of evolution and natural selection begin. In order to survive, the species mist struggle for existence first. In other words, survival of the fittest or dog eat dog. Species must change to survive. This idea was adpated by William Graham Sumner and Herbert Spencer into calling society a "Concrete Jungle". Eventually, this lead to that the rich are only rich because they deserve it. They are the best. They are brighter and more talented. It also lead to the poor are poor because they aren't as smart, they are not good or talented. They do not deserve the high life. They are bad for society, a drain to humanity.

Further along the road, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came along. They believed in Social Darwinism but they twisted it around. They shoved races into the categories. Jews, Gypsies, and East Europeans were the inferiors in their eyes, they were poor. They beat people just for being Jewish or being a Gypsy, even innocent children that only followed the role of their parents. They thought they were doing a good thing. Getting rid of the vermin on the world, they would put it.

Social Darwinism was the beginning of racism, competition, and discrimination. It was twisted even more! It made people believe that it was okay to beat a person for having AIDS or being born with different color eyes. If you did not act or look the same, you were punished for it! It isn't your fault in any way! It started slavery and blacks being inferior, it belittled women, it started World War II, it killed 40 million people!

It is ruthless, loveless and selfish. There is no compassion. It is absolutely animalistic. If you believe in Social Darwinism, you obviously haven't evolved as you would say.

Your move.
Sheldor

Pro

First of all, I would like to clarify and build upon my opponents definition of "Social Darwinism". Yes, Darwin did develop this idea as "Survival of the fittest" and "Dog eat dog world". Thus began the idea of natural selection and evolution. For a species, our specific group to survive, they must adapt and fit into the environment. However, the idea got twisted over time. It became an excuse for racism, for sexism, for anti-semitism. It gave rise to many a terrible deed, as our opponent stated. Hitler and the Nazis. The rich beating upon the poor. And it is true that these were terrible happenings. However, as I stated, it was an excuse, not the actual premise of the idea. As both my opponent and I state, "In order to survive, the species mist struggle for existence first.", or adapt. Not to beat upon those less fortunate, or who are considered inferior to you. And this is true. For any human group or society, there are those who have adapted to the times. They have made it to the top, or close to the top. Those who have adapted, changed, and grown have succeeded. The concept of social darwinism is correct.

But Sheldor! Social darwinism is terrible! It led to racism and discrimination! WWII killed 40 million people!
Yes, this is true. Social darwinism did lead to terrible things. But the concept behind it is, indeed, conceptually right, even if it led to many, many deaths by those warping it to their own ways, such as Hitler, or certain politicians.

My opponent also states it is "ruthless, loveless and selfish. There is no compassion. It is absolutely animalistic. If you believe in Social Darwinism, you obviously haven't evolved as you would say.". First of all, please don't use "you haven't evolved as you would say". To those that believe in social darwinism it is highly insulting.
However, in social darwinism, it may not be as ruthless as it may seem. As you must adapt to survive, civilization now requires that we become more civil, to fit with the times. We must be compassionate, and we are compassionate. We love, and get love. Those without love struggle and fail if they cannot adapt. The "ruthless, loveless, and selfish" people end up crashing and burning. Serial killers are put on trial, and imprisoned or killed. The selfish, greedy, and immoral people are fined for imposing unjust laws or regulations on their workers. The loveless live lonely lives and are unable to pass along their lifeline to their progeny, and ergo do not survive. So I ask you, is the concept of social darwinism so far fetched? Businesses today follow the model: the weaker business does not survive. Rather, it is the strong business, the one that is able to ADAPT and CHANGE with the times that survives. They change their goods, their prices, their ads. They adapt, and survive.

Humankind has adapted and survived. We were afraid, and we made fire. We wished to create, and we made tools. And all of these innovations, from the first primitive spear to the airplanes that move us today, were adaptations of the human race. We survived. We adapted. And we continue to adapt today, to the changing world, lest we be left behind. Social darwinism is correct.
Debate Round No. 2
Smartiez

Con

Social darwinism is correct.


Yes. Social Darwinism is indeed correct and I agree with that but that is not the topic that we are debating upon.
My words were:

The argument is whether or not Social Darwinism is acceptable and not evil.


You gave no rebuttal to as why it is acceptable in society and why it is not evil.


Social Darwinism is Dog eat Dog as we agreed? So this was turned into out society. To become successful, you must work for it, you must "become the predator" first. It supports that richer people can look down upon the poor because they believe they are not smart or talented enough to deserve such a position. They would look down on women and blacks that were not given the same rights because society considered them inferior.


I do agree that that it was mean of me to say things againt Social Darwinists. I apologize for that matter.
Sheldor

Pro

First-let me say this debate is going quickly.
Secondly, I apologize for not have reading deeper into the topic. I looked at the debate heading, and saw it said "Is Social Darwinism Wrong Or Right?". I did not read the first post thoroughly.

First of all, when I say "dog eat dog" I meant it as a metaphor. Yes, you have to beat the opposition, but you didn't necessarily have to "eat" or "kill" them. Rather, you have to simply prove to be better, and more adaptive. As for your examples about the rich looking down on the poor, is irrelevant. It simply means that the less fortunate are required to adapt and change to succeed. They need to find opportunities, to try to change whatever is causing their current unfortunate predicament. Some find a calling as writers, or artists. There are many "rags to riches stories" out there about the poor rising up, and yes, being better than, and beating others out for opportunities.

"For instance, Do Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook, moved to America from Korea in 1981. When they first arrived, Do Won was forced to work three jobs at the same time to support them, as a janitor, a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop. Eventually, they were able to open their first clothing store in 1984." Later, he went on to develop Forever 21. He had to be better than other fashion stores to survive. If in society, we allowed the mediocre to thrive, we too would be mediocre. There would not be progress. If Henry Ford made new, better cars, and no one wanted them to be "fair" to those with more expensive, less efficient cars, there would not be innovation. Instead of those who can adapt surviving, those who do not change stay. There would be no evolution, no march forward from the caveman to the man. An evolutionary standstill.

And yes, discrimination, racism, and sexism were terrible things brought on by social darwinism. But strictly speaking, they were not social darwinism, but a rather malicious interpretation of social darwinism. And interpretations aren't always right - and especially in this case, not right. But true social darwinism, the survival of the fittest, the evolution and success of those who can adapt, is acceptable in society. Not the extremist, kill everyone who is not like us - interpretation of social darwinism.
Debate Round No. 3
Smartiez

Con

Yes, I do agree, this debate is going by quick.

Yes, you have to beat the opposition, but you didn't necessarily have to "eat" or "kill" them. Rather, you have to simply prove to be better, and more adaptive.

Of course I did not entirely mean eat, it was also used as a metaphor to what you are referring to or being better and adaptive. And my argument on the rich looking down is indeed valid. It is "Survival of the Fittest". It says you have to be the smartest and the best to be rich or to be successful. It says that they are rich because they earned it. Well, in todays society, this is not the case. Many brilliant people do not have the best of everything, some lost everything and are poor. Survival of the fittest refers to being the brightest. Tigers made it to the top because they took down their prey. Sharks made it to the top because they were smart. Humans made it to the top because we were all of the above. According to William Graham Sumner and Herbert Spencer, society has become a Concrete Jungle, a modernized version of wildlife.


Natural selection:

noun

the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations.

Survival of the Fittest:

noun

a
19th-century concept of human society, inspired by the principle of natural selection, postulating that those who are eliminated in the struggle for existence are the unfit.

Unfit:

adjective

unqualified or incompetent.


Incompetent:

adjective

-not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.
-haracterized by or showing incompetence: His incompetent acting ruined the play.
-being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.


(COURTESY OF DICTIONARY.COM)

The poor were held responsible by the rich for not being able to show their intelligence or talents. They were discriminated. They were consequenced just for being poor. Even if their family was poor, the hungry and sick children had to starve because the rich were the tigers, the rich were the sharks, and they were only prey.

There are many "rags to riches stories" out there about the poor rising up, and yes, being better than, and beating others out for opportunities.


You are correct, the poor can become rich by showing their talents later in life, but that does not give the rich for treating them like they are inferior. Remember the second immendment? We are all created equal! We should be treated like that! Social Darwinism shouldn't be an excuse for treating the unlucky like furniture.


And yes, discrimination, racism, and sexism were terrible things brought on by social darwinism. But strictly speaking, they were not social darwinism, but a rather malicious interpretation of social darwinism.


You are correct, they were misinterpretations, but that doesn't approve that people should be treated inferior in any matter.

If in society, we allowed the mediocre to thrive, we too would be mediocre.


Again, that is true but the mediocre shouldn't be punished for their lack of the same ability.



















Sheldor

Pro

"It says you have to be the smartest and the best to be rich or to be successful. It says that they are rich because they earned it. "
The concept of social darwinism is that those who adapt rise to the top, as they survive and grow, and become better. However, as you stated, some people are born rich, which you claim contradicts this. However, this is not the point.
Assume that
The concept of social darwinism (a) says that those who adapt eventually rise (b) and succeed (c)
So if a is true, then b is true, and therefore c is true. However, lets take a different scenario.
Someone is born rich (d) and they stay rich (e), and succeed (c).
These two logical flows do not contradict each other. They are not mutually exclusive.

Secondly, the definition is that those who adapt, as you said, rise to the top. But since the rich, as you said, are not brilliant, they do not rise to the top, and they are not an example of social darwinism in society. Therefore, as I said, your example is indeed irrelevant.

As for the predator metaphors, we do no either "take down our pray" except perhaps unless you are a contract killer or slanderer. Sharks make it to the top because they are smart - yes, that is true. And?

Not sure where you got your definition, but I got mine of dictionary.com
Survival of the fittest: Biology the continued existence of organisms that are best adapted to their environment, with the extinction of others, as a concept in the Darwinian theory of evolution. Compare with natural selection.
Anyways, we are debating social darwinism, not survival of the fittest. So the dictionary definition chain is moot.

"The poor were held responsible by the rich for not being able to show their intelligence or talents. They were discriminated. They were consequenced just for being poor. Even if their family was poor, the hungry and sick children had to starve because the rich were the tigers, the rich were the sharks, and they were only prey. "

The rich have nothing to gain from allowing poor people to die. They lose potential customers: on top of that, it eats away at their morality and credibility. Also, you fail to show any examples of "The hungry and sick starve" because rich people are tigers, sharks, and the poor are the pray. In this case, what the problem that would be shown here would not be social darwinism, but simple gluttony, or the "I want everything" mindset.

"You are correct, the poor can become rich by showing their talents later in life,"
So social darwinism is acceptable?

"but that does not give the rich for treating them like they are inferior. Remember the second immendment?
*amendment*
The second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The right to bear arms? I really don't see in any way how this is relevant. Perhaps you meant the equal rights amendment?

"We are all created equal! We should be treated like that! Social Darwinism shouldn't be an excuse for treating the unlucky like furniture. "
It shouldn't. But we are not debating whether or not Social darwinism's various warped interpretations are correct; We are debating whether or not Social darwinism is acceptable in society.

"Again, that is true but the mediocre shouldn't be punished for their lack of the same ability."
They should not be punished, but that is not my point. My point is that if we allowed the mediocre to thrive, there would be no forward development, and therefore no adaptations. No march forward on the evolutionary scale. Nowhere did I state or imply that they were being punished.

Speaking of which, you fail to address my point on the same topic: Without social darwinism, we would not have evolved, or grown and become the civilized human beings we are.
Debate Round No. 4
Smartiez

Con

You obviously do not see my point. Some people that have worked for it do not get what they deserve because the Government. They work and work but they are brrought down by society! THEY TRY TO FIGHT, BUT THERE ARE OTHER IMPORTANT MATTER HERE. Family. Food. They need to worry about that first. Some did and made it to the top like Oprah, but she got lucky. She got a chance the majority of us do not. Yes, some don't work for it. But that doesn't mean all do?!

Example A:

My mother. She grew up poor. She had a big family with no parental support. She had to raise all of her siblings and she wasn't even the oldest! She is the smartest person I know.. She never got a B until the 10th grade. Yet, my family is dirt poor. We've almost lost our house several times because the Government has so many useless things for us to pay for that are irrrelavent. They make us pay because they made a mistakes and owe trillions of money in dept. We have to pay for their mistakes. WE DO! They are not rising above the other competition by themselves, they're using us as a step stool. But they don't attempt to assist us for the majority of the time. Some of us work day and night just to pay for the simplicities that we can't get the chance to show the world. It's not about adjusting or adapting. It's Dog eat Dog. Not Dog is greater than dog for learning to pee in the backyard first. No. Einstein. He didn't adapt to the world as quickly as he should have. He didn't talk until he was 4. He still survived. R. Kelly. He is a famous rapper that gets tons of money. He is illiterate. Some didn't work for it, they didn't fight for it. A recored artist heard them sing and signed them a record deal.

So what if I misspelt a few words, I am not perfect. None of us are. Okay, I got confused with the ammendments, but that happens. Everyone makes mistakes.

Please readers really understand what I am trying to say and make the right vote. Thank you for your time.

Your move.
Sheldor

Pro

"Some people that have worked for it do not get what they deserve because the Government."
But what do they deserve? Just because if one fights does not mean they will succeed...as my father once said,"I would rather that you try to solve problems by using a different approach each time rather than trying the same thing over and over." It is obvious that the moral here is that you may adapt. Yes, your mother may have been a hardworking, family supporting honorable parental figure. But she didn't adapt; She was brought down by the government.

"They make us pay because they made a mistakes and owe trillions of money in dept. We have to pay for their mistakes. WE DO! They are not rising above the other competition by themselves, they're using us as a step stool."
I agree that the government has made quite a few of major blunders. And yes, they don't try to help you. They let you struggle and fail. But they aren't actively trying to crush the poor, or destroy them; And if they do, it's most likely on accident, unless there are some truly diabolical people in court at the time.
"No. Einstein. He didn't adapt to the world as quickly as he should have. He didn't talk until he was 4. He still survived. R. Kelly. He is a famous rapper that gets tons of money. He is illiterate. Some didn't work for it, they didn't fight for it. A recored artist heard them sing and signed them a record deal."
Our world is forgiving now. It doesn't matter when you adapt, as long as you do, and succeed, whether through having a brilliant mind or an amazing voice.

Thank you readers, for staying with us through this debate, and thanks to my opponent for giving me a good run for my money. Vote for whoever deserves the win, and had the most convincing argument!
Cheers, Sheldor.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Abraham98 9 months ago
Abraham98
I believe that Social Darwinism is a bad thing because it led to racism and discrimination. It also led to the ideas that Hitler and Nazi Germany had about races they though were inferior. He believed they were inferior so he he tried to get rid of them all by killing them in masses.
Posted by Jazminaldama432 1 year ago
Jazminaldama432
Both debates had a good argument. But I do believe that the pro has a better reasons and had good detail. He also defended his arguement well. Finally I support this idea because it is true survival of the fittest is true but it does not really apply to now a days because we have tools to help us live and now it's not about evolving but to become smarter
Posted by Sheldor 4 years ago
Sheldor
@Deadlykris
I do not to attempt to defend racism.
I simply try to point out that many people have used social darwinism as a facade to defend their racism, that's all.
If you look carefully and read carefully, your realize that was my intention...I was not attempting to defend racism.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by LatentDebater 4 years ago
LatentDebater
SmartiezSheldorTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering Deadlykris' votebomb based on his prejudice. Also the argument vote is because smartiez failed to undertand that he had the BOP to prove nihilism wrong. He never did so, instead assuming that he could somehow bypass this by saying 'social darwinism makes immoral things happen'. Sheldor then tore apart an and all systems of morality and successfully explained the theoretical value of social darwinism.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 4 years ago
Deadlykris
SmartiezSheldorTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: It's abhorrent to defend racism, doubly so to try and "prove" that science supports it.