The Instigator
MyDinosaurHands
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Jifpop09
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

It is Better to Rule through Fear than through Love

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,598 times Debate No: 46467
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (9)

 

MyDinosaurHands

Pro

It will be my position that when being forced to rule exclusively with fear or love, fear is the better tool to keep your state under control and the general welfare of its people at decent levels.

My opponent should take the opposite position, arguing that love is a better tool than fear, in regards to maintaining a state and the welfare of its people.

First Round will be for Acceptance.
Jifpop09

Con

Why Not? Make your case.
Debate Round No. 1
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

Thanks for the quick acceptance Con.

I will begin by providing reasons why rulers who are feared maintain their state well, and will then move onto the drawbacks of rulers who are loving, or are loved.


Advantages of Fear Only
A)
"Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fear according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavor only to avoid hatred, as is noted."
The above is a quote from the great Niccolo Machiavelli, the founder of political science. I may use his quotes often, because I want to give credit for my statements where they're due, and my following argument is derived from that quote.

The simple truth is, when one rules with fear, one is in far more control. If you set the rules and never make exceptions in regards to the following of those rules, you have control over your subjects more completely because they will do their best to avoid breaking one of your rules, in order to avoid falling into punishment. If one rules with love, he can't do these things. If one rules with love, he must rely on his subjects to conduct themselves in an orderly way that is beneficial to the overall well-being of the state. It should be apparent to all that binding men to a set of rules that hold punishments if not followed will bring more compliance than simple affection. Why?

Because there some (perhaps many) people who are more concerned with themselves than with others, and so the fact their leader loves them may not hold back a selfish person from acting in their own interests, and against the interests of the state. However, even a self-centered person will be more likely to heed the fear that comes from consistent and fair rules, because punishment will affect the self-centered person, something they especially wouldn't want, self-absorbed as they are.

B)
This section is a necessary disclaimer. I will be showing readers that a leader can be feared and not hated. Even though most people who are feared are also hated, it is still possible to avoid this. What a leader needs to do is properly apply fear. He needs to make laws that can be clearly seen by all to be in the interests of the common good, and not in the interests of the leader only. The rules need to be fair, and the punishments must also be fair. The implementation and adherence to these rules must be without exception, and if there is exception, the core reason for the exception should not be seen in any other cases in which the rule was followed.

This is extremely important to note, because if your subjects know how to not fall under your punishments, they will not feel they are being unfairly mistreated. If you are an inconsistent, selfish, and cruel leader, of course you will be hated. Follow the above suggestions however, and you will avoid hate from a significant/troublesome number of your subjects.

C)
This section will provide more ways in which a ruler who makes his subjects fearful of him and his laws can avoid having his subjects hating him. Obviously in the previous section I outlined the general ways to avoid creating subjects who hate you, but what about the people you have to punish? Remember, in order to affectively apply fear, one must consistently adhere to their rules, in order to look strong and determined (a weak ruler is hardly scary). So what about the people who fall under the ruler's consistent punishment?

You've probably seen it happen before. Your teacher has been pretty clear, you can't talk in class while he/she's talking. Yet your friend insists on doing so. So when your teacher kicks your friend out of his/her classroom for breaking that rule, your friend won't stop complaining about that teacher. It irritates you because you know your friend should've just shut up. But your friend's ego has been injured, and that logic goes unconsidered by him, and now all he does is hate on that teacher. The teacher has created someone who hates him/her.

The same can go for any ruler. If they have to punish someone in order to keep order, the punished party may hate the leader for their grievances, even though they did fairly incur them upon theirselves. So how does a ruler avoid the backlash from this natural occurrence? Machiavelli holds the answer:
"And let it be here noted that men are to be either kindly treated, or utterly crushed, since they can revenge lighter injuries, but not graver. Wherefore the injury we do to a man should be of a sort to leave no fear of reprisals."
Basically Machiavelli is saying if you're going to do something hate-worthy, don't leave the guy who would hate you in any position to do anything about it (killing him/banishment/life-long imprisonment/politically discredit them). This way you avoid letting your haters build up as you perform the necessary tasks to maintain your aura of fear and your state's welfare.


Disadvantages of Love Only
A)
I'd like to talk briefly about some of my teachers in order to make clear what exactly ruling with love only entails.

First, Mr. Petzko. This guy is easily the most popular teacher at my school, but he never punishes anybody. People like me, who totally respect him for being such a bro, keep relatively quiet when he talks. Other people in my class however, simply aren't considerate enough to care, and so they completely disrespect him, talking all over him when he tries to talk. Petzko is the perfect example of a ruler who rules completely with love and without fear. His classrooms are rowdy and cheating is rampant.

Next, Mr. DeMeester. He's pretty cool, partially because of his subject (Biology), and partially because of the other usual qualities that give people a favorable opinion of another person. The big difference between him and Petzko however, is the fear. Nobody talks when DeMeester talks, that is a fact. That's because DeMeester will throw you out immediately, or worse, stare right at you and talk menacingly (this dude is massively built I should mention). I am not claiming DeMeester is a teacher with only fear to keep us in line, but we can see here what happens when the fear is present (DeMeester), and when it's not (Petzko).

What I'd like to accomplish with the section is have voters note that a ruler who rules only through love, is not like DeMeester. His state is not efficient. So as you consider all of my arguments that you have read and will continue to read, realize that most of the ruler figures in your life who you like, you probably also have some fear of. Few rulers are like Petzko, and those that are don't run a very tight ship. This is especially important to consider for my arguments for fear, section C). The teacher you imagined may have ruled through fear and love, but what kept the classroom in line was the consistency in punishment (which comes directly with fear), not love.

B)
Frankly, if you rule only through love, you cannot punish people. You can't use 'tough love', because tough love is employed so the people you care for have FEAR of doing whatever it was you were punishing them for.

And if you can't punish people, if you can't make examples of dissidents, your state will fall apart quickly, just like Petzko's classroom. It has gotten worse as the year has gone on, as the students in it grew bolder and bolder in regards to talking while Petzko is. Even though that's not an example I can source, you may have had a similar teacher in your life, and even if you haven't, you should be able to see the logic in that statement.

Essentially, all love=all chaos. If you can't make people afraid of you by drawing a line somewhere, chaos will run rampant, and the well-being of your people will suffer greatly.





Recap
As long as fear is applied whilst avoiding hate in the manners I have prescribed, your people will remain under your control and orderly, thus keeping the general well being of your state at good levels. If one were to rule with only love, no lines could be drawn, inconsiderate people wouldn't show you the respect your love should beget, and things would fall apart quickly.



Thanks for reading.
Jifpop09

Con

Time constraint forfeit.
Debate Round No. 2
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

In the meantime, here's a picture of a statue of the man who inspires and fortifies my arguments.

http://www.debate.org...
Jifpop09

Con

This is a very intresting debate. Likewise, I shall be quoting Plato's Republic. In particular, Socrates and Thracymachus's argument on justice. They were talking about justice, but I feel it applies the same. I will be arguing on mostly moral ground, but I will also indulge in its effectiveness. I will assume fear is a form of injustice.



A) Socrates, in book one of "The Republic", was in an argument with Thrasymachus, over whether it is better to be a just ruler or an injust ruler. Thrasymachus argued that justice was the advantage of the stronger. He implys that what is good for the strong, benefits the weak. Plato countered this by saying that all humans can make mistakes, even the strong. I interpreted it like this...

1) If a ruler rules through fear and power, and makes a mistake, he is causing his citizens to follow his rulings as if they were just. Causing a disadvantage to the nation, as who can oppose a injust ruler who feels he makes just laws. The only course for change is protest and/or revolution.



B) Thrasymachus then used an example that is very simmilar to your reasoning. He said that if a city has a strong ruler, who creates laws to benefit his own vision, then the citizens will follow his laws, making the city stronger. He used an analogy about craftsman. He said that since a ruler (In this case a fearful and powerful one) is a craftman, he will attempt to perfect his craft. And a craftsman who makes mistakes, is ignorant to the perfection he seeks (Yes, this contradicts the fact that humans make mistakes). Plato countered again, by stating that all craftsman final product benefits the subgect. He used a few examples...

Example One: A doctor uses his skills to treat the patient

Example Two: A ship captain uses his skills in navigation to keep his men and ship safe .

1) If you examine Socrates reasoning, you can see the wisdom. Thrasymarchus can not object to this statment, as it contradicts his reasoning that a injust (fearful and powerful for the debate) ruler can not make a mistake. Which as I stated, will result in protest and civil war.



C) Thrasymachus, not yet willing to concede, furthered his argument. He radicalized his statement, now in anger. He stated an injust ruler ( fearful and strong), who rules through injustice, would become powerful and happy. Which would in turn, make the people more powerful and happy, making the kingdom stronger.
While Thrasymachus brings up a good point, he is again contradicting Socrates initial rebut. He finished by saying...


“You say that the proper ruler will consider the benefit of his subjects and thus act justly. I say that injustice leads to a happy life and that craftsmen do aim at their own advantage.”



D) From this line, Socrates was able to make new arguments. He asked Thrasymachus if a just man would try to surpass a unjust one. Thrasymachus agreed that it would be the duty of the just man. Then Socrates asked if an unjust man would try to surpass a unjust one. Thrasymachus said he would not. Socrates then used the craftsman argument again, but this time he added to it. No ruler, fearful, powerful, kind, forgiving, or loving would ever do his craft for nothing. He then gives three reason on why someone might practice his craft...

1) Money
2) Honor
3) Penalization

Thrasymachus asked what Plato meant by penalization. Plato said that the just man would be penalized by having an unjust one come to power, so he would pursue rule, in order to prevent the injust from ruling. This complimented his craftsman argument. A doctor would not seek to surpass a non-doctor. Nor would a Captain seek to surpass a non-captain. A doctor might want to surpass another doctor though. Just as a captain would want to surpass a fellow captain. Socrates clarified that a man who would surpass all others in his craft is ignorant. Which means an unjust man (strong, powerful, fearful) is weak and ignorant. He had also indirectly switched the subject, as he was now implying that justice was a craft. Thrasymachus silently conceded.



Conclusion
-------------
- A powerful and fearful man is human, whom can make mistakes, makes rulings that are considered by him to be just. Citizens must follow them as just. Leading to civil war or protest if the ruler made an injust law. You too have ignored the basic knowledge that all people make mistakes.

- Ruling is a craft. With Socrates philosophy, all crafts seek to serve. By being a fearful ruler, you are being unjust, and injustice is ignorant as you are only serving yourself, which will lead just men to attempt to surpass you. Whether it be civil war or revolution. Hence, a fearful leader can not maintain control.

- If Socrates implys that justice is a craft, can love also be a craft? You serve others through love, and you are payed back through benefits. Hence, a peaceful system of rule is established. The loving ruler will serve the population with care and justice, and will be benifited through not being served by the unjust.

Sources
---------
I mostly used my knowledge from book one of "The Republuic", but this source came to great benefit.

http://sesquipadalianmusings.blogspot.com...

I have only just got into philosophy, but I feel this is a pretty sound interpretation of Socrates writings. Anyways, I am sure I made some mistakes, because I don't have the book with me, but tell me if I'm wrong on anything.




Debate Round No. 3
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

The Possibility of Mistake(s)
My opponent has said that a ruler who is ruling through fear will make a mistake, and this mistake will lead to a revolution. And while I cannot deny the possibility of mistakes being made, let's consider the fact that leaders make mistakes all the time, and they don't get immediately kicked out. Sure, sometimes a leader screws up in a really, really big way, and he is forcibly removed. However, the general attitude of the ruled toward the ruler is to follow, and to say, "What're you gonna do?" if something they don't like happens. As long as a leader doesn't push them too far, that kind of attitude can preserve him against overthrow thanks to a small error. On top of that kind of passive attitude, the fear this leader induces can help keep people down when he makes a mistake.

Perhaps my opponent will say that a leader inducing fear may make his subjects to afraid to tell him he's messed up, and therefore the problem will grow until it's unstoppable. Simple solution: make them more afraid of not telling. Be sure that your subjects know there is no punishment for telling you what's going on, but that there are punishments for keeping you out of the loop.

Now let's see what this properly represented idea of mistakes leading to overthrow is up against. We're talking about the long odds of making one mistake that is so bad you lose your throne, versus not being able to enforce any laws and not being able to keep order beyond your charm, which as I have already explained, simply doesn't work on some people. It is far more likely that a man ruling through love only will lose his state to the chaos of anarchy long before a man who actually has laws accidentally slips up, and by long odds that slip up is so horrendous he is overthrown.


Being Surpassed
The idea that a ruler who uses fear might be overthrown uses the following as much of its reason:
"Plato said that the just man would be penalized by having an unjust one come to power, so he would pursue rule, in order to prevent the injust from ruling."
This debate is over using fear versus love, not justice versus injustice. A ruler could rule entirely through fear and have both good intentions and just laws. Therefore, possible leaders wouldn't look up to their ruler, see a bad man, and try to remove him for justice's sake.

If that did happen, it would be because said leader hadn't heeded the words of Niccolo Machiavelli, which say that ruling through fear works, as long as you don't incur the hate of your subjects. In this section my opponent describes an unjust leader who works only for himself. Not only does that make unfounded assumptions about an all fear leader's motivations, it also paints a picture of a ruler who has incurred hate, which is NOT part of my position. My position is fear only. Therefore any repercussions related to incurred hate are invalid arguments against all fear ruling style. I have already shown how one can be feared and not hated.

More generally though, people who would naturally want to surpass this leader would have a harder time. The people who might help them are afraid of the leader. In the interests of self-preservation, there'd be too few people who'd want to help overthrow their ruler if they knew the punishment would be death. Then if we look at the all love state, that is, a state without rules, we see that a man who wanted the top spot could probably find enough shady individuals who didn't care that their ruler was nice, and then execute an overthrow.


General Quote Rebuttals
"You serve others through love, and you are payed back through benefits."
Yes, by some. As I've already stated and exemplified, some people are too self-centered to care about how nicely they've been treated. Aside from the self-centered people, even people who like you may do things that they think won't directly harm you. With those two things being said, plus the lack of laws, even if you don't get overthrown during all the chaos, the general welfare of your people will go down majorly thanks to the civil strife.

"By being a fearful ruler, you are being unjust.."
This is simply not true. By making people fear you and your punishments, you ensure order and stability, which is a justice to the people you rule over. Look at the all love, and you see no fear of punishments, because there are none. Civil strife would run amok, and that would be an injustice to a ruler's subjects.


PLEASE NOTE:
Thanks to his time constraint forfeit, my opponent gets to attack my rebuttals and main argument without the possibility of me firing back. Therefore he'll be having the last word, in a very big way. So I'd like voters to keep two things in mind:
1) Civil strife versus the long odds of being overthrown for making a mistake. The fact that an all love state will fall apart much quicker than an all fear state where you wait for a ruler to make such a huge mistake that the entire thing comes crashing down.
2) The fact that 'tough love' can't be used, because tough love invokes fear as its main way to get things done. Therefore, punishments cannot be utilized by an all love ruler. My opponent may try to get around this to help his argument, especially since I won't be able to respond, so please, please remember, 'tough love' invokes fear, therefore it isn't a valid tool in all love ruler-ship.
3) Since my opponent gets an advantage in his arguments, please take the time to thoroughly judge all other categories, please don't just award argument points and then stop looking to see who did better in the other categories.


Thanks for reading.
Jifpop09

Con


It seems my mistake in round 3 was clear. I was not clear on how fear is a form of injustice, or can be interpreted as unjust. By clarifying, I can give backing to Plato's arguments.



1) For a man to be feared, he must give the populace a reason to fear him. He makes the populace fear him by commiting injust acts. Whether it be cracking down on protests or massacring political opposition. A just man interprets these acts as unjust, and will seek to surpass the ruler, even if his intentions were good.

- Clarification - For a man to be feared, he must be injust. Hence, civil war or mass protest.





The above is a quote from the great Niccolo Machiavelli, the founder of political science. I may use his quotes often, because I want to give credit for my statements where they're due, and my following argument is derived from that quote.

Machiavellii, is not advocating active fear in this quote. He is saying that fear must be a available option, but not always present. Ex: A ruler can love his people, but establish laws to those who do not respect his love.

The simple truth is, when one rules with fear, one is in far more control. If you set the rules and never make exceptions in regards to the following of those rules, you have control over your subjects more completely because they will do their best to avoid breaking one of your rules, in order to avoid falling into punishment.

Most will follow the fearful rulers laws, but many will participate in active defiance. The USSR has some people who genuinly cared about their people, but used fear to control the poulace. How did that turn out?




This section is a necessary disclaimer. I will be showing readers that a leader can be feared and not hated. Even though most people who are feared are also hated, it is still possible to avoid this. What a leader needs to do is properly apply fear. He needs to make laws that can be clearly seen by all to be in the interests of the common good, and not in the interests of the leader only. The rules need to be fair, and the punishments must also be fair. The implementation and adherence to these rules must be without exception, and if there is exception, the core reason for the exception should not be seen in any other cases in which the rule was followed.

The person you propose is not a agent of fear, but rather a agent of order. In this case, the ruler is not feared, but rather the state. If the ruler himself is feared, he will most certainly be hated by many.

Conclusion
---------------

- Fear is a form of injustice, so by Socrates reasoning, weak and bad.

- A ruler can both be loving and strong.

- Rulers in the past who have used fear have failed.



Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 3 years ago
ESocialBookworm
Well said, MyDinosaurhands
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
You don't have to commit unjust acts to be feared. All you need to do is have rules and punishments that you apply without exception.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Lol, I forgot how to count.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 3 years ago
ESocialBookworm
"Is it not better to be feared than loved?" -The Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
No, it's alright.
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
Oh, sorry Jifpop. I'm new to the site. Is the comment section not intended for outside opinions?
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Alright. If your argument is coming from " The Prince", then I should probably read some of it first.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
There's another?
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Machiavelli's "The Prince" ?
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Btw, if my argument gets posted today it'll be much later, as I have a lot of homework I need to do first.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Defro 3 years ago
Defro
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: My RFD is pretty much the same as everyone who voted before me. I thought both argued equally, however Con forfeited, therefore conduct goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
bubbatheclown
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I give Pro conduct because Con forfeited a round. Both provided some kind of link, so I give them a tie on sources. I think they both did equal on the arguing part, but ruling through kindness makes you a pushover and tyrannical dictatorships sometimes last for several decades.
Vote Placed by jesusfreak22 3 years ago
jesusfreak22
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both had good sources, Pro had a few grammer mistakes. (I'm sure con did too, but I didn't see any)
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Well, I thought this debate was a pretty clear one. I don't fully agree with Pro's assessments on what is available to a leader functioning purely with love and purely with fear, nor do I really agree with many of the other points he makes. His points about hatred seem to contradict one another, though that's never pointed out by Con. So I'm left to look at the cases as they stand. I see a lot of possibilities on Con's end, but each of those is heavily mitigated. Meanwhile, I see a near certainty on Pro's end that every such society is going to be short-lived. Again, I don't agree with the bases on which this assessment is made, but I don't see the arguments there to contend the points that support this. Hence, while I find myself leaning towards Con from the outset, I simply don't get enough to push a vote there. I also afford Pro the conduct point due to the forfeited round.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 3 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't believe the arguments were fair. PRO qualified ruling with fear with all sorts of limiters - justice, not cruelty, etc, but his position was, and I quote, "exclusively with fear." Meanwhile he refuted CON's arguments by arguing as though CON were bound exclusively to love. This was unfair. However, I do not feel as though CON provided strong arguments. They related more to justice than love or fear. Both sides used sources effectively. I can really only give PRO a conduct point because CON had to forfeit a round.
Vote Placed by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited a round which lost him the point for conduct. I felt that arguments were rather tied though.
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 3 years ago
GaryBacon
MyDinosaurHandsJifpop09Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro gets conduct for Con's forfeit, but I think Con actually had more convincing arguments. True, the reader does require a fair amount of intuition to fully appreciate Con's analogies, but since I was able to appreciate them, I give him the more convincing arguments.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct points for Pro as Con forfeited a round.