The Instigator
Con (against)
35 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

It is okay to be happy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/19/2015 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 360 times Debate No: 79894
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)




Debate Structure

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Arguments (no rebuttals)


No forfeiture

No trolling

Failure to abide by the rules will result in the instant forfeiture of all points.


Happy - feeling or showing pleasure

Okay - satisfactory but not especially good.



I believe people should be happy for all the reasons that they have because that is away of making oneself enjoying life. If there was nothing making us to be happy then it would be considered not to be happy but being happy helps on forget about all their worries
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent has failed to abide by the debate structure but never mind. May I remind them that this is the round for their main arguments no rebuttals are allowed.

Sadness is a reality. We hear all too often of wars, famines, deadly deseases, oil spills (just had one the other day in my country), environmental destruction, torture, oppression, street crime, drug violence, people being cheated out of millions of dollars, people who lie for political gain, families being torn apart, technology going wrong, and so forth. This has sad, sad consequences. On one level, the individuals who are cheated out of their money, or have to face the dangers of pollution, are directly impacted. Their experiences are profoundly negative, and therefore they feel sad. On a different level, all of their friends and family will be indirectly effected, firstly because they often have to clean up the mess (pay debts, help those who are directly affected sue, et cetera), and secondly out of compassion for those close to us. This effect is always negative, and always saddening. Then, society as a whole is affected. Rising street crime, even if it does not impact on us right now, might have long-term costs. Therefore, street crime should make people deeply concerned. Even if the oil spill doesn't affect me right now, the precedent it sets should make me feel sad. Furthermore, as people we frequently feel compassionate towards people who we don't know. That's a very ethical thing to do. We feel sorry for those in need and help them in a number of ways, most notably by giving to charities, but even something as simple as a frown when we read yet another sad story in the newspaper. Suffering is an inherant part of the world. There will always be suffering.

The crux of my argument is this: we have an obligation, at all times, to feel sad. That obligation arises from the suffering of the world.

Now, I would not contest that there are also many things in this world worth celebrating. Birthdays, New Years, random holidays, the Olympic games and so forth are all really great, and make us happy. However, this happiness has a dark side to it. You see, when we are happy, we lose the ability to be sad until we get over our happiness. We need to make a decision - is our temporary happiness more important, or our eternal sadness? Note that I draw a distinction here between happiness and hope. Hope is a longing for future happiness. One can be sad and hopeful for change, but one cannot be both sad and happy at the same time, as the two are opposites. Well, what we need to consider is what will give us the greatest individual and social benefit.

Socially, it is obvious that we should be concerned about what isn't working, as opposed to what is. This concern at the negative aspects of our society naturally gives way to sadness. It would be entirely lacking in empathy, and hypocritical, to be happy while supporting the fighting of the cause that's nothing to smile at, such as the prevalence of some deadly desease.

Individually, the benefits of being happy are ephermal and difficult to define. The benefits of sadness, however, are tangible. Being concerned about social issues, which again one cannot be happy about (or else they wouldn't be issues), gives rise to opposition to those social issues. The lack of apathy bought about by these changes is reflected in their commitment to bringing about positive change for individuals, families, friends and whole societies. That's good because it means other people in an individual's life (whether by direct acquiantance or indirect association) are less likely to be the cause of negative consequences for the person. Being sad thus has a tangible individual benefit. This needs to be valued above the intangible benefits of happiness, because it is objectively good for the individual person.

Happiness is not only ephermal, however - it is entirely subjective. Taking drugs is happiness for some people, and for others not taking drugs is a source of happiness (I, for instance, am happy that I have never taken illegal drugs). The problem is that some people's conception of happiness causes tangible social harms. The same cannot be said for sadness - for example, being sad about people doing pedophilia is a social benefit, but being happy about people doing pedophilia is a social harm (because the pedophiles get away with it). The problem is that happiness breeds contentment at the status quo, as a happy person is not a concerned person (but a sad person must be sad because of some concern). If you are content, however, you are unlikely to stand up to the horrible social harms we inevitably face. We need people to bring peace, we need people to end famines, we need people to save the environment, and so on - but these things will only be accomplished through sadness at the present state of affairs and hope for a better tomorrow, not happiness with the present wars, famines and environmental disasters.

My opponent needs to justify why they want to stand by with a grin on their face while these grave injustices happen around the world. Not only is that bad taste, but it's a morally indefensible position. The motion falls.


Goitseone forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by econometricsbysimulation 1 year ago
I love this debate. Wish I could have argued for the Pro.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by MissLuLu 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, leaving Con to win by default whether or not their argument was sound (which it was). Congrats to Balacafa.
Vote Placed by The_American_Sniper 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: ff... con was the only one to make an argument
Vote Placed by Sarra 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: No forfeiture was one of the rules. Pro forfeited.
Vote Placed by darthebearnc 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: - FF - The only one to make an actual valid/comprehensive argument was Con.