The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

It is wrong to kill one to save many

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 245 times Debate No: 94766
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Full resolution: It is morally unacceptable to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.

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Round one: Acceptance
Round two: Constructive arguments
Round three: Rebuttals

Thanks for accepting this debate and good luck to my opponent!


I accept the debate and would like to hear your opinion
Debate Round No. 1


I affirm; Resolved: It is morally unacceptable to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.

Unacceptable is defined as "not satisfactory or allowable" (Oxford). Kill is defined as "to cause the death of," and innocent is defined as "not deserving to be harmed" (Merriam-Webster).

Due to the fact that this is an ethical debate, the value will be morality. Thus, the debater who best upholds morality should win the round.

Thus, the standard is the Categorical Imperative, which consists of three maxims. First, a moral action must be universalizable. Meaning, an action is only moral if every person could do it all the time without it causing a contradiction (for example, lying is immoral because if everyone lied all the time, it would make lying meaningless because nobody would think it was truth). Second, a moral action must not treat any person as a means to an end. Third, a moral person acts as though everything they do becomes law in a kingdom, and that law must harmonize the land. In essence, treat others as you wish to be treated. [1]
The Categorical Imperative is the best moral standard for three reasons. 1) It emphasizes the value of every human and provides the basis for human rights. 2) It allows definitive decision-making. Under the Categorical Imperative, a moral action is judged by the action itself, so a person can easily determine whether it is the right thing to do. Under consequentialism, however, an action is only moral if the consequences are moral, leading to unpredictability and even moral actions being deemed "immoral." 3) The Categorical Imperative takes a person's intentions into account, and most people agree that intentions matter to moral decision-making. [2]

Contention One: Murder is not universalizable.
We might as well see it how it is: killing one innocent person to save more is still murder of that one innocent person. Murder isn't universalizable: If everyone always murdered all the time, eventually there would only be one person left, and they couldn't murder anyone. Because it isn't universalizable, it is immoral to kill, regardless of the eventual outcome.

Contention Two: Killing one to save many uses that one as a means to an end.
Killing one innocent person to save more innocent people is wrong. It uses the one person killed as a means to an end (the end of saving more people). The one person killed certainly isn't achieving their ends! So, because using people as a means to an ends is wrong, killing one person to save more people is also wrong.

Contention Three: Killing people does not lead to a harmonious society.
If a person's actions determined the law of the land, and the person killed other people, that would lead to a dangerous, anarchic society, not a harmonious one. In other words, follow the Golden Rule. Would anyone who wasn't in danger in the first place want to be killed, for any goal? Do unto others as others should do unto you. So unless you would want to be killed, you have moral obligation not to kill others.

So killing one innocent person to save more innocent people is very immoral under the framework for this round. Thus, it should not be done. Please vote pro! Thank you.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by vi_spex 2 months ago
then everyone should kill themselves over 1
Posted by Megatronimus_prime 2 months ago
Well you should never kill anyone, But when it comes down to it and you have to choose then you should save as many inoccent lives as possible. I'm not saying it's right but one person who has died usually will have less of a emotional impact than many people who died.
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