The Instigator
Lifeisgood
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Life is Good

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,042 times Debate No: 8725
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (65)
Votes (7)

 

Lifeisgood

Pro

In this argument, I will argue that life is indeed good (of course, you can probably tell that from my username). My opponent must demonstrate that life is not good.

To clarify, here are some definitions.

Life: the state or quality of being alive
Note: this definition is applied to human life, not some other form of life.

Good: (1): agreeable, pleasant
(1): adequate, satisfactory
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

This should be an excellent debate. I will allow my opponent to begin.
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

In life, we are constantly toiling to maintain our subsistence. We toil to live.
We subsist so that we might live to subsist another day. We live to toil.
We reproduce so that others might share in our toil.

Life is but endless toil, whether by intellectual or physical labour. What do we get for all our hard work?
The answer is: nothing.

What out there is truly a reward for our toil? The answer, we know, is pleasure. But what is pleasure?

Pleasure is the result of a chemical reaction in the brain. http://wings.buffalo.edu... This chemical reaction can only come from a few things, and among these are eating, drinking, and sex. Eating and drinking help us accomplish our subsistence and sex accomplishes reproduction. Pleasure can also come from the accomplishment of our goals, which are ultimately meaningless. In the words of King Solomon the Wise, "There is nothing really worthwhile out there."

So, in the end, pleasure derives from subsistence and reproduction. Subsistence is but the result of toil, and reproduction only creates more humans that are forced to share our toil.

"How fortunate are those who were never born," declared Solomon, "for they have never seen the evils of this life".

We live to toil and we toil to live. We live so that we might live long enough to make more life, which must toil as well.

No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied.
No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
No matter how much we eat, we are never full.
No matter how much we do, we are never done.
None of our accomplishments are truly permanent. All we do simply whithers away. After long enough, it is forgotten, and after long enough, we are forgotten.

There is nothing truly good in this life. I await a rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Lifeisgood

Pro

Thank you, wjmelements, for accepting my debate. I must say, I was a bit surprised it was taken so quickly. But then again, I am not so surprised. It seems there are few worthy debates to be challenged of late.

You argue that we live to toil, toil to live, and all for no reason. I say that despite this, we can enjoy our toils. They do not always have to be a thing of loathing. Even though they are unending, even though they are necessary, even if they are difficult, joy may be found in them, as in all things.

"What out there is truly a reward for our toil? The answer, we know, is pleasure."

The reward for our toil is our continued existence. Why is this worth our toils? I will demonstrate why in a moment.

By the way, your answer is not true for all. Many humans believe in some form of afterlife, where our good work is supposedly rewarded.

"Pleasure can also come from the accomplishment of our goals, which are ultimately meaningless."

Perhaps our work is ultimately meaningless, perhaps not. But our world is worthy. If the only reward I ever received for a lifetime of work was a breath of fresh air, the smell of a flower, or the taste of an apple, then I would be satisfied. Why should I not?

"In the words of King Solomon the Wise, 'There is nothing really worthwhile out there.'"

In the movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Samwise Gamgee says this: "There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for." (Hey, I had to come up with some quote of my own to counter yours.) True words. The good in this life is worth the struggle to survive, for it is GOOD. To experience emotion is worth it all. To feel, touch, taste, smell, and hear is worth it all. To LIVE is worth it all. I would not give away my life for anything, save that another might live to know these things.

"So, in the end, pleasure derives from subsistence and reproduction."

Not all pleasure. We feel pleasure admiring beauty. We feel pleasure sharing this beauty with others. We feel pleasure in doing what is right. When we have power, we feel pleasure. When we posses what we desire, we feel pleasure. Pleasure can come from any of our senses.

"'How fortunate are those who were never born,' declared Solomon,"

This quote begs the question, "where are people before they are born?". We cannot be certain. I assume Solomon believed that they are outside of existence. That is, they don't exist. How is non-existence preferable to life? You cannot sense anything. You cannot experience anything. It is nothing.

"'for they have never seen the evils of this life'."

True, there is evil in this life, but this is, in the end, for the better. At least in this world, there can be no good without bad. Life without negativity would be stagnant. Joy would not exist.

To me, it seems as though this King Solomon guy was a pessimist. He must have had serious issues as a kid.

"No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied.
No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
No matter how much we eat, we are never full.
No matter how much we do, we are never done."

True all. But life can be good nonetheless.

"None of our accomplishments are truly permanent. All we do simply whithers away. After long enough, it is forgotten, and after long enough, we are forgotten.
There is nothing truly good in this life."

We live in Time. To exist in Time is to always be changing. So of course nothing in this world is truly permanent. But life can be good nonetheless.

I bring you back to the all-important definition of 'good'.

Good: (1): agreeable, pleasant
(1): adequate, satisfactory

Life is all of those things, if we allow it to be so. It is possible for anyone, everyone, to be happy with this life we have, NO MATTER THEIR SITUATION. True happiness in this life comes from assessing our circumstances in a positive light. This is what makes life good.

The American author, Dale Carnegie said it well: "It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about."

The floor is yours, wjmelements. I anticipate your response.
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for his reply and remind him that he has Burden of Proof.

My opponent has conceded that we live to toil, toil to live, and all for no reason. My opponent also concedes that all we do and toil for is essentially worthless.

"The reward for our toil is our continued existence."
...which is but more toil. As I have argued and my opponent has conceded, continuing to live means to continue to toil. There is nothing great about that.

My opponent claims that hard work is rewarded in the afterlife. This is inapplicable, as life still is the meaningless bringer of toil, even if the afterlife is good. The resolution reads "Life is Good", not "The Afterlife Will Be Good".

My opponent claims that he would be satisfied merely to breath fresh air, etc. However, the satisfaction from our experiences are hormone-based. Our emotions, satisfactions and pleasures are merely fabricated by our bodies.

"There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."
Actually, there is no good in the world. What out there is truly good?
Solomon- "So what do people get for all their hard work? Their days of labour are filled with pain and grief; even at night they cannot rest."

My opponent has made some claims regarding what else brings us pleasure. They are all actually counter-examples to my opponent's refutation.
-admiring beauty... Sexually, this files under reproduction. Naturally, it is but the result of hormones.
-sharing beauty... If one understands the concepts related with egotistic determinism, one knows that this as well is attributed to gaining a better stance in society, which then helps one reproduce.
-doing what is right... We only feel pleasure from doing what is right because we anticipate reward, which gains us a better stance in society and helps us reproduce.
-possessing what we desire... This is never truly satisfying, as what we have is never enough. My opponent has conceded this. Having possessions does not satisfy anyone.
-having power... We feel this pleasure from having a high status in society, which helps us reproduce.
-senses... these are hormonal as well.

So, truly, there are no counter-examples to my earlier statement. Pleasure is but a facade created by hormones in our body.

My opponent claims that non-existence cannot be preferable to life. However, if there is no good and no satisfaction in life, and all we truly do consistently is toil, then it is preferable to never be born than to live.

In response to my opponent's case against the evils of this life: Joy does not exist. When do we truly feel joy on earth?

"To me, it seems as though this King Solomon guy was a pessimist. He must have had serious issues as a kid."
Nope. The bible claims that God personally granted him wisdom. While you see him as pessimistic, I see you as overly optimistic and clearly blind-sided.

Life is neither agreeable, pleasant, nor satisfactory. Pretending it to be so does not make it so.

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about."
Again, believing that life is good does not make it good, just as believing in the Easter Bunny doesn't make the Easter Bunny real. Such optimism and wishful thinking are logical fallacy. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...

I will now leave my case here and shift back to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
Lifeisgood

Pro

An excellent response, wjmelements.

"My opponent also concedes that all we do and toil for is essentially worthless."

Do you mean worthless, as in having no worth whatsoever? Then no, I did not concede that at all. Go re-read my argument.

"...which is but more toil. As I have argued and my opponent has conceded, continuing to live means to continue to toil. There is nothing great about that."

We all know life is more than just toil.

Also, By your silence, wjmelements, you have conceded that toils can be enjoyed.

"My opponent claims that hard work is rewarded in the afterlife. This is inapplicable, as life still is the meaningless bringer of toil, even if the afterlife is good. The resolution reads "Life is Good", not "The Afterlife Will Be Good"."

Let me clarify what I said. You said that there is no reward for hard work. I said this is not true for all, because some believe in an afterlife were good work is rewarded. I did not say that life was good because of this, I said that life has meaning for those who believe this.

"My opponent claims that he would be satisfied merely to breath fresh air, etc. However, the satisfaction from our experiences are hormone-based. Our emotions, satisfactions and pleasures are merely fabricated by our bodies."

Irrelevant. The source of these feelings does not decrease their ability to be enjoyed.

"Actually, there is no good in the world. What out there is truly good?"

I have already answered this.
"The good in this life is worth the struggle to survive, for it is GOOD. To experience emotion is worth it all. To feel, touch, taste, smell, and hear is worth it all. To LIVE is worth it all."

That is all we know that makes life good. There is no comparison, so you have no reason to be dissatisfied with life.

"Solomon- 'So what do people get for all their hard work? Their days of labour are filled with pain and grief; even at night they cannot rest.'"

They get to live and know life. Why couldn't Solomon simply accept this? It could be so much worse.

"My opponent has made some claims regarding what else brings us pleasure. They are all actually counter-examples to my opponent's refutation."

My point was that not all pleasure comes from subsistence and reproduction, which you still have not proven. I could go through and refute each of your statements, but this issue is not really important to this debate. because of this, I do not wish to address it. Understand, I am not conceding this point! It is for another debate when I have more time.

"My opponent claims that non-existence cannot be preferable to life. However, if there is no good and no satisfaction in life, and all we truly do consistently is toil, then it is preferable to never be born than to live."

You focus so much on the toil of life. Toil (which can be enjoyed) is but the price for life and living in this world.

"My opponent claims that non-existence cannot be preferable to life. However, if there is no good and no satisfaction in life, and all we truly do consistently is toil, then it is preferable to never be born than to live."

This point is nonsensical. To not exist means that you DO NOT EXIST. There is absolutely no feeling, good or bad, anywhere outside of existence. It is impossible to say that non-existence is better or 'preferable' to life , as there is no comparison.

I remind you once again, wjmelements, you have conceded the fact that toils can be enjoyed. Remember also that there is more to life than just toil.

By the way, if you really believe that non-existence is preferable to life, why don't you commit suicide? If what you say is true, why don't any of us commit suicide? Why do we try so hard to stay alive? I was just wondering.

"In response to my opponent's case against the evils of this life: Joy does not exist. When do we truly feel joy on earth?"

I was confused by this statement. First of all, I think we need a definition of 'joy'.

Joy: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

In answer to your question... we feel joy all the time! Why, I feel joy right now, with the prospect of possessing what I desire, which is victory in this debate. :p

"Nope. The bible claims that God personally granted him wisdom."

I was joking, but in my defense Solomon did have a messed up young life, what with his older brother trying to usurp the throne and all...

"Life is neither agreeable, pleasant, nor satisfactory. Pretending it to be so does not make it so."

I will address this in a moment.

"Again, believing that life is good does not make it good, just as believing in the Easter Bunny doesn't make the Easter Bunny real. Such optimism and wishful thinking are logical fallacy."

You have failed to understand my argument. The things that determine goodness, by the definition given at the beginning of the debate, are relative. They are determined by the thought patterns and viewpoints of the person living. Happy people are happy because they choose to be so. That is not 'wishful thinking', it is simple fact.

You cannot compare life to anything, for there is nothing comparable to life. You have no set standard of goodness to determine that life is otherwise.

I have provided a definition of good and shown that life is good, if the ones living allow it to be. There is no other requirement for life to be good. Resolution affirmed.

Man, that was close! I was afraid I would run out of time. Your turn, wjmelements.
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for his response and a dedication to not forfeiting a round. This debate has been rather enjoyable as I have been able to apply Solomonion Philosophy and Determinism.

While life may SEEM good, it is not.

I have reorganized the structure of the debate so that it makes more sense. Every point is still adressed.

CONCESSIONS/DROPPED POINTS
Let us now make a list of things my opponent has conceded:
-We live to toil, toil to live, and all for no reason. (Conceded, Round 2)
-All we do and toil for is essentially worth nothing (except the happiness that we get from it). (Conceded, Round 2; Clarified, Round 3)
-Pleasure has no source besides subsistence and reproduction. (Dropped, Round 3)
-Pleasure is a hormonal and emotional facade. (Conceded, Round 3)

My opponent claims that I have conceded that toils can be enjoyed. I agree that they can, but the resulting joy is not truly satisfying.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MISCELLANEOUS
"We all know life is more than just toil."
That is an empty claim.

My opponent claims that I conceded that toils can be enjoyed. I agree that they CAN be enjoyed, but that this joy is but a facade manufactured by the body. This joy is a facade; therefore, it is not truly "satisfying".

My opponent claims that life is good because we are rewarded for our good in the afterlife. A quick examination of logic proves that this does not make life good. Though it may give life a meaning (perhaps a false one?), this does not make life good, it only means that though life s*cks, the afterlife is good.

My opponent claims that emotional facades can make something satisfying. However, emotional facades make things SEEM satisfying, though (as I have argued) they are not.

"My point was that not all pleasure comes from subsistence and reproduction, which you still have not proven."

I refuted every single one of my opponent's examples, and he could not provte than any pleasure doesn't come from subsistence and reproduction. There is no counter-example; therefore, my statement is true. My opponent may not have "conceded" that pleasure has no other source, but he has dropped this point.

My opponent claims that toil is but the price of maintaining subsistence. I do not deny this (for it was my point and my opponent has conceded it).
However, my opponent tries to use this to claim that there are other parts of life that are not toil. However, this does not give those points meaning and does not make life good.

My opponent claims that he feels joy all of the time. This does not make joy good. Again, joy is a hormonal facade created by the accomplishment of our subsistence through meeting meaningless goals and by reproduction.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MY OPPONENT'S CASE FOR WHAT MAKES LIFE GOOD
"The good in this life is worth the struggle to survive, for it is GOOD."
AND
"To LIVE is worth it all."
AND
"They get to live and know life."

This is circular reasoning:
1. There is good in life. (False Assumption)
2. Therefore, life has good.
3. Therefore, life is satisfying. (False Derivation)
4. Therefore, life is good.

Anyone can look and see that these are not logical arguments as to why life is good.

MY OPPONENT'S OTHER CASE
"To experience emotion is worth it all. To feel, touch, taste, smell, and hear is worth it all."

This relies on the false assumption that what we are percieving it indeed satisfactory. Emotion, again, is a facade. Though it may feel satisfactory, it is not. Also, the ability to percieve life does not make life good. That is also circular reasoning.
1. Perception is good. (False Assumption)
2. Perception is good because what we percieve is good. (definition of perception)
3. Therefore, life is good.

My opponent's case is based on a false assumption; perception is not good. Perception is only good because of hormonal facade.

MY OPPONENT'S THIRD TYPE OF ARGUMENT DECLARING LIFE GOOD
"It could be so much worse."
AND
"You cannot compare life to anything, for there is nothing comparable to life. You have no set standard of goodness to determine that life is otherwise."

While the second quote is contrary to the nature of the burden of proof in this debate, this argument doesn't make life good either. Daytime television could be so much worse; however, that doesn't make it good.
1. Life could be worse. (Axiom)
2. Therefore, life is better than it could be.
3. Therefore, life has good. (False Derivation)
4. Therefore, life is satisfying. (False Derivation)
5. Therefore, life is good.

More simply, this is false.

MY OPPONENT'S FOURTH ARGUMENT: TO BE OR NOT TO BE?
"[That it is better to not exist than to exist] is nonsensical. To not exist means that you DO NOT EXIST. There is absolutely no feeling, good or bad, anywhere outside of existence. It is impossible to say that non-existence is better or 'preferable' to life , as there is no comparison."

Actually, 0 is always greater than -5.

Explaining my mathematical metaphor:
= 0 is the nothingness of not existing
= 0 is the good of life
= -5 is the toil and evil of life
So, the first side for comparison would be 0 (the nothingness of not existing). The other side would be the sum of all the components of existing (the good, the bad, etc.). This is -5.

Contrary to my opponent's something, nothing is comparable to something.

MY OPPONENT'S FIFTH ARGUMENT: MY HYPOCRISY
"By the way, if you really believe that non-existence is preferable to life, why don't you commit suicide?"

The answer to this is the answer to another one of my opponent's questions.

"If what you say is true, why don't any of us commit suicide? Why do we try so hard to stay alive?"

All we do is influenced by hormones. Why would hormones tell us to commit suicide? How would such a trait be passed on to offspring?
Natural Selection answers my opponent's question.

MY OPPONENT'S FINAL ARGUMENT
"The things that determine goodness, by the definition given at the beginning of the debate, are relative. They are determined by the thought patterns and viewpoints of the person living. Happy people are happy because they choose to be so."

Let us examine the logic here:
1. Good is "agreeable", "pleasant", "adequate", and "satisfactory".
2. Good is therefore subjective. (False Conclusion)
3. Subjectiveness is reliant on human perception. (False Assumption)
4. Therefore, if humans percieve life to be good, then life is good.
5. Humans percieve life to be good.
6. Therefore, life is good.

Satisfaction and pleasantness, as well as agreeableness and adequacy, are capable of being judged without emotional perception. Science has shown that there is a more objective way of inductively viewing things. An orange was once judged as satisfying based on its taste. It is now also judged on its nutritious content. In the same way, life can be judged logically, without including emotional facade.

When viewed logically, life is not good.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ON AN OFF NOTE
"I was joking, but in my defense Solomon did have a messed up young life, what with his older brother trying to usurp the throne and all..."
That happened all of the time with monarchies in which the king died before he declared an heir to the throne. It's not like it would be something to scar him for life.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
CONCLUSION
Life is neither agreeable, pleasant, adequate, or satisfactory.
Satisfactory- Life is never truly satisfying (CONCEDED by PRO, 2nd round).
Adequate- We are never truly satisfied in life. (CONCEDED by PRO, 2nd round).
Pleasant- We toil to live and live to toil. All pleasure is a facade. (CONCEDED by PRO, 2nd and 3rd rounds)
Agreeable- Life is neither satisfactory, adequate, nor pleasant. What is agreeable about it?

So, life is not good, under any definition.

I now await a final response.
Debate Round No. 3
Lifeisgood

Pro

Lifeisgood forfeited this round.
wjmelements

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited the last round of his debate.

Let us review my opponent's concessions:
-We live to toil, toil to live, and all for no reason. (Conceded, Round 2)
-All we do and toil for is essentially worth nothing (except the pleasure that we get from it). (Conceded, Round 2; Clarified, Round 3)
-Pleasure has no source besides subsistence and reproduction. (Dropped, Round 3)
-Pleasure is a hormonal and emotional facade. (Conceded, Round 3)

We can therefore conclude that life is meaningless, and essentially worthless.

While life may feel or seem good, it is not in essense. Under no definition is life good. My opponent also had burden of proof.

I thank my opponent for this interesting and thought provoking debate.
Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 4
65 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
This was one of my favourite debates.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I appreciate it, though I gave myself sources as well. Definitions usually don't count.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
My RFD:

B/A: Pro.
Conduct: Con. Pro forfeited.
S/G: Pro. Do I need to explain why?
Arguments: Con. It was very hard to give you this point, wjmelements, as I had the arguments to refute your position. However, I forfeited, so those arguments (obviously) don't count. Sigh.
Sources: Tie.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
"But why? Do you have enemies on this site or something? Or is it just people abusing their voting power?"

I believe the latter is true though the former has occurred before.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
"Vote bombing. 7 point drop. It happens all of the time."

But why? Do you have enemies on this site or something? Or is it just people abusing their voting power?
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
"WHY would two seperate people give me all seven points...?"

Vote bombing. 7 point drop. It happens all of the time.

"I see what you are saying, but are you positive that is how it played out?"

Entirely. I track voting on my debates.

RE: CELL
I understand. I didn't get one until recently.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
WHY would two seperate people give me all seven points...? I see what you are saying, but are you positive that is how it played out?

As for why I cannot vote... I have no mobile phone with texting. Yes, I am a teenager without a cell phone. Shocking, I know.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I know, but 2 people did drop 7 points. It did happen. I saw it.

And why can't you vote?
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
Wait a minute... that's not what I saw. It used to be three votes; I had seven points, and you had ten. Then two more people voted; your score jumped by seven and mine jumped by seven.

I seriously don't believe two separate people would drop all their votes on me. It wouldn't make sense.

By the way, it's not me. I can't vote.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Don't say 2 7s. Say two 7s.
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