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' Life is cruel, and unnecessary , by our own definition of same '

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 460 times Debate No: 95842
Debate Rounds (5)
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Life on this planet was an accidental occurrence.
Life is now 'conscious' of itself.
Life is not 'nice'
Life has a long history of 'self-harm'
Life is 'worse' than celestial silence
All this hurt and degradation for 'nothing'
Life has no future that is 'better' than this.
Life should be put out of its misery by a celestial accident.

We call things cruel every day. Here is the definition of, play within these goal posts.

1. bloodthirsty, ferocious, merciless, relentless. Cruel, pitiless, ruthless,

Think 8th Amendment ie

    • "A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion."

    • "A severe punishment that is patently unnecessary."

unnecessary: not necessary or essential; needless; unessential.


No, I don't think that life is only cruel, or that it's unnecessary.

You say life on our planet was an accident. Well, maybe that's true, but our planet was an accident too, even the whole universe might be understood as an accident. And another word for an accident is a miracle. Not that I think life is a miracle either, but I would say simply: that life IS. So I say we should try to learn live with and accept it.

I wouldn't say life is conscious of itself, though there's nothing really depressing or cruel about that statement anyways. We, human beings, are conscious of that which we call life. But everything that lives is not conscious. Maybe that's an overly rational response, but it's more accurate.

Life can be nice. Sometimes animals live in families for instance, especially mammals, and have an instinct to not harm each other. That's an example of niceness. There are examples of nice and good people who have done great things, changed the world like Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, FDR and so on. It's also true that it is not nice and that it sometimes can be cruel, but it isn't all of the time.

Not sure what you mean when you say life has a long history of self-harm. Maybe you mean for instance that there are predators and prey among animals. Or that, you know, even we humans have to eat animals and plants and experiment on monkeys, rats and what not in a way that say philosophically, that life harms itself. Yeah, maybe. But it also helps itself. For all of the animal experiments, there are also scientists who advocate to protect animal habitats, study them and try to help them procreate faster.

Is life worse than celestial silence? Well, can we really stand to compare them? We don't have celestial silence, can't really know it enough to say that it's better than what we have. But maybe I see your point. If there were more bad than good things happening, might it be better if there was just simple nothing at all? I don't know. If there was nothing, I don't think we could make a value judgment. In a celestial nothing, there would be no one to decide whether it was good, it can't be good or bad. In other words, I don't think existence and non-existence (really more of a hypothesis than anything) can be compared in that way.

Is all of this hurt and degredation for nothing? Well, there certainly is hurt and degredation. I think it can be made into something though. Can't we use it as a basis from which to improve? Hurts can be healed, and degredations can earn their own respect again.

Does life have no better future? We can't know that, since we can't look in the future. I think when you look at history, we have made improvements, maybe not all of the time but at large, yes. I think if our future will be better or worse is for us to decide, isn't a matter of chance or anything predetermined.

"Life should be put out of its misery by celestial accident" is a value statement that can't be argued against like a fact. I personally disagree. There are certainly however things about life we might better do without, with you I can agree on that.

Let me say that it's obvious that you're a bit demoralized about something and it's affected your attitude to life and the world. That's ok, I've been through that. I'm here to say that there is hope and places for celebration about life.

Now down to the nitty gritty of: is life bloodthirsty, ferocious, merciless, relentless, cruel, pitiless and ruthless? I don't think so.

I think, again, that life simply IS. It has a set of natural laws that it cannot help but enforce. Unfortunately according to life, there are no second chances, in the sense that if you drive 75 mph into a brick wall, it doesnt matter if you're an axe murderer or a family of four, you're probably going to die. In that sense life isn't fair. But there is also a great fairness to that that cannot be denied. If you have the right answer, if you do the right thing, it doesnt matter who you are either. In that sense, it's a meritocracy, which is ideal, really.

There are cruel things about life. Murders you read about on the news. Ponzi schemes and corrupt warlords in Africa. Species going extinct.

There are also miraculous and beautiful things about life. People donating their fortunes to charity. People building schools out of the goodness of their hearts. Hard working people earning the success they never believed they would have in their wildest dreams.

Altogether, life is what we make it. It has good and bad sides, and we can either develop and improve what's good about it, or we can make the same mistakes, or even ruin what is good and make more mistakes. I try to do so with mine and I hope you can with yours. If you're struggling with keeping a positive mindest, I wish you good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Hi hfordney,

First of all thank you for accepting this debate. If I come across as hostile during our interaction, it is not to be viewed as personal, but rather as an indication of frustration. What frustrates me most is the argument that you present and the apologetic way that you do it. I referred to this as a form of religious stoicism in comments to vi-spex earlier. Where is Alexander conquering the world, where is the French Revolution, where is .......the Internet. Let me just list some of your 'sheepish ways'.

'And another word for an accident is a miracle':hfordney./ Since when?
'Sometimes animals live in families for instance, especially mammals, and have an instinct to not harm each other'.:hfordney/ read about the history of torture on Wik, humans are mammals. I was reading about 'the Wheel' yesterday. It would make you sick. How can humans collectively do these things to each other for expedience.

'Well, there certainly is hurt and degradation. I think it can be made into something though. Can't we use it as a basis from which to improve?':hfordney/ No we can't, don't you think that we would have done this by now. Why is Russia dropping bombs on Syria today, did you know this for example.............

By the time the United States ended its Southeast Asian (Vietnam) bombing campaigns, the total tonnage of ordnance dropped approximately tripled the totals for World War II. The Indochinese bombings amounted to 7,662,000 tons of explosives, compared to 2,150,000 tons in the world conflict.[

'Altogether, life is what we make it.'hfordney /Nope!

Then you resort to yet more platitudes.................

'If you're struggling with keeping a positive mindset, I wish you good luck.'hfordney

'Let me say that it's obvious that you're a bit demoralized about something and it's affected your attitude to life and the world. That's ok, I've been through that. I'm here to say that there is hope and places for celebration about life.'hfordney /(Thanks, but the last thing I need is do-good evangelism, history has had its share of this)

At the end of the day, you make some good points. You say that I am making a 'value judgement' on all of this. You say that I have not experienced 'celestial silence', you say that my appraisal of life is 'subjective' and influenced. There is a case for accepting this sort of 'get on with it' logic. That is what I am doing anyway. All I want is acceptance of the fact that the essence of life on this earth is, struggle, pain, misery, degradation and failure. I want you to either tell me that there is a logical reason for this torture and that it has a purpose to it. If it is without purpose then it is 'unnecessary'.

People often think that things are getting better and that we 'are sorting things out' Is that what you think?. Look at the TV listings for the average household nowadays, ie popular culture. Gone are the days of the Waltons and The Fonz. Here are things that I find 'objectionable' to a point of them being flirtations with evil,IMHO....Game of Thrones, Castle, Taggart, Morse, Midsummer Murders, The Mentalist, Law and Order Special Victims Unit, Bad Girls, Criminal Minds...............sure these people are 'getting better' towards a wonderful future clarity. Just accept that I am correct in stating that the worlds absence would be a positive in the celestial space where it now resides. You will be ill if you look at the worst things in life,,trust me, but tell me what is the counterbalance of good for these things, with conviction Please!

(ps: do better than this)

'People donating their fortunes to charity. People building schools out of the goodness of their hearts. Hard working people earning the success they never believed they would have in their wildest dreams.'hfordney


Should have read the comments. Didn't think you were being seriously intellectual, maybe just upset or something. In that case I still have my opinion and I'll argue with more rigor this time:

Somewhere in the middle of your last round you said, "All I want is acceptance of the fact that the essence of life on this earth is struggle, pain, misery, degradation and failure". I'm willing to accept some points but not others. Let me get on with what I don't agree with first.

First of all, I'm not really sure how serious you're carrying the word essence when you're using it here, but I don't agree with an essentialist point of view. Let me explain. It's tempting when we're carrying an analysis to generalize, broadly label and attach certain characteristics to things. For example, people might say something like, "Christians believe in God, the Father, Christ, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". This is a generally true statement. However there are some exceptions like Unitarians for example. Anyways, this is a simple example of what essentialism is, what it means to apply a set of adjectives to a class of things broadly.

And that's just an example to show the logical problems of essentialism, but your argument relies on it in a way that is full of way more many wholes.

What is "life" in the first place? What are you talking about specifically? Is it the sum of everything that has happened? Is it human life? Is it biological life? Is it the internal experience of our own lives?

Whatever it is, it is some grand essential concept which is hard to talk about, because its so general as to become meaningless. Without having the time to examine every instance that you would wrap up into what you call "life", I'll have to say this: whatever massive amount of instances you are talking about, there is no way that when they might be boiled down that they would altogether equal only "struggle, pain, misery, degradation and failure". Those are just way too strongly (philosophically) meaningful adjectives to be possibly the most true characteristics of the massive generalized concept which you call life.

So, in layman's terms; to speak of "life" is to speak of something so hazy and warrant to interpretation, that when we come to conclusions about it, they are going to be just as hazy and mitigated, so much so that we can assume it could never be anything as heavy handed and definite as "struggle, pain... failure".

I'll admit that this is a very intellectual argument, but it's worth saying I think, and it's what I think every time someone says "life is this" or "life is that".

Quickly, I'll add: then what's the alternative? To look at individual instances in their own light. To resist blanketing statements about "life" or "the world" and actually look at the real events/things in the face for what they are in their concrete reality.

You know I should probably list all of the good things that are going on in the world at this point, but I don't think I really need to. You know there are perfectly good things happening. Advances are happening everywhere and at a faster pace than ever in technology, globalization of ideas and trade, infant death is plummeting.... there are clearly good things happening. You just think there are way more instances of negative things than positive (I won't deny there are negative things) and that the sum is slanted way toward the bad side.

And maybe it could even be argued that things are worse than good (still don't believe that personally), but it's not 1984, right? It's not Mad Max or War of the Worlds. It isn't so bad that nothing would be better. Not everyone has decided to jump out of a building and end it all yet (the closest we could come to your hypothetical oblivion, I think).

So though I don't feel like bearing through the tedium of listing the obviously good things that are happening just so you can mention things you think are worse to nullify them, I'm saying even if it were more half empty than full, it is such a massive hyperbole to suggest that therefore it simply shouldn't exist at all. And that by itself makes you wrong.

You also ask if life is necessary. What immediately comes to mind when I hear that is, "necessary to what?" Why does life need a reason to exist? It just does. And if there were something else giving it a reason, well then we'd ask, what reason does that thing have for even existing? To whom do we need to justify our existence? The moon? Black holes? Frozen lakes on Mars? if they were to ask, couldn't we just turn the tables on them? It's absurd. We're here already. Whether it is or was or will be necessary or unnecessary is logically absurd and beside the point.

Maybe you wanted me to get down and dirty and bring a host of facts to the table or something, well, maybe it would have been nice. Anyways, your statement "life is cruel and unnecessary", and your later demand for me to accept that the world is cruel, suffering.... etc primarily offend my sense of logic and that's how I've decided to respond.
Debate Round No. 2


Hi hfordney,
I found your response to be excellent and I thank you for it. Here is my response.

What is life?. Life is all living things, plants, animals, birds etc.

I believe that all life has a single source and that it's evolvement away from that source has resulted in 'difference' without deviation from the modus or type. All life competes, all life uses sensory influence to create a space for itself within the soup that is life. In the more advanced forms of life, pain is used as a focus to our competitive crusade. When a crocodile bites into a zebra, it feels pain, just as you would do. Life insists that things die and are replaced with the genetic improvement of that type. That is why in the real world the largest bull seal controls the beach. There is a clarity to this process as the herring are doing the same thing and to fall behind is not an option. Man is a primate and within primate culture, male dominance is a much more complicated set of 'politics' within a group. Anyway that scenario has long since passed and we now have a delinquent with 40 grandchildren while the professor has 2.

Do you get the point that I am making here.

Life is a simply defined phenomena with 'universal' norms. It is a carrot and stick process with very small carrots and very long sticks. Bull seals fight to exhaustion and death on the beaches while lesser specimens watch on in frustration. Pups are trampled in the mallee. This is what life is, it is ivy choking a tree, it is a fungal disease killing an elm tree from the inside. Look at our own history of these things, cholera, TB, small pox...................................Ebola. Did you see the effects on the human of these things. Can you hear history coughing? I can.

The human has an ability of 'sorts' to observe and appraise all these happenings within the reference of our own definitions of other things that we describe as cruel and unnecessary. We are confident that the ISIS crucifixion of a 12 yr old boy and the slicing off of his fingertips is cruel and unnecessary.

We can make the same human appraisal of life,(as described by me)and declare it to be cruel and unnecessary.

You have already admitted the first part when you say.
' You just think there are way more instances of negative things than positive (I won't deny there are negative things) and that the sum is slanted way toward the bad side.'

After all, we don't say about the crucifixion scene that the perpetrators are excused because of their religious convictions, do we?

How much misery layered upon misery must there be before we just call it 'cruel.

My last point here is an 'ultimatum' to you. You say that this cruelty does not need a point. Yes it does if it is not to be classified as 'unnecessary. Could we do without ISIS, yes we could. Could the Cosmos do without our absurdity, Yes, it could.

We are a factory designed for pain, misery, frustration and ultimate failure. The world was better when man was still up his tree. Yes, it was cruel and brutal and pointless but it was also pristine and balanced and a terrible beauty in the Cosmos. Our evolved consciousness has irreparably changed this balance and we have filled the world with a new psychosis of cruelty that is all of our own making. There was no Hell before we made it, there was no wilful torture, and there was no constant anxiousness best illustrated by the ticking of our clocks. IMHO


Hi zeromeansnothing,

Ok, I'm glad this is going somewhere.

Evolution, the so called survival of the fittest, is definitely relevant here and was worth bringing up. I want you to think about something here though.

What was it like before we had a theory of evolution? Like some people still do today, we conceived ourselves as spiritually superior beings who in fact had been appointed master over nature by our anthropomorphic God. We saw animals and nature as inferior. Most importantly, we saw no relation, we had no sense of connection with nature like we do today.

That's why I think it's fair to say that the theory of evolution is on par with Einstein's physics, or Newton/Leibniz's Calculus in terms of its profound affect on the human perspective. Certainly for their respective fields, but just as much for all of us.

Evolution undeniably has been controversial for it's implications on morality: where Christianity says the meek shall inherit the Earth, it says the fittest (not the strongest) will survive. However it has also shown how we are all connected, that we all share common ancestry and really are all one thing call biological life. Taking that into account I think evolution is far more bright than any grim religious hierarchy.

But that religious hierarchy did get one thing right. In many ways, though we are not fundamentally or spiritually different, we are superior to the animal kingdom. Definitely morally superior. Sure, we still have murderous and cruel impulses that are frequently carried out, but we've expanded on mammalian compassion and brother/sisterhood in a way that is biologically significant. Were there even species before humans who cared, who even cared in the slightest about their impact on other species? Who acted out of anything other than survival, dominance and fear? We certainly still are driven by these things, but we also do have altruism. Even more than in thought, but also action.

In 2010, the world responded to the Haitian Earthquake by donating not millions but billions of dollars to that country to rebuild itself. Yes, this is mired in controversy, but that was real compassion, real sacrifice by men and women for other men and women. Germany opened its borders to Syrian 486,000 refugees last year (also mired in controversy, I know) which at least fundamentally shows a will to care and sacrifice. Americans helped rebuild Europe after WWII with the Marshall Plan (yes, I know, realpolitik right?). The World Bank and IMF have loaned trillions in aid to developing countries in the 1950's.

There are examples of compassion among human beings and nations. These measures of compassion, in the history of biological life, are unprecedented. Life is changing. Life is not only aware of itself, but is beginning to care for itself.

The last 50 years have seen compassion extended so so much more. We care for people's mental health in pyschology. We question the ethics of war even when it isn't crime happening to our own people. We care about people's rights to their self expression, choices, and gender identity among other things. Were extending healthcare to needy people. These are things that may still be going on, but at least were aware of them!

Because awareness has been the beginning of change. Like Northern Americans caring for enslaved African Americans helping to end slavery, or Americans and Europeans caring about Black South Africans enough to boycott South Africa to end Apartheid, or Americans and Europeans caring enough about women to do something about unfair Sharia practices.

Man is morally superior, and is becoming more so. We're breaking the cycle. By which I mean, maybe we wont end the survival of the fittest (I personally dont think it should, but it may), but that we're adding principles and morals to the behavior or living beings, ourselves. Not just self-interestedness, but selflessness and care.

There are still cruel and thoughtless human actions, and human beings. Unfair treatments, barbarous acts, abusive people and regimes. But there are many, many, many exceptions, and they are growing faster than ever.

The problem with your point of view is that it is self-defeating. Principles and morals like compassion have to be believed in to become true. They may not be true of us now, or true of all life in the past, or true as to what others have done. But they are true of some. They are growing. We have choices, and knowing our human faults, many choose the right path. That is a sign of growth. That is a sign that we, as representatives of life (and then life, along with that) are not just fundamentally cruel and thoughtless.
Debate Round No. 3


Hi hfordney,

Would that your belief in your words would make them true. They are unfortunately a list of unsubstantiated lies .
Here is a definition of altruism:

altruism: disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

With this you mention, Germany accepting Syrian Refugees, America having a foreign Aid policy for natural disasters and international institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. These are not examples of altruism by the above defiinition of same.

Net official development assistance by country as a percentage of gross national income in 2015

United States – 0.17%
Russia – 0.06%
Sweden – 1.40%

A Swedish nonprofit says five countries were responsible for nearly three-fourths of all major weapons sales from 2011 to 2015, with the U.S. and Russia growing their share of that pie to nearly 60 percent.

Altruism my backside, you judge a human objectively by their actions and not their aspirations. We have a long and thriving history of self interest and we shall continue on this path towards an enevitablily of some sort. How many Catholics watch Breaking Bad, Fargo, Homeland, how many Muslims Google western porn? How many pet owners think that they are doing the right thing? I can tell you for nothing that all other life forms loathe us and fear us with good reason. Surely a dog possesses more of your peculiar 'altruism' for its pack members than most humans have for each other. We are all being nice to each other on the ecological 'Credit Card' and when that runs out it will be back to Mad Max, don't kid yourself otherwise.

You say that we have brought evolutionary progression to a new level. Nope!

We love our family as all mammals do, ie chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins etc.
We love our neighbours because it is expedient to do so.
We participate in economic and cultural movements because that is how we protect ourselves in a global world.
We throw crumbs to the unfortunate because they upset the status quo.

Why. in 2016, can a person eat caviar in Monte Carlo while a child in Ghana drinks water out of a muddy hole. This was understandable in the past but in todays world with instant access to these situations these anomalies blow your altruism, out of the window.

You say that we stole Negro people from Africa and then we gave them a vote.
You say that Germany burned 6 million Jews (70 yrs ago) and that it has now accepted 300.000 +Syrians many of whom are needed within its economy. What a U turn for a country in such a short space of time.

It is both easy and self defeating to be over-cynical and that is why I would prefer to be objective.

The best indicator of human health and mental well being is 'the totality of the things we do' ie our popular culture. Look at our shopping practices, the variety that we demand, the packaging that we demand, the electronics of our households, the medication in our wine racks and in our cabinets. Check how many people drive into our busy cities (alone in their cars) Check how much pollution occours at traffic lights. Check our populations surges, check our poverty levels, check our violence levels. This is more 'Grand Torino' than 'Last of the Summer Wine'. Most of the world live in filth and dirt that cannot be replicated in the Jungle of our ancestors. Our morality is a singular 'non-altruistic' form of BS. It is non inclusive of all other species of life, be they animals or plants. We have the guile of a despot when we deal with things that we are in control of. It is BS because that is how it works itself out. We may be able to make fancy words and sing lullabies to ease our disease but that shows nothing except our folly.

You said something interesting in your submission, hfordney,

' Life is changing. Life is not only aware of itself, but is beginning to care for itself.'

Life is not beginning to care for itself. Are you aware that at the Bay of Pigs (Cuban Crisis) the great white hope Kennedy was prepared to start an atomic/nuclear war just to save face. Do you know that American logic made it make sense to destroy all the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These precedents of human moralistic logic make it a certainty that we will engage with each other in the future. I would much prefer a Cosmic Catastrophe as a method of vermin extermination. I love the Biblical stuff, ie Sodom and Gomorrah, how little goodness in the world would you accept before you would suggest that it be spared. That is what we are at here. We are 'clutching at straws' IMHO

We are what we are, ie a cunning primate and our ability to self-delude ourselves counts for nothing in my book. Is patriotism a form of altruism, is religous conviction a form of altruism?. What is not 'altruism' within the machinations of human cunning. We are totally unrepentant, of our human past and totally non-cognizant of our apish ineptitude, which refuses to leave us. We are in truth ......'capable of anything' and I mean that toward the bad. We want to replictate a sheep , we want to make new plants, we have already made new animals and we want to colonize space. Yeah, sure we will!


So you listed a definition of altruism, and then simply asserted that all of the examples I gave before (Germany accepting refugees, foreign aid policies, etc.) were not altruism without actually providing an argument.

So now we're talking about altruism. You don't say it explicitly, but I think you're leaning on an age old criticism of altruism: that people's motives are always ulterior and self-interested, and therefore it doesn't exist. Now, I'm not saying I believe that white-knight do-goody altruism happens all of the time, or that it ever looks like it's disney version. Perfectly shitty people can pretend at altruism. Even the best altruists have flaws on their own and aren't perfect. But:

First of all, how does this usually begin? We look at a person's good actions, and then at all of the possibilities for why they are doing them. Undoubtedly, when a boy is walking a grandmother across the road, oh, somewhere, there is some faint logical possibility, what? Maybe he's doing it only on the off chance that she'll give him a dollar. Maybe he's just trying to make himself feel better and not help her.

The problem I find with this method is that it's purely hypothetical and after the fact. One could conceive millions of reasons for a person's behavior and carry them unsubstantiated, corrupting a person's intentions (even when they already demonstrated good behavior) by playing with your own thought experiments and then applying them to someone else's thoughts.

Two: it relies on a Freudian unconscious which is widely debunked by psychology. Why? For the same reason why what I'm talking about above is absurd. "The unconscious" those evil intentions secretly controlling you all of the time, cannot be verified. There is no way to verify any scientific claims based on that kind of psychoanalysis because there is no predictable way to actually observe the unconscious. So when we get into that thought experiment of, "well they were thinking" or "they could have been thinking" we can say literally anything ad infinium unless we realize that all of it will be useless because it can't be verified (unless you take a person's word for it, which has already been walked over by that point).

And I have a third problem with this popular arguments against altruism. The next thing that usually comes out of that person's mouth then is, "well, since everyone is selfish, then really everything is permissable, so I can be recklessly greedy, decadent, etc.). This is really very sad. Because, not only have they walked over altruism with unfirm methods and conclusions, blackening the concept with poor reasoning, they then think that if there is a question to good behavior, then evil behavior should be fine. And do you realize the massive problem with this? What, so maybe a person could or did feign altruism in one instance. Therefore, you can be a greedy, careless pig whenever you want? This message which is almost at the heart of American secular thinking today is very insidious, doing a lot of damage to our society I think.

Now and you're making other logical leaps heedlessly all over the place that you know are just pissing me off, right!
You're saying, "we love our neighbors because..... x", "we.... this", "we that". Who is this we? Why do I have to take responsibility for this "we"? Why can anything these obviously few and select cases of people do be ascribed to some grand "we"? Sorry man, you're hitting a bit of a nerve here: very insidious and poor argument making, mucking up logic with a hazy use of the English language....

You say that, "it is both easy and self-defeating to be over-cynical and that is why I would prefer to be objective", right after you say the most possibly cynical things I have ever heard in my life. Here's the best one, "You say that Germany burned 6 million Jews and that is has now accepted..... Syrians many of whom are needed within it's economy". What you're obviously getting at and assuming is that, you know, a country does something terrible, and therefore it can never redeem itself with future behavior, or that different people living in a different time but in the same country can't do anything good since bad things were done by them in the past. Is there anything more cynical you could believe? That kind of attitude would condemn every nation and person totally if we were allowed to seriously carry it. After all, weren't the Bantu tribes of Africa actually marauders who didn't deserve the lands they settled in the first place? Didn't they practice slavery among themselves, which would have given slaves no cause to free themselves? Didn't the Jews kill Jesus, and blah blah blah. Your style of argument would bring down every nation and people if it were taken seriously...

I'm honestly tired of arguing with you because your methodology is atrocious. I hope you consider that when you make cheap shot arguments, it gives other people the right to do so, a huge problem today which is making discourse more and more unintelligible, useless. But of course I will go on until there is a vote.
Debate Round No. 4


You have now fallen into hysterics, which is quite lamentable really, hfordney

I have you facts and sources to check them with. Did America drop a ridiculous amount of ordinance on Vietnam, did the Germans kill 6 million+ Jews, is The Us the biggest seller of pain in the world. You might not like what I am saying but you have not said that one word of it was untrue. It does not really matter as it would appear that you have completely lost the argument. You use the classic ad hominem as you demonize me for telling things as they are. There is little fresh stuff in your latest submission as you pray for the exit door.

You brought up human altruism as being the flag behind which optimism can rally. I merely explained that this idea is BS. Now you want to divert to 'a Freudian unconsciousness' for want of something useful to say. Let us briefly explore this woodland ramble.

Think about yourself. How much control have you over what you do.

You have human abilities, that have been genetically inherited with which to attempt the obstacle course of life. Many of your organs work (hopefully) independently of your will , your heart, your lungs, your skin, your. You possess within you the genetic poison that will kill you. With this Deli Lunch you will now attempt to engage with an obstacle course that is impossible. Can you jump 2 meters into the air, can you lift a car, can you do without food for a year, without water for a month. Do you defecate, do your sexual glands become aroused without willful intent. Can you be objective about yourself. Have you a plan for yourself. Is it altruistic in nature. Would you cut corners if you had to, are you brave or cowardly. Are you lazy and do you tire easily. Are you happy. What did you do today. How good did it get. The primate intelligence is a cauldron of compromise and invention and we are without any of the nobler attributes that you suggest. I resent the suggestion that I would resort to cheap shots. If I stated any facts in this debate that are untrue, then please de-bunk them for the benefit of all.

In conclusion, you want me to believe in man as a higher being capable of making the world something worthwhile. You have no history, no precedent and no projections for any of this but you are 'pissed off ' if I refrain from participation in your charade. Thanks for taking the debate. If there are any queries about my attitude here I will quite gladly attempt to explain them in comments. Good Bye, hfordney

ps: apparently life is still cruel and unnecessary but more importantly the methodology for making this case is atrocious and that clarifies everything. I would like to give hfordney , the last word, ie

'Principles and morals like compassion have to be believed in to become true. They may not be true of us now, or true of all life in the past, or true as to what others have done. But they are true of some.' hfordney

I would suggest that you read the Macbeth quote in comments instead if you want the truth.


All right. So you say, "[I] might not like what [you] are saying but have not said a word of it is untrue". In the sense of that I have a problem with your facts, no, I havent. Hitler did kill 6 million jews. The united states is responsible for many atrocities.

The problem with your argument is not your facts but the claim youre trying to prove with them. I have provided counterevidence, facts, in earlier rounds at least equal to your number of facts. But as I maintained before, the facts are besides the point.

Because whats really wrong with your argument is your method. Youre blowing certain facts out of proportion and presenting them in an extremely biased context without respecting cases without cruelty, pain, etc. Then youre making extremely global claims as to what that one sided analysis is supposed to prove. So youre taking one piece of information about a beheading in Syria for example, applying to that to say Syria is cruel, unnecessary, etc., then even going firther saying that this proves humanity is all of these things, then finally, in such a ridiculous fashion, saying that this makes life itself guilty of all of these things.

The chain of logic and assumptions is so long and hyperbolic beyond belief and with not nearly enough evidence or clearly worked through rational steps tht can be taken seriously. Thats why more often I've attacked the laziness of your methods than I have your facts! Your facts arent bad. They just dont add up to what you are trying to prove.

And as our conversation continued, you refused to take seriously any of my counterevidence, so I stopped giving it.

In any event, this debate has been long and full of many different subjects of relevance. Lets get back to the real point in question.

You are asserting that "life is fundamentally cruel, unnecessary.... [etc.]". I took the counterposition and said it was not. Let me remind you, that as you were making the assertive claim, and the burden of proof was on you the entire time. I listed counterexamples to human cruelty. I talked about Haitian Earthquake relief, the Marshall Plan, IMF, World Bank, German asylum of Syrian refugees.... all things which do not mean the holocaust never happened or that the American government doesnt still commit atrocities, but which puts them in a perspective together where we can say those horrible things are not the only things that have ever happened. I debunked your essentialist point of view and its logical problems as making your statements extremely hazy and unsubstantiated. I showed that "necessary or unnecessary" is an absurd question when it comes to life as we have nothing to which to prove ourselves necessary or not. I painted evolution in its rightly positive light, where besides acknowledging some of the bleakness of its survival of the fittest (not strongest) conclusions, that it more fundamentally holds a positive messge of connectivity with nature and other life. I left arguments against your covert disbelief in altruism.

As much as I may have not addressed some of your claims (to do so with intellectual rigor would have been endless considering the amount of ridiculous claims and shoddy logic you employ), you also avoided discussing my counterpoints on many instances.

In any event,we have a total of arguments and points for those observing to consider. I hope you all see reason. If theres any one thing I think Ive done right, I think it has been to build my arguments carefully with intelectual discipline while my opponent has built his arguments on blank assertions, biased presentations of evidence, and astronomical leaps in logic. That I occassionaly began to lose my temper in debating someone with a much looser sense of epistemological standards, I apologize for.

Life is not all cruel, base, evil, suffering or unnecessary. You can exagerrate the importance of and pile on fact after fact, but youll never prove it because its not true, and because even a handful of counterevidence proves the whole object otherwise. Not to mention that there are oceans of it, which I havent even bothered to list because common sense should provide you with enough, and they are valid. Dont trade your life, my life, or certainly all of life for a cosmic oblivion if you ever have the chance, as my opponent suggests. It would be literally, a total loss.
Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 week ago
Thanks for the effort, whiteflame.
Posted by whiteflame 1 week ago
>Reported vote: Khons// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Con (Conduct, S&G, Arguments), 2 points to Pro (Sources). Reasons for voting decision: This was a hard but i will go with my gut

[*Reason for removal*] This is not an RFD. The voter is required to explain their decision, particularly when they decide to award every point. Going with your gut is not an explanation.
Posted by hfordney 1 week ago
Hey zeromeansnothing,

Thank you for offering the idea, it was an interesting debate to conduct. Have to say the premise was quite original, forced me to think in ways I havent for a long time. Sorry, if I got a bit heated, I suppose I can get carried away a bit in the heat of an argument. In any case, thanks again, and good luck to you.

Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 week ago
Hi hfordney, thank you for your participation in the debate. We achieved something by completing the exercise to the best of our ability. What that achievement is remains a mystery to me. I would also like to thank all who contributed to the comments, vi_spex, Furry Dragon, and all the others. Thanks again. If you have it in you to vote, then it would be great to get a broader perspective on this debate in general.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 week ago
She would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The days creep slowly along until the end of time. And every day that"s already happened has taken fools that much closer to their deaths. Out, out, brief candle. Life is nothing more than an illusion. It"s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again. Life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance but devoid of meaning.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 week ago
Hi TheRussian 4,

There is no claim here, just the demand for people to accept that life is primarily cruel and unnecessary by our own definitions of same as given.

If something was cruel and unnecessary ie water-boarding then it should be stopped because it causes a creature(human) distress and it is unnecessary because of its ineffectiveness. Sadism has no long term point. Now, if we reference life on earth we will come to the same conclusions, ie.............What is it's purpose. Why the never-ending distress. Why the inability to achieve 'an endgame'. Accident, has not got a should or shouldn't about it but in my opinion a celestial catastrophe would be 'bringing out the trash'. The structure of risk, reward, punishment and achievement that is encapsulated into a narrow time frame that is a life span is water-boarding by another name. The Sonnet tells it better than I do. What goes up, must come down on 'the wheel' of life. We resort to religious stoicism to put 'a brave face' or a rose coloured spin on this perversion. IMHO
Posted by TheRussian 2 weeks ago
So...what exactly is the claim? That life should be eliminated by a celestial accident?
Posted by KGNine 2 weeks ago
I'll accept this if no one else does in the next few days.
Posted by vi_spex 2 weeks ago
if i thought he was serius about it

and my problem is islam..
Posted by FurryDragon 2 weeks ago
Vi_spex, why dont you accept this.
No votes have been placed for this debate.