The Instigator
Mitchell27
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
whatledge
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Man is inherently evil

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
whatledge
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 946 times Debate No: 43756
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

Mitchell27

Pro

First round is acceptance, last round is to make a closing remark no new points or rebuttals.

Man - a human being of either sex; a person

Inherently - no one is born good and good takes ongoing effort to maintain it self

Evil - profound immorality, wickedness

Good - the opposite of evil

Con must prove with out a doubt that man can be born good

Pro must prove with out a doubt that man is evil and can't be naturaly good.

If both sides fail to do so please do not vote.

Time to Argue is twelve hours.

9000 Characters


NO Symantics
NO allternate definitions of Evil or Man
whatledge

Con

Greetings to Pro. I thank him for instigating this topic.

"Man - a human being of either sex; a person"

I agree to this definition.

"Inherently - no one is born good and good takes ongoing effort to maintain it self"

I would simplify ths definition to simply, "bound by its own nature."

"Evil - profound immorality, wickedness"

Okay, or just something immoral.

"Good - the opposite of evil"

Ergo, good is something moral.

I would urge Pro to also define moral in the next round, but I believe it to be in the context of "what one ought to do."

"Con must prove with out a doubt that man can be born good"

Or morally neutral.

"Pro must prove with out a doubt that man is evil and can't be naturaly good."

So we share the burden of proof. Excellent.

"NO Symantics
NO allternate definitions of Evil or Man"

I believe Pro means "Semantics" and I urge him to watch out for future spelling mistakes, as it is a matter of conduct as well.

Again, I thank Pro for this opportunity and wish him luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Mitchell27

Pro

The following is not an argument it is clarifications.
What you ought to do is a good definition but I believe we should consider it like this:
Man has to choose to help him self or help others collectively for no personal gain, the man has never learned from another living thing and actions are out of instinct
pro would say he would help when self every time he is given said options
con would say we would help every one else every time he is given said options.

I hope that clears up any concerns you had.



Argument beings here:

I believe a baby is born with no sense of morals. A completely unsocialized and untaught human would only help himself and other people that are important to his life(Mate and offspring). Man is evil and when given absolute power over people will take advantage of them and possible even enjoy it, I will cite the Stanford Prison Experiment. Three things humans are programmed to do is eat(and defecate) sleep and reproduce. The goal is the reproduction and eating and sleeping are the needed steps to get there. If any one of this thing are denied humans will not act morally.

Case one
If denied food people will do drastic things even unmoral unthinkably things. I will use the "Holodomor" as an example, during this time of forced famine in the Ukraine many people were arrested because of cannibalism. The most common act of cannibalism was to eat the smallest child.

Case Two
Studies show that when sleep deprived people take much longer to decide on the morality of something on top of becoming irritable and angry.

Stanford Prison Experiment - http://psychology.about.com...
Holodomor - http://www.ukrainesf.com...
Sleep deprivation study- http://www.sciencedaily.com...
whatledge

Con

I thank Pro for his timely response.

Refutations


The following is not an argument it is clarifications.

What you ought to do is a good definition but I believe we should consider it like this:

"Man has to choose to help him self or help others collectively for no personal gain,"

I believe this is too simplistic of a definition for something as amorphous as morality. If Pro cannot demonstrate reasonably and adequately why we must accept this definition, then the debate itself is pointless, as he essentially trying to prove somethng about morality is true, before giving as even a reason to believe that morality even exists.

the man has never learned from another living thing and actions are out of instinct

Pro must also prove this premise to be true (not with solid evidence but with rational reasons). The odd thing is, I am learning something about Pro right now, as I read his arguments, therefore, I believe his argument is self-destrutive, given that he and I are both "living thing<s>." The nature of this debate is a form of communication, the language we use already proving that man learns from each other, as no single man created language alone.


"pro
would say he would help when self every time he is given said options

con would say we would help every one else every time he is given said options."

If Pro cannot adequate reason why we should accept these premises, this no longer is a debate but a mere expression of opinion.


Argument beings here:

"I believe a baby is born with no sense of morals."


Indeed, that is because in order to be immoral, one must have knowledge of good and evil. So by default, Pro has disproven his resolution that "Man is Inherently Evil." He concedes that man is born of no moral incliniation.

"A completely unsocialized and untaught human would only help himself and other people that are important to his life(Mate and offspring)."

That depends on how this human being defines what it means to "help himself." Self-interest is not limited to selfishness. If that was the case, we inherently have no reason to care for our mate or offsprings, as is the case with numerous insects and animals that leave their young to care for themselves. Therefore, self-interest is something that can be beneficial to everyone, indeed, this is what want any rational human being would want: prosperity for all.

"Man is evil and when given absolute power over people will take advantage of them and possible even enjoy it, I will cite the Stanford Prison Experiment."

What is absolute power, and how does one attain it?

"Three things humans are programmed to do is eat(and defecate) sleep and reproduce. The goal is the reproduction and eating and sleeping are the needed steps to get there. If any one of this thing are denied humans will not act morally.


The goal is not only reproduction but also survival, as reproduction is especially signficant if your own genes survive.

"Case one
If denied food people will do drastic things even unmoral unthinkably things. I will use the "Holodomor" as an example, during this time of forced famine in the Ukraine many people were arrested because of cannibalism. The most common act of cannibalism was to eat the smallest child."

From a utilitarian[1] perspective, this makes sense. The smallest child has the least amount of chance for survival and likely were the first to die in times of a famine. It is not necessarily immoral to eat what is already dead, especially if the alternative was death. In my view, if I were to die in a famine, I would no hold ill will against people that were to eat my corpse, especially i it made the difference between life and death. If Pro cannot disprove the utilitarian theory of morality by proving his own definition to be more reasonably sound and true, I believe the debate cannot progress in a progressive way.

[1]http://plato.stanford.edu...

"Case Two
Studies show that when sleep deprived people take much longer to decide on the morality of something on top of becoming irritable and angry."

I do not see how this proves that people are inherently evil. Yes, sleep-depravation has side effects that may stall a person's judgment process, bu I fail to see how this helps Pro's arguments.

Counter Argument


First of all, I would like to point out that morality does not exist as a physical or natural law. One does not get smitten by god/nature/karma for doing something "evil." Morality by nature is something humans make up and decide, and ethical theories are what we have in regards to how we determine what is or is not ethical/moral. Morality is not instinct alone, it is inherently developed through relationships, meaning it is not a isolated process as Pro argues. Different cultures have different moral codes and customs, the relevant distinction is the process in which this moral code is established. Are we relying on our emotions and intuitions to decide what is moral? Or are we using logic and reason? Is it a mere matter of faith?

Until Pro can soundly reason for why we must accept his definition, this debate cannot continue in a meaningful way.

I await Pro's response.
Debate Round No. 2
Mitchell27

Pro

"First of all, I would like to point out that morality does not exist as a physical or natural law. One does not get smitten by god/nature/karma for doing something "evil." Morality by nature is something humans make up and decide, and ethical theories are what we have in regards to how we determine what is or is not ethical/moral. Morality is not instinct alone, it is inherently developed through relationships, meaning it is not a isolated process as Pro argues. Different cultures have different moral codes and customs, the relevant distinction is the process in which this moral code is established. Are we relying on our emotions and intuitions to decide what is moral? Or are we using logic and reason? Is it a mere matter of faith?"

I believe the agreed upon stance you took was to prove that goodness and morality in fact is something you are born, well I must prove that Man is evil as in without a moral code at birth. The highlighted text above proves my point man is not born with any code for right and wrong and when coupled with the proof of savage possible a pointed out above I believe I prove that Man is evil at birth as no morals are present at birth.

"What is absolute power, and how does one attain it? "
Man does not need absolute power to abuse it, in the experiment they were given complete control over the "prisoners lives.

"I do not see how this proves that people are inherently evil. Yes, sleep-depraivation has side effects that may stall a person's judgment process, but I fail to see how this helps Pro's arguments."

The stall judgment processes coupled with the irritability and restlessness(common knowledge to be affects of sleep deprivation) would cause people to affect without morals as when a basic necessity for life is threatened be resort back to primitive unmoral thinking.

"The goal is not only reproduction but also survival, as reproduction is especially significant if your own genes survive."
The goal is reproduction, and keeping offspring alive after that survival is not even necessary.



General remark
My opponent, in attempt to disprove my arguments, fail to bring up one point valid point other then justifying cannibalism with utilitarianism which is more logic based then moral based.

I would like to point t out to con that they agreed to this debate and at this point cannot point out unclear terms as that was what the first round was for and I believe I clarified all requested definitions in my first argument. Also Con should watch for mispelled words.

whatledge

Con

"I believe the agreed upon stance you took was to prove that goodness and morality in fact is something you are born, well I must prove that Man is evil as in without a moral code at birth. The highlighted text above proves my point man is not born with any code for right and wrong and when coupled with the proof of savage possible a pointed out above I believe I prove that Man is evil at birth as no morals are present at birth."

Pro claims that man must be evil if born without a moral code. This is a non-sequitor by his own definition of evil, which is wickedness and immorality. A baby, therefore, is not born evil. It is incapable of being evil as evil requires knowledge and intent, something a baby does not have. Again the absence of a moral code does not signify the presence of evil.

"The stall judgment processes coupled with the irritability and restlessness(common knowledge to be affects of sleep deprivation) would cause people to affect without morals as when a basic necessity for life is threatened be resort back to primitive unmoral thinking."

What is "primitive unmoral thinking?" I am sleep-deprived right now as I am typing this, this does not mean that I am somehow resorting to primitive immoral thoughts. The psychological effects of sleep deprivation in no way validates the resolution that people are born evil.

"The goal is not only reproduction but also survival, as reproduction is especially significant if your own genes survive."

"The goal is reproduction, and keeping offspring alive after that survival is not even necessary."

This is false when animals, including humans, have been proven to have motherlyinstincts [1]. Without these extincts many species would have be extinct, including mankind.

[1]http://well.blogs.nytimes.com...

"General remark
My opponent, in attempt to disprove my arguments, fail to bring up point valid point other then justifying cannibalism with utilitarianism which is more logic based then moral based. "

If Pro is not basing his definition of morality behind logic and reason, what measurement is he using that is relevant in a debate? Pro cannot arbitrarily define terms based on opinion or faith alone. If he cannot demonstrate why his moral perspective is superior to utilitarianism, there is no reason to respect his moral perspective at all over utilitarianism or any other ethical theory based around reason.

"I would like to point t out to con that they agreed to this debate and at this point cannot point out unclear terms as that was what the first round was for and I believe I clarified all requested definitions in my first argument. Also Con should watch for mispelled words."

I apologize for any misspelled words, as I submitted my previous post without reading over it. I will accept any penalty on this regard by the voters. More importantly, I believe I have given sound reasons as to why it is necessary that we discuss what morality is in all relevant contexts. Pro's definition of good is "opposite of evil" and his definition of evil is "profound immorality, wickedness." Aside from this being vague, I challenged this definition as there was a need that Pro justify the logic behind defining morality. If there is no logic or sound reason behind his seemingly arbitrary definitions of good and evil, then there is no debate to begin with, as he is ultimately stating an opinion backed only by his own prescription to it.
Debate Round No. 3
Mitchell27

Pro

Closing Remarks
I stated from the being that a person when given the choose between helping him self and helping others he would choose him self every time if he was truly untaught by are society. I showed that Man when given unchecked power abused it. I also showed that when the necessities of life were threatened people have and will forget there moral code previously used for the purpose of survival meaning morals are not something that can stay true in the darkest of times so man was not born with a moral code.

My opponent Misspelled two words form what I can see in their second argument please do not have this take away from my opponents argument as I'm sure I have misspelled a word or used bad grammar above and I would rather you vote based on the arguments below, please remember that the case must havd been proven without a doubt to win as agreed upon above.

Thank I enjoy this argument with my Opponent, I hope they had fun as well and my the best debater win.
whatledge

Con

Closing Remarks

"I stated from the being that a person when given the choose between helping him self and helping others he would choose him self every time if he was truly untaught by are society."

Assuming Pro meant "beginning" instead of "being" and "our society" instead of "are society," I would like to point out that not only do socities teach their own differently according to culture and tradition, but helping the "self" is not limited to selfishness, as it can be within our self-interest to help "others." For instance, rather than choosing to live in lawlessness like the wild animals, we created a social contract, where we respect one another's rights in exchange for the affirmation of our own rights. Pro also stated that man does not learn from another living thing in earlier rounds. I believe I have disproven that claim as well.

"I showed that Man when given unchecked power abused it. I also showed that when the necessities of life were threatened people have and will forget there moral code previously used for the purpose of survival meaning morals are not something that can stay true in the darkest of times so man was not born with a moral code.
"

Man abusing power does not making all men inherently evil. Also if Pro cannot adequately defend his own definition of morality, we have no reason to deny the "Man" with "unchecked power" is necessarily abusing his power for evil. As Pro has failed to give a sufficient reasoning behind his moral theory, we have no reason to respect it as valid. If morality can be defined as the "greatest good for the most people" or "survival of the species," then none of Pro's arguments have any substance. Indeed, the problem that remains unaddressed is that Pro forces morality into a cage and asserts that this is the true morality simply on the virtue of it being in a cage that he has made. Morality is not something that simple, and Pro has failed to demonstrate why we should reasonably accept his definition.

"My opponent Misspelled two words form what I can see in their second argument please do not have this take away from my opponents argument as I'm sure I have misspelled a word or used bad grammar above and I would rather you vote based on the arguments below, please remember that the case must havd been proven without a doubt to win as agreed upon above."

I agree on this matter as well.

"Thank I enjoy this argument with my Opponent, I hope they had fun as well and my the best debater win."

Likewise, I thank Pro for this debate. And leave the rest to the voters.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
The infant mortality test would have definitely help you out, it agrees with your argument. But anyway, both of you did very well, I will vote soon.
Posted by whatledge 3 years ago
whatledge
@Cheetah

Interesting Post, but my arguments are not psychological, as I think the more philosophically aware individuals do not rely on their psychology to develop morality.
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
http://psychology.about.com...

This may help both of you if used correctly, another interesting theory that studies this particular subject is the Infant's puppet mortality test, you can find a video that explains this clearly.
Posted by Mitchell27 3 years ago
Mitchell27
I was about to say some thing in my second argument about how in hypotheticals I use males generally and it's not me being sexist it is just how I tell hypotheticals
Posted by whatledge 3 years ago
whatledge
xD

Relax, kbub! he defines man as "a being of either sex"
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Nice. I guess that means women are fine then...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by LaughingHyena 3 years ago
LaughingHyena
Mitchell27whatledgeTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued more effectively. The debate changed around several times, and I think definitions were not properly established in the beginning. I believe Con changed the issue when claiming that following rational self-interest is not proof of immorality, as I believe Pro was clearly referring to selfish self-interest at the expense of others (cannibalism, abuse of power, etc). Pro certainly made the mistake of confusing amorality (being born neither good nor bad) and immortality (being bad, evil), but I think it was clear from his examples and arguments that he meant to say man has a natural inclination towards evil behavior in adulthood. Also, when Con stated that morality was subjective, this completely evades the subject of the debate: in order for this debate to take place we have to assume that by "immoral" Pro means things that we generally consider immoral (killing, doing harm, etc). So despite arguing more effectively, Con didn't change my mind on this issue.
Vote Placed by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
Mitchell27whatledgeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides displayed equally sophisticated syntax and diction, however, con exhibited slightly more complex vocabulary. I really like how Pro mentioned the Stanford Prison Experiment, however, Pro did not sufficiently link sleep deprivation and deprivation of food to how it validate his stance. In my opinion, both sides did a great job, I enjoyed the debate even though it was short.
Vote Placed by Cygnus 3 years ago
Cygnus
Mitchell27whatledgeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate and I'm glad that it didn't break down into a religious debate. Pro and Con presented themselves well and gave good arguments. Pro made better use of sources, but overall Con wins for the following transaction: Pro said, "I believe a baby is born with no sense of morals." Con's response was key as he said, "Indeed, that is because in order to be immoral, one must have knowledge of good and evil. So by default, Pro has disproven his resolution that "Man is Inherently Evil." He concedes that man is born of no moral incliniation." Really good debate. I wish it had gone on a bit longer.
Vote Placed by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
Mitchell27whatledgeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: S&G obviously go to Con. Pro's arguments were filled with ridiculous misspellings.