The Instigator
Tim1632
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
alorenzo
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Medea is guilty for committing infanticide.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
alorenzo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 697 times Debate No: 28380
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Tim1632

Pro

The opening of the Enchiridion states, "Some things are in our control, others are not... if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free and that which belongs to others is your own, you will be hindered." In the case of Medea, she believed that Jason"s emotions were in her control. They were not. Her emotions on the other hand were, as were her actions. She was hung up on the idea that she was wronged by Jason and that she HAD to get back at him. The consequences of not getting back at him would be, as she put it herself, "Do I want to make myself look ridiculous, letting my enemies go unpunished?" This was her problem, she believed that the choice was between killing her children or letting Jason go unpunished for his indiscretion. The latter of which would in turn cause her and her children to look like a fool in the eyes of many and this would make it more likely for similar things to happen again. Again she was attempting to affect that which was out of her control; by worrying about what other people would think (something that is not in her control), she placed herself in a spot where, in her mind, the only viable option was to kill her children. By placing herself in that situation, she in fact CHOSE to kill her children. She also carried out her decision. Only Medea can control her actions, therefore Medea is guilty.
alorenzo

Con

Yes, in the beginning of "The Enchiridon" by Epictetus, states that some things are in our control and some things aren"t. However, Epictetus like the Stoics, were determinist. Determinism is the belief that everything that will happen and that you do in your life is fated. This belief entails that there is no such thing as free will. One"s life can either be fated by divine plan or by the laws of nature. Medea can"t be blamed for this act by Epictetus or the Stoics because what she did was fated and out of her control.
Debate Round No. 1
Tim1632

Pro

I disagree with your assertion here. Though the stoics are determinists, they are determinists only in the sense that they believe that the world consists of a string of causes. Every cause will necessarily lead to an effect, and every effect can be traced back to a cause. Everything that happens is part of this causal chain, something can not just come from nothing. Stoics believe that our past actions will lead to how we act in the present, which means that we are accountable for how we act in the present. As Seneca states in "On Anger," "...it is easier to to exclude the forces of ruin than to govern them, to deny them admission than to moderate them afterwards." Medea gave into her anger, when she should have let Jason's indiscretion go. Her anger then got the better of her and she killed her children. So even when Medea says that, "...anger is the master of her plans" she still chose to be angry in the first place which leaves her guilty of her crime. To also refute your claim that the Stoics would not see Medea as guilty because of their determinism, even in that same statement from "The Enchiridon," Epictetus states that "...some things are in our control." If Epictetus was of the belief that we are not the controller of our actions, then why would he begin his piece with those words?
alorenzo

Con

I will agree with your point on the Stoics believe in that the world does consists of a string of causes. However, Seneca states in "On Anger"," Those who punish or protect don't do so out of hate or anger, they'll do so out of devotion and braver teachings of what is worthy or unworthy of a man. Tell me then, is the good man not angry if he sees his father slain and his mother ravished?" Seneca proceeds with,"No, he will not be angry. He will punish and protect.' Medea says anger is the master of her plans because she has lost a grip on reality, she's gone insane. She's has lost all control on the situation and so devoted to Jason that she would do anything. Through insanity and devotion to Jason, Medea can't be held responsible for her actions and must be declared insane.
Debate Round No. 2
Tim1632

Pro

Isn't punishing or protecting something in our control? And isn't it her choice to attribute such intense meaning to Jason? As Epictetus says in Chapter three of the Enchiridon, " With regard to whatever objects give you delight, are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are, beginning from the most significant things." Jason is just a person, she chose to regard him with devotion. As Albert Ellis would have said if Medea was at one of his Rational Emotive Psychotherapy sessions, "It is not what happens to us at point A that upsets us, it is B, our view of what happens to us." In other words, it is not that Jason had left her for another women that upsets her, but it is that in her head she is saying that this event is terrible. In the case of why she is rationalizing the fact that she wants to kill her children, it is not that she will be made to look ridiculous and that by not killing her children she will be leaving "these children for my enemies to insult and torture" that is upsetting her, it is the feeling that she attaches to that situation that is upsetting her. She is then catastrophizing that statement and saying, "not only will it be terrible that I be made to look ridiculous, but then others will treat me and my children in this manner for the rest of our lives." She is the one attributing those negative feelings to the situation, it is not the situation that is attributing them to her.
alorenzo

Con

Yes, punishing and protecting are two things in our control. And yes it's her choice initially to attribute such a intense feeling towards Jason. But initially when she first finds out, she figures it out and she is left in pieces. She gave Jason all that he had and accomplished. Medea was the one who made all possible for Jason. Jason was ill provided by Medea and than left her in the rear view mirror and wanted to keep all life's gifts that Medea provided him with. This wouldn't make you lose control? This wouldn't make you think about doing something insane? This wouldn't cause you "Insanity"? To me if you don't think that what Jason did to Medea was the cause that lead to the effect of her insanity. Further more, thinking and acting upon these insane idea's?
Debate Round No. 3
Tim1632

Pro

I would live by my Stoic principles, so I would not attribute such feeling towards Jason, and I would not allow myself to be angry in the first place, so my emotions would not be able to get the better of me. And what are my possessions but what emotions I attribute to them. Jason can have them, they are only possessions. Insanity is just another behavior that society labels as insane, and behavior is in our control. And as you have said in the end, she thought about and then acted upon her insane ideas. She deliberated, she chose to do it, she is Guilty!
alorenzo

Con

I would love to live by my Stoic principles as well in this situation. I'm sure anyone would, but to talk about it rather than actually live through what Medea had are two different things. Personally, if a women to wrong me as Jason wronged Medea, I know similar thoughts like Medea had would run through my mind. Would I go through with it? Would I pursue these deep wicked thoughts? I hope to god I can have some self control or have some external force help me. But if you are like Medea, and lose your mind, and fall to "Insanity", who knows what would happen. Insanity is a state of mind where almost your sleepwalking, but rather not remembering what you've done and what has happened.
Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Tim1632alorenzoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: media