The Instigator
Jeremy-Bentham
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
LaissezFaire
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Morality is irrelevant so long as what is done improves society on a whole

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,199 times Debate No: 12609
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Jeremy-Bentham

Pro

Imagine you could push a button and end the lives of a million people, people who were innocent, good and honest. However imagine that if you did this unquestionably horrible act, you improved the lives of billions of people. Crime was lowered, people were happier, lives were greatly improved. Let us say for the sake of debate that the people were undoubtedly happier, the standard of living was increased, and the world was all in all a better place. Is the killing of that million people actually evil? You have improved the lives of billions does this not atone for that action?

My argument is that the killing of those people is not evil, it is for the greater good. That since the lives of more people will be improved then the person who is heroic enough to kill that million and have their lives on his conscience is truly just a person who can see the world more clearly than his peers.
LaissezFaire

Con

Since were talking about a fictional situation, let me take the thought experiment further. Lets say that there was a society where most people, for whatever reason, completely despised redheads, who were only a small minority of the population. Let's say someone decides to murder all the redheads. People are happier, now that the hated redheads are gone. Because people are happier, they become less likely to commit crimes, and they have less stress and live longer. Society, as a whole, is undoubtedly improved by this redhead holocaust. Obviously, almost everyone would consider this mass murder of redheads a horrible crime, even if it did improve the lives of many people.

You may counter that the example I gave is an unfair one, because the people of the society whose lives were improved were despicable bigots. Well, what other society would become much happier with the mass murder of millions of people? What other situation could there be where mass murder improved the lives of the rest of society?

In addition, in what sense could 'society as a whole' be improved by this mass murder? Value is subjective. Maybe the people who aren't killed feel that the murder was the right decision, that they are better off without those millions of innocent people. What about the people killed? They are a part of society; how can the interests of 'society as a whole' be calculated without considering their interests? Surely, they gain much more from being alive than the rest of society gains from their death. How then could it be in the interests of 'society as a whole' to murder them?
Debate Round No. 1
Jeremy-Bentham

Pro

Jeremy-Bentham forfeited this round.
LaissezFaire

Con

Really, only one round? Well, I have nothing more to add.
Debate Round No. 2
Jeremy-Bentham

Pro

Jeremy-Bentham forfeited this round.
LaissezFaire

Con

Again, nothing more to add.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
What do you mean, "morality is irrelevant"? Aren't you in fact arguing that morality is HIGHLY relevant, but that the moral thing to do is to improve society as a whole?
Posted by lovelife 7 years ago
lovelife
Lmao reminds me of Hitler
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Jeremy-BenthamLaissezFaireTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by innomen 7 years ago
innomen
Jeremy-BenthamLaissezFaireTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 7 years ago
LaissezFaire
Jeremy-BenthamLaissezFaireTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07