The Instigator
petersaysstuff
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Brian314
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Morality is overall a good thing.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Brian314
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,485 times Debate No: 15445
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

petersaysstuff

Con

As I Con I will be arguing that morality is over all a bad construct.

Rules:
1: Please post all sources in the comments section
2: Please use good conduct

Definitions:
Morality-"A doctrine or system of morals"[1]
Morals- "of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong"[2]
Bad-"causing detriment"[my own interpretation]

As I would set the burden of Proof on the affirmative I will await Pro's arguments. Thanks in advance to anyone who accepts.

~~Peter
Brian314

Pro

I affirm "Morality is overall a good thing." I accept my opponent's definitions of morality, morals, and bad.


Morals are necessary to making good choices, because, according to our definition of "morals", understanding the difference between right and wrong helps people in the making of their choices, and decision making is essential part of our brain that we are born with. According to the Infant Cognition Centre at Yale University, infants from six months old have a sense of right and wrong that allows them to make their daily choices, and that these morals are necessary for making their choices. Good decisions improve the overall quality of life, since they allow people to use judgement in deciding what is better for themselves. Therefore, since morality is a system of morals, morals are necessary to making good decisions, and good decisions improve the overall quality of life, morality improves the quality of life and therefore does not cause detriment and thus is a good thing.
Debate Round No. 1
petersaysstuff

Con

First off I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

//Refutations\The main point my opponent is arguing here is that morality is necessary for someone to act in a manner that is "right" or "wrong" and because "right" actions are good and thus it means morality is good but this ignores a very fundamental idea, there is no objectivity in "right" and "wrong". There is no action that is always deemed as "right" or "wrong" and thus the problem arises of conflicting morals. What happens when one person sees the action they do as being morally good while the other sees it as bad? This will be explored further in the next section.

//Arguments\As I previously stated there is no objectivity in "right" or "wrong" and therefore the problem of what happens when someone does something they seem as morally good whist someone else sees it as bad. What happens is violence ensues. Take for example Timothy McVeigh. Timothy was the person who committed the Oklahoma City Bombings on April 19th. He committed this act of terrorism as a way to get revenge on the USFG for the Waco incident. He saw the actions of the USFG as immoral or bad while the government themselves saw their actions as just. He attacked because he perceived one action as being bad while another thought it was good thus giving us a prime example of what I previously stated about there being no objectivity in "right" or "wrong". But let us elaborate. Timothy was eventually arrested because the government viewed his actions as bad while he viewed them as just thus providing yet another example.
So what we have here is a prime example of why morality is bad. Because there is no objective morality there will always be people who deem X action as being bad while others deem it as being good and that brings about the possibility for violence to be committed.
This is not to say we should give up on acts of kindness and so forth but that the idea of our actions being judged on a moral scale is bad.
I would also like to propose an alternate cause to humans being kind or "good".
An alternate cause to human kindness would be through an evolutionary pathway. An individual in a civilization will first do what is in his/her best interest but next they will do what they can to preserve their society and that paves the way to "good" actions because the actions that our society would deem as "bad" would be ones that damage the civilization thus undermining the evolutionary pathway so the individual would commit actions we deem as "good". So here we have a very probable alternate cause to "good" acts thus showing that morality is not necessarily needed for "good" actions.

//Overview\Because there is no objective morality X action can be deemed as good by one person and as bad by another thus leading to conflict which is detrimental to a society thus showing that morality is inherently bad for a society.
Also, there is a very probable alternate cause to "good" actions thus eliminating Pro's argument.

I await his responses.
Brian314

Pro

Before I begin, I would like to provide a brief roadmap. I will begin by defending my own case, then I will turn to my opponent's contentions.

My opponent says that since there is no action that is always deemed "right" or "wrong", the problem will arise of conflicting morals, and as a result, morality is bad. However, this logic is flawed, because morals guide people in the right direction based on what is right or wrong for themselves, not necessarily for others. Nothing is perfect. There is no ultimate solution to determining whether or not something is guaranteed to be right or guaranteed to be wrong, because, as my opponent pointed out, "right" and "wrong" are very subjective terms. However, if we were to eliminate morals and fundamental principles altogether, what we would be left with is no basis for deciding which choices to make. Morals give people the ability to determine what they should do based on what they believe in. If people do not do what they believe in and don't show morality, they are fundamentally diminishing the quality of life because they are giving up the autonomy to select choices that are appropriate for themselves given any set of circumstances. Though there may be conflicting morals, when you weigh that against the quality of life gained from morality, morality does more good then harm, and therefore is a overall a good thing.

I would like to move on to my opponent's arguments. He states that since someone can do something that seems morally good and someone else sees it as morally bad, violence occurs. He uses the example of Timothy McVeigh, an example of where a person believed their morality to be good and the government viewed it as bad. He states that actions should not be judged on a moral scale. However, this debate is not questioning whether or not actions should be judged on a moral scale, we are questioning whether or not morality is overall good or bad. In the case of Timothy McVeigh, the justice system used their own morals in order to determine whether or not Timothy was guilty of crime.

My opponent only points out examples in which morality is bad. However, in a majority of cases, morality turns out to be good. Morality is what preserves our own honesty, and our own integrity. He suggests that humans are "good" because of our evolutionary pathway by valuing first what is in his or her best interest and then what is next best for the civilization. However, valuing what is best in your interest and your society's interest is, in fact, a moral, since a moral is defined as any principle of right conduct. Therefore, what my opponent says is a cause of good behavior is, in fact, morality.

Therefore, since morality once again is behind the good that we do, and it outweighs the bad that is done in society, morality is overall a good thing, and I urge you to vote for the affirmation of this round.
Debate Round No. 2
petersaysstuff

Con

I too will provide a road map which goes thusly: I will attack my opponent's claims and then proceed to defend my own and go on to voting issues.

//Refutations\Here my opponent makes the claim that morality is to determine what is "right" or "wrong" for oneself, not necessarily for others but this but in my opponent's first argument he is making the claim that morals help the quality of life which is defined thusly: "The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies."[1] so as we can see, by my opponent's own argument in round 1 what is right and wrong must be applied to the members in a society to improve the quality of life and here he is put in a double bind. Either a)he actually isn't talking about quality of life and thus he is changing his original argument halfway through the debate or b)he is talking about quality of life which refers to multiple individuals thus linking to my disadd.
// However, if we were to eliminate morals and fundamental principles altogether, what we would be left with is no basis for deciding which choices to make. Morals give people the ability to determine what they should do based on what they believe in. If people do not do what they believe in and don't show morality, they are fundamentally diminishing the quality of life because they are giving up the autonomy to select choices that are appropriate for themselves given any set of circumstances//
Here my opponent is restating his point that morality is needed for good actions yet this utterly ignores the alternate cause to "good" actions and thus it flows through uncontested.
//Though there may be conflicting morals, when you weigh that against the quality of life gained from morality, morality does more good then harm, and therefore is a overall a good thing.//
The key thing that is missed here is that, again, my opponent entirely ignores my alternate cause argument which gains the improved quality of life whilst disproving the argument that good actions require morality.

//Defending\
My opponent seems to miss the point of my first argument about Timothy. I was showing that there are conflicting interpretations of what is "good" and "bad" and because of that violence ensues. My opponent has conceded the fact that violence will ensue from conflicting morals and thus we must flow that across.

My opponent now contests my argument about an evolutionary pathway for good actions and this is what I will hit the hardest. He says that my argument is essentially morality causing the good actions but this is just not true. The actions themselves are not inherently "good" or "bad", "right" or "wrong" they just help or hinder society.
//by valuing first what is in his or her best interest and then what is next best for the civilization. However, valuing what is best in your interest and your society's interest is, in fact, a moral, since a moral is defined as any principle of right conduct.//
Saying this assumes that "right" and "wrong" has been previously established which ignores the fact that the actions are merely helping or hindering society, they are not "right" or "wrong" inherently. This is a key point. Our desire to help ourselves and our society is not based off of morality but our instinct. We apply the terms "good" and "bad" once we see the outcome. So my original argument that there is an alternate cause for the actions that are perceived as good still stands.
The actions were not done out of any moral obligation as my opponent would have you believe. They acquired the term "good" and "bad" based on the impact they had.

//Voting Issues\I strongly urge you to vote Con because a) my opponent conceded that fact that with conflicting perceptions of right and wrong come violence, b) my argument for an alternate cause for good actions still stands which shatters my opponent's argument which originally was that morality is required for good actions.
Brian314

Pro





For my closing statement, I will begin by addressing my own case, then my opponent's case, and I will conclude with voting issues.


My opponent believes that because I claim that morals determine "right" and "wrong" for oneself, and quality of life refers to both individuals and societies, then morals do not improve the quality of life. However, I merely stated that since it is impossible to satisfy everyone, morality "guides people in the right direction" to making the right choices (see my Round 2 statement). Quality of life is defined, as my opponent stated, as a term to "evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies." Notice that both individuals and societies are involved in this definition. Morality allows people to choose what is right for themselves, as well as what is best for a portion of their society. Not all actions will be able to satisfy everyone, I repeat, since there will always be people who disagree. However, if one looks at the improvements caused by morality in comparison, including the effects on the individual performing the moral action, and the people that are positively affected, to the negative effects, meaning the negatively affected people- we can see that morality attempts to satisfy more people by giving them principles of right conduct. This debate is not questioning whether or not morality is always right or always wrong. We are determining whether or not morality is overall a good thing. And overall, morality helps ensure that more people are satisfied with the choices that are made because they give people a fundamental doctrine of principles to follow in order to make better choices. Therefore, morality is overall good.


My opponent states that I ignored his alternate cause to the "good" actions caused by humans, and therefore, the argument that states that "if we were to eliminate morals and fundamental principles altogether, what we would be left with is no basis for deciding which choice to make" is invalid. However, as I pointed out in Round 2, my opponent's alternate cause to "good" actions is, in fact, morality. My opponent stated that an individual will first do what is in his or her best interest, and then what is best for society, in an evolutionary pathway. I would like to point out that this system of determining what is in your best interest and your society's best interest is a system of fundamental principles of right conduct, and therefore is morality, which comes to show that whether you look at it from the Pro's perspective or the Con's perspective, morality is the cause of "good" actions.


I would now like to move on to my opponent's case. My opponent claims that violence is the effect of conflicting interpretations of what "good" and "bad" is. I agree that violence can be caused by conflicting interpretations of good and bad, but I would like to point out the fact that in the absence of morality, violence would be much more prominent. This is because morals, as I have previously stated, guide us in the right direction to making correct choices. It is not a perfect system, because there is no perfect system. Violence is going to occur whether morals exist or do not exist. However, it will exist in smaller quantities with morality, because with fundamental principles of "right" and "wrong", even if they conflict with other peoples' ideals, people are more likely to make choices that satisfy a greater amount of people.


My opponent argues that his argument about an evolutionary pathway is not morality, but merely instinct. However, I would like to point out that moral codes are fundamentally based upon instinct and the emotions we feel[1]. He states that actions are not inherently "good" or "bad", but just helping or hindering society. I would like to point out that helping society is "good" because it does not cause detriment, and hindering society in this instance is "bad", because, based on definition, it does cause detriment. "Good" and "bad" have already been established to be subjective terms, but they still exist.


Finally, I conclude with voting issues. I strongly urge you to vote Pro for this debate because I have defended my case by proving that no matter which way you look at it, morality is the root cause of "good" and "bad" actions, and I have shown that morality causes more good than bad in the sense that morality decreases (but does not eliminate altogether) violence.





Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Zealous1 5 years ago
Zealous1
A summary of the debate: Right and wrong and right and wrong and wrong "good" and what is perceived as "bad" and morality but right and wrong good and bad bad and good right and wrong "morality" is not necessary for right and wrong good and bad...

My head is swimming.
Posted by petersaysstuff 5 years ago
petersaysstuff
Chill yo dick, I will be proving that morality is bad as well.
Posted by tvellalott 5 years ago
tvellalott
Oh how I hate these "the burden of proof iz on mah opponent, therefore I make no argumentsss" debates. Harden up and make some flipping arguments.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by brokenboy 5 years ago
brokenboy
petersaysstuffBrian314Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: morality is what this world survives on
Vote Placed by Robikan 5 years ago
Robikan
petersaysstuffBrian314Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con lost when he claimed that there was an alternate to morality, and Pro pointed out that the alternate was, indeed, morality.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
petersaysstuffBrian314Tied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Brian214 explains that what individuals acting in their moral belief have a better quality of life. CON does not really contest this, but only states that there is no "right" or "wrong". CON also tries to demonstrate the nonexistence of morality, even though that goes against the opening definitions. CON does not demonstrate that the harm to society from conflicting morality is worse then the overall benefit both individually and to society as a whole.