The Instigator
Fictional_Truths1
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
FuzzyCatPotato
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Murder is Morally Wrong

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  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 823 times Debate No: 56064
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Fictional_Truths1

Con

(By the way, for the few who care, I've been gone for a while now. A broken computer and various other problems have been responsible for my lengthy departure. I forfeited a few debates and for that, I am sorry.)

The first round is not acceptance only, but it is understood that Pro will forfeit the last round (with no penalty, of course) in order to keep the debate fair. Pro is arguing that murder is morally wrong. Con is only arguing that it is not wrong. He is not arguing that it is the morally right thing to do. Thanks for accepting!
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

I accept the requirement to forfeit Round 5, at no penalty, for fairness.

---

The value of this debate will be Morality, from "Morally" in the Resolution.

The value criterion of this debate will be upholding Rule Utilitarianism.

Prefer Rule Utilitarianism for three reasons:

---

1PV1. Utilitarianism best handles moral uncertanity.

Humans are currently uncertain of what the "correct" ethical system is, if it exists.

While I believe that Utilitarianism is the best ethical system currently available to humans, we cannot be certain that our ethical system is the best ethical system possible. As such, we currently do not know what end states, actions, or virtues are ethical except under our current ethical systems, which may be flawed.

So how should we act when we do not know what the ultimate goal(s) is/are, if there is/are one/any?

To get the best probability of eventually finding the best possible ethical system, we must attempt to keep humanity (and other intelligent life, if we find or create it) alive, because logic and observation can only be used if intelligent beings are alive. To further increase the probability of finding the ultimate value we must have the maximum number of intelligent beings with the maximum amount of education, time, and ability to reason, because fewer minds would be less likely to find the best ethical system possible, especially if they did not have the time or ability to consider the issue.

Utilitarianism best achieves this goal.

Under Utilitarianism life is the ultimate value because it is a prerequisite for utility, which would make extinction have to be avoided at all costs, as it must be if we wish to find the best ethical system possible. Furthermore, Utilitarianism values giving people generally good lives because that aids utility both for the person and for society in general. As such, Utilitarianism fulfills both of the values that must be promoted if we wish to find the best ethical system possible.

No other ethical system values both of these values as high as Utilitarianism does, and some value neither of the values, and thus fall short of the burdens of moral uncertainty.

---

1PV2. Utilitarianism best handles conflict between values.

Under many other systems, such as deontology, it is nearly impossible to make a decision that will not have internal value conflict. For example, should I remove the right to life of one person or remove the right of free speech of ten? This is especially true in public policy, which must benefit some groups at the expense of others.

Under action-based systems, there are two paths. The first is if rights and duties are absolute: there is effectively no way to resolve this problem. If rights and duties are pragmatic and situational, then you've already admitted that it's not an action-based system, and then you must weigh the consequences of your action and determine the better of the two worlds (ie, Util) -- leading back to consequentialism, and destroying an action-based system as being action-based.

Under virtue ethics systems, if one must choose between harming one virtue at the gain of another, one must weigh which value is worth more in the long run, and ultimately this become a form of Utilitarian weighing.

However, under Utilitarianism, one simply counts up the gains and costs of an action as opposed to an alternative, and chooses between the two. There is never unresolveable value conflict under Utilitarianism, because everything is quantifiable or at least rankable, and thus can be weighed against an alternative.

---

1PV3. Rule Utilitarianism Maximizes Utility

Rule Utilitarianism avoids most of the problems that might result from Act Utilitarianism and also allows for a theory of rights to emerge. Rule Utilitarianism is also especially useful for government action, because it acknowledges that government policy is rarely a one-and-done single action but instead an ongoing policy.

Rule Utilitarianism takes a long-term look at maximizing utility and sets in place those rules that, if followed, would result in a greater total utility than if everyone always acted in their own favor. For example, in an Act Utilitarian world, it would be beneficial to steal from stores if it would make you better off than it would reduce the utility of the storekeeper. Rule Utilitarianism acknowledges that rules are necessary to maximize utility, as having a world in which shopkeepers can keep wares without having them get stolen gains more utility from this commerce than an Act one would get from stealing.

This also allows for easier obedience in everyday life, as we generally run out lives by societal rules. We don't steal, or insult others, or break traffic laws, because society has ingrained them into us and because they maximize utility, effectively preventing us from needing to perform a utility calculus for every action.

Moreover, under Rule Utilitarianism it may be recognized that allowing people autonomy in their own affairs generally allows a greater increase of utility than attempting to run everyone's lives from an Act perspective, and allows a larger than mere personal-life-running theory of rights to emerge. For example, even though it might be Act Utilitarian to silence dissenting press during a rough time, a Rule Utilitarian can look both to the general benefits of maintaining a free flow of information to the populace and to the long-term loss of trust of government that would result from such treatment.

---

Contention One: Murder Violates Rule Utilitarianism

When someone is murdered, someone dies.

In normal circumstances, this clearly reduces utility. Under Rule Utilitarianism, we must find a rule that generally maximizes utility, and preventing murder does exactly that.

While there may be exceptions to the rule, these exceptions generally involve saving more people from dieing (say, by killing a suicide bomber before they explode in a mall, or by killing somebody about to explode a nuclear bomb in a city). As such, the reason that a person would murder is to prevent murder; thus, it's still moral to minimize murder, by whatever means.

---

Thanks for reading. =)

Debate Round No. 1
Fictional_Truths1

Con

Fictional_Truths1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Fictional_Truths1

Con

Fictional_Truths1 forfeited this round.
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Again, I pass.
Debate Round No. 3
Fictional_Truths1

Con

Fictional_Truths1 forfeited this round.
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

My opponent has forfeited all rounds which I would have been able to rebut.

My arguments, which my opponent has failed to rebut, fulfill my BOP.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
Fictional_Truths1

Con

Fictional_Truths1 forfeited this round.
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

As agreed, no argument this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
You OK?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
Fictional_Truths1FuzzyCatPotatoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff several times
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
Fictional_Truths1FuzzyCatPotatoTied
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 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture