The Instigator
mostlogical
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Capitalistslave
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Murder is Okay under all circumstances

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
mostlogical
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 601 times Debate No: 100321
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

mostlogical

Pro

I will argue that murder is okay under all circumstances

Murder definition: the premeditated killing of one human being by another.

Rules: Con must answer the following two questions in round 1 otherwise the debate will not continue and I win

1) Do you think the lives of the many outweigh the lives of the few?
2) Do most people believe the lives of the many outweigh the lives of the few?

Good luck Con, I look forward to having this debate
Capitalistslave

Con

I have a feeling I have no idea what I just got myself into, because you seem very confident of yourself. We'll see how this plays out. I sometimes do concede debates, but I don't see myself conceding this one.

Now, to answer your questions:
1) I do think that the lives of many outweigh the lives of the few, but I would like to state that in the case that in order to protect the lives of many we have to kill a few people, or let a few people die, I would argue that there literally has to be no other way and all other possibilities are completely impossible. If there is the slimmest chance something else could save all of the people, and that there is still time to try something else if it fails, it should be tried. Additionally, if we determine that literally nothing else has a chance at saving everyone, then we should take volunteers first who would willingly give up their lives for the many. And if there is not enough of those who will volunteer, then we could take undesirables, such as death row inmates and have them sacrificed for the many. They were going to be killed either way, might as well use their deaths for something good.
2) I'm not sure if you want evidence of most people believing that the lives of many outweigh the lives of a few. I don't have such evidence and I'm not sure if any survey or scientific experiment has been done to determine this, but I personally think most people believe this as well. It's only logical.


I assume that my opponent only wanted those two questions answered in the first round and I won't offer any arguments this round since my opponent did not either.
Debate Round No. 1
mostlogical

Pro

There are many ways someone can be murdered i.e. killed deliberately. Whenever the term "murder" is given a new name such "combat", "abortion" (human life starts at conception), "capital punishment", or "assisted suicide/doctor-assisted dying/ mercy killing/" etc it is because they are generally considered justifiable or okay by a large population. "Ethnic cleansing" is another example, although it often refers to deportation, population transfer, the term "cleansing" can be used to replace the word murder. We can use "self defence" without having to kill someone yet this term is often used when someone dies as a result and the phrase 'kill or be killed' is said to suggest it was not deliberate, as they didn't plan to kill someone that day.

I won't be debating the above, as those forms of murder are given a new name, instead I shall be debating examples when the term murder is used to describe the actions of someone.

Con talks about trying to find an alternative solution/option to murder, and I believe he thinks this because all human life is valuable. I agree with this, that is why taking someones life away is not easy but is also why we should do something to save more human life. Also I don't think everyone should murder someone because if they did that the human race would be extinct very quickly. However this does not mean that murder is unacceptable, as when someone does murder someone they are saving many more lives and make many more people happy than those upset by the death of a person. I'll try to make this clear shortly

"85% of Americans approved of using the new atomic weapon on Japanese cities in 1945, this percentage has dropped to 56% in 2015 [1]" The number of Japanese who approve of being bombed will of course be much lower because people value their family and friends more highly than other people. But when you remove that thought, and those people who are killed and saved are random strangers you get a higher number of people who approve of killing to save more lives. The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were examples of "genocide". People were indiscriminately killed on the basis of their national or ethnic group. Really this is no different to murder but on a mass scale. The second question in round 2 was an attempt to save time and keep the debate more on topic.

Con and myself believe that the lives of the many outweigh the lives of the few.

The NHS organ donor register allows people to have their decision about donating organs after their death to be recorded. If you have not made a decision to donate organs in the event of your death then the law allows family members to make the decision for you

"Approximately 250,000 additional life-years could be saved annually if consent for potential deceased donors could be increased to 100%." [2]

"One deceased donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and can save and enhance more than 100 lives through the lifesaving and healing gift of tissue donation." [3]

There is a great deal of evidence to support murder, e.g. murdering one person will save more lives, and enhance many more lives. Even if a person did not sign the NHS organ register or discuss their views about organ donation and they were murdered family members can decide whether that person would have wanted to give their organs to other people and save lives. The chance is people will say "yes he/she would have wanted to do that".

"Donation consent rate increased to 62% but still too low. In 2015/16, 1,364 people became organ donors when they died and their donations resulted in 3,519 transplants taking place" [4]

Since there are not enough deceased organ donors to help those on the organ waiting list, every murderer has been saving many more lives than they have killed and making many more better. Of course there are murderers who bury dead bodies and so their organs don't go to any use, but that is only because they are trying to get away with murder and being punished as "murder" is illegal. Therefore evil occurs when murder is made illegal, and if it were made legal then it would be totally okay in the legal and moral sense.

sources:

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org...
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://www.americantransplantfoundation.org...
[4] https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk...
Capitalistslave

Con

I will summarize what my opponent just argued for the sake of myself and voters:

Basically my opponent seems to be arguing that because many lives can be saved through someone dying and thus having their organs donated to multiple people who need them, that this justifies the fact someone murdered that person.

Now, I will point out the problems with this argument:

1) I believe intent and motive matter a lot when it comes to the actions of a criminal. The law would say otherwise of course, it doesn't matter your intent or motive usually(as long as you had a motive), you'll still be punished by our justice system. At any case, I would still argue that intent matters because this indicates whether the action was done out of malice, and thus is an act of evil, or if it was done with a good intent, and thus an evil act like murdering someone may seem to be justifiable. I personally don't believe that murderers are thinking about the greater good when they murder someone. Are murderers really thinking about how when they kill someone, their organs might go to people who need them? Even if they are, was that the motivation behind the murder? If it wasn't the motivation behind the murder, it becomes harder to argue that the murder was okay. I believe most people murder people out of selfish reasons: such as they extremely disliked the person, they needed the person to die in order to benefit themselves in some way, etc. My opponent should need to show that majority of murderers have the motivation to kill people in order to help others get the organs they need, if they were to make that argument.

The fact that there is a positive side effect to the murder of that person, doesn't change the fact that someone did it with malice or evil intent.

2) Actively killing someone who has nothing to do with the suffering of another, even if it benefits other people, I would argue is still immoral. It is certainly unfortunate that there are people out there who end up dying because of a shortage of organs, but nonetheless, they are not entitled to those organs. I believe many of us would agree that murdering someone who is actively making other people suffer is justifiable, but it is not justifiable to murder someone who has nothing to do with the suffering of others, even if it would help end the suffering of those people.

3) There can be better alternatives to solving the issue of organ shortages. Artificial organs are being developed[1], and once they are, then there likely won't be a shortage of organs. It would be a better solution to work towards developing these artificial organs, than to allow people to murder other people in order to get organs.

Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
mostlogical

Pro

Con raises the following three points:

1. A murderer probably doesn't think of the greater good, his/her reason for killing someone is probably selfish
2. An innocent victim who is entitled to his/her organs is murdered
3. Artificial organs are being developed

I will look at each of these points in reverse order

3. The first fully synthetic organ to be successfully transplanted was in 2011 [1] so they are not fully tested on humans.

"Biomedical engineer and a leader of the research, the University of Sydney"s Dr Luiz Bertassoni, said printing organs may still be a couple of decades away" [2].

Just because people 'might' have fully synthetic organs in the future if the clinical trials go well, doesn't mean it's not okay to murder now. Currently, organs from deceased murder victims have been saving many more lives and thus making many more people happier than sad [3].

2. Con talks about people being entitled to their organs. In some countries like Singapore they are not entitled at all as it is compulsory to donate your organs [4]. The goal of the NHS in Britain is to increase organ donation further by having an opt out system like many other countries. If you are truly entitled to your organs then an opt out system would not be put in place, and you would choose whether to donate or not, and if you didn't make a choice your organs wouldn't be taken. However the reality is, a family member can decide to take your organs away so other people can benefit without your permission [5]. So I would not say people have an entitlement to their organs. They have been giving their and everyone elses entitlement away by signing the organ register.

I don't believe anyone would want to be murdered, and I doubt anyone on the organ waiting list would want to die either. Their lives are all equally valuable. Try to imagine there is a room with nine people including one family member, one of those people is healthy, the rest however are awaiting a transplant and will die without one, would you prefer 8 people walk away alive, or only 1 person? How would you feel about murder if you were a survivor? Your chance and everyone elses chance of living is increased because of murder. Therefore it is okay i.e. acceptable.

1. I don't need to show that the majority of murderers have the motivation to kill people to help others get the organs they need, here is why, the fact murderers are doing more good means it is okay. Whatever drives someone to do good is unimportant. There is always going to be people murdered, this is something that we must accept. In nature, animals murder other animals including their own family, is that okay? People used to think gay sex was not okay until they found it is natural in the animal kingdom. Why is it not okay for humans to do the same things that animals do everyday?

If a person murders someone because they can gain financially, is it not okay to murder? or is it wrong to allow someone to gain in some way through murdering someone? I think the latter. It is not a murderers fault they can gain in this way. If a person gains something emotionally from murdering someone, we can assume an animal would gain in the same way, so what they are doing is only natural, perhaps they just have a killer instinct like cats, we did evolve from 'animals' and are still evolving.

Murderers aren't even made aware of the good they have done, because they are guilty by law without reason people generally think murder is not okay, but when you look at the evidence murder brings about everything everyone wants and believes in. People value the lives of the many over the few, a murderer may only know it is right to murder on a subconscious level.

sources:

[1] https://www.technologyreview.com...
[2] https://www.theguardian.com...
[3] http://weartv.com...
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[5] http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk...
Capitalistslave

Con

3. I brought up the artificial organs argument because it is a better alternative. Why should we rely on killing a few people in order to save the many, when we can potentially save the many without killing anyone? There should be much effort to create these artificial organs.

2. I think you mistook what I said about entitlement and organs. I wasn't saying that the dead person is entitled to their organs, and thus we shouldn't use the dead person's organs to give to someone else. I'll quote myself with what I said "It is certainly unfortunate that there are people out there who end up dying because of a shortage of organs, but nonetheless, they are not entitled to those organs." "They" refers to the people who end up dying because of a shortage of organs. I was saying that people who have bad organs are not entitled to someone else's organs.

As for the analogy made about a room with nine people, it is still wrong for someone to kill someone, even if it is to save more people. Every single person there is entitled to life, and just because someone was (un)fortunate enough to have good-working organs, that suddenly means we should kill them in order to save other people? Again, I would argue it would be better to take volunteers. If a person willingly gives up their life to save more lives, that is good. But to actively kill someone to try to save others, when the person you're killing is not responsible for the suffering of those people, is immoral. If the person was responsible for the suffering of those people with poor organs, then it would be justified to kill them.

Now, I close with saying that I thank my opponent for this debate. I hope they don't get the idea of murdering someone in order to get their organs passed onto someone else though... I feel like a position that my opponent has would result in someone concluding it may be a good idea to kill someone. Just keep in mind: you don't know who you're killing. You have have just killed someone who would have saved a dozen lives in their life time.

I think my opponen't belief largely comes down to the view point of "the ends justify the means". The ends they propose is good: saving people's lives, but the means is terrible: killing people. There can be alternative means, such as making it that when someone dies, their organs go to someone who needs them, and they don't have a choice in the matter. I don't see why we should have a say over our organs once we are dead.

1. You're arguing that the murder is good because as result of it can be that the victim's organs can save more people. But again, this is a ends justify the means issue. I believe most people don't believe that the ends justify the means. Over all, it would still be immoral for a murderer to kill someone according to society. The fact that it is punishable, and we live in a republic, means that most people believe murder, no matter what ends come from it, is wrong.

Now, as for my opponent comparing humans to animals, we are clearly not like animals. It may be seen as okay for an animal to kill another animal, but we all agree murder of another human is wrong. Life is precious. For all you know, you may have just killed the person who was going to perfect the artificial organ. Then that means the murderer just caused more people to die than who will live. More people will die over the years for not having artificial organs because there is a shortage of organs. If the murderer killed the person who was going to perfect the artificial organ, or the person who was going to find the cure for cancer, or whatever, I believe this cancels out the fact the victim's organs would be used for someone else. You never know what a person will accomplish in a life time. Them being alive may cause other people to continue living. Because of this uncertainty, even if murder allows people to get the organs they need, it can still result in a net negative loss of human life.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Theunkown 10 months ago
Theunkown
Note: As Con did, I feel obligated to put out the disclaimer that DESPITE having voted for Pro DO NOT GO OUT AND KILL SOMEONE! If you truly are convinced by Pro's argument, start/join a pro death penalty movement and campaign for forced organ aquisition of executed criminals.

I know most people won't do it but some people are bloody idiots.
Posted by Theunkown 10 months ago
Theunkown
(RFD continuation)
Although I explained in the previous part of the RFD why Pro's main argument is personally unconvincing to me (and the supporting arguments even less so), it is true he made the better argument because I didn't find Con's refutations sufficient. He argues that it is moral to kill the specific person that caused the suffering of the patients awaiting organ transplants (hypothetically), and implies that if there isn't someone who caused their suffering then 'oh well, the patients die'. To that Pro simply can basically argue 'well kill some random guy and save 8 people's lives' and its hard to argue against that. Con simply could have stated the fact that killing random people is NOT required and isn't even a subject needed to be discussed when there's a tremendous supply of wrongdoers that can be executed legally and ethically whilst saving all those patient's lives. As this was not done, Con failed to wrest control of the argument from Pro and simply had to admit that the patients may (likely will) die as the innocent bystander shouldn't be killed. Pro successfully made Con argue on Pro's terms and came out the better debater, regardless of my personal views. Conduct was respectful despite the topic of this debate and so was S%G. Pro also used better quality and more sources but I doubt that Con really had an opportunity to use sources as this is a debate about philosophy and opinion not about scientific facts. Pro's sources were used to primarily prove the scarcity of Organs for transplants, as Con was not disputing this and the other parts of the debate had little need for sources, I therefore tie the Source points (though I am willing to change it if someone convinces me that I have done injustice here). Very interesting read. I award points 3-0 to Pro although it was pretty close.
Posted by dsjpk5 10 months ago
dsjpk5
Con, this debate should have been over after Pro said "Also I don't think everyone should murder someone because if they did that the human race would be extinct very quickly." Right there we have a circumstance where Pro says murder us not ok. You should have pointed this out as the concession that it was.
Posted by paintballvet18 10 months ago
paintballvet18
Ha thank you Ostracism!
Posted by Ostracism 10 months ago
Ostracism
I like that the demand is to answer two questions that both detract from a good debate, and I love that they both must be opinionated. I also love that when someone pointed this out earlier Pro just made a new debate. http://www.debate.org...
Posted by dsjpk5 10 months ago
dsjpk5
I wonder how Pro will respond if Con answers no to both questions.
Posted by mostlogical 10 months ago
mostlogical
ok under all circumstances
Posted by Smooosh 10 months ago
Smooosh
Pick me for this one. I can answer those questions without hesitation!
Posted by lua 10 months ago
lua
Are you debating that murder is OK under all circumstances or only exceptional exceptions?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Theunkown 10 months ago
Theunkown
mostlogicalCapitalistslaveTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Utilitarianism is extremely hard to argue logically against, thus the close debate despite the resolution that seems preposterous at first sight. I must therefore commend both debaters for arguing this tough debate. As for the contents of the debate itself, Pro has not really proved that murder is okay in every single circumstance. True, organ shortage is a worldwide problem in the present day however murdering a common citizen in order to secure organs seem unreasonable. This would be an amazingly strong argument in favor of the death penalty and subsequent forced organ 'donation' but I can't find it justifiable to kill innocent people for organs when there are plenty of violent (not necessarily murderous) criminals that the government can kill and distribute their organs to hospitals. What Pro is suggesting is akin to starving a heavy eater so that many light eater mouths can be fed even though there is no food shortage. (Continued in the Comments)
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 10 months ago
RyuuKyuzo
mostlogicalCapitalistslaveTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro took a big risk in this debate, as the resolution States murder is okay under ALL circumstances, meaning all con has to do is find one circumstance where pro's reasoning doesn't justify murder to win. Pro bases his argument on the numbers of people saved via organ donation, arguing that the years of life saved total far greater than the years of life lost. Even accepting this line of reasoning, if con points out that there are murders wherein organ harvesting is impossible, then he has an example of murder that cannot be justified by pro's argument and therefore wins. Con fails to do this, and instead pushes his own positive argument on human rights and the intent of the murderer. In essence, instead of pointing put contradictions in pro's argument, con tries to argue deontology vs utilitarianism, and with no argument given as to why I should accept deontological standards over the utilitarian benefit offered by pro, I have to give pro the win.