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The Contender
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Nearly all men can exist in adversary bt if you want to check a man's true character, give him power

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,219 times Debate No: 48120
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




Absolute Power corrupts.


Thank you to my opponent for this debate.
I would not agree with John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton's quote and therefore also the resolution of this debate, namely that:
"Absolute Power corrupts."

First off, I would refute the premise that absolute power is even attainable to prove the hypothesis.

I hand the topic back to my opponent for their opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1


Lets get it done..

"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"-William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chathamand British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778.
My premise is this: 'power shows a man's true character' let me start by definition of terms which will aid me into this argument. POWER:1. the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
2. physical strength and force exerted by something or someone.
ADVERSITY:The wordadversity means an unpleasant or a difficult situation.,,
My argument is based on this platform, one will not know what the other has in mind until you give such a fellow power to exist. I didn't not draw this inspiration from hindi scripture rather from a famous man known as 'Abraham lincoln' and he was wise when he said this. Let me start by giving examples of military dictators who promised heaven and earth to the citizens and later, they built heaven on earth for their family to the detrement of the citizens. 1.SANI ABACHA of Nigeria who lead as a military dictator. Before this man gained power to rule as the president, he promised to solve the problems which other presidents didn't solve and immediately power was given to him to rule, he turned into a dictator and even went ahead to embezzle billions of>News>World news>Nigeria... 2.MOBUTU. The case of this man was similar to the case of sani Abacha..I think lincoln was practically right by this statement.
Let me use personal anecdote, my uncle married a lady called saint from california with the intension that the girl is calm, immediately after marriage, my uncle allowed her to portray her character by giving her authority to act onbehalf of him if he is not around. First of all, the woman ended my uncle's career through her bad character, brought hatred in the family by portraying how she hated my grandmother and also she turned into a fly that can't petch thereby disobeying my uncle's order. The outcome was that they seeked for divorce. What am I saying, that when once you give somebody power, you will know both the in and out character of the person.
No wounder Euripides (c. 480BC-406BC) said:whom the god's wish to destroy, he will first make them mad with power in other to show their real character.
NO WOUNDER:The Good Chief
G.B. Grinnell in his book ""The Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Ways of Life"" describes the leadership of these North American hunter-gatherers as follows:
A good chief gave his whole heart and his whole mind to the work of helping his people, and strove for their welfare with an earnestness and a devotion rarely equaled by the rulers of other men. Such thought for his fellows was not without its influence on the man himself; after a time the spirit of goodwill which animated him became reflected in his countenance, so that as he grew old such a chief often came to have a most benevolent and kindly expression. Yet, though simple, honest, generous, tender"0"2hearted, and often merry and jolly, when occasion demanded he could be stern, severe, and inflexible of purpose .... They were like the conven"0"2tional notion of Indians in nothing save in the color of their skin. True friends, delightful companions, wise counselors, they were men whose atti"0"2tude toward their fellows we might all emulate. But this indian leaders character was shown when power was given to them to govern the state.
In conclusion, when I said absolute power corrupts, my adversary said he didn't agree with that. Quite well, I would like him to give me reasons in his next line of argument


Thanks to my opponent for the reply, it has put me in a difficult position however.
I'm not sure any part of it evidences my opponents resolution that "Absolute power corrupts" nor does any of it counter my challenge that absolute power is even attainable. The BOP is on Pro of course so this should be a priority to do this to have a chance of winning.

Whilst my opponent states that power has been abused by some people, that does not mean they were not corrupt people before power was attained, therefore it is no proof it corrupted them.
It would seem likely that the persons character was already in place and that the gaining of power was an enabling factor not a corrupting one. Giving a person a gun for example does not corrupt them, it empowers them. Personality traits already present may surface or become more dominant but this is not corruption.

To corrupt someone they must first have been shown to have been of good character, which my opponent suggests power is needed to determine. I'm sure you see the problem here.

There are alot of quotes from various people who have been quoted verbatim and not given either historical context or due consideration. Take:

"Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power."George Bernard Shaw.

This would suggest people are not corrupted, it is the power some ignorant people weld that is corrupted, or perhaps it means something different to when it was written.

I am unsure of what you mean here as I trust she did not really turn into a fly...

"she hated my grandmother and also she turned into a fly that can't petch thereby disobeying my uncle's order."

My apologies if I have misinterpreted something there.

Debate Round No. 2


My adversary have not given any argument, no rebuttals only suggestions without proof.
My opponent said 'power don't corrupt' where he sighted example that giving a man power will not corrupt him. But then, lets be logical I said two things in course of this debate which includes 1.power shows a man's true character(my premise) 2.absolute power corrupts. Where I have explanation with facts though my adversary conveniently ignored them. Now reacting to the instance which the con gave, that giving a man gun won't corrupt him. Lets use armed robbers as example. If armed robbers should get hold of you, they will deal with you and take your belongings. What makes you think they do this? Do you think is because of the heavy heart they 've got? Certainly no. Its because of that weapon which they are carrying that will make them behave anyhow. NO WOUNDER!!! Lord acton said '"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."'>Acton Home>PUBLICATIONS>Religion& Liberty>Volume 2, Number 6.
NO WOUNDER, they said' give him power and see his true man'...what am saying in essence is this, absolute power corrupts. It seems like my opponent don't understand this phrase. Note the word 'absolute' and then attach it to power you will see that lord acton was right.
""Power tends to corrupt,"" said Lord Acton, the 19th-century British historian. ""Absolute power corrupts absolutely."" His maxim has been vividly illustrated in psychological studies, notably the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, which was halted when one group of students arbitrarily assigned to serve as ""prison guards"" over another group began to abuse their wards.>Home>Phrase Dictionary - Meanings and Origins.
My opponent rightly pointed out that I have the BOP to prove. Quite well I agree, but he will equally prove why power won't corrupt, and why power won't show a man's true character. Please readers, am trying to give a historical explanation of the motion as my opponent said in his second argument. Perhaps to say that X corrupts Y is to say that X changes Y in a way that is regrettable. If that is what Acton meant, then to say that power corrupts is to say that power makes people worse persons. Perhaps access to power makes one more prone to violate the rights and freedoms of others, more vicious, and so on. The freedom of information bill (foi) which was passed in the year 2011 gave the press autonomous power to act as watch dog of the society but the reverse is the case currently in the developing country, Nigeria. Because the press are no longer doing their job probably because power has been given to them by that bill. Now power can equally show that one is good. Because there are people who if you give them power, they will work accordingly. But where my resolution rests on is this: 'Absolute' power corrupts. My opponent said he don't understand what I meant by 'turning into a fly' now what I mean there is that she turned to be uncontrolable.
In conclusion. Resolved: absolute power corrupts, a man's true character can be determined if you give him power...I AWAIT MY OPPONENTS ANSWERS AND REBUTTALS


"My adversary have not given any argument, no rebuttals only suggestions without proof".

My reply clearly contains rebuttals, you are merely choosing not to acknowledge the points raised. You are also yet to provide any proof that your resolution is right.
I challenged you as to if absolute power is attainable. If you cannot prove it is you have already lost as your resolution is n empty statement.

"It's because of that weapon which they are carrying that will make them behave anyhow."

So if I have a gun I must kill or rob a bank? As I raised before, it is the persons choice what they do with that tool. It is not evidence it corrupted them that they used it to rob a bank or shoot somebody. If you where stabbed with a pen was it the power of the pen that corrupted the person and made them act in that way..

"power shows a man's true characterr"

I would say it is often the opposite, people in, say, political power have to be diplomatic and often hide their beliefs and feelings as part of the job. Power is mostly provided within a specific job role, though there are numerous other forms.

"Lord Acton said '"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."'"

"Power tends to corrupt" is clearly a wild generalisation and you have not shown this to be true, merely stated my own opening quote back to me. "absolute power corrupts absolutely" again this is without any proof. For each example of corrupt people with power there is an example of non corrupt people. A person being absolute in their corruption is a grand claim, even the worst people are unlikely to be corrupt in every aspect of their life. This is again a generalisation and not realistic. Remember I just need to reasonably refute your claim, not disprove it. The BOP lies with you as you are making the claim.

"What am saying in essence is this, absolute power corrupts. It seems like my opponent don't understand this phrase."

I do understand the phrase, I also understand you are just repeatedly making unsubstantiated claims in the form of a source I provided..

The Stanford prison experiment is also not evidence of corruption as it did not assess the participants as non corrupt before the experiment started. It is again no evidence for your resolution, it is likely that the people just increased in behaving in the way they already did. All humans are corrupt to some degree, no one is perfect after all. Power may make abusive people more able to harm others. It does not mean power corrupted them.

"Please readers, am trying to give a historical explanation of the motion as my opponent"
You have not explained why you are right nor are you even tried to explain why historically, you have just copy pasted some quotes from wikipedia.

"Perhaps access to power makes one more prone to violate the rights and freedoms of others, more vicious, and so on."

I think you are getting what I mean now, yes, power did not corrupt them, it enabled present traits to be more harmful.

"Now power can equally show that one is good

Saying that disproves your absolute power corrupts point unless you also say absolute power makes people absolutely good also. Both ways it is unlikely to be true.

"I meant by 'turning into a fly' now what I mean there is that she turned to be uncontrolable."
To be honest I still do not really understand that, I suppose a fly is uncontrollable though that is not a common analogy, or at least one I have heard before. Not that that invalidates it in any way I suppose.

"absolute power corrupts, a man's true character can be determined if you give him power"
At this point I will have no opportunity to refute my opponent if indeed they do provide any evidence, I would ask that no new arguments are put forward only rebuttals to the points made in mine.

Many thanks to my opponent for the debate.

Please Vote Con if proof is still not provided by my opponent in the closing round!

Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 2 years ago
Which is why I dragged the other 51% in, lol.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
I find it strange that we are only talking about only 49% of the population. Watch your gendered language.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 2 years ago
No, just that he had the same controlling nature as they have.
Posted by Kreakin 2 years ago
Are you saying he was a pedo :/
Posted by MadCornishBiker 2 years ago
Ah, I see where you are coming from now. Take heart though they aren't all like him.
Posted by judeifeanyi 2 years ago
There is this friend of mine called john, the first time I meet him, I never knew he was such a bad guy till I allowed him to come and stay with me for a while in my house, then I discovered that all he has been doing are pretending.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 2 years ago
That is very true indeed, it all depends on why they are acting in what is thought to be a saintly manner.

After all, some of the worst practitioners of that are paedophiles who are very "saintly" until they have everyone right where they want them.
Posted by judeifeanyi 2 years ago
Seriously, one can be behaving as if he/she is saint but when you give him power, you will see what he is.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 2 years ago
I have to admit I would have thought it was easy to understand, and very hard to argue against.

Giving someone power tends to remove at least some of the restraints a man or I believe woman, may feel and allows them to be more as they would like to be really.

Conversely in some cases it puts more pressure on them to consider others and how they feel.

One simple thing to check is, if they are given power, are they prepared to hand some of that power over to others.

A connected example comes from my own life.

An ex girlfriend once complained that I allowed her too much control over my life.

My response was that it was my control and I could take it back any time I wanted, and would if I felt it was important enough to do so.

She learned that was true when I dumped her for abusing the control I gave her.

What she didn't realise was that my giving her so much control was in effect a test. Would she push it too far or would she be reasonable in her use of that control?

My current fianc"e is brilliant, and it is amazing how, when left to her own thoughts she comes to the same conclusion that I would have. I think she is a keeper.

So, male or female, the same "test" works equally well.
Posted by judeifeanyi 2 years ago
What i mean by this motion is this, nearly all men can be active in one or two things but when power is given to such a fellow, you will see his real character.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to con after Pro denies rebuttals without addressing the points that con makes. Con's request for substantiation was not met. Con proves that pro is committing the fallacy of Axworthy's Appointment.