The Instigator
PeterGray
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
vmpire321
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points

No-one can be purely good or bad

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
vmpire321
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,066 times Debate No: 20111
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (9)

 

PeterGray

Pro

I'm here to argue that society sees people who do bad things as bad people. That's fair enough if you see a criminal, you can presume they are a bad person but study this:

If a person swears, does it makes them bad?
If a person kills someone, does it make them bad?

What is the difference between the to and why would the killing one, change peoples view on the person and not the swearing, unless it's consistent?

Also, motives. If someone hurt someone by accident, they have still created the same outcome as if they did it on purpose. Therefore, are they judged as bad? People could presume they did it on purpose and call them bad but if they truly know it was an accident, they would be more lenient. Say Manslaughter. It's the same outcome as murder but the person is judged more leniently.

I'm here to argue that "bad people" may have reasons. Reasons are important in judging whether someone is good or bad. If someone has been good all their life and they get immensely stressed one day and freak out, ( see the film "falling down" ) they do bad things in their anger, and people who only see them doing the bad will presume they are a bad person even though all their life they have been a very good person.

I'm arguing for reasons and motives. I look forward to a fun debate :)
vmpire321

Con

Well, hopefully this will be a fun debate. :)

--Introduction--
Well, today I stand agaisnt the resolution "No one can be purely good or bad"

==Definitions==
Seeing that no definitions were presented by PRO, I shall take it into my own hands and assume.
No-One -- "No self-conscious or rational being"
Purely -- "in a pure manner, without admixture [1]"
---->Since the above definition is pratically useless, I shall define 'pure' too.
Pure -- "free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter [2]"
Good -- "morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious [3]"
Bad -- "not good in any manner or degree [4]"

==Rebuttals==

PRO says "If a person swears, does it make them bad"
1) Profanity harms society, diminishes the english language, and damages the speaker himself. I don't see how this is, at all, right or ethical.
2) This isn't enough to determine whether a person is 'bad' or 'good'. You must provide more of an example.

PRO says "If a person kills someone, does it make them bad?"
1) This also depends. Does this person have the intent to kill? Does this person have a ethical reason to kill? There is simply not enough information to draw a conclusion.

PRO asks that why would this change people's views on the person.
1) People judge others based on their standerds. Society as a whole usually rejects and looks down upon murder and profanity. Most people would find this person disgusting, reprehensible, etc.

PRO argues that there are different 'motives' in different cases of death.
1) PRO is supporting my cause. When society judges a person, they often take a look at their 'motives'. Accidents are acceptable -- it happens to everyone. On the other hand, purposely killing another human with malice is often considered appalling and heinous. One would call such a person 'bad' or 'evil'.

PRO says "I'm here to argue that "bad people" may have reasons. Reasons are important in judging whether someone is good or bad. If someone has been good all their life and they get immensely stressed one day and freak out, ( see the film "falling down" ) they do bad things in their anger, and people who only see them doing the bad will presume they are a bad person even though all their life they have been a very good person."
1) Hitler had a reason for ordering the slaughter of millions of Jews. He was 'angered' by them. Does this justify anything at all?
2) Some 'bad' people have terrible, useless reasons. PRO does nothing to justify their actions.

==Arguments==
I shall procede with my own arguments.

--Examples of Evil--
I shall give some examples of people who I believe have no good in them.

1) Joseph Stalin - Stalin was born in 1879. The Communist Regime in control of the Soviet Union caused the deaths of about 62 million people, and about 55 million were citizens, and Stalin murderred 43 million citizens and foreigners [5]. Frankly, I do no see any 'good' in Stalin.

2) Adolph Hitler - Hitler became the dictator of Nazi Germany and was born in 1889. He ordered the killing of millions of people, including Jews, Romani, Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, homosexuals, people with physical or mental disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses, and political and religious opponents [6]. There are many estimates to how many people died because of Hitler, some ranging up to 17 million [6].

3) Pol Pot - Pol Pot became the leader of Cambodia and destroyed the country. He forced the mass evacuation of cities, expelled foreigners, confined the media, forbid money, banned religions, stopped education, and removed parental authority, and millions were forced to work on Pol Pot's 'killing fields' [7]. They soon started dying from exhaustion, malnutrition, disease, and starvation. 25% of the population of Cambodia died due to this[7]. Over 20 minority Ethnic groups were attacked[7]. Fifty percent of the estimated 425,000 Chinese population in Cambodia in perished[7]. The Khmer Rouge, a group Pol Pot formed, pressured Muslims to eat pork and killed those who refused[7]. In all, it is estimated that Pol Pot caused the deaths of around 2 million people during his rule from 1975-79 [8].

--Examples of Good --
Hmm. This is somewhat harder (lol)

1) Religious Examples - Jesus Christ, the Buddha, and God. They all 'attempted' to teach love and pacifism to humanity. Furthermore, God is known as a omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient beings. Omnibenevolent is having unlimited or infinite kindness/altruism. This is an example of one being purely good.


====
Everything I'll put for now. I await your response :)

Sources
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[5] http://www.distributedrepublic.net...
[6] http://books.google.ca...
[7]http://www.historyplace.com...
[8] http://articles.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 1
PeterGray

Pro

Thank you for those well thought out responses and the rebuttals :)First off I would like to make my thoughts stand out, these are:

If someone swears, society will see them as going against ethical morals as the contender rightly states but what is it that makes another action turn someone into a "bad" person whereas swearing does not? If I see a peron walk round swearing loads, they could be judgd as " bad" but I could be emphasising a point and I am judged as a "good" person by the people who know me.. Although, if I went to a stranger and swore, they would most likely judge me as a "bad" person as that is all they have seen of me.

When you give examples of good you give examples of Jesus, the son of God. He may have done bad things when no-one was looking, he may have sworn once or twice, he may have stolen etc....we do not know as only he, and God knows. The same with the Buddha and God etc but I was thinking more of human beings like, for example, Ghandi. He is seen as a good person by society but hang on, he might have punched a sibling as a child, he might have sworn at someone when he was angry, he could have done anything when he was alone...he could be a pedophile, we just dont know. So, my point being, he cannot be purely good, so why do people see him as more good than me or you? That in itself is unfair and quite arrogant and selfish. Kant said that to do good things and feeling happy about it makes the goodwill fall apart from that action. (not quoted) but "goodwill shines forth like a precious jewel" he focused on duty etc...that's getting off topic.

When you talk about God being omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, that could bring up a debate in itself. Eg. The inconsistent triad. If God was omnipotent and benevolent he would both want to stop evil in the world (benevolent) and have the power to stop it (omnipotent) but it still exists so he must either not want to stop it or not have the power to stop it. And also, could God create a boulder so heavy that He himself could not lift it? This defeats the object of omnipotence as it over throws it, he can create ANYTHING as he is all powerful, but not something that he CANNOT lift as he can lift it, as he is all powerful. ( I do believe in god by the way, just putting forward arguments :) )

Back on topic. All your examples are true and I agree, all those reasons were wrong and bad but what I am trying to say is, Hitler may have done some good things in his life. I can't say what, but I'm sure he was good to Eva Braun, his wife. And I'm sure he will have given a fellow soldier a cigarette in the first world war. He CANNOT have just done bad all his life,meh must have done some good things. The same goes for all your examples.
vmpire321

Con

Hmm. I thank my opponent for his quick response.

I shall start with refutations.

PRO explains that most people will not see everything about you, and therefore they cannot judge you as 'good' or 'bad'
1) Some stereotypically bad things, such as killing another human being, can be justified in the eyes of society. This is mainly due to intent and the circumstances in which the killing occured. Similarly, swearing can be justified if it is being used for a good cause. For example, if Person "X" was going to set off a bomb in a heavily crowded area, and requested that one person cuss out loud and harm his own reputation, harm society, and harm the english language in order for him to disarm the bomb (although it is unlikely), a person carrying out these actions would be reasonable. In fact, one would even call him/her heroric/brave to do such an act in front of a crowd and save their lives.
2) Furthermore, you cannot base a image or perception of a person based on one single aspect. When trying to determine if someone is 'good' or 'bad' people may take into other, outside factors. Once again, there is not information to make a good judgement.


PRO claims that even Jesus could have sworn, stolen, etc.
1) Good or bad is completely subjective. If one day Christians discover that Jesus lived a life of 'stealing', perhaps they could justify stealing this way. "We are following the path of our lord." At that point, stealing would no longer be 'bad'.
2) All of your situations are only possibilities.
3) Once again, some bad actions can still be justified. If Jesus stole something from the Devil, in order to stop a terrible 'evil', wouldn't that be 'good'?
4) People are judged by society and what society is led to believe about them. What they don't know is completely irrelevant - it's what they do know.

PRO claims that Ghandi could have done morally unnacceptable things.
1) This is argueable. But one must speculate that at one point in his life, he must have had a point when he had pure feelings. I've never stated that Ghandi hasn't done anything wrong in his life, and the definitions don't imply that he must continue to do 'good' things for the entirety of his life.

My opponent claims that Ghandi should not be seen as more 'good' then average humans.
1) He has done many 'right' things and has avoided doing wrong, even in situations that the average person may have done wrong. He is a figure of 'excellence' and many people look up to him. On the other hand, most people have no heard about what you or me have done - and any good actions we have committed are more than likely 'average' acts.

My opponent argues the Problem of Evil to claim that God does not exist.
1) One has to know evil in order to understand it's counterpart. Evil must exist for man to know what goodness is.
2) Perhaps God wished for us to have free will, and to give us some freedom.
3) you cant uderstand his intentions
4) God, from what I can tell, wants you to show face in the face of evil.
"And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you. For the LORD is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for Him."--Isaiah 30:18 [1]
Furthermore.
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."--2 Peter 3:9 [2]
**Lol, I'm an atheist, yet I'm arguing for the existance of God. Your a theist, but you're trying to say God doesn't exist. Oh, the irony.

My opponent claims that if God make a boulder so big he cannot lift it, it would defeat the object of omnipotence.
1) A rock that can’t be lifted is self-contradictory - it cannot exist. By definition, all objects that have mass can be lifted.
2) God cannot break the laws of logic as that these laws stem from his very nature. It's like asking "Can God be different than who He is" When a person claims that God is omnipotent, they do not mean that he can do anything. We mean that God can do anything that is logically possible.

My opponent claims that Hitler must have at least done one good thing in his life.
1) This is uncertain - there is no evidence.
2) Society sees Hitler as an example of 'pure evil'.

==New arguments==

1) Being good or being bad is completely subjective. Perhaps one day humans will develop the perception that simply by being a human, you are therefore good. In that case, all humans would be purely good. Furthermore, all being that are not human would be purely bad.

2) Some humans are born like a 'clean slate'. One could argue that this is an example of being only "good" - there are no evil thoughts in these humans.

3) Some humans are born evil. A study found that genes are key in a child's chances of becoming 'bad' [3]. Behavioral problems are imprinted on a child's DNA.

=====

I draw my arguments to a close. I await your response.

Sources:
[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[3] http://www.geneticsandsociety.org...
Debate Round No. 2
PeterGray

Pro

PeterGray forfeited this round.
vmpire321

Con

Expand All Arguments ):
Debate Round No. 3
PeterGray

Pro

PeterGray forfeited this round.
vmpire321

Con

Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
PeterGray

Pro

PeterGray forfeited this round.
vmpire321

Con

Tsk. Vote CON
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
"could God create a boulder so heavy that He himself could not lift it?"

You also could have answered it by saying that this is basically asking can an unstoppable force move an unmovable object then stating that it is impossible to have two all-powerful forces in the universe haha
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
:O! You have one of those o.0!
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
My 3DS was being retarted.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
lol double post.
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
Athough, I think it should have been good and evil instead of good and bad. Bad wording
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
Athough, I think it should have been good and evil instead of good and bad. Bad wording
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
O.o Looks like a very interesting debate.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
On Second Thought, perhaps i will take this
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
mhm, I agree with Micromann. I thought about taking this debate...Until I saw the that it's 5 rounds.
Posted by Micromann 5 years ago
Micromann
Five rounds is kind of intimidating (especially to potential voters). I feel wiploc described it best: "So many debates are rambling and confused that I've learned aversion to reading five round debates." Most people do not read 5 rounds of debate, especially if each post is thorough, covering most/all the points.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
PeterGrayvmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF...it's to bad...it was interesting...
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
Ron-Paul
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Reasons for voting decision: Con wins. I wish this debate had been carried out further.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
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Reasons for voting decision: Peter forfeited. Still...
Vote Placed by OberHerr 5 years ago
OberHerr
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Reasons for voting decision: *sigh* And it was getting interesting. Oh well, auto loss for the FF's.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: F
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't wish to vote on this debate past conduct. I believe Pro had stronger arguments based on human nature but he deserves the loss.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources b/c he actually had some. Arguments pro, I believed they where stronger and more sensible/logical. Great debate, It seems as though this vote is tied for interesting reasons... Also guys an FF doesn't mean auto loss. Unless if every round=FF
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
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Reasons for voting decision: FF