The Instigator
18Karl
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

On Balance, Individual Liberty is preferred over Individual Obedience

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
18Karl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,150 times Debate No: 61971
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

18Karl

Pro

Note: For all those who play on semantics here, this debate resolution will be based upon the cost-profit analysis of the debate motion. Hence "on balance" Any attempts to use semantics to corrupt this debate motion ought to be castrated, well, metaphorically.

Rnd. 1: Acceptance
Rnd. 2: Debate Begins
Rnd. 3: Debate/Rebuttals
Rnd. 4: Rebuttals/Counter-Rebuttals
Rnd. 5: Pro posts final argument, Con waives

Here:

Liberty:
lib·er·ty
G2;libərtē/
noun

1.
  1. the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.
Obedience:

o·be·di·ence
!3;G2;bēdēəns/
noun
  1. compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another's authority.
Preferred:

pre·fer
priG2;fər/
verb
past tense: preferred; past participle: preferred
  1. 1.
    like (one thing or person) better than another or others; tend to choose.
kasmic

Con

I accept! Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
18Karl

Pro

Thanks for accepting this!

Contention One: Liberty as an Ethical Issue

This argument will be based upon ethical imperatives that must be done, and shall be centered upon one proposition. If this proposition is proven to be true, then the whole resolution is affirmed. This is my first time doing deontics in these debates, so I shall assume that truth-tables can be used. Apart from this, don't assume that all my propositions will be wffs.

Firstly, let us affirm that "all men are born equal" I believe that this house does not need to affirm this, or even argue about it. No such ubermensch, in the Nietzschean philosophical doctrine, can exist with this knowledge; for all living creature whom nature has given the judgement of "man" upon him must be part of the ever lasting game of natural selection. He must not be discarded by his kinsmen, and often, he is not. With the affirmation of the above value, let us state that the consequences of our actions, or in more "Machiavellian" terms, the "ends" of our actions, is happiness and the liberation of suffering.

With this fact affirmed, let this house now recognize several formalized deontic judgements, which shall inherently prove that obedience has conditions, whilst liberty doesn't. With this affirmed, let us now formalize our ethical judgements into a formal modal logical language.


(OuΞ(LlO))

Deontic Translation: Obey, if and only if (1) liberty is preserved and (2) obedience does not oppress.

Rational Proof of Soundess of Proposition: The "Social Contract" theory is a theory often cited. In this proposition, one shall make the argumenation that the groundworks for obedience is often the protection and sustainability factor of liberty itself. In the State of Nature, humans lived in an isolated, asocial environment in which two things happened on a daily basis (these two factors are like the Golden Mean to Hobbesianism and Rosseau's Political Theory): (1) humans are unable to sustain themselves, and as a result of that (2) a state of "war of all against all" breaks out. No one theory of these two can prove and theorize the creation of the state.

With this, it is neccessarily to see that they unite in order to preserve liberty and prosperity. The first factor can be dismissed; the second one is the one we will take a lot of time examining. Take this as an example; whoever is at complete liberty can kill anyone, for if a man is not bound by any sense of justice, he might as well kill a man over the slightest sort of disagreement, as anger often proves to end with a irrational conclusion.

With this said, liberty is still around, and so is obedience. Ever man sacrifices the same amount of rights for the sake of obedience, but these rights should not intefere with the general liberty of the person, for if a man is stripped of his rights, he is no longer human; the only thing that keeps our world going is the evolutionary offshoot of kin alturism, thought also to be the origins of morality away from religion.



Proof of Validity of Proposition and Argumentation:

If:

(OuΞ(LlO)) is via defense, true, and "Ou" is, as proven, to be a attribute of L (of liberty), henceforth, the ends of this proposition must be the preservation of liberty.

The Three Conditions of Logical-Ethical Consistency are:

1. Means-End Consistency
2. Logical Consistency
3. Moral Consistency

Firstly, (1) means-end consistency of this can be proven via the following arguments, in truth table form:

Logical Terms Meaning: (Ou=Ought to be Obeying, Ou=Is obeying, L=Liberty, O=That is that does not oppress)

Ax. L neccessarily leads to happiness, which is needed
1. (OuΞ(LlO)): Our original proposition
2. If ~(LlO) then ~Ou (possibility #1)
3. If (~LlO) then ~Ou (possibility #2)
4. If (Ll~O) then ~Ou (possibility #3)
5. (OuΞ(~LlO)) then ends of L is not reached, and O is not a viable end, henceforth Means-End consistency is not reached
6. (OuΞ(Ll~O)) then ends of O is not reached, but L is a viable end, henceforth Means-End consistency is reached.
7. (C) Ends-means consistency is only reached in the following circumstances only:

(LlO)
(Ll~O)

Consequence: Obey authority if and only if liberty is guranteed and you are not oppressed. The means of this is disobedience to authority that gurantees liberty and gurnatees that your are not oppressed. The ends of this happiness.

Contention Two: On History and Liberty

"What is the Enlightenment" was the question that was posed and answered by Immanuel Kant in his famous quasi-political essay, "The Enlightenment: What is It?" Quite simply, it is the ability to use one's own reason. The Age of Reason was the age of liberty to use one's own reason to overpower the powers in faith. The Age of Reason is secular humanism on steroids.

And does it surprise this house that during the Age of Reason, a huge amount of political, theological, and many treatises came out. The Age of Reason laid foundations upon 20th century thought; Heidegger is forever in debt of Kant, every philosopher is forever in debt of David Hume. It was because of the liberty to think, that these treatises came out.

But this isn't the only time; for the Renaissance, when thinkers used their own reasoning to deduce conclusions that destroyed the Church's fideism created and paved way for huge scientific breakthrough. Whole nations, founded on the principles of rational reasoning, were created due to overexcess liberty; the United States of America, South Korea and the Empire of Japan, two countries created on the principles of liberty, were able to create most patents. If the society was built upon the axioms of obedience, then this would have been impossible. [1]

The Renaissance was another period, where through doubting the Church's fundamental fideism, more education were given out. In fact, it was only due to the liberty of thought, and periods that embraced it, that education has gone up. [2]

It was only because of the freedom of the use of reasoning, only available under liberty, that humans can think, and make scientific breakthrough.

Contention Three: Psychology, Evolution and Obedience

Obedience causes mental disorders; especially strict obedience. On a small scale, authoritarian parents often create children suffering from such diseases that make them more egocentric; this is because that due obedience causing absolute morality, or a sense of it, to be instilled. The Third Reich is a fine example; Hitler's parents were of an authoritarian manner, and Hitler turned out to be a mentally-ill egocentric person. [3]

Apart from this, obedience can create the following factors to happen; more aggression during out of home endeavours, lower self-esteem in oneself, and often have low EQ due to the fact that they have been indoctrinated with an absolute morality of their parents. [4]

Let us then next affirm the game of evolution. It is because of liberty that we are here; game-theoretical decisions such as the answers to the Rendzevous problem, and the Centipide Dilemma, can be answer through liberty only. Evolution is based upon the fact that liberty is present; humans will never develop into a better, more psychologically healthy man if we have the liberty to do so. This is because liberty is a psychologically healthy alternative to obedience, as shown through the Adolf Hitler case.

Contention Four: Obedience as a Negative Value

Obedience often has a negative value to it; as humans obey only because they will to obey, and only because convenants have been accordingly adjusted, and it would only be just if they obey. However, obedience is a negative value.


Let us first affirm that humans are all equal, as stated. For something to have a positive value, it has to affirm that all equal persons are moral and no man can have authority over another. However, a negative value in this case would mean that one man would have power over another. This is negative, because power, especially the monopoly of it, often means that the man is superior to him, and he is not born equal.

Freedom is when self-actualization has been reached. We shall not go for Hegellian definitions of freedom, for it has become increasingly based on God, but we shall use a secular part of it; every man is part of an ever moving wheel. This wheel will move, if and only if the free-will to move it exists. The free-will to move the ever moving wheel of society is only present in the human being's ability to assure that liberty is a fact, for the role in the ever moving cog cannot be dictated to them. Etc. a man cannot be dictated to play one role in the cog. He cannot be told to be the man who fishes, nor can he be told to be the man who cooks. He is not a brutish robot; he is a man.

A man has consciousness; the only way to exploit this consciousness is to self-actualize. Self-actualization of consciousness comes only with the liberation of the sprit from the chains of strict obedience, or obedience at all. "The government best is the government that does not govern at all" Obedience is a negative value. Liberty is a postive one.

CONCLUSION:

Ethically, psychologically, historically, liberty has always triumphed, when met, authority and obedience. Through several methods, I believe that the resolution lies negated. Note that this is my first debate, and I may not do well. But, good luck and have fun to the opposition! :D


Citations:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://education-portal.com...
[3] 50 Facts About Psychology You Should Know, Adrian Furnham
[4] http://psychology.about.com...

kasmic

Con

Thank you pro for your opening argument:

I am impressed, at least if you really are 15 and this is your first debate. You have very well written arguments.

I remind pro that he is pro. I say this as he ended his argument stating "I believe that the resolution lies negated." I do not think he intended to negate, but rather affirm his resolution. His argument seems to verify this.

Pro's resolution is that "On Balance, Individual Liberty is preferred over Individual Obedience." I contend that individual obedience to law begets individual liberty. Therefore, on balance, personal obedience is preferred if not superior to individual Liberty. Without obedience there is no liberty.

Rebuttals:
Contention one:

Pro states: "(Ou\6;(LlO))
"Obey, if and only if (1) liberty is preserved and (2) obedience does not oppress."

"the ends of this proposition must be the preservation of liberty."

In response to Pro stating: "that "all men are born equal" I believe that this house does not need to affirm this, or even argue about it." I submit the following quotes.

John Stuart Mill in his work "On Liberty" said this:

"It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say that this doctrine (of liberty) is meant to apply only to human beings in the maturity of their faculties. We are not speaking of children, or of young persons below the age which the law may fix as that of manhood or womanhood. Those who are still in a state to require being taken care of by others, must be protected against their own actions as well as against external injury. For the same reason, we may leave out of consideration those backward states of society in which the race itself may be considered as in its nonage" Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. Liberty, as a principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal discussion."(1)

He then goes on to conclude

"Until then, there is nothing for them but implicit obedience to an Akbar or a Charlemagne, if they are so fortunate as to find one."(1)

John Locke, known as the "father of liberalism," had this to say about liberty and obedience. (taken from "Second Treatise of Civil Government" Chapter 6)

"The freedom then of man, and liberty of acting according to his own will, is grounded on his having reason, which is able to instruct him in that law he is to govern himself by, and make him know how far he is left to the freedom of his own will. To turn him loose to an unrestrained liberty, before he has reason to guide him, is not the allowing him the privilege of his nature to be free"(2)

It would seem empirically evident by these quotes that have heretofore been given, that the ideologies who postulated on liberty did not view all men as being born equal; At least in regards to the principle of liberty. They also seem to conclude that obedience precedes liberty.

Counter argument:

Liberty comes from obedience:

John Locke also stated

"the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom." (3)

Liberty is nothing without law, therefore nothing without obedience. The relationship between freedom/liberty is intertwined with obedience/law. The following is an illustration of this relationship.

"imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: "Danger"whirlpool. No swimming allowed here." We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown."(4)

If one is individually obedient to the restriction of the sign, there liberty is, at least maintained, and at most enlarged. This shows individual liberties are expanded by individual obedience.

"The example of taxes can be briefly used to illustrate what can happen if we sacrifice some personal liberty to enlarge liberty as a society. When we sacrifice some personal liberty,"(or in other words are obedient to the law) "in this case financial liberty, we are potentially more free as a society. Those tax dollars create roads, provide security, fund education etc. Without which we would be less free."(5)

This illustrates again that personal obedience brings about more personal liberty and without obedience there is no liberty.

Pro seems to agree with me as he stated "one shall make the argumenation that the groundworks for obedience is often the protection and sustainability factor of liberty itself."

Contention 2: "Contention Two: On History and Liberty"

Pro concludes that "it was only because of the freedom of the use of reasoning, only available under liberty, that humans can think, and make scientific breakthrough."

While a nice conclusion it does not support personal liberty over personal obedience; especially, as the ideologies in the quotes above place emphasis on obedience.

Contention 3: "Contention Three: Psychology, Evolution and Obedience"

Pro contends that strict obedience can "causes mental disorders." The source citied however is to a book that I cannot access. I will address this argument when pro provides a source that can be checked.

For the purpose of argument I will state that anything carried to the extreme can be harmful. Drinking too much water is very common to drowning, my point being that obedience can be taken to the extreme. So can personal liberty. That is why those who postulate on the topic of liberty often include the "harm principle." Otherwise personal liberty, when taken to the extreme folds on itself and attacks the very nature of liberty.(6)

Contention 4: "Contention Four: Obedience as a Negative Value"

Pro concludes that "the government best is the government that does not govern at all" Obedience is a negative value. Liberty is a positive one."

Again, as is evident by the arguments that have been made, liberty does not exist without obedience. Obedience and Liberty can both be carried to the extreme. Both can be negative and positive.

Concluding rebuttal of contention 1

Pro's first argument, while well written, hardly supports his resolution. Personal obedience to law maintains and enlarges personal liberty. Therefore personal obedience is preferred if not superior to personal liberty. Without obedience to law there is no liberty.

The resolution stands negated.

Sources
(1)http://www.bartleby.com...
(2)http://www.constitution.org...
(3)http://www.brainyquote.com...
(4)https://www.lds.org...
(5)http://www.infobarrel.com...
(6)https://www.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
18Karl

Pro

Counter-Contention One: On Liberty as an Ethical Value

Firstly, the opposition violates the Humean Is-Ought law; whatever is, is not what ought to be. For one can have polio, but all ought not to have polio. With this said, we shall move on into our inquiries into the beginning of obedience.

The opposition quotes two great philosophers in concluding “empirically” that obedience precedes liberty. This may be true on a political timescale, but definitely not in a biological and psychological perspective; as we are here talking about individuals, and not society, it would be easy then to dismiss the appeals to society, and how obedience in political societies precedes liberty.

Subcontention One: On Biology

On a biological timescale, the game theoretical explanations for the origins of obedience can be found in the “game theoretical models” of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Metaphorically, there are two prisoners; both of them are guilty. The have two choices; the first choice is to “defect” that is, to confess that the other prisoner is guilty; once confessed, the other prisoner gets 3 years in prison, whilst the prisoner defected is free. If both defect, then both get 3 years in prison. The second choice is to cooperate, and do not defect; quite simply, if they do this, they get one year in prison only. The reward preliminary is T > R > P > S; in this dilemma, if both prisoners defect, then the P is given. If both prisoners cooperate, then R is given. If one defects, then the one who defects gets T while the other gets S. If both defect, they both get payoff P. [1]

This Game Theoretical model has been developed by the players of natural selection, and continues to be one of the main explanations for the human survival story. Game theory is not what ought to be done, but what has already been done in our evolutionary past; this can be seen from the high amounts of kin altruism, which has often been called the “origins of morality” Nevertheless, let us take the Prisoner’s Dilemma model into a social contract context, and in the analysis of the prisoner dilemma in the real world, it will soon become clear that human liberty necessarily precedes human obedience. Replace the prisoners with humans, and replace defect and cooperate with “anarchy” and “government” The guilt of man is that he “survives only via diffidence, competition and glory” (according to Hobbes). All men are guilty; if one chooses to defect, then T is gained. However, T is seldom gained, as humans, due to huge complexes of kin altruism, will always help others. Henceforth, due to kin altruism, all men necessarily “cooperate” and gain the R award. This is short of T, as the result of cooperation (government, R) cannot exist with all rights necessarily gained, henceforth the point of this debate. [2]

Men, henceforth, choose obedience; he is not forced to obey. “Man obeys at his will.”

Yet, before the Social Contract, let this house analyze men first; due to the development of language, which hath (pun intended) allowed men to “negotiate and use the senses of reasoning”, inequality ariseth (another pun). Some men are better at reasoning than others, as is self-evident. Men come through the social contract still with the three values of the state of nature still intact, which are namely diffidence, competition and glory. A man who is good at these three virtues in a civilized society will necessarily have more resources and be “superior” in all senses to man without these three virtues, henceforth the origins of inequality.

Subcontention Two: On Psychology

From a psychological perspective, it has to be said that our maxim in the previous round still stands firm, as an ethical maxim for all human obedience, for humans will only obey if liberty is ensured, and humans will obey only for the sake of themselves. Let us take the Zimbardo Prison Experiment as a case study in the development of human obedience, and the true unconscious reasons for obedience. In the timework of evolutionary psychology, humans have a naturally free will, or so they think. Unconsciously, this free will necessarily works best without obedience, and without interference. The ZPE (Zimbardo Prison Experiment) has shown that:

(1) Humans obey because of the need to preserve even the slightest bit of their liberty

(2) Humans obey because the unconscious intuitive senses urges man to preserve the present free will.

This was present in the ZPE via the facts that prisoners obeyed willingly if they were given some liberty, even as prisoners; they obeyed even inhumane and horrific orders, often taunting those who did not in an exercise of their liberty. The unconscious free will drives this, for humans without any free will are often subjected to more psychological pains, and cannot ever become enlightened, as they are more oft to obedience in order to gain liberty. This was why, due to the simple free will of the man, the Milgram Experiment worked perfectly well, as well as the Holocaust, as they were just “following superior orders” [3][5]

Nevertheless, extremities in obedience destroy the human mind. This case shall be reaffirmed in the following contentions.

Counter-Contention Two: On the Age of Reason and History

Firstly, the opposition’s piecemeal response highlights a fact that he bases this argument upon the axiomatic conclusions that were shown false in the last contention.

Liberalism and libertarianism and all countries, which have followed it, have gained unprecedented head in scientific discoveries; the Age of Reason is only available when the liberty to use the reason is available. This contention still remains affirmed

Counter-Contention Three: On Psychology and Obedience

The opposition states that an excess of something is always bad, and an excess of obedience is always better than an excess of liberty. This is a lie; the state of nature has surely not killed as many people as the Holodomir or the Holocaust. Nevertheless, this contention shall be invested in reaffirming that the negative aspects of obedience, especially extreme obedience, shape the behavior of man.

In a study done to investigate the psychological effects of totalitarianism. i.e strict individual obedience, it was shown that citizens under totalitarian regimes are much more extreme. Psychiatrists sent a questionnaire to random citizens of post-Ba’athist Iraq; these questionnaires showed some highly concerning schizophrenic-behavior. It was in the same societies that 49% of the households reported cases of ear amputations, and 58% of households reported cases of involuntary torture done by the government. Under the doctrines of obedience, this will inevitably happen. [4]

Albeit too much liberty will inevitably cause the corruption of the human mind, as shown in the ZPE and many cases, too much obedience can bring out the harshest qualities of man, for the tyranny of the man upon another is much harsher than the tyranny of nature. More freedom is always welcomed, but more oppression isn’t always needed; a generation of man can submit, but not an entire race.

Counter-Contention Four: On Obedience as a Negative Value

The opposition’s response to this is based upon an axiomatic conclusion that has been proven to be unsound. But nevertheless, I shall introduce more formal proofs in order to support this argument:

1. It is possible in some worlds that some men are superior to other men
2. It is possible that in some worlds, some men are created superior to other men
3. From 1 and 2, possibility of superiority via birth and via ability is a possibility.
4. (D) Negative Value is defined as a process that attempts to make something finite. i.e It attempts to make liberty infinite, but ultimately one cannot conceive infinity with something greater.
5. (D) Positive Value is defined as the value/virtue that makes liberty infinite. i.e Nothing can be conceived as greater than liberty
6. (D) Obedience is the only thing able to be conceived that is greater than liberty
7. (D) Liberty is the infinite characteristic that can only be conceived and deterred by obedience.
8. It is self evident from 1 and 2 that liberty can be made finite, but is not originally finite. According to 4, another must conceive whatever is negative in regards to liberty. According to 6, the only thing greater than liberty is obedience.
9. C: Henceforth obedience is a negative value in all worlds.

Then what are the implications of a negative value? Let us extend the above argument.

10.According to 1 and 2, superiority may be conceived in some possible universes.
11.If superiority may be conceived in some possible universes, and obedience is a negative value, then demand for obedience can only stem from the superior
12.According to 10, if demands for obedience comes from the superior, then the superior necessarily imposes a negative value onto a man
13.(Ax) Infinity is the greatest
14.(Ax. from 8) If liberty is infinity, then liberty is the greatest
15.All attempts to limit infinity are necessarily finite.
16.By (13), liberty is the greatest and an attempt to finite liberty is a negative value, henceforth, via this humans have limited themselves to something finite (finite is not the greatest) rather than something infinite (infinity is the greatest)
17.Obedience is finite and can only deter liberty
18.(C) Liberty is superior to obedience, as liberty is infinite

I shall be only defending the points, which are fundamental. Proposition 8; liberty is the most infinite thing, as under liberty, there is nothing to conceive the limits of the free will. Proposition 12: Obedience comes from the “superior” and henceforth the “superior” attempts to limit an infinite substance, making the action a negative one.

This deductive argument proves my point, and ultimately, the resolution.

Citations:

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...

kasmic

Con

Pro's arguments are very well thought out. I fear I may be out matched in this debate, nevertheless I will continue to contend.

Pro says "The opposition quotes two great philosophers in concluding "empirically" that obedience precedes liberty. This may be true on a political timescale, but definitely not in a biological and psychological perspective; as we are here talking about individuals, and not society, it would be easy then to dismiss the appeals to society, and how obedience in political societies precedes liberty."

I reaffirm that obedience does in fact precede liberty. This is not just true on a political timescale, and is most especially true biologically and psychologically.

Consider again the words of John Stuart Mill ""It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say that this doctrine (of liberty) is meant to apply only to human beings in the maturity of their faculties. We are not speaking of children, or of young persons below the age which the law may fix as that of manhood or womanhood. Those who are still in a state to require being taken care of by others, must be protected against their own actions as well as against external injury."(1)

"Until then, there is nothing for them but implicit obedience"(1)

Children, and others whose Prefrontal Cortex is not fully developed, do not have the capacity to properly apply the principle of personal liberty as they do not have the full capacity to reason. (2)

(on a side note, due to this scientific truth, it is remarkable if not an anomaly that my opponent postulate such arguments in spite of his age. Color me impressed!)

again as Locke stated ""The freedom then of man, and liberty of acting according to his own will, is grounded on his having reason, which is able to instruct him in that law he is to govern himself by, and make him know how far he is left to the freedom of his own will. To turn him loose to an unrestrained liberty, before he has reason to guide him, is not the allowing him the privilege of his nature to be free"(3)"

Biologically it is evident that obedience precedes liberty
Physiologically it is evident that obedience precedes liberty

Pro says: " Humans obey because of the need to preserve even the slightest bit of their liberty
Humans obey because the unconscious intuitive senses urges man to preserve the present free will."
I will add that humans also obey because obedience begets liberty.

Pro says "The opposition states that an excess of something is always bad, and an excess of obedience is always better than an excess of liberty. This is a lie; the state of nature has surely not killed as many people as the Holodomir or the Holocaust."

I illustrated that anything taken to an extreme is harmful, I in no way argued that Obedience in excess is better than Liberty in excess. Obedience in excess destroys the liberty it created, and liberty in excess destroys liberty itself. Both are detrimental in excess.

The self-evident truth still stands that liberty comes from obedience and without obedience there is no liberty. While it is also evident that Obedience and liberty complement each other, without obedience, liberty does not exist. Therefore personal obedience is preferred if not superior to personal liberty.

(1) http://www.bartleby.com...
(2) http://hrweb.mit.edu...
(3) http://www.constitution.org...
Debate Round No. 3
18Karl

Pro

Due to time issues and high school problems, I would have to ff this round. I'll be back in r4
kasmic

Con

I maintain my arguments from round three, Also to be fair I will not add any more of an argument in this round as I do not wish to take advantage of my opponent"s loss of a round.

I did want to clarify, Pro, in round one it say that in round 4 Con "waives." This means you want me not to present anything in round four? Is that correct?

Just in case that is the intent I will summarize my argument here.

The self-evident truth still stands that liberty comes from obedience and without obedience there is no liberty. While it is also evident that Obedience and liberty complement each other, without obedience, liberty does not exist. Therefore personal obedience is preferred if not superior to personal liberty.

Even if that is not the case due to liberties reliance on Obedience, on balance, personal liberty cannot be preferred over personal obedience.

Thanks for a great debate Pro!
Debate Round No. 4
18Karl

Pro

First Objection: Obedience and Liberty from a Ethical Perspective

Firstly, we must rethink the mere conceptions of liberty; we divide it into "positive" and "negative" liberty. We take these concept of liberties and divide it into two forms; positive liberty is "I am free" whilst negative is that "I cannot be ensalved" Quite namely, positive liberty is statements that provide what liberty enables the free will of man to do, whilst negative protects the "free will" of man from further implications. Why is this significant? Because obedience has, literally, no moral value. Man obeys only to protect his liberty; this is no good will. Liberty on the other hand, has all the positive value. Accordingly to Immanuel Kant, man who "helps only because he likes to help" does the action without any moral value. Only if it becomes duty, then moral value is restored.

With this said, let us refute the opposition here; J.S Mill's words about what liberty is for (those who have fully developed one's faculty) does not necessarily mean that "liberty" is more preferable that obedience. For albeit the young man may have his faculties undeveloped, he has the liberty to walk to his bedroom, and he has the liberty to eat when he wills. To argue that liberty suceed obedience is also a violation of the Humean Guillotine, and a strawman of the argument in question. Back to our point about Kantian Morality; if obedience is a means for the preservation of something else, and not considered a duty, then it would be more than idiotic to consider obedience to have moral worth. Let us prove the predicate of this proposition first; on the preservation of liberty via obedience.

As proven before in the Prisoner's Dilemma, man co-operates in order for self advancement, and no other reason except for that. The Social Contract theory is highly based on the Prisoner's Dilemma; the dilemma shows what our ancestors had to go through to establish civilized society. But perhaps this might not be enough to affirm such facts; let us take the example of the "savage" in Rousseau's Second Discourse:

All ran headlong to their chains, in hopes of securing their liberty; for they had just wit enough to perceive the advantages of political institutions, without experience enough to enable them to foresee the dangers.

The institutions of the government were not infinite in age, for governments are abstract representations that cannot exist indepedent of reasoning (accordingly to the two divisions of Arthur Schopenhauer). All abstract representations are necessarily a priori or a posteriori. "An infinite thing cannot be created" is an a priori statement as the beginnings represent a limitation being broken. As a government can be created, adjusted and ultimately created, then it follows that it cannot be infinite, or in Aristotelian Logical Form:

P1. All infinite substances cannot be created
P2. All governments are created
C. All governments are not infinite

What does this prove? That if the government is not infinite, then its powers has to be neccessarily finite, especially in preserving authority. Ultimately, as the opposition proves, the ends of obedience is liberty; the end is the desired consequence here. The process of huge investments is not ultimately to do it as a categorical imperative, but to make money; the ends of reproduction is not neccessarily pleasure, but offshoot; the ends of the government is not necessarily more obedience and oppression, but liberty.

Objection Two: Liberty, Obedience and the Excess of Both

The excess of freedom is never harmful, but an excess in obedience often leads to tyranny and genocides. Excess of liberty is one of the greatest formalities that men can enjoy in his life time; excess in obedience one of the greatest terrors. Society is a blessing, but government is a necessarily sin. (Thomas Paine, Common Sense). Let us affirm here that the excess of liberty has not killed a single man, so far as liberty was accomodated by civil government; from the governments of England, whose liberties were restored after the deposition of Charles I, to the governments of Singapore, whose liberty was gradually restored to them after a period of long "soft authoritarianism" by Lee Kuan Yew.

The opposition argues that liberty destroys liberty itself, but this does nothing to prove the point of debate; all it does is to show that obedience is more justified than liberty, and ultimately, that obedience is used to maintain liberty. Let us take the natural rights theory for a second here; albeit it does not exist from a scientific perspective, the natural rights theory (NRT) shows that in the state of nature, every right is hard to defend, even if there are natural. Henceforth, the transition from the state of nature to the state of civilized society is only reached via the compromisation of some rights in order for liberty to be sustained.

Nevertheless, let us talk about obedience in general first; obedience is a negative value, and this has been proven already, due to the fact that obedience necessarily attempts to defer an infinite being. All negative values often turn into tyranny; the right not be enslaved turned into tyranny of the majority in France, and a similar case was turned into absolutist republicanism during the aftermath of the English Civil War. However, negative obedience implies much more; negative obedience gave rise to the totalitarian trio of the world, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini, who together, killed more men than anyone could have killed in a short period of time. The Rwandan Genocide, built upon the institutions of negative racism, and ultimately obedience to the Hutu power ideology, killed 1 million people in 100 days.

Obedience necessarily created death, and ultimately, more deaths than negative liberty, the only liberty capable of killing, can ever inflict.

Objection Three: Arguments from Neuroscience

Arguments from neuroscience here states that since the mental faculties of some are not up for the task of liberty, henceforth liberty should be wholly abolished for those. This is an absurd statement, for no physical determinant can refute the fact that all men have individual worth, and are all born socially equal.

Nevertheless, the prefrontal cortex in the human is indeed underdeveloped until the age of 25. Yet this part of the brain is often used to reason about the consequences; it is the consequentalism factor of the brain. [1] This does not prove anything; as, accordingly to empiricism, all knowledge comes through via sense experience, henceforth these people should be given protected positive liberty as a means of the gainign of sensual knowledge. We have, in our first round, affirm that liberty of the mind allows scientific discoveries to happen; the Age of Reason, the Renaissance and the Golden Age were only some of these factors.

With this, I shall conclude my arguments.

The main maxims of this argument is derived from the first deontological maxim that we have presented; that obedience preserves liberty, and the triad "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is only preserved via obedience, so henceforth, obey if and only if you are not oppress and liberty is free.

However, this main maxim is also surpassed by the fact that liberty, as an epistemological position, has yielded more scientific breakthroughs than obedience, and this is proven in the Age of Reason, the Renaissance and the Golden Age, in which liberty was given to think, and the main breakthroughs of this century would have been impossible without them.

This is preceded by the fact that authoritarian governments, and obedience (especially excess of it) creates mental disorders that are beyond comprehension. The last contention views liberty as a positive value, and obedience as a negative one.

We end with this final argument for the preferability of liberty over obedience:

1. It is possible in some worlds that some men are superior to other men
2. It is possible that in some worlds, some men are created superior to other men
3. From 1 and 2, possibility of superiority via birth and via ability is a possibility.
4. (D) Negative Value is defined as a process that attempts to make something finite. i.e It attempts to make liberty infinite, but ultimately one cannot conceive infinity with something greater.
5. (D) Positive Value is defined as the value/virtue that makes liberty infinite. i.e Nothing can be conceived as greater than liberty
6. (D) Obedience is the only thing able to be conceived that is greater than liberty
7. (D) Liberty is the infinite characteristic that can only be conceived and deterred by obedience.
8. It is self evident from 1 and 2 that liberty can be made finite, but is not originally finite. According to 4, another must conceive whatever is negative in regards to liberty. According to 6, the only thing greater than liberty is obedience.
9. C: Henceforth obedience is a negative value in all worlds.
10.According to 1 and 2, superiority may be conceived in some possible universes.
11.If superiority may be conceived in some possible universes, and obedience is a negative value, then demand for obedience can only stem from the superior
12.According to 10, if demands for obedience comes from the superior, then the superior necessarily imposes a negative value onto a man
13.(Ax) Infinity is the greatest
14.(Ax. from 8) If liberty is infinity, then liberty is the greatest
15.All attempts to limit infinity are necessarily finite.
16.By (13), liberty is the greatest and an attempt to finite liberty is a negative value, henceforth, via this humans have limited themselves to something finite (finite is not the greatest) rather than something infinite (infinity is the greatest)
17.Obedience is finite and can only deter liberty

kasmic

Con

Per rules in round one, I waive.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
18Karl
@whiteflame Thanks for your criticism! ;)
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

Alright, before I get started, I'd just like to echo much of Con's sentiments and say that Pro has a remarkable grasp of diction and has very well articulated arguments, especially for someone so young. Realize that, for all my criticisms that are to follow, you are a great writer and solid in your argumentation. There's no doubt that with skills like this you can go far in the debate community.

That being said, I'm going to spend some time going through a general overview, and then address each of the debater's arguments, starting with the problematic arguments and moving into the ones that made the difference here.

So let's start with an overview of the debate. I am really having trouble finding ways to link everyone's arguments back to the topic at hand, and I think both debaters generally suffer from getting mired in arguments that lack basic links to that resolution. As I see it, the resolution requires that we understand what makes liberty, as a value, preferable to obedience, and vice versa. Both debaters attempt to prove their value is most preferable by attempting to show that their value "precedes" the other, which I have a hard time understanding. Why does it matter if one precedes the other? How does that make it preferable? And, for that matter, what does it even mean for one value to precede another? I didn't get any answers to these burning questions throughout the debate beyond an assumption by both debaters that preceding = preferable, and that comes out as harmful to both of you since I can't realistically evaluate the meaning of winning this argument.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

But this problem persists in other arguments as well. Pro states in R2 that obedience is a negative value, but never tells me why a positive value should always be preferred to a negative one. Pro tells me that the capacity to have something be infinite makes it preferable in R3, but never states why the state of infinity is inherently preferable. Pro also tells me there that, when taken to extremes, obedience is worse, yet never tells me why I should be thinking in extremes when it comes to this debate. In fact, I'm not certain why much of the debate centered on liberty in the absence of obedience and obedience in the absence of liberty, as the resolution clearly called for preference, not absolute dominance. Both sides cite a slew of logical and political theorists, but in each case, I only see the start of an argument being made rather than the argument in its totality, with both sides instead relying on name dropping as the major way to validate the sources of their ideas.

There are just a lot of assumptions that take center stage in this debate, and if either debater had sought to clarify those assumptions, I think it could have easily been a winning point by itself. Lacking that, I'm forced to go with what I see, and accept many of the assumptions as true, though any point with such assumptions will get less weight as a result.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

Now, I've already started explaining some of the problems with Pro's case, though I think the complexity of his case is probably its most harmful characteristic. The diction, as I said, is fantastic, but it makes the whole thing slow and difficult to read, not to mention all of the logical proofs used don't read well. In each case, I had to read and re-read them several times to get a solid picture of what you meant. Even then, many of these often seemed like the basis of a strong argument, but not the argument itself (at least, apart from Contentions 2 and 3). There was little in the way of impact to take away from these contentions, and in certain cases (such as in Contention 4), the impact seemed so distant from the actual argument that I can't find a solid link. If you're going to talk about self-actualization and our ability to reach it, then you're going to need to spend a good deal of time explaining why a negative value cannot reach it and a positive value is necessary to do so.

As the debate goes on, Pro's case evolves, and along with it the complexity increases, often without a solid outcome. For example, Pro's Subcontention One: On Biology never seems to actually establish anything of worth to the debate. I can't figure out how game theory or the Prisoner's Dilemma actually factor into the debate. Much as they're great concepts, they never get a solid link to preference of liberty over obedience, nor do they establish any biological basis for liberty being an ethical value. You spent a great deal of this round covering this, and yet by the end, I don't even see an actual response to Con's point that children need the structures that obedience creates. Similarly, the "liberty is infinite" proof just doesn't link to preference unless I completely accept that "greatest" is also "most preferable" or even "superior."
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt .4)

It only gets worse in the final round where Pro introduces a slew of new arguments that end up confounding the debate further, talking about two forms of liberty, the concept of "moral worth," continuing on this concept of infinite being better than finite, rotating between a deontologic argument and a utilitarian argument, and providing a new argument (a little late) to Con's contention on children.

That being said, I buy Pro's argument that liberty is necessary for the enlightened pursuit of knowledge that made it possible for human beings to make our greatest breakthroughs. There's certainly something to be said about the benefits to exploring all manner of thought and action in order to come up with things like the scientific method (though there may be some question of whether those outcomes have led to a higher degree of obedience in modern times as a result of following the knowledge imparted by our predecessors, thus turning this point), and I think Pro is winning this strongly. The psychology point is less certain, especially since much of its conclusions seem based on a single example " Hitler. I still buy that obedience can influence child suffering, which tacks back Con's point that children need obedience on some level. It would have been nice to see the use of source [4] elucidated more, as this is really the broad issue that affects all children rather than just a few outliers, but it still stands as one of the stronger points in the debate. However, if I had to say what the strongest point in Pro's case is, it comes from a turn, using Con's point that obedience creates more liberty. If obedience is just a route to achieving liberty, then obedience itself isn't preferable, but rather, the liberty is. I find that compelling.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 5)

Meanwhile, the complexity of Con's case goes down as he sheds arguments. Much of his rebuttal is predicated on John Stuart Mill and John Locke being the end all be all, but it never gets at the core of Pro's arguments. At best, this provides some reason why obedience is necessary in society, not it doesn't really hit at any basic problems with liberty, simply attacking an institution where too much liberty is present. Con might have made a point here about how it's generally agreed that liberty needs to be tempered with obedience, and that could have been a strong lead-in to an argument about why it needs to be there and why its purpose is greater than that of liberty, but you don't get to the full analysis required here. The idea that obedience can engender more liberty really only fuels the idea that liberty is the outcome we all want, obedience is merely a route to reaching it in some instances.

Con's better argument, which focuses on children and their ability to apply liberty to their lives in a reasonable fashion, is a potent one, though it gets slammed pretty hard by both Pro's R4 argument and tacked back by Pro's Contention 3. I buy that obedience plays an important role in development, but lacking any solid reasoning as to why a shift in focus to liberty harms children, I have to prefer Pro's line of argumentation which shows those actual harms.

So, in a roundabout way, I think I've explained my decision. Pro is winning enough on the flow to take this debate, and as such, I vote for him.
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
18Karl
Subliminal ad homs!
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
You wouldn't.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Not sure what your comment has to do with this debate cheyennebodie.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Most of us do not want the heel government on our necks. But there are some who like other people making decisions for them.Because having to make a decision can become uncomfortable.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
18KarlkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: As whiteflame notes, con's arguments grow shorter and weaker as the debate goes on. And as such, pro's responses only grow stronger and stronger, and especially his consistency argument backed up with historical evidence and very good logic, hardly rebutted, the victory belongs to PRO.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
18KarlkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.