The Instigator
brittcb4
Pro (for)
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The Contender
fuzzybear
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

People are born good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,921 times Debate No: 14777
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

brittcb4

Pro

In Eastern Philosophy, man is believed to be inherently good. But this goodness, in due time are obscured by envy, hate, prejudice, covetousness and the likes. Once this obscuration are understood and eliminated, we then revert back to our inherent goodness. All this are achievable without any intervention from deities.
Yes, I believe that human beings are born good by nature. We do not think of anything bad when we are children because we do not know what is right and wrong. At that age we do something silly without the intention to hurt. We just realize it as we started to observe things around us. Sometimes the environment where we live, the family that keeps us, the society and culture affects what we are when we grow up.
fuzzybear

Con

I will begin by outlining my opponent's arguments and then refuting them, point by point.
First, my opponent asserts that man is inherently good. I have 2 responses.
1. My opponent provides no standard by which to measure what is "good" and what is "evil". Before we can debate whether or not man is good, we must be able to measure this against some moral standard.
2. My opponent provides no sources proving his position and his is the burden of proof.

Second, my opponent asserts that we can achieve our inherent goodness without help from deities. My response is simply that this is contradictory, seeing that a moral standard (which is assumed by my opponent in debating the goodness of man) cannot exist without a deity, or lawgiver, to provide this standard. If my opponent wishes, I can elaborate on this argument and provide a source for it in a later round.

Third, my opponent says that we do not think of anything bad when we are children.
Again, there is no support for this, nor is there a moral standard established.

Fourth, my opponent asserts that our surroundings affect who we are when we grow up. This I agree with.
Thank you, and please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
brittcb4

Pro

The definition of good is the most general term of approval, both moral and non-moral, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. i would like to point out that it is human nature to be born good as it is inherited. People are born with a natural instinct to care for others, we need love and affection. I specifically want to point out that my definition includespeople who help each other and cooperate. This is why we have evolved, we are not extinct. This is because we were born with the nature to help others. We are still functioning as a society, we have not crumbled yet. After we are born, our environment and surroundings shape our behaviors. As a result, there is good, bad, and evil in the world.

John Locke was a famous English Philosopher. He was one of the most influential philosophers who emphasized on enlightenment and liberation. Locke believed that people were born without any innate ideas and were good by birth.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is another famous philosopher who believed that man was born innately good but that it was society that corrupted man. He argued that man was made unhappy by experiences that he had in society because society was distorted, corrupt, and false. In Rousseau's The Social Contract, which he wrote in 1762, Rousseau explains this concept of man being naturally good but corrupted by society.

Mencius was a Chinese Philosopher, and he believed in Confucius's (social philosopher's) theory. Confucius believed that people are inherently good natured and should work towards the greater benefit of society. Confucius held the traditional view that all men are born good. Of anything like original sin there is not a trace in his teaching. He seems to have failed to recognize even the existence of vicious hereditary tendencies. In his view, what spoiled men was bad environment, evil example, an inexcusable yielding to evil appetites that everyone by right use of his natural powers could and ought to control.
fuzzybear

Con

In response to my request for a moral standard to be outlined, my opponent stated: "The definition of good is the most general term of approval, both moral and non-moral, whether intrinsic or extrinsic." Now, there are two possible interpretations of this definition; therefore, in order to be thorough, I shall address them both.

1. Goodness is determined by the approval of others.
If this is true, then all men are not born good because not all men are born with the approval of others. For example, partial-birth abortion and child abuse exist. Also, the approval of others fluctuates without apparent reason, and it is virtually impossible to have the approval of everyone at any one time.

2. Or, goodness is an immovable standard. Such violations of this constant standard would be, as my opponent stated in round one, "envy, hate, prejudice, covetousness and the likes". Such an immovable standard has to have been given by a lawgiver, something outside of humanity, a deity, if you will. This argument I have already given, and my opponent has yet to respond to it. I would like to elaborate on this point a bit.

If we have evolved, and I have inferred from my opponent's statement "This is why we have evolved" that she holds with this view, then we are nothing more then highly complex chemical machines. Capable of thought, perhaps, but nonetheless, just bundles of molecules, and therefore, there is no purpose in life and no moral law! The only way goodness can be achieved is if there is a standard to meet, and there can be no standard without a Lawgiver.

From both of these points we have seen that all men are, in fact, NOT born good.

Sources: C. S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity", pg. 34.
Debate Round No. 2
brittcb4

Pro

brittcb4 forfeited this round.
fuzzybear

Con

fuzzybear forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
brittcb4

Pro

brittcb4 forfeited this round.
fuzzybear

Con

fuzzybear forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
brittcb4

Pro

brittcb4 forfeited this round.
fuzzybear

Con

fuzzybear forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
"In Eastern Philosophy, man is believed to be inherently good."

lol @ "Eastern Philosophy" being a single unit with no differing thoughts on human nature.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
This guy has done the same four arguments all in a row.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
brittcb4fuzzybearTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: FAIL DEBATE, as both sides dropped out... (checking the voting period debates, from Least To Most votes. By giving this one, it won't be prioritized in the system anymore.)