The Instigator
Muted
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
CriticalThinkingMachine
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Plagiarism is moral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
CriticalThinkingMachine
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,287 times Debate No: 26084
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

Muted

Pro

Now I don"t agree that plagiarism is moral, but I want to posit that plagiarism is moral, I will put forward a case for it, and the opponent will rebut it.

R1 Acceptance
R2 Arguments
R3 Rebuttals and argument
R4 Closing

Any appeal to emotion is prohibited.
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

I accept your debate and your terms. Show me what you've got.
Debate Round No. 1
Muted

Pro

Plagiarism viewed as wrong is really a modern development [1] (17-18th century), comparative to the total time humans have spent on earth. According to dictionary.com, Plagiarism is 1. an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau's plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne. Synonyms: appropriation, infringement, piracy,counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off.
2. a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation: "These two manuscripts are clearly plagiarisms," the editor said, tossing them angrily on the floor.
Moral is 1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conductor the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work; moralizing: a moral novel.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
5. conforming to the rules of right conduct ( opposed to immoral): a moral man.

Accordingly, it must be noted that if all man"s ideas are equal, no moral code can be above another. Hence the idea of right or wrong is merely relative to each person. Since this is the case, plagiarism is right because of the following reasons.

1. It is not illegal. No law or statute currently in existence has the word "plagiarism" in it. Hence it is not a breach of the law to do so. [2]

2. Intellectual property. IP is "creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized in law." [3] Now, the whole idea of IP is absurd. Suppose that I stated a well known fact without crediting the idea creator. For example, I say that the earth is revolving around the sun to a young child. It would be absurd to say immediately after this, "according to Galileo" or to provide citations to his original works.

Since it is not illegal and IP is impractical, it is not immoral. There are three ways of dealing with such an issue: immoral, amoral, and moral.

It is not amoral, because it does not lie outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply[4].
Therefore, the only other logical alternative would be moral.

References.
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.theaoi.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

INTRODUCTION

In his posting for round two, my opponent has presented an argument for his resolution that plagiarism is moral. First he defines the words “plagiarism” and “moral”, and then he proceeds with his argument. He has not presented a direct argument for his resolution but an indirect one. He argues that plagiarism is moral because it is not amoral or immoral. I have broken his argument up into its separate points and have addressed them individually.

ARGUMENTS

1- Accordingly, it must be noted that if all man"s [sic] ideas are equal, no moral code can be above another. Hence the idea of right or wrong is merely relative to each person. Since this is the case, plagiarism is right because of the following reasons.

1A- unsupported point
Pro provides no argument for his relativism. He just assumes it.

1
B- self-defeating point
Rather than supporting his resolution, this point actually negates Pro’s resolution. If there is no objective moral (right) nor immoral (wrong), then plagiarism cannot be moral (right). In fact, this point negates the entire debate. Neither of us can objectively argue that plagiarism is moral or immoral. Both the resolution and the negation of the resolution would be true, as each is true relative to the one who holds it.

2- It is not illegal. No law or statute currently in existence has the word "plagiarism" in it. Hence it is not a breach of the law to do so.

2A- no objection
No objection here, except it should be noted that copyright infringement, the brother of plagiarism, is illegal.

3- Intellectual property. IP is "creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized in law." Now, the whole idea of IP is absurd. Suppose that I stated a well known fact without crediting the idea creator. For example, I say that the earth is revolving around the sun to a young child. It would be absurd to say immediately after this, "according to Galileo" or to provide citations to his original work.

3A- refuting the example
The analogy that Pro uses to support his case that intellectual property is absurd is very poor for the following reason: The fact that the earth revolves around the sun has been (probably) universally accepted and is understood to be the discovery of Galileo. It is information that is readily available in both literature and the internet. There is no need to mention Galileo because it should already be understood that Galileo discovered this. We generally would not use the term plagiarism to refer to the act of stating Galileo’s discoveries without citing his original works. Context is very important.

Pro misunderstands what he is objecting to here. He thinks he is objecting to intellectual property. But he’s actually objecting to the idea that is it always wrong to present someone’s intellectual property without giving credit.

Pro has not demonstrated that intellectual property is absurd. He has only demonstrated that one particular example of the mentioning of the intellectual property of another without giving credit is not wrong. This is a well-known fallacy studied by logicians and is known as “refuting the example”.

3- Since it is not illegal and IP is impractical, it is not immoral.

3A- legality does not equal morality
Just because something is not illegal does not mean that it is not immoral. Cheating on your spouse is not illegal. Does that mean it is not immoral? While legality is supposed to be based on morality, it often is not.

3B- false claim
I have already demonstrated that IP is not impractical and that Pro used a bad example to show its impracticality. His resolution that plagiarism is immoral does not follow.

3C- self-defeating point
This points, again, contradicts Pro’s previous point that morality is relative. If morality is relative, then he cannot objectively say that plagiarism is not immoral because it is not illegal. I can say that it is immoral just because it is to me.

4- It is not amoral, because it does not lie outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply.

4A- self-defeating point
This point also contradicts Pro’s previous point that morality is relative. If there is no objective morality, then we cannot objectively say that plagiarism is not amoral. That may be true for Pro but it may not be true for me. Another way of saying this is that if there is no objective sphere of moral judgments, then
plagiarism is amoral because it does lie outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply, because everything does.

- - - - -

Plagiarism is immoral for the very reason that it is dishonest. It is an attempt to pass off the ideas of another as if they were one’s own ideas. That is lying. And it may beneficial for the one who is plagiarizing, but it is unfair to the one who was plagiarized. Bottom line, it is unfair, therefore it is immoral.

CONDUCT

I have no objection to Pro’s conduct.

GRAMMAR/SPELLING

Pro had one grammatical error that I could find.

ORGANIZATION

Pro’s organization style is basically good. I have no objection.

SOURCES

I have no objection to Pro’s sources.

It was unnecessary for me to use sources as I did not make any factual claims.

CONCLUSION

Aside from his point that plagiarism is not illegal, there are problems with all of Pro’s points making up his argument, and these problems render his resolution unsupported. Meanwhile, common sense dictates that plagiarism is immoral.
Debate Round No. 2
Muted

Pro

CTM, I really can't argue with that. Concede defeat, I do. Vote Con because I can't refute him.
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

I would like to thank Muted for a very interesting and fun debate. It certainly was a unique debate and I give my opponent credit for playing devil’s advocate as well as providing a graceful concession. I notice that he is pretty new to the site. I hope that he is enjoying debating on debate.org as much as I do. I look forward to reading his future debates.

I extend all my arguments. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

Thanks, Muted.

VOTE

conduct: tie

grammar/spelling: tie

arguments: con

sources: tie (pro's sources were reliable and I did not require sources for my arguments)

Three points to me.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Muted 2 years ago
Muted
I do not agree with my arguments. Yes. I did find the same problems or similar. I just wanted to see if there were others capable of writing it out. The relativism is part of the argument.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 2 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
Muted

I have some questions for you about this debate. They're just things I'm curious about. I would have liked to say this to you in a message but your message section is blocked.

You said that you don"t believe that plagiarism is wrong, but that you would present an argument for it, so you were basically playing devil"s advocate. This is an interesting technique. This also implies that you don"t agree with the argument that you put forth. Is that the case?

If so, did you find the same problems with your argument that I found? Did you find different problems? Why do you not believe that plagiarism is moral?

I"m very curious also as to how you came up with this argument.

Also, I took note of the fact that you relied on relativism to support your resolution. And I noticed that on your profile it states that you are a Christian. I"m sure that you are aware of the problem of being both a Christian and a relativist. But then, is this an example of something that you were merely positing to support your case but do not yourself accept?
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 2 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
No need to apologize. I greatly enjoyed debating you, Muted.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 2 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
No need to apologize. I greatly enjoyed debating you, Muted.
Posted by Muted 2 years ago
Muted
Hey Critical, I"m sorry, but I can"t refute you, thanks for taking the time though.
Posted by Muted 2 years ago
Muted
Ideally, the comment section should be about the debaters performance, not the debate topic. If one wishes to talk about the topic, one should start another debate.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 2 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
rationalmadman

This debate is not about whether or not rich men should get credit for poor peoples work or if he who came first should be valued over he who could have done it best. It's a debate about plagiarism. Stay on topic.
Posted by hghppjfan 2 years ago
hghppjfan
What is exactly the debate (aka can you rephrase the debate)?
Posted by RationalMadman 2 years ago
RationalMadman
I am with muted i meant to say.
Posted by RationalMadman 2 years ago
RationalMadman
100% with. Fuq patenting, f*ck the rich men getting credit for poor people's work and f*ck the system where he who came first is valued over he who could have done it best. criticalthinkingmachine
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 2 years ago
Microsuck
MutedCriticalThinkingMachineTied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited
Vote Placed by Clash 2 years ago
Clash
MutedCriticalThinkingMachineTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 2 years ago
emospongebob527
MutedCriticalThinkingMachineTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: CTM said so b*tches! >:D