The Instigator
JBphilo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Petfish
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Pleasure and pain are all thats relevant to wellbeing

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Petfish
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 560 times Debate No: 84653
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

JBphilo

Pro

My opponent will argue that things other than pleasure and pain are important IN THEMSELVES to wellbeing.

Pleasure and pain will be defined as positive and negative sensations occurring physically in the brain.

I look forward to a thought provoking debate.
Petfish

Con

Thank you, JBphilo.

To win this debate, all I need to do is show one thing aside from pain and pleasure that is relevant to well being. I will use the google definition of this term.

Well being - The state of being comfortable healthy or happy.[1]

The BOP is on my opponent, so I will refrain from making any arguments right now.

Sources:
[1] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
JBphilo

Pro

Thanks for accepting my challenge.

Just want to point out before I give my argument that you have to prove that at least one thing matters as well as pleasure and pain. But it has to matter intrinsically (in itself) to wellbeing rather than instrumentally (like how money is instrumentally good for wellbeing because it can give you pleasurable experiences).

Right here we go.

This argument will show that if anything other than pleasure and pain (I will abbreviate this to PAP for ease) contributes to wellbeing this creates a problem. One can explain why instrumental goods (e.g. money) are good because we can say they relate to PAP. This allows us to compare two such instrumental goods. We can say money is better than reading cartoons because we work out the money will produce more pleasure than cartoons. However, this cannot be done for intrinsic goods. You may think liberty is intrinsically good as well as PAP. However, as the only link between liberty and PAP is that they contribute to wellbeing we cannot compare them. We cannot make life decisions as we do not know whether we should choose, for example, a pleasurable life with little freedom or a hard life of freedom. Comparing pleasure with liberty is like comparing the weight of a pen to the length of a piece of paper.

More generally there is no need to postulate that anything more than PAP is relevant to wellbeing. I believe that any other thing we may see as intrinsically good can be explained in terms of PAP and therefore as Ockham's razor says, we should choose the simplest argument.

What are your thoughts?
Petfish

Con

Negative Case:

1. Existence is relevant to wellbeing.

I hold that existence is sometimes necessary for an entity to have wellbeing. Additionally, even if it were the case that some non-existent entities had wellbeing, that would not negate the fact that there are some people who have wellbeing who also exist. I assume that if some of these people did not exist, they would not have wellbeing.

2. Fitness is relevant to wellbeing.

On a more concrete note, fitness also contributes significantly to wellbeing. A person who weighs 1,000 pounds would be a burden on society. If every human weighed 1,000 pounds, we would be less mobile and less healthy. Regardless of the levels of dopamine in our brains, our lives would probably be significantly shorter than they are right now.[1]

3. Longevity is also relevant to wellbeing.

A society which lasts for ten years would, in almost all circumstances, release more dopamine than that same society if it were only to last one year. Basically speaking, a society which lasts longer could give its individuals more opportunities to be comfortable, happy, or healthy, or the reverse.

My opponent might then say that these elements also relate to pleasure or pain. But it is not necessary for me to show something unrelated to pleasure and pain that is relevant to wellbeing, just that something in itself is relevant to wellbeing. Existence is relevant towards wellbeing regardless of pain and pleasure. Fitness is relevant toward wellbeing regardless of pain or pleasure.
Longevity is relevant regardless of pain or pleasure. There are many other examples that I could bring up, such as our perceptions and so forth. The resolution is very hard to affirm even if it is true.

Rebuttals:

“We can say money is better than reading cartoons because we work out the money will produce more pleasure than cartoons. However, this cannot be done for intrinsic goods.”

We usually cannot work out whether money or comic books will produce more pleasure because we do not know the future. In most cases, we cannot even scientifically examine our own amounts of pleasure. It could be the case that our nerve endings will fail us tomorrow and then being tortured would be pleasurable, not painful. So I find it especially hard to believe that we can objectively measure material goods, even for just one person.

“More generally there is no need to postulate that anything more than PAP is relevant to wellbeing. I believe that any other thing we may see as intrinsically good can be explained in terms of PAP and therefore as Ockham's razor says, we should choose the simplest argument.”

The ‘no-need’ argument does not disprove or prove anything. I could say that in reverse, there is no need to postulate that pain and pleasure are the only things relevant toward wellbeing. Similarly, there is no need to know that 2+2=4.

Sources:
[1] http://www.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
JBphilo

Pro

JBphilo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
JBphilo

Pro

JBphilo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by JBphilo 1 year ago
JBphilo
geho89 - This is not strictly lacking from my theory. Although it may be uncomfortable it may be the case. One might think that those who cannot feel pleasure and pain would not likely be interested in what happened to them
Posted by JBphilo 1 year ago
JBphilo
vi_spex The feelings occur in the brain. The stimulus are hands etc. We could theoretically have feelings without a body if scientists could release the right chemicals.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
you have no feelings in your brain, this is why you have hands
Posted by geho89 1 year ago
geho89
This is an interesting thought and fits into Utilitarianism and Hedonism. What is lacking though, is that the people who have disorders that lack the receptors of the feelings of pleasure and pain. Are these people supposed to be denied any well-being, which can be defined as a happy and comfortable life since as you stated, pleasure and pain is all that is relevant to well-being when these people do not have those sensations.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
JBphiloPetfishTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times, so conduct to Con.