The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Possessive Impulse vs Creative Impulse

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/17/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,049 times Debate No: 95459
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
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Parameters and Precepts:

  • Round 1-Acceptance

  • Round 2-Cases

  • Round 3-Rebuttals

  • Round 4-Defense

  • No kritiks

  • Forming a new argument in the last round is unacceptable


Possessive Impulse-Impulse that relies on the ambition and greed that causes humans. to pursue materialistic success.

Creative Impulse-Impulse that relies on the compassionate qualities that cause humans to share and pursue the benefits for the society at whole.

This debate will focus on the two impulses Bertrand Russell explicates in his book Political Ideals. Russel makes claims about how the possessive impulse has affectively abased our physical labour force, and that the progress made by Capitalistic societies is abrogated by the work conditions and destitutions of the middle class. In this debate, Pro will be defending the possessive impulse, and specify the many advantages a society is capable of gaining if the possessive impulse was an impulse embraced by all. My adversary will defend the creative impulse, and form claims of the benefits the creative impulse bestows society.



I accept that I will be defending the Creative Impulse as the Con and I understand the definitions as you use them.
Debate Round No. 1


I respect Bertran Russel very much. My grandfather percieves him to be one of if not best philosophers of his era. Naturally, I would be inclined to read his works, and find out if my perspective on Bertran Russel would be similar to my granfather's perspective. I read his book on political ideals which is a very short lovely piece. In short, I found many discrepencies in this provakative book. The book explicates two impulses known to man which intimately impact our economic and political institutions. The possessive impulse which embraces the notion that mankind is selfish by nature, and an economic system should take advantage of this inherent instinct. The creative impulse, deemed more optimistic by many, believes in the amplification of our more compassionate instincts. A creative impulse would allow for two competitors to work together, rather than compete with each other. In this debate, Pro will be disproving the notion of the effectiveness of a creative impulse. I will provide examples of how mankind has benefited greatly from the possessive impulse, and how the creative impulse should be rendered null at best.

C1-Capitalistic Progress:
In the last 50-60 years, capitalism has proven its competency as a system that not only benefits the pursuit of democratic ideals, but also benefits the pursuit of stability and happiness. This contention will contain information about how two rival companies were able bestow us access to a more vital future.
The Apple Corporation has bestowed us with many aspects of our life that we now take for granted. I am of course talking about the Macintosh which was released in 1984. This computer revolutionized aspects of the computer industry which allowed the common man to access features that would only be recieved by a computer specialist. The GUI(Graphical User Interface) allowed for the clicking of icons, and access to a paint app. Before the clicking of icons, computers had the same aesthetic as CMD. If any of you are naive on the subject of being a pretencious hacker, than open up CMD.
The primary motivation of Steve Jobs was to create a computer that the average individual could use. This can be easily deemed to be a creative impulse, yet he ran Apple with ruthless efficiency. Some people percieved him to be a man with a lack of caring towards the needs of his employees. Jobs also was competing with IBM. He desired for the Macintosh to replace IBM.
Bill Gates allowed for his programmers to allow Apple access to Microsoft Office. His programmers required knowlegde of the language Apple was using. His programmers took the knowledge Apple unwittingly bestowed them, and established Windows as a GUI for professionals. He sold it as a software to an abundancy of hardware companies. This allowed for vigourous competition between Microsoft and Apple. Jobs desired the oppurtunity to dethrone Microsoft. Apple released new and efficient ways to process the GUI making it faster, while Microsoft marketed towards professionals.
Both corporations were competing, because of the possessive impulse. Jobs did not desire a chance to outgrow Apple, because of his will to help, but his will to gain money. This is an example that is applicable for many markets. This initialized two brilliant men to benefit us which allowed them to gain more advantages for themselves.

C2-Evolution of Man:
Possessive Impulse:
One might question the relevancy of evolution, but these two impulses can only be understood if we also understand man's nature. The term that will be heard frequently through out this contention is survival of the fittist. Although, humans have modernized, and obfuscated the old myths and notions of nature, we still possess the same instincts which have benefited our survival. How did humans survive? How did other animals survive? All animals compete for resources. That is a fact. Our immune systems compete, on a consistent basis, to repel diseases or anything detrimental to your survival. Humans developed tools to acquire more food. Humans killed each other to acquire food. Humans only started to modernize when agriculture was explicated. These occurences were driven by an impetus humans have. No one can dispute that humans hunted, fought, and settled, because of the possessive impulse. Our survival is always of paramount importance. We are incapable of changing that. It is in our DNA to benefit our own survival chances, acquire the best food, and benefit our longevity. I request an inquiry from my opponent. Evidently speaking, when has the creative impulse worked. The creative impulse is compatable with forms of communism. Communism's nature was to initialize the creative impulse of man.
Creative Impulse:
If humans were built upon survival, than how were we able to acquire the creative impulse. Compassion and morality is what forms the herd instinct. The herd instinct is what aided human groups in their objective of survival. Each human hunted in groups, because it naturally would benefit survival chances. The most powerful argument Pro can initialize is doubting the very notion of the creative impulse's existence in men. Communism and Socialism can never function, because their framework is based upon an impulse that should be deemed null. It is the possessive impulse that has allowed for you and I do have this provakative debate. It is the possessive impulse that has allowed for you and me to choose which food to eat, which video game to buy, which book to buy, which song to buy, which movie to buy, and which idealogy to choose. I request that my adversary answer the following questions.

Can you bestow examples of the creative impulse being initialized by humans?
Can you prove that the creative impulse is not a derivitave of the possessive impulse?
Can you provide a list of countries that have built themselves upon the creative impulse?
Do you agree that many of the aspects of our society our avaiable to us, because of men with a persistant possessive impulse?
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
Ok I'm done. Sorry that was way longer than I thought and I probably would have went over the character limit of the debate. I apologize that I didn't get back to the debate in time but i hope this helps to satisfy your creative impulse desire to debate this issue ;). I look forward to reading your comments. Also I wouldn't be opposed to starting a new debate, copying and pasting our arguments in the first two rounds then picking back up in the third round in the debate format so other people can follow.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
one last thing for the last question... Even the technological advancements achieved by Steve jobs and Bill Gates can easily arguably be attributed to a deep seeded desire to improve the daily life and culture of man kind. More than likely, its this motivation that set them on their inevitable path to change the world as drastically as they did. The possessive impulse was only necessary to adopt because of the world we lived in. Steve Jobs couldn't change the world without first evolving past Microsoft, he also desired wealth only so he could fund his life long dream to better his society. His wealth and influence were not the driving force, or motivation, behind his achievements but rather a by product of his real desire, or at the most necessary tools to achieve this desire to better mankind as a whole. This is the only motivation powerful enough to result in these magnificent accomplishments because there are other ways smart men can achieve wealth without impacting culture on this magnitude. Each day it becomes more and more apparent that possessive impulse inhibits the true progress of man while the creative impulse is the only thing powerful enough to affect it on a grand scale. This proves true through history and in other societal elements besides economics. Arguably, economics is the only existing societal element where man can still act with purely possessive impulse and garnish some form on mild success. Another example of the possessive impulse is the state of culture on the south side of Chicago.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
Can you bestow examples of the creative impulse being initialized by humans? One example is the preservation of our natural areas. There are many more.
Can you prove that the creative impulse is not a derivitave of the possessive impulse? Its hard to illustrate this but my goal was to show how they are related and that the possessive impulse limits man to only achievement of greed and materials, while the creative impulse allows for no limitations incompassing all desires including those of the possessive impulse but obtained through different motivation.
Can you provide a list of countries that have built themselves upon the creative impulse? No, there are no lists because traditionally mankind has acted with the possessive impulse and history provides countless examples of failed societies that developed the need to solely act on the possessive impulse. I.E. Rome, post WWII Germany, and the British Empire. Early America was a society founded upon the creative impulse declaring that all men should have equal freedom. Although America preserved many freedoms derived from the creative impulse, free speech-due process- right to bare arms, slowly the limitations of the possessive impulse crept within American culture halting the possibility of economic freedom for our people. Classes are stagnant, even decaying. The rich determine culture. I.E. media-monopolies-politicians.
Do you agree that many of the aspects of our society our avaiable to us, because of men with a persistant possessive impulse? Many aspects of our society can be linked to the possessive impulse, but these could also be obtained through the creative impulse. Furthermore our societies greatest accomplishments, equality of men-freedom of slaves-actual political progress- and positive country to country relations- were achieved through creative impulse, "autonomy" because of the realization that the possessive impulse inevitably inhibits mankind and creates problematic issues.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
While the possessive impulse in-arguably lead to some of mans accomplishments, most if not all could have been accomplished by also exercising the creative impulse, and the creative impulse is the only way to guarantee mans survival and continuation to thrive, if the possessive impulse was continued to be exercised it would lead to mans ultimate demise acting without realization to the considerable restraints it puts on progress of man kind.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
....autonomously, with the creative impulse in mind. This is can be said to be true because, Kant illustrates that man has a choice to act autonomously and heteronomously, or with the creative or possessive impulsive. Furthermore, man has evolved to realize this choice, evolving past the need to act according to the possessive impulse. Not all of man desires to act on the possessive impulse as it limits the ability to act autonomously with the creative impulse in mind. Not all man desires to be the richest or most powerful, some men just desire to live comfortably enjoying different experiences of life that are not governed by greed and power. An example is that some desire to just live in a small, basic cabin of the woods, performing tasks with there hands to sustain a living getting there enjoyment from being surround by nature instead of people. The show "Mountain Man" is a good example of this. If people were allowed to act with the possessive impulse in mind, greed would strip the world of our nature resources because of the desire of some to gain as much wealth as possible within their life time. the life of others as well as their legacy does not concern them because these aren't something physical that affects them in their lifetime. Instead the only hope to preserve nature and the way of life for some rests with creative impulse. Preserving our nature areas is not a law of our biology or environment but rather a creative one, an autonomous one, a moral one, that can only be accepted by the individual within their own thoughts. Acting creatively forces people to negotiate the balance of success and prosperity that individual finds in their lifetime with the success and prosperity of those around them and those of the future. These people understand that acting with the creative impulse preserves the happiness of all man in the present and future allowing for, not only the survival on man kind, but its continued progress.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
The possessive impulse is not a required element for capitalism to succeed just as the creative impulse is not a required element for communism to be established. Both of these paradigms for the economy stemmed from the possessive impulse, the only difference is that communism was sold as something that is for the benefit of all society, hiding behind a mask of creative impulse, compassion and the good of all man. In reality, communism only benefited those in power in the way of allowing them to maintain their status and power in society by control of its people. This is a possessive impulse acted upon by those in charge. Capitalism was open to people about how acting upon the possessive impulse will allow for the greatest progress of man. However, both economic systems are flawed. Communism already failed to garnish support. And currently we are seeing the Capitalistic economic paradigm to fail, the signs are all around us. In the capitalistic society we live in today, acting within the laws of capitalism, the possessive impulse does not even allow for those to achieve their desires of greed and materialistic success. In our society today those families that have found success, in the form of wealth, over generations hold on to their money and keep it with in the elite thereby ensuring their position to stay in the elite class. The money of the elite class barley circulates back into the lower class systems and currently capitalism is an economic system where the rich still feed off the poor and the poor don't receive much at all in return. This is a result of the possessive impulse and acting in this way, not only limits the progress of society but will eventually cause it's demise in a similar fashion to communism. Both economic paradigms act according to the possessive impulse and both hand cuff the progress of man and will ultimately be mans demise because of the possessive impulse. The only way to ensure a sustainable, flourishing society is to act
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
The reason I had interest in this debate is because while I was in college I got a philosophy minor and the description of the creative impulse and possessive impulse had very similar elements to central Kantian Ethical themes which were called "Autonomy" and "Heteronomy" and described in Michael Sandel's book "Justice: What's the right thing to Do? TO start off "heteronomy" was defined as- acting according to determinations given outside of me. Autonomy was defined as- acting according to laws I give myself. I acknowledge these concepts aren't exactly the same as the possessive impulse and creative impulse but bare a striking resemblance in the way that acting on ambitious governed by greed and materialistic success require one to act heteronomously and act according to the laws of nature/biology and the laws of our environment/society; while acting autonomously allows us to act according to laws we give our self allowing for the possibility to act outside of greed and materialistic success and act on ideas like compassion and the greater good for society. There are few laws, if any, in our society that require us to act autonomously and with a creative impulse but instead most of our laws restrict us to act heteronomously and limit us to act with a possessive impulse.

My argument is simple, although it may sound as if I am deferring to the possessive impulse and forfeiting I am not. My argument is that although I acknowledge that possessive impulse may have provided benefits to early societies that the creative impulse could not, the only way to maintain these benefits in the current advanced society we live in today is by way of the creative impulse-acting autonomously. In this way I declare that the creative impulse is the necessary cause of actions that will maintain and continue the progress, such as technological advancements like computer devices and software that you mentioned, of our society.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 year ago
First off @Aresx I'd like to apologize for not responding in the debate, every time I tried to go to the debate the website was down and by the time I got to it I missed the time limit to respond. I'll shorten my argument and illustrate it in the comments to at least give something of a rebuttal to prove it was not my intention to waste your time.
Posted by Aresx 1 year ago
Alright, Canis. Rebut Bertran Russel's logical claims. I am sure you will be thoroughly entertained.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
"Creative Impulse-Impulse that relies on the compassionate qualities that cause humans to share and pursue the benefits for the society at whole."..,,,, The point is that it has nothing to do with creative impulse..So it is basicly...Bla.Bla. Bla.
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