The Instigator
Xparkz
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
Piffler
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points

Power Corrupts

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,172 times Debate No: 11843
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

Xparkz

Pro

The topic that has been presented before the gallery today is "Power Corrupts", I on side Pro define Power as "control and influence over other people and their actions" and Corrupts as in "to destroy the integrity of; cause to be dishonest, disloyal".

So what is Power? Power is the ability to do something, whether it be by one's self or through others. People with Power can do almost anything they want, but what makes power? Money creates Power, Influence creates Power, Numbers Creates Power. But I on side Pro do not say that these things themselves are evil, power is always judged and governed by the people who use them. Power can be used responsibly but it can also be dangerous for those with wicked intentions.

So what is the fundamental question brought to this debate?
"How to we decide that power, does more harm than good?"

I will begin with 1 point to start off this debate.

Probably the most infamous story of Power corrupting people is the story of WWII. and Hitler, as many may know the story Hitler used his influence and power to control and create armies to do his bidding, these armies destroyed cities, killed innocent people and eventually led to their downfall, but if we are to retrace where this war had started from, it would lead to the man in charge, the man with the most "Power".

In this instance Power corrupted Hitler, the power that Hitler was so engrossed in eventually corrupted him and had turned him into a low lived person who eventually killed himself. Hitler was obsessed with power, he thought he could control the world with his power, he thought he could move mountains and have every single person bow down to him.

The People in Power not only do not have to fight their own fight, but instead call upon the lower leveled ones to do their bidding. Wars are fought between powerful nations and their elites and leaders, but who actually did the fighting? who actually gave their lives in battle? Who were the ones defending their country? Definitely not the leaders, in fact the power these leaders had were astonishing, especially with just a simple call, they could start wars and end lives.

So really the question we should be asking is, What do we value more? Power? Or people's lives?
Piffler

Con

I accept my opponent's definitions.

Since the PRO is also the instigator, it is clear that he has the BoP and must prove why it is that power corrupts. I contend this concept with the idea that power does not corrupt, as per his definition, in order for it to corrupt, it would have to destroy the integrity of people. I will show why it does not do so by examining the main group my opponent is pointing out, and then looking at people with power in society as a whole.

===People who use power to do wicked things===

This category, which includes Hitler, consists of people whose ideals are not changed in any way by the power which they obtain. All the things which this group wanted to do, but never had the ability to do suddenly become possibilities. This leads some people to think that power has corrupted, as it appears to cause a change in personality. Rather, it simply reveals the true nature and intentions of those who previously concealed them from most of society. Since power actually causes people to reveal things about themselves that they were previously concealing from society, it does not corrupt; rather, it causes less corruption since they become more honest about their true intentions, according to my opponent's definition. The main point that I would like to make about this group is that power does not corrupt them, as they already have wicked intentions before coming into power.

===People with power in general===

Power in many cases actually improves people, as a position of power brings confidence and usually a more intensive work ethic. A study published in TIME magazine shows that a general feeling of power greatly improves performance. Thus, it is irrational to say that power corrupts these people, since it actually improves them.

Sources:

http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Xparkz

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent Piffler for accepting this debate.

So what have we heard from Con? He has brought no strong points to effectively deter the thought of Power corrupting people. Con has said that before people come to power they already had wicked intentions. But let us review for a bit, nobody is born evil, the people with wicked intentions are developed not born with. What drove Hitler to the top? What motivated him to become the leader of the people? It. Was. Power. The thought of power had gripped Hitler to into becoming a leader, with the said "wicked intentions". Once Hitler had hit the top, he became drunk with Power, it was the thought of him having so much power that drove him into other countries, his first goal was only to create genocide on the Jews in Germany, but instead he decided to boast about his power to other countries, killing innocents and taking a mass number of lives.

Con has also said that "Power improves people. as a position of power brings confidence and usually a more intensive work ethic." It is true that power may improve people, but to what account? How long is it until that Power turns into destruction? How long does it take for that overwhelming sense of confidence to turn against them? Ladies and Gentlemen did Hitler not have a "intensive work ethic?" Did Hitler not have a high position that not only improved his train of thought but also brought him confidence? So where is Hitler now? Where is his confidence? It was Power which eventually corrupted him, leading to his downfall. Is it so irrational to say that the power that people are filled with eventually corrupts them? People of the Gallery, I think not.
Piffler

Con

I thank my opponent for this intriguing debate.

I would now like to rebut some of the points that my opponent has just made.

To counter my argument that people are corrupt before they enter power, my opponent states that "nobody is born evil, the people with wicked intentions are developed not born with." And then my opponent later says, "The thought of power had gripped Hitler to into becoming a leader, with the said "wicked intentions"." First of all, I would like to point out that the fact that people are not "born evil" does absolutely nothing to affect my case, as you can be "born good" and then still be corrupted in the years before you take power. Then, my opponent basically agrees with me in the Hitler scenario because he says not that power corrupted him, but that he was already corrupt by the "thought of power." Then my opponent tries to save his argument by asserting that Hitler was corrupted by power into these actions. However, at a young age, Hitler was already obsessed with war and had strong feelings against the Jews [1]. As a result, my opponent's arguments that the power corrupted him are unfounded, at the very least, since we can see that power merely put his beliefs on display, it did not change them. Although I agree that the actions which Hitler performed caused terrible casualties, my opponent has not proved that it was power that led him to change his mindset (and become corrupted), but I have proved that he already had the mindset before coming into power.

My opponent then tries to turn my example of how people can get an improved work ethic through power, and thus become less corrupt since power is improving the quality of these people. My opponent has conceded this point when he states that "It is true that power may improve people..." but tries to say that this improved work ethic has negative impacts on society. First of all, again, my opponent has not proved that in the Hitler example power effectively changed his mindset. And if we look at the grand scheme of things, we can see that in many cases power is extremely beneficial, as it showcases people with good intentions and improves them.

Now, the other thing that I would like to point out is that the resolution is the absolute statement "Power corrupts." Therefore, on the PRO, my opponent has to prove that power ALWAYS corrupts. As he has clearly not done so, I urge a vote for the CON.

Sources:
[1] http://www2.dsu.nodak.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Xparkz

Pro

I thank Piffler for this debate.

So Con has once again tried to deter the fact that Power will eventually corrupt a person, but what excuses does he use this time? He begins by falsely interpreting what i had said: "as you can be "born good" and then still be corrupted in the years before you take power." That is exactly what i had said, "people are not born evil" which means that they can still turn evil thus referring back to my "wicked intentions being developed". Then side Con says that i agreed with him, in no case had i agreed with him that argument, is not the thought of power still power? My opponent then tries to encourage people to vote for him by showing exaggerated research saying that Hitler hated Jew's from a young age, but actually Hitler had hired a Jewish doctor to care for his mother whom he loved very much, and was actually quite friendly with the Jews at a young age, it was not until his adulthood did his feelings of hate develop. Power had not only put Hitler's beliefs on display it had also given the "confidence" to carry through with these actions. So through the end of my opponents rebuttal side Con has shown not an iota of proof that Hitler had a preset mind to kill Jews, and that it was not Power which had consumed him into doing what he had done.

I would like the Gallery to now refer back to what i said which was " How long does it take for that overwhelming sense of confidence to turn against them?" My phrase does not say power immediately corrupts a person, and did nowhere i state that, thus proving once again a false misinterpretation, i urge the Gallery to see what the real truth is.

And thus brings us to the final mark in our debate, have i said that Power ALWAYS corrupt? No. Have i said that Power immediately corrupts? No. Con has not only tried to exploit false findings but also urges you to vote for them. Is this the right thing to do? No.

In fact power does actually have it's good and it's bad, but the fundamental question was "How to we decide that power, does more harm than good?" And obviously seeing the arguments presented in this debate it is evident that Power WILL eventually corrupt a person, and that a obsession with Power will corrupt a person, thus bringing the answer to our question. Does Power Corrupt? Yes.
Piffler

Con

First of all, I find it disrespectful that my opponent refers to my arguments as "excuses" as the PRO has not put forth any legitimate arguments against my argument that power merely clarifies the mindset of an individual, it does not change it (so it cannot "corrupt" by my opponent's definition).

PRO then concedes that the mindsets of people typically change before coming into power, therefore power is not what is corrupting them.

"is not the thought of power still power?"
No. If I think of you as I'm committing a crime, does that make it your fault? So if I'm corrupted by the thought of power, is that the fault of power? No. Therefore, power is not what corrupts.

I would also like to point out the fact that as I have said repeatedly, my opponent has the burden of proof, and my opponent has not proved that power corrupts. The PRO has only given one example, that of Hitler, and attempts to discredit my source by using rampant assumptions that "it was not until his adulthood did his feelings of hate develop." If you're going to contest my source, I would appreciate if you provided one that opposes it.

My opponent then tries to save his case by saying that power gave Hitler "confidence" to carry through his actions, however, he makes no argument that power in any way changed Hitler's overall perspective on society, and thus we can see that in no way was Hitler corrupted by power.

"Con has shown not an iota of proof that Hitler had a preset mind to kill Jews"
See above source.

PRO then refers back to his introduction on the topic and asks "How long does it take for that overwhelming sense of confidence to turn against them?" PRO has not given us a single legitimate example of this happening.

Again, PRO refers back to his introduction and refers to his "fundamental question" which frankly is not relevant in this debate.

In conclusion, my opponent had to prove that power corrupts, and he has not done so according to his definition, as he only provided one example of "power corrupting" which I disproved with a completely legitimate source.

Therefore, please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Piffler 7 years ago
Piffler
@Atheism
He posted an RFD explaining his vote. Care to explain why you think I lost?
Posted by Atheism 7 years ago
Atheism
Do not votebomb. Counteracting commencing.
Posted by Joker626 7 years ago
Joker626
Pro, you lost the moment you picked your title. It's a universal. You would have to argue that power ALWAYS corrupts, which you specifically stated is not the case in round 3. The debate wasn't over power corrupts sometimes, maybe, eventually.

Also you make a point that power will corrupt someone eventually, which is impossible to argue against because of our limited lifetime. All the people who had power that died because of the good they were doing, can you say that with that power if they had lived out their full years it would have corrupted them. It's unknowable, and presumptuous to argue.
Posted by Piffler 7 years ago
Piffler
I find it kind of funny that we're arguing this when you're ignoring the fact that you didn't give one concrete example of power corrupting.
Posted by Xparkz 7 years ago
Xparkz
You seem to still fail to understand this simple concept, if i had corrupted you into doing a crime, that would make it my fault. So i am actually involved but in a non physical way.
Posted by Piffler 7 years ago
Piffler
And if you aren't involved, how could it be your fault?
Posted by Piffler 7 years ago
Piffler
Yes, but it wouldn't be you that corrupted me, it'd be the thought of you. So you aren't necessarily involved at all.
Posted by Xparkz 7 years ago
Xparkz
Uhh Piffler?
"is not the thought of power still power?"
No. If I think of you as I'm committing a crime, does that make it your fault? So if I'm corrupted by the thought of power, is that the fault of power? No. Therefore, power is not what corrupts.

If i had corrupted you into committing a crime, yes it is my fault....
Posted by the-good-teacher 7 years ago
the-good-teacher
Pro,, your account of Hitler and WW11 is way off, you have obviously bought into the smoke screen that was set up to hide the real reason for the war.,

I also suspect you are of the opinion that he had a dislike for Jews yet choose to ignore he had them in high ranking positions in his army, really your are right in your stance where the debate is concerned, but as for your example (Hitler) you really have no idea,, here's a clue,, what happened in 9/11 1944,,9/11 1609,,9/11 1972,,9/11 1857,,9/11 2001, look for the answers Link them up and you will see the bigger picture !!
Posted by the-good-teacher 7 years ago
the-good-teacher
Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true, (Eric Hoffer) 9/11 springs to mind !
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Atheism 7 years ago
Atheism
XparkzPifflerTied
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Vote Placed by Joker626 7 years ago
Joker626
XparkzPifflerTied
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