The Instigator
Mikeee
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Goonfodder
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Power over others is the cause of unhappiness in the world.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Goonfodder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,261 times Debate No: 18134
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

Mikeee

Pro

Power over others is the cause of unhappiness in the world.

Con will have to prove this statement false and show that being controlled by someone else or maintaining a group of people makes life easier and does not cause unhappiness in the world. First round is acceptance only.
Goonfodder

Con

Hi there pro and thank you for your challenge,I'll be happy to argue the con side so if your good with that,then fire away.
Debate Round No. 1
Mikeee

Pro

To make things clear, this debate about power being one cause of unhappiness, not the only cause, but a major one.

People with power over others are unhappy, and people who are control by others are unhappy as well, lose-lose situation. If someone has power over someone else their first thoughts are; I can now do whatever I want. After experiencing what having power is like, however, they soon realize that they have to do whatever it takes to keep themselves in power, which sometimes leads to their ultimate down fall. One example of this is Regan breaking in to water gate, it would not insure that he would regain power in the next election, but he believed knowing what his opponent was planning would help him. As we all know, because of this incident he had to resign as president, and give up his power. The next example is of a Roman leader that lost his power by having an ego to keep their power by any means possible. Alexander the Great tried to secure his power by taking over his neighbors, but each time they became part of his empire, he had a new set of threats, as his empire continued to grow, it got so big that he was unable to secure it, and the empire he work so hard to build and have power over collapsed. Because these leaders had power over many people, they were in constant fear of losing it. Do you thing Obama was happy when the US's credit rating was downgraded, was Bush happy after 9-11 or when fighting the war on terror. Leaders who have power of their people have to deal with stress that comes from the need to do everything right and make no mistakes so that they can stay in power. Other leaders have constant fear and build up defenses and an army to enforce their power. The king of England had many riches, but could not get a son, even all his power, he was unhappy.

Having power is one thing, being controlled by someone else is another thing. Why do you think democracy developed? People did not want to live under the oppression of an absolute ruler; they created new forms of government. Even people living in the United States are unhappy with being controlled by the government. How many people pay taxes with a smile on their face? When people have a bad ruler that makes bad decisions, they make life harder for them, they are unhappy. People who are forced to live in suppression by rulers and society are unhappy. Rulers, good or bad, cause unhappiness and are unhappy themselves.
Goonfodder

Con

Well first things first,thank you for accepting me as your challenger,I'll do my best to provide at least a little static
for your brain matter, if not a challenging debate.

May I also thank-you for clarifying your premise,certainly a little tougher than the first one I read, however,I believe it's perhaps refutable still ,so,without further ado,let's begin.

The aim of my argument is to show that power,in the context of this debate,is merely a tool used
to achieve an objective,and can be blamed no more for the actions of it's user,than a gun could be blamed for
the actions of it's user.

I'd like to start by providing just a few examples of how the use of power can lead to positive outcomes,with the
potential for happiness.

Parent/child....Parents have power over children,and most wield it often,influencing a child to act,or not act a certain way,,is a "non negotiable" part of parenting. Happy adults,of which there are many,are a direct result of a anothers power to influence and coerce,therefore,any happy child OR adult,is evidence that happiness,can come from a sitution of power being used.

Employer/employee.....employees submit to employers .Employers use the power of reward,to influence employees to submit to a set of rules and practices,in return an employee obtains financial reward which can enable one to engage in any number of activities that could well lead to happiness..Purchasing a computer to engage in pointless arguments on the internet being just one.I'm happy,are you?

Law enforcement/citizen.....Citizens give mandate to government to form authortarian bodies(eg;police)that have power to enforce adehrence to particular standards of behavoir,ensuring a sense of safety and security amongst law abiding citizens,out of this happiness is a very real possibilty.Eg- A victim of theft could well be happy when their stolen property is returned,thanks to the police enforcing their power.

Man handcuffed to bed post/woman in leather....This been an all ages channel and all,I'll leave this one to the imagination however,needless to say this is one submission to power with potential to bring IMMENSE happiness...hehehaha.

I'm sure theres other,perhaps better examples however,unless pro disputes that the use of power,or submission to it,
can produce an outcome,or response,that could include a happy disposition,I'll leave it at that and move on,

In showing variance in the way power is implemented ,we see clearly that power is controlled. Given that power,is essentially a formless,mindless, intentless thing. it can't be controlling itself,so ,what is?

Power as a tool or instrument.....
To view power as a tool,or instrument, we need only look at some of the words that the term "power" is often used in
conjunction with,Eg;-used/uses power,grip on power,wields power, words that clearly imply that power,is an entity that is utilized,therefore controlled,by another entity.It's seems only logical to me that if something is being controlled,then any result of it's actions,should,by right,be attributed to the controller,not the controlled.

I therefore propose that power,is subservient to the intent of the entity that controls it, and therefore,cannot be
held accountable,to do so is like blaming the gun for murder,instead of the shooter.The entity with intent,is culpable,
not the tool used.

In regards to pro's second round argument ,assuming all of these people pro refers to actually were in a state of
unhappiness,One still has to determine that it was/is a direct result of ones relationship with power,as opposed to one
of the many other reasons that may cause one to feel unhappy.As it stands,I don't believe that link has been made.

There is one other point I thought I should bring up and although it's somewhat irrelevent to the argument,just for
the record,I think you'll find Tricky Dicky (Richard Nixon) was the "watergate" president.

I'll leave it there for this round,and look forward to hearing your response.
Debate Round No. 2
Mikeee

Pro

Yes, the point about Watergate, I did get Nixon confused with Reagan, I tend to do that a lot.

You state in your argument that power is a tool and if used to cause unhappiness it is the fault of the user and not of the tool, which I agree with. Why did power have to be created? Power was created to inflict unhappiness, and often death. When man first wielded power it was over animals that they killed for food, weather the animals had feelings or not, I don't think death was a happy thing to experience. As man evolved, they wielded their power to inflict death to those who opposed them. We have agreed that power is a tool, so for this example let's switch "power" to a "weapon". When man created power they were not much more than animals themselves, so they used their newly discovered "weapon" as a tool that would insure the best chance to survive. It is instinct, whether it's a dog, cat, or human being, to do whatever they can to survive.

Here's another way to look at things. What dose power and influence have in common? Both things can be obtained, more or less, by throwing down money, with that being said, money also wields power. If misuse of power is to be blamed on the user, then how can you blame something on another man made "thing"? Money wields power. Why do people go to work? People spend most of their life working to obtain money; therefore money has power over most people. With enough of this "money" people can "buy" power, now, the more money you have the more power and influence they can gain. Most of power comes through having the possession of loads of money. People can choice to use their money for good or bad.

Why do people rob and steel? The lack of enough money drives them to do these bad things. When God created humans they did not have free will until they sinned and chose not to listen to God (weather you believe in God or not, just humor it for the sake of the example). Once humans had free will, they had power over themselves and eventually over others. Just how we cannot control, at times, our need to sin and our need to obtain money and Earthly possessions, we cannot control our need to have power, at least over our selves. Because money is power people with little, or any, money feel powerless over themselves. Power itself has power; just the idea of having/not having power to someone can drive them to do anything to achieve it.

These are the counter examples to your examples of Power holders and suppressed:

Parent/child:
Parents have the human need and desire to control their children so that they can use them, and mold them into something that they want to be. No parents want to see their child grow up and become a killer or a bum. Near adolescence, children feel the oppression of their parents and have the human need of individuality and free will; they want to create something for themselves. Why is this bad? When a parent punish their child they do it with the best intensions, but the child, and often the parent are unhappy. Because both parent and child are aware of power, and/or lack of, the power itself is the cause of this unhappiness.

Employer/Employee:
I have talked a lot about this when I said money is/has power. They only reason people work for someone else if because they have the money that they need. The most that the employer holds gives them power of the employees that will do what it takes to earn it.
Law enforcement/citizen:
This is simple; law enforcement is hired and payed by an employer, they employer has money that gives them power over the employees. The law enforcement uses force over citizens to enforce the law, simple enough. Have you ever heard the term "corrupt cop"? Some employers tell the law enforcement to do something to cause unhappiness on the citizens, the citizens are unhappy because of the decision of the employer; the decision of the employer indirectly causes unhappiness on the citizens.

Money cannot be an evil force, there is no way to live without money, weather its paper money, or a barter system, currency of any kind is just our way to getting along, thus concluding power is the cause of unhappiness.
Goonfodder

Con

Alright then,back again to try my best to show that power is simply not accountable for the woes of the world,or part
there of.first,i'll say hello pro,apologies for the delay in my responses,I'm a little slow at this it seems,as well as
rather busy with the usual things but anyway's,I'm back to it now and, feel it's time for some rebbutals,so,let the
rebuttaling begin,

pro said-:
"Power was created to inflict unhappiness, and often death."

Well I'd argue that the first man,or group, that stumbled upon a good idea for a weapon,(as I have a hunch
they would have stumbled upon it), wasn't thinking about how much unhappiness they could thrust upon the world.
More likely about how happy their own clan would be,enjoying more food,more often,consumed in
a safer enviroment,than they had before.So,however power came about,I believe the initial intent,of the user,would have revolved around defense,and sustenance, not to produce pain, more likely to avoid pain.So,using power,to create
a safer envirement for ones family and all,could quite easily be seen as a loving act. Power could well be a lover,
not a fighter.

Pro said-:
"It is instinct, whether it's a dog, cat, or human being, to do whatever
they can to survive."

As you say,it's all about survival,so if survivals the measure,it means if one creature suffers,
for a short time,to feed twenty other creatures,that has to be better than twenty starving to death,for the
sake of one. If power wasn't utilized by the twenty, they would starve.

POWER-
Killed one-saved twenty.
More happiness there than unhappiness,by a ratio of 20/1 in fact.Very much in favour of happiness and survival.

Pro said:-
"Here's another way to look at things. What dose power and influence have in common? Both things can be obtained, more or less, by throwing down money, with that being said, money also wields power. If misuse of power is to be blamed on the user, then how can you blame something on another man made "thing"? Money wields power. Why do people go to work? People spend most of their life working to obtain money; therefore money has power over most people. With enough of this "money"."People can choice to use their money for good or bad."

Why do people go to work? Simple,earn money to eat,pay rent/mortgage,run and maintain automobiles,etc,etc.Not to mention the social aspect,paticuarly for older types.At the end of the day, moneys a means to an end,and only worth the opportunities it can buy. Moneys a good tool,mans response to it's the problem.
.
Pro said-:
."People can choose to use their money for good or bad."

You said it,money can be used for good and bad and,as you say,the "People choose".
Money's brainless,what harm can it do.


Pro said-:
"Why do people rob and steel? The lack of enough money drives them to do these bad things. When God created humans they did not have free will until they sinned and chose not to listen to God (weather you believe in God or not,
just humor it for the sake of the example). Once humans had free will, they had power over themselves and eventually over others. Just how we cannot control, at times, our need to sin and our need to obtain money and Earthly possessions,we cannot control our need to have power, at least over our selves. Because money is power people with little, or any,money feel powerless over themselves. Power itself has power; just the idea of having/not having power to someone can drive them to do anything to achieve it."

People steal for many reasons,certainly not just lack of money.
I think the recent events in england,at least in part,were a perfect example of the
"opportunistic"thief,did it because they could sort of deal.Then of course there's Kleptomania,

Definition-Main Entry:klep·to·ma·nia
Function:noun
Etymology:New Latin
Date:1830
a persistent neurotic impulse to steal especially without economic motive.

Pro said:-
"Once humans had free will, they had power over themselves and eventually
over others. Just how we cannot control, at times, our need to sin and our need to obtain money and Earthly possessions, we cannot control our need to have power,"

Hell man,I'm so confused here,I mean,do we have free will, or not?

You may be right that we can't control ourselves when in a position of power,which would make it a good
thing we have the seperation of powers model at work,ensuring checks and balances to thwart mans
uncontrollable ways.Essentially,controlling access to power,which I think,is as good as controlling power.[1]


Causes of depression


According to the blackdog institute,the cause's of depression are:

Genetics
Biochemical
Illness
Ageing brain
Gender
Stress
Personality

Nope,no mention of power.



One last argument:-

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)-[3]
Not so sure about this theory,certainly a shitty way to obtain peace,however,given that we arguably live in the most
peaceful age man has ever known,all the while,living with un-doubtably the most destructive
weapons we've ever known,it's certainly plausible,given also that where yet to see an actual nuclear conflict.So,at least in theory,it shows power being utilized,not just to defend the attacked,but to defend "all" against conflict,per-se.
POWER-the peace maker.

I'd like to leave it there for this round,and look for to seeing pro in the final round.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[2] http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Mikeee

Pro

I have no new "evidence" for this round, only my rebuttal to your rebuttal, and some closing thoughts.
"Well I'd argue that the first man,or group, that stumbled upon a good idea for a weapon,(as I have a hunch they would have stumbled upon it), wasn't thinking about how much unhappiness they could thrust upon the world. More likely about how happy their own clan would be,enjoying more food,more often,consumed in a safer enviroment,than they had before"

When people see others who have done terrible, terrible things, like kill hundreds of people, getting punished, they wish unhappiness upon him, some people hope that this person will be locked away for life, and some even wish the death sentence upon them. When hunter gathers saw pray, they most likely though, I hope I can kill you so I can eat and not starve to death. Are you saying there is no unhappiness involved with someone wishing death upon something or someone else?

"As you say,it's all about survival,so if survivals the measure,it means if one creature suffers,
for a short time,to feed twenty other creatures,that has to be better than twenty starving to death,for the sake of one. If power wasn't utilized by the twenty, they would starve."

Let's say there are 21 people on an island about to die of starvation, and they have come to the conclusion that in order to live, one of them must be killed for the survival of the rest of the group. When the one that will be sacrificed is about to die, he is not happy that he will be saving lives, he is unhappy that he is about to die. Even though all but one are "happier" that they can live another day, the one on was still unhappy, so there was a presents of unhappiness. Let's also say they were all really good friends, would he be happy with the decision that 19 of your friends would kill a good friend to survive? Yes, it is true that people kill cows every day for food, but have you ever seen what the cows have to go through to feed you for a day? Many people, after seeing how the cows are treated, become vegetarians, or start participating in animal rights.

"Why do people go to work? Simple,earn money to eat,pay rent/mortgage,run and maintain automobiles,etc,etc.Not to mention the social aspect,paticuarly for older types.At the end of the day, moneys a means to an end,and only worth the opportunities it can buy. Moneys a good tool,mans response to it's the problem."

Most people pay for all these things because they cannot be stolen. If you steel food, you can get caught and have to pay fines or face charges. Most people do not have the power to steal, so therefore do not.
"You said it,money can be used for good and bad and,as you say,the "People choose".
Money's brainless,what harm can it do."

If there was a pile of money, that was big enough to get you through the rest of life, and twenty people with loaded weapons in a room, and all they had to do to keep it was to walk out with it, what do you think would happen (Only one person could walk out with it)? This wouldn't necessarily mean that 19 people would die over money, but it is a possibility, no one would be pointing a gun at them if they tried to leave without any money. Assuming it was a large enough amount of money, most people would not walk away from an opportunity like that empty handed.
"People steal for many reasons,certainly not just lack of money. I think the recent events in england,at least in part,were a perfect example of the "opportunistic"thief,did it because they could sort of deal."

The people in England stole because they had the opportunity, at the time, the law enforcement did not have power over them.

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden, they had to play by God's rules, just like if you live in an apartment for have to follow the contract between you and the landlord. When Adam and Eve where not living in the garden it was like they had their own house on their own land, therefore the controlled the rules.

(I'm trying to keep this as non-religious as possible) Because we DO have free will, we sin, therefore we have power, and it is used for harm (to bring unhappiness weather it is intentional or not), so because we all sin we all at one point used power to bring unhappiness, therefore, we do not have power over how we use power.
Goonfodder

Con

As this is to be the last posting,it seems only fair that I don't contest pro on any of his rebuttals,despite
wishing too.I'd like also to congratulate pro for been a fair and worthy adversary.Also,as this is to be my last
posting on my first debate,thank him for offering this opportunity.


now,down to business.


My main contention to pro's claims that power is one cause of unhappiness,is essentially
based on culpability,and at the heart of my contention is that man controls power,so man is responsible.Pro,on the other hand,contests that power controls man,so power is responsible.

May I point out here please that to date pro has agreed with my notion that power,can be percieved as a tool,
yet still stands by the premise that power(the tool)holds sway over man(the weilder,seizer,holder of power)
which I believe is incorrect and I simply can't explain my reasoning any better, then by asking a simple
question,which is,who controls who,in a tool/user relationship? I'll leave that question to the readers discretion,and just touch on a couple of points that were alluded to previously in the contest.

We use our tools to survive.
some got claws and fangs,some amazing strength,others amazing powers of camouflage,man got a top shelf brain and the thumbs to use it, Those where our tools,with their use we prospered.,,same as every other living thing,we use our 'tools' to survive.If they make us powerful,all power to us.


Possible cause's of unhappiness
Although it was only briefly refered to in a previous round,I think it's of interest to note that alot of examples put forth by my opponent required a fair whack of assumption just to establish unhappiness,let alone any clear link it was a direct result of ones relationship with power,as opposed to one of the host of other possible causes.As it stands,I think my claim in a previous round that pro is yet to establish that link,still stands.



I'd like to make one last point before closing and that is that as pro, has stated on more than one
occation that man has free will,it's rather contradictory to then claim man is controlled.Anyhow, as it
is the last round,I guess we'll just have to keep pondering on how that one works.


Well,I think thats about it then folks,clearly a victory to con on this one.unless of course one questions the logic
behind the controller being held culpable, as opposed to the controlled,unless one could actually wish for a situation
where it's normal to hear:-,
"Oh,sorry your honour,I chopped and checkered those innocent victims because I'm a "slave to power".
Right,Goodbye civil society when we accept lame-a$$ excuse's like that for our actions.


I would also point to the fact that despite all of pros attempts,to cast power as some sort of villianous,horrible character,one simply cannot ignore the fact that our fore-fathers use of power,and subsequent mastering of their domain led to prosperity.Well fed,safe from predators,It led to fire-gazing,then to arts,science and philosophy,it gave us free time to make up games, to take us out of the mundane.Power gave credence to think big,and the capacity to build big.It led to everything worth living for because without it,we'd still be living in a cave eating raw meat and unfortunately,the same power that enabled man to make fire,it's the same power that spills blood,well if thats the price we gotta pay to be human,then so be it,there the tools we were given and there ours to use, I take full responsible,as we all should, for any unhappiness resulting from there use.The alternative alludes to extinction,and thank "power",thats not the case.

Is power a cause of unhappiness?Nope,we wield it,we should wear it,seems only fair.

So thus concludes the programming for tonight,thanks again pro for the fun and excitment,and a cheerio for now.

Oh,and of course,vote con,Please.)



Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
"One example of this is Regan breaking in to water gate" - Factual issue number 1... it was NIXON who broke into water gate and resigned.

"The next example is of a Roman leader that lost his power by having an ego to keep their power by any means possible. Alexander the Great" - Factual issue number 2 - Alexander the Great was Greek (Ok... technically Maccedonian... but certainly not Roman).
Posted by nickthename 5 years ago
nickthename
Would showing an example of people not bring unhappy while being under someone else's power, as well as an example of people being unhappy without being under someone else's power be enough to disprove it? It seems like that's all you need.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
saying "the cause" implies singular, meaning that nothing but power over others causes unhappiness. It is easily disproven by showing examples of how people can be unhappy without power over others.
Posted by nickthename 5 years ago
nickthename
I agree, mikeee's framing is rather ridiculous. I guess its up to whoever accepts to provide a better one...
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I would have loved to debate this on the Pro side now that all my debates are done.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
If the BoP shift was not mentioned, I'd have accepted this already.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
It is, and that BoP does not fit with the resolution.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Wow... that's a pretty massive BoP shift.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
MikeeeGoonfodderTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro immediately shifted burden of proof which lost him conduct. He also failed to prove the resolution in any meaningful way, which lost him arguments.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
MikeeeGoonfodderTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: I actually enjoyed this debate, despite the horrible structures both sides adopted making it near-impossible to follow. Sources weren't important, conduct was good, s/g was narrowly con. Both sides had lots of examples (good) but needed more analysis. At the end of the debate, pro had shown some cases in which power caused unhappiness, while con had merely shown some cases where it was not. As con had therefore not rebutted pro's whole (example-based) case, however, pro narrowly wins.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
MikeeeGoonfodderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: While Cons argument was less then convincing, he did point out Pros failure to provide a sufficient link between unhappiness and power, which was all that was needed. SG was horrendous on both sides but Cons mistakes were far more frequent. In the future both participants are encouraged to use spell check or copy paste arguments into MS word before submitting rounds.
Vote Placed by Sketchy 5 years ago
Sketchy
MikeeeGoonfodderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A terrible debate. No sources in the beginning for either sides, spelling/grammatical errors, and overall low quality. Pro obviously didn't check his facts for validity ('Regan' and Watergate) and was very vague when it came to details. Pro also loses conduct for making his case easier after Con already accepted the conditions (...one cause of unhappiness, not the only cause...). I almost gave Con the points for convincing arguments, but I feel he could have improved his arguments.