The Instigator
funnybrad333
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
cloppbeast
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

RESOLVED: In society the common good should be valued over the individual's interest

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,152 times Debate No: 4149
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

funnybrad333

Pro

Individual interests interfere with the flow of society, as common individual interest's form a majority and represent the greater good, the common good. Therefore, as all successful societies are based upon utilitarianism, the greater good should be valued over the individual's interest.

I await your response...
cloppbeast

Con

The dangers of your philosophy can be exemplified with two quotes from great men.

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." - Thomas Jefferson

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjaman Franklin

The problem with your philisophy is that you don't aknowledge the fact that the common interest can and most likely will oppress the minority. For instance, it may be the common interest's decision to enslave the minority for the sake of the common good. This enslavement may be for the benefit of society, but how can anybody honostly embrace that decision?

Furthermore, individual interest will invariably benefit society as a whole. As Adam Smith worded it, "Every individual...generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention," and, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages." In other words, the common good is promoted by self interest.
Debate Round No. 1
funnybrad333

Pro

**Thanks for accepting the debate and good luck, I hope since this is my first debate I still make a challenging match**

Intro: The resolution: "In society the common good should be valued over the individual's interest" Does not include the term Democracy anywhere. Since your entire case is based on Democratic principles, I believe it to be wise to rethink your arguments.

Definitions: I forgot to provide definitions in R1, so here are some so that the resolution will be clarified.

Society - a highly structured system of human organization for large-scale community living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Common good - the good of a community
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Valued - highly regarded or esteemed
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Individual - a single human being, as distinguished from a group
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Interest - concern; importance
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Please note if you agree or disagree with these definitions.

My Case: A society, by definition, must value certain rights in order to maintain its populous. These are protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members. If these are to be maintained, a commonly accepted approach must be embraced. If a society is undecided in its national defense approach (i.e. military) then the security, protection, and because of those national identity and continuity are all jeopardized. This is why the majority of the society's populous, which inherently represent the common good, should be valued over the rest of the populous.

My opponent's case:
"The problem with your philosophy is that you don't acknowledge the fact that the common interest can and most likely will oppress the minority"
You do have a valid point, yet in a perfect society the minority is wrong. Do not confuse this resolution with a worldly entity, we are debating a true society. The populous of a society, due to every individual having different wants, will obviously have mixed views. When a decision is to be made, however, the majority of the people should be valued over the others. This is because if the society is to concern its obligations, it must value the more popular decision, as the agreeing with the minority would offer security and protection for less constituents.

"...it may be the common interest's decision to enslave the minority for the sake of the common good. This enslavement may be for the benefit of society, but how can anybody honestly embrace that decision?"
Again, valid point, yet the common good will not be embraced by that decision.
For example, a nation has 60% "A" people and 40% "B" people. If the 60% of the people want to enslave the other 40% of the people, then civil war would erupt and the society would jeopardize its security and identity. This would inherently not benefit the common good because the society is enslaving its own populous.

"...individual interest will invariably benefit society as a whole"
In certain situations that could work, yet in most situations will result in anarchy.
For example, five people are trying to become the leader of a society. One man kills the other four to insure his individual interest, becoming leader of the society, is maintained. This would do sufficient harm to the common good of the society as the most popular candidate may have been killed.
Another example, a farm owner, a meat manufacturing plant owner, and a grocery store owner are all attempting to succeed in society. If they acknowledged the common good of society, they would continue to play their role and allow the meat to reach the end-user on an efficient basis. If the they acknowledged only their self-interest, they would request additional compensation. The farm would ask more from the plant for his cow. Then the plant would ask more from the grocery store in order to compensate for the new costs. Then the grocery store would ask more from the consumer in order to compensate for the new costs. Even worse, these links in this one economical chain could very well activate a strike and discontinue production. In the end, the populous suffers.

Vote Pro because my opponent lacks reasoning why the common good should be hindered due to the individual's wants.

**Good luck on your next response**
cloppbeast

Con

First:

The topic of democracy is relevant to this discussion since nobody actually KNOWS what the "common good" actually is. There are practical considerations to how the "common good" is to be determined. It will be either through a democracy or some sort of third party (the third party not being perfect, either). The problems of determining the "common good" makes your argument completely impractical.

There is the possibility that I misunderstood the premise of the debate and that the determination of the "common good" is to be assumed. In that case I'll drop it.
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I acknowledge certain rules need to be enacted to protect the "common good" of each individual. In other words, I do not suggest complete anarchy. Certain rights of individuals need to be protected, one of those rights being the right to life and property. A collectivist government would protect each person from physical harm and protect each person from thieves.

Since no person can steal or harm another person in anyway, society will benefit from individual interest.
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Sorry this is rather short. I've been busy. Next argument will be longer.
Debate Round No. 2
funnybrad333

Pro

funnybrad333 forfeited this round.
cloppbeast

Con

cloppbeast forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Before/After: Pro
Though I did not really understand the positions at first, after reading the debate I realized I agreed with Pro before and after.

Conduct: Con
Though both forfeited, Pro forfeited first. A subsequent forfeiture is usually done out of courtesy. Unless other misconduct is noted, I always give the round to the person who follows the first forfeiture because I have "given" people rounds myself out of courtesy, and it is greater misconduct to forfeit in the first place.

S&G: No major complaints. Tie.

Arguments: Pro
As I stated, I did not have a position, or did not understand that I had one. Pro actually convinced me though at one point I sided with Con. Pro brought me back in his R2 argument. Good job.

Sources: Tie
None provided. Definitions are not sources.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
edit: The first "point to note" was in reference to the instigator."

Later.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Points to note:

1) Nowhere in the resolution nor in your round 1 is the society acknowledged as a perfect society. In the future, make sure to clarify such matters in the first round.
2) CON, don't merely rely on quotes. Most of your R2 consisted of quotes. Try actually presenting the viewpoint which you've authored moreso than presenting the viewpoints of others.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
edit on previous comment: ". . . will ultimately not be voting based on this point."
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
CON counters by claiming that no one actually knows what the common good is, but this argument is completely irrelevant as this debate doesn't concern anyone knowing how to determine the common good, but whether or not the common good would be considered superior to the interest of individuals.

He then drops PRO's comment concerning his rendering of the resolution (that we're referring to an ideal society), thus concedes to his previous resolution based rebuttals.

As for his final point, I wasn't quite sure what he was getting at with his premises and won't provide my interpretation out of risk that I could be wrong. At any rate though, I would have preferred some clarification on his argument (which would have been accomplished if it were not so short. I may come back to re review this portion later, but ultimately, will not be voting. I suppose it matters little though given his interpretation of "common good" is incorrect in terms of this debate (see conduct #2).

Ultimately though, I feel that CON letting PRO get away with his claim that this debate concerns a perfect society and that the majority is correct in such a society is what lead to his downfall. That is my main reason for voting PRO here.

Reliable Sources: Tie. Even though PRO provided links for his definitions, none of them revolved around this debate are thus irrelevant.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
As someone who is interested in reviewing debates, I will gladly review this debate.

CONDUCT: PRO wins this department.

1)PRO, in the future, please be sure to actually utilize your first round. I consider it bad form when a debater who initiates the debate makes his opponent make the first move. In addition, this also puts you at a disadvantage given that your opponent has more control over the direction of the debate.
2) CON, be sure to actually read all of what PRO says. He defined common good in the first round as the value of the majority. There should have never been any confusion over what was meant by the common good. There should have been no business about "the common good of each individual"
3) CON, it's quite possible that you were busy, however, the fact of the matter is that you hardly had much of an argument in your second.

4) Both PRO and CON forfeited.
Ergo, PRO wins on conduct.

Spelling/grammar: Minor gripes in terms of grammar for both sides, but I don't expect everyone to be a perfectionist. Overall, equal. Ergo, a tie.

Convincing arguments: CON's stance is that valuing common interest can and most likely will oppress the minority. He then cites Adam Smith to affirm the stance that individual interest is what should be valued the most. PRO responds by pointing out that the pillars of a soceity (security, protection continuity and national identity) if the interest of the majority is preserved over the interest of the minority. He then proceeds to counter CON's stance by pointing out that his arguments do not fall in line in the resolution (in that the resolution refers to an ideal society) and that CON's stance upholds anarchism

CONTINUED IN NEXT COMMENT.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
funnybrad333cloppbeastTied
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by InstantKarmaChicka 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by cloppbeast 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 8 years ago
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