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Resolved: Inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 590 times Debate No: 75075
Debate Rounds (3)
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Welcome everyone. Today I would like to debate the Nationals LD resolution for this year. I find this topic very interesting and fun. I will be negating the resolution.

The rounds will go as follows:

R1 Con: Introduction
R1 Pro: Constructive Arguments (8,000 characcters)

R2 Con: Constructive arguments and Rebuttals (10,000 characters)
R2 Pro: Rebuttals(6,000 characters)

R3 Con: More rebuttals and conclusion (10,000 characters)
R3 Pro: More rebuttals and conclusion (6,000 characters)

If you would rather see the amount of characters distrubuted another way, feel free to comment.

**NOTE: You MUST follow the rules for how many characters you can write in each round or you will automatically lose!**


The first thing that needs to be done is to establish some definitions:

Injustice - An act which violates the spirit of fairness and/or which violates the rights of an individual. Most crimes can be considered an injustice.

Inaction - The state of consciously making the decision not to act i.e. to remain a bystander to an event.

Culpable - To be guilty of.

The question therefore can be written - If you choose not to act against the violation of a person's rights are you guilty of moral wrong? And my answer to this question is yes.

Consider this: there are two children standing on a rail about to give away - you can save one, but the act of doing so will lead to the other dying. However, if you do not act then both will die. So what do you choose? What is the moral action here? According to the Utilitarian doctrine or the law of the "Greater Good" saving the one child is moral whereas saving neither is immoral. And most people would agree that saving at least one child is better then standing by and watching both die.

Why? Because the ability to prevent a negative event is generally regarded as a moral imperative. The Golden Rule backs this up - If one must treat others as they would be treated, then it is wrong to leave someone to harm because no one would want to be left to harm. Even more then that as a society it is a given that each individual is compelled to yield aid because all individuals in a society depend on each other.

In other words whether one approaches this subject from the position of self-interest (Golden Rule), of greatest net good (Utilitarian), or from the view of social obligations (the Social Contract) to do nothing when faced with the violation of another's rights is to fail in one's moral obligations.

But why? What if something prevents one from doing the right thing? What if there could be possible injury to one's own loved ones or steep personal risk of injury? None of these are good reasons as they propose doing nothing. There is always something that can be done, and further it would be up to other individuals in this situation to decide what risk they wish to take.

To say that the situation is complicated is simply an attempt to divert responsibly and that is generally considered a moral failing in it's self. The name for it is cowardice. And yes the line between cowardice and pragmatism is very thin and rather blurry. However, part of being pragmatic is admitting that one's actions may well be considered morally wrong or even evil - and accepting that as part of one's actions.

But I'm rambling now so let me simplify this:

1.) It is morally wrong to consciously choose not to act against injustice.

2.) As an individual with social obligations who understands the concept of the Greater Good one can not shrug off the moral obligation of acting against injustices.

3.) Pragmatic practices do not excuse one from moral concerns, they merely accept that morally gray or black actions are at times necessary for a certain result to occur.

I think that's it - and I appreciate this debate's scope. The ball is in your court KingD.
Debate Round No. 1


KingDebater369 forfeited this round.


For whatever reason my opponent has decided to forfeit their round - in the interest of fairness I will not post further arguments or rebuttals. Instead I will state that due to forfeit my position deserves the Conduct point. Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 2


KingDebater369 forfeited this round.


My opponent was unable to finish this debate for whatever reason, as such voters should vote for my position. Thank you for your interest and time. Have a pleasant day.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfetiure