The Instigator
scgates
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
headphonegut
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
scgates
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,642 times Debate No: 19584
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

scgates

Pro

Here is the main outline for this debate:
Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: Constructive Cases of Both Sides
Round 3: Crossfire
Round 4: Rebuttal
Round 5: Crystallization
headphonegut

Con

Hello I am HPG and thank you for starting this debate. It goes without saying but I accept. Good luck
Debate Round No. 1
scgates

Pro

thank you for accepting, this should be a fun debate. good luck!

I affirm the resolution stating Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need. Before moving on, some terms of the debate must be defined. Moral obligation can be defined by Black's Law Dictionary as a duty to someone or something, pertaining to the conscience. I will be using the value of Morality, which can be defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as ideals of correct human conduct. I will be supporting this with a value criterion of common sense. My value criterion upholds my value because by simply using common sense, an individual can make correct and responsible decisions. I will be supporting this with three contentions.
Observation 1: This debate is about the individual, not society. The resolution states that individuals have an obligation, not society. So before my opponent points out how impossible it might be to affirm the resolution in society, I will point out that this debate is meant to be on an individual level, not a societal level.
Observation 2: This is about a person's moral obligation. By going off of the definition of moral obligation provided, it can be determined that the debate is about whether or not an individuals conscience says something is right or wrong. Therefore, this debate is about whether or not it is right to help people in need.
Contention 1: If we are to expect others to care for us, we must care for other people. This argument comes from the famous Golden Rule. Although this maxim does come from a familiar bit of 4000 year old scripture, it's logical message is still relevant to today's debate. If somebody were to expect good treatment to come to them, they must help others in return. By using this common sense, one can easily see that helping somebody in need is the right thing to do, and therefore achieve Morality.
Contention 2: Helping others is likely to cause the recipient to help other people. The "Pay it Forward" and "Karma Seed" attitudes are especially relevant in today's debate. These philosophies state that instead of repaying somebody for a good deed, they can benefit yet another person by doing yet another good deed. This has been used in history and in the modern world. Benjamin Franklin, in his letter to Benjamin Webb, used this method. As the letter states, "I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money." It has also been recorded to have been used by authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay Compensation, Ray Bradbury in his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, and Catherine Ryan Hyde in her 2000 novel Pay It Forward. It has also been used in modern times with the "Karma Seed" website, in which a card is registered onto the website, and records different good deeds between the people that the card is passed on to. As you can see, by using a little common sense, we can help others, and achieve morality.
Contention 3: The fact that some individuals do not fulfill the obligation doesn't mean that the obligation doesn't exist. My opponent may argue that because some individuals do not fulfill their obligation to other people, it must not exist. That is not the case. As I stated in my second observation, a person's moral obligation is their duty to do something as pertaining to what the conscience says. Obviously, the conscience only says what should be done, what should be a person's obligation, so of course it is possible for some people to ignore what their conscience says, and ignore a person in need. However, one must not let what some people do affect the judgment of the scenario. If a person's conscience says that helping somebody is the right thing to do, then the obligation is there, even if other people ignore it. By using yet another bit of common sense, a person can make good decisions to help people and achieve morality.
In conclusion, there is sufficient evidence to show that it is right to help people in need, and therefore an individual does have a moral obligation to help people in need. To go over my contentions again, we must care for other people if we want to expect others to care for us, helping others is likely to cause the recipient to help others in turn, and the fact that some individuals do not fulfill the obligation to others doesn't mean the obligation doesn't exist. I urge an affirmative ballot in today's debate.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
scgates

Pro

Since this the cross x, i will just ask my opponent to state his case with his questions. Meanwhile I shall pose a few simple questions.

1. Do you listen to your conscience?
2.Would you agree that your conscience generally tells you what is the right thing to do?

that will be all for now, and I await my opponents response.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
scgates

Pro

since my opponent once again forfeited the round, I will just shortly state the important parts of my case

1. We need to uphold our obligations to others and help others when they are in need because we will, at some point, be in that situation.
2. Helping others my lead the recipients to help others in return. (similar to the "Pay It Forward" concept)
3. Because our conscience tells us what is the right thing to do, then if our conscience tells us to help somebody because it is the RIGHT thing to do, then that means that, according to the definition of moral obligation that I provided, the obligation does exist, and therefore I have effectively proven this resolution as correct.

I await my opponents response.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
scgates

Pro

Ok, since my opponent has failed to supply any arguments at all, there really isn't any point in saying why I win, because this has been, quite literally, a one-sided argument. The only outcome is for me to win, especially since it is too late for my opponent to post any arguments at this point.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by scgates 5 years ago
scgates
oops didnt mean to post multiple times
Posted by scgates 5 years ago
scgates
ran out of time?
Posted by scgates 5 years ago
scgates
ran out of time?
Posted by scgates 5 years ago
scgates
ran out of time?
Posted by headphonegut 5 years ago
headphonegut
dangit sorry bud
Posted by scgates 5 years ago
scgates
why not? im arguing both sides
Posted by Schwetzky 5 years ago
Schwetzky
REALLY??? again???
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
scgatesheadphonegutTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.