The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist those in need.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,262 times Debate No: 19236
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




1. Round one Affirmative Constructive
2. Round one Negative CX(cross examination) Just ask questions
3.Round 2 Affirmative responds to CX questions
4. Round 2 Negative Constructive
5.Round 3 Affirmative Rebuttal
6.Round 3 Negative rebuttal
7.Round 4 Affirmative second rebuttal
8.Round 4 Neg Final Focus


I'm confused as to the rules and/or what my opponent meant to do (see: comment section). However I am sure we can figure this out by restructuring the debate somehow. I'll allow him to make his opening arguments in R2 and we can go from there. If he wants to start this debate over, he can forfeit this one and challenge me to a new one. It's up to him. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


I apolgize once again but it was a mistake in setting up with the debate. The new order is;
1. Round one Introductions
2. Round one Introductions
3.Round 2 Affirmative Constructive
4. Round 2 Negative Constructive
5.Round 3 Affirmative Rebuttal
6.Round 3 Negative rebuttal
7.Round 4 Affirmative second rebuttal
8.Round 4 Neg Final Focus
Thank you for accepting this debate and Good luck!
We have all seen the begger on the street, the man with the stopped car or the woman who has tripped and fallen. The resolution asks us whether or not we have an obligation to help said person in need. I am in strong affirmation of this resolution. I will attempt to prove that we do genuninely have a obligation to assist those in need.
Definitions(all from Oxford)
obligation:an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment
assist:an act of helping
individual:a single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family
Now that I have set the definitions I am open to refutation of the definitions. If I may give my interpretation of the resolution for the sheer sake of clearity, the resolution asks us whether or not we have a moral obligition to assist those in need.
The resolution concerns itself primarily with the value of duty. Therefore my value criteron will be morality. Also it should be mentioned that I will be stating three contentions: one assisting someone is always morally right, two we expect people to do morally right actions, and three if the former are true then it is a catorgorial imperative and a moral obligation that is confirmed by Kant no less.
My first contention is very simple. It states that assisting someone is always the morally right action. We must consider one of the deeper complexites of helping someone, what are we doing when we assist someone? We are allieving suffering. If we ask ourselves if allieving someones suffering is morally right we find it is. In fact the opposite which is allowing suffering is always morally reprehensible. The Affirmative challanges the Negative to show us the way one can help someone without allieving suffering. If they cannot then the Aff. wins this contention and it stands.
My second contention is about the moral expectations of a individuals. In this we must disregard morally neuter actions which are neither required nor morally reprehensible. We must consider what we require of other people and what is required of us. Generally speaking we expect people to act morally such is mentioned extensively(even though relating to government instead) in Hobbes work about the Social Contracts. Also it should be mentioned most philosophers would agree with the statement " We are expected to assist those in need but for further evidence lets consider how we treat our kids. What is it we tell our kids? Play 'nice' or be nice. What are we telling them? We are telling them to act morally, now we must ask ourselves (being a moral action as defined in the previous argument) is not assisting someone being 'nice' or acting morally for that matter? It is not and further more in violation of the social contract and morally reprehesible since you are allowing suffering making this a morally reprehesible action.
My last contention states that if the former contentions are true we have moral obligation based on Kants theory and general moral thinking. One it passes the principle of universality or it can be applied to every single person without hurting people. Second we expected of it and expect it of other people so it passes the second test and the last test is that it is a morally right action which is established in the third argument.
In conclusion there can be no other vote than the affirmative today.


I thank my opponent for beginning this debate.

To be honest, I'm not familiar with this kind of structure (CX), though I will do my best to adhere to Pro's request. In this round I will be making my case, and will not provide a thorough rebuttal to Pro's contentions until R3 and R4. Hopefully I am doing this right.

Thus far Pro has said that his value criterion will be morality. However, morality is far too broad of a criterion. Obviously what is considered moral ought to be the focus of this debate as per the resolution. The problem lies within the fact that various moral standards can be used to describe what is moral. For example, Pro brings up Kant's categorical imperative as one possible standard. Meanwhile, I might propose a different moral framework - perhaps adhering to objectivist ethics. Both Pro and I could describe what is considered moral under our propositions, but our burden in the debate is to prove which of our standards actually defines one's moral obligations.

As a moral realist, I propose that moral statements are statements which express propositions that are true or false, and the truth or falsity of said moral statements is largely independent of our moral opinions, theories, etc. Ordinary canons of moral reasoning together with ordinary canons of scientific and everyday factual reasoning constitute a reliable method for obtaining and improving (approximate) moral knowledge [1]. In other words, moral claims do purport to report facts, and are true if they get the facts right. At least some moral claims are actually true.

In this debate, I will be arguing in favor of an objectivist meta-ethical standard as morally true. This proposal posits that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest, so long as one's actions in the pursuit of their own interests does not infringe upon the rights of another to enjoy or protect their own interests. If and when I prove this moral proposition to be true, it will negate the resolution that one has a moral OBLIGATION to assist those "in need."

It should be recognized that the resolution refers to the is-ought problem: what IS determines what one OUGHT to do. One should do what is in their rational self-interest. This may or may not include helping another in need. For example, it may be gratifying to me to help another in need and therefore I should. However, one does not have an obligation to do so. Suggesting otherwise is merely an opinion. The difference between Pro's standard and mine is that his moral proposition is based entirely on opinion rather than objective facts. However my objective system of morality is both possible and necessary to protect rights. We have no reason to accept Pro's opinion about what is "good" or "bad" vs. my rational explanation for such.

Following one's own rational self-interest (without physically impeding on another's) is morally good for several reasons. First, we have no reason to see it as a BAD moral standard. If one is not doing anything to harm another, then they are not doing anything bad. Second, we have a reason to see it as a GOOD moral standard. Here's why: An organism's life is its standard of value. One's life is the single criterion for which ALL of their values derive. In other words, one would not be able to hold ANY moral values without first being alive. As such, doing what furthers one's own life is good. Because people seek happiness and survival, then doing things to further their life and happiness are good. Infringing on another's ability to do the same is bad, because it violates their single most important value - their life (and subsequent happiness).

We have no obligation to help others - just an obligation to not infringe on their livelihoods unjustly. Thus far Pro has not given us one reason why helping others is an obligation rather than an option. Beginning in the next round, I will begin my detailed analysis of why his contentions are merely suggestions though not morally justified ones. Meanwhile, he will not be able to criticize my case. A re-cap is as follows --> Because values derive from life, and because only particular living organisms exist, ethics is inherently egoistic. Values are survival needs; they are ends required by a particular entity for its survival. To sustain and further one's life, one must pursue and achieve one's own values. What is or is not to one's interest is not self-evident -- it must be determined by reference to his survival needs, which, in turn, are determined by the kind of entity he is [2]. As such, some (even most) may find it gratifying to help others in need. However we have no INHERENT OBLIGATION to do so.

It is not necessarily your existence, but rather the perpetuation of your values that is of utmost importance. Morality isn't subjective - values are subjective. You have to support your values in a moral way; that is, not infringing on other's rights. Affirming the resolution impedes on one's rights by suggesting they ought to live/act for one other than themselves. Though I will touch upon this further in the next round, saying we have an obligation via social contract is not sufficient, as one is not bound by any contract they did not agree to either legally or otherwise (morally). One only has an obligation to themselves. While that obligation may coincide with assisting others in need, it doesn't have to.

Remember - Just because you might think someone SHOULD help another in need, doesn't mean that one has an OBLIGATION to. I might think Bill Gates should donate at least half of his fortune, as that would be a really generous thing to do with vast benefits to a lot of people using a utilitarian value. However, Bill Gates is not obligated to do as such just because I think it would be nice of him.

Back to you for now, Pro, and good luck.

[1] Boyd, Richard N. "How to Be a Moral Realist" in Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey - Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press (1988), pp. 181–228.
Debate Round No. 2


First I would like to clarify my case because from my opponents constructive she seems to not understand my position. One. Assisting someone is always morally right Two. We expect people to do morally right actions. Now without stating my third contention we can already conclude that we expect people to do morally right actions. If this is true than we are obligated to do said action. So expectation for someone else=obligation for yourself. If this wasn't true than it would be hypocritical to expect anybody to do anything. It should be mentioned the actual ability to do such a action is considered but it is rare that if you expect people to do actions that you cannot a accomplish. My opponent states that morality is to broad a criterion but this is untrue because I will use morality as the primary tool to reach duty therefore making it inherently valid.
Unfortunately my opponent has took a rather predictable route in suggesting Moral Realism even though it is inherently related to Egoism and may even go as far as to being related. But if I refute the moral realist position then I win this debate because my opponents position is invalid. For one it assumes the classical Naturalistic fallacy of assuming(which is false by the way) that what 'is' has anything relating to what 'should be'. It should be noted it is impossible(in ethics) to derive an ought from a is. Let me define moral realist;The moral realist contends that there are moral facts, so moral realism is a thesis in ontology, the study of what is.
"Because values derive from life, and because only particular living organisms exist, ethics is inherently egoistic" Incorrect. While we can say they are somewhat egotistical my opponent negates Biological Altruism or if she doesn't she doesn't know biology. Also my opponents derive from life, but this is also incorrect because a morally right action in one distinct operation may not be morally right when dealing with a different person or if a different person is in the same situation the morals would change. But to suggest this is ridiculous. Morals are absolute. This is the concept of morality. She also claims that it would be impossible to hold values without being alive, granted, but she also claims that we must do what furthers ourselves without infringing upon others rights but these are conflicting ideas, because the example she uses is nature but the Bear has no consideration for the salmons rights but according to this philosophy what is morally right must not infringe upon some elses rights or maybe a better word is livelihood. My opponent might try to argue it is a just thing for the bear but based on that own argument we must consider hunting, fishing, and corporate business practices immoral.
We do have reason to think following ones self interest is bad because(from Unitarianism we conclude bad) it leads to negative consequences. We have to consider the fact that being selfish maybe be good in the short term but long term we must be selfless because it is in ourselves interest to do so. To sum that up I am saying that if one is to act in ones self interest the theory contradicts itself at the very core, because often it is in our self-interest to act in a way that may short termly impede our own self interest.
My opponent is arguing a subjective moral relativist point but using ones self interest instead of culture as typically presented. Because she saying that morals are not subjective just values he negates to mention what morality is made up of. I will attempt to break moral subjectivism in this debate because if moral subjectivism is broken so is my opponents cases. I also disagree with her suggestion that morality is required to support values, my support for this claim is simple. One, Aristotle's virtue theory and two if this were true then any morality could fit the bill depending on the values one might or may not have. Also I would argue the social contract is one that is just as binding as a real one. In fact as Ayn Rand argues if a libertarian society was instituted we would have a much greater realization of the obligation we have and our own personal altruism. Also it should be noted that if societal welfare is to be considered than personal altruism is surely a obligation.
Lastly I would like to address the should or suggestion acussation she says that what I saying is merely a suggestion rather than a morally required action but this is contradictory because there are two problems with this line of thinking; 1. If this were true then what would the point of morals if not to be obligatory, I would ask my opponent to try and refrain(when answering this) from using Morally neuter actions and 2nd. If we expect people to do morally right actions then we are obligated to do such a action. I would ask my opponent to also refrain from using strictly monetary forms as examples because assistance rarely comes in the form of money.
My opponent is really using a single argument case that I have refuted all over this debate unless my opponent can hold her contention up I can see no other vote but the affirmative today.


Thanks, Pro.

My opponent begins by claiming I do not understand his position. He clarifies his case: that assisting someone is always morally right, and we expect people to do morally right actions. He then asserts, "My opponent states that morality is to broad a criterion, but this is untrue because I will use morality as the primary tool to reach duty therefore making it inherently valid."

First, I'll attack Pro's premise that assisting someone is always morally right. Suppose I wanted to beat up Jack and steal his lunch money. However, I would need assistance to do so because Jack is bigger and stronger than I am. Would it be morally right for Pro to assist me in beating up Jack to steal his lunch money? If the answer is no, then I have already negated Pro's point. Clearly individuals are not always obligated to assist someone "in need."

Second, based on my opponent's response it has become clear that he does not understand what I mean in saying that morality is far too broad of a criterion to use as a value in this debate. I'll explain it again for both my opponent and the audience. The reason morality is an insufficient criterion is because he and I are debating what the moral obligation is. Therefore, to use morality as a contention in support of the resolution (which is trying to establish a moral ideal) is circular. We are specifically debating WHAT IS moral, so Pro cannot simply assert that his position is the moral one. He must back that up with facts. He has to explain WHY his position is moral - not merely state it as fact.

Next, my opponent begins attacking moral realism which I find a bit futile, specifically because that was a random tidbit about my own beliefs whereas I am using objectivism - not moral realism - as a counter to Pro's case. Nevertheless, I will address his concerns. Pro says that ethics deems it impossible to to derive an ought from an is. In making this argument, Pro has completely dismantled his own case. He has successfully negated his own position. If it is impossible to say what one OUGHT to do based on what IS, then we have absolutely no reason to accept the resolution. The resolution says that we OUGHT to help one who IS in need.

In fact, Pro's original justification to uphold the resolution (Kant's categorical imperative) specifically adheres to the is/ought problem. According to Kant, we all experience an innate moral duty. He believed that our moral duty could be revealed to us through reason. He said that to act morally is to perform one's duty, and one's duty is to obey the innate moral laws [3]. Before I attack this moral criteria in general, note that Pro has contradicted himself in declaring competing points of view. If he is correct in saying that it is impossible to derive an OUGHT from an IS, then he cannot utilize Kant's theory in his favor. Why? Kant's theory upholds that what one ought to do (uphold their moral duty) is based on what is (one being conscious, free and able to reason). Contrary to Pro's claim, I argue that you can not draw a moral conclusion UNLESS you acknowledge what is.

Without knowing what is, you cannot know what you ought to do. Kant would agree with that. My opponent should too. Once again, if his claim is that we have a moral obligation to help those in need, then clearly what we ought to do (help) is determined by what is (someone in need).

Moving on, Pro denies that ethics are inherently egoistic. He writes, "While we can say they are somewhat egotistical my opponent negates Biological Altruism or if she doesn't she doesn't know biology." I find this comment to be rude and unnecessary by my opponent. I also find it amusing considering biological altruism in no way discredits my point. In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms at a cost to itself [4]. However I've already explained that one can act egoistically (according to their own wants) even if it requires a loss or sacrifice on their part. For example, if I only have a little bit of food and choose to starve so my child can live, then I will have undoubtedly chosen an action with a severe cost to myself. However, I will still have acted egoistically in choosing what I wanted to do. Therefore, my opponent's rebuttal of biological altruism has been refuted. I'll explain further in the next round if need-be.

My opponent continues, "Morals are absolute. This is the concept of morality." Once again, we are specifically debating the nature of morality so my opponent cannot make these bare assertions (which are his opinions) and use them as facts. An ethical subjectivist for example would say that morality is NOT absolute and in fact dependent on culture or other factors. Meanwhile, this statement proves that my opponent does not understand my position. Pro says I am arguing a relativist position, but that is simply untrue. I'm arguing in favor of OBJECTIVIST ethics for goodness sake; obviously this adheres to an OBJECTIVE moral standard. In the last round I explained exactly why that standard is limited to only one obligation. This obligation is what my opponent must focus on.

Instead, Pro made an irrelevant point about animals (which I will not waste character space addressing). We are not debating morality as it pertains to animals; I don't have the space to explain why and hopefully I won't have to. Pro continues, "We do have reason to think following ones self interest is bad because (from Unitarianism we conclude bad) it leads to negative consequences." Here you'll see that Pro is trying to negate my point using utalitarianism; however, his previous notion of the categorical imperative specifically NEGATES utalitaranism. Again, Pro has put forth competing moral values with little to no regard for what these moral claims actually say. He cannot use both values in his favor considering they contradict each other.

Pro continues to contradict himself when he says, "We have to consider the fact that being selfish maybe be good in the short term but long term we must be selfless because it is in ourselves interest to do so." He says being selfless is in our self-interest. Therefore, he agrees with my proposal of doing what is in our self-interest (without infringing on another's rights and subsequent happiness).

Pro concludes, "If we expect people to do morally right actions then we are obligated to do such an action." I agree, and our moral obligation is limited to following what's in our rational self-interest (and makes us happy) so long as we do not infringe on another's rights. Objectivists agree that everyone is morally bound by this absolute.

Debate Round No. 3


My opponent claims that assisting someone is not always morally right but in the situation she claims is a disprover of assisting someone. There are three main attacks on the example used. One, the person is not in need. It is never claimed that the person needs the lunch money to survive or even needs it for a specific goal, while they may not be able to take the lunch money without assistance it is never implied they need the money anyway. The second problem is that the person is not assisting or allieving the suffering rather that instead of assisting and taking away the need they are contributing to the need instead of assisting the person. The proper way to assist said person is to give them lunch money. The third reason it forgets that part of the criteria as provided in my first argument for a person's suffering is that not assisting provides morally reprehensible concequences because the premise of not assisting can only be proven if the opposite is true,(or that the action truely is assisting).
I would like to thank my opponent to conceding to the Value Criteron and premise which means that she concides that we can reach duty through morality. She seems to think that she refutes this but I think she misunderstands the purpose of VC and VP. This is understandable considering she has never done LD so I hope she stops arguing a moot point that she seems not to understand.

"If it is impossible to say what one OUGHT to do based on what IS, then we have absolutely no reason to accept the resolution. The resolution says that we OUGHT to help one who IS in need." Incorrect, I think Hume addresses this quite clearly. What it means is that If one were to say that individuals are selfish and this is basis for all being selfish then this is a fallacy. It would be a fallacy if I were to claim that people are in need therefore we are obligated to assist them but I never claim this I only claim that we have a duty to assist them and that our duty must be the reason we do this.
I think my opponent misunderstands Kants theory because what Kant specifically says is, and I negate my opponents source in favor of Stanford's Online Encloypedia of Philosophy, he claims that we can reach only the catorgorial imperitive through reason and never bases the ought/is it is rather whether an actions premise is right(helping someone in need) not on the concequences. I think my opponent misunderstands the is/ought problem. It is only about deriving an ought from a is. For example if a is is presented asking ourselves what should be? Based on that information alone it is a failure, but because we have rationalness we can determine if it is right but we cannot derive from being that something is inherantly right or in other words, ourselves being rational doesn't conclude that helping someone is morally right we must use rationality to determine if it is morally right.
My opponent next short part claims that because someone is need we can derive whether we should help them or not but this is false and contirdictary to Kants theory. We must help because it is our obligation to. Not because our rationality tells us too. But if my opponent were to argue they are the same then she concedes the point.
I apologize if you took this offensively one. How is an animal which as you described inherently egotistic(which still violates the Naturalistic fallacy) going to benefit from staving clearing the premise of starving benefitial to the organism. Choosing what you wanted to do(starve) is not equal to surviving. Thsis is a violation of Egotistic ethics. In fact egotism runs it self to the ground. But lets refute her out rages claim that I am not allowed to use more than one theory to prove my case. She is essentialy claiming that if two theories claim something is wrong even though they are not compatible this makes the entire claim wrong but this is similar to saying one argument is better than two. So I reserve the right to use multiple arguments in my case.
"He says being selfless is in our self-interest. Therefore, he agrees with my proposal of doing what is in our self-interest (without infringing on another's rights and subsequent happiness)." The claim is made, but if you don't refute this point than you agree that selflessness is the correct policy and then as the resoltion states Individuals do have a moral obligation, the only difference is that you arguing that we do because of our self intreast we are required to.
Also my opponent seems to be arguing Egoism rather than Objectivism. But Objectivism, as Ayn Rand says it requires that individuals assist people in need. If you read her book The Virtue of Selfishness, you will find that this is required. In fact Ayn Rand as philosopher(if it is even ok to claims this) primarly focused her Objectivism on political philosophy so even if you were to claim this works, it clearly wasn't intended to.
It should be mentioned in the second round my opponent clearly states she is a moral realist but I thought this was her position she would be arguing by "objectivist meta-ethical standard " I thought she meant a that Moral Realism was a objective moral realist. SO I will break objectivism.( "So, what did Rand mean by "selfishness"? In her view, the term refers to a particular form of rational egoism, "To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason, Purpose, Self-esteem" (from The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, 1989). Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1991) further clarifies: "[Objectivism aims at] the recognition and acceptance of reason as one's only source of knowledge, one's only judge of values and one's only guide to action."

All right, I'm all in favor of reason, and I certainly think that we need to give purpose to our lives in order to be more than just biological reproductive machines and I suppose self-esteem is broadly speaking a good thing (though too much of it leads to unbearable degrees of pompous self-importance). But for these to be the "supreme values" of one's life seems to be a stretch and to neglect other important aspects of human existence. What about, for instance, love and friendship? I suspect that they don't make the pantheon of Objectivist ethics because in some form or other they would conflict with rational self-interest." Also it should be mentioned that Objectvism(rational egoism) was a direct cause of the Roman Empire fell was due to(as we see in America) the rich having all the money and using that money to better themselves.
Even if my opponent were to prove that objectivism is the meta-ethicly the correct philosophy, I have shown and my opponent seems to affirm that being selfless(assisting?) is in ones rational self-intreast therefore there can be no vote but Affirmative today.


In response to my example about helping someone commit a crime, Pro brings up three points. First, he says that the assailant is not in need. This is not true because what determines need was never clarified in the resolution or opening round. Someone in need is merely one who requires assistance. Being in need does not necessarily refer to a life or death situation as Pro implies. This point has therefore been negated.

Second, Pro claims that helping another commit a crime is not really assisting - but assisting is assisting. The CI says that reason separate from all empirical experience determines the principle according to which all ends can be determined as moral. Pure practical reason in the process of determining it dictates what ought to be done without reference to empirical contingent factors. However it would be impossible to reason without considering empirical factors. Noticing a negative outcome (i.e., suffering) is an empirical observation. Therefore, in suggesting we have a moral obligation to alleviate suffering, one must conclude that the concept of suffering being negative was obtained via reasoning utilizing empirical data.

Pro claims in his third point that not assisting one in need necessarily provides morally reprehensible consequences, because the opposite is true - helping is good. Once again, my objectivist retaliation addresses and negates this premise. My proposition is that helping is not necessarily good, nor is it necessarily bad. It is morally good if it coincides with my expressed rational self-interest (if it's what I want to do, for whatever reason - even at a potential cost to myself). It is morally bad if the action is forced either upon myself by another, or on another by myself - as not infringing on another's rights is the sole factor in determining moral good from bad. As I explained, this is because the only objective moral criterion can be a respect for other people's values. Morality is not subjective though values are. It is moral to allow everyone to live according to their values, so long as they in doing so do not infringe on another person's right to do the same.

Pro continues to assert Kant's point - that the reason we are obligated to assist those in need is because we have a duty to assist them, and our duty obligates us to assist. However this is utilizing completely circular reasoning. Pro says I cannot say that because we are egotistical beings, then the basis for our morality must be selfish... yet he says we have a duty to assist, and the reason is because assisting is our duty. Obviously this is insufficient.

Pro explains that the is/ought problem is about deriving an ought from an is. He writes, "...Ourselves being rational doesn't conclude that helping someone is morally right we must use rationality to determine if it is morally right." Of course we can only use rationality if we are indeed rational, so Pro has negated his own point. Nevertheless, I maintain that any moral system discussing what IS must surely be based in some way on the way things ARE. Kant recognized this problem, and attempted to avoid grounding morality in some empirical fact about humans, but nonetheless chose to ground it in our capacity for practical reasoning. More specifically, in our capacity to express genuine autonomy by acting on universalizable maxims. As such, Kant does indeed account to the is/ought gap contrary to Pro's assertion.

Pro states, "We must help because it is our obligation to. Not because our rationality tells us too." This is either contradictory or non-sensical. If the conclusion is that we must help, then we ought to believe that this conclusion was reached through using rational reasoning. In fact, Kant uses rationality SPECIFICALLY to uphold his CI. He says we must choose what is moral based on what is rational. That is what determines our obligations.

Pro says, "Choosing what you wanted to do (starve) is not equal to surviving. Thsis is a violation of Egotistic ethics." I'm sure the audience can see the clear mistake Pro mistakes here. Starving is in fact equal to starving, whether it was chosen or not. If Gandhi starved to death and a homeless man starved to death, then both of them will have starved. This is not against egoist ethics and in fact supports it. As I explained, if one chooses to starve so that their child can eat (and survive), this decision was based on their ego - what they WANTED to do (have their child survive, even at a cost to themselves). This action can be considered morally right because it allows an individual to act upon their desire without infringing on another's rights or happiness. Not once throughout this entire debate has Pro ever criticized this ideal, specifically. My moral standard must therefore be upheld.

utal and ci

I pointed out that Pro has agreed with my proposal of doing what is in our self-interest if he suggests that selflessness is in fact in our self-interest. He says that the only difference is that I am arguing that helping those in need is therefore our moral obligation because of the fact that it is in our self-interest. However this completely ignores the fact that one can equally morally choose NOT to help those in need. Why? The resolution is about a mandate to help others because it is beneficial to THEM. If I deem in any situation for it NOT to be in my self-interest DESPITE their need, then the resolution is negated. Pro does not account for this.

Pro says I am arguing egoism over objectivism, yet clearly the two are compatible. He also says objectivism mandates helping people. I challenge Pro to show me where Ayn Rand EVER required this. At best, she said helping others is useful because it increases the likelihood of them helping you. However that doesn't mean that helping is ALWAYS the moral standard. Kant would say the CI is applicable

Pro says for self-interest to be the supreme value of one's life ignores other important aspects of human existence, such as love and friendship. On the contrary, romantic and other relationships ARE egoist in nature. We love and befriend those who bring us security and/or happiness.

Pro concludes by saying that objectivism (rational egoism) was a direct cause of the fall of the Roman Empire and what we see in America today: the rich maintaining control in society. The audience should disregard this assertion, as Pro does not prove it but merely states it, much like his other arguments throughout this debate. I could easily list a plethora of other reasons explaining the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire, and/or America's current economic situation. Further, anyone who understands laissez faire capitalism (what Ayn Rand proposes coincides with her ethical belief system) knows that what we see in America is certainly NOT compatible with Rand's propositions.

Out of character space - thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Mestari 4 years ago
I was looking forward to judging this... and then I saw that there is very little organization...
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
Good ol' wall of text.
Posted by Sterasmas 4 years ago
Again I apologize I didn't realise that I forgot to include clarification and introduction.
Posted by Sterasmas 4 years ago
I apolgize I made a miscalculation. Make a CX I will do AC in the Second round and Answer in your CX period or I mean now.
Posted by Danielle 4 years ago
Yeah that's why I'm confused...
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
He says R1 is for Pro's opening argument, yet he hasn't posted anything. Weird.
Posted by Danielle 4 years ago
Wait... What am I supposed to type in R1? Sorry, I didn't understand the instructions as well as I thought I did when I accepted. Am I just supposed to accept and you start the case in R2 or what?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was all over the place. Con gained the upper hand early when she showed how assisting others was an option, but not an obligation. Pro never overcame this. Each of his arguments were refuted adequately, which I found very difficult to understand to begin with. Pro loses SG for many grammatical errors such as paragraph spacing, misspelled words, capitalizing random words, not spacing between words, etc...
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: No offense, but Pro's argument is unreadable. I don't see anyone wanting to look into this in depth because of the lack of paragraphing. So this is the only thing I can vote on.