The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
DrAlexander
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

September October LD topic.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,729 times Debate No: 5078
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (5)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, first, some rules. This will be done like LD. You must have a value and a criterion. If you don't knw LD rules, learn them first, please. Aff R1 cannot have more than 7000 characters. Then, in the comment section we will have a CX, where Neg can ask up to 10 questions. After that, Neg R1 will go, and (s)he can use all 8000 characters. Then, aff does a CX in the comment section, where they can ask up to ten questions. Then in R2, aff only gets 4500 characters for rebuttal, neg gets 6000. In R3 aff gets 3500 characters, and neg doesn't go. We can check eachother's character limits with Microsoft word, just to be sure. For CX, we will have it occur asap after Aff R1 and Neg R1. I will be checking the site on the hour every hour until 12:00 AM EDT. Except maybe in between 7:00 and 8:00 while I'm eating dinner. So try to post your first neg question on the hour. If you miss it today, I will do the same thing tomorrow, starting at 1:00 PM EDT.

Here's my case.

Aff speech numero uno

Resolved: That it is morally permissible to kill one innocent person in order to save the lives of more innocent people.

I affirm.

To clarify the debate, I offer the following definitions:
Morally Permissible: conforming to a standard of right behavior (Merriam-Webster)

Innocent: harmless in effect or intention (Merriam-Webster)

Therefore, the affirmative burden in this debate is to show that killing one innocent person in order to save more innocent people conforms to a standard of right behavior.

Value: Life

Justification: Life is the appropriate value for this debate for two reasons. One, because the resolution refers to a moral calculus involving life, in that either you kill one person, and save more people, or you don't kill one person, and you don't save more people, and two, because life is necessary in order to pursue happiness, which is the only desirable end. We know this because as J.S. Mill writes "pleasure, and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends; and that all desirable things are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain." Pleasure whether for ourselves or those around us, is always desired in our actions. But, without life, you cannot have pleasure, so life has an explicit extrinsic value in that manner.

Criterion: Maximization of Life

Justification: Since life is necessary for the pursuit of happiness, and more general happiness is even better than less general happiness, as shown by J.S. Mill when he writes "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure." Basically he's saying that moral actions promote the general happiness of society, and reduce the pain if society. Since you need to be alive to be happy, more life equals more happiness, more happiness is better than less happiness, so more life is better than less life. Therefore, you want to maximize life, because by doing so, you maximize happiness, and maximizing happiness is the standard of right behavior that must be conformed to in order for killing one innocent person to save more innocent people to be morally permissible. Obviously, this standard has to be conformed to.

Contention 1: Affirming the resolution is the only way to maximize life in this situation.
It's simple, if we negate the resolution, more than one person dies. If we affirm the resolution one person dies. It goes without saying that more than one person dying is more than one person dying. (Pause) Exactly… Obviously, life is maximized when we affirm the resolution, so in order to uphold my criterion and conform to a standard of right behavior, we must affirm the resolution.

Conclusion: In conclusion, since affirming the resolution is the only way to uphold my criterion and value, you must vote affirmative, because otherwise, life, which I have shown to have extreme extrinsic value, is not maximized, and the standard of right behavior in the definition of morally permissible is not upheld. I now stand ready for cross-examination.

5244 characters used.
DrAlexander

Con

I apologize for missing cross-examination, but if anything, that is to your benefit.

I negate and accept my opponent's definitions.

I value Morality, my justification is simple. The resolution questions the moral permissibility of an action, hence it would be the most topical to affirm or negate in virtue of achieving the goal of morality. Furthermore, my opponent is not achieving his value of life, if his goal was life then it would be counterintuitive and nonsensical for him to commit murder, which is, essentially, what the affirmative is doing.

So, even if you want to except my opponent's value of life, I better achieve it because the negative does not engage in any action in which they murder. It is only through the negative's inaction that someone would die.

My opponent wants to maximize life, this is a somewhat circular standard; essentially what he is saying is that the only way you can achieve life, is though the maximization of life. You cannot accept this circular V/VC combination because all it does is beg the question. The second reason why you cannot accept his standard is because there is no bright line, you don't know at what point you have achieved the VC, you never know who better maximizes life because life is such an ambiguous term. With that said, I value conformity to maxims, this is because the only way we can achieve true morality is by conformity to certain maxims. What I mean by maxim, is a universal moral principle, for further specification, the moral principles that I am referring to are seen in Kant's Categorical Imperative, things like murdering, lying, stealing etc. are always wrong. My opponent does not achieve my value criterion because he is committing murder, my vc is a deontological one and at the point in which you are murdering someone you are not conforming to certain maxims hence not achieving my value criterion.

I will not offer any contentions, as the negative I do not have to, furthermore, my framework is already enough to negate.

In response to my opponent's contention:

: My opponent states that affirming saves more lives, I cannot deny this because the resolution states this explicitly, but the value is not life, rather morality and morality is not quantifiable and based on how many people you save, as I have explained earlier, the only way you can achieve morality is through conformity to maxims. since morality is not explicitly quantifiable, this contention is negated.

Conclusion: In conclusion, since the paramount value criterion is not achieved by the affirmative, you must negate.

5414 characters used.
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

First my opponent claims that his value of morality is superior to my value of life. He says that since the resolution reads morally permissible, morality is his value. This is an acceptable value, and one that I can work with, but it is vague. My life value is better, because it is necessary for morality to exist. As my second Mill card shows, the moral action is the one that maximizes pleasure. You need life for pleasure, so you need life for morality. Even if you don't accept the Mill card, life is still necessary for any form of morality, as without it, you can't really do much. My value is more specific, and his value depends on mine.

Next, he claims that the negative upholds my value better than the affirmative. This is simply not true, as negative's inaction leads to the death of many people, while affirmative does take life, more life is gained because of it.

Next he claims my VC is circular. This is not true. My second Mill card more than justifies my VC, as it shows maximization of happiness is good. It goes without saying that you need life for happiness.

Furthermore, he claims that life is ambiguous, and that my value criterion is not a clear line between bad and good. This is simply not true, as what life is is very clear. Life is when one comes out of the birth canal, and it ends when the brain no longer functions. It is very clear. Also, maximizing life means acting so that less lives are lost.

He then provides the VC of conforming to maxims. This means taking a black and white perspective on the world. This means that it is never okay to say, lie, even to save a life. This is a ridiculous standard that values perfect honesty more than human life. That is ridiculous! Obviously you cannot accept a ridiculously normative VC, as it leads to absurdities such a the one I mentioned earlier.

My opponent then goes on to use his flawed framework to attack my contention, but as his framework is flawed and leads to absurdities like valuing honesty over an innocent man's life, you cannot accept his framework, therefore his attack is invalid.

Conclusion: as my opponent's framework is deeply framework is deeply flawed, you cannot accept it, and I win this debate. Thank you.

3222 characters used.
DrAlexander

Con

DrAlexander forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

I don't know what to do, you missed that round, but if you reply, I can't attack it. Do what you want I guess. My arguments stand.
DrAlexander

Con

I apologize for my late response. I ask the voters to just analyze the arguments that were given in order to determine the victor for today's debate.

I say this because it would be unfair for me o post a rebuttal now, being the last speech.

Thanks opponent!
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Well I hope those philosophers die in a ditch. No just kidding, thanks for the advice.
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
And you are gonna have to watch using that argument saying that morality can't exist without life because there is so much evidence to the contrary of that by many philosophers who state that morality is a universal good not just created by people of life but inherent in the universe.
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
That second Mill card sounds like a knock off Ayn Rand card.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Whatever, it's fine.

25 characters.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Done. If you want a CX, just inform me of the time.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Okay, i'm about to type a rebuttal, so if you're online we can CX.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
I would like to just skip my cx time. Sorry, but ive just been really busy.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
I apologize but could we push back the time to 3:30 eastern?
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I just checked your profile, and you have not been on in 18 hours, I guess it might be that you won't show up for this time period, as you never got the message, if so that's fine, just show up at 3:00 pm eastern time tomorrow if possible, if not, give me a different time.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I'm here, I'm waiting for you, and I will be for the next hour.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Marine-Contender 8 years ago
Marine-Contender
LR4N6FTW4EVADrAlexanderTied
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Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
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Vote Placed by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
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pakipride
LR4N6FTW4EVADrAlexanderTied
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Vote Placed by DrAlexander 8 years ago
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