The Instigator
Team_X
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Team_Y
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Team Debate: Looking good is a moral duty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Team_Y
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,625 times Debate No: 36403
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (35)
Votes (5)

 

Team_X

Pro

Welcome to our team debate!

Team_X members are wrichcirw and rross
Team_Y members are bladerunner060 and xXCryptoXx

Some definitions:

look (verb): have the appearance or give the [visual] impression of being (1)

good (adj):to be desired or approved of: pleasing and welcome; showing approval (2)

moral duty: A duty which one owes, and which he ought to perform, but which he is not legally bound to fulfill. (3)

(1) http://oxforddictionaries.com...
(2) http://oxforddictionaries.com...
(3) http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

First round is for acceptance.

Team_Y

Con

Post by: bladerunner060 / Team Captain: bladerunner060

As per the rules, the first round is acceptance, and so, we accept.

The Team_X Captain has graciously acquiesced to my request for a brief statement, though, about Team Debates. This is, obviously, not related to the resolution at hand.

Team Debates have been a frequent request on this site. Previous attempts at actually implementing Team Debating, however, have been less-than-stellar. I'm hoping this proof-of-concept debate will demonstrate how team debating can work on DDO.

Airmax intends to create a forum post about it, but let me say here for the benefit of the casual reader that rross and I have set these accounts up with airmax's blessing. Hopefully, once this proof-of-concept has been executed successfully, this concept can be expanded into something more.

In the meantime, though, please remember that this was only created and initiated after contacting airmax.

Multi-accounting can cause serious problems, and so there are strict guidelines for how this concept is operating now, and how it will hopefully operate in the future. I guess what I'm saying is, that just because you see these profiles and know that rross and myself are "running" them as Captains doesn't mean that new accounts can be created willy-nilly. Please visit the forum post and/or communicate with airmax before doing anything that would cause our president or Juggle to think this is a bad idea.

A few notes on formatting:

You'll note that the top of this post has my name twice. That's because I'm both the writer of this post and the Team Captain. When my partner (xXCryptoXx) has his turn, the Team Captain field will still be me, but the post itself will be his. My job as Captain isn't to write his posts, or even to edit them. However, only Team Captains have access to Team Accounts. Rross and I are responsible for screening for obvious trolling, pure abuse, and profanity/obscenity; this doesn't preclude an internal team discussion, of course. But each post belongs to the writer, for good or bad (for example, this one that I've got my name on is probably already insufferable). I'm posting the Team Captain below the writer of the post just as a reminder; if I do allow something wildly inappropriate to be posted, I'll be just as responsible as my partner for it. Luckily, I don't think rross or myself have to worry much about that with our team-mates, but it's worth remembering.

I thank rross, wrichcirw, and xXCryptoXx for being part of this experiment, and airmax for being our Cave Johnson and letting us try it. Like all good experiments, the process will help us learn something no matter how it goes.

And so, with optimism, I turn the floor over to Team_X for their opening case!
Debate Round No. 1
Team_X

Pro

Thank you, Team Y, for accepting this debate.


Introduction

Vanity and narcissism are often condemned in our society, and rightly so. They are examples of distorted and extreme behavior. Unfortunately, appearance obsession is all around us in advertising, music videos, and the beauty industry, and it can almost seem as if trying to look good is the height of superficiality and the opposite of moral behavior.

This isn't true, however. There are gluttons, but eating appropriate and healthy meals is still better than starving yourself. There are creepy, stalker guys, but it's still better to care about people than it is to be indifferent to everyone.
Similarly, although some people obsess about their looks to an unhealthy extent, we should still take appropriate responsibility for the impact of our appearance on ourselves and others.

To win this debate, PRO will show that making an effort to look good aligns with mainstream moral values.


Argument


Moral duty: personal responsibility and caring for others


Moral systems differ between societies, but there are some common themes. A study of major religions and secular organizations found four moral categories that were "universal", including the following:

1. Self-respect, but with humility, self-discipline and acceptance of personal responsibility.
2. Respect and caring for others (i.e. the Golden Rule) (1)

These moral values are certainly familiar to us; we will now describe the ways that looking good fits this moral framework.


Self-Respect - Looking good makes us behave better

Getting dressed to go out in public is a ritual. We dress in different ways for different situations. Fixing our appearance is preparation for, and acknowledgement of, our membership in something greater than ourselves - human society.

Our understanding of how we're perceived primes us towards relating to people in a particular way. Studies have shown that having an attractive avatar makes people more friendly in online environments (2). In the real world, outfit styles can directly affect people's self-confidence (3) and even their beliefs about their own personalities (4).


Preparation of appearance is preparation of intent. Walking out the door looking good is our commitment to society - it's the framing of our moral selves.


Looking good improves the moral behavior of others



Humans are very sensitive to our social and physical environments. According to broken windows theory, even just one example of social deviance in the environment (a broken window) is enough to prompt other people to deviate from good behavior (5). One example of disorder could be a man with a swastika tattoo on his scalp - or some other physical expression of social deviance. Examples of incivility and disorder can negatively affect everything from arson (6) to sexually risky behavior (7).

In contrast, an attractive, well-maintained environment full of people dressed respectfully creates an environment that inspires us to behave well. Therefore, it is our moral duty to dress in such a way.

More specifically, studies have shown that people are more likely to be generous (8), helpful (9) and informative (10) when approached by a well-dressed stranger rather than a badly-dressed one.

By looking good we bring out the best in others.


The Golden Rule: Looking good helps others directly


Our clothing and general appearance send clear and rapid signals to other people about who we are, our competencies, and the nature of their interaction with us. The way we look can have a direct and positive impact on others.

For example, when teachers dress formally and carefully, not only were students less likely to misbehave, but they also learned more. (11)

Doctors in white coats were judged as more competent and trustworthy than those dressed in other types of outfits. (12) Since patients' trust in their doctors is directly related to the effectiveness of treatment (13), this really matters.

When it's our duty to help others, we need to take responsibility for the effect of our appearance.

(1) http://personal.tcu.edu...
(2) http://vhil.stanford.edu...
(3) http://cqx.sagepub.com...
(4) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
(5) http://www.theatlantic.com...
(6)
http://link.springer.com...
(7) http://link.springer.com...
(8) http://www.tandfonline.com...
(9) http://www.amsciepub.com...

(10) http://www.amsciepub.com...
(11) http://www.tandfonline.com...
(12) http://www.pec-journal.com...
(13) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Team_Y

Con

Post by: bladerunner060
Team Captain: bladerunner060

Thank you to Team X!

A bit of clarification to Pro's case: Pro notes that "To win this debate, PRO will show that making an effort to look good aligns with mainstream moral values." Pro must establish that looking good is a moral duty. This requires more than mere "aligning with mainstream moral values".

Pro must fulfill their burden of proof of establishing that duty. I'm sure that's what they intended to convey, but I wished to make that explicitly clear, as there is a difference between something simply aligning with moral values, and being a duty.

The necessary consequence of Pro's position is that it is morally wrong to not "look good". When something is a moral duty, not doing that something is a moral wrong, a failure to fulfill a duty. This is in contrast to something which is simply morally good. For example, it's clearly morally good and aligns with moral values to be outgoing and treat everyone around you very nicely. But is it a moral duty? We don't generally have a duty to be outgoing and nice; we aren't committing a moral wrong when we're merely indifferent or quiet.

It's also worth clarifying that Pro obviously intends to make the case that the "looking good" is in reference to society at large. Individuals make the choice of their own appearance, and therefore they "look" exactly as "good" as they've chosen to at all times. Again, this is just for the sake of explicit clarity.

It may be morally good to "look good", it does not follow that it is necessarily, therefore, a moral duty.

Pro's case was based on three arguments:

Looking good makes us behave better
Looking good improves the moral behavior of others
Golden Rule: Looking good helps others directly

The premises can best be dealt with in reverse order; I'll bold the premises as they're dealt with. In general, the quotes are direct, though I have stripped out the citations for ease of reading (and, I confess, inserted an Oxford Comma in one of them under the presumption it was a mere typo).

First, the Golden Rule argument as Pro makes it fails because it is too specific. As Pro notes: "When it's our duty to help others, we need to take responsibility for the effect of our appearance." That is not a general duty. It is true that when we are obliged to provide the best care possible, we are obliged to do what we can to provide the best care possible; that's essentially a tautology.

But the argument cannot be expanded generally. It would be akin to saying "Paying $20 is a moral duty", because in an example case, someone has taken on a $20 obligation. That the $20 obligation is valid in a specific circumstance doesn't mean it applies generally, and similarly that there are circumstances where "looking good" follows from another duty does not mean it applies generally.

That looking good may improve the moral behavior of others does not make it a moral duty. I reject outright the idea that Individual A is responsible for the decisions of Individual B. Again, it is nice if Individual A does something which helps Individual B make better moral decisions. It can be called a morally good thing. But it is not a duty to do so.

Pro makes the case that "...studies have shown that people are more likely to be generous, helpful, and informative when approached by a well-dressed stranger rather than a badly-dressed one." Beyond the fact that person A cannot have a general duty regarding Person B's morals, the supposed "improvement" stems from bigotry.

It is worth bearing in mind that there are circumstances where it is not possible for someone to "look good", whether due to poverty, attribute, or circumstance. That those people who aren't "looking good" through no fault of their own are treated more poorly than those who are able to "look good" does not mean that they have a moral failing; it means that in our culture, as noted by Pro, "appearance obsession is all around us in advertising, music videos, and the beauty industry". Feeding into that cultural bias is not a moral good, and it certainly isn't a moral duty.

Pro's final premise was that looking good makes us behave better, that "Preparation of appearance is preparation of intent. Walking out the door looking good is our commitment to society - it's the framing of our moral selves." This argument did not make a case for a moral duty to "look good", it's assertion that appearance conveys intent.

Pro's argument, generally, seems to be the idea that individuals "owe" society an appearance that society at large considers "good". If, by Pro's case, an individual wants to wear their favorite T-shirt even though it's looking shabby, they're committing a moral "wrong"--they're failing their "moral duty" when they do so. This idea removes the idea of any rights for the individual's desire for self-expression. I see no grounds for this curtailment, and as such believe the resolution stands, at present, negated.

I turn the floor back to Team_X to await their response!
Debate Round No. 2
Team_X

Pro

Introduction


PRO thanks CON for a their rebuttal.

CON does not contest that maintaining self-respect is a universally recognized moral duty. Intent is only one aspect of it. A sense of responsibility, self-discipline and humility as encapsulated by improvements in behavior and self-confidence are also aspects of self-respect. CON dropped this.

To illustrate Yee & Bailenson's finding that good-looking avatars foster positive online behavior, we submit our own avatar, Barnett Newman's Onement VI. (14) In Onement VI, we see the white "zip" bring out emotions dealing with division and unity inherent in the painting - this division and unity is also inherent in our team's methodology. It is through this understanding found in the humble blue canvas separated by white that PRO achieves greater understanding and a deeper humility, leading to improvement in our own behavior and an increase in self-confidence. Tolstoy put it best:

"The task of art is enormous. Through the influence of real art...that peaceful co-operation of man...should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity. Art should cause violence to be set aside." (15)

Self-respect, which CON does not contest, fulfills burden of proof and affirms the resolution, and proves that "Looking Good is a Moral Duty."

Regardless, PRO will now deconstruct the rest of CON's case.


Rebuttal



The nature of duty


A duty is an obligation. PRO acknowledges CON's point that a moral duty predicates fulfillment, lest one becomes immoral, and that duty does not leave room for the middle ground of being neither good nor evil, or neither moral nor immoral. However, this point is simply not relevant to this debate, as PRO is not equivocating in this manner.



Self-Respect is Affirmed


Per our introduction, CON agrees that looking good is an aspect of self-respect, and thus a moral duty. PRO wins the debate via this point alone.



The Golden Rule is a Moral Duty


That one aspect of the Golden Rule is proven to be tautological actually supports the resolution and proves it to be both logically sound and valid. PRO does not understand why CON is affirming PRO's stance. Doctors and teachers have a moral duty to help others, and part of that moral duty involves their physical appearance. CON does not contest this.

CON claims
that the Golden Rule header of our round #2 argument is "too specific." However, the Golden Rule also applies to the section titled "Looking good improves the moral behavior of others".

---

CON asserts that "the supposed "improvement" [from looking good] stems from bigotry," yet provides neither evidence nor argument to support this claim. A man with dandruff wearing a suit would look better after wiping it away. By looking better, he improves the moral behavior of others around him per our unchallenged, academic sources. How is this improvement proof of bigotry? This simple scenario destroys CON's contention and affirms that "Looking good improves the moral behavior of others."

We have given evidence, uncontested by CON,
that people are more likely to be generous, helpful and informative in the presence of a well-dressed stranger. Is it beneficial to receive generosity, kindness, and useful information from others? Of course. Are these benefits related to self-respect? Of course they are - we are morally obligated to seek self improvement. Therefore, by looking good, we help others; by helping others, we help ourselves. By helping ourselves, we fulfill a moral duty. Thus, per the golden rule, looking good is a moral duty.

---

CON asserts that "there are circumstances where it is not possible for someone to "look good", whether due to poverty, attribute, or circumstance." On the contrary, it is always possible to look good, because "good" is a relative term. What is "pleasing and welcome" differs by culture, class, and even species. An example from nature: the plumage of a peacock, while irrelevant to our own personal appearance, would look good to its mate.




In relation to class, the question becomes, "what about poverty?" However, the real question is "Is poverty moral?" PRO contends that poverty is immoral and should be eradicated, and that failure to eradicate poverty is failure of a moral duty. As a society, we should prioritize eradicating the conditions that would subject people to the various immoralities concomitant with poverty, such as theft, prostitution, delinquencies, and of course filthy appearances.



Conclusion


PRO won the debate before this round began. CON does not contest that self-respect is a moral duty, and that looking good is a form of self-respect.

Furthermore, PRO has shown CON's arguments about the Golden Rule to be unwarranted, unsubstantiated, unsourced, and thus untenable. PRO's stance on the Golden Rule is sound, and the resolution is affirmed:

Looking good is a moral duty


(14) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(15) http://archive.org...
Team_Y

Con

Post by: xXCryptoXx
Team Captain: bladerunner060


Introduction
My opponent argues that because we did not contend to their point on how self-respect is a moral duty we have therefore dropped the main point of my opponents' arguments and that they have successfully affirmed the resolution. You see, unlike “looking good”, self-respect is of an objective (or at least some-what) objective nature.


Self-respect is something that all people of all social statuses, races, ect. can achieve. This gives it an objective nature because self-respect only requires what humans can inherently and naturally achieve. Looking good is of a subjective nature. This means that what is “good or attractive” is defined by societal standards and individual standards. It is not something all people can achieve. Looking good cannot be a moral duty because it is an action that not all people can fulfill.

In order to be a moral duty it is required that any and all people can actively fulfill said duty.

Rebuttals

The Nature of Duty
Obligation being part of what makes something a “duty” is only a part of it. A duty is also something that all people should be able to fulfill, regardless of societal variables. Immorality is important to contending to my opponent’s arguments. If something is a moral duty, it is immoral to not fulfill that duty. According to the logic of my opponent’s arguments, not looking good even in circumstances where you can’t look good is immoral. We understand that this is not logically valid; therefore it is not a moral duty to look good.

The Golden Rule and its Relativity to the Resolution
My opponent asserts that we dropped the argument that doctors and teachers have a moral duty to help others, and part of that moral duty involves their physical appearance, therefore looking good is a moral duty. What my opponent doesn’t realize is that we did contest this, quite a few times actually. We did not directly contest the statement; the statement was contested in our general arguments.

What is morally good does not make it a moral duty in necessity. It was agreed upon that it is morally good that teachers and doctors dress appropriately, however it is not a moral duty to do so. Reasoning behind this can be found behind arguments presented on the subjective nature of looking good, and the objective nature of moral duties.

Let me explain further into our point on how "the supposed "improvement" [from looking good] stems from bigotry," since my opponent didn’t quite understand it. This statement is a logically valid one, and is not one that can be derived from some scientific source. What we mean when we say it “stems from bigotry” is that humans in general are actually committing a moral wrong by treating others better only when they look good according to societal standards. In fact, what humans should be doing is treating each other with the same attitudes regardless of how they look. It is of their own bigotry that they only treat others better if they look “good”. What would actually be healthy and morally good for the society is to not give into these human standards. Therefore it is indirectly a morally wrong to have people be obligated to look good due to others bigoted standards.

My opponent states “by looking good, we help others; by helping others, we help ourselves. By helping ourselves, we fulfill a moral duty.” In the end it all comes down to the part on “Therefore we fulfill a moral duty.” It is most definitely morally good, but your main premise, which is “by looking good, we help others” is of a completely subjective nature because it relies on the individual and societal standards of what “looking good” is. As long as this is of a subjective nature it relies on the standards of the society, and for as long as not everyone can fulfill this duty or are logically exempted from fulfill this duty, looking good simply cannot be a moral duty.


My opponent goes on to say that because looking good is relative all people can look good. I argue that because looking good is relative it can’t be a moral duty. There is too much reliance on the standards of others for looking good to be a moral duty. My opponent contradicts himself. He argues that anyone can look good because “good” is relative, then argues that we should eradicate everything that keeps people from appeasing the standards of the society in terms of “looking good.” My opponent argues that it is our moral duty to eradicate all poverty and that poverty is immoral. First off, morality is only something in relation to the behavior of others. Poverty isn’t a behavior, it’s a financial state. Second, I have explained that it is a moral wrong to appease the bigoted standards of the society.

Pro drops our round 2 argument on self-expression.

Conclusion

What this all comes down to in the end is what establishes something as a moral duty. I argue that a moral duty must be of an objective nature, and that because looking good is of a subjective nature, it cannot be a moral duty.

Over to you.

Debate Round No. 3
Team_X

Pro


Thank you to Team Y for doing this debate with us; thank you to Airmax1227, and bladerunner060 for arranging it. This is the first completed team debate on this site, and we are excited to be part of it.



Rebuttal


1) CON claims that self-respect is "some-what objective." What could be more subjective than self-respect - a feeling, an idea that we have about ourselves?

As this is CON's only objection to self-respect being a moral duty, we reaffirm the winning argument of self-respect.


2) CON does not contest that looking good makes other people behave well. However, he argues that this improvement stems from "bigotry". First of all, CON's use of "bigotry" is a misnomer - it is nothing more than the manifestation of subjectivity. Second, as CON has agreed, we choose our appearance. Therefore, when we react to someone's appearance, we are reacting to their choices and actions. If a stranger speaks to us kindly, we respond more positively than if they speak rudely. This isn't bigotry, nor is responding positively to someone's considerate appearance.

CON says that if he chose to turn up to a wedding dressed in his favorite sloppy T-shirt with a rude slogan, that this is "self-expression" and it would be wrong for people to judge him badly or in any way change their behavior in response to his appearance.

Why should people ignore each others' appearance?
CON doesn't say. Further, he is silent on the issue of how dressing considerately feeds the "bigoted standards of the society." He just says that it does. But this is absurd. Eating a simple, healthy meal does not feed the obesity epidemic, and looking good does not feed bigotry in society.

In any case, CON's point, that we should try to treat people well no matter what they look like doesn't translate into not trying to look good in our turn. For example, consider the Christian rule about turning the other cheek. It's a rule of non-violence: someone slaps you, you don't retaliate. This rule does not in any way imply that it's OK to go about slapping people and then to say, "Oh but they shouldn't mind it."


3) "morality is only something in relation to the behavior of others. Poverty isn't a behavior..."

This is just wrong. Poverty is a result of human behavior just as much as religion and governance, all of which are subject to moral judgment.


4) "A duty is also something that all people should be able to fulfill"

A duty does not mean "equal opportunity". This is a silly stipulation.

For example, people with severe physical and mental illnesses have severely limited capacities for any action, let alone moral action. In no way does this curtail the moral duties of more able people.


5) "What is morally good does not make it a moral duty in necessity."

As stated in round #3 (Nature of Duty), a duty is simply an obligation. If CON's point seems to be obtuse, just observe the following:


Golden rule
We owe it to ourselves to help others.

Self-respect

We owe it to ourselves to help ourselves.

These naturally flow from our uncontested framework. CON is just obfuscating the matter. CON provides no sources, no examples, nothing, to corroborate CON's ever-changing and inconsistent stance on "duty".

CON agrees with our conceptions on morality. We do owe it to ourselves to look good, and so looking good is a moral duty.



Closing


According to the moral framework that CON has accepted, people have a moral duty to respect and care for others (the golden rule); and themselves (self-respect with humility, self-discipline and acceptance of personal responsibility).

Further, we have provided uncontested, accredited, scientific evidence, that:

- looking good improves our own behavior

- that people, and their appearance, are part of the environment that strongly affects others

- that one deviantly-dressed person can foster incivility and disorder

- that looking good increases the helpfulness, generosity and prosocial communication of people around us

- that teachers' and doctors' appearance is instrumental in helping students and patients respectively; teachers and doctors have a duty to "look good".

CON has complained that these examples are too specific, but they represent a general principle: our appearance combines with our behavior and words in any interaction, and it has an impact on other people. We can control our appearance, and by doing so we are making a conscious decision about how we want to affect people.

For CON to bring in sourced evidence to rebut at this stage would be irresponsible, as they had 2 rounds prior to do so and did not. PRO asks that due credit be given for sources.

We agree with CON that we cannot be held morally responsible for other people's decisions. However, as part of the Golden Rule, we have a moral obligation to help ourselves and others as best we can. By looking good, we help others; by helping others, we help ourselves. By helping ourselves, we fulfil a moral duty. Thus we have a moral duty to make life better for others.


Looking good is a moral duty.


Thank you.
Team_Y

Con

Post by: bladerunner060
Team Captain: bladerunner060

Thank you to airmax, for allowing this, and to Team_X, rross and wrichcirw, for doing this! As a proof-of-concept, I think it's been a success!



To arguments:

Pro's point on bigotry fails; it could be applied equally well to obvious cases of bigotry: "Oh, hating black people isn't bigotry, it's nothing more than the manifestation of subjectivity" is clearly absurd.


Pro noted in a title "Moral duty: personal responsibility and caring for others". But the only support for that they offered was that:


"...there are...common themes...These moral values are...familiar to us; we will now describe the ways that looking good fits this moral framework."

At no point is an actual case made for self-respect being a moral duty.

Pro failed to establish why looking good to society necessarily entailed more self-respect, as well.
How is it true when what I want differs from what society wants? In that case, how does "conforming" get more self-respect? Pro never explains.


Con straw-mans the argument of self-expression, which is rather bothersome.


It was not asserted that in no circumstances was looking "good" a moral duty. It was conceded in R2 that there certainly are circumstances where it follows from another duty. It wouldn't be wrong in the context of a wedding for people to treat you differently if you show up in a sloppy T-shirt. It would be wrong in the context of normal interactions, because it's totally unjustifiable unless you assume that looking good is a moral duty.

Pro: "Eating a simple, healthy meal does not feed the obesity epidemic..."

We claimed that it was inappropriate to judge people and treat them differently (outside of specific contexts) because of their appearance. We claimed that, having a better appearance because people will treat you poorly otherwise, feeds into that inappropriate reaction.

If you want to eat a healthy meal, you're doing nothing wrong. Neither are you doing anything wrong if you can and do choose to look good. But it certainly isn't a moral duty to eat a healthy meal because people will insult you and treat you poorly otherwise. Similarly, it's not a moral duty to "look good" because people will treat you worse if you don't.

If a family wants to move, surely that's not morally wrong. But neither is it a moral duty. Does it become a moral duty to move if the Klan are putting burning crosses in their yard? We say no.


Pro goes on to assert their "uncontested framework".

What Pro fails to realize is that their framework WAS contested. It was contested in R2. That things are "consistent with" morality does not equate to establishing "duty". Things which are morally good are not necessarily duties.

Regardless fo their sourcingl, Pro continues to fail to provide a rational argument for these duties they assert.


"CON provides no sources, no examples..."

Well, examples have been provided throughout. But no sources are necessary. What "some have said" about morality is utterly meaningless. What matters is the case Pro brings to the table.

They have failed to establish duties they assert. Thinking that giving sources for it somehow makes bare assertion valid when discussing a philosophical point such as this is merely an appeal to authority, and fallacious.

In their closing, Con:

"...we have provided...evidence..."
The last point is irrelevant and was already contested. The other points do not support the duty argument. But certainly, they have posted reliable sources in support of a point that we find unsound regardless of its internal support.

Further, regarding speicificty: Doctors have a responsibility to their patients that "normal" people simply do not have. If looking good aids that duty, it's clearly a moral duty, as it follows from a moral duty. It simply, as was already noted, does not extend generally.

Pro:
"We can control our appearance, and by doing so we are making a conscious decision about how we want to affect people."
"We agree with CON that we cannot be held morally responsible for other people's decisions."

This is an obvious contradiction in terms of their assignment of moral duty for the first part, yet acknowledgement of a lack of responsibility in the second. This is a major blow to their case, as they concede the same point we make regarding others, even as they try to assert a duty!

We are not responsible for others' behavior. Pro has failed to establish why we should be obligated to "look good" beyond claims that it will make us "behave better", which ignores our actual choice on those behaviors.


In summation:
Pro has well-established their points regarding the effect that "looking good" can have. What they have failed to do is establish their concept of moral duty generally, or their specific use of self-respect. Their laundry list of souces does not change that they have failed to establish that "looking good is a moral duty". They have failed in their BoP, and as such, the resolution is not affirmed.

Thanks to everyone reading!
Debate Round No. 4
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Anyway, IMHO TUF's RFD, along with my prior experiences debating the topic, point to the dangers or arguing a moral position. Everyone has their own sense of morality, so to argue that a certain action is moral or immoral without literally instilling the fear of God into it tends rub people the wrong way one way or another.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Just read TUF's RFD (I didn't look at the video). I typically don't look at sources without context, so I missed it until now.

First of all, I think it was an excellent RFD that demonstrated a careful reading of the debate, so I thank TUF for that. IMHO this site needs more of those kind of RFDs.

Second, I do not understand the "conduct" portion of TUF's RFD, at all.

1) Team_X did not delegate writing responsibilities to any one party, each and every round was a collaborative effort.
2) TUF said that he considered it improper to "Constantly pull the judge mongering arguments, saying, trying to claim the the wrong thing was being argued, or that because the opposition didn"t mean [sic] exactly their standards, then they should win the vote."

This second point doesn't make sense, unless TUF found the debate surrounding the word "duty" to be offensive...in which case I would ask TUF if he actually thinks a viable strategy by PRO revolving this word should be to accept CON's framing of it.
Posted by rross 3 years ago
rross
Yes...two silent Ws and a soft c. ...that's very good, bladerunner060....

And congratulations team y for winning as well.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
We just had this conversation somewhere....

Anyway, I've always thought it was like the wr in "wrench", and in my brain have said "wR--itch--seer--(w)"
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
His name was far too complicated for me to care to pronounce correctly lol.
Posted by rross 3 years ago
rross
@TUF: Wi-CHURCH? No, I really think the W must be silent. As in wrest, wrath, wry and wrangle. And I'm not entirely certain of your intepretation of "cirw" as ERCH...

I'd like to propose RICH-YOO as the official pronunciation of "wrichcirw". Or possibly RICH-QUEUE.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
This was a fun debate to read. The resolution is interesting and the arguments were generally creative while remaining to the point and convincing. Organization could have been better. Arguments tended to blend together and wind up all over the place.

Con"s argument that a duty must be universal and not an affirmation of specific instances where an action is good was tactically very smart. It allowed them to concede vast amounts of Pro"s argument without ill-effect. I found this point to be poorly answered by Pro.

Pro"s best going arguments are "self respect" and "helping others be good." These are both largely refuted by Con on the grounds that moral duties must be theoretically achievable by all. Again this argument is sort of squishy because it seems to be conflated with some idea of objectivity- a point I wasn"t quite following. Anyways, I am inclined to think Con presented a stronger case that there are counterfactual cases where self esteem could conflict with looking good.

I wish Pro would have developed their arguments that duties don"t require "equal opportunity" for fulfillment. I think this was a promising argument that got closer to the heart of Con"s criticism and would have aided the Pro case immensely.

Similarly, I understand what Pro is getting at on the bigotry argument but I think Con"s case comes through much more clearly and convincingly. Pro"s analogies were kind of clunky and didn"t serve the case well.

After the opening arguments, I thought Pro was going to come out ahead in this debate. Pro continued to lose ground as the debate progressed and in the end I think this is a Con victory in a pretty good debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Thanks larz for the vote. =)

To be fair, our rounds were truly collaborative...I can't take sole credit for being the "speaker" in any one round. Regardless, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth, lol.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 3 years ago
ClassicRobert
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Reasons for voting decision: What it really came down to was the definition of moral duty, and the one I bought was that if it is a moral duty, it is necessary to being a moral person. Pro gave many examples, but Con effectively showed how those examples didn't necessarily mean that the situation or person was immoral for not looking good in that situation. For that reason, Con wins arguments.
Vote Placed by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD via youtube video, and google docs
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by larztheloser 3 years ago
larztheloser
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate, makes me want to do a team debate someday. Best speaker, by a narrow margin, was wrichcirw. Aff had consistently better structure than neg. Overall the debate focused too much on what a moral duty was, when I felt the debate should have more focused on whether looking good was generally important. Con made an interesting strategic choice to go so far as to concede that looking good was generally a moral good, which hinged their whole success on the one point, mostly semantic, of what exactly is a moral duty. However, I felt that the affirmative had the right to set that parameter for the debate, because they were proposing the motion, and so I have to have a presumption that they know what they're proposing. I didn't feel what they were saying was unfair or outside of the spirit of the debate. Moreover, neg didn't show how exactly aff was wrong by demonstrating what a fair interpretation of "moral duty" would be, only denying that it's what aff says it is. Aff win.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had excellent analysis pointing out clear flaws in the Pro's arguments. A particularly good example of this is Con's analysis of how the golden rule cannot be universally expanded. If it cannot be expanded, we cannot say that it is a moral duty for everyone, let alone most people. Good debate.