The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

The Principle of Utility

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,692 times Debate No: 24546
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)




Please only accept if you have won 20 or more debates.

Resolution: The Principle of Utility is valid

(valid as in true)


The Principle of Utility: a utilitarianist principle that states "actions or behaviors are right in so far as they promote happiness"[1] And likewise, actions that have a negative affect on overall happiness are wrong actions. Thus any action that increases net-happiness is a morally good act and any action that decreases net-happiness is a morally bad act.

Happiness: a mix of pleasure, contentedness, joy and absence of pain

Definition of happiness should not be taken strictly throughout this debate.

Burden of Proof

The BoP is on pro, though he is free to contend that if he wishes.


1st round is acceptance only.
4th round there should be no new arguments introduced.

Voters are not to vote on sources as this is a philosophy debate and those points are so abused anyway. If claims are made that do require sources but no sources are given, then simply treat those claims as weak claims.



Well, originally, I thought I had accepted this debate as Con, since I strictly hold nihilistic views and would never approve of the concept of utilitarianism.

I'll debate this, nonetheless.

Good luck, phantom!
Debate Round No. 1


I thank InVinoVeritas for accepting.

I will first raise a number of my own objections to the principle of utility which I think prove it invalid, but as pro has the BoP, my main task is to refute his arguments.

The problem of 'consequence verses motive'

Kant outlined this objection here. I think it to be one of the most major flaws in the principle of utility. Suppose you give some food to a starving man. Most people would think of it as a good act, and very few people would view it as immoral. However, what if it somehow lead to a decrease of net-happiness? You gave him the food with the moral motive of contributing to happiness, but the consequences were different. The principle of utility is based solely on consequence. Motive is irrelevant. Thus, by utilitarianism, giving food to the starving man was an immoral act. Any act would be based solely on what the outcome of the act was regardless of what outcome you were seeking or whether you had any possible way of knowing the outcome would be contrary to your motive. Is this at all plausible? Consequences of actions are very often entirely out of our control or foresight. That is why motive is more important in ethics than consequence. As Kant writes, "Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good without qualifications, except a good will." What if you are 100% justified in not knowing that the act you committed by moral motives, lead to negative consequences? It could not be deemed moral, for as already stated, it was justified! Massive problems present themselves when the principles of an ethical theory entail that justified actions can very often be immoral.

The problem of non-responsibility

Suppose you're at the beach with your friend. Your friend buys and ice-cream cone, and you suggest they walk down to the rocks. On their way there, your friend stumbles over a small hole that he didn't see and drops his ice-cream. He proceeds to blame you, his reasons being that if you hadn't suggested they go to the rocks, he would have never stepped in the hole and thus would have never dropped his ice-cream cone. It is inarguable that your actions lead to him dropping the ice-cream, but are his complaints rightly directed at you? Are you really to blame? I'm guessing that anyone put into the situation would be indignant that your friend would actually be blaming you for something that happened entirely unforeseeable and out of your control. However, taken the principle of utility, you would be committing an immoral act by suggesting they go to the rocks. Taking this principle, responsibility of actions are entirely out of the equation, only the latter consequences. This is clearly fallacious thinking. Am I not not only morally accountable for an action if I am responsible? As Kant argues, a person who keeps promises by accident is not acting morally. In the same way, a person who accidentally causes happiness should not be considered a moral person. He is only acting morally if he understands that he should keep his promise. Moral acts, if they exist, should be based upon whether the individual understands the nature of the act. By the principle of utility, people would have no understanding what-so-ever. Even killing a homeless man for his blanket, could turn out to be a morally good act, and stopping the murder could be a morally bad one.

The problem of moral duty

The principle of utility posits right and wrong moral actions, which likewise posit duty. If you you commit a morally wrong act, you are acting contrary to duty, while if you commit a morally good act, you are acting in accordance with or beyond duty. There are problems with establishing the fact that moral duty exists. If someone comes upon the chance to contribute to happiness, is he obligated to commit to that course of action? Our human senses might tell us that we have moral duties, but that does not account for any objective basis for proving the proposition. We need to logically adress that statement. It is mainly my opponents burden to prove moral duties but I am just highlighting the very relevant factor in advance.

The problem of infinite consequences and impossible calculations

The principle of utility posits that any actions is good or bad depending on its effect on happiness. This would entail that actions are sometimes good, then latter in time, bad. One act of kindness might eventually, perhaps even one hundred years latter, lead to more net-negative effects, causing the action to then be a morally bad action. This presents a number of problems. Firstly, it outlines the extreme impracticability of utilitarianism. It becomes essentially impossible to even know you are acting morally or not, or to make any reasonable calculation upon whether your action is moral or not. This leads to theoretical problems. If we can't assess all the effects of an action and also can not, within any reasonable possibility predict, what will happen, we are no longer morally free. We could never knowingly commit a purposeful action and know whether it was moral or not because there could be an infinite amount of subsequent effects which are impossible to calculate or foresee. The principle of utility can be deemed implausible for the fact that it could only work if beings were morally free in their action, but they would clearly not be.

The problem of the subjectivity of values

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of utilitarianism is that happiness is so valued by so many people. Many people view happiness as the ultimate goal. They place a superior value on happiness. Now that's all fine and dandy to place your personal view on happiness as ultimately superior by an entirely subjective stand point, but the moment you start saying that it is objectively superior, then you are starting to tread some rather unfounded grounds. What if I'm a Stoic and place my value on being indifferent to the external influences of the world? Am I objectively wrong in doing so, instead of placing my value in happiness? Many people strive for goals contrary to happiness, such as those whose goal is isolation from the world and it's pleasurable things. People such as those, often want to attain righteousness by such actions. Should these people be considered as acting in contrary to morality? According to the principle of utility they would be, however all they are doing is placing their values differently than others. There are hundreds of different labeled ethical theories and even more variations. Most of those theories do not see happiness as the ultimate goal. Goals are not in the least bit objective but rather subjective, therefore utilitarianism is flawed. Utilitarianism could only work if everyone agreed upon the value of happiness, and even then, questions could still be raised.



Throughout this debate, I will not take an absolutist stance on morality. I will take on the position that morality is a spectrum whose absolute extremes are strictly hypothetical. Therefore, no act can, in reality, be absolutely moral or immoral. However, the location of these acts on this spectrum is determined by the utilitarian aspect of the act, and the approximate net happiness that results.

Re: The problem of 'consequence verses motive'

Feeding a starving man is neither absolutely moral or absolutely immoral, since the moral ramifications of the act can vary. Why is it, then, considered a good act? Are people right in thinking that it is more moral than immoral to feed a starving man? Because if we view a huge number of acts of feeding a starving man, collectively, we see that they have a positive value of net-happiness. Sometimes a specific act of feeding a starving man can lead to a negative net-happiness, but more often, it leads to an overall positive value. Any action an infinite number of known and unknown potential consequences, but when the action, holistically, leads to a positive net-happiness, then it can be said that the action should be morally encouraged, since probability states that the action has a greater chance of being moral than immoral.

Every action has an infinite number of potential consequences. Saving a dying child can cause a genocide in the same way that the murder of a child can. However, murdering a child more often than not provokes anger and sadness (negative net-happiness) and, as a whole, leads to this net loss of happiness more directly. At the same time, saving a dying child more often than not provokes thankfulness and happiness (positive net-happiness) and, as a whole, leads to this net gain of happiness more directly. The sole goal of all of humanity is to find greater happiness, so an act that more often than not leads directly to a net gain in happiness is morally superior one that does not. Let us remember that if morality is a universal measure of goodness (relative to humanity), then how directly an action leads to happiness and how indirectly it leads to unhappiness is what determines the morality of an action (considering the probability of an action leading to such a result.) I would counter the Kantian "motive" idea, but the opponent attacks foundational aspects of it (e.g., moral duty) himself later in his arguments.

Re: The problem of non-responsibility

The action of asking your friend to walk down the rocks is more probable to have been immoral than not, since it directly led to unhappiness and most likely did not avoid greater unhappiness. It is more probable than not that this act led to a negative net-happiness as opposed to if the ice cream had still been in the friend's possession. What if the ice cream was poisoned, for example? Then the action would have most likely been moral... But the probability of keeping the ice cream leading to a consequence of greater unhappiness (based on the given specificity of the opponent's example) is slimmer than the probability of keeping the ice cream and deriving a greater net-happiness.

Whether or not one should be criticized for encouraging a friend to walk on the rocks (unintentionally leading one to drop the ice cream) is a different matter from whether or not it is moral. Indeed, killing a homeless man can avoid a result of even lower net-hapiness... But if we view the killings of homeless men, holistically, we see that the net-happiness to be lowered more directly through it, and it does not tend to lead directly to greater net-happiness. This is a matter of holistic analysis and probability; the morality of actions in their entirities should not be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Re: The problem of moral duty

I would not call it "obligation"; it is a "natural preference." Humans all share a natural preference to be happy rather than unhappy, so actions that tend to infringe on our own preference or on the preferences of others are against the interests of humanity, holistically and at an individual level. Happiness is the only absolute common good that humanity knows. However, since happiness is derived differently in different people, it must be viewed statistically. If eating cake, among X number of cases, leads to an average increase in net-happines, then it would be in one's interest to perform said action.

Re: The problem of infinite consequences and impossible calculations

Indeed, there are an infinite number of potential consequences. However, we must consider how directly an action leads to a net-happiness gain and its chances of achieving a net-happiness loss. In the long run, even over one hundred years, killing ten people has a greater probability of leading to net-happiness loss than the saving of ten starving babies. Is that definitely the case? No. But we can assume that certain actions lead to a greater chance of lower net-happiness than other actions.

Indeed, exact calculations are not possible, considering the infinite number of potential consequences and the infinite potential span over which they can take place. However, if we restrain the consequences of two actions within a substantial duration of time, then we can see that one action has a greater probability of achieving net happiness than another.

Re: The problem of the subjectivity of values

If you choose to be stoic and place your value on being indifferent to the external influences of the world rather than acting another way, then you believe that you would gain more happiness through being stoic than you do through acting differently. Happiness is the “natural preference” of being. If one chooses to isolate oneself, then one seeks the net-happiness of isolation. And if one convinces oneself that such an act is against one’s interest, then one gains a greater net-happiness from working against one’s own interest, which is, indeed, counter-intuitive and self-deceptive. Whatever decision one makes out of those provided is chosen to derive maximum net-happiness.

And indeed, happiness is subjective. This further upholds my stance that morality is not absolute. What matters, however, is the consequence. In our society, saving an innocent life has a greater potential to directly lead to a surplus of net-happiness. In another (hypothetical) human society, ending an innocent life has a greater potential to directly lead to a surplus of net-happiness. For this reason, morality is not guided by a set of rules, since it would be arbitrary. Morality is instead guided by happiness, which is the ultimate goal of humanity.


I would reserve space for original arguments, but I believe that I expressed my points clearly enough in my refutations.

Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2


I think pro for the interesting response.

Pro has only focused on refuting my objections. By default, he has failed his BoP.

1. The problem of 'consequence verses motive'

Pro is avoiding the point by taking a view that is contrary to what the debate is actually about. The PoU posits objective morality in the sense that the effect on happiness in regards to the action being moral is absolute and unchanging; relative in the sense that a given action might be moral or immoral depending on the situation. In response to this contention, Pro wavers from the principles of the PoU. His views are certainly more plausible than utilitarianism, but since they don't match what the actual debate is about, they are irrelevant.

It is a given that giving food to a starving man usually leads to positive outcomes, but Pro has no justification to say that makes it an objectively morally good act. The PoU is relative in certain aspects. Probabilities and collectivism are completely irrelevant. The PoU states any action that increases happiness is morally good(and vice-versa). It does not state any action that more often leads to a positive affect on happiness is good. Pro has no basis for such assertions. We can't answer the question, is giving food to a starving man morally good or bad? It is completely dependent on circumstance. According to the PoU, giving food to a starving man could be moral in some cases but immoral in others. It does not have to be one or the other every time. Therefore, it still stands that giving food to the starving man could very often be an immoral act. It is true that it would probably lead to more net-happiness, but the PoU is based solely on consequence, not probability.

Furthermore we can note, this contention has not even been directly responded to. My opponent does not really address consequence verses motive, rather more along the lines of the non-responsibility and the impossible calculation objections. Even if we were to accept my opponents view, we would still be focusing solely on consequence, and motive would be entirely irrelevant.

2. The problem of non-responsibility

It does not matter how society sees the act of killing a homeless man. Most likely, even if everyone on this planet was a utilitarianist, no-one would look favorably on the killer, even if they knew his actions lead to greater consequences. However, that still does not mean it wasn't a morally good act by utilitarianist principles. All we have to do is look to the definition provided in round 1 and there is no way to escape the fact that it could be morally wrong given the circumstance. Pro is incorrect in his objections to a case-by-case basis. The PoU necessitates such a basis.

Furthermore, Pro's analogy does not apply. I presented the hypothetical example that killing a homeless man could lead to more happiness. My opponent argues that viewing it as a moral act would be negative to society as a counter argument. However, that is two separate actions. Killing the homeless man would me moral even if society thought it immoral. And as stated, even in a utilitarianist world, no-one would look favorably on the murderer. The basic workings of the human brain would disallow it.

I also do not feel Pro has really addressed the ice-cream cone analogy. Yes, if the ice-cream had been poisoned, it would have been a morally good act. That only helps to support my case, since you were committing a moral act without the slightest intention or knowledge. If it was not poisoned, you would be committing an immoral act for the sole reason that you fancied a walk down to the rocks. The Non-responsibility contention still stands.

3. The problem of moral duty

Moral obligation would still exist even if Pro thinks "preference" is a better word. If you were faced with the choice of slapping your friend in the face or refraining from doing so, you would have an obligation to not slap him. Slapping him would be an immoral act according to the PoU, thus there would be a moral obligation not to do it. Even if my opponents unfounded claims that everyone seeked happiness were true, why would we have an obligation to contribute to happiness? Or why not only an obligation to ourselves instead of society? Moral obligation exist in a moral framework such as posited by PoU. Calling it preference does not alleviate the fact.

4. The problem of infinite consequences and impossible calculations

Pro's revised form of the PoU is certainly something for utilitarianists to consider, but unfortunately it has no baring on this debate. I ask Pro to show how his views could possibly correlate with the definition of the PoU presented in the first round. It is completely unfounded to say actions are good based on the probability of whether they will turn out good, or by what results have occurred in past events. The PoU very clearly states actions are good if the consequences yield a greater net-happiness. That mentions nothing about probabilities at all. Saving a persons life would most likely yield a greater net-happiness, but so what? "Most likely" is not included in the utilitarianism framework. My opponent agrees that calculations are impossible but rests his objections on probabilities. Firstly, the PoU says nothing about probabilities; secondly how on earth are we to calculate probabilities if there is an infinite number of potential outcomes anyway?

5. The problem of the subjectivity of values

Desire =/= fulfilment of happiness.

Stoics do not base their goal on the belief that it yields happiness. That is completely false. Happiness was defined as, "a mix of pleasure, contentedness, joy and absence of pain". Stoic goals do not correlate with the definition at all. If one seeks isolation, it does not mean he is seeking it because it will make him happier. A perhaps better example would be monks who seek self-righteousness by bodily afflictions and toil. What they seek is righteousness; not happiness. Happiness can not be defined as, "what you want". And even if it were so, that would present even more problems since goals of different individuals are prone to conflict with others goals. You may believe one philosophy of life is better because you believe it attempts the correct things; not because you want happiness. Otherwise we might as well define all philosophies as utilitarianism since all goals are apparently essenced in happiness.

6. Self-ownership objection

This is a new contention for this round focusing on the factor of self-ownership. Self-ownership is the principle that we own our own bodies, and have rights in regards to what we do with our bodies. If the principle of self-ownership is correct and the PoU is found to contradict that principle, then we will find the PoU to be flawed. I can demonstrate this in two ways.

I. Any action, by the PoU, that decreases happiness is a morally wrong act. Therefore, if we harm our own body we are committing a morally wrong act. This would mean that what we want to do with our body is completely irrelevant to what is morally permissible to do with our body. Committing acts that decrease our own happiness would be morally wrong. However, why can't I do what I want with my body? Why am I obligated to only do things that benefit my happiness?

II. Suppose in a certain circumstance, your body is on the line for whether net-happiness is satisfied? Suppose cutting off your arm would benefit two other people? Or even killing yourself? According to the PoU we would be obligated to cut off our arm or kill our self. This contradicts our self-ownership, as well as being blatantly implausible. Why must I suffer so that others will be happy? The principle of utility violates the most basic rights of human beings.

Lastly the principle of self-ownershp is a self-evident fact. If beings posess any right whatsoever, they possess the right to their body. They own their bodies, thus can do what they want with their bodies as long as they are not violating others rights.


InVinoVeritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I'll just summarize some things and hopefully pro will make it for the final round.

-Pro has the burden of proof but has not made any arguments of his own. Default goes to contender.

-By far pros main emphasis of attack rests on a different ethical version than the principle of utility. Since there is no way for his views to correlate with the definition provided, most of his objections can be deemed irelevant.

-In response to contention 1, pro never addresses motive. Even if we accepted his views, motive would still be very much an issue, for morality would still be based only on consequence. For reasons highlighted, it is implausible for moral actions to rest only on consequence for then even throwing a baby of a cliff could be morally good.

"Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good without qualifications, except a good will."

- In response to contention 2, pros response again rests on a different view of ethics than that which are relevant to the debate. Moral actions according to the principle of utility, very much rest on circumstance. Pro has no justification in advancing different principles.

-Pro argues that preference is different than moral obligation, but this fails in many ways as demonstrated.

-Pro essentially asserts that all goals are based in happiness, which as shown, is very much of the contrary. Many many ethical theories do not posit happiness as the aim, otherwise all ethics would be some variation of utilitarianism which is obviously absurd. The objection still stands that values are completely subjective and there is no way to justify an ethical theory such as utilitarianism in regards to its objectivity of goals.


Sorry for my absence in the last round. Give the opponent conduct... But still judge everything else.

How does this debate have seven Facebook likes?

I posed counter-arguments in my refutations that not only counter my opponent's claims but also develop my own claims. These claims are the foundation for my arguments, and hence, I have met the Burden of Proof. If you do not believe this, read my refutations.


1. The opponent misconstrues my argument. The net-happiness of any action, holistically, is either positive and negative; therefore, an action, holistically, can be described as moral or immoral. The Principle of Utilitarianism is broad and does not pertain to case-by-case bases of actions. Hence, my stance is germane to the matter at hand and represents the Principle of Utilitarianism well.

Indeed, as the opponent says, the Principle of Utilitarianism does state that "any action that increases happiness is morally good (and vice versa.)" If we go by a case-by-case basis, then we can take a case in which a specific act of giving food to a starving man leads to positive net-happiness; this would be morally good. If we view the action holistically, however, how do we determine the morality of it? You take the collective net-happiness, and that determines whether or not it is moral.

Motives are arbitrary. One person can save a dying child in good faith; another person can kill a healthy child in good faith. If a motive that is moral (or good) is one that intends the results of an action to be good, then the entire theory is founded on a completely subjective value. One could argue that "good" is, to an extent, objective and form a list of "rules," but such a list will have exceptions and will naturally be too broad. Eventually any list of such a nature would come down to "happiness," the foundation of utilitarianism.

2. In regards to the act of killing a homeless man, the opponent states, " [sic] would look favorably on the killer, even if they knew his actions lead to greater consequences." This is, of course, illogical for two reasons.

The first is that "killing a homeless man" is a broad statement; some may, in fact, be in favor of killing a homeless necropedophile, for instance. In fact, many people are in favor of the death penalty. Why is killing considered moral in some contexts and not in others? Each context has a different place on the utilitarian spectrum, and therefore, the morality of the act varies.

The second is that if it is later determined that, for example, the homeless man had created a terroristic plot to destroy California, then the negative net-happiness that was avoided makes it more feasible that the initial act, though directly leading to assumptions of immorality, was in fact, moral, since a greater negative was avoided, most likely.

The opponent keeps emphasizes actions on a case-by-case basis. We are judging the means of determing the moral value of actions, holistically. Killing the homeless man is, without any contextual details, immoral, all in all. If a random homeless man were killed, there is a greater chance that the net-happiness would be lower than it would have been if he were not. We can determine, hence, through a probabilistic means, that killing a homeless man (without further context) is immoral, all in all.

The opponent is simply misrepresenting the argument that is being posed. Indeed, if the ice cream had been poisoned, then it would have been a moral act. Let us remember that we are dealing with the action of "asking a friend to walk with you on the rocks after he has bought ice cream." This is all of the context that we are provided with. Within this context, the ice cream, in a majority of cases, would not be poisoned. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the friend would fall under the given circumstances (if we took this action holistically, all other contextual circumstances aside.) Therefore, all in all, the action does not lead to lower net-happiness than the absence of the action.

3. The action: "Slapping someone in the face after they slapped you."

The hypothetical:
Person A slaps Person B in the face. Resulting net-happiness: A: +1, B: -1
Person B slaps Person A in the face back. Resulting net-happiness: A: -1 B: +1

Essentially, in this hypothetical, the action is a means of achieving the positive end of the net-happiness. Net-happiness, within a given time, always consists of positive and negative values that accumulate into a final value. At an individual level, a person desires to keep net-happiness the same or even greater, while acquiring the positive end of it.

Moreover, there is a disparity between perceived resulting net-happiness and actual resulting net-happiness. Someone who punches someone believes that the pain of the person is justified by the positive net-happiness that is derived from it (e.g., satisfaction derived from revenge) on their end.

4. Not all utilitarianism is founded on absolutism; my opponent fails to acknowledge this in this arguments. We have to place an action on a spectrum, because even the greatest proponent of utilitaranism would acknowledge that one morally good thing can be superior to another morally good thing, and vice versa.

Now, to address the question of "How on earth are we to calculate probabilities if there is an infinite number of potential outcomes anyway?" We have to restrain the duration of time based on which an action is judged. I ask the opponent, "How can we determine the exact odds of getting heads in a hypothetical coin flip if there is an infinite number of times one can flip a coin?" Within a given period of time, though extremes would occur on both sides of the moral spectrum (in the coin analogy, this would mean that we would get the same side a large number of times, though this would be better represented in a different analogy with more possibilities), the action slowly approaches a specific net-happiness value.

5. Actually, my opponent is utterly wrong when referring to the Stoic philosophy. Stoicism was partly founded on a philosophy of achieving happiness. Seneca and Epictetus emphasized the doctrines that "the sage is utterly immune to misfortune and that virtue is sufficient for happiness." [1] In other words, Stoics sought happiness through apathy, an absence of disturbance. [2] And an "absence of pain," derived from apathy (along with the satisfaction that is derived from it) surely fits the given definition.

If one seeks isolation, it DOES mean that the person perceives this isolation to be a means of achieving a greater net-happiness than through other means. This is indisputable. Does an action necessarily lead to one's greater happiness? No. But perceived resulting greater happiness is what is used to make day-to-day decisions.

6. I. Harming your own body usually leads to lower net-happiness than the absence of performing such an act, and therefore, it is immoral. And again, perceived resulting net-happiness differs from actual resulting net-happiness. If I were to cut myself with the expectation that it would lead to greater net-happiness than if I didn't, that does not mean that such will be the case. Furthermore, the opponent uses words like "permissable" and "obligation." Utilitarian morality is just a natural preference for the greatest net-happiness; there is no obligation that must be met.

II. In a given case in which you must hurt or kill yourself to spare other people, the perceived net-happiness result is what determines whether or not you do it... And the actual net-happiness result is derived from the consequences of such an action. Due to the broadness of the action and the lack of context, I am not sure, offhand, whether such an action is moral or immoral, holistically, but I am assuming that it is close to neutral, depending on the proportion of loss of life and sparing of life.


Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
First, Pro's fatal mistake I thought was to concede the non-binding normative nature of the PoU and to admit that it creates no real obligation on others. Simply claiming that we holistically value happiness does not impost any sort of binding normative reason for why one ought not to only take their own preference into account. Secondly, Pro never responded properly to the calculations point. His claim that the PoU only pertains to direct net benefits is unfounded considering that happiness is taken as a moral good in itself. Thirdly, Pro never provided any argument for why the distinction between direct and indirect consequences was reasonably supported. Fourthly, no argument provided by Pro to suggest the objectivity of the moral rightness of happiness. His only point was to argue for the holistic nature of human preference. However, in doing so he ended up simply defining happiness as ANY preference satisfaction which is untenable. Win to Con.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
Word, homie.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
"How does this debate have seven Facebook likes?"

Lol, I've got 69 before

Anyways, great debate!
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
And I'll make sure the voters don't vote solely on the forfeit.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
Meh, don't worry about it. Half my loses are forfeits so I can understand.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
Heh, sorry about that. Busy times...
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
As I was reading I was worried you weren't even going to mention utilitarianism's calculation problem. Good job mate.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
I have a feeling that this debate is going to be off-the-hook gangsta.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
Lol I'll be watching this one.
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
I like the concept of the debate, but I would be con on this. Post this on my profile though, I would like to see what case is made for the pro.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering TheHitchSlap's vote for arguments. Unfortunately, I won't be writing a legitimate RFD or dissertation on the matter until TheHitchSlap provides an explanation as to why he thought Pro had better arguments. As a result, I will be making the debate a tie until he does so.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I felt pro had better arguments