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The concept of good and evil should ideally be abandoned in order to create a more just world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 595 times Debate No: 94114
Debate Rounds (4)
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The full question: Good and evil are concepts which have outlasted their usefulness to society.

Round 1 will be for acceptance and opening arguments.
Round 2 will be for rebuttals and further arguments.
Round 3 will be for rebuttals and further arguments.
Round 4 will be for rebuttals only with no further arguments being introduced.

Pro opening argument:

Good and evil were originally intended to create a more just world where good is done instead of evil. However, it has failed to create a world which is just, and is now taking backwards steps away from that goal as I will demonstrate here.

The question of what is good and what is evil has been around for a long time. Often it is quoted that what is good and what is evil is decided by the Gods. However, there are many Gods and many of them disagree with each other on what is good and what is evil. The christian God, for example, disagrees with himself between the old testament and the new. For example, in the new testament God for bids killing (Ex 20:13) Whereas in the old testament, God commands killing (Ex 32:27). It is evident that the Gods themselves are far too confused about morality for us to get our definitions of what is good and what is evil from them; that would certainly do more harm than good as powerful people would just pick whichever God allowed them to do whatever they wanted quoting that this particular God allowed it. This would certainly create more injustice than it would create.

The same difficulties apply in attempting to take our definitions of what is good and what is evil from society's judgements. What one society says is evil, another society says is at least neutral, if not good. For example, for a woman to speak about politics in some countries is evil, whereas in others it is not only not evil, but actively encouraged. Indeed, Britain now has a female Prime Minister, as Germany has a female President. In which case, allowing any society to dictate absolutes on what is good or evil to the rest of the world would do more harm than good as no society can claim a monopoly on morality and to do so would create a situation where one society rules over all others, which would certainly be unjust.

In that case, could it be said that good and evil are decided upon on an individual basis based on some sort of formula which means that what is good in one society can be evil in another without it being contradictary to the formula? Perhaps if we were to say that things that produce the most benefit to that country are good, and things that produce the most detriment to that country are evil? That would make sense with countries in which it is evil for women to take part in politics as women there would have had less of a chance to be educated than men, whereas in other countries which have female prime ministers and presidents, women are more likely to have had just as much education as men. However, it does not make sense in other ways. For example, the fact that women are less educated in those countries is due to the fact that it is seen as evil for a woman to receive an education. This cannot be said to have any benefit on that society as it is forcing half of its population to not receive an education on things which may, in the long run, make the country more economically prosperous and technologically advanced. The actual result of this is a female dependency on men which only goes to place women in a vulnerable position where great harm can be done to them if they do not comply with the men's wishes. This cannot be said to benefit that society, yet it is still seen as good that that is the way it is. This is a result of the people in power wishing to keep power by picking and choosing the 'moral lessons' from a particular God. The fact that it is that way has nothing to do with what is really good and what is really evil.

Therefore we have seen that good and evil cannot be readily defined in any agreeable way by the gods or society, and they are concepts which are often only used by powerful people who wish to keep that power. Often, those things that are quoted as 'good' are harmful to a large section of a population, and those things that are quoted as evil are only done so to prevent the rebalancing of power, such as the general forbadance of women in politics in certain countries. Therefore, perhaps we should judge what is good and evil based on its actual benefit or detriment to society. Things with a net benefit would be seen as good, whereas things with a net detriment would be seen as evil.

This solves some gray areas. For example: Murder.

If you murder a person for no reason at all then yes, that is to the detriment of society and that action should be judged as evil. If you murder an individual who is about to press a button which will introduce a plague into society, that action must be judged to have been to the larger benefit of society and therefore good.

The idea of judging actions on what is to the larger benefit of society is an interesting one. However, it is not without its flaws. For instance: Two men are trapped on a desert island. Both are starving to death and both would die the next day. The bigger man overpowers his companion, kills him and eats him. Two days later a ship arrives and the man is saved. He has murdered someone for food, yet that act got him back to civilization alive. In this system his act would be considered to be for the benefit of society as both would have died anyway had the man not murdered his companion for food. Therefore, the murder would have to be considered good. A system in which murder is considered good if you're hungry is a flawed one which would certainly do more harm to society than good by leaving the vulnerable even more so in dire situations, certainly this is unjust.

In conclusion to my opening argument, I have shown that good and evil as defined by gods is confused and open to abuse and therefore harmful to society, as is allowing societies themselves to choose what is good and what is evil, and finally, that even a system which states that anything with a net benefit to society is good and anything with a net detriment to society is evil would allow for the abuse of the vulnerable. In which case, ideas of good and evil have outlasted their use to society, and inhibit its advancement towards a more just world. They should, therefore, be abandoned and our hope for creating a more just world should be placed in the hands of laws which should be constantly rewritten as to make them more suitable to a just world.


I do accept this debate.
First debate on this website, so excuse my scrubbiness if I show any.

Con opening argument:

There are two types of morality in the universe: epistemology and ontological morality. The first one, epistemological morality, deals with what we perceive to be right and wrong. This is very subjective and changes from religion to religion, society to society, etc. However the second one, ontological morality, deals with what is actually right and wrong. Evidence for this type of morality falls on the fact that many ancient societies have developed similar morals independently from each other, which suggests that those morals are most probably right. (If you want me to provide evidence of similar morals among ancient societies, tell me and I will provide.)
I say this to show that there is a definite right and wrong in each situation.
That being said, individuals should be taught morality, what is good and evil, to help them with there day-to-day life.

That is the sole purpose of ethics/moral, to help people interact with each others and with society. Therefore, the concept of good and evil should remain in society. (only the ontological concept.)

But of course, people should be taught ontological morality and morality based on logic, like racism and sexism is wrong. Morality shouldn't be another tool for evil governments to control their people. To tell whether or not a morality is used to advance one's purposes, you have to look to see if you're allowed to research other types of epistemological moralities.

I know your response to my argument, that 'how do we know what is truly good and evil. Just because we don't fully understand something, doesn't mean we have to abandon it. We have to figure out what morale rules will best help people in society.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, welcome to the website Bensen!

I'm going to refer to you as he for ease in this first round, but if that is not your preferred pronoun please feel free to correct me.

Onto the debate:

Okay so first of all I'm going to restate the premise of this debate: The concept of good and evil should ideally be abandoned in order to create a more just world.

That means that you are attempting to prove that the concepts of good and evil are not to the detriment of a 'just' world. I have erred in not defining just so I shall define it now.

Just is defined as 'guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness' [1]

In other words, you, my opponent, are attempting to prove that removing the concepts of good and evil would not help in creating a just world. The burden of proof is on me, as I am Pro, - you simply need to defuse my arguments and unwind my reasoning.

Con states that there are only two types of morality in the universe. The first is perceived morality (he terms it 'epistemological morality) which differs between different societies as it is created by them, and actual morality - what is 'actually' right and wrong (which he terms ontological morality).

He concentrates on ontological morality as epistemological morality is more likely to be used as a tool for 'evil governments to control their people.' That, of course, is something I stated in my original argument as being to the detriment of having a system of morality, and in this he agrees with me when it comes to 'epistemological' morality.

Con states:

'That is the sole purpose of ethics/moral, to help people interact with each others and with society. Therefore, the concept of good and evil should remain in society. (only the ontological concept.)'

Here con implicitly completely accepts that 'epistemological' morality is harmful in the creation of a just world and agrees that it should be removed from society.


Con's statement is irrelevant to the debate as helping others interact with each other and society does not in any way show that morality is creating an unjust world, and he is accepting that (what he terms) epistemological morality does indeed create more injustice via creating inequality. However, epistemological morality is the morality that is in practice in every society every day and it is not possible (as he later points out) to divine what exactly is 'ontologically' good and evil.

He then goes on to state that 'just because we don't fully understand something doesn't mean that we have to abandon it.' But Pro is not advocating to abandon it due to a lack of understanding, but because it creates injustice where a system of continually updated laws which all have an aim to create more justice or equality and fair-handedness would do a lot better in creating a more just world.

So far, Con has failed to show that I am incorrect to state that the removal of the concepts of good and evil would create a more unjust world. In fact, he has supported me in that he has admitted that the removal of those concepts (or the removal of 'epistemological' morality) would be to the benefit of society.

In the comments, Con defines what is 'ontologically' good as being more just, and what is 'ontologically' bad as being less just. But he does not prove that ontological morality actually exists. He states that there are a number of ancient societies which have developed similar morals independently from each other, which suggests that those morals are most probably right (by which I assume he means 'the most just.') But were not most ancient societies fans of slavery? Would Con affirm that because slavery was seen as right by most ancient civilisations that it must therefore be 'the most just?' Or will Con consider that it was similar conditions which led to a society that was far from just, yet produced similar morality codes because of the similar conditions they had to survive in, and most of the moral codes were meant to be practical, rather than just? And that similar moral codes of societies which lived in similar conditions is no indicator of the existence of a set of guidelines which prove that there is a definite 'right (most just action) and wrong (most injust action)?

Pro's argument is that there is no ontological morality, as Con has been unable to point to the existence of any moral code which would provably have the most just result if followed. There is no divineable 'most just action,' which could be found and therefore no ontological morality. That leaves us with epistemological morality which Con has already conceded should be scrapped as it leaves too much power in the hands of 'evil governments' which can abuse morality to hurt certain groups of people, as I mentioned in my previous argument, and is therefore unjust.

In the absence of the provable existence of an ontological morality and in the active harm done by an epistemological morality, we must settle for attempting to become increasingly just as a society. In doing so we cannot adopt a set of most just laws, but we can strive for it. Replacing old moral codes which allow for the abuse of minorities (preventing women from being educated etc) with laws which aim to be increasingly just. These laws would not be a moral code, but a legal one. They would not be controlled by society, but by philosophers whose job it would be to think about laws to make things increasingly more just. The laws would be constantly updated.




First off, I would like to admit my opening argument was flawed, I accept that now, so I am going to rebuttal now and use different arguments.

My new argument/rebuttal is that goodness and justice are very similar and that abandoning the concept of good and evil for the sake of justice does not make sense.

To summarize Pro's argument, the concept of good and evil cannot derive from religion, society, or individual formula because all those things contradict each other. Then he goes on to say the concept is used by governments to control people. All this is true, yet the same thing could be said about justice. Different societies, religions, et cetera differ on what is justice and what is not justice. And most of the time, when someone calls something good, he also would call that something just. For instance, the same people who would call abortion unjust would also call it evil. So in a sense, the concept of justice and good and evil go hand-in-hand. So it is illogical to get rid of one concept for the sake of the other. Furthermore, the concept of justice could be used by governments to control their people. For instance, a government could say killing a black man for spitting on the ground is just, same way the government could call the same action to the black man good. Based on this, the concept of justice is equally flawed as good and evil.

And even though you want to throw out good and evil, you state 'Therefore, perhaps we should judge what is good and evil based on its actual benefit or detriment to society Things with a net benefit would be seen as good, whereas things with a net detriment would be seen as evil.' Things with a net benefit would be seen as good, whereas things with a net detriment would be seen as evil.' This statement illustrates that you don't want to give up good ad evil, but merely want to make the concept be based on a more objective scale. (Which I agree with, by the way.)

The concept of good and evil didn't work so much in the past is not because the idea is flawed. The concept was not even made up to keep people from doing wrong, it is merely an observation of deeds people do. People did and are still doing so much wrong things because they do not care about right or wrong, good or evil. And besides, if we replace the old one idea of good and evil with the new concept based on justice, it will not change the fact that people do selfish things that are a detriment to society. Selfish people will not care if you call them evil or unjust.

How would abandoning the idea of good and evil help make a more just world? I have previously argued that both are equally flawed and each could be used by governments to control their people. And with you murder scenarios, if you kill someone that is going to kill a lot of people, it is a good act based on you idea of goodness-'we should judge what is good and evil based on its actual benefit or detriment to society'. With the second scenario, the good and just thing to do is to sacrifice yourself for cannibalism. If you have to sacrifice someone, sacrifice yourself.

In conclusion, abandoning the concept of good and evil for the new concept of justice, both of which have been around for the same amount of time, would not make any sense because it will not effect anything. It will not make a more just world. It might not make a more unjust world either, but that is not the topic of debate.
Debate Round No. 2


I will take a moment to state that it is brave, although unwise, for Con to admit that his opening argument was flawed and retract it in the way that he has. I won't take advantage of that fact, but he should beware that in the future others will mercilessly rip him to shreds for such a statement as they will see it as a sign that his arguments were not sufficiently thought through, although I personally congratulate his willingness to take a different approach.

Onto the debate, Con summarises my argument, but he summarises it incorrectly. My point was not that good and evil cannot derive from religion, society, or individual formula because all of those things contradict each other. My point was that good and evil are concepts which derive their meaning from religion, society and individual formula and their origin being such means, and has always meant, that they are incapable of creating a just world because of the reasons I have formerly stated.

Con states that societies differ on what is just and what is unjust, but this is untrue. Just is defined as: 'guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness' as I stated earlier. [1] Therefore, what is just must be fair. What society believes is just and unjust has nothing to do with it. If Tom has 12 cookies, I may believe that it's fair that Tom gives me all his cookies because I got out of bed this morning to go to work when I didn't want to. Therefore I should get all of Tom's cookies as a reward for that. I can think that that is fair, but that doesn't make it fair. Equally, a society can think something is just, but that doesn't make them right that it is.

Con's rebuttal hinges on his belief that 'good and evil' and 'justice' are the same things.The reality of the situation is, however, that the way society defines 'good' and 'evil' does not represent what Con is claiming. In some places, whatever God says is good is good. However, just because God says that we shouldn't educate women, that does not make it 'fair' or 'just' to not educate women. Others have suggested that something can be considered 'good' because it creates more happiness than unhappiness. If you had twelve slaves serving twelve families of four, you would then have to consider that to be 'good' as it is creating 48 happy individuals at the cost of 12 unhappy ones, thus producing a net benefit of happy individuals. That would still not, however, be fair, or just, to the slaves.

The people who, Con states, would call abortion unjust whilst calling it evil, would call it evil because it is going against God, and unjust because it is ending the life of an unborn child which is arguably not fair. That does not mean that they are using evil and unjust as two of the same thing. They are using two adjectives to describe it in two different ways for two different reasons.

Con states that justice would be abused by governments just as what is 'good' and 'evil' has been abused, but this could not be a problem under the system I stated earlier where we replace old moral codes which allow for the abuse of minorities with laws which aim to be increasingly just and are decided not by the government but by philosophers whose job it would be to think about laws to make things more just and can constantly update those laws. They would be a separate entity from the government and only they would be able to create or adjust laws. A government cannot abuse a system they have no part in. In this way the concept of justice is not flawed in the same way as good and evil as Con suggests.

Con quotes me on a statement I made earlier that 'perhaps we should judge what is good and evil based on its actual benefit or detriment to society.' etc. This quote is made out of context and was simply me suggesting an alternative way that morality can be viewed (one of many, which again makes it different from justice which can only be defined as 'fair') and then showing how it is equally as flawed as basing morality on religion. The fact that I made this statement does not in any way imply that I do not want to give up good and evil, simply that I was considering different moral systems and how they all fail in creating a world that would be anywhere near as just as the system of Just Laws which I showcased earlier.

Con asserts that if we replace the old ideas of good and evil with the system of Just Laws people would still do things that are selfish and a detriment to society as they will not care if you call them unjust, just as they did not care if you called them evil. The main problem with Con's statement here is that, as I have mentioned before, the system of Just Laws would be different to a system of morality in that morality consists of moral guidelines which are not always legally enforced (such as abortion, which is often seen as evil but not illegal). A system of Just Laws, however, would be legally enforced and, as they would be more fair than a system of laws based upon morality, more people would agree with them and would follow them because they are would not be restrictive in a way which is designed to please a God, but in a way that is designed to please the people and give them access to a just life. Therefore Con's argument that people would just ignore the system of Just Laws as they ignore morality does not stand to reason.

I have sufficiently refuted Con's assertion that a system of Just laws could be used by governments to control their people and refuted that 'good and evil' and 'just' are the same thing (as good and evil can be defined in a variety of different ways, none of which are required to be fair, for example, when a God dictates that a woman must not be educated, whereas what is 'just' must also be 'fair').

Con's comment on what the 'good' and 'just' thing to do if presented with two people starving to death on an island would be is irrelevant as the point of my statement was that that did not happen and something we could consider to be unjust (to the person who was overwhelmed, murdered and then cannibalized) must be considered to be good in the system of net benefit to net detriment (known as utilitarianism).

In cons conclusion he again states that good and evil and justice are the same thing, which I have already refuted, and that ideas of good and evil and justice have been around for the same time which is possible but irrelevant as just because they have been around for the same amount of time does not mean that they are one in the same or that we should not replace good and evil with what is just. As I have shown, replacing good and evil with a system of Just Laws in the way that I have described earlier would inevitably do away with the unfortunate results of the 'good and evil' system like the forbadeance of the education of women as justice must support equality and therefore women would be educated on the same par as men as a legal requirement, but in the eyes of a God's view of what is 'good,' that has obviously not been the case and the lack of education of women has been to society's detriment and made it more unjust.




A couple important points I would like to introduce and expand on. I am not going to use the argument I used in the comments, nor am I going to use Rousseau or Freud, even though I said I would. I apologize. But unto the argument.

1.) Part of being moral is being just.
2.) The justice system is suppose to be based on fairness and justice anyway. Even when its not and instead based on morality, you don't have to abandon morality for all the society. You could just replace morality for justice in the justice system.
3.) Justice hinders the progress of society if someone wants to sacrifice part of himself for society.

1.) Part of being moral is being just. The purpose and the reason why morality was invented is to help you and I get along better in society, which I stated in my opening argument (which was not flawed, just slightly irrelevant). For instance, it is immoral to commit murder because we cannot get along together if you kill me or I kill you, for obvious reasons, one of us would be dead. That being said, because being fair and just in one's actions helps people get along in society, being just is already a moral thing to do.
And why is my way of morality anyway different than others? Why isn't my morality going to lead to some injustice against some group of people? Because my morality includes justice as an important concept, while a lot of others don't.
So isn't my morality merely the same thing as justice then? No. My morality (I'm just gonna call it mine so it'll be simpler) includes other things important to a good society, such as people having a good temper, or people being free from government oppression. A good guideline of what should be good and bad is Aristotle's Virtues, which include justice, a good temper, freedom, and other good virtues people have to possess to successfully take part in society. And we should make justice and important part of this goodness because it'll be easier to keep goodness objective.
To summarize my above argument, if we abandon the idea of good and evil for the name of justice, then we lose the other virtues of Aristotle that are very important to society (When I say Aristotle's virtues, I am not limiting what I opine to be good to his virtues, I am just using him as an example to make it easier to argue). Also, an irrational man would no care for justice anymore than he would value any other of Aristotle's virtues, showing that an irrational man would not care if society values goodness or justice. Furthermore, I previously stated that a person would call the same thing good and just or evil and unjust. That is because justice is part of being good.
And moreover, Jesus and Confucius said the same thing which summarizes morality, (I'm paraphrasing here) Do unto others what you wish they do unto you, or to love your neighbor as yourself. What is so unjust about that if people are not stupid about it?
I know I am assuming that this is what real morality is, but it should be adopted as a good morality to live by because it is fair and helps humans where justice cannot help them.
And this is why the concept of good and evil should not be abandoned, while the law system should be based on justice, the people get to argue what is good and evil and figure out creative ways to help people.


2.) Anyway, the law system should be based on justice, which is definitely more objective than morality, even though I tried arguing on morality's objectivity. The law system might not have always entirely based on justice, but it definitely should be. (Here, I am not talking of the obvious fact that law does not equal justice. There are other reasons laws are unjust other than moral issues, such as high taxes and high regulation and such. You know, laws the government passes to keep in power.)

3.) Is it fair for someone to sacrifice himself for the sake of society? Let's say someone honestly earned one million dollars, and wants to invest it in building hospitals and schools in some poor part of his country. Is his action just? He deserved his money, so therefore he is allowed to keep it. The poor people don't deserve the money, so they shouldn't have it. That is how a just world should work. Obviously his action does good to others, so it is a good thing to do. In a society where good and evil does not exist, there would be no motive for that person to go into philanthropy. To be fair, there would be no motive for him to do harm to those same people. But we live in a society where good and evil exists, so we must teach people to be good.
But someone could teach others to do stuff in the name of good that is unfair. Well, as I said earlier, justice should be an important part of goodness, because it helps objectify goodness.

To summarize my arguments, if we replace goodness for justice, we hinder people from becoming better in other areas. So in a sense, it is not worth replacing goodness for mere justice. Morality is invented to help people get along, justice being an important part of that interaction. And is we teach people Aristotle's virtues, we will not only have fair people, but those people will also be brave, well-tempered, sincere, and other good virtues. Different people have tried to come up with moral systems to help people get along in a peaceful manner. Many have failed, I might have failed. But you cannot say that my moral system will lead to injustice, because my moral system includes justice as a key component to it. And morality leading to injustice is your biggest objection to morality.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent's first assertion is that part of being moral is being just. His second assertion then contradicts this by stating that even when the justice system is not fair and just, and is instead based on morality (which shows he agrees that the two are separate entities) you can just replace morality with justice. But here he has agreed with my argument which is that the concept of morality (good and evil) should be abandoned in order to create a more just world.

My opponent then makes a second argument. This one is slightly different. He still states that part of being moral is being just howeverand as I have shown the two are not intertwined. You can be moral without being just (for example by following some of the more unfair/unjust laws that God has been quoted as having wished for in the bible, like not educating women). My opponent then states that morality was invented. This entirely contradicts his earlier argument that morality was not 'made up' (invented), but is merely an observation of deeds people do. [1] To be fair to con, however, his earlier argument was incorrect and he is allowed to change his mind. In fact, I encourage the changing of ideas in the face of evidence. So let's pull Con's argument into its constituent bits:

Con asserts that morality was created to help people get along better in society. In other words, to reduce conflict between individuals in society. Con then states that therefore murder is immoral, because, in his words, 'we cannot get along together if you kill me or I kill you.' But this is not actually true do to the fact that con's morality was about getting along 'better in society.' And even if it had been simply about 'getting along' then killing somebody would at its worst be considered neither moral nor immoral as it has destroyed any possibility for us to get along or not, and therefore has taken away the capacity for a moral (gain in how well we get along) or immoral (loss in how well we get along) action. Allow me to explain in more basic terms.

The problem with con's definition of morality is that, taking it to its logical conclusion, murder can easily be moral.

Allow me to explain. Con's morality is all based around how well individuals get along with each other, and therefore morality can be measured via relationships. If I have not met a person then my relationship with them is 0 or neutral because there is no net gain or loss in conflict. If I am friends with an individual we shall say that my relationship with them is +1 and therefore good. However, if I dislike somebody then my relationship must be -1 with them as we are not getting along and that is immoral in Con's philosophy. Con states that what is moral must be what helps us get along better. Therefore, one of the ways to get along better with somebody is to return the -1 to a 0 or neutral. One of the ways to do this would, in fact, be to kill them. As this is helping us get along better by changing the value of our relationship from -1 to 0, the fact that I have just murdered this person whom I dislike would have to be considered morally good under Con's system. I would ask you how this can be judged to be in any way 'just.'

There are more problems than this, however. At a less drastic level, Con's morality prohibits anything that could cause two individuals to get along less well. A possible reason for getting along less well is to have a disagreement about ideas. Con's morality would thus prevent people from being allowed to disagree with anybody else just in case they offended the other person and therefore performed an immoral action, but preventing somebody from airing a dissenting view is against freedom of speech and it is unjust to prevent people who are being harmed by a system to speak out against it. Although that may cause conflict, which Con's morality system demonizes, sometimes conflict can have just results. Preventing conflict I have shown limits freedom which Con even states to be good when he began to quote Aristotle's virtues.

So I have shown that, although Con states that his way of morality is more just than my System of Just Laws, it is, in reality, not just at all.

Con also states that 'a person would call the same thing good and just or evil and unjust because justice is part of being good.' I wouldn't and if a person did state that he would be wrong for all the reasons I have formerly mentioned primarily that not teaching women is morally good according to various Gods yet it is unjust as it is unequal.

Con talks about Jesus and Confucius stating 'Do unto others what you wish they do unto you' and 'love your neighbour as yourself.' These two statements are themselves unjust as, firstly, people have the right to choose what they want for themselves and they may not wish you to treat them the same way that you wish they would treat you. It is just to give people freedom in how they wish to be treated instead of self-centeredly treating them the way you 'think' that they 'should' wish to be treated. Secondly, loving your neighbour as yourself has nothing to do with justice. If you love your neighbour, there is no reason they should feel the need to love you, and therefore your feeling of 'love' for your neighbour is not returned and there is no reason that you should feel the need to give a part of yourself to somebody who doesn't feel the same. It is a ridiculous notion. Let your neighbour do what they want and if they don't like you let it go.

As far as I can see Con's point about the objectivity of the current law system is irrelevant as to whether we should replace it and the system of morality with a System of Just Laws. He is essentially saying 'the law system is flawed but that's the governments fault' when I previously stated that my System of Just Laws would have nothing to do with the government and everything to do with independent philosophers who would not be pressured by the government.

Con's next point had me confused for awhile but it's actually an interesting point. He asks: If good and evil did not exist, what would be the motive for philanthropy? A system built entirely upon what is just would not satisfy any motives for the philanthropy of the rich as a just world would not require rich people to give money to poor people. This is a good point. However, whilst it is true that the poor do not justly deserve the money earned by the rich man, that does not mean that the poor deserve to die for being poor. Charity is only necessary when the government do not do enough to ensure that poverty is reduced as much as it can be. In my System of Just Laws, poverty would not exist as poverty is entirely unjust, as it is unjust to punish an individual for being born poor. Therefore the philosophers would enact laws which ensured that the poor were treated justly, and philanthropy would not be necessary. This does not necessarily mean they would be given money that was taxed from the rich, but that they were given food, water and warmth. I do not know what the exact nature of the Just Laws would be as I am not a philosopher nor am I arguing that I am one, I am simply arguing for the System of Just Laws itself.

Con essentially argues that if we replace goodness for justice, we hinder people's abilities to feel better about themselves by giving to charities. However, in my system these charities would not exist because they would have no aim as things like poverty would be eliminated. Therefore, it is not a real issue that the rich cannot spend their money on the poor.

In conclusion, Con has not been able to come up with a moral system which does not lead to injustices, whereas my System of Just Laws has proved to be impenetrable to Con as he has not found a way to prove that it would lead to a less just world than moral systems have produced. Although he got close with the philanthropy argument, philanthropy in itself is not just and we are not debating about whether morality does lessen suffering in the world in some circumstances, but whether it can produce an overall more just system than my System of Just Laws. I have sufficiently proven that it cannot.


[1] Con's round 2 argument 5th paragraph 2nd sentence.


In my last rebuttal, I will attempt to defend my position and try to illustrate how my morality is better for society than replacing it with justice.
For starters, you are saying that all morality in a society should be abandoned for the sake of justice in our law systems. When I said the justice system should be based on justice, that is just one part of society. We shouldn't abandon all morality to fix one part of society. That is like saying you shouldn't eat Doritos with a fork so abandon all forks in your life.

On to my main rebuttal:

My opponent's essential argument is 'all existing moral systems have led to some form of injustice and in order to create a just world moral systems must be abandoned and replaced by the creation of Just Laws which would be considered and created by philosophers whose job it is to create those laws.'

First objection, wouldn't the just laws become the new morality? Under your laws, being just is right and being unjust is wrong, and morality is based on right and wrong or good and evil. You are just making a new set of morals.

My essential argument is that (I should've worded this better in my previous argument, my bad) justice is an important part of morality so there is no need to ditch morality. This is because morality's purpose is to help make an even playing ground for people to compete and live, help us get along and according to Rousseau, to make us more free. Justice, like morality, strives for those goals. According to Rousseau, if anything is permissible, then we wouldn't be free because everyone will be fighting over food, water, et cetera and everyone would be scared for their lives, thus halting the path for progress, welfare and freedom. This is what philosophers like to call the State of Nature, for all those who don't know. The reason why morality was invented was to help people move away from the State of Nature to a more civilized society. Justice helps people become more civilized, so therefore, justice is a part of morality. Furthermore, what I said earlier about real/ontological morality, that means there is only one system of morality that benefits society the greatest. If someone says something is moral, but that something is bad for society, then it is not moral, but immoral. In this sense, morality is just as objective as logic. If something is good for society, it is moral. It something makes sense, it is logical.

If we abandon all of morality for the sake of justice and justice alone, then we lose other traits that humans need to become more civilized and better, such as self-sacrifice, temperance, sincerity, honesty, et cetera.

And people could differ on ideas and get along together. Most people are grown ups. The purpose of morality is not for everyone to agree with each other, it is to make sure they could disagree with each other and still live in peace. When I said that murder was immoral, you gave a very interesting response. But, if two people know that the other could kill the him if they don't get along, then they will not trust each other, work with each other, and will hide away from each other. Because of this, they will not get along with each other. Murder is immoral in this sense because murder will hinder the trust and cooperation that people have for each to build a working society. Moreover, I emphasized justice as being a strong part of my morality and killing someone because you don't like them is unjust and so it's immoral.

You are keep using God not teaching women as an example of morality being unjust. As I stated earlier, morality is based on the improvement, welfare and freedom of people. That is a totally fair and just goal by the way. If a set of morals does not do that, that means those morals are immoral and should not be followed.

In response to your rebuttal on what I mentioned about Jesus and Confucius, they are just trying to give good advice. If you love your neighbor, you'll get along fine and you will be fair to them, by nature. You don't have to be loved back. Furthermore, most people want justice, so based on the other saying, they should be fair to others. By the way, why is forcing people to be fair even a fair thing to do when forcing people to love one another not fair? In each case, you are making people do something good and the action will help them and those around them, so what's the difference?

My point on the current law system is still valid. I said that the current law system is unjust. My point is made to demonstrate that laws could be unjust for other reasons then false morality. Governments make unfair laws for greed or lust for power and stuff like that.

In his next rebuttal, Pro further enters his utopian world. My argument was that in a just world, there would be no want for philanthropy because it is entirely unjust. He stated that under his just laws, there would be no poverty. He tries to prove this by stating that the poor should be treated justly (which would be he same under my system of morality, because justice is a big thing in my morality). He also states that the government would provide food, water, shelter for the poor. This requires money, which must be taxed from the middle class and rich, which contradicts his earlier statement that the rich do not have to be taxed for such purposes. So his providing basic necessities for the poor is an entirely unjust thing to do, even if the government does it. (In the real world, the government always screws things up. I'm arguing reality vs. his utopia.) Yet there are other reasons why poverty exists without injustice, such as natural disaster, bad geography, famine, drought, et cetera. Why is it just for people to help them? Why is it even fair for the government to help them? The poor people do not pay enough taxes in return. It is not fair for people to sacrifice part of themselves for the people in need. Even if a government entirely abolishes all poverty in its country, what about philanthropy in other countries. Or what about on a basic, personal level? If a neighbor's house burns down, would you give them help? How would just laws prevent that fire from burning (assuming it was accidental)?

Furthermore, he stated that poverty is unjust. Here he runs in a predicament. He wants a society that is based on just laws at the expense of morality. However, if poverty in unjust, and helping the poor is unjust, then you have an unjust society. It is unjust for the government to help the poor because they will have to tax the richer people to provide basic necessities for the poor (food, water, shelter). And furthermore, the poor pay very little taxes (obvious reasons), so it is unfair for the government to help them because they do not get enough in return. So in this scenario, my morality will make a more just world because it values self-sacrifice, which done by individuals could (hypothetically) successfully eliminate all poverty n a country, thus ending poverty, an injustice. This is to an expense of another injustice, self-sacrifice, but those individuals are cool with it because they volunteered to the injustice.

If you want to rebuttal my above two paragraphs, do so in the comments.

Pro, charity was not make for people to feel better about themselves. It is about help others, not yourself.

In conclusion, I have been able to come up with a moral system that does lead to justice, and I have shown how Pro's system of justice will lead to a more unjust world in some scenarios, and also a worse off world. I hope I have successfully shown how justice is part of morality. Furthermore, I hoped that I have shown how justice without morality could lead to a more unjust world, because sometimes people have to go outside morality to fix it, such as in my philanthropy scenario. And lastly, if nothing in my argument is convincing, understand that there would always be a good and evil, it is just two sides of a coin. Good is for the benefit of society, and evil is for the harm of society.

Also, for all those who know of utilitarianism, which is the philosophical system of providing the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people, I am against it. I think Pro is against it too because it is unfair to the minorities who will have to be sacrificed at some points under this system. I am against it because a) it is unjust b) it is a shortcut to benefitting society and c) it is murder. A popular scenario of utilitarianism is the trolley situation, which is where you have a train that is going one way and is going to kill 5 people, yet you can make the train go another way and only kill one person. The beauty of life is that this scenario could never take place, there are always more than two choices to make in every situation, and if you have to sacrifice someone, sacrifice yourself.

I say this because utilitarianism may seem to be to the benefit of society, and Pro could think I am for it, but I am against utilitarianism.

Thanks for accepting my debate JayConor. I apologize that I was scrubby at points, but I learned a lot and I hoped you did too.
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
It would be kinda dumb if you could vote in the debate that you're in ;P I'm gonna start a new debate and invite you to it. And I wouldn't call it cheating. You didn't know and I should have mentioned it previously.
Posted by Bensen 2 months ago
So I just realized you cant vote if you're in the argument, stupid me
Posted by Bensen 2 months ago
Thanks, and because I have cheated, I will vote for you to be fair.
And sorry about the new arguments at the end
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
Also, I actually made the debate so it was you who accepted it, but thanks anyway ;P hehe. Your argument was interesting - you said a lot of good stuff which unfortunately you waited until the end to say so it doesn't really count in the debate. Advice for you: Stick to the topic of the debate. A lot of the time you were arguing that we would not want an entirely just society. The debate wasn't about whether it would be a desirable thing to have, it was about how we could get it. Whether we should want it or not is irrelevant. You did good though. You might even win this debate you made some good points. Good luck.
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
Some of your last rebuttals were not rebuttals but entirely new arguments which you're not allowed to make as your last point because I have no chance to rebut them, so if voters could ignore my opponents entirely new arguments in his last round and instead focus entirely on his rebuttals that would be good.
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
Posted by Bensen 2 months ago
I know, finishing up my arguament now thanks
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
Just 7 hours mate.
Posted by JayConar 2 months ago
If you do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, and the best way to learn is to teach somebody else, then you are preventing a woman from one of the best ways of learning. Which is preventing a woman from learning.
Posted by Bensen 2 months ago
That doesn't tell people not to educate women, just that women cannot be above men. It literally says 'Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.' This is just another verse in the Bible supporting a slight patriarchy, not a big one though.

But thanks for posting the verse.
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