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

The idea that a human can act outside personal Interest is a delusion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 423 times Debate No: 64247
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




We accommodate our morality to move with the vagaries of circumstance. The Idea that morals are constant are delusional. We make sense by pretending we are somehow good when in fact like any other animal we react to anything not unlike a slug might recoil against sunlight.


I'm going to anchor my argument to Darwinism and evolution. Hehe. >:)

One of the human race's most powerful trait is its ability to coexist and to make sacrifices of personal interest to aid in that of others. Let's look at this trait from an evolutionary standpoint. Let's take an arbitrary sample group of neolithic man, for example. Within this group are many types of man with different genetic traits. More notable are those who act completely out of personal interest with no regard to others. These selfish specimen are functionally less beneficial to their species than the less selfish specimen. Thus, it is seen as more beneficial to the species, as a whole, to gravitate more toward those who have more utility: those who are willing to make sacrifices for the interest of others. Those in the species who is not willing to sacrifice their own chances of survival in order to ensure that of their functionally worthless children are less likely to leave progeny; that trait is simply either pushed into the minority or completely wiped out.

This process is often termed natural selection and is the reason modern people favor traits such as kindness and compassion over its counterparts when looking for partners.

On the same tangent, I can easily contrive an anecdotal case which alone shows that a human being can act outside personal interest: mothers. Not all are equipped to have or take care of children, but many are willing to risk or sacrifice their lives, livelihood or personal/economic liberty to both have and sustain the child. Single moms with no family working minimum wage to barely enable the survival of herself and her child.
Isn't this exact case I've described acting outside personal interest?

A girl I know once said that she would commit suicide if she has an abortion. She is unable to supply for the child economically, but she would rather let her years wither away for the sake of the child. She'd rather die than not have the child. She regards her own personal interests as lesser than the life and livelihood of her child.

Those who aid in the survival of their species get to have their traits passed down, which often includes the trait of kindness and compassion. These are traits which are key in the ability of members within a species to act outside of personal interest for that of others; it is the ability to act for the good of the species.

For the purposes of this debate, all I had to do was show that a single human being can act outside of personal interest. Any act of altruism would have done, and the mother example is only one of many.
Debate Round No. 1


I'm often fond of remarking on the cruelty we inflict on one another. Fact is we do and always will do evil. History agrees. Not wanting atrocities and other terrible things to happen is a nonsense. We are capable of the worst excesses and that is not going to go away. We are not moral beyond whatever drives us.


While I agree that many humans can be cruel, I think you're straying off the resolution at hand.. I've satisfied my win condition by showing that humans can act outside of personal interest which is all I needed to do. You've yet to provide a case supporting your side of the resolution. I will simply extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


angryduck forfeited this round.


Some people are bad, some people are good. Society is a mixture of variety. It's good to recognize the baddies, but you should never let that keep you from seeing the good in humanity.
Anywho, vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 1 year ago
Of course suicide is personal interest. They never consider the impact it will have on those who are left in the rotten here and now.Even those who give do it out of the satisfaction that it brings.And the rewards. Jesus even said to give and you will have more in return.It gets corrupted when we interfere in other peoples personal interests . Especially through government.They are the biggest busybodies there is. If anyone had to deal with any bureaucrat knows what I am talking about.Americans started out minding their own business. Then as freeloading became a norm, they started to want more and more to run other peoples business through taxation.And that is why we now are over regulated and over taxed.It is not like the best and the brightest gravitate to government. Some of the dumbest people I have ever heard speak are in government.But as they give more of other peoples money, that fact is so often overlooked.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
Or is suicide similar to a slug recoiling to light?
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
How is personal interest defined. Is it merely doing what we think we want to, or perhaps doing what will promote our survival? Hmmm, is committing suicide outside personal interest?
Posted by Ramos-7 1 year ago
So are you arguing against objective moral values & duties?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: humans naturally serve self but the purpose of our lives on earth is to train ourselves to serve others....con won because of the hole he poked.