The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Aziar44
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

The meaning of life for all individuals is NOT equal.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,690 times Debate No: 8082
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)

 

mongeese

Pro

"- I wish we had more of a chance to delve into this philosophically, because I argue that the life of someone doing "good" for society has just as much MEANING as that of a person in solitary for their whole life. But perhaps another time :)"
http://www.debate.org...

Alright, I figure that it is time that we debate this subject.

I am of the opinion that the meaning and significance of one's life is constantly changing, and that it is not equal for all humans on Earth.

A man who works hard and diligently, makes a living off of his work, helps his friends, neighbors, and fellow civilians, donates to charities, and doesn't have a single enemy in his life has greater significance than that of a man who spent his childhood bullying everyone on the playground, spent his teenage years smoking, doing drugs, and vandalizing public property, and finally decided to run into a public school, shoot a bunch of people, and take his own life.

I hope that this will be a wonderful debate. If you do not have enough time for this debate now, feel free to accept it sometime later.
Aziar44

Con

Debate #3 for my opponent, mongeese, and myself. Looking forward to it!

I have several arguments against your contention that not every individual has equal meaning in life, however, I will only put forth my first one at this time.

Where is your objective standard for meaning coming from? There is no objective standard. I will argue that meaning for all individuals is not "not equal" because one cannot judge the meaning of anyone else's life except one's own. In whatever way you find your life to be meaningful, it is, to you. No one else may make a judgment on your meaning or value you find in life.

So, for individual A, their life has a certain meaning or significance to them. There is no other individual that individual A may judge in terms of meaning, so their meaning is the only meaning to them. It is, logically then, equal to itself.

A = A

Therefore, each individual's meaning is indeed equal because each individual is only able to judge one meaning - their own.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for your patience.

"Where is your objective standard for meaning coming from? There is no objective standard. I will argue that meaning for all individuals is not 'not equal' because one cannot judge the meaning of anyone else's life except one's own. In whatever way you find your life to be meaningful, it is, to you. No one else may make a judgment on your meaning or value you find in life."
I can judge the meaning of another's life. I think that George Washington gets a 10, Martin Luther King, Jr., gets an 9, Adolf Hitler gets a -8, my grandpa gets a 7, Stalin gets a -9, and Phil gets a 6. There. I judged the lives of others. Your statement about judging the lives of others is negated.

"So, for individual A, their life has a certain meaning or significance to them. There is no other individual that individual A may judge in terms of meaning, so their meaning is the only meaning to them. It is, logically then, equal to itself.

A = A

Therefore, each individual's meaning is indeed equal because each individual is only able to judge one meaning - their own."
There is a major flaw in your thinking: not everyone thinks highly of themselves. Most people think of themselves as okay. Some people think of themselves as larger than life, with inflated egos. Others, however, have deflated egos. A man who just saved the life of another thinks more highly of himself than a man who is considering suicide.
A person who is considering suicide is obviously giving up on life, and thinks of him/herself having a poor life, and thus, by your reasoning, a poor meaning of life. http://en.wikipedia.org... Michael Phelps, on the other hand, probably amazed himself and elevated his own thinkings when he won eight gold medals in one year. http://en.wikipedia.org...

In other words, A =/= B.

Thus, because everyone determines their own meaning of life, and not everyone thinks of their life's meaning equally, the meaning of life for all individuals is NOT equal.

Thank you for your time.
Aziar44

Con

Well yeah, you CAN judge them, but it doesn't mean a thing. Your judgment has no significance and holds no value. The individual is the only person who can judge their own life. Where is that objective standard coming from anyway? What gives you the right to judge someone's life?

"There is a major flaw in your thinking: not everyone thinks highly of themselves. Most people think of themselves as okay. Some people think of themselves as larger than life, with inflated egos. Others, however, have deflated egos. A man who just saved the life of another thinks more highly of himself than a man who is considering suicide."

- I think you are greatly misunderstanding my argument. There is ONLY A. In a subjective existence, all that exists is the self. It doesn't matter how highly individual A values their life, because their life can only be compared to their life. Therefore, A = A.

You have not shown an objective standard by which to judge meaning that holds any power or legitimacy. Subjective existence and by proxy, subjective meaning, make all individual lives equally meaningful because there is only one individual in any particular perspective.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

"Well yeah, you CAN judge them, but it doesn't mean a thing. Your judgment has no significance and holds no value. The individual is the only person who can judge their own life. Where is that objective standard coming from anyway? What gives you the right to judge someone's life?"
I just had to throw the judging thing it to prove one of your statements wrong. I already knew it had no bearing, but it was fun nonetheless. :)

"- I think you are greatly misunderstanding my argument. There is ONLY A. In a subjective existence, all that exists is the self. It doesn't matter how highly individual A values their life, because their life can only be compared to their life. Therefore, A = A."
This is where we come to a disagreement. It was inevitable, I guess, as this is a philosophical debate. This site needs a philosophical category. I think that people can compare their own lives to that of others. There is not ONLY A. We are not in a subjective existence. We are in the existence of many. There is an A, and a B, and a C. Of course, A = A, but that does not imply that A = B. In variables of 6 billion, it would be a statistical impossibility for six billion values to be equal. If their life can only be compared to their own life, that means that you cannot even say that two lives are equal, because that would require a comparison. I am of the opinion that one is able to compare the lives of two separate men, or allow them to have their own comparisons. Individual A thinks to himself, "Individual B got a higher grade than me. I fail at life," then A < B. When Individual B thinks, "I beat Individual A. I rule!" then B > A. Things that cannot be compared cannot be said to be equal. Anyways, A =/= B, because B > A, so the meaning of life for all individuals is NOT equal.

Thank you for this debate.
Aziar44

Con

" I am of the opinion that one is able to compare the lives of two separate men, or allow them to have their own comparisons. Individual A thinks to himself, "Individual B got a higher grade than me. I fail at life," then A < B. When Individual B thinks, "I beat Individual A. I rule!" then B > A. Things that cannot be compared cannot be said to be equal. Anyways, A =/= B, because B > A, so the meaning of life for all individuals is NOT equal."

- So, what you're saying is that if A feels like his life has less meaning than B, then it does? What if B feels like A has more meaning than him? Who is right? Without an objective standard (which you have not yet named), the comparison isn't valid. If one thinks A > B and the other thinks B < A, who is right?

That's why there is only subjective existence. If you can somehow prove the existence of "the other", then subjective existence would not be a reality. But you can only know what you have experienced in some manner. If an afterlife does not exist, then reality ends when you die. The individual is the only one in existence, each having his/her own reality. You cannot compare realities.

Since there is only one individual in this subjective existence and it is not possible to prove that others actually exist, there is just individual A and through the reflexive property, A = A. Therefore, the meaning of life for all individuals is indeed equal, because there is just one individual able to be proved to even exist.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

"- So, what you're saying is that if A feels like his life has less meaning than B, then it does? What if B feels like A has more meaning than him? Who is right?"
They're both right. They both think that B>A.

"If one thinks A > B and the other thinks B < A, who is right?"
"A>B"="BB" and "B>A".
In that case, you're at an impasse. However, because there are situations in which two people would agree that one is better than the other, and then it is obvious that their meanings of life are not equal.

"That's why there is only subjective existence. If you can somehow prove the existence of 'the other', then subjective existence would not be a reality. But you can only know what you have experienced in some manner. If an afterlife does not exist, then reality ends when you die. The individual is the only one in existence, each having his/her own reality. You cannot compare realities."
We all live in the same reality. We just have different perspectives in it. You cannot disprove the existence of "the other," but I'm pretty sure that our perspectives are interacting right now in the same reality. Thus, different perspectives within the same reality can be compared.

"Since there is only one individual in this subjective existence and it is not possible to prove that others actually exist, there is just individual A and through the reflexive property, A = A. Therefore, the meaning of life for all individuals is indeed equal, because there is just one individual able to be proved to even exist."
You think I don't exist?
If you say that another individual doesn't exist in your reality, then their meaning of life is 0. And 0 < A, or 0 > A, depending on whether or not A is positive.

Anyways, you still can compare different perspectives in completely different realities, because they still hold opinions of their own lives which, as you said, is what determines their meaning of life, so A < B, or B > A, but the point is, A =/= B =/= C =/= D =/=E...

Anyways, thank you for this debate. It was great debating you again.
Aziar44

Con

Aziar44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I'll look forwards to it.
Posted by Aziar44 7 years ago
Aziar44
I'm sorry I could not respond. I ask you to look at the arguments posted and vote with who you think won, but I obviously understand if I get no votes because of my forfeiture. I had some issues to deal with before a trip and I just let this fall to the way side.

My apologies mongeese. Good debate though. Very interesting. I'm sure we'll have another one in the future (hopefully).
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
It seems necessary to vote PRO due to the forfeit.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Exactly.

It's a shame Aziar44 failed to respond.
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
"A" wont in any case have the exact same judging standard as "B." This is the meaning behind they're self confidence holding no presidence. Good to "A" maybe getting 100% whereas good to 'B' maybe 75%.

This said, if "B" walks around confident because he got an 80%, and "A" walks around distraught because of the 80%.... Of course "A" is going to feel inferior.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Yeah, I wish we were asked to defend ourselves before a sudden ban.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
* twin's

Stop posting you drunken fool (me.)
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Sorry Mongeese, nice debate and welcome back by the way, I thought you and your twins banning was well out of order.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
I just posted a stupid comment.
The moral of this story: don't post while drunk (Hal knows what I mean)
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
And the relevance is...?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Aziar44 7 years ago
Aziar44
mongeeseAziar44Tied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
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