The Instigator
Sloanet
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
gonzalo12
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

There are no right and wrong answers in ethics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 560 times Debate No: 44919
Debate Rounds (4)
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Sloanet

Con

When we speak on the issue of ethics and question whether it"s right or wrong, as a person that lives in today"s society we have to choose in what we believe in and clearly I believe that right and wrong certainly do exist. I believe you have to be religious when you bring up an issue like this. Right and wrong are determined by the Bible. Individuals that do not go by, or believe in the Bible do not have any knowledge of right and wrong because no other religious books have clear ways of living. Without God, there is no such thing as right and wrong, only the things we call right and wrong. You might ask, well what is right and wrong, good and bad. The world as we know is full of crime and violence as Thomas Hobbes would say, we are all bad, evil people. Crime, drug abuse, killing, etc. each of these problems represents a collection of individual acts of wrongs, and as a person who does not believe in right and wrong ethics feels as if committing a crime isn"t wrong, because there"s no physically evidence of someone saying its wrong. A person who goes against right and wrong doesn"t believe in it, because in their mind no one holds that enough power to tell them committing a crime is wrong. Which introduce what people today believe is right doings. Obviously it must be the complete opposite of doing bad, example of right doings are like helping the society, protecting one another, and so forth. But we have to look back on our past ancestors that developed the "State of Nature" and basically what that consists of is giving up our right to do whatever we want. So there is a right and wrong ethic in history and today known as Laws. As humans I believe were born into sin, were born to be selfish, stingy, mean at times, I agree with Hobbes on this portion of his argument. Since were born into sin, does that give me the right to go outside in broad daylight and murder someone who I don"t like? No that"s considered wrong doing, that"s not the way of living. We gave up our freedom to do as we please for societal reasons, protection from the government, and many more reasons. Even though Philosopher Hobbes went on a rant about all humans being evil, Philosopher John Locke thought otherwise. Locke thought that we should have protection and security from the government, but we as people are good so we wouldn"t need as much security because we wouldn"t hurt each other. Locke believed that we are good people and that we know right from wrong, we know how to protect each other and ourselves, but what he failed to mention is that people are evil at times, more evil then good. If one is in survival mode, trying to find a place to sleep or eat for days on, that person will commit crime of the sort to get what they need, and a lot of this was going on in the State of Nature. I can relate good and wrong doings in today"s society. For example, if I harm my neighbor because she tried to harm my family, then that will be an eye for an eye, I believe my actions are right, I want revenge. If I"m trying to harm my neighbor because I don"t agree with what she/he are wearing, or she/he said something I didn"t agree on then that"s wrong for me to participate in violent actions towards that person. What you believe is right to one person might not be right to the next, but right and wrong ethics do exist in today"s society.
gonzalo12

Pro

The official definition for the word ethics according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary currently stands as rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad. An individual's ethics basically mean what they believe to be right and wrong actions. Ethics are not a defined set of rules nor laws that pertain to a city, state, town, country, society, etc. They vary from person to person. No two people share the exact same ethical code. To find this is virtually impossible. The very fact that no two people share the exact same code of ethics is the reason why there are no right and wrong answers in ethics. What may be considered as a good or acceptable action to some, may be seen as outrageous to others. A simple example many people are familiar with deals with religious principle. Muslims believe it is utterly wrong to eat pork. To them, it is a downright sin that should not be done under no circumstance. Meanwhile, the average American eats pork on a regular basis and sees absolutely nothing wrong in doing it. They do not see eating pork as filthy, nor does it break any rule in their ethical code, as it does for someone that is Muslim. This is only one of the possible thousands of examples of how there are no right or wrong answers in ethics. Moving away from a religious example of how there are no right and wrong answers in ethics, ethics will also vary based on cultural beliefs. It is astonishing how different people's values and ethics are depending on what their culture is. A specific example of this the use of money of the average American compared to that of many people of Indian culture. I have seen this from personal experience. I work as a bank teller and on a daily basis I see what people of different cultures choose to do with their money. I have seen a huge difference between American people's transactions and Indian people. Most America people would just cash their checks and put none of it towards a savings account while many Indians do the exact opposite and put nearly all of their earning towards their savings and get back what seems to be only the necessary amount of money for them. From these experiences i have drawn the conclusion that part of many Indian people's ethics is to save most of their money and not spend on what they believe to be unnecessary, while many Americans will spend most of their money and not save. This belief on the right and wrong uses of money is just another example on how there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to the subject of ethics. What some believe to be wrong, others might view as correct. What are right and wrong actions all comes down to a combination of numerous things ranging from age, to race, area of residence, sex, how someone was raised, mind state, and so forth. There is no universal law or belief for there being right or wrong answers in ethics. Everyone will have different ideas of what is right and wrong and no can tell them otherwise because ethics are a personal choice that every individual makes for themselves.
Debate Round No. 1
Sloanet

Con

As children we learn what is right and wrong. We learn by physical or verbal punishment. For example, If were told not to touch the stove top because its hot and it will burn us, as children our curiosity kicks in and we go against what we were told. The punishment in this case is getting injured by the hot stove top. Eventually, we continue to learn through adolescent and early adulthood stages. Since my last argument, I stated what Thomas Hobbes thought about human beings and how evil we are. So if were evil, and we know what is wrong then punishment should occur right? We see that if someone commits a crime, the law takes effect and the offender is punished. Punishment happens to be what i think constructs the issue of right and wrong. If were right about something or we participate in right doings then someone or multiple people will acknowledge, praise us. On the hand if we do any wrong doing were punished for it. So when you go against the topic of not having right and wrong ethics, then whats the point of punishment. Why is punishment the cause of wrong doings, why punishment don't account for right doings. Any one who goes against not having right and wrong ethics should not be experiencing punishment at any point in their lives, but since everyone does experience this, then there has to be right and wrong ethics. As humans I believe were born into sin, were born to be selfish, stingy, mean at times, I agree with Hobbes on this portion of his argument. Locke believed were not born with so much evil as Hobbes thought, but Locke never was one sided on the issue. Locke believed that we were bad, but we as good people would not let the bad ruin the good we have inside us. In my opinion it doesn't matter how good and bad you truly are, because anyone in survival mode, especially with children will do anything in their power to survive. In this case people will steal, kill, etc. to get what they need, and even though its for a good purpose, its still wrong to commit crime towards another. State of Nature prohibits acts of violence. We gave up our freedom of committing harm to someone. Since our privilege of not harming or causing danger to someone exists, then punishment will be accounted for if act of violence is presented. The governments does have a say so in this issue as well because they are the ones who protects, secure, and honor the State of Nature. There is a right and wrong ethic in today's society, and I believe people will only turn towards this ethic of right and wrong when something they believe is unfair to them happens, then this rule of good and bad will be presented. As a psychology major, we are taught that people only speak up or educate themselves when something that's unfair to them happens and they want "justice". In this case justice means equality, absence of bias, protecting your freedom. Social Justice, which matters a lot in this topic is right and wrong. A lot of theorists and people have different inputs on social justice, but I believe its how people obey this ethic. If you think there's no right and wrong, then why does punishment exist. If you think right and wrong do exist, is it because you had to use this ethic to get social justice for yourself, or do you truly believe like i do there is a such thing as right and wrong.
gonzalo12

Pro

There is a clear cut difference between what someone's ethics are and what the laws and regulations of the area they live in is. As previously stated in round one of the debate, the official dictionary definition of the word ethics is rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good. The definition for the word law is the whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, or country. The clear cut difference between these two words is that ethics are personal rules of behavior an individual places on themselves with no actual consequence besides possibly guilt if a rule is broken as compared to a law being a set of rules that are enforced and must be followed by all who live in that particular area or they will face punishment depending on what law they do not abide by. While a majority of people's ethical code might be similar to certain laws of their place of residence, such as the act of murdering an individual being wrong, both laws and ethics vary from place to place. Even something as stable as a law is not universal and not everyone in the world follows the same laws. An example of this is the legal views of cannabis in the United States as compared to Amsterdam. While the ethical view of most people in America is that this drug is wrong to use, most people in Amsterdam might see it as a completely normal act that is not frowned upon whatsoever. The law of most states in the United States currently stands as cannabis being illegal to use, possess, or distribute, meanwhile in Amsterdam, the possession of soft drugs such as cannabis has been decriminalized since 1976. It is completely legal for what are referred to as coffee shops to sell this drug to any individual that is eighteen years old or older. The fact that something as strict as a law can vary depending on what part of the world you are in makes it easily conceivable that there is no such thing as right and wrong answers in something as flexible as ethics. Ethics are shaped and molded throughout the course of an individual's entire life and since no one is raised the same way or goes through the same experiences, it is a given that everyone's ethics will be different from the next person's. There is no way to tell someone that their beliefs are wrong or right. Beliefs, what someone believes to be correct choices and incorrect choices are all personal and will vary depending on the person being interacted with. Even with something as strong as religion and the belief of a God, people's choices on whether to believe and follow a certain religion and practice it will vary and there is no telling who's beliefs and actions and wrong and who's are right. It is all based on personal experiences that no one can judge and be correct when they state that someone's ethics are right or wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
Sloanet

Con

When you address issues such as right and wrong, instead of defending what others may believe, you should go with what you think is right. Basically, if you"re going against right and wrong do you believe in God? I ask this because religion and who/what you believe in really matters in this case. If you do not believe in God then of course there will not be a right and wrong ethic, but someone like me who believes in God truly believes that there is something called right and wrong. Much of our morality came from the Bible. Since this debate is about ethics, let"s ask the question of "what is ethics"? Ethics to me questions what is right and wrong, and are we participating in right doings. You ask yourself if it"s a right doing by questioning whether the act is legal, or does it harm or offend anyone, and will you be honored or praised afterward. A great example of cultural right and wrong ethics is when cultures across the world practice fetal abduction. Fetal abduction is kidnapping an unborn child out of the mother"s womb. In their culture that"s acceptable, they believe this act of abduction is ok, but in our cultural we label that as wrong. The point I"m trying to reach is people who believe there is no right and wrong ethics should think what this culture is doing is perfectly fine, or doesn"t matter to them. My last debate I posted, I stated that people only bring up this ethic when it concerns them, so if the United States started abducting unborn babies without the mothers consent and right medical tools it would be perfectly fine? This right and wrong ethic only get presented when someone needs this ethic to prove a point, secure them and their family, etc. No one will question ethics until it involves their lives. Back to the example of fetal abduction, people of this specific culture believe that its ok to abduct unborn babies, but in reality it"s not, but what they believe is right might not be right to us but there"s still a right from wrong ethic presented. Another example of people using right and wrong ethics without noticing is when you find yourself questioning "what should I do?" When you ask yourself this question you"re allowing yourself to choose from right and wrong. Should I do the right act, or the wrong act? Today"s society believe in the scientific theory of where people will go once they die, but for a person that is religious, I believe you either go to hell or heaven. Heaven consists of the people who did good acts towards people, themselves, and environment. Hell results in the bad doings. But who am I to say who"s going to heaven or hell. I honestly feel like the people who go against this ethic really do not care about the crime that goes on in America, like rape, murder, etc. People will only care when something like rape or murder occurs in their family or to themselves and they want to find justice. But if you don"t believe in right and wrong ethics, shouldn't"t the man/women who committed the rape or crime be sent to jail, or should they be let free, and will you feel like it"s the right thing to throw them in jail or does it not matter to you whether or not he/she goes to jail or set free. Put yourself in predicaments where you would like to see justice presented in a court room. I truly believe you have to be religious and or dealt with unfair social justice to believe in right and wrong ethics.
gonzalo12

Pro

The meaning of the term religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary. As i previously stated in my past arguments, the meaning of ethics is rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad also as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The meaning of the terms religion and ethics are not directly correlated even though many people tend to associate the two terms together usually stating that am individual's religion will ultimately govern their ethical code. The variable of a person being religious or not or what higher power they choose to believe in does not determine their ethics or if they believe certain ethics are right or wrong. While religion may instill certain principles in an individual, it will never fully consume someone's moral beliefs and what they believe to be right and wrong actions. Let's take the widely renown religion of Christianity and use it in an example. These people believe in God and Jesus Christ and it would seem that as a whole, this group of people tend to for the most part be against homosexual people and believe being a homosexual is wrong as per their religion. Most people of this religious group believe this, but not all. This is the ultimate difference between ethics and religion and how the power of there being no right or wrong answers in ethics rules above all else. Even though many Christians are against homosexuality and consider it to be an overall wrongdoing, there are some Christians that accept homosexuality, do not mind it at all, and believe in letting people live their lives as they please. Why is it that two people of the same religion, with supposedly the same belief system would think so differently on such a serious topic as sexuality? The clear cut answer is because of their ethics. Even though two people may follow something as powerful as the same religion, ethics will vary no matter what the case may be. Christianity has a book of set rules to follow, yet people will ultimately choose their ethical code and what they believe to be right and wrong in what they believe even if they follow a religions. This, I believe to be is great support of there being no absolute right and wrong answers in ethics. People that follow something as strict as the same religion and abide by the same principles and beliefs, but their ethics will never be exactly the same. This is why there are no right and wrong answers in ethics. I cannot stress enough that no two people will have the same ethics, therefore making it so that there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer. There is no way to prove that there are right or wrong answers in ethics. It is impossible. Until the day comes that it is in some way possible to prove that there are right and wrong answers in ethics, it will stand that ethics has no right or wrong answers.
Debate Round No. 3
Sloanet

Con

When you start to believe that religion or God is not a major factor in right and wrong ethics, then why do people follow the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments was made so us humans can abide by them and honor them all the days of our lives. If religion is not the cause or even a small factor of right and wrong, when people are being prosecuted in court they ask them to raise their hand and tell to announce the truth, nothing but the truth, and the whole truth so help me God. I used that quote because even in law, when lawyers prosecute the defendants, they tell them to ask God for help, why? Because they need God to help them make it out of this bad situation whether guilty of wrong doing or not. So even in our criminal justice bureau we use some form of religion and God, because that's who and what we turn to when we evaluate the true meaning of right and wrong ethics. Far as my last post about Fetal Abduction, my point I tried to get across was that it's wrong in our society to do such ritual, but it's not wrong to them, either way you analyze this ritual it's a right and wrong presented. Many people don't believe in a god, or don't have a specific religion and that's ok, but any moment in their life they do ask God for help. For example, "God help me" in any type situation where in and need some sort of blessing or power to help us get through we ask god. This is a human instinct for me, it's many Atheist that ask god for help when scared, or threatened, why? Because it's a human instinct for us to ask God for help. So when you say god and religion does not exist in this topics of right and wrong, why do people call on god when someone or something is presenting a wrong doing towards them. No one cares if someone is acting in the right manner around or towards them, god does not matter nor right and wrong! but when something bad happens! everyone screams out as like a choir for Gods help. You gave me great feedback on going against right and wrong, but I believe your only looking at the issue one sided. I presented social theorists, religion, State of nature, and plenty more factors that have a say so in this right and wrong issue. Wrong doings are meant to be punished right? If not, the world would be more chaotic then it already is. Since were born into sin, we cannot picture this world green grassed full of daisies. We are made to do wrong, we are made too sin, we are suppose to grow from our mistakes. Which brings me to another topic, mistakes. When we make mistakes, they might be wrong doing mistakes and we might feel guilty about them, but we're suppose to learn from our mistakes and grow. If punishment is not a key component of making wrong mistakes then what are we learning, how are we growing. We're born to make a foot print in this world whether following a good path or wrong path, and us humans know the right path from the wrong, why? Because right and wrong ethics does exist and it does exist in today's society, and always will exist until us humans can only do the right thing in this world.
gonzalo12

Pro

Religion is wrong. Following anything religion says is also wrong. The reason it is wrong is because I believe it is wrong and my upbringing made me think so. This statement may sound utterly shocking to most seeing as how many of the people in today's society are in fact religious and do believe in some kind of higher power. Most people, especially religious individuals, would not agree with the previous statements I made. The fact that I, or anyone else for that matter believes or states something is wrong, does not truly make it so. At most it is just a mere opinion that could be given some consideration, but it is in no way correct or false. In life there are no such things as right and wrong choices. Everything is based on an individual's perspective and how they view things. Through out the time of when we were developing the mind state of having said religions and views that were forced to but put upon the small amount of humans that were in that time period, the sacrifices put upon those who were against any sort of religion or anything that wasn't normal for that matter, would suffer the consequences. At this time, there was no right or wrong at the end of the day. Now that our society is starting to develop a more open mind of excepting the ethics of others, we are starting to realize that our personal views don't affect the ones around us. We are given information all through out our lifetime; our individual minds will make up what we should want to think is right. Our world will never be right; as far as our history goes, striving for the "right" thing, has only lead to the "wrong" decisions made. Therefore, the simple decisions and mind states of what we believe in, cannot be argued. We will grow on our own circumstances, experience everything different at different times than others, and we will only strive for the right for ourselves. We will do what we believe will benefit us; that has always been the case. There are no right and wrong in ethics. There is no right and wrong in people. Only selfishness and ignorance. But even these two traits and the actions that derive from them cannot be considered right or wrong. Ethics are morals that govern a person or people's behaviors, nothing more. They are not a math problem that can be solved with a right or wrong answer. Ethics are subject to the individual's mind state and their state of mind. Even with outrageous things such as murder, abortion, and other such actions, these are also subject to debate over whether they are right or wrong. There may be a hidden society somewhere where murder and abortions could be correct. As ludicrous as this sounds, it may be possible and to these people these actions may be right to them and there is no telling them otherwise. Actions cannot be said to be right or wrong and neither can moral principles. Law may possibly outlaw certain actions, but even this does not make them wrong. Ethics have no right or wrong answers, and nothing can possibly change this.
Debate Round No. 4
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