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dilonef
Pro (for)
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The Contender
angiehernandez
Con (against)
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There are no right or wrong answers in Ethics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,643 times Debate No: 44946
Debate Rounds (4)
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dilonef

Pro

Ethics is a set of set of moral priniciples that govern a persons or groups behavior; the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. I believe that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to Ethics considering that everyone has their own set of ethical values ranging from situation to situation and fluctuating in severity and importance dependent on the issue or conflict at hand. The reality of it is that Ethics is really, and heavily based on, a matter of opinion. This is also known as Ethical Relativism. By exact definition, Ethical Relativism explains that there are no moral right or wrongs but instead that what is "right" or what is "wrong" is usually determined by social norms. In the world that we live in there is obviously a great number of different societies as well as cultures and groups of people and what is morally acceptable in one society most definitely does not guarantee that it will be acceptable in another and so on. Different societies have different moral codes and who is to say which is more valid than the other on a "right" or "wrong" spectrum? And anyone who would attempt to classify an ethical circumstance would be basing their conclusion on their personal opinion anyway. Just by simply adding in another person to a situation of that sort helps support the cause that there is no way to say that there are right or wrong answers in ethics. Another person may have the same viewpoint but it is just as likely that their viewpoint would completely differ making for two opposing sides; and bringing another component into help decipher wether the ethical standard is right or wrong would just continue the circle of disagreement because as mentioned before it will all be based on the sole princible of opinion which varies person to person, group to group, society to society and so on. For example, in certain countries the idea of polygamy, men having multiple wives, is socially acceptable. However here in the United States that is considered morally socially and ethically wrong and is highly looked down upon by the majority of people. Another example that is both extremely controversial and pushes the question of what is Ethical is the big debate on Abortion. There are a number of people who argue that abortion is wrong and that the deliberate termination of a human pregenancy is not only ethically wrong, but from a religious standpoint, a sin worthy of punishment. At the same time there is a same number of people who are pro-abortion and argue that offering pro-abortion laws is actually a safer healthier alternative for women who feel as is they are not fit to become mothers and will sometimes take drastic dangerous measures if the option of abortion isn't available. Both sides, on the right and the wrong, come from a place of moral upbringing that ultimately affected their opinion on the situation. Either way there is no way to prove that either the "wrong" or "right" answer is right or wrong, or to say that one view is more valid than the other proving that when it comes to Ethics there are no concrete right or wrong answers.
angiehernandez

Con

I agree to some extent of what you are saying, but there has to be base answer it either right or wrong there cannot be an in between. You are either hot or cold you cannot be lukewarm. If a crime is wrong it is wrong and that is that there is no "oh well he did it because of revenge". That would be absurd because killing is wrong and I know that that is something that everyone agrees on. No matter what killing is not the right thing to do no matter the circumstances. Lets say that you had a close relative that got murdered and you knew who they were. Do you have the right to take revenge and just kill him? NO! It is ethically wrong I do not know how you were brought up but killing is wrong no matter what. There are so many people in the world who are jerks, but who are we to take their life away. We are nobody to choose to kill them as well just because they had killed one of your family member. Then if you would kill the murderer of your family member than you as well would be becoming a monster, an assassin. I am a Christian and I was raised to I live by the way the Bible is said to live. The Bible is the sole book that shows one and teaches what is to be done and not to be done. For example, it is not right to steal. In your opinion would you say that stealing is right? It is not no matter what is happening in life or the downfalls and the troubles that one is going through there is no need to steal. People say they steal for a "good cause" , but tell me what is a "good cause". There is no such thing as stealing for a good reason. For example, Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor. What if all your life you studied hard to become a doctor and you are finally earning big bucks. Do you think it is fair for someone to just come by and steal your stuff just because you are rich. For Robin Hood to just steal your food or money to give to the poor? It is not fair because it is something that is wrong. Consuming drugs and alcohol is also a wrong thing to do. There is no need to be drinking or consuming alcohol for that matter. It is wrong and unsafe there have been many drinking and driving accidents and it always ends up with at least one person seriously injured or dead. Now would you say that is right to have a couple of drinks and still drive? It is not because just by one drink you are less alert and that one drink will lead to the next especially in our day and age with college students. Even with all the surveys we are asked to take and classes to know about safe driving and no drinking or doing drugs, people will always do whatever they please. They will drink and then go into the car and drive saying and assuring that they are okay and that they can drive home. That is not the case and just in a blink of an eye an accident can occur and can end the drivers life, the passengers life and anyone else that might be on the road at that time. Hence, it is wrong in the first place to even drink or consume drugs. It is not right to do that, there is no need for it. There is no need to put your life and danger and everyone else's, just because you wanted to have a good time and drink a beer or two. It can get you killed when you least expect it.
Debate Round No. 1
dilonef

Pro

What I am trying to prove is that there are no concrete wrong or right answers when it comes to ethics as a whole. As mentioned in my first argument, ethics is a set of moral principles that governs a persons or groups behavior. It has to be kept in mind that what is the ethical values of one person or group of people is not the same set of ethical values of another person or group of people. What you are trying to prove is that when it comes to ethical dilemmas there are definite right or wrong answers and you use the example of crime to start off. You mention that murder is ethically wrong, which I believe that almost everyone will agree on, but where the fault lies, in trying to prove your point not on the actual matter itself, is when you say that murder is wrong under ANY circumstance and that ALL people feel the same way. There are many people that will agree with you when you say that ending someones life is wrong no matter the circumstance but there are just as many people who will strongly and passionately refute that viewpoint; which is why there is such a controversial debate surrounding the ethical being of the death penalty. If there was a way to prove that either side was right or wrong the conflict wouldn't exist but theres isn't which is why the conflict does exist and is such a predominant issue among people. Take the case in Bangkok of a man who brutally raped and killed an innocent defenseless six year old girl, he has also confessed to the murder of ten other children. The family's of these children, these poor innocent children that had their innocence and then lives taken away by a monster, would want nothing more than for justice to be served and for people in a situation of that sort and for many people on the outside looking in justice and no greater feeling would be to hear that someone capable of that pure evil, who if let live has the ability and desire within him to commit such a crime again, has been sentenced to the death penalty. There are even many people who argue that capital punishment is an unjust punishment for such heinous criminals because the death is so instantaneous and believe that individuals of these sort deserve to be brutally tortured to their death so that they to feel terror and pain which they have caused to others. To people with these strong beliefs this is what is ethically right yet on the contrary there are still people, as yourself, who believe that even such disturbed criminals do not deserve to have their lives taken away by other humans. Each side of the situation considers there side to be ethically and morally right while considering the opposing side ethically wrong, and what I am proving lies here. Each side believes that their views are what it ethically right because as I am greatly stressing it is all based on a matter of opinion and there is no unbiased ethical hierarchy to decide which side is more valid than the other. Which brings me to my next point, you mention that the bible is, as you stated, "The sole book that shows one and teaches what is to be done and not to be done;" There are many fallacies within that statement. To say that the bible is the book of ethical accuracy is completely inaccurate and unrealistic. You have to take into consideration that the bible is a series of sacred scriptures for the Christian faith and Christianity is not the only religion that exists. All religions have their own views, practices, beliefs, and ideas as to what is ethically and morally right or wrong. Religions clash and disagree on numerous things; what is acceptable or excepted to one religion could be and is many times unfathomable to another. The reason that so many religions exist is because, just as when it comes to ethics, there is no way of proving that one is more valid than the other because it is a matter of beliefs, principles, and of course opinions. In your argument you also state, "People say they steal for a "good cause" , but tell me what is a "good cause". There is no such thing as stealing for a good reason" when you state this you are openly choosing a side on which you believe that stealing is wrong no matter the circumstance and I am not here to refute your position on the ethical matter but to prove that just as you believe that many people believe otherwise. That beloved story of Robin Hood is in fact so beloved because it is a story of man who took from the excessive and gave to the needy; because many people believe, in opposition to your belief, that when attached to a good cause the moral ramifications of a bad action change. The same ties in with your argument about murder but what it ultimately proves is that what is ethically right to one is not ethically right to another, it is all a matter of opinion, proving there are no right or wrong answers in Ethics. And as far as the argument involving the alcohol I don't necessarily believe that that is matter of ethics but more of a matter of ignorant decision making.
angiehernandez

Con

But who are we, as human beings, the one who have the power to take someone's life away. We are not anyone to decide if a person deserves to die no matter how many people they have killed or raped. We cannot have the power to choose such an absurd thing to kill someone by the death penalty. In essence what are we really doing to that murderer by killing them? Nothing absolutely nothing because they are not learning from the bad decision that they made by killing or raping or anything of that matter. In fact the should be placed in prison where they can think over the things that they have done and that way they can repent and actually know that what they did was wrong. You cannot fight evil with evil but with justice in the correct and right way. That is why the whole justice system is in place eighteen states now do not have the death penalty, which includes New Jersey. The only way for someone to know that they did wrong is to put them in isolation even if it does mean for the rest of their life. The universal golden rule is treat others as you as well would like to be treated. Nobody in this world is perfect even when we try our hardest we are never going to be an ideal person especially in the society we live in today. In your first argument you mentioned abortion which is a big debate that is happening here in the U.S many people are pro-abortion others are not. Abortion is ethically wrong because who are we to take a baby's life away no matter is they are not fully developed into a baby. The womb has started a process of life even is it starts with an egg and a sperm. by aborting we are killing the beginning of a life. No matter the circumstance of a pregnancy either through rape or an unwanted pregnancy we cannot just have the option to kill a live being that is being formed in the womb of the mother. It is not the baby's fault that they will soon be born. The baby has the right to live as any other human being. If the mother does not want the baby than be it, but it is unethical to abort it. The mother has many options in our day and age either to put the baby up for adoption where a loving family will cherish the little one. One cannot be selfish and just abort a live creature. It is completely unethical to take that decision with out taking into consideration of what good life that child could have had if they were just let to be born. Our society in which we live in takes abortion as just an option of committing a mistake of not using protection or just because the mother does not want another baby. Abortion should not just be an option to choose, in fact it should not be an option whatsoever. If you are old enough to do adult things then you should be responsible enough to accept that a mistake has occurred and to take responsibility in having that baby because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And if you really after the nine moths do not want to keep the baby then adoption is always an option because loving families with mothers who cannot have kids open their arms to unwanted babies.
Debate Round No. 2
dilonef

Pro

I am not refuting your beliefs on any of these matters nor am I agreeing with them, what I am trying to prove is that there are no concrete answers in Ethics. You give your belief on these ethical matters, saying that murder is wrong and that one cannot fight evil with evil, but those are your beliefs and the beliefs of one side of the spectrum. You believe that it is ethically wrong to murder no matter the circumstance but there are people who believe otherwise. There may be eighteen states that have removed the death penalty but there is a still a remanding thirty-two that have not; it is an extremely controversial matter because of the fact the are two very distinct sides and each side believes that their views are whats right while thinking the other is wrong. There is no way to make a concrete decision because people will continue to have their own views, values, and opinions. Even if you would have argued that there is nothing ethically wrong with murdering someone who has murdered others themselves there would still be another opposing side and that is where my point lies. As you mention one of my examples using the topic of abortion from my first argument you state, "Many people are pro-abortion others are not." And within this statement not also lies what I am trying to prove as well but it is also statement that helps support the fact that I am trying to prove. Regardless of your views on the topic of abortion, no matter what you believe is ethically right, the one thing that both sides have in common is that they both have opposing sides that believe that their viewpoints are ethically right and that the opposing side is wrong. It is the same concept when it comes to the topic of murder, stealing, any crime in general, abortion, religion, and anything of an ethical matter. There will be a variety of sides and viewpoints no matter the ethical topic because everyone has their own beliefs, values, and opinions because ethics is set of moral principles that govern a persons to groups behavior. Everyone as their own set of ethical values ranging from situation to situation and fluctuation in severity dependent on the situation at hand. People will still stand by their ethical values or sometimes even change what they believe in because there is no set right or wrong side. It is just a matter of what each individual, group, or society chooses to believe and there is no way of determining a right or wrong side without the use of personal opinion. It really is all somewhat of circle that just proves that there are no right or wrong answers in ethics because it is a matter of opinion and as mentioned in my second argument there is no unbiased ethical hierarchy. If this unbiased unethical hierarchy ever did exist than maybe there would be room for adjustment in my overall argument but there isn't and the plausibily of that is seemingly impossible so until then my case lies that" No, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to ethics.
angiehernandez

Con

People who believe otherwise that murder is right are completely not reasonable and might have something wrong in the way they think. Murder is wrong and that is that. That is why the Justice system is put in place is it not? To condemn those who have committed a crime something a person should not have done, something WRONG. The justice system acknowledges that some people make wrong decisions therefore putting them in jail for how many amount of years, depending on how severe the wrong action was. No one will ever be put to jail because they did a good deed or something right, because the jail is not for people who do right, but people who do wrong. The has to be a fine line, and there is, in ethics, because when a person gets put to trial on murder, the judge will never say, "well he or she did do it for revenge or a "right" cause . Hence, he or she did the right thing". That would be completely absurd. Murder is murder and there is never an okay time to commit murder. If someone does something right it is awarded, not punished. If someone steals you do not clap and reward them, is someone cheats on a test they do not get an A+. The world is full of excuses, always trying to bend and see the right side to something that is completely wrong. What is black is black, you cannot say it is white. You cannot find purity or rightness in something wrong. There are no gray areas it is either white or black there is no in between. Therefore, there are only Right answers when it comes to ethics or Wrong answers when it comes to ethics. You say that "There will be a variety of sides and viewpoints no matter the ethical topic....". People have different sides and view pionts because, again as said previously, people want to bend the rules, so to say, to, in a way, cover up the wrong by making it seem as if it were right. And that is where the problem lies because people want to make their own opinions of whether or not something is right or not when there is already a concrete knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. For example, Adolf Hitler was a Nazi and believed that the ideal person was an Aryan who was tall, white, with blue eyes and blond hair, and that if you did not look like this, well you would have to be killed. When in fact, he himself had black hair and not that tall only measuring 5'8. He in total killed eleven million people based on what this man thought was the ideal person. Just because Hitler thought of this and had many followers, does it make it ethically right for all of them to have killed that many people? Did it make it right for him, since it was his own belief, to kill these people just of what he thought? In that time many people agreed with Adolf Hitler, but does that make it ethically right just because he had so many followers? He murdered and brutally killed so many people and it would be completely ridiculous for people, in our day and age, to think that what this man did was ethical. Now tell me this, do you think that what Hitler did was ethical?
Debate Round No. 3
dilonef

Pro

I have attempted to refrain from using my personal opinions and ethical values to help support my overall case throughout all previous arguments but note what I am about to offer is not being given to defend my personal views nor are they being given to oppose yours or in anyway attempt to convince you, or anyone else that has the same set of ethical values, otherwise but to offer a basic precise example, somewhat of a "blueprint", of the broader point that I am trying to prove that there are no right or wrong answers in Ethics. You stick strongly with the belief that murdering someone under any circumstance(capital punishment etc.) is what is ethically wrong and that all people do or should feel the same and now you add that if not, "There is something wrong in the way they think." I personally believe otherwise, and have a completely different ethical view on this matter. I strongly stand by the belief that if someone is a murderer/ brutal rapist, or both, of an innocent person, an innocent mother or child or anyone who did nothing to deserve the crime that has been committed upon them that criminal does not deserve to live and I too, as mentioned in my second argument, also believe that dependent on the severity of those crimes capital punishment is sort of an "easy way out" for these criminals that have committed such extreme levels of terror and crime. This is my way of thinking, this is what I strongly believe and will stand by, there is nothing that anyone can offer that would make me believe that my way of thinking is wrong. You say that this way of thought is skewed but the feeling is the same in regards to the point of view you stand by on the matter but what I am getting at is that no matter what you or I or anyone chooses to personally believe, there is no element or factor that gets to decide which one of our views on this ethical matter is more valid because it is a comes from a matter of opinion. Neither of us are ever going to be concretely right nor wrong, many will agree with my way of thinking and many will also agree with yours, because it isn't a matter of who is right nor wrong it is just a difference in ethical and moral values. If someone were to have loved ones murdered by a heartless criminal and then the original victim who had the ones around him taken away went and sought out some sort of revenge on that person, I and many others would not see that as ethically wrong and would feel that not only justice has been properly served but that the original murder received what he deserved. No one gets to decide that my ethical values and views on this are wrong because they are my set of personal ethical values, the same way you have yours, and everyone is entitled to their own. Even if the person who had lost all and sought out for vengeance was then convicted by the law for murder, regardless of the circumstance, that still wouldn't define a right or wrong answer on this ethical matter because the law or people in high government positions, just the same as religion, is most definitely not the most valid structure of ethics. Regardless of what the law would have said I and many people would still see nothing morally wrong with that man did in retaliation to the crimes committed around him and that is why there is such strong debates and controversy surrounding these mater of ethics; there is always more than one view and there is no way to prove that there is one "right" or "wrong" answer proving that there really is no right or wrong answers in ethics as a whole. As far as the example you us regarding the holocaust, yes it is obvious that Nazi Officials committed disturbing crimes under the name of Adolf Hitler, but after the holocaust was over the Nuremberg Trials, a series of trials held for the sole purpose of bringing nazi war criminals to justice, took place and many of those Nazi Officials were sentenced to life in prison but the majority were, to what you argue is ethically wrong, death. As you mentioned yourself these criminals attempted to wipe out "a non-aryan" race the extent of their crimes were unbelievably disturbing and unfathomable do you really believe it is ethically wrong to sentence these Nazi officials to death? Whatever your view is on that point does not change the fact that there will still be an opposing side to what you believe even if it is unfathomable to one because as individuals, groups, and societies we all have our own set of belief, values, and opinions and that is what ethics ultimately is, a matter of opinion. Everyone will have their own set of ethical values ranging from situation to situation and fluctuating in severity dependent on the issue or conflict at hand because ethics is the moral principles that govern a persons or groups behavior, each view, as mentioned throughout each argument based on opinion concluding and proving that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to ethics.
angiehernandez

Con

I understand what you are trying to say but that does not mean that it is ethically correct. Even if Adolf Hitler and others did kill so many people, but we are no one to choose who dies and who lives. Even if they are guilty and one feels that they should die because of the fact that they have committed a crime, it does not mean that we should kill or execute them. It is wrong and no ethically right to do no matter what opinion or mentality you have. These are rather big topics that we are discussing about, but ethically wrong things can happen at any time with anyone. For instance is it right for a person who did not study and who has to pass the final exam to cheat off someone? It would not be correct because it is not fair for the person who is being cheated on the test. That person, that is being cheated on could have been studying for a long time and it is not fair for someone to just look at their answers. That is ethically wrong no matter the circumstance which is something that I am trying to get through to you. What is wrong is wrong there is not in between. Something cannot be wrong but at the same time right. Is it ethically wrong to lie to your parents about something that you have done? For example, if you, as a college student,go to a party that there are many parties going on anywhere. You of course have a couple of drinks and decide to go to a friends house. On the way there in a private neighborhood at midnight you accidently crash into a tree, but decide not to call anyone. Is it ethically correct to lie and say that another car hit your while it was parked? Lying to your parents or to anyone for that matter is ethically wrong. There is no need to lie, to steal, or to do anything that is wrong. Many people do have different views, different beliefs, and different opinions. But, no matter what religion or beliefs ethical values are always either right or wrong. If you do not want to accept that and always make excuses to cover up something saying that it is right when in reality it is not. We have to accept that things are either wrong or right not right and wrong too. As putting my point across and closing my argument there is in fact a right and a wrong when it comes to ethics. Murder, stealing, lying, abortion are all wrong ethics. There is no lee way to say "oh well he or she did it for a good reason for a good cause". It just is not true. If people want to say otherwise than they are incorrect in the obvious manner. What is bad is bad, bad can never be good. Ethics has nothing to do with beliefs or religion but common sense you cannot make something dirty be clean at the same time. With all these points that I have given throughout all my arguments it is clear that there is a right and wrong. What you think otherwise is not correct in any manner. Therefore, If you do a good deed it will be rewarded with something good, but if something bad is committed it will not be rewarded with something good. It will be punished, as I have repeated, by the justice system that realizes and comes to term that there is a definite right and wrong in ethics.
Debate Round No. 4
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