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There has been no greater fictional contrast of brothers morally than that of the Uchihas.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 885 times Debate No: 29622
Debate Rounds (4)
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Anime references only, manga-only references are banned.

Deriving from what I have seen in the anime and my vast knowledge of philosophy I can not possibly imagine that throughout history there has ever been a greater contrast between the values of two brother than that of Sasuke and Itachi.

I will not present my case yet.

Round one is for acceptance and your proposed set of brothers.

The primary burden of proof is on me, however it is up to you to also prove that your set of brothers have an equal, if not greater, contrast in morals.

If you haven't seen Naruto then I suggest you read their story in detail... I will philosophically tear you to shreds if you are unprepared in the slightest.

Round one: State your pair of brothers.
Round two: Opening debates, rebuttals allowed for con.
Round three: Conflict.


I accept. Though I haven't watched any of the Naruto shows, mangas, etc. (nor do I plan to, if I am perfectly honest), I shall attempt to show how the greatest two brothers in terms of their opposition philosophically with one another is The Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoevsky. The most obvious choice, of course, but obvious for a reason.

I shall attempt to show a number of things. Firstly, both on not just the core difference but on sheer numbers that the Karamazov have irreconcilable and huge differences of moral character. Secondly, I shall attempt to show that externally these differences are greater to us as readers as well as the fiction itself: in other words, that the moral contrast of Dmitri and Alexei against Ivan.

With that, I'll await my opponent's opening round.
Debate Round No. 1


Warning!! If you watch Naruto this is a spoiler so don't blame me for not warning.

I request that there is a level of trust not usually permitted in debates in that I don't have to source what I say and we shall assumed this is really the storyline. I shall give same trust to you.

Now as stated in round one, this will be my opening speech.

Itachi was Sasuke's older brother, and older by quite an age gap... Though this is never stated directly in the Anime as far as I remember. I'd estimate it to be as large as 7 if you see their physical appearances change in Shippuden it's obvious that Itachi is in his mid twenties whilst Sasuke is only about 16-17 (Naruto Shippuden is basically like a time lapse after Naruto, he has basically hit puberty in Shippuden whereas he was a kid beforehand... As was Sasuke).

Itachi always outshines Sasuke and their father, Fugaku, always had a HUGE favouritism for Itachi, never praising Sasuke only saying that at Sasuke's age Itachi was much more skilled than him (Itachi is just one of those kid ninja whose good at everything whilst Sasuke was only really good at Melee fighting to begin with). So anyway... One day Itachi was faced with a dilemma that, had Sasuke been faced with, he definitely would have picked the opposite and hence spends his whole life seeking to avenge Itachi for the choice he made, and then when having killed Itachi and realising the true selflessness of his brother, he is infuriated at the people who forced his brother to choose such a horrific decision and then, ironically fights for the very cause Itachi died for (at Sasuke's hands).

The dilemma Itachi was faced with was this... I'm sure even a non Naruto-fan can drop their jaw at how hard a choice it was to make. He was about 17-18. He was a member of the Leaf Village's (the leaf village is the village in which almost all the Uchihas lived) secret agent force named ANBU (equivalent of CIA to USA). He was also, however, a highly trusted member of the Uchiha clan's inner circle (of which his Fugaku, his father, was the head). Now being an Uchiha in the leaf village had, for decades, seemed to have been analogous to being an atheist in congress. You just stood no chance politically. For years the Uzumacki clan had ruled the leaf village since long a go an all out brawl between the clans had ended up 'proving' the Uzumacki clan to be better and the contract agreement said whoever wins is proof that their clan is the superior one... The thing was that that particular Uzumacki member happened to have wood element chakra that is basically a weird form of chakra energy that is extremely hard for even the strongest ninja to defend. So Itachi's Father declared that in a week the Uchiha clan would definitely raid the entire town to overthrow the Hokage (equivalent to ninja president of leaf village) and regain Uchiha status in the village. This Coup D'Etat startled Itachi because he had been trained, as an ANBU agent to immediately notify the Hokage and his inner circle of ANY threat regardless of how close her was personally to the person being reported... So, Itachi being Itachi... He naively reported it but only the DAY before the planned Coup D'Etat. So the Hokage, in his fury left Itachi with two options. To either kill the entire population of the Uchiha clan in leaf village (the few lost Uchihas elsewhere were irrelevant) or to let them survive and watch the leaf village be destroyed. You see if the Uchihas were to successfully carry out the Coup D'Etat then they would overthrow the entire political leaders and the Fire village, who happened to have a huge grudge against the leaf village and, unlike the leaf village, was all one big family, would invade and inevitably the Uchiha clan would have ended up thwarted regardless of their temporary gaining of power. The reason Itachi was so strong and able to kill his clan was largely due to a unique eye he'd developed by killing his best friend (there are two ways to get this eye-power, it's called Mangekyou Sharingan and is either got by killing your best friend or a relative dying in your arms while possessing it, which is how Itachi eventually passed it onto Sasuke. You see he waited for a long time until Sasuke was out of town and safely at school and then began his rampage but he had overestimated himself. Whilst he had the huge advantage of absolutely no one expecting him to attack since he was their family, he had the disadvantage that all Uchihas posses a Sharingan eye and that what Sharingan does is offer an extreme edge in seeing your opponents movements. The Mangekyou Sharingan enables one to create illusions in their opponent's mind and hence makes fighting them ridiculously easy as they can't sense you at all and are instead fighting an imaginary you in a parallel universe that you created in their mind. Nonetheless the Uchihas are very strong people and he seemed to be unable to hold them off long enough to finish off before the children returned form school... then he had no choice because the mission order said to kill ALL Uchihas but he had hoped that if he'd killed the adults it would be okay... he was in such a emotional state of fury that he slaughtered babies elderlies and children left right and centre and he had left his family for last. He killed his, and Sasuke's, parents but then Sasuke (only a little 8 year old at the time) walked in to the most traumatising site of his life. His big brother stood over the two dead bodies of his parents. Now while Sasuke hated his father, just as Itachi had been his father's favourite, Sasuke had been his mother's and something in him snapped when he saw her and started screaming and punching Itachi who just couldn't bring himself to kill his little brother.

Then the Homage said he'd allow Sasuke to live as a village orphan if Itachi would leave the village join the Akatsuki (a highly group of skilled ninja forming the most notorious criminal gang of Naruto) to spy on them and to never EVER tell his brother or ANYONE he knew the true reason he killed his family. To never EVER dare be claimed a hero and to die with the reputation of a villain. He said that if Itachi were to ever dare reveal the truth to Sasuke, or anyone for that matter, He would order ANBU to kill Sasuke in the blink of an eye. Itachi loved his little brother too much and ended up dying in his arms. However due to the fact that there was no way Sasuke could have known the truth especially considering how brutally he lived to get revenge on his brother.

However Sasuke vowed to never get it by Mangekyou sharingan but to find his own path in life o kill Itachi. He REALLY DID Join a criminal gang named The Hebi led by a man named Orochimaru who gave Sasuke a demonic power that converts your sanity into physical prowess but hurts like hell to use.

Unfortunately, when Sasuke does kill Itachi, having already killed Orochimaru, and learns the truth of the story he vows to destroy the leaf village an "Let everyone know his pain" Whereas Itachi had always said "You will know my hate one day Sasuke" Sasuke always says "You will know my pain one day when he is having an emotionally significant battle with someone.

Itachi is the pinnacle of Utilitarianism whilst Sasuke is the pinnacle of Moral nihilism. He has only morals driven first by vengeance, then by pure sadism...



Firstly, let me point out the aim, at least in my view, of debating. It is pedagogical. That is, it focuses on education and edification. That is the primary aim of debating: educating the debaters and especially the audience. As such, if any argument is unclear, unsubstantiated, or in any way done in such a way to stop a certain demographic from understanding, whether it be from unclear language or restricting who can judge through jargon or reference to assumed knowledge, then that should be a point against the debater who is being unclear. In other words, debates should be open to all, so if they are not clear or the case isn't clearly substantiated, then that is the debaters, not the judge's fault.

With that in mind, I shall construct my case. Firstly, I want to outline the plot, so I shall take a quick summary from another source:

"This novel explores the big questions of life through the story of a highly dysfunctional "family": three sons basically neglected and abandoned by their father Fyodor. The oldest, Dmitry, is engaged to the beautiful Katerina Invanova yet irresistibly drawn to Grushenka, the same woman his wealthy lecherous buffoon of a father is lusting after. To make matters worse, Dmitry has given up rights to a future inheritance to finance his extravagances and now feels his father is cheating him. Perhaps the half brothers he is just getting to know can help resolve these problems. Ivan is a highly educated man who rejects the ideas of a creator God and an immortal soul. Alexey, the youngest, is a gentle spiritual man, apprenticed to the local monastery."[1]

Now I shall concentrate mostly on the contrast between Dmitry and Ivan.



Christian Based Morals

Evident by his mentioning of God around four thousand times, being a priest, and basically the entire plot.

Atheist based moral system

“it's the world created by Him I don't and cannot accept.

Again, Christian based morals when the best actions come from following God.

“All is permissible” his moral system is nihilistic. “All is lawful”.

“ I'm even pleased that I'm falling in such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful. And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn

Dmitry argues that humility is a great virtue.

"Viper will eat viper, and it would serve them both right!"

Dmitry when describing Ivan summarises his view in this quotation: strength is the true virtue, not humility or weakness. This is another direct contrast.

Men are naturally able to become good. This is evident by his view that we should be merciful to criminals so they reform themselves, and so men are naturally able to be reformed and be good people.

“I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are to blame for them.

“People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel.

We are evil and cruel people by our very nature.

“If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground”

He has faith in God, and thus faith in being moral by following Him. Not believing in God is wrong.

“Listen! if everyone must suffer, in order to buy eternal harmony with their suffering, pray tell me what have children got to do with it? It's quite incomprehensible why they should have to suffer, and why they should buy harmony with their suffering.

He has a distaste and hatred for God as the least moral person for suffering. Moreover, happiness is the measure of goodness and suffering is the measure of bad.

“The Legend pits two theories of parenthood against each other,” he writes, with Christ’s resurrection of the little girl as “a metaphor for the view that fathers must deliver children from the killing effects of parental oppression.” (Michael Holquist, Dostoevsky and the Novel)

Dmitry supports Christ and supports the idea that Christ is for equality of the people and freedom rather than the oppressive Inquisitor Ivan suggests.

“They will finally understand that freedom and earthly bread in plenty for everyone are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share among themselves.”

Ivan argues the Inquisitor (who says this line) is what morality does to people: it enslaves them to a totalitarian man who forces them to choose between freedom and survival.

(All quotations are from the text The Brothers Karamazov unless stated from a different source)

With that in mind, and I hope that is enough to make clear why Dimitry and Ivan have many more important and many more in sheer number moral differences.

I also wish to point out how their moral differences are greatest as they have had the most impact. Freud named the novel among Hamlet and Oedipus Rex as the greatest masterpieces of literature that ever existed. It is constantly classed as the single best piece of literature ever created. It is famous worldover, and influenced Einstein, Wittgenstein, Heidegger... too many to mention.

With that, I'll pass over to my opponent for rebuttals to my case. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2


I'll just use a table to reiterate my points and outdo you in number of fundamental differences/clashes. I'll also be relying on reader's having read round one as I'll refer to Itachi's killing of Uchiha clan a lot as well as understanding of why he let Sasuke kill him (to spread the sharingan eyes).

If you disbelieve the validity of the quotes I use (since some are from the anime-only and not found on Google) ask anyone who has seen all Naruto episodes or Google them (most are famous and are found on fan sites).

Although both are atheist, they are so to a different extent, Itachi being the more rational and passive one.

Belief in God

Agnostic Atheist

Famous quote from a fight with Sasuke (this is so famous that it is attributed to him in all quotes so you can even google it):

People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That's how they define "reality". But what does it mean to be "correct" or "true"? Merely vague concepts… their "reality" may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?”

Gnostic Atheist

When Naruto and Sakura try to save him at beginning of Shippuden:

“I have no ‘master’. Orochimaru is not holding me against my will. I am merely here to train and then to execute my revenge on Itachi”

Sasuke hates the word “Master” or “God” and when he takes over Orochimaru’s clan, after killing him, he never requests them to call him master Sasuke.

He is extremely arrogant of the ‘fact’ that there is no supposed hierarchy or supreme being of any kind whatsoever shown through both actions and the fact that almost all enemies of his are strong believers in God (aside from Itachi who he hates for personal reasons).

Existential View


Same quote

People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That's how they define "reality". But what does it mean to be "correct" or "true"? Merely vague concepts… their "reality" may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?”


After killing Itachi and learning his brother’s true predicament in killing the Uchiha clan, Sasuke somewhat forgave him and then he decided that spreading hate around would best serve his brother’s original cause.

All his morals and actions are rooted in the subjective experience of emotion (as existentialists believe).

"If you think I'm just a foolish kid ruled by his emotions, that's fine. Following Itachi's path would have been too childish, the whispering of fools who don't know hatred. If anyone else tries to ridicule the way I live, I'll slaughter everyone they ever cared about. And then maybe they'll understand what it's like to taste... a little of my hatred."

"Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that?!"

Moral Views


The choice to kill his entire loved family for the sake of saving more people than he would kill shows this.


Has no apparent moral code whatsoever and every act he ever did was merely on a personal whim.

First quote is when reasoning about using Itachi’s eyes (which were granted to him upon his killing of him) even though he’d spent his whole life trying a way to gain power without gaining Mangekyou Sharingan. "I understand now. Even if I must take the devil's fruit, I must gain power. I am an avenger."

He even doesn’t kill Naruto and then later tell him that "I spared your life on a whim, nothing more. But this time, my whim is telling me, to finish what I started..."

Relation to Pain


Not only does he go on with the emotional burden of letting his brother live thinking of him as a viallain, as well as all others WILLINGLY but also keeps himself alive for about three years while extremely sick, on a medication, so that he can be alive for the day his brother kills him (as only if he is killed by his brother can he pass the Sharingan he’s obtained onto the killer).


His actions are that of a merciless brute who gains pleasure form other’s pain.

He also has quotes after killing Itachi.

When speaking to ‘himself’ before trying to tear Konoha (leaf village) apart:

"They're all laughing. you're laughing at the cost of Itachi's life laughing together completely ignorant of everything. your laughing voices sound like contempt and mocking me now, I will change those laughs to screams and wails"

When speaking to himself thinking he’s speaking to Itachi’s spirit and going against everything his brother wanted despite his new-found love for him (after realising the truth of his killing of the Uchiha clan which I explained in round one).

I guess anything I say now would be pointless… When I saw you… I decided to follow you here to confirm whether or not what Danzō and Tobi told me was true or not. But that wasn't the only reason… When I'm with you I remember the way it used to be. I remember time spent with the brother that I looked up to… that I loved. That's why… The closer I get to you… The more I'm able to recall what those days felt like… And the more I'm able to understand you.The more I'm able to hate Konoha for the suffering they put you through. In fact, it's becoming even stronger than before. I do understand what you want me to do. It's probably because you're my older brother that you feel the need to put me on the right path. But it's probably because I'm your younger brother that I'll never stop, no matter what you say. As you'll always exist to protect the village… so will I to destroy it. Goodbye… brother.”

Dmitry=Itachi and Sasuke=Ivan in terms of humility

Itachi was a humble servant to the village’s leader of ANBU black-ops and hence followed the order to wipe out his family.

He always kept the secret to his grave and always spoke in a very humble, kind manner even to his enemies in the heat of battle. He was by far the most polite member of Akatsuki (although he was only a member of it as a spy for Konoha).

Sasuke was always arrogant, probably fuelled by his hatred and envy of Itachi as a child since their father always compared them and rated Itachi as his favourite.

He has this quote from when he had to explain why he wanted to be a ninja, he said it in front of his Sensei (teacher) as well as Naruto and Sakura. My name is Sasuke Uchiha. I hate a lot of things, and I don't particularly like anything. What I have is not a dream, because I will make it a reality. I'm going to restore my clan, and kill a certain someone.”



Let me first go through how deep the difference between Sasuke and Iticha (I am guessing the one on the left is Sasuke, so correct me if I am wrong. Also, I can't spell Diatsu, so I'm just going to change into funny words every time I need to mention him by name):

Firstly, Sasuke is an atheist and Hitachi is the complete opposite as he's an atheist. The difference is astounding. It seems more like my opponent is going "look! My guys are religiously opposed as well!" rather than anything. No, theistically Sasuke and his brother are not just unopposed, but are apathetic. The quotations highlight this especially: the Sasuke quotation has no relevance at all to theism, except arguably that he believes nothing truly exists (making him gnostic atheist). Honda by contrast simply doesn't like the title "master". Extrapolating from that a gnostic atheism is absurd extrapolation.

Secondly, how can you be a nihilist (not believing in morals) and utilitarian (believing in morals)? Either these brothers have no consistency in characterisation making them some of the worst characters in history, or much more likely he is simply nihilist. Moreover, Mitsubishi is also nihilist, which makes them, again, the same.

Finally, the dichotomy of sadist/masochist has no relation to a moral disposition (though a utilitarian maximising unhappiness might as well be an oxymoron). However, calling Sasuke a moral masochist from the information given seems like a leap. He seems determined to extract revenge rather than masochist.

Also, I hold, even if you side with all of these to my opponent, and deny my objections, that my characters' moral differences are many times more important and more diametrically opposed. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3


LatentDebater forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by LatentDebater 3 years ago
I didn't know you could just paste a table like that. Thanks :)
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
Anything you do in microsoft word can be pasted in.
Posted by LatentDebater 3 years ago
How do you do a table please? Will really help me lay out my case.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Le forfeite'