The Instigator
RDK2292
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Jmonessar
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

There is no possibility of a human action without moral consequences

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 587 times Debate No: 35872
Debate Rounds (4)
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RDK2292

Pro

I argue that there is no possibility of a human action without moral consequences. Human actions have either a long term effect or a short term effect on society and the moral character of the individual will be affected. According to Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill each action either promotes pain or pleasure. If there are two pleasures both pleasures have to be experienced in order to determine which of the two has the greater pleasure. An action that a human performs doesn't have to have a moral consequence right away. The consequences can change for example sitting in class can be painful since it is boring but the end result will bring pleasure due to the fact that it will help you succeed in life.
Human Actions have an effect on moral consequences by:
1.According to Bentham Happiness is intrinsic valuable.
2.Happiness being intrinsic valuable demands your respect.
3.All actions promote pain or pleasure.
4.The outcome of each action is either right or wrong and will have different causes and effects.
5.The actions will have an effect on society which can be either positive or negative.
6.In the Igbo society any crime that was performed was dealt with immediately in order to prevent corruption in society.
7.There are seven variables in pain and pleasure and they are intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, remoteness, purity, fecundity, and the extent.
8.Thus, depending on the type of action that has or will take place there will be moral consequences.
Jmonessar

Con

It is very possible for human decision to not have any moral consequences. Not everything is related to morals. It may influence a bulk of our decisions but sometimes people make decisions based on the pleasure or pain that they believe will result from it. Pain and pleasure don"t necessarily indicate a moral consequence. And just because something is morally correct does not mean that it will be a decision that people choose. The Hedonistic Calculus shows the process for weighing out the pain versus the pleasure in the consequences of a decision. Morality is not the main consideration in the process because it is not a factor in every decision to be made. There are decisions that have no right or wrong conclusion but instead are geared towards the pleasure or pain the person gets from it, such as what class to take. This decision could be made based upon which experience the person believes would result in more pleasure or less pain.
It is possible for human actions to have no moral consequence by:
1)People make decisions based on the amount of pleasure or pain they think they will receive.
2)Pain and pleasure are not necessarily connected to morals.
3)The Hedonistic Calculus shows the process on making decisions based on the pain and pleasure.
4)Morality is not the main focus because it is not present in every case.
5)If morality isn"t present in every case then not every decision will have a moral consequence.
Debate Round No. 1
RDK2292

Pro

I disagree with your point, every human action leads to moral consequences. Pain and pleasure does in fact deal with morality since the definition of morality being used is that it is a set of rules or prohibitions dictating what is or isn't permissible in term of harm. Harm is connected to pain and pleasure. Each action might not be directly right or wrong in moral however it will have a cause and effect reaction which will eventually lead to a morality change. You claim that people won't perform the morally right decision, I agree with this point. I never said that they will pick the correct the decision, I simply stated that there will be moral consequences for their actions. You also claimed that people make a bulk of their decisions on the pain and pleasure that they will think will come from it, which I agree and helps my point. Pain and pleasure influences the decisions being made whether the outcome is in their favor or not. Experience helps humans make decisions and the decision is affected by pain and pleasure. Restating what I said in round one not all consequences are short term, some of the effects will appear after sometime after the decision was made, or might even trigger a chain of events which will have moral consequences.
Jmonessar

Con

Not everything has a moral consequence.As i mentioned before, picking between two classes does not have a moral effect. A person would make that decision based on what they think will be more enjoyable for them like what the Hedonistic Calculus teaches. A class can't be a right or wrong choice, just as many other things such as what phone you buy or a meal choice. Everyday we make small and possibly unimportant decisions that we don't consider decisions because there is not major consequence for them. These decisions are made by preference and nothing more. It is possible for there to be no morally correct or wrong choice in some situations. Even if a chain reaction occurs, there is no way to prove that the "initial" decision is what caused the moral consequence. There were a number of decisions and actions that occurred after it that could possibly be the decision that actually had moral effects.

Pain and pleasure are not necessarily connected to morality. A moral decision is made by selecting what is best for everyone but there are situations where no one else is affected. Some decisions don't have any long term effects or even a short term one worth noticing.
Debate Round No. 2
RDK2292

Pro

You stated that, " a person would make that decision based on what they think will be more enjoyable for them..." which I agree with, humans make decisions everyday depending on pain and pleasure. Enjoyable and an increase in pleasure have the same effects. I don't understand what you mean by a class can't be a right or wrong choice since right and wrong are two different classes and different actions go in each separate class. Every action leads to a chain of causes and effects which has a part in our everyday lives. David Hume shows us this in On Suicide where he states that life and death depends on a chain of events. You claim that there can be a number of possible decisions that can be made after the initial event occurred which can trigger the moral consequence; however the possible decisions only had to be made since the initial event occurred. All decisions are connected to pain and pleasure which leads to moral consequences. By promoting pleasure there will be a higher moral consequence. Jainism works on this idea. Every creature feels pain and so there should be consideration for every creature. So the motive behind Jainism is to promote pleasure which at the end has a possible moral in the community and environment.
Jmonessar

Con

Yes, and pain and pleasure are not necessarily indicative of a moral effect. Some find vanilla ice cream more enjoyable than chocolate. Some decisions are too simple to be caught up in the moral debate. We make a number of these small decisions everyday without there being a moral consequence to follow. When there isn't a moral factor to consider, we fall back on just what we think will be more pleasurable to us. Decisions will always have the pain and pleasure aspect which is why it is the main consideration in making decisions. We sometimes get caught between what we know will be more pleasurable versus what we know is the right thing to do.

As for the class example, I meant class as in a school class such as Sociology or Philosophy, not class as a grouping. When choosing between two school classes there isn't a choice that is right and one that is wrong. A school class is a school class without any moral attachments.

When dealing with a chain of events, how can a person pinpoint the decision that caused the following chain? It would be impossible to isolate one decision and claim that it was responsible for the rest happening and the eventual moral consequence. If i had the last of the cereal and forced my brother to go out and buy, and on the way he was hit by a car, did i make an immoral decision by eating the cereal? Was I the cause for his injuries? I would say no. I simply made a decision to eat the cereal because i preferred it over whatever else was available. There was no moral consequence so I just chose what I liked better.
Debate Round No. 3
RDK2292

Pro

You claim that some decisions are too simple to have moral consequences however they lead to a chain of events ,reasons proving this was stated in round 3. Your example of your brother dying was your fault since you started the chain. Martin Luther King Jr. used this idea when he was in Birmingham Jail. He wrote a letter in order to start a chain of events which will lead to a pleasurable result. In order to create tension in people's mind he didn't retaliate against the people who beat him. Another example was Socrates, when he was on trial he knew that his death will start a chain of events in which will increase the pleasure in the society.

In your example of classes right or wrong was not directly part of the choice however cause and effect was part of the choice. No one can tell the future and eventually the choice will either be right or wrong from the effects that arouse from the event. Every action is affected pain and pleasure and that will determine the choice made and the outcome. Every action leads to a moral consequence whether the moral consequence is positive or negative.
Jmonessar

Con

Martin Luther King Jr. planned his actions carefully and chose his next step based upon what he believed the people will do and how they will react. Each step he took was a major decision because he was dealing with a major issue. He had something to challenge and prove wrong. That is not always the case. There were decisions he made in his personal life that had nothing to do with what he was trying to change just as i mentioned in the previous examples. It is possible for decisions to have no real effect to do with morality, and for it to not trigger a chain of events. My breakfast choice had nothing to do with morality. I chose cereal because I preferred the cereal, not because it was the right thing to do. There was no "right" choice in that situation. It was simply a choice that had to be made. As mentioned before there are very simple decisions we make that have nothing to do with what is considered to be right and wrong. The events that happen after could have nothing to do with it. In my example, maybe the driver was drunk or swerved to avoid another obstacle. There are so many possibilities and combinations that could occur. If you want to say that chains of events do happen, then it would go all the way back to a person being born. If the person in question had never existed then they wouldn't have done their action that you claim set off a chain of events which led to a moral consequence. This can be taken back even further to the person's parents, and their parents. A chain of events can't be considered because there is no definite starting or ending points.
Debate Round No. 4
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