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There is no possibility of human action without moral consequence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,748 times Debate No: 35923
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I am arguing that there is possibility for human action without moral consequence. Human action can range from a blink of an eye to committing murder. With such a huge range, it"s hard to justify that all these actions result in a moral consequence.

Before moving forward, moral consequence refers to a negative outcome that follows an action that is based on morals. Morals refer to things that are viewed as right or wrong. Reflecting on the previous statement of having a large variety of human action, one will realize that a moral consequence following each action would be impossible. If this was the case, batting your eyelashes could be seen as incorrect and followed by a consequence. This, of course, would make no sense. Having someone face consequences for batting an eyelash incorrectly seems laughable.
Adding to this, cause is always thought to be followed by effect. In this case, human action would be the cause and moral consequence would be the effect. Is it necessarily the case that all human action produces moral consequence? There are, in fact, human actions that produce outcomes that are seemed are desirable. Some may even go on to say that it produces pleasure. Now if this is the case, would these too be considered moral consequences?

When speaking of pleasure, we can refer to the Hedonistic Calculus. This analysis determines the value of pain, and more importantly, pleasure. One of the questions posed is "does it affect anyone". Posing this question implies that there is a possibility that no one can be affected. If no one is affected from a certain human action, does it necessarily follow that there will be a moral consequence? What if this human action does not even deal with a moral issue?

There is possibility of human action without moral consequence is as follows:
1.There are many considerations for human action
2.Not all human actions are negative (Not all " Some not)
3.If not all human actions are negative, then some are positive
4.Therefore, there is possibility of human action without moral consequence


I disagree with your statement, there is no possibility of a human action without moral consequence. Pain and pleasure is what we live for. Every action we do, we think about it afterwards and if it seems right based on our beliefs we continue, and if it doesn't we stop.

Using Betham's essay on the principle of utility. Utility means the principle that approves or disapproves the action towards the party whose interest in question. Example he uses is the Government

1)Government may dictated the principle of utility but too augment happiness of the community is greater than to diminish it.(128-129.7-1.1)
2)Utility is any object that produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, to prevent pain, or unhappiness.(128.4.1)
3)It is vain to know the interest of the community without knowledge of interest of the individual(128.6.1)
4)Thus principle of utility uses reason and of law to tear the fabric of felicity and identify the subjection.(128.1.6)

A community may do things that some will disagree or agree with based on their morals. Thinking if it is right or wrong is a moral consequence
Debate Round No. 1


You argue that pain and pleasure is something we as humans live for. When examining pleasure, one can find pleasure in eating a sandwich. Referring to the definition previously mentioned, no moral consequence should follow from this human action. A human action in dealing with pain could be taking pain medicine. This could result in feeling pleasure. Consequences mostly refer to negative outcomes. If someone is experiencing pleasure for a human action, could it be a consequence? Even more so, a moral consequence?

When addressing morals, we must also address the distinction from what we think things to be and what they actually are. Thinking something is right or wrong, does not make it right or wrong.

In addition to this, thinking about an action we do does not necessarily mean a moral consequence. We must consider all the actions that do no involve morals.


Your example about a sand which, if a vegetarian ate that sandwich which had meat then their will be moral consequences. Like Socrates said "No one knowing does evil" therefore moral action is just a matter of knowing. Someone is experiencing pleasure does not necessarily mean it isn't a moral consequence for your definition states "Consequences mostly refer to negative outcomes"

A pleasure to me can be a moral consequence for someone else.
Debate Round No. 2


But would a vegetarian eat a sandwich that contains meat? What moral consequences would follow from a vegetarian eating meat? A vegetarian takes it upon themselves to no longer consume meat from animals. But one must question if killing animals for food is a question of morality. And is eating a sandwich something that deals with morals? If eating a sandwich deals nothing with morals then it is safe to say that there is a possibility that there can be human action without moral consequence.

Adding to this, when you argue "no one knowingly does evil" are you taking into account murders? Say you have someone admit to premeditated murder, are they not knowingly doing evil? Even if you favor the argument of relativism, one must realize that there certain moral codes that are universal. For example, murder. If murder was not viewed as morally wrong then a society wouldn't be able to function.

When you say a pleasure to you can be a moral consequence to someone else, have you taken into account everything that you find pleasurable?


Yes, for there are many humans in this world and what i see pleasurable can be wrong in the eyes of not some but all. To add on to your example of the murderer. I said before all moral actions is just a matter of knowing. He/She knew what they were doing which led to a moral consequence. Like you said Morals are viewed as right or wrong. Every action we do is either right or wrong to the eyes of everybody.
Debate Round No. 3


So if something is viewed as right, will a moral consequence follow? Again, we must make the distinction from what we think is right and what is actually right.

My main argument is that there is a possibility for human action without a moral consequence. Saying there is no possibility seems as if blinking an eye would result in a moral consequence. How can something that needs to happen have a negative outcome. Saying there is a possibility for human action without a moral consequence also agrees to the fact that some human action leads to moral consequence.


To conclude this debate, I agree there is NO possibility of human action without moral consequence. Using example of Betham's essay on the principle of utility supports my opinion. What we see pain and pleasurable can lead to a moral consequence. Blinking an eye could result in a moral consequence. Just because something needs to happen doesn't mean it wouldn't have a negative outcome.
Debate Round No. 4
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