The Instigator
sarahje88
Pro (for)
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The Contender
dasiaboykin
Con (against)
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There is no right or wrong answers in ethics.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 533 times Debate No: 45298
Debate Rounds (4)
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sarahje88

Pro

In regards to ethics, we base our decisions on whether on what we think is morally satisfying or what we know is wrong. Whether a situation is handeled the wrong way or the right way, who are we to know exactly for sure what is right and what is wrong? Today we have some concept of it based on our cultures and how we exist in this world (nature vs. nurture). The way we were raised also play a role in the way we distinguish our morals. For example, my grandmother feels that it is not okay for guests (male or female) to visit or hang out in your bedroom. That's how she was raised. On the other hand, my mother never had a problem with that. Therefore, I do not agree with that "rule". She feels it is wrong and I feel that it is alright. Now, I ask again, whose to say what is right and what is wrong? That would be like, whose to say yellow is a more beautiful color than pink? Who decides on your actions? Only you can decide on what is right or wrong to you, that is an obvious truth. However, that does not say that what ever you decide to do is the absolute most right thing to do. There are also other factors that play a role in ethics, religion and environmental factors. Some people are more religious than most, and some people do not follow the same rules set forth in the their beliefs, hence catholicism vs. christianity. Peer pressure is a good example of an environmental factor that affect decisions. Pressure from friends can cause you to make bad decisions or good ones. I feel as if, we have no control on what we were taught as children and what we are used to, unless you know a certain decision is wrong but, you choose to go that route anyways. Just the other day, my boyfriend was upset with me because my friend was laying on our bed and we were having a conversation. I could not understand why he was upset, until he told me it was rude for other people to lay on your bed especially with outside clothes. My response to him was that I never was taught that so I could not undersand why it was wrong in his eyes. I felt like he could not be mad at me because in this case I was not wrong nor was I right, because of the fact that I was never introduced to that situation being apart of "morality". Ethics ties in alot with justice and people have their own conceptions on what justice means to them. Some people do not believe in the death penality and some do. Some people believe two wrongs, will make a right and the old concept of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". However, Im not sure if the term "right or wrong" should be used to describe every action when faced to make a decision. There could be true or false, and moral and immoral. We can say a bird is on the Verrazano bridge right now, but that would be neither correct or incorrect because we do not know. Ethics is based on alot of factors that affect who we are today, so therefore, we cannot be judged on the decisions we make, if we did not learn it to be "taboo", unheard of, or wrong.
dasiaboykin

Con

Are there no right or wrong answer to ethics? Yes there are right and wrong answer to ethics. simply because ethics is knowing right from wrong. therefore we must know what is wrong in order for it to be right. Ethics comes from our values and belief with a mix of what society has established. Our views may be different from each others but at the end of the day we can always fall back on what is right and what is wrong. We must understand that there are two sides to every story. One side is based off truth, while the other is telling some truth mixed with a lie.
When we are faced with problems, we must understand that there are two sides to every story. But in that case we will find that a person will be in the wrong and another will be in the right. One side will have a truth to it, while the other side tell some truth but not the whole truth. When viewing this we must look back on our childhood. For example when we fought with our siblings one of use would tell the full truth, while the other sibling create lies. The other sibling who makeup lies because he/she knows that what they had done was wrong. By them knowing what they did was wrong they lie to avoid the consequences.
Right and wrong is based off our values and belief. Our parents raised us and taught us right from wrong and if they did not then someone in our life did. If something go against any of our values right off bat its wrong because we do not believe in it. We get our values off out society and our beliefs from our religion. In the Christians and Muslim religion having sex before marriage is consisted a sin. So if they do have sex before marriage then they are in the wrong. Because it is against there religion. Our Values and Beliefs creates the meaning ethics.
In the society that we live in today, situation is either right or wrong. How our society is set up, our government establish laws for it citizens to abide by. If any of the citizens do not follow they are in the wrong. For example in our school system teachers set up rules just like the government, only for us to follow then and we can connect this with right and wrong
Debate Round No. 1
sarahje88

Pro

Justice and ethics tie in together so well. When we look up the term justice, it says "it is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law of their civil rights, without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, wealth, or other characteristics, and is further regarded as being inclusive of social justice". Yeah, justice is about making the right choice, but who are you to say it is right or wrong? Do you know what brought on the reason for a so-called termed "wrong" decision? I am not familiar with all religions when it comes to their beliefs, but just cause a few religions do not believe in sex before marriage, it doesn't mean that it is wrong all together. We may believe that it is wrong, but other people were probably taught that it is okay. When it comes to ethics, there is no such thing as majority. As I said before, there are alot of factors that effect the decision making process in terms of right and wrong. There could also be diseases, hence in murder cases, some people plead insanity or so some other sickness that effects their actions. All we can do today is follow the law. Just because it is a law, a rule, or mandate of some kind, it does not mean that we HAVE to follow it. We as human beings have an obligation to do what we think is right, which is why people protest certain laws today. When we do something good, afterwards we look for a sense of emotion of approval. When we do something bad, we dread that feeling of guilt in our conscious. Now my question to you is, how do you know what one is feeling? If you can't provided an answer for that, then there is no way you or anyone else for that fact can say if a person is making a right or wrong decision. There are lots of belief systems out there based on ethics or morality by different philosophers, which is why people always struggle with making "just" decisions. A philosopher by the name of Jeremy Bentham came up with a term called "Utilitarianism", which is basically "The greater good for the greatest amount". Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy or theory that judges the morality of an action. For example, lets say your on a speeding train and the tracks separates into two. You have an option of going down one track, and one track one only. Track one, which has grandmother tied to it, or you can go down track two which has a family of people you have never met. To satisfy the Utilitarianism theory, you must choose hitting your grandmother with the train, because you are saving a whole family which is more than person, hence "The greater good for the greatest amount". For the Utilitarians, a good life is a life that benefits the most amount of people, not just one person or the people you care about. I'm sure you feel that that decision was wrong, but as I said there is no right or wrong when it comes to ethics.
dasiaboykin

Con

I know that you makes some points about justice connecting to ethics. But your meaning to justices seems like you are more on my mind side then anything. I am arguing that right and wrong are with in ethics. Your meaning to justice is basically saying that things must be right and that society created laws and law make thinks right or wrong.
Justice affect the people and what the people have to be right. Only because the people are the morjorate. Unlike other country most of there people have now power and to them they don't know what is right nor what is wrong. leaving them to be lost and confused. A country that has law is a country that have more freedom.
The thing with religion is that if you are faithful to your religion then committing sin is wrong, Hands down it is wrong more matter how you look or view it. it is wrong to those people because they know there beliefs and they care about there values.
You say that you that there area lot of factors that effects the decision making process in terms of right and wrong but they are not clear. everything need back up sickness and murder cases are two different things. The way that I would view sickness is that sickness have no connection with ethics that just something we as humans have no control over it. Murder cases on the other hand have right and wrong. That's why those type of cases go to court.
I ask you since all we can do today is follow the law what happens when we don't follow. what happens when we disobey the law are we right when it affect others ?
That was a great example with the train but I would just take my own life trying to protect the grandmother and family
Debate Round No. 2
sarahje88

Pro

It is said that "ethics is just a matter of opinion, nothing more, nothing less". Everyone is entitled to an opinion and that opinion can neither be right or wrong. Basically, your saying that your religion is the right one and others are the wrong ones. When it comes to philosophy, ethics/morality, religion usually does not play a role becuase of the fact that there are so many and everyone has there own beliefs. This isn't about religion, its about ethics. Morality, ethics, and philosophy all tie in together. Philosophy especially, has no logic or feelings involved, just think, no facts, just opinions. Furthermore, opinions are neither right or wrong, making ethics the same way. The murder case and the sickness were just examples to support my arguement, it does not necessarily have to happen together all the time. Also, do not assume that a country that has laws has freedom, when in fact it is the opposite. If we had no laws, everyone would be free to do whatever they please. We have laws, but yet some people feel that America being known as the land of the free is BS. Assumption is the mistake that people make mostly, when it comes to morals. They assume that just because they are so stubborn in their beliefs, that their ways are always the right ways. For example, men in other countries marry more than one woman, but here in the U.S, we do not practice polygamy as much. Does that mean the what their doing is wrong? No, because it's in their culture, it's what they were taught to do, and what they know. When it comes to laws, we were taught that they are there to protect us and that they are there for a good cause. But, do you honestly think all laws are there for your own good? Given certain circumstances, there is no right or wrong. I never said that that could be a pass for everyone. If you cannot recognize a wrong, then how can you recognize a right? Some people are not able to do that, which is why we cannot all just ASSUME that there are right or wrong answers in ethics. I've read in an Ethical Relativism article an example that would best support my argument. "Suppose we were required to determine who was at fault in an automobile accident. The accident occurred between two cars, one red, one green, driven by fellow students. There were many witnesses to the accident. To make our determination, we interviewed the witnesses. Some gave "eyewitness" reports that the Red car was at fault. Others disagreed and said that the Green car was to blame. The reports obviously conflict. But, does it follow from the fact that the reports conflict that there is not someone who is really at fault, or that there is no way to determine which person was at fault? Of course not. What is the situation? It is a fact that there was an accident. It is a fact that people disagree as to what happened. It is a fact that it may be difficult if not practically impossible to determine what actually happened. But, it does not follow from these facts that there is no objective truth about the accident or that the truth is impossible to find. What follows from the facts is what the facts state: an accident happened; people disagree about what happened; and it will be difficult to determine what actually happened. However, as hard as it may be, it is possible to determine what happened. And, that is all that we need to refute the relativist. He has claimed that it is impossible to determine what is right or wrong given the way the world is. What we have determined is that it is not impossible, though it may be extremely difficult. The cultural relativist's position is too strong. To claim that there is no objective truth to ethical judgments is tantamount to claiming that it is impossible that there be objective truth about ethical judgments. That would be like saying that there was no objective truth about the accident. Of course there is; it is simply a fact that the truth is very hard to get to".
dasiaboykin

Con

I am not saying that any religion is wrong or right. But Yes I used religion only for an example. we can see that religion have right and wrong ethics and principles involved with it. however, I know that we are talking about ethics and not religion so what is your purpose for talking about philosophy, morality? They kind of tie into one but ethics is ethics and philosophy is philosophy. Just like right is right and wrong is wrong. If you did forget the meaning to ethics, Ethics is knowing right from wrong anyone can tell you this. Ethics is not have the best of both worlds. For example the sky is either blue or its red it can not be both.
Back to you and philosophy, are our opinions based off our society (that makes the law) or the things that we believe in? What is freedom to you ? we must know what freedom is in order to know what's right or wrong. Freedom does not always have to be based off us doing what we want to do when we want to do it?
With the red car, green car example that would be consider two sides to every story. one person tell the whole truth while the other tell some truth. How do we know that the person who seen the red car seen the whole accident. that same person could had been just coming out of a store and seen the ending of the accident. The same argument apply for the person who blamed the green car. The only way that we can tell who was in the wrong is by a video. without any proof the argument is not valid.
Debate Round No. 3
sarahje88

Pro

Most philosophers have theories on morality and ethics, that's why I relate them with one another. I know what the definition of ethics is. I have stated before that ethics have alot to do with opinions as well and opinions vary from culture and from different people. What is one person's right, might be your wrong, and vice versa. Opinions are based on what we strongly believe in. Freedom to me is to have a set of laws that I can abide by and that can protect me, as well as laws that I agree with 100%. Freedom is exactly what we want to do. Being told what to do, is not being free. Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Ethics is defined as moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior. If we have to be governed, then we are not experiencing freedom. Yes, we can be told what to do and learn what is right and what is wrong. But, it is entirely up to use to choose what is what. The moral principles that are governed to us, my not always be right or wrong. That all goes back to my point. We can be taught that stealing is okay if the item is really needed. That's not a good moral to be taught. We learn the value of ethics and what it truly means in our early stages of life into adulthood. The advice, the tips, and lesson we are given could be wrong and could be right. It depends on the individual, as well as the other important factors I have mentioned. Ethics is ethics whether it be right or good moral principles or wrong or bad moral principles. Either way, there isn't a wrong or right answer. It's up to us to make that decision. We are given ethics as a part of growing up,and we have to just run with it. When you take ethics into your own hands and make the decisions you feel are right to you, you make think about how it affects other people as you mentioned. Immanuel Kant was a philosopher who believed certain types of actions such as crimes were wrong even if it brought about happiness. So, you have to ask yourself, if I was to do this today, how would it affect other people and will they follow in my footsteps? We cannot answer that question until the decision is made. When it comes to Kantian ethics, whether the decision be right or wrong, it would affect other people. Therefore, right or wrong decisions are blind to ethics.
dasiaboykin

Con

Why would any parent tell / teach there child that stealing the right thing to do if it is really needed? That must be to most craziest thing to tell anyone. Stealing is against the law and wrong. Yes ethics is up to us to make a decision, life is about making decisions. its either we are going to be on a right path or the wrong path which was taught to us in school. LIKE I SAID ethics is knowing right from wrong. it either black or white it can not be both.
Debate Round No. 4
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