The Instigator
Stephen_Hawkins
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
pcmbrown
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

This House Supports Utilitarianism over its contending normative ethical systems.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,233 times Debate No: 29917
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

Hello, welcome to the debate.


The debate is simply as the resolution stands. No squirreling of terminology to change the intended purpose of debate, the division of labour is mostly on myself (though my opponent should present a counterplan).

The round structures should be as followed:

R1 - Acceptance and any opening remarks.
R2 - An explanation of your ethical system. There should not be serious engagement with the opposition's argument, though it can touch upon it.
R3 - A riposte to the opposition's ethical system.
R4 - Conclusion.

A normative ethical system is defined as a system that regards how to behave in moral life, giving practical solutions to ethical dilemmas. A normative ethical system which does not, or cannot, tell us what is moral, or specifically aims to make all normative ethical systems equal, is not a normative ethical system.

Only accept if you have:

1) An ELO of over 3500
2) If you've posted in the comments, and I stated explicitly that you are a good debater to whom the ELO standard need not apply.

If anyone breaks this rule, assume all 7 points goes to myself.

Finally, the judging is which argument was presented more convincingly. If you are not convinced, fine, but if you were more convinced by my opponent's argument yet remain a utilitarian, you should vote for them, and vice versa.

With that, I look forwards to seeing who will take part. I would also ask people to refrain from commenting on rebuttals to arguments in the comments section once the debate has begun until it has finished, as per common etiquette. Thank you, and I'll look forward to any debate.
pcmbrown

Con

Hello good sir. I accept your debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I don't understand how, yet alone why, my opponent has accepted the debate, yet he has broken the requirements to accept. As such, I urge a full vote towards myself. Thank you.
pcmbrown

Con

Apologies for not reading past the description of rounds. However, I am a fine debater. I qualified for and attended the National Forensics Tournament twice during high school. I practiced Lincoln-Douglas style debate, which is designed specifically to address issues of morality, and coached my high school debate team during Senior year. I now attend one of the ten best colleges in the United States. I've read philosophy extensively, and received A's in 4 college philosophy courses. I'm certain that my actual abilities would give me the requisite ELO rating; I haven't been on for over a year and didn't realize they had implemented that. I sympathize with your frustration at having rather unserious opponents on this site at times, but I assure you that I am not of that sort. Now, there are two rounds remaining in which we can conduct a debate, and frankly, it would be quite unsporting of you to refuse. If you do refuse, I suggest to the voters that the points ought to result in a tie, since bad manners are much worse than neglecting to read an afterword. However, I hope you will accept.
Debate Round No. 2
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I'd urge voters to vote PRO, simply because it seems unreasonable to simply overwrite the rules of the debate because my opponent failed to read them.
pcmbrown

Con

Well, a year ago, nobody was posting "rules" on debates beyond resolutionary analysis. I urge you read each question in the voting box, and respond in a way you feel to be accurate, if at all, rather than giving someone points just because he told you too.
Debate Round No. 3
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

Vote PRO.
pcmbrown

Con

If my opponent insists that he ought to win a debate that has not actually transpired, I shall do the same.

Conduct:
I grant that I did mistakenly forget to read "the rules". However, it was an honest mistake, and hardly malicious conduct on my part. I have been wholly courteous to my opponent throughout the "debate". In response, he was really quite condescending. Even after learning that I was a qualified debater, he sought to win on a technicality rather than use the remaining 2 rounds to discuss the issue at hand. His approach is entirely at odds with a desire to learn and/or compete. "If anyone breaks this rule, assume all 7 points goes to myself." This sentence also seems insulting to the debate.org community since he is issuing a command to give him points without presenting any arguments.

Spelling/Grammar:
My opponent made several grammatical errors; some instances are as follows.
"No squirreling of terminology to change the intended purpose of debate" (sentence fragment)
(this is a independent clause and should be preceded by a semicolon rather than a comma)", the division of labour is mostly on myself"
"A normative ethical system which does not, or cannot, tell us...is not a normative ethical system."
A normative ethical system is most certainly a normative ethical system regardless of any qualifiers placed on it. In fact, there is no normative ethical system which is not a normative ethical system. I assume my opponent knew this, making the first instance of normative an additive typo.
"assume all 7 points goes to myself."
This is just a mockery of subject verb agreement. It's like saying "Billy meets up with Sally and Tommy. They all goes to get ice cream."

Convincing Arguments:
My opponent has not made any arguments. I have made an argument as to why he ought to debate me, and am now making further arguments concerning who you ought to vote for. I would have been glad to make arguments concerning ethics, but that opportunity was denied me.

Reliable Sources:
The only sources used by my opponent and I were ourselves. I would like to note that I am one year above the age of majority, and therefore an adult, whereas he is a year below it, and is therefore a child. I've found that adults are generally far more reliable than children. That is why they are permitted to vote. Furthermore, my profile picture is a picture of myself, albeit an old one, while my opponents is of a much older man. Either he is using a false picture, or he is a middle-aged man claiming to be a 17 year-old boy. Either behavior seems highly unreliable.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Con, I hope you got permission in a PM, otherwise ruh-roh...
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Can you specify the flavor of utilitarianism you're defending?
Posted by IncredulousVessel 4 years ago
IncredulousVessel
Utilitarianism is futile in any situation where two options have quantitatively equally horrific outcomes.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
Stephen_HawkinspcmbrownTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Rules are rules...
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
Stephen_HawkinspcmbrownTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: The rules stated, "If anyone breaks this rule, assume all 7 points goes to myself." Con did not argue for any interpretation of the agreed-upon rules by which I can award him points. Sorry, Con.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Stephen_HawkinspcmbrownTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con, had you accepted that you misread and that Pro had every right to refuse to debate you, I would think "Meh, we all make mistakes". But you didn't. He was very explicit; you ignored that, and then tried to claim it was "unsporting" of him to refuse to do what he very explicitly said, in advance, he refused to do. Your arguments lacked anything compelling to them, and Pro had the trump card of being quite clearly in the right, and saying so. When you are the one who has erred, the burden of humility lies on you.