The Instigator
TheShadeM
Pro (for)
The Contender
IHaveTerribleOpinions
Con (against)

We regret that acts of kindness are made viral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 398 times Debate No: 102394
Debate Rounds (4)
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TheShadeM

Pro

Short debate. 2000 characters and 24 hours per round.

First round is acceptance.

Viral: an image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet.

Good luck! :)
IHaveTerribleOpinions

Con

Hello, I noticed your challenge and I figured it would be fun to argue a small topic such as this one! Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
TheShadeM

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate.

There are many acts of kindness which we are capable of in our day-to-day lives. Paying for the next car's toll fees, helping an elderly person cross the road, returning a person's wallet that they accidentally left on the table, are just some examples of acts of chivalry which are already applauded in our societies. We recognise these actions because they are manifestations of good traits to have inside of us like truthfulness and giving without the intention of receiving; values which we try to ingrain into our children.

Nowadays however, every action a person does whether good or bad has the potential of ending up on social media and spread to the world.

When acts of kindness are made viral, the person's intention of altruism is eroded. What was originally selflessness, is now tainted with pride for being a famous 'kind' person. EVEN IF, there was no intention to be viral, the subsequent momentary fame the person receives programs them into thinking that the highest reward for kindness is to be popular.

This sets a precedent, not only on the person but throughout society that the best part about being kind is the potential to be known by thousands or even millions. My opponent may argue that there is nothing wrong with that because we are encouraging these acts and so these acts will increase in magnitude. However, I believe this is not the question we should be asking. What we should be asking is what was the original intent in the first place. The original intention of any good action must always be from an awareness in one's self to do good. It should not come from an ulterior motive for some arbitrary reward.

When there is some reward for an action, the goal of the action no longer becomes to do good but to gain the rewards from being good. Fame, followers and popularity. We already live in a world where people are so materialistic. We fear that viral acts of kindness are only swelling this problem.
IHaveTerribleOpinions

Con

I notice that the main argument you say is that the idea of kindness should come from the heart rather than the idea of getting famous, and videos going viral would taint that idea. However, I disagree. People who do things for the purpose of being kind are rarely going to completely change their mindset on something purely because they got something out of it, even if they do it really goes to show they're not that kind of a person in the first place.

If people start doing acts of kindness for the idea that they're going to be famous then if they don't succeed the first time then they'll probably give up. The people who give up in the first place are the people who wanted to be famous and weren't even doing true acts of kindness anyway.

If anything, acts of kindness usually spread a philosophy about something. For example, a man who built houses for homeless people did it so that he could simply give people homes. Even after he got famous he continued doing it, not because he was famous but because he cared. He didn't spread the idea that kindness equals popularity but instead he revealed how much the homeless were hated by their own communities and how much they needed help.

The Free Riders is another example. They never knew they were going to be famous but still almost died trying to prove a point. They're still known today because they showed selflessness and bravery even in the threat of dying. They blurred lines between races purely because it was what they believed.

Even if we are setting forth the idea of a treat when you do something good, it still encourages kindness. It shows that you won't be forgotten by history but only if you perform acts of true kindness rather than doing something for your own gain. To say that people as a whole are greedy is generalizing people greatly, some people just get inspired by what others do. The idea of kindness is not being squandered, I think it's just becoming an example of what we should be doing.
Debate Round No. 2
TheShadeM

Pro

My opponent raises a few good arguments. Mainly, they said that people who are doing acts of kindness for their own motives will most probably 'drop out' of their efforts when they don't or maybe haven't received much for it.

However, I would like to remind my opponent that the motion in today's debate is simply that we regret or that we would prefer that acts of kindness are not made viral. The motion is not about the true intentions of each and every persons' act of kindness. The distinction between the two must be highlighted.

By making acts of kindness viral, we are opening up an avenue or an opportunity for people with less-than-desirable motives to chase their own personal goals under the guise of being altruistic. These come in the forms of 'likes', 'followers' etc. We have already discussed (and I think agreed) that this is detrimental to the society. Sure, there are always exceptions and people cannot be generalised. Certainly there are always people on the opposite side of the spectrum.

As my opponent has already mentioned, the truly kind people will carry on their actions whether or not they are made viral or they achieve fame. This is all the more reason for us to not have to make viral the organisations, movements or even "on-the-spot" actions that showcase kindness. If we do so, we are not proving anything. The truly kind people will carry on being kind anyway. Most of the charity movements are already much publicised in the newspapers anyway. So when something is made viral, it is probably rarely the case that the viewer's reaction will be "oh, I'm going to emulate that just to be kind" but will most probably be "oh, I want to do that too so that I will appear in someone's video".

I don't think that most people would actually need "examples" on social media to help them identify what kindness looks like. It is pretty much inherent in all of us and most if not all school institutions around the world instil these values in children.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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