The Instigator
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1 Points
The Contender
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0 Points

Workaholism can't make society happy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,524 times Debate No: 26604
Debate Rounds (2)
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Votes (1)




This is my first debate. The first question i would like to ask is what makes people happy? What is happiness itself? Many philosohphers and scientists have been studying it for thousands of years. Aristotle once said, "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human exitence?" In the 21st century for the majority of people reaching success in a workplace, being flush of money happen to become the main goal and the source of happiness. To achive money and success, many people seem to cross the line of hard working into workaholism, sacrificing their health and people whom they love for job. But do they become happy after losing people whom they love and destroying their health? I don't think so. Even though many people define happiness in terms of achieving success and financial and materialistic measures, i argue that there are more bad consiquenses of overworking such as destroction of family, destruction of health which finally leaves people unhappy.


Firstly, congratulations for formulating your first debate.

What is happiness? There is no clear commitment therein as to what happiness is. By the Aristotelian description above, a pseudo definition can be derived as to what you are trying to claim. Happiness not so much a state of being but the measure by which one travels from from point A to point B. An example of the application of this definition would be, " My parents and I agree I need to go to college. " I can go to college and study what I want, or I can go study what would make parents pleased." At first glance via this application studying what one want's sounds like the path for happiness. The issue is, this approach when interrupting this has no set definition. Would studying a subject make him immediately happy? Would the happiness remain? What if satisfaction in ones work to please the desires of their parents leads to happiness? With the current definition, an actual debate cannot be derived.

I would argue that happiness be redefined as to a state of being gained from one's actions. Ayn Rand said, "Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. "
I would pose that happiness is an issue to be dealt with at an individual level. You post that individual actions can damage a collective unit. I concede that to be true. I argue if one does not follow desires and have personal hope in the actions they take, they can never be happy. If they can not be happy on a individual level, the collective unit formed is doomed to failure. The idea of loosing everything in a collective group from over working, isn't what leads to unhappiness, but is the unfortunate consequence of not reaching an individual level of happiness first.

My response to your debate is as follows. You state that happiness can be found in the collective, I would restate one can be happy inside of a collective unit such as a family, and one could derive strength from a collective as well. Happiness is found by the individual and what the individual finds and strives for could be personal or could related to a collective it is impossible to know what would drive every single human. This said, some may become workaholics because a collective they are in is making life difficult to be happy in. This leading to the inevitable conclusion that the collective would fail. There has been no reason stated to lead one to believe the individual couldn't gain happiness, or in fact wouldn't have a better chance at it now. The BOP for that falls upon you, the affirmative "pro". I disagree with the statement that workaholics couldn't gain happiness. A workaholic could very well be happy.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for such a detailed responce.

Firstly, I agree with what you've stated, there can't be defined the exact meaning of happiness as it's a very abstract concept and each person understands it in his or her own way. But the issue whether overworking leads to happiness or not still remains. I think you didn't understand what I mean. According to Melissa Campeau(2011), the term "workaholic" was coined by Wayne Oates in 1968. A workaholic person was described as one whose "work has become so excessive that it disturbs or interferes with his bodily health, personal happiness, interpersonal relations, and social functioning".

Secondly, I don't see clear arguments that would prove your position. You said that happiness is something individual and its impossible to what would drive each person. I partly agree, but still, I'm sure most of people would answer family, people whom they love and finally health. People who work for about 14 hours a day, almost 70 hours a week can't feel well. The term overworking can also be assumed as an actual addiction. The word workaholic itself has a negative meaning, actually the same as alcoholics. People who married with work, think only about their work as alcoholics who also can't help drinking alcohol, in the end both of them finish not only with alienation of close people, but also with troubles connected with health. Is that really good for gaining happiness?

Finally, if workaholics tend to report psychological health complaints, lower psychological well-being, lower self-acceptance than those who are not workaholics, their level of happiness is obviously in jeopardy, as well as the happiness of people around them.


Framed in the way of workaholism being a disability and an impedance on ones quality of life, then we are in complete agreement. I can't debate workaholism in this framework.

All I can argue is, hope. I know in the professionalism of debate I can't justify this with hardened facts but I can support it with experience.

I maybe 23 years old, but I was brought up from very poor family. I did amazing in school, but when it came to college, there simply wasn't enough money. I put myself into debt just to gain a higher education. I would spend significantly more than 70 hours a week studying and being involved (Physics and Mathematics). I did it and dealt with the stress simply because of the hope that things will pay off. Now, I work over 90 hours a week just to pay off the debt I'm in. The only things I currently use my free time on is to workout and mess around on the internet. Maybe for someone who has gained a degree of a decent quality of life, being a workaholic is a bad thing. For people without, working and being a workaholic is sometimes the only means in which we have to maintain hope. Having hope gives me a certain degree of happiness.

Do I often find myself questioning is it worth it, sure. At the same rate, I know if I stop, this delicate house of cards I have built would come crashing down and then I wouldn't even have hope.

I am forfeiting this debate, based upon the above framework. In the above framing, we are in full agreement.
Debate Round No. 2
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by philochristos 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's claim to be forfeiting the debate in the last round made on sense because he gave arguments in the last round. Both parties need to work on their grammar, but Pro had a slight edge and used better punctuation. Both sides used sources, but neither side cited their sources. Either one of you could've won that part just by citing your sources. Arguments were about equal, although Con persuaded me to hold my original opinion with less conviction.