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human have the ability to feel agape;(pure love) for another non bloodline related human.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,124 times Debate No: 36788
Debate Rounds (3)
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Storytellers have told story's of agape; lovers or soul mates loyal beyond the norm throughout recorded history. A excellent example is "Romeo and Juliet" to focus on a key point of that story the ending as both lovers take their own lives as the realize the other has expired.
In my opinion that captures the self sacrifice and devotion of agape(pure love), but this is only a story.

agape; is described as pure love and devotion to someone or something placing a greater value on what ever or who ever it is than ones own life.

My position in this debate is on unsteady ground as I have neither experienced or seen this love in the real world, But I feel it is entirely possible for a human to value another above themselves.

I first supporting fact is "Patriotism" if a patriot can feel love for his country deep enough to be willing to sacrifice them self for it then is it beyond belief that a lover could love his or her partner deeply enough to do the same.

my second supporting fact is from the animal kingdom males in the animal kingdom will fight to the death to protect their mate what greater sacrifice is there than your life, and humans are only more advanced animals in the end we would be capable of anything a animal is.

My own thoughts on the idea could be summarized as a extreme risk that a human is unwilling, but able take.
As placing such a high value on a dynamic(the complexity of the human mind and the frailty of the human body) that is in the end outside the their own ability to protect. Losing this dynamic would leave them fatally injured (mentally). while Romeo and Juliet's actions were to end their own lives this is not a required action in the direct sense as one can live without self value, but the the regret of their own perceived failure would remain for the rest of their life.

I welcome anyone that feels they can make a strong case to the contrary.

A few rules of this debate
1. Any form of existence beyond death can not be proved or disproved so I would prefer it if both sides avoid using related statements.

2.Due to the high probability of a negative romantic relationship personal experience should be avoided.

3. The biological basis of love is only a theory as such using it to support either side is ill advised.


Dear opponent, you just presented the question "is it possible for a human to value another above themselves?" and you just gave a real case in this world were the phenomena happened so I don't think it is a debatable issue anymore,and I don't think it is a matter of " is it possible " anymore because yes it is possible and it will be discussed in our debate.. but I think the more important question is "why they do it " rather then "can they do it" because of course they can under many world facts.
We humans behave and are characterized in a specific form due to all detailed circumstances that we didn't choose for our self's such as birth country , traditions, religion , events that had an a huge impression to our lives , and in addition to education and much more things that we don't actually choose, thus we become the human beings we are today and everything we do is due to some reason or some past impression we had on the topic so we act according to this title.
The sentence you stated "the complexity of the human mind and the frailty of the human body " is true and it does tell us that studying a human behavior is possible but to a certain level because some random ideas pop into someone's mind and the idea is sometimes considered random and random is an issue far away from science so we are able to study the human behavior to a certain limits because of the randomness that is in the system .
Now to build your ideology towards this you will have too kinds of mentality and both can't be proved right or wrong because it is a matter of choice, thinking, and attitude.
the first type of people will do it and will sacrifice their lives in the name of love and will put others in front of themselves in importance and they will do it for many reasons : first reason because they think the ultimate way in giving life a meaning is through love and sacrifice and if a person gives his life in order to save others it will be the golden form of humanity and power, other of the same kind do it in the name of religion (imitating Christ when he died to forgive people ) , others live in a culture were sacrifice is the best thing a person can do so you can see it is largely emotional act . And they will eventually do it and it is possible.
the second type of people will rationalize it and when you rationalize such emotional topic it will be considered petty to sacrifice because such types of people think that a person is granted life for one time and under all conditions a life should be maintained and protected, so they wont do it because they value one's own life more than everything .
So the issue here is a matter of how a person sees it and it is a ratio of thinking and emotions is what make this sacrifice possible or not.
I personally don't think I can sacrifice myself for another person but if something happened and my anger reached an uncontrollable level I might do it but with an objective mind with no pressure I say I don't do it because love is relative and non-stable and changes from a person to person and at the end it is a matter who you see it now how it is known because sacrifice and love are experiences not theories
Debate Round No. 1


You are quite right sir, but for one small detail. what is being debated is not directly the ability to value another over oneself, But the ability to do so based on agape(deep love). My 2 point approach was to point out that 1. humans are able to value others more than themselves, and 2. animals often do so for a mate. Thus humans being part of the animal kingdom would potentially be able to meet the requirements of Agape.

Agape is not simple love, but rather a specific type of Intentional love with very little variation. it requires one to devote their very existence to the focus of the love. This love is neither based on sexual attraction or blood relation, but rather the knowledge of the core of a person(their true nature). This type of love is often in story's portrayed with extreme self sacrifice(giving ones own life), but the self sacrifice means to give at a cost to oneself.

A Picture a man or woman exiting a place of low pay employment who then stops and gives some money to a beggar. This is self sacrifice in a less intense sense, But this is more likely based on pity or sympathy than love for the beggar. For later use this person will be called Human A.

But let us look at that same scene from the eyes of a close friend of Human A, and this person will be called Human B. For this example human B knows human A down to the core(true self) but is not romantically involved with Human A. A key point to make clear is human B has a healthy self value and need for self preservation and owes nothing to Human A.

Lets say both Human A, and B are crossing a street as a speeding car makes a sudden turn into their path. Human A in position to be hit with no time to move out of the way while human B is far enough behind to see the car making the turn with enough time to push Human A out of the way, but will have no time to get out of the way them self. There are 2 clear outcome's here logical self preservation, Or a illogical self sacrifice(injury, and risk of death). I have never seen it myself, but if the latter option were chosen within these conditions the motive would be agape(pure love of the true nature of a thing). This is a rather extreme example of how agape affection may be shown, and a theory of how this affection might be formed.

The Human Mind is very logical, but Logic is learned. A few static traits in a healthy human mind worth naming for this debate.
1. The need for self preservation.
2. A high self value, or value of ones life.
3. The ability to value traits of objects, animals, and fellow humans.

I myself could not sacrifice myself for any person I have met, But this is due to the lack of value I have for many common traits in society today. Hypothetically if I knew a person who did not have these traits and had traits I feel are of value I would easily be able to sacrifice myself for that person if there were a situation with no other option. But this hardly proves my case.

If are you claiming it is irrational to protect, and support something you deeply love I must disagree, but I will agree that deep love is irrational in the sense that many people feel deep affection for people that treat them poorly, or do not feel affection for those that treat them well.

In closing I can not make this clear enough agape is not a sexual lust it is a affection, respect, and devotion for the true nature of something. In a human this would not only be the way they think, but the reasons why they think as they do. This does not require a romantic relationship, and is a unconditional affection as it is based on the core aspects of the focus which are unchangeable.

I used the statement "the complexity of the human mind and the frailty of the human body" to explain the risk of placing another human above oneself. The complexity of the human mind allows for unexpected betrayal which would cause great emotional pain for one who has placed such great value on the betrayer. while the frailty of the human body is to show the risk of losing those focus of ones dedication due to injury or illness again leaving the the dedicated in immense emotional pain. The fear attached to these risks add to the rarity of agape in human to human relationships, but fear does not easily dissuade all humans.

Idea's are never random, but many choose to not disclose, or are not aware of the source of many of their own strange ideas.


Dear Pro, I read your round 2 writing, and I really appreciate the way you think regarding this topic, but let me just focus on a couple of ideas, and develop them in brief.
1--you said " animals often do so for a mate. Thus humans being part of the animal kingdom would potentially be able to meet the requirements of Agape " which you seem to relate human behavior to animals on a large scale which is something you know is not very true regarding many standards .
a-- Animals have instincts that limits them from a lot of choices to make, and they actually do what they are expected to do, and meant to do, because they are 90 % programmed to do so with highly predictable outcome humans are programmed too, but to a very small level, and the proof is the diversity of human thoughts, behavior, and choice making which is something you don't quite see in animals some times animals sacrifice them selves for food which is a petty actions so the comparison between humans, and animals you mentioned to back up your theory is somehow lame and especially in this domain.
b--The theory you presented concerning the ability to sacrifice in the name of pure pure deep love is highly considered a moral action in some philosophical points of view and research papers towards the animal behavior states that only humans have morality not animals so if they do it they have a high chance it is their instincts, not pure deep love for their partner [1].

So the comparison between Humans and animals is not applicable in our case

I would like to note that you mentioned "Idea's are never random, but many choose to not disclose, or are not aware of the source of many of their own strange ideas." and I just want to tell you concerning this theory that yes sometimes ideas that lead to actions are random with the proof of asking a question like this one "are you able to know what are your actions going to be under a certain high pressure such as a near death experience ? " and the answer is of course not, because the first thing that is probably random that will come to your mind you will do it because you have no other choice but to do something .So if you study it on a small realistic scale yes ideas are sometimes random under certain pressure and the sacrifice to happen then the theme should include pressure.

Dealing with the second part of the issue which asks the question "is human sacrifice based on agape possible ? "
and in briefly yes it is possible, but to see it clearly you must understand human behavior and its characteristics because agape is a human action based on many things and sometimes if circumstances or education or culture made a person value love more then it should be valued he might give his life for others , he also might do it for strangers because he was educated to build himself in this way.
In brief this issue is very very relative and each case is different from another so you can't make any theories in this field because you and I know that humans are not stable and each case have a lot to speak and inform for itself in order to know exactly why this sacrifice happened but at the end anything is possible.

Debate Round No. 2


I must agree that humans are much more self aware than lesser animals, But disagree with your statement about human's being less programmed than animals. The Prefrontal cortex(part of the brain that allows conscious thought) in humans is far more developed allowing us to consider and plan our actions far more than any other animal, But this ability does not change the fact that the motives are very similar in so much that we are still slaves to our instincts. Hunger is a need to sustain life, and many humans have sacrificed themselves in the pursuit of food which is very much the pursuit of life, hardly a petty reason in my mind.

Statement B would depend on your definition of morality. In my experience with dogs if you take care of them they will go out of their way to attempt to protect you. This in my mind is a effort to repay a act of kindness which is a moral action.

Actually I can very accurately predict my actions in any give "near death experience" as long as the context available.
First I'm going to realize my life is in danger.
Next would to make a plan be based on my previously gained knowledge related to the situation.
Finally it would be time to act, Using the closest comparable experience I have to what ever the situation is I will attempt to prevent my death, or injury.

This has been the course of my own though in my own near death experience's which is hardly random as the key element remains preserving my life and possessions.

"if circumstances or education or culture made a person value love more then it should be valued" while psychologically romantic love should come second to oneself, Agape is not simple romantic love as I have stated already it is not a romantic obsession. In order to feel agape you are required to have a healthy value of your own life, agape is a Chosen feeling for something you feel has greater value, in these scenario that "something" is a fellow human.
In psychologically terms agape would be both unhealthy for the fact that it threatens your self preservation ability, And healthy for the fact that it shows value of other life rather than a selfish nature.

It comes down to one question "what value does a single life have" death will claim that life sooner or later, But if that life belonged to a human, and that human felt agape for a doctor who had knowledge that could be used for the benefit of mankind. Then is it unhealthy for the first human to be willing to give their life to save the doctor's potentially saving many of the human race?
I cant say if this feeling is healthy or unhealthy but what is being debated is if this form of dedication is possible between one human and a single other human.


I'm going to comment briefly on what is said in round 2 and I'm going to develop some points and finish my argument , thus my debate.
First of all you said that I'm wrong that humans are less programmed then animals because our motives are actually the same and that we are slaves to our instincts which is something wrong because humans have a pure and high ability to cross and high above their instincts, while animals are always expected because they can not pass their instincts so ounce you study their instincts you can know them and expect them very commonly,thus comparison between animals and humans in this domain is false.
Second thing I want to mention briefly is that dogs and I mean all dogs are programmed to defend their owner and die for him not because they are moral but because their instincts force them to do so.So their instincts force them to do such moral action and that doesn't mean they are moral since animals have no sense of morality as stated in the research paper earlier.
Third point you said the steps you would do if you faced a near-death experience and I must say two things here.
1-you can't give your own experience as evidence to a theory that requires objectivity.
2-I don't think a person have tried an sacrifice due to agape and lived to face another one so he can use his previously experience in the scene because it is mainly a one thing experience such as death.In addition I must say that if you think you know what are you going to do then your wrong since no body knows how can he act under high pressure.
My fourth point is in the sentence that you stated " agape is a Chosen feeling for something you feel has greater value" which hold a contradiction because you must know that we don't choose what to feel and you should be sure that a person doesn't choose for himself what to feel so it is not a matter of choice ,and never will be.
Now for my closing statement I should say that feeling or the ability to sacrifice one's self for another due to love is as I think of it, is an action based on how this person is raised and what kind of knowledge did this person had in his early life in this field so that he can tell people why he believe that it is the right thing to do , because it must be something that passed in the life of this person that made him choose such a choice or such a belief, or make him feel like doing it.
Thank you for this debate it was good to hear what you think towards issues, and good luck!
Debate Round No. 3
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