The Instigator
livinthelife
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

it is morally permissible to kill one innocent life to save more innocent lives

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/25/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,950 times Debate No: 5143
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

livinthelife

Pro

Derived from a society where the majority rules and the greatest good is strived for, a mentality is created that in essence upholds the practice and belief of a ends justifies means based community. Where ones sole value is utilitarianism, supported through the ideas of a value criterion of total consequentilism. As it pertains to the following resolution It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people I stand here before you today in the strongest affirmation. As a brief road map the following will be addressed throughout the duration of my speech: total net good, morality, war, and the distinction between deontology and consequentilism.

However Before I continue anymore the following must be defined.
My value of utilitarianism is essentially the idea of the greatest good for the greatest number of people
My VC of Total consequentialism being- the moral rightness depends only on the total net good in the consequence as opposed to the average net good per person
AS well as the definition of morality- The quality of an action which renders it good
Danielle

Con

Thanks for the debate!

Some clarifications...

1) Nowhere in the resolution nor in R1 was it specified that this was an LD debate, so I do not have to argue it as such (abide by standard LD debate style).

2) Although Pro has introduced a value and a value criterion in R1, he has not yet made any arguments in favor of such. Thus I may begin this debate by offering my own contentions without having to refute any of Pro's points (as he did not elaborate on utalitarianism or total consequentialism other than providing definitions).

3) I'm assuming at this point that there is a mutual understanding of the concept that killing, in general, is wrong (as in morally impermissible).

4) I ask that this debate exclude any blatant ties with religion and hope that my opponent agrees.

5) The resolution assumes that there is no way to save the lives of the other individuals without killing the one innocent individual.

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If one understands that killing is immoral, then killing has to always be immoral regardless of the circumstances. For instance, if one defends the immorality of killing by stating that it's wrong because it robs a person of their livelihood, than to say it would be okay to kill someone if [enter reason here] is justified would be hypocritical. Either way, regardless of the circumstance, someone is being robbed of their livelihood which we have already established is immoral.

That said, if one was in a position in which a moral decision must be made, he or she would have to consider whom they were answering to. Dismissing the existence of any deities in this debate, it is logical to conclude that one must answer to one's own conscience in terms of this moral decision. In that case, the only morally permissible thing to do would be obliging the fact that killing is wrong, and choose not to act immorally by taking one's life.

Assuming that Pro does in fact use total consequentilism in his defense, we must recall his definition of the term - the total net good in the consequence (of the action). If we accept this, we must accept the reality that Pro nor I nor the agent in our example (the one who must make the decision) can ever ultimately know what the consequence of his choice would be. All we do know in this situation is that killing is immoral and therefore killing another individual can not be morally permissible. Permissible, yes, and probably even logical (in this situation). However moral it is not.

Further on the idea of consequences, we must take two more important considerations into account. First, I'd like to elaborate on the fact that we cannot be sure of the future or of one's future moral endeavors. Next, it's important to keep in mind that the death of the individuals - whether it's one or several - will not affect the individuals themselves, but rather the loved ones that they leave behind.

With my first point, Pro's contention of total consequentialism is dismantled. He might wish to prove that the consequence of saving more than one is greater than the consequence of only saving one, however, there is no way for this to be proven true. Say Pro saves 3 individuals but kills 1. The one he killed may have cured cancer while the 3 he saved may go on to molest children. Therefore the act of saving in itself as a good thing cannot be a factor, unless you want to consider the act of killing in itself to be wrong as a factor too. In that case, the immorality of killing supercedes the consequence of 3 random lives spared.

My second point reminds us that these deaths affect the people who are still living; those left behind experience pain at the loss of a loved one. Now let us assume that Persons 1 - 3 have a combined total of 30 people who would be absolutely devastated if they were to pass away. The person who would be killed happens to come from a big family, and is incredibly beloved within the community. As a result, he alone would have a total of 40 people who would be crushed if he were to die. So in this instance, by letting the 3 innocent people die, only 30 people would be seriously affected. By letting 1 innocent person die to spare Persons 1 - 3, 40 people would be inconsolable instead of just 30. If this were the case, we (so to speak) would be ‘better off' letting 3 people die in the place of 1, to spare the feelings and overall mood/negative actions or energy/output of 40 people.

Whew.

I'll let Pro take over from here...
Debate Round No. 1
livinthelife

Pro

i want to start off first by apologizing to the poorly constructed layout of my first speech i am new to this and was not sure as to what to include however will do my best to keep the round interesting from here on

As a brief roadmap i will clarify my own case, while extending certain key points and then move on to the attack of my opponents

First regardless of the fact that i simply just layed out my points rather then elaborating on them the initial ideas should still be flowed throughout the round for there significance is of vital interest to this debate. For example my whole claim by affirming is to base my society off of a utilitarian based jurisdiction, with ideas such as an ends justifies means based mentality being present. With that said it leads into my point of clarification in response to my opponents claim regarding the affirmative being in charge of killing what my opponent fails to understand is that either way on either side people are going to get killed as a result of the end decision so what you need to refer to is a quantitative number. My opponent clearly expresses interest in the idea of quantity due to the pure logic she keeps bringing up in regards to the victims family's. however what she fails to take into consideration is the reality/actuallity behind such a cliam. my opponents sole contentions are based off of nothing other then ASSUMPTIONS that are used in a way of favoring her side. if i were to do the same all i would have to say is well three heads are better then one so the chance that the three people i save could cure cancer is of a much heigher percentage then but a mere one, as well as the whole family claim. Its safer to assume that a larger group of people have a combined total of way more relatives then but a mere one. however the point being since all of this is hypothetical its point should be non releveant in the round. which makes one have to look to the affirfitive side. for i will now supply you with actual logic and practicallity. As for my war claim the way i look at it as as follows if by negating you are essentially saying that every combatant in every war ever fought commited an immoral act. wars are ment to protect the majority of its peopel at the expense of innocent being killed for the greater good. SO you must refer to this real world example for it is the only warranted evidence/claim brought up throughout the entire round. so in conclusion my idea of a util based society should still stand the reason of total consequentialism supporting it should still stand for it only makes sense as well as my contentoins pertaing to war and
morals should still stand

thank you
Danielle

Con

I will respond to R2 by selecting my opponent's main ideas and then refuting them as I go along...

"First regardless of the fact that i simply just layed out my points rather then elaborating on them the initial ideas should still be flowed throughout the round for there significance is of vital interest to this debate."

--> Actually, no, Pro has the burden of elaborating on any point that he wishes to be addressed, especially if he believes the point to be in his favor. Why should any points based on utalitarianism, for instance, be granted to him in the round, if he did not elaborate or explain why that criterion applied to his case? Regardless of how important that idea may be to his debate, Pro has the responsibility of explaining why and how in order to get people to understand his idea. Pro failed to accomplish this in R1, however, has the ability to make his points in later rounds.

"what my opponent fails to understand is that either way on either side people are going to get killed as a result of the end decision so what you need to refer to is a quantitative number."

--> No, I understand that either 1 or 3 people are going to die. However, I have pointed out that killing in general is wrong, whether it be killing 1 or killing 3. I have also pointed out that in terms of a moral outcome, there is no way to tell that saving 3 is more preferable than saving 1. What if the 3 people were immoral or better yet just ordinary citizens, whereas the 1 person that Pro is suggesting we sacrifice is a Mother Theresa type character who would do an insurmountable amount of good for society? In that case, Pro's argument of the greatest good for the greatest number would be dismantled, as in saving this 1 person would be better for society as opposed to saving 3.

"my opponents sole contentions are based off of nothing other then ASSUMPTIONS that are used in a way of favoring her side."

--> True, and I agree. However likewise, all of Pro's points are based on assumptions as well (that saving 3 people will automatically generate the most moral outcome for the greater good of society). I have established how this presumption is unwarranted.

"by negating you are essentially saying that every combatant in every war ever fought commited an immoral act."

--> This is a completely abusive statement, as it barely pertains to the resolution at all. It's also a statement drawing on sympathy and dripping with manipulation -- nobody has ever said that soldiers have done immoral things. If Pro wishes to use war as an example in his defense, he should introduce the topic and explain it thoroughly rather than going into a mini tirade that is completely unwarranted. He has not explained how warfare pertains to the topic, and if he had, I would refute it effectively. Be prepared, however, that even the subject of war does not rise above my point that killing is inherently immoral, even if your government brainwashes you to think otherwise... more about this later (if my opponent chooses to bring it up).

"so in conclusion my idea of a util based society should still stand the reason of total consequentialism supporting it should still stand for it only makes sense as well as my contentoins pertaing to war and
morals should still stand"

--> I disagree. Pro has not made and certainly not won any arguments in this round nor in R1, especially on the grounds of either his value or value criterion. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in R3. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
livinthelife

Pro

livinthelife forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Because my opponent has forfeited the final round, I'll end my argument by highlighting some important reasons to vote CON:

1. Pro introduced ideas such as utalitaianism, for example, but did not elaborate on those ideas until R2, which gave me the advantage of arguing against that philosophy before Pro even had a chance to begin. His lack of rebuttal in R3 only establishes that this point goes to me.

2. I showed how Pro's argument of the greatest good for the greatest number of people cannot be factually demonstrated by his advocation of killing 1 to save the few. He had no response.

3. Pro very briefly introduced the concept of war in R2. However, he did not elaborate on this issue in the slightest, and therefore did not use it to help his case. Thus it should not be considered at all whatsoever in the debate.

4. Overall, I stand by my R2 assertion that Pro did not make and certainly did not win any arguments in the previous rounds, especially on the grounds of either his value or value criterion. Thus a vote for Con would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 5 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
I might be interested in re-arguing this topic with you... but first a question...

Suppose you are faced with a situation where action A will save 5 lives, and action B will save only 1. Non-action will certainly lead to the death of all 3, and there is no way to act in a manner as to save all three. Would you say that actions A and B are of equal moral import? If so, by what criteria would you evaluate a moral right?
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Clear Con win. Good job Lwerd. Cya around.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
It might sound familiar because I used pretty much 90% of the arguments that I did the first time I argued this debate as Con...
Posted by livinthelife 8 years ago
livinthelife
explain to me how this is easy for neg i think the aff has the advantage
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
This is so easy for the neg to win if you have any common sense...like most NFL topics the Aff has the more work to do.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
lol, nice case Lwerd. ^^ Sounds familiar.
Posted by numa 8 years ago
numa
pfg should be next getting banned, since he is running around on everyone's debates and calling them dykes and stupid and morons etc
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Yay! water123s-Mother (alt of water123) is also banned!
Posted by water123s-Mother 8 years ago
water123s-Mother
PublicForumG has a crush on the Lwerd.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
First of all, PublicForumFool, your obsession with me is borderline creepy. I have no idea why you troll my profile and make it a point to comment on every one of my debates, none of which are even finished/posted. You seriously have some issues and I'd prefer if you took this up with your HS guidance counselor instead of wasting my/readers time. Oh - and who are you calling a dyke? Seltz's profile says he is a MALE... your intelligence (or lack thereof) astounds me. Seriously.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
livinthelifeDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
livinthelifeDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter to f16's counter
Vote Placed by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
livinthelifeDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07