The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Phoenix61397
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

the golden rule in application is not clear

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Phoenix61397
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 58805
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

do unto others as you'd have them do unto you

the golden rule is not clear

my thoughts are not very organized. maybe after a few debates they will be better.

if it is clear, what are the guiding principles that can determine how to act in accordance with it?

some intervention v deferrence hypotheticals:
-someone is setting of fireworks close to the road, but it's debatable if it's too close. alternatively, someone is setting off fireworks with people around, but it's debateable if there's too many people around. alternatively, someone is staying too close to the fireworks debateably. some people say these situations are not debateable. so even if it's debateable is debateable, or at least debated.
-someone looks at porn, which at least amongst Christians is usually considered wrong.
-someone doesn't eat meat cause they think it's immoral.
-someone cuts himself for kicks.
-an adult male has man love with a seventeen year old male. greeks had man love with boys and men, and society accepted it. is a one year difference and the cultural phenomenons going on here going to change things?
-what about those who: smoke cigarettes, marijuama, drink, does cocaine.... and then the varying degrees of usage. or those who eat arguably too much.
in which cases does an outsider intervene, and in which cases does the outsider defer to the person? if it's debatable about how to approach the situation, then you have to formulate your own philsophy, which means it'd vary by the person, which ultimately means the rule isn't really that clear.

many people would want themselves deferred to if they are doing something questionable. then they might want intervened against for extreme situations if they are seen as clearly wrong. but how do you know which is which, and what if another person would want to never be intervened against? you couldtake the philosophy that you personally might intervened against despite the fact that the other person doesn't want intervened against..... or you could take the philsophy of complete deferrence to the other's wishes, even though you'd want intervened against. so how is this rule clear if whether or not to act is purely up to the individual?
and how is 'as they would have done unto you' clear, when you could base it on if the other person was you, or if you based on more on the fact that they aren't you?

and sometimes it might be such that i would call it debateable, but another wouldn't. do you act based on your own perceptions of what's debateable, or seek some more objective source?
plus there's objective and subjective things to consider. some people might view certain acts as okay, but society and pretty objectively, their acts are not okay. so when do we defer to their subjective reality, versus the objective nature of the situation?

or, what about selling cars. some might say it's the other persons obligation to find any flaws and sell as is, but another might say a person whould be forthright with the information. do you just base it on your own desire or expectations if ou were in that situation?
Phoenix61397

Con

The golden rule is an extremely clear cut statement. Since my opponent has not provided a definition of "clear", I will.

Clear
- easy to perceive, understand, or interpret. [1]

This definition is an unsubjective one. My opponent claims that because they do not understand the boundaries of the Golden Rule, it is not clear. This is a subjective way of looking at it. If I can prove that it is easy to understand the Golden Rule, I win this debate.

My opponent, in this debate, claims that if the Golden Rule has a subjective nature, it is unclear. They, in essence, say that the Golden Rule is based on a subjective interpretation of objective moral codes. If we cannot interpret moral codes correctly, or do not know whether to intervene, the rule is "confusing". However, my opponent misunderstands and overthinks what the Golden Rule is.

The Golden Rule, in essence, is an empathy technique [2]. It is not intended as a direct moral code by which people can interpret. It gets people to consider the needs of others by using the thing they most understand, themself. It is a guideline rather than a code. The premise is clear-cut. Only treat others how you want to be treated. Basically, and quite simply, if you would like to be treated a certain way, then treat others that way.

The situations presented by my opponent can be much more easily solved by the Golden Rule than other forms of ethics. No objective codes need be consulted, one does not need to overthink the Golden Rule and wonder if they should intervene or not. If one is using the Golden Rule as their ethical guide, there is only one question they need ask themself: "If I was that person, how would I want to be treated?" For instance, if Person A would like Person B else to step in and intervene if they took drugs, then, using the Golden Rule, they should intervene if Person B was taking them. My opponent entangles the Rule with other codes of ethics, and then claims it is unclear. I ask my opponent to consider only the rule, and nothing else.

The Golden Rule itself is in no way confusing, and is probably the simplest and clearest way to deal with ethics. Is it always correct? Probably not, it is subjective. But does subjectivity make it an unclear rule? No. It is effective in what it does, providing empathy. Therefore the Golden Rule is easy to perceive: one can easily perceive treating others how they wish to be treated. It is easy to understand: just think about how you wish to be treated. It is also easy to interpret, unless you do not understand how you wish to be treated, which, honestly, is not a problem with the Golden Rule itself, but a psychological problem. Therefore its entire premise is clear, and so the Golden Rule is clear.

[1] http://www.google.com... definition
[2] http://www.emotionalcompetency.com...

Thanks, and back to you.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

con first argues the golden rule is clear, but he is only referring in that instance that the rule is stated clearly. i agree with that. that's why i said 'in application' in the opening statement, it's not clear.

con does a lot of 'it's clear but what you do is ask how you would want to be treated'. it's self evident but doesn't really get into how to choose the right approach of various ones, such as the ones i listed above.

maybe instead of disorganized mess of ideas as i gave in the opening post, i will give a hypothetical.

for example. John is doing cocaine, and only dabbles in it and views it as nondebateably harmless in the bigger picture. Bob thinks any cocaine use is going too far, and is not debatable to say otherwise. Bob personally would want someone to invervene if he was doing cocaine. on the other hand, Bob also would want people to respect his wishes on things he sees as debateably okay or nondebateable.

does Bob intervene, based on the fact that he'd want intervened with on cocaine use, especially given he personally sees it as undebateably not okay? or does he respect John's wishes given John must at least view cocaine use as at least debateably to nondebateably okay?

reliance on the golden rule doesn't really direct how to approach it. it admittedly gives you food for thought and directs you in a laudable way in general, but how to respond isn't so clear cut.
Phoenix61397

Con

Thanks for the argument.

It has become quite clear through this debate that by "clarity" my opponent means "moral effectiveness". The Golden Rule provides a fairly subjective moral guideline, and my opponent has conceded that the Golden Rule gives moral guidelines. This debate really comes down to the rigidness of these guidelines. The Golden Rule is fairly simple in definition: Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated. This comes down to placing yourself in the position of the other person. I'll take my opponent's example.

Bob places himself in John's position, feeling what he would if he was John. This is called empathy, the basic idea shown in the Golden Rule. Bob imagines himself in a situation where something was debatably ok to him, as it is to John (I'm assuming he knows John's position on cocaine). Bob then imagines himself doing cocaine. Does his desire to allow free thought outweigh his desire to help a friend in need? Most often, this answer can be ascertained by prioritization.

My opponent straw mans the Golden Rule, really placing an attack on ethics in general. It is hard to ascertain the truth of the matter in many ethical situations, especially those concerning subjective morals. However, this does not make the Golden Rule unclear. My opponent underestimates the power of human reason and in prioritizing their morals. Most often, ethical dilemmas rise from studying others' behavior and then passing judgements. The Golden Rule is actually more clear than many forms of ethics, as it puts us the shoes of the judged. Therefore, the Golden Rule, in application, is very clear, especially by ethical standards.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

con says "this answer can be ascertained by prioritization' but doesn't really explain what that means. his whole arguement on those points hinges on this ambiguous point.

all con is really able to say is that the golden rule can provide some very general guiding rules. we first have to assume that we should approach it subjectively, which is debateble, instead of looking for an outside standard.
but after that, so what gives? does Bob intervene or not? if you say yes he should, then he's placing his own view of cocaine over John's, or at least his own view of whether it's debateable over John's. and, Bob is ignoring the prospect that he could ahve deferred to John given John views it as debateable, and Bob would want left along on things he views as debateable.

given it's a tough call, Bob might want some outside standard to help guide him. but given it seem like th golden rule is meant to be subjective, he's left with a decision with no way of knowing hte best way to approach it.
Phoenix61397

Con

My opponent has stopped arguing against the golden rule at all, and continue to strawman it. Their argument is simply an attack on ethics in general. My opponent asks "Which of these situations is more ethical?" and expects the Golden Rule to give an obvious, objective, and morally correct answer in every situation. Otherwise, according to my opponent, the Golden Rule is unclear. Unfortunately, this not what clear means.

My opponent says the Golden Rule is meant to be subjective. This is correct. There is no objective code in the Golden Rule. Does this make its application unclear? Absolutely not.

I will explain prioritization with an analogy:

Bob has $1. Bob wants ice cream. He goes to the ice cream stand, and inside he sees two things he wants: an ice cream sandwich and a chocolate dipped cone. They are $1 each. He cannot buy both, so he must ascertain which is more important to him to have. He chooses the sandwich. Such is subjective morality in these cases. With the Golden Rule, one must consider what is most important that they be treated like. It is not objectively moral, like my opponent seems to want, but it is a very clear guideline on subjective morals. If Bob cannot decide which is more important to him, the problem lies with his decision-making skills and not the Golden Rule, as the Golden Rule has told him what to do. My opponent seems not to believe in human ability to combine situations. Bob would not be ignoring one issue or the other, but combining them in order to formulate a decision based on all available information. Bob would then choose what he would want done to him.

Therefore, my opponent straw mans the Golden Rule, provides incorrect standards for it to reach (objective moral effectiveness rather than clarity) and fails to construct a valid argument. The Golden Rule sets clear guidelines for how to treat others, and a few "ethical dilemmas" do not disparage its effectiveness. The Golden Rule is clear, concise, and subjectively effective. Thank you for the argument.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Phoenix61397 3 years ago
Phoenix61397
Also, Telisw37, can you please clarify your vote? My opponent didn't provide any sources and you gave them the sources point, and they didn't capitalize anything or use any punctuation half of the time and you gave them the s&g point. I'm a little confused.
Posted by Phoenix61397 3 years ago
Phoenix61397
My google search link messed up because my search had a space in it. Search "clear definition" on google.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
dairygirl4u2cPhoenix61397Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: pro commited many fallacies within her argument and had bad spelling.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
dairygirl4u2cPhoenix61397Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has poor grammar so that point goes to Con. Con also backed his arguments with sources thus giving them more weight in the debate and with Pro not nessisarially being clear with her main argument really swung the debate into Con's favor via it's vagueness.
Vote Placed by Strycora 3 years ago
Strycora
dairygirl4u2cPhoenix61397Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is essentially a fallacy. His argument that "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" should include moral intervention is quite confused. Perhaps an addendum to the Golden Rule could be "mind your own business".
Vote Placed by telisw37 3 years ago
telisw37
dairygirl4u2cPhoenix61397Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I agreed with pro before and after the debate because, we are raised differently, example, a spoiled rich kid would not understand the feelings of the average kid. To some the rich kid is selfish, but he can not treat other the way they have it. I also pro just had nicer attitude, and cons argument did not make sense to me. I. Checked out cons sources and found them unreliable. Con also used poor punctuation.
Vote Placed by SGM_iz_SekC 3 years ago
SGM_iz_SekC
dairygirl4u2cPhoenix61397Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I really couldn't see any way pro won this debate.