The Instigator
francis
Pro (for)
Losing
51 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
52 Points

this house believes that breaking a promise is aleays immoral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,741 times Debate No: 3423
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (30)

 

francis

Pro

i say in my side that breaking a promise is always immoral because in the first place when you make a promise you are committing something and if that happens absolutely there is a responsibility and if there is a responsibility specially those which are committed by a person he should fulfill it no matter what. second , I strongly believe that if you make a promise it requires action but action does not require a promise so why make such a promise if you can make an action without it. Yes it is true that we cannot avoid inevitable circimstances but do not we think yhat we are rationale beings implying that we can adjust to whatever might happen just to keep the promise. So in this case i say that breaking a promise is definitely immoral.
Danielle

Con

A few things.

Promise - 1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one

Immoral - 1. violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

Threat - 1. a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc.

(Source: Dictionary.com)

Example 1: If I promise you something, but I die before I could execute that promise, that promise will be broken... is that immoral? Or just unfortunate? Now, if your argument {semantics} is that the BREAKING of a promise is immoral, meaning that my specific actions will have caused that promise to not be fulfilled, I argue: What about accidental interference? For instance, say I promised to take you to the movies after I attended a basketball game; however, there was traffic on my way to you and thus we missed the movie. A promise was broken. My action of attending the basketball game and getting stuck in random/accidental traffic is what broke the promise. Are my actions immoral?

Example 2: According to the definitions of promise and threat (shown above), I argue that a statement can be both a threat and a promise. Say I threatened/promised to do something destructive and immoral to an innocent victim or group. If I broke that promise to uphold a moral principle, would that choice be immoral?

Example 3: Suppose I promised to show up to your birthday party on time, however, on the way over I noticed a car on the side of the road that was broken down, and a frazzled driver that needed my help. Without my interference, the car may have been destroyed. I decided to help, and therefore showed up late to your birthday party. My direct action (choice) led me to break a promise to you. Were my actions immoral? Or was breaking my promise actually the moral thing to do?

I'll wait for your response before continuing :)
Debate Round No. 1
francis

Pro

let me say that in my side , i want to tell you that we are rationale beings. meaning that we have the capability to adjust to our environment and knowing that these things might occur why made such promise?. Yes we cannot avoid inevitable circumstances like the examples you have given but do not you think of thiese things that i have mentioned? You have mentioned in your argument that there are some promises made under a threat and i tell you that it is a very dissappointing thing to accept that particular commitment because in the very first place, from the very start of the action it is immoral so why would you do that?
Danielle

Con

I agree with you that we are rational beings. Because we are rational, we should be able to recognize that a broken promise due to circumstances outside of our control is different than breaking a promise that we never intended to keep or are too lazy to find a way to keep. It would be immoral if we had no intention of keeping a promise, not doing everything in our power to avoid breaking one, or if we made a promise that we wouldn't have a good cance of keeping in the first place. But an accident or unforseen interference does not make us responsible for the broken promise. It is simply an unfortunate circumstance. Now if you're arguing that promises themselves are immoral because there is no guarantee that you can keep them, then that's another story and not the topic of this debate nor what you have been arguing thus far.
Debate Round No. 2
francis

Pro

and now I tell you no matter what things we want to consider still it is a promise. I want to remind you again that we cannot consider inevitable circumstances as an excuse because again, as rational beings we know that we have a big chance of facing these unavoidable things and considering this fact, you cannot say that all the broken promises which occur due to these unavoidable things are understandable. yes it is true that we are not responsible for the unforseen events that can destroy the promise but you should always remember my friend that the environment cannot manifest man but man can manifest the environment and considering this thing, we can say that we have the power to adjust ourselves to the environment that we are living in.
Danielle

Con

Thank you for this debate; you have some very interesting ideas, however, I would just like to wrap up the debate by saying this:

1. My opponent claims that we have the power to adjust ourselves to the enviornment that we are living in, and therefore are responsible without a doubt for every broken promise. However he did not address my first point back in Round 1 -- if someone dies unexpectedly, the promise gets broken. I understand one having to keep things in mind before making a promise, i.e. traffic, however I think it is fair to say that one cannot determine when, where and how they will die if it is an unexpected death like many are. Therefore it is unforseen and unable to be avoided, thus negating my opponent's point that we can control or adjust our enviornment to enable us to keep our promises.

2. If my opponent feels that iminent death is *always* a possibility, along with other outside factors that we can not adjust, then what my opponent is arguing is that the very MAKING of a promise is immoral, not just the breaking of one. This mentality does not work or at the very least cannot win a debate. Here's why -- My opponent never claimed either in the resolution or in any of his rounds that making a promise was immoral (even though I brought it up in Round 2). Thus we have to assume that making a promise is moral. If the immorality of breaking a promise is all my opponent had to prove, he failed because 1. He did not address my first and important point, and 2. His logic explains why making a promise would be immoral but not why breaking a promise is in turn immoral.

Furthermore, in Round 1 I asked about a promise that was also a threat and my opponent's weak response was, "You have mentioned in your argument that there are some promises made under a threat and i tell you that it is a very dissappointing thing to accept that particular commitment because in the very first place, from the very start of the action it is immoral so why would you do that?" Ok... so it's a little hard to make out, yes, but from what I gathered my opponent is suggesting that threatening someone is immoral in the first place, so why would someone... take back their threat? Who knows. But that point *I* was trying to make was that someone could make an immoral promise (ex. threat) and then decide to not go through with it. Was that an immoral decision? Or was it the MORAL thing to do? Similarly, another example of mine brought to attention the fact that someone could break a promise for the sake of upholding a very important value. My opponent's only response was again that whole "know your enviornment" bit but he/she did not address the main concept of my question/point: What if keeping a promise is more immoral than breaking a promise in a particular situation?

In conclusion, I feel like my opponent argued the wrong point all along. His main rebuttal to all that I've said is that humans, as rational beings, should be aware of how the environment would affect all of our promises. This logic argues against promises in the first place - not the breaking of them. As I've mentioned, we must assume that my opponent believes that making a promise is not immoral. They did not specify otherwise nor did they respond to my inquisition. In that case, my examples and arguments still stand, and my opponent did not effectively refute them. At all. Meanwhile, I've countered everything he/she said. In that case, vote Con :)
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

2 points to Pro (Sources). Reasons for voting decision:

[*Reason for removal*] Vote placed outside of what is considered to be reasonable expectations for proper voting conduct. Contact head moderator Airmax1227 for details.
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Posted by the-mad-ones 9 years ago
the-mad-ones
What about the promise receiver?

If we take the assumption that the receiver of a promise is a rational being, then the receiver should also realize that there may be a small but distinct probability that the promise cannot be kept. Assuming rationality, both sides should understand that a promise might not be kept due to unforeseen circumstances.

Pro's argument rests on an opinion that producing expectations that something WILL happen and then failing to meet those expectations is immoral. That is an opinion. Assuming instead that it is a truth, Pro's argument then rests on the 'fact' that all humans are rational (What about insane people?), and that they should take into account probability of failure to keep a promise prior to making that promise. If this is true, then promise receivers should also take this into account. If both sides do take this into account, then no expectations have been set that something WILL happen. If these expectations are not set, then nothing immoral has occurred. If the receiver is not rational, and believes something WILL happen, then the receiver is irrational, and the rational giver is not at fault.
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
I see a way to set Pro into a trap about this one ;)
30 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
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