The Instigator
craic37
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
THEBOMB
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

when in conflict idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
THEBOMB
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,783 times Debate No: 20762
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

craic37

Con

Round 1 is for acceptance and definitions. R2 is for constructive speeches. R3 is for rebuttals. R4 is for closing arguments.
This is a philosophical debate in the Lincoln Douglas style.
Please ask any questions you have BEFORE accepting the round.
THEBOMB

Pro

Alright I accept and now for definitions.

Conflict: fight, battle, war (1)

Idealism: "it generally suggests the priority of ideals, principles, values, and goals over concrete realities. Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike pragmatists, who focus on the world as it presently is." (2)

Pragmatism: in other words "realism: the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth" (3)

Valued: Consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Debate Round No. 1
craic37

Con

Edmund Spenser once said "He that strives to touch the starts, oft stumbles at a straw."[1] It shall be my job to prove the truth of this statement as we look at idealism, pragmatism and the conflict that they present.
Before beginning, it is imperative to understand the resolution. Idealism and pragmatism don't always conflict, it is my job therefore not to prove that idealism is bad; but rather that when the two conflict, that pragmatism is the better option.
Sorry I don't have much time today.
C1 Idealism- ex. Communism
communism is and example of when idealism and pragmatism are in conflict and idealism is the wrong choice.
C2 Pragmatism- In law enforcement it is imperative to look at people the way they are not the way they should be. Overestimating the morals and beliefs of people has caused too many problems in law enforcement.
Once again sorry about my lack of time. Thank you for accepting this debate I look forward to it.
THEBOMB

Pro

I thank my opponent for this wonderful debate.
This debate brings up the old questions of: Is it better to aim high, and not reach, or to aim at average and reach it? Is it better to be good or fair? Is it better to be optimistic or pessimistic? If you are good you see people can change. If you are fair you value absolute justice. Pessimists are realists while optimists are idealists.

Burden of Proof: My opponent has the burden to prove that in all conflicts between Idealism and Pragmatism, Pragmatism is better. All I must prove is in a single case idealism should be held over Pragmatism or idealism should be held equal to Pragmatism.

Contention 1: The Criminal Justice System
Here is where the question of is it better to be good or to be just. I define good in the Christian sense: grace or mercy. An idealist would say it is better to be good. A pragmatist would say it is better to have absolute justice. I say it is important to be both good and just. As applied to the Criminal Justice System, a pragmatist would say an eye for an eye. An idealist would say there is a problem, let's fix it.
Idealist perspective on the Criminal Justice System:
S1. All people have intelligence
Subs1. Criminals have intelligence
S2. Criminals do not act in a certain way without a reason
C. It is up to society to figure out why the Criminal acts this way and fix it so they can become a productive member of society.
For an idealist, the Criminal Justice System is about rehabilitation.

Pragmatist Perspective on the Criminal Justice System:
S1. Criminals break the law
S2. There MUST be absolute Justice in a society or else the society is flawed. (People should get what they deserve)
S3. Society should punish individuals for bad actions.
C. The Criminal Justice System should hold absolute justice and punishment.
For a pragmatist, the Criminal Justice System is about punishment.
Both sides still do hold something in common, justice, although in radically different ways. An idealist holds all people should be treated "fairly" in the sense that if a person had a bad childhood (grew up in a drug infested neighborhood, sexual abuse, physical abuse, etc.) They should be compensated if they grow up to be criminal (rehabilitation). A pragmatist holds all people should be treated equally regardless of their childhood environment.
The Criminal Justice System should have dual purpose yes, it should promote Absolute justice and equality but, it also should provide rehabilitation simply because people do not just become criminals because they want to. Not everyone at the bottom of the socio-economic scale is there because of their own actions, but, often because of someone else's negligence. While someone who commits a crime should be punished they also should be rehabilitated. In a pragmatist's perspective, there should be only punishment. In an idealists perspective, only rehabilitation. Combining the two creates the best product, a system which both punishes and rehabilitates criminals. Both systems alone have problems. There needs to be a balance.

Contention 2: The Average Joe
This goes along with contention 1 in a way. (But, for someone who is not criminal)
S1. All people are imperfect
S2. All people are rational (discounting any psychological problems)
S3. Imperfect, rational, people can be good people (as in law-abiding etc.)
S4. Because people are imperfect bad things will happen to people
SubS4. These bad things include: a run in with a "bad crowd", wrong place wrong time resulting in a broken law.
S5. Breaking the law is irrational
C. People are inherently fixable
Let me give you an example of where you need to have a balance between the two, drugs in the United States. Most teenagers will experiment with drugs; many teenagers get caught by the police. In a system which values only Absolute Justice these teenagers, who are just making a single mistake, are going to have to go to prison for an equal sentence with the career drug dealer who sells the marijuana. My question for my opponent is, should a person who made a single mistake be punished equally with a person who is the cause of the said mistake; someone who devotes their life to this cause? My answer is no, it must be seen that it is human nature to make mistakes and while you should be punished for a mistake it should not be as severe.
Furthermore, since all people are imperfect should it not be accepted that at one point or another everybody will fall short of the law? Yes, everybody will eventually make a mistake, should a person who contributes much to society be punished for a single mistake? Should all of society be punished by society's laws?

Contention 3: The slave trade
This is one of those systems where pragmatisms and idealism conflicted. It was more idealistic to ban the slave trade, but, more pragmatic to keep the slave trade. By definition, slavery is immoral. The slave trade is immoral. It was not pragmatic to ban the slave trade simply because it was literally thought of as an impossible task. In an idealistic world, there is no slavery. Slavery is now illegal in basically the entire world, this shows idealism has been favored over pragmatism in the past, and in the future should be able to.
Debate Round No. 2
craic37

Con

craic37 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

Via forfeit extend all arguments....
Debate Round No. 3
craic37

Con

craic37 forfeited this round.
THEBOMB

Pro

Sadly this debate has been forfeited by my opponent. ):
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
I mean we should never use idealism... not man should be forced to obey anything which cannot be shown to be reasonable..
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Thanks, Stephen.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
we should be using Idealism at all
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
I would have liked to debate this ....
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
@ Wiploc, he means "when in conflict, idealism ought..." not "when in 'conflict idealism'".
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
What is "conflict idealism"?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
craic37THEBOMBTied
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Reasons for voting decision: due to forfeits
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
craic37THEBOMBTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit