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The Contender
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Love is the cure to evil

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,228 times Debate No: 47981
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




There's a saying that love wins over evil but can love cure evil? My argument is no.


I accept. I will try to prove that love can, in some circumstances, cure evil.

In this debate, I would like to define the following words as:

Love: offering affection and compassion to somebody.

Evil: a person who has done something morally bad, such as causing harm or injury to someone else.

I will let you begin the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my debate.

Firstly love is the cure to evil is an absolute statement. As per your definition of compassion and affection, if that could cure evil, there would be no evil. However we observe evil by actions; harmful and vindictive ones. If we were to take a look at a religious example for instance; why would there be a hell which is residence for evil or evil entities like for instance Lucifer if love could cure evil?

How many kind and affectionate people do you think there are in this world but yet evil prevails.

Definition for evil: profoundly immoral and wicked.
"his evil deeds"
synonyms:wicked, bad, wrong, morally wrong, wrongful, immoral, sinful, ungodly, unholy, foul, vile, base, ignoble, dishonourable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, degenerate, villainous, nefarious, sinister, vicious, malicious, malevolent, demonic, devilish, diabolic, diabolical, fiendish, dark, black-hearted;.

There are many people who have the ability to love but it doesn't change the profoundly immoral or wicked although I do agree that there are times where love can cure the evil in someone.

A child and household pet have the ability to love - show affection let's say. Does this prevent wicked people from harming them? It does not. With evidence we have of people being compassionate and offering affection; and evil still being active in society, this is evidence that love does not cure evil.

I'll even argue that evil can't be cured. It can only be eliminated, put to death.


The current approach to dealing with 'evil' people in the developed world is to place them in prison for a number of decades. The reoffending rate in the USA, after completing a full prison term, is higher than two in three -- almost 70%. [1]

The conditions in these prisons have been heavily criticised by a number of organisations for incidents such as prisoner rape (with 21% of inmates reporting that they had been pressured into sexual activity), poor nutrition, overcrowding and solitary confinement, which has been labelled as a form of torture and condemned by the UN in 2011. [2]

"In 1999, the Supreme Court of Norway refused to extradite American hash-smuggler Henry Hendricksen, as they declared that US prisons do not meet their minimum humanitarian standards." [2]

Norwegian prisons take a radical approach by giving inmates freedom to live a relatively normal life. Prison officers are supportive and treat everyone with respect; with love. Prisoners live in hotel-type conditions and are free to roam the grounds at their leisure. The reoffending rate is an astounding 16%. [3]

The comforting and loving approach of Norwegian prisons produce a massive fall in reoffending rates than the conventional, harsher prisons of the USA.

The idea that love can cure evil has been well established for hundreds of years. Victor Hugo, the acclaimed 19th century French author, is famous for writing the novel Les Mis"rables. Jean Valjean, one of the protagonists, is a convicted felon who escapes from his parole. A kind and gentle clergyman takes him into his home and is as loving as anyone could be, but Jean secretly steals the man's treasure and escapes out the back door. The police catch Jean while leaving the house with the stolen goods, but the clergyman comes to his rescue yet again and claims that he had given the treasure away, before handing over more silver for Jean to take. This unprecedented compassion was a completely new experience for Jean, and he vows to change his life and criminal activities. Jean is ultimately redeemed through love. [4]

Many 'evil' people were deprived of love as children; studies show that a lot of convicted murderers and rapists had troubled home experiences in their youth. [5] Love is not only a cure, but also a preventative immunisation against evil itself.

I have more points to make, but I will save them for the next round.

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Debate Round No. 2


Although I have appreciated and found your argument very entertaining and almost a beautiful read :) I fail to see how a novel proves that love cures evil when we looking at the reality, even if the novel has some degree of realism.

You also only using an example of prisons but there is no evidence to suggest that it cures evil. Immoral or wicked behavior isn't necessarily always punishable by a prison sentence.

The evidence in the world remains that evil exits and many people who even commit some evil acts do actually come from good and loving homes. I don't say all.

Love conquers evil, doesn't cure it.

To cure would mean that evil and love can co exist, but somehow evil would have lost 'it's evil' - even the statement is impossible. Evil is an absolute and it's not curable.



The novel gives us insight into beliefs through time; I see it just as relevant as your mention of the Bible.

People in prison have committed crime; crime is often regarded as immoral behaviour, which is what the definition in round one set out: "Evil: a person who has done something morally bad, such as causing harm or injury to someone else."

Some evil people are indeed from loving homes, but the source I provided in round two has evidence that confirms most murders, rapes and crimes commonly associated with evil are committed by people who did not come from loving homes. [1]

I am afraid that my opponent has failed to offer anything but unfounded conjecture -- her personal opinion back without evidence or source.

Further contention:

Building upon round two, I would like to add that there are numerous examples of victims saving themselves from attackers -- murderers and rapists (who are considered evil under our definition) -- by showing them false compassion and love, which throws the attacker off track and stops them from finishing what they planned to do. I hypothesise that this works due to building friendships (despite false); an attacker is likely not thinking about the victim as a person, but rather a piece of meat. When the victim talks to the attacker and treats him with love, the whole dynamic of the situation changes and the attacker feels guilty, thus stopping the violence altogether.

Here is one high-profile case from the UK that I can remember from the top of my head, but there are many more out there:

Jessica Price: Followed down the street by a stranger, she decided to turn around and ask him the time, then thanked him and continued to walk and be followed. Seconds later she was strangled from behind and dragged into a secluded area. She managed to convince him she would not make a sound and then, despite not smoking, asked for some of his cigarette when he lit one. She then got chatty and told her attacker that he should have asked to talk if he was that desperate:

“I said, ‘You should have just said something to me if you wanted to talk’. His whole ­attitude began to change as he started chatting with me."

The attacker apologised for scaring her. It was later revealed that he had already raped and killed before. [2]

There are a vast number of examples of the above. Just the other day, I was watching an American true-life story program called 'I Survived' in which the woman managed to convince her attacker, who had just shot and killed her cousin, that she loved him. The attacker took her back to his house and looked after her and even let her call the police to call for an ambulance (and thus catching the man). It was truly a miraculous tale of love (despite being false) conquering evil. I only wish I had a source to cite here, but I am unable to find the specified person online.


I have proven that love, as defined in the first round, can irrefutably 'cure' evil acts, which is to say that evil itself can be cured. All I had to do to win this debate was to prove that it was possible for love, in some cases, to cure evil. I believe I have done this.

Thank you for the debate. :)

[1] - h
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Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by marinaspins 6 years ago
you could be in love with evil...either the act of being evil or the feeling of evil. you could love reading books that have evil in them.
Posted by Gwydion777 6 years ago
"Firstly love is the cure to evil is an absolute statement. As per your definition of compassion and affection, if that could cure evil, there would be no evil. " If this is true how can their be cures for diseases? You can cure evil but not stop it from being created. If that doesn't make sense think about the flu or a cold. You can fight it and make it go away, but it can always come back.
Posted by Aleksandr 6 years ago
I find someone whose non-related to and loves me is uncomfortable. I want to stay the way I am. But that would likely come to an end.
Posted by Angie1 6 years ago
why can't a person edit typos like for instance brass and brace :)
Posted by Angie1 6 years ago
okay I will start debate just now, have to do some work quick... brass yourself ;) kidding.
Posted by Angie1 6 years ago
but i tried to vote yesterday and it said i had to post three debates and confirm my cell no. anyway i posted three. i don't mind voting :) I'd like guys to vote on my debates also, so it's only fair I do same for others.
Posted by Taylur 6 years ago
I wouldn't worry about gaining voting privileges (it really isn't that fun!) -- maybe have a look at the debates up for offer already and participate in one of those?
Posted by Angie1 6 years ago
Welcome Taylur :) I have to post three debates so I can vote... need one more topic to post. Lost for ideas. Have any for me?
Posted by Angie1 6 years ago
Good point, depends on the angle you seeing.
Posted by Krazzy_Player 6 years ago
Not possible, If you love the evil you are evil lover or evil worshipper. Then you are also be considered evil.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by The_Scapegoat_bleats 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used reliable sources throughout, backing his arguments. Con based her arguments on unbased presumptions about the nature of evil, but it all came from her own mind. Thus points have to go to Pro. Nice debate anyway, both stayed civil enough.

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