The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

People have different sets of right and wrong

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 648 times Debate No: 116036
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




For a variety of reasons, everyone has their own set of what is right and what is wrong.


There are various factual schools of thoughts that have different sets of rules, however, it all has to do with circumstances.
Either way, the schools of thoughts are in place (and have always been), and the rights and wrongs that people do, are in accordance to them, such as the moral school of thought. The position of 'right' and 'wrong' don't change, it is only their choice based on analysis of different schools of thoughts in different circumstances that gives a certain outcome, whereas certain people 'believe' that racism is right, whereas under certain schools of thought such as egalitarianist or left-wing political views, it would be wrong, but under right-wing or race-based schools such as Nazism, it wouldn't.
Debate Round No. 1


I'm not quite sure how your argument shows that people do not have different sets of right and wrong.

By your vet own admission, some people believe that racism is right whereas under certain schools of thought it would be wrong. Those would be two different sets of people having different sets of right and wrong.

"Moral or ethical relativism is the idea that what is considered moral or immoral depends on the accepted behaviors within the society in which the determination is made. Therefore, what is considered moral or ethical in one society may be considered immoral or unethical in another, but each society is equally correct."

Ruth Benedict’s argument is: (1) If what is accepted by society, based on shared beliefs, as normal behavior varies from culture to culture, then morality would vary from culture to culture. (2) Each culture, based on shared beliefs, decides what is considered acceptable and normal behavior within their society. (3) Therefore, morality is relative to the culture. If Benedict’s argument is true, it would mean that morality exists solely as a creation of society. Since morality is not an independent, higher concept outside of societal inclinations, it would be able to be changed by society. Therefore, since morality can change at any time, morality fails to exist except on a superficial level, which makes morality meaningless. Why follow any “moral” action in society then? Just get a majority of people in the society to act conversely to the “moral” action also, then the converse action will become “normal” and thus “moral.” Consequently, the question remains, just because an action is “normal,” does it make the action “moral?”


When we're talking right and wrong from a moral point of view, we're simply talking about what was generally believed for a long time to be the norm in societies. For example, homosexuality was long thought to be a disease and now it is commonly accepted, however, there is nothing to say that it is NOT immoral, as, just because they have gained protection, and it is considered hate speech if you criticise them publicly, it does not mean that people are okay with it, or that they agree with it, so we know for one that morals never actually changed.

Stuff like slavery was always morally wrong, for people who have read the Bible and other religious works who were predominant in those times would know this as a fact. However, as the Reinassance came by, people drew a line between morality and legality. When we are talking legality, it is simply subjective to cultures and traditions, and not necessarily a 'right' or 'wrong', but rather a 'norm' or 'punishable'. How, for example racism was legal at one point, we can say that we can draw a line in between those.

As for the approach I have undertaken previously, I have simply argued that there are different views of life and other things in general, not of right and wrong directly, and people only interpret or act based on those circumstances, therefore creating the impression there is a right or wrong.

If I say the sky is blue and we are indoors, you know that it generally is, but at the same time, we know the weather is volatile. Maybe it's grey. Or yellow. Or red, who knows. The point is, we don't agree on a thing, and we have different points, and there is a chance both of us know for sure. However, let's also say that the only way to find out is to leave the room, and that there is no way to come back once you leave. Say there was a nuclear war, and you're going outside (ignore the hypothesis of a nuclear winter and stuff like that). Say you don't have a gas-mask. You're bound to clearly die and whether you were right, or wrong, the other person does not know, but we know for sure that one of those options must be right. So how do we know exactly right or wrong ? It is nothing but interpretation based on hypothesis which sometimes just can't be proven and we just have to trust luck.

We're talking here about opinions, opinions are simple statements, and you might back them up with facts, but that doesn't make your opinions on their own, facts, therefore if you think for example that abortion is right, and use facts such as "It saved 10000 women from death blah blah blah", it doesn't mean abortion IS right.
Debate Round No. 2


I agree that taking an opinion like "abortion is right" and backing it up with a statistic to the effect of the number of lives it has saved doesn't make it "right". But that doesn't mean that different people do not, in their own realities have senses of right and wrong.

You are arguing for moral objectivity...that something that is right locally is always right globally. That Muslims cutting off the hands of thieves, because it is right in their culture, must be right for everyone else. You mention scripture...I have read a great deal of it and in many places slavery was considered completely moral (though in others it was not).

"Jesus said not a word against slavery as a social institution"

"Right" and "wrong" can also take on many different meanings. Science, philosophy, religion, politics. This is a debate about objectivity vs subjectivity. To say that there are objective truths is a bold claim to make across all arenas and I would challenge my opponent to put forth and defend some.


"Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside a subject's individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings."
Well, firstly, you gave the example of "Muslims cutting off the hands of thieves, because it is right in their culture, must be right for everyone else.". It is rather clear through much evidence and stats regarding crime in Saudi Arabia that the Sharia Law system is actually efficient, and it is one of the 10 countries with least amount of crime. Simply the evidence shows that it is working and that it is the right way to go, but simply because people BELIEVE they don't need it does not necessarily mean it is not a good set of rights and wrongs.

You also mentioned that slavery was completely moral. However, I was referring to slavery based on race, or particularly via exploiting. It would also be notable that as the Bible was translated hundreds of times, it has lost certain meanings, and became mostly corrupted. Another belief upheld by Islam.

As for the objective truths that I would be able to defend ? "We are all equal" (we should all be treated equally despite our social positions, however regarding our actions and behaviour in society, we are all equal) in sociology, "Communism works in practice" in politics, and "God exists" in religion.

They all seem bold statements, but I am keen to defend and give reasons for all these beliefs to prove my point. We do not know which one of us is right, but according to philosophy, one of us MUST be right. If no one is right, everyone is wrong and if someone was right in everyone being wrong, that means someone was right and therefore , everyone was right.

I will end this with the closing statement of simply "There is a right, it must be, a meaning of life must exist, some righteousness exists, but when we discover it, it's too late." For example if you believe in religion and life after death, well, it's good for you, if you're wrong you wasted time, but if you believe in a simple death like a big sleep, you wouldn't actually mind, whereas if you're right, everyone else is going to be punished, but the idea is that we will never supposedly know about it because once we die, we cannot come back to life. (We're not including stories about comas and people telling stories from beyond the grave.)
Also it's worth noting how religions talk about 'The Day Of Judgement', where God will judge your actions and will tell us the absolute right and absolute wrong to do things and compare it to what we've done in a perfect judgement. Of course, it's religion and you might not believe in it, but still, it proves my point that right and wrong will eventually be clearly separated and even religions believe about an absolute right way of things existing.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
People have the same sets of right and wrong.
..Its ok to kill....... Under the right circumstances....And it is what we do.
..Its ok to have sex... Under the right circumstances....And it is what we do.
..Its ok to eat and drink... Under the right circumstances....And it is what we do.
Posted by Redbluegreen 3 years ago
People have*
Posted by Redbluegreen 3 years ago
Pro. Are you arguing that, for various different and unrelated reasons, have their own seperate sets of right and wrong that are distinct from eachother and independently developed? If so I will accept your debate
Posted by straightshooter 3 years ago
I agree. Your opener is more of a statement. So what's the debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RMTheSupreme 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con lost this debate in a complete and absolute manner. Con argues that the right and wrong is consistent in the different sets of right and wrong, Pro AGREES with this and says that the sets being different is what the resolution is about. Con was defeated, end of story.

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