Instigator / Pro
Points: 13

Does a good, perfect man struggle with evil

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 2 votes the winner is ...
fauxlaw
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
Points: 11
Description
Definitions:
Good: the state of acting on influences to be a better person today than yesterday. It is not a static condition, but continually dynamic, demanding of one to not just espouse goodness, but to be committed to its action in all circumstances.
Perfection: living a perfect life is living a life without error of any kind, being good under any circumstance. It is always making correct choices to be good when faced with every circumstance.
Struggle: either a combat against an initiating assailant, be it from an external or internal source, or combat initiated by the person against another person, or an idea conflicting with their own.
Evil: The opposite of good. Any obstacle that attempts to prevent the effort of a good person to act contrary to their sense to be good. The choice to be an obstacle to one's self, or others, to use their agency to be good. The effort to entice another, or the self, to seek power, pride, and possession; the roots of all evil thoughts or acts.
This is appropriately a philosophic, not a religious debate. The definitions above may seem to have a religious tone, but the challenge is to conduct this debate purely from the limited definitions of all terms defined herein, which have not referred to religion, or deity [good or evil], or morality couched in religious jargon. No holy writ ought to have place, even by reference, in the debate. The challenge, then, is to question whether even a perfect person still must struggle to avoid evil behavior.
Round 1
Published:
Does a perfect person struggle with evil? 
 
No one is perfect for the reason that they are immune from evil; no one can be that immune.  In fact, H.J. McCloskey, described as an atheologian [one who argues for the nonexistence of God], of the University of Melbourne, maintains that it is unavoidable. He claims a construct of the following:[i]
 
[1] God is omnipotent
[2] God is omniscient
[3] God is perfectly good
[4] Evil exists
 
McCloskey contends that even if one, two, or three of the above statements are true, all four cannot be true. He argues that if God is omnipotent, He could end all suffering in the world, but He has not; therefore, He is nonexistent. McCloskey argues the same point for God’s omniscience.
 
McCloskey ignores, but it must be considered, that neither omnipotence nor omniscience imply that either power must be used, only that it is available. The wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” ideology says otherwise: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”[ii] The idea is to try to negotiate in peace, but be prepared to wield strength. McCloskey further ignores that God employs a third construct in addition to omnipotence and omniscience: the free agency of man.
 
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[iii]
 
We often interpret this passage as allowing Adam to eat of every tree except of the tree of knowledge, but that is not at all what is said. God said that Adam could “freely eat” “of every tree of the garden,” including the tree of knowledge. It’s just that eating from the tree of knowledge had a consequence apparently different than the other trees, but God’s gift of agency to man remains intact. There are consequences to our actions, and they can be good and bad.
 
It is proposed that one is perfect in the use of agency only if that person always makes the correct, good choices when confronted by any circumstance, evil, or not. How many of us do that, consistently? So, the argument is not that it may be possible to avoid all evil. It is proposed that is distinctly impossible, even if we never interact with anyone. We can conjure evil all on our own in a total solitary condition.
 
There are always random choices, not necessarily just two. And few choices we encounter are your-life-is-utterly-ruined-if-you-do-this serious. The question is would a perfect person struggle with these challenges, in spite of being, to that point, perfect?
 
The contention of this argument is that a perfect person still struggles each and every time such circumstances are presented. Are they obligated to think the situation through and determine, once again, that the consequences will not yield what they aspire to be? Yes.
 
How to be perfect
Based on the definition of “perfect” as offered in the debate description above, the question must be posed: How do we become perfect? One article, The Science of Decision-Making: 5 Ways to Make the Right Decision Every Timesays yes.[iv] It contends that a formula exists to do just that: 
1. Focus on the big picture. 
2. Know what you value. 
3. Recognize and overcome the sunk-cost [a losing path] bias. 
4. Create the necessary environment. 
5. Take immediate action by the 5-second rule [If you do not take action – physical movement - in the first five seconds, the brain will dismiss the idea]. 
 
Application of being perfect
Most people would say, “That formula can be applied for two or three day’s, but, inevitably, we fail.” Yes. But, what if we didn’t? What if we last five days, then ten, then more? It is possible, just unlikely. 
 
As the days of perfection mount, having a continuous string of a variety of choices, at least one of which will be to respond with imperfect evil, that becomes a challenge with potential loss of the perfect record. Is that a struggle?
 
John Wesley commented, “A person may be sincere who has all his natural tempers, pride, anger, lust, self-will. But he is not perfect until his heart is cleansed from these, and all its other corruptions.”[v]



all references for round 1 argument are given in comments.

Published:
I thank my opponent for their opening argument. I would like to point out a discrepancy in the title, and the narrative of the debate description.  

The title says:  "Does a good, perfect man struggle with evil"

The last sentence of the opening narrative says  "a perfect person still must struggle to avoid evil behavior."

The difference is the first statement deals with an undefined struggle, the second statement qualifies that struggle to be for the purposes of avoiding evil behavior.  Both are addressed by my position.  My position is one that comes down tot he definitions of Good, Evil, and most importantly Struggle that have been provided.

The definition of good: " the state of acting on influences to be a better person today than yesterday. It is not a static condition, but continually dynamic, demanding of one to not just espouse goodness, but to be committed to its action in all circumstances."

I submit the first issue is the phrase 'better person today than yesterday' has no reference point.  The phrase could be a better Nazi, a better KKK member, a better monk.  The rubric of what is good, and what better means relative to good is not defined or established.   In a much simpler way what is good for the goose, may not be good for the gander.   A fox is good relative to her family when she steals a chicken.  She is not good relative to the chickens family, or the farmer.   And when she gets better at snatching fresh poultry relative to her family, the chickens family would undisputably opine very differently.

If the good is tall than better would be taller.   What is missing from the definition of the debate is a baseline of what the value is.    I use the Value Theory to support this position.    Stanford published a fantastic narrative on the Value Theory in 2009. (1). Whilst historically philosophers battle between the definition of good and evil, or the foundation of moral authority, the actual meaning of good is fraught with disagreements.  We can look at the history of religious wars as an example of the unresolved definition of good if we take a basic assumptive position that both religions view themselves as "better" in the rubric of theological compliance, and said compliance is "good" value base of those fighting.

The definition of Evil:  "The opposite of good. Any obstacle that attempts to prevent the effort of a good person to act contrary to their sense to be good. The choice to be an obstacle to one's self, or others, to use their agency to be good. The effort to entice another, or the self, to seek power, pride, and possession; the roots of all evil thoughts or acts."

A vegetarian fox that was friends with the chickens and warned them of an impending attack is evil to the hungry fox but better than the hungry fox relative to the chickens or the farmer. If we look at it from a people perspective, are republicans better than democrats?  Catholics than Jews? If so, is a catholic evil when evangelizing catholicism to Jewish children?  Again we do not have a rubric of what good is, therefore we have no foundation for what evil is.

The definition of Struggle:  "either a combat against an initiating assailant, be it from an external or internal source, or combat initiated by the person against another person, or an idea conflicting with their own."

Whilst I have demonstrated some issues relative to the aforementioned definitions, the most prevalent issue is with what struggle is.  Let us take the chicken and fox example.    When the vegetarian fox decided to go vegetarian was that automatically defined as a struggle?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

For argument sake, and demonstration purposes only,  let us assume that the rubric for good, and evil is individualized for each of the foxes, and they are as sentient as man/people.  As a kit when the vegetarian fox is learning about the world in his skulk, and starts to identify differences of opinion in their culinary habits, categorizing that as a struggle would be improper.  The internal deliberations he did could be learning, development, consideration, even unease, or consteration however not necessarily a struggle.

To round this all together, if someone has an individual metric of good, and they are perfect through the definition provided and is faced with evil thoughts or challenges.  that in on itself is not necessarily a struggle.  


Round 2
Published:
In my opponent’s round 1 argument, the nature of “good” as defined in the debate description is questioned due to lack of a reference point. The reference point is given: “better [more good, if you will] today than yesterday.” Does that mean there is a starting point? Yes: birth, or, at least, an acquired consciousness of good and evil which begins at a reasonably early age with very basic understanding of the nature of the world and its relative goodness and evilness. 
 
However, if, as a young child, we learn that we should not hit somebody else, or take their toy as if it was ours, do we fail our test if, one day, learning we should not hit, we strike by words? Well, at least we did not hit physically, so we do not need to go back to square one, but square ten may need some re-acquaintance before moving on.
 
The same argument would apply to evil as a continuous trend toward more and more evil, ad infinitum,or at least as sustained consistently.
 
There is, by observation, no good in embracing Nazism, the KKK, or in fact, inherent evil in a monk, unless any of those terms are defined, which my opponent did not bother to illustrate.
 
Further, Con argued against the definition of “struggle” by use of nonanthropogenic examples, to wit,foxes and chickens, neither of which figure into the discussion since neither are human, endowed with moral judgment, in spite of my opponent’s several efforts to give them anthropogenic ability.
 
For example: foxes are given by my opponent to make value judgments in their dining fare: vegetarianism. Show me a vegetarian fox. There happens to be one, but it, Jumanji, by name, is a forced vegan by is owner, Sonia Sae. The result is that Jumanji is mostly blind, discolored with a skin ailment, patches of missing fur, and lacking a plethora of needed nutrients.[1]



“When the vegetarian fox decided to go vegetarian was that automatically defined as a struggle?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not,” my opponent suggests. Given the known science regarding fox eating preferences, let alone being endowed with value judgment, it is clearly evident by lack of source material that Con presents a fiction as an argument: “Let us assume that the rubric for good, and evil is individualized for each of the foxes, and they are as sentient as man/people.” Sure, let’s have one set up a lemonade stand on the corner, for good measure. 
 
This is uniquely a human struggle, and needs to stay on point.
 
Further, do we really need to define “good” and “evil” by any further detail that that offered in the Description? According to the Oxford English Dictionary: [Unabridged] [hereafter, OED]: “Good: a. Of a person: having the qualities, characteristics, or skills needed to perform the specified role or pursue a specified occupation appropriately or to a high standard.”
 “Evil: a. adj. The antithesis of good adj.n.adv., and int.   in all its principal senses.
 
“Struggle:  4. To make great efforts in spite of difficulties; to contend resolutely with (a task, burden); to strive to do something difficult. †Also const. at.  to struggle for existence: cf. struggle n. 1d.
Do any of these definitions disagree in principle with my definitions in Description? I think not. Judges will decide.
To continue, then, with more argument:
Perfect, by command:“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”[ii]We are, some of us, willing to accept commands of God as listed in Exodus, as well as the other four books of the Pentateuch, as legitimate, praiseworthy, and of generally good comport. We even accept other commands offered by the Christ, such as the entire set of attitudes offered by him just in the Sermon on the Mount.[iii]So, why should we expect that this singular verse, number 48, is not included as a command? How hard is it for us to resist bearing false witness?[iv]Impossible? No. Does it require commitment? Yes. So does working perfection.
Perfect, by commitment:In a book unfamiliar to many, I suppose, is a brilliant admission of how to deal with commandments of God: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”[v]
Taking the values presented herein, it seems that any perceived barrier to keeping any commandment of God is removed by our willingness to:
1.    Commit to keeping commandments
2.    Acknowledge that God can prepare our way to be obedient
3.    By preparing our way, the accomplishment of our effort is possible.
 



References are given in the comments for this round 2 argument

Published:
I thank my opponent for their speedy response.  I shall extend them the same courtesy, and in future will try to respond in an expeditious and timely manner.

There is another discrepancy I would like to highlight, and that is theistical nature of the arguments presented by my counterpart.   I remind the readers that the instigation of the debate reads:  "No holy writ ought to have place (sic), even by reference, in the debate. "  Alas, my counterpart appears to have deviated from this requirement referencing God no more than 14 times in both answers, with 5 actual cited references.

For the convenience of the readers, I summarize the core thesis of my argument.

1.  The concept of good has not the nature of value.  There is no reference to what good is.  I argue that the concept of good is very relative.
2.  The concept of evil is equally absent of context.  The context of evil is essentially the antithesis of good (as defined by the instigator).
3.  When a sentient being faces decisions as to what may be good or evil from their perspective, a struggle is not necessarily in play.

My counterpart states the starting point of good, is at birth.  If one is to become "better" towards perfection, what is the target?  How does one quantify what was good for that person at their birth?  And later in the argument, my opponent questioned the need for a definition of good.  I submit that in order to determine perfection as defined, one must determine what good is, which is also required for the definition of evil.  This lack of clarity by my opponent shows a significant vulnerability in the foundation of their thesis.  

There is an assumption stated by my opponent;   "no good in embracing Nazism, the KKK, or in fact, inherent evil in a monk".  I have no doubt that many monks in many religions have elements in their practice that others would define as "not good", which is the instigator's definition of evil.    Further, I would also safely surmise that there are some who may argue there is a handful of good elements in embracing Nazism or the KKK. I reassert the baseline of what good actually is, and how it is measured is essential to the discussion and cannot be dismissed or assumed.
 
I apologize to my counterpart as I thought I made it clear that the use of a fox and chicken was for demonstration purposes.  I did not make that clear enough.
The intent was not to be nonanthropogenic.  It was to convey only those anthropogenic qualities at a discussion on race, religion, and heritage neutral entities.    My attempt was to allow the conversation to avoid unnecessary assumptions.

For the following reasons I say that  "A good perfect man may not have to struggle with evil"

1.  Good is defined by the perfect "man/person"
2.  Because they define good, they also define perfect
3.  Because they define good, they also define evil
4.  Any differences faced by the "man/person" need not be defined as a struggle.  A question, a conundrum, something to ponder, or pontificate over, to asses, judge, evaluate. Something to opine over, flip a coin, ignore, quantify, qualify....  all of which may allow the person to reconcile the evil component, however, does not innately require a struggle as originally defined.
Round 3
Published:
Well, so we both, Pro and Con, have committed grievous errors in argument, Pro by engaging holy writ, and Con by attributing anthropogenic qualities to non-human entities. Pro by elevating the discussion; Con by debasing it. May judges decide which is the more grievous, in view of the original question. I will argue that I can remove the holy writ from my entire argument, and remain based on the completely secular argument of the 5 specific ways in which a good person can achieve perfection, overcoming the struggle.[i] Can my opponent, in his defense, completely remove the obfuscation I will reference later, and argue against these five points? They are:
 
1. Focus on the big picture. 
2. Know what you value. 
3. Recognize and overcome the sunk-cost [a losing path] bias. 
4. Create the necessary environment. 
5. Take immediate action by the 5-second rule [If you do not take action – physical movement - in the first five seconds, the brain will dismiss the idea]. 
 
Rather than argue against this formula, [and I remind readers that, according to the definition of “good,” whose starting point may begin, as I qualified in round 2, at “…birth, or, at least, an acquired consciousness of good and evil which begins at a reasonably early age with very basic understanding of the nature of the world and its relative goodness and evilness,” may potentially not begin until late in life. The point is, a “beginning” does not matter when, in life, it occurs, so long as there is a conscious decision to be “good” rather than “evil”]… Rather than arguing against the above 5-point formula, my opponent has chosen to obfuscate the definitions. To date, Con would rather not engage the direct question of the debate, which is “Does a perfect person struggle with evil?” “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”[ii] I would reply that doing nothing is not what truly good people do; not according to the formula.
 
The 2nd point of the formula, knowing what one values, is the context of understanding good v. evil, because these concepts do have value, contrary to my opponent’s non-sourced opinion in his round 2 argument: [readers take note] “The concept of good has not the nature of values” which are measurable by “qualities, characteristics, and skills”[iii] according to the “good” definition. This is how the value of good is measured.
 
It is by direct observation of the person in the struggle. Is that person happy? Expecting to find sources to this exact question: “Are people striving to be good happier people?” What I found, instead, were a series of reinterpretations of my word string replacing “good” with “happiness,” and referencing article after article that say variables of “happiness makes people miserable.” Such a switch is the stock-in-trade of counterfeit; an evil. And for such, I blame Google and its search algorithms, not the authors of these articles. So, moreover, how is the value of good measureable?
 
By the product of good peoples’ endeavors. Good people are more productive in at least seven ways, according to the Harvard Business Review.[iv]
 
By the varied abilities good people express, not just in number but also in their depth, and influence for good on other people.[v] Yes, evil people have influence, too, but I’ll insist on the notion that good people are happier than evil people, not that happiness is the proper goal of actions but that it is one of a number of consequences in the pursuit of goodness.[vi]
 
Not part of the question, and, therefore, not debatable, is the probability of a person achieving perfection in this mortal lifetime. One need merely demonstrate that it is possible by a specified process. No one put a definition to the length of time required to achieve perfection, and that varies, anyway. I will submit, for reference, that it will take longer for a person than a fox.
 
I contend that I have successfully argued that even a perfect person can struggle against evil by beginning, and continuing a flawless record of repeating the 5-step formula, with emphasis on the 3rd point, i.e., the crux of the moment of struggle, responding by the 4th point, and achieving the 5th point by memory and repetition of the 1st and 2nd points, and always succeeding in making the correct choice, and acting on it.
 
If even a perfect person cannot do that, an ordinary person will have an even greater struggle to achieve perfection. That is really the point behind the question of the debate: The struggle is worth it.

All references are posted in comments for round 3





Published:
I thank my counterpart for their thorough response.  Through the complexity of the effective debate, the fundamental question and answer can become clouded in a shroud of confusion.  My counterpart is clearly passionate about the subject of this debate and has cited voluminous references supporting narrative positions.  And while the passion and quantity of references are fantastic, I  put that there is a fundamental relevance issue as it relates to the original question.

My counterpart in this final round has presented 5 points that I shall now address.  For reasons I do not know, only two had been addressed with clarity.

1.  Big Picture.     I am glad my counterpart has agreed that there is a big picture to uphold, and that picture is secular.    That supports my position that regardless of what good and evil are defined as the process an individual goes through may not be a struggle, and in fact, does not need to be a struggle, which would also apply to a perfect person.  Processing informational conflicts, even if you are a "perfect person" need not be a struggle. That is the big picture. 

2.  Value.  I thank and appreciate of my counterpart adopting the Value Theory that I presented, and sourced.  We agree the core concept of value is integral to the definition of good and evil.   This is a very important requirement based on the instigator's definition of good.  Based on the definition provided I further content that the concept of good is relative.

 I want to apologize again to my counterpart as I genuinely did not follow the structure and logic of the last answer provided.  My response in no way is an attempt to undermine or ignore that response.    I struggled with understanding the relevance to the Big Picture.  I have kept my answer as constrained to the original question.

I re-affirm, with slight clarity changes.


For the following reasons I say that  "A good perfect man may not have to struggle with evil"

1.  Based o the definition provided, good is defined intrinsically by the perfect "man/person"
2.  As a result of the aforementioned said person who defines good, also by nature defines perfect
3.  and said persons define evil.
4.  Any differences between good and evil faced by the "man/person" need not be defined as a struggle.  A question, a conundrum, something to ponder, or pontificate over, to assess, judge, evaluate. Something to opine over, flip a coin, ignore, quantify, qualify....  all of which may allow the person to reconcile, and address the evil component.  However, it does such a process that does not innately require a struggle as originally defined.



Added:
--> @oromagi
Thank you for voting. Very concise assessment.
Instigator
#22
Added:
Only two days remain in the voting window.
#21
Added:
--> @DrSpy
Vote removed:
I am not good at this formal stuff.
Pro: Argument "that a perfect person still struggles each and every time such circumstances are presented."
Con: Argument "what is good", "what is evil", "what is struggle", blah blah... "not all challenge is a struggle"
Biggest problem for Pro. He never uses the phrase "every time" anywhere outside of Round1. So he just kinda says it, and never proves that a struggle happens always. He never showed it happens every time in a clear way.
Con gave very good reason why a challenge is not a struggle every time.
The definitions of good, evil etc all are pointless Pro said there is a struggle every time. Con said sometimes it might not be a struggle. Absolutes are a problem. But Con gave good reasons why struggle every time is not necessary. The analogues are funny. A vegetarian fox. hehehe But it worked. I understood what Con was trying to say. I agree now that a struggle does not occur every time. Points for Con.
Pro referenced religious sources, even when he said he wont. Con did not reference anything. Tie.
Spelling and stuff. Tie. Better then I could do.
Pro was very unfair to con by going religious when the promise was not. Thats bullshit. Manipulative wordsmith bullshit. Point to Con.
Please check your DM
#20
Added:
continued
"The rubric of what is good, and what better means relative to good is not defined or established. In a much simpler way what is good for the goose, may not be good for the gander. A fox is good relative to her family when she steals a chicken. She is not good relative to the chickens family, or the farmer. And when she gets better at snatching fresh poultry relative to her family, the chickens family would undisputably opine very differently."
Ok, so let me work this out. I will go back
"The phrase could be a better Nazi, a better KKK member, a better monk. " In a much simpler way what is good for the goose, may not be good for the gander. "
Eh?
Conduct now only 3-0
sourcing 5-0
argument 0-0
S&G 0-0
"If the good is tall than better would be taller. What is missing from the definition of the debate is a baseline of what the value is."
What?
" I use the Value Theory to support this position."
Lets hang on a second here eh! "What position"? The position that the good is tall than better would be taller?
#19
Added:
DrSpy "I thank my opponent for their opening argument. I would like to point out a discrepancy in the title, and the narrative of the debate description.
The title says: "Does a good, perfect man struggle with evil"
The last sentence of the opening narrative says "a perfect person still must struggle to avoid evil behavior."
I am going to start out by awarding DrSpy with a conduct violation from the word go.
I do not think there are any contradictions, nor discrepancies, and the suggestion is unrequired
Quite simply, there is no contradiction.
fauxlaws opening does not have to be the same as his title. DrSpy takes it out of context. I actually fail to see his logic.
Conduct now only 3-0
sourcing 5-0
argument 0-0
S&G 0-0
"The difference is the first statement deals with an undefined struggle, the second statement qualifies that struggle to be for the purposes of avoiding evil behavior. Both are addressed by my position. My position is one that comes down tot he definitions of Good, Evil, and most importantly Struggle that have been provided."
I find this incomprehensible. It makes little sense actually.
"The definition of good: " the state of acting on influences to be a better person today than yesterday. It is not a static condition, but continually dynamic, demanding of one to not just espouse goodness, but to be committed to its action in all circumstances."
This all lacks clarity. It is incomprehensible. Impossible to even work out how it relates to the previous paragraph
"I submit the first issue is the phrase 'better person today than yesterday' has no reference point. The phrase could be a better Nazi, a better KKK member, a better monk. "
I do not see how he made this leap to what he is now discussing. there appeared to be no logical connection
Conduct now only 3-0
sourcing 5-0
argument 0-0
S&G 0-0
tbc
#18
Added:
Rd1 continued
"Application of being perfect
Most people would say, “That formula can be applied for two or three day’s, but, inevitably, we fail.” Yes. But, what if we didn’t? What if we last five days, then ten, then more? It is possible, just unlikely.

As the days of perfection mount, having a continuous string of a variety of choices, at least one of which will be to respond with imperfect evil, that becomes a challenge with potential loss of the perfect record. Is that a struggle?

John Wesley commented, “A person may be sincere who has all his natural tempers, pride, anger, lust, self-will. But he is not perfect until his heart is cleansed from these, and all its other corruptions.”[v]"!

Where did John Lesley say this? I simply do not see it
Argument 0-0
conduct 0-4
source 0-5
S&G 0-0
On to DrSpy
#17
Added:
fauxlaw begins round 1 - Does a perfect person struggle with evil?

No one is perfect for the reason that they are immune from evil; no one can be that immune. In fact, H.J. McCloskey, described as an atheologian [one who argues for the nonexistence of God], of the University of Melbourne, maintains that it is unavoidable. He claims a construct of the following:[i]

Fauxlaw commits what i consider a source violation right at the beginning. He attributes words to a person. Paraphrases that person.
Does not provide the quote.
Instead provides a link that does not even work.
Therefore voter needs to go searching for "his" work. No need. There is the ability to "quote" what is being quoted, and link it above the quote.
So no searching needs to be done. It simply should not have to be.
Sources . 0-1
"[1] God is omnipotent
[2] God is omniscient
[3] God is perfectly good
[4] Evil exists
Conduct violation. fauxlaw stated no mention of religion
source 0-1
conduct 0-1
"McCloskey contends that even if one, two, or three of the above statements are true, all four cannot be true. He argues that if God is omnipotent, He could end all suffering in the world, but He has not; therefore, He is nonexistent. McCloskey argues the same point for God’s omniscience."
Conduct violation. God of the bible
source 0-1
conduct 0-2
Again, continuing to paraphrase. No quote of where McCloskey said this was provided on the playing table.
"McCloskey ignores, but it must be considered, that neither omnipotence nor omniscience imply that either power must be used, only that it is available. The wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” ideology says otherwise: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”[ii]"
Another source violation
Sources 0-2
"The idea is to try to negotiate in peace, but be prepared to wield strength. McCloskey further ignores that God employs a third construct in addition to omnipotence and omniscience: the free agency of man."
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[iii]

Conduct violation
Another source violation.
Quite simply, we do not have the original scriptures, so we cannot use the bible as a reliable source
conduct 0-3
source 0-3

"We often interpret this passage as allowing Adam to eat of every tree except of the tree of knowledge, but that is not at all what is said. God said that Adam could “freely eat” “of every tree of the garden,” including the tree of knowledge. It’s just that eating from the tree of knowledge had a consequence apparently different than the other trees, but God’s gift of agency to man remains intact. There are consequences to our actions, and they can be good and bad."
Conduct 0-4
Source 0-3
Will leave out the conjecture.
"How to be perfect
Based on the definition of “perfect” as offered in the debate description above, the question must be posed: How do we become perfect? One article, The Science of Decision-Making: 5 Ways to Make the Right Decision Every Timesays yes.[iv] It contends that a formula exists to do just that:
1. Focus on the big picture.
2. Know what you value.
3. Recognize and overcome the sunk-cost [a losing path] bias.
4. Create the necessary environment.
5. Take immediate action by the 5-second rule [If you do not take action – physical movement - in the first five seconds, the brain will dismiss the idea]."
Another source violation. I should be able to read on that page where The Science of Decision-Making said this, and not just take the debeters word for it, or go searching for it.
conduct 0-4
source 0-4
TBC
#16
Added:
Ok. Using a new sytstem i will be casting a vote. Both parties will have plenty time to object, as they will be made aware before-hand
#15
Added:
--> @Nevets
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: Nevets // Mod action: [Removed]
>Points Awarded: 6 points to Pro, 1 to Con.
>Reason for Decision:
Convincing argument - I feel Pro had the better philisophical argument, and i agree with his moral definition of "good" over that of Con, that seems more apologetic regarding the moral definition, and i feel it is quite apparent and clear just what definition of "good" Pro was talking about.
Reliable sources - I would not say that Pros sources were really great, and i do not see how much value any source can have regarding a personal opinion that is a matter of speculation, but at least his willingness to present source material showed he has invested much time studying and researching the subject he is talking about
Spelling and Grammar - I had no great issue with eithers spelling or grammar as such. But i feel Cons argument was sometimes harder to read "for some reason" and definitely when it came to seperating the subject matter of his opponent, from his own, it was quite difficult to easily recognise who was speaking, himself, or his opponent.
Conduct - I am actually going to give this to Con. I feel i agree with Pros philisophical stance, aswell as his Scholarship, but i do not agree with his religious arguments, and he violated his own policy on a number of occasions, regards to this being a philisophical debate, and not a religious debate, and he walked a very thin-line and this nearly cost him the argument in my estimation, and it is quite apparent that he is eager to tie this in with god, which makes his argument just a tad dishonest. But once weighed up, i feel his philisophical argument was good enough to win over, and reduce his violation to a conduct violation, rather than an argument violation.
>Reason for Mod Action: Allocation of argument points requires more than simply stating that one argument was convincing (https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#1-argument-points). Explain why the definition of "good" matters in the debate and why one side defines the term better better. Sources was unjustified because a) not a single citation was evaluated and b) the voter failed to compare sources of each debater (https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#2-sources-points). As for S&G, the Voting Policy explicitly states "In order to award spelling and grammar (S&G) points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:
Give specific examples of S&G errors
Explain how these errors were excessive
Compare each debater's S&G from the debate
S&G errors are considered excessive when they render arguments incoherent or incomprehensible."
Simply stating that you prefer one side for separating the argument to make it easier to read does not constitute excessive S&G errors.
Conduct is explained sufficiently as you did demonstrate that the mutually agreed upon rule was broken.
Please consult the Voting Policy which can be found here: https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy
************************************************************************
#14
Added:
I didnt vote, but np!
#13
Added:
--> @DrSpy
Relative to my last comment here, I want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed our debate, and beg your forgiveness for the cynic in me. You truly raised some valid points in opposition, and wish you well in your further debates.
Instigator
#12
Added:
--> @Melcharaz
Thank you for voting. I appreciate your commentary, even that which is in criticism. You raise valid points. I'm afraid one of my faults is a rather thick streak of cynicism, and I especially prefer the negative side of cynicsm that engages the 18th century French penchant to seek the "bon mot." A clear fault, I recognize and just need to be patient with myself as I work to eliminate it. In the end, though, I'm a very happy guy, cynic or nt.
Instigator
#11
Added:
Also, its very briefly touched on here. Evil people can do good. But an evil person cannot do truth. As truth in the scriptures is a spirit that the world cant accept.
#10
Added:
According to scripture, yes. Because being perfect isnt being sinless, a good example is Job, a perfect and upright man. He wasnt sinless. Jesus told us to be perfect as God is perfect, matthew 5:44-48 is very clear. And the scriptures have called men good. Psalm 37:23 acts 11:22-24. And barnabas wasnt sinless. The only sinless man was jesus christ.
#9
Added:
--> @DrSpy, @fauxlaw
I gave this an initial read through. Not voting yet, but a couple preliminary comments:
“There are consequences to our actions, and they can be good and bad.” Well said. Terry Pratchett’s book Going Postal opens on similar consideration.
However much of pro's opening was looking at the matter through a religious lense, which given the description could harm conduct. On that, I don't think it actually harmed the arguments, as they were not dependent on religious preference, but rather were using them like an analogy. Related to that, I don't see a problem with the vegan fox analogy (even while if forced it would be a cruel violation of the nature and literally biology of the beast).
I was worried con would just argue a perfect person doesn't exist, but he spent a lot of his time on something little better. Basically a mix of Discourse and Normative Kritiks (https://tiny.cc/Kritik). As much as I could offer a better definition of evil, the pre-agreed definitions of good and evil functioned fine for this debate.
I'm leaning on pro's favor on arguments. However, con put some work into his challenge for if a struggle really occurs. In a few days or so, I'll try to re-read with emphasis on that to determine a winner.
#8
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
DOES a GOOD, PERFECT MAN STRUGGLE with EVIL
Before the debate begins, PRO has introduced a couple of problem impacting clarity.
PRO suggests dual subjects, both GOOD and PERFECT humans. GOOD is committed to doing better each day. PERFECT is never failing to do better each day which suggests contradiction: if a human is perfect on Monday, there is no room for improvement on Tuesday and so that human cannot do better and by PRO's definition is neither good nor perfect any more.
PRO's thesis is never clearly stated. The title is formatted as a question and because instigator is PRO, we infer that the thesis is
Both good and perfect humans struggle with evil
STRUGGLE is insufficiently defined as combat.
EVIL is defined as enticement, power, pride, and possession and also the opposite of GOOD so good can be additionally defined as revulsion, weakness, shame, and poverty.
PRO argues even God struggles with evil, the battleground being the free will of humans. All humans are continuously tempted, PERFECT humans resist temptation without fail but yes, that's still a STRUGGLE
CON intelligently goes after PRO's highly personalized definitions. Better is relative to condition ands unspecified. CON faults PRO's standard as too generic and the main verb "STRUGGLE" as insufficiently defined. The vegetarian fox makes an excellent metaphor.
CON's approach is smart but is not going to win this debate because CON accepted the debate with these terms pre-defined.
"the challenge is to conduct this debate purely from the limited definitions of all terms defined herein"
Normal debate conduct suggest that acceptance of the debate implies agreement to pre-defined terms & definitions. This VOTER tries to maintain an open mind to kritiks of inadequate or offensive pre-definitions and PRO's definitions are wide open to criticism- not rooted in dictionary definition, not sourced, self-contradicting and (as PRO concedes) limited. But for CON's kritik to win the day, I think CON needed to BOTH fault the definitions as unsourced and inadequate AND provide new, well-sourced definitions that makes PRO's thesis fail.
CON's argument is very good; GOOD/EVIL too vague, STRUGGLE is a much more inclusive word than mere combat. HOWEVER, PRO explicitly stated that these definitions stand. This debate can only be conducted by the terms defined (and so should never have been accepted).
Therefore, ARGUMENT to PRO.
This VOTER is sorely tempted to award sources to CON, since the debate depends on definitions that would not stand up to cross-reference In spite of the deficit of sourcing in DESCRIPTION, however, PRO uses many sources of good quality in the debate itself while CON uses no outside source. I expect that was a stylistic choice since CON's positions are in agreement with many reliable sources. CON desperately needed to bring dictionary definitions to bear against PRO's personal definitions. If CON had elected to show that his position is much better supported by scholars and philosophers than PRO, this VOTER would likely have awarded the point to CON in response to PRO's made up definitions, (and so, tied up the debate).
CONDUCT to CON
Both debaters gave good game and demonstrated fine conduct and engagement. This VOTER looks forward to reading future debates from both.
Both PRO and CON violated the terms of the debate but CON is the more forgiven since his approach was a kiritik of those terms while PRO's over-reliance on those terms to win the debate merits a higher standard of conduct. CON was quite right to fault PRO for "referencing God no more than 14 times in both answers, with 5 actual cited references" PRO did well to acknowledge errors on both sides but PRO's violation is the more grievous because PRO wrote the rules and won significant benefit from those rules in ARGUMENTS.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I really can't decide between the two. I will give a tie on this vote and let someone else using their distinctive minds to do their jobs.