Instigator / Pro
4
1419
rating
136
debates
31.62%
won
Topic

By combining the moral systems in the description, you achieve the best action possible

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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0
3
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2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
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1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

seaweedbrain
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Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
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Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
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Contender / Con
7
1495
rating
2
debates
50.0%
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Description
~ 253 / 5,000

Idea: Say you want to know if something is moral or not. You run it through each moral system below, whatever the majority say is moral is likely more moral than not.

1. Utilitarianism
2. Egoism
3. Kantian Theory
4. Virtue Ethics
5. Cultural relativism

Round 1
Pro
On the surface, the five combined seem contradictory and impossible. However, if you analyze it carefully. It's a good system of checks and balances.

Utilitarianism has a decent idea which values the people's happiness overall, but has been criticized because it's near impossible to measure your overall happiness (and of course, your future happiness). As such, Universalism test from Kant's philosophy is a good check on this, and Egoism helps you make the decision, as most people are selfish and a lot of them would be unwilling to sacrifice themselves for another, therefore valuing yourself by default is a natural evolutional theory. Finally, Virtue ethics tells us if the idea is actually good or not, and hence can help understand utilitarianism better, so that you don't stress too much on stressing on the happiness created.

Egoism has been criticized as a self-contradictory theory because if you were truly selfish, the nature of humans working together would benefit you more than not. As such, cultural values help emphasize the weakness of egoism, and Universalism combined with Virtue ethics prevent you from defeating your own morals (ex. killing an innocent person merely because you feel like it, but everyone killing someone would be bad, and virtue ethics would definitely say no, so egoism is defeated).

Kantian values have been said to defeat itself because universalism considers consequences while Categorical Imperative does not. But the other four philosophies combined ought to make up for the weaknesses of Kant's ideas. Because utilitarianism thoroughly examines the consequences, assisted by egoism and cultural values, while Virtue theory looks into whether the categorical imperative truly works or not. As such, Kant's values are well balanced out as a result. 

Virtue ethics has been disliked by some because it follows one rule and is too inflexible and rigid, perhaps agreeing with Kantian values. But the personal value with egoism combined with culture and utilitarianism ought to outweigh it, if the virtue should not be followed and both everyone around you and yourself think so, and the result has better means of being able to be solved.

Finally, cultural values help because of the experience of humanity, similar to contractarianism, people have had thousands and thousands of years to develop a set of general laws to follow, and this seems reasonable. However there are certain cases where these laws must not be followed, or perhaps the culture itself is wrong. In such case, virtue ethics and kantian values put a check and balance on cultural values, and utilitarianism can help evaluate the ending result.

As you can see the five moral philosophies provide excellent alternative views that help negate the flaws of each moral philosophies. By considering all major schools of thought, you result in the best action overall, with this check and balance.
Con
Firstly, I’d like to start off by repeating what you said... the five combined seem contradictory and impossible.
 
Utilitarianism is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. Its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects. More specifically, the only effects of actions that are relevant are the good and bad results that they produce. Utilitarians believe that the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the number of good things (such as pleasure and happiness) in the world and decreasing the number of bad things (such as pain and unhappiness). They defenestrate moral codes or systems that consist of commands or sins based on customs, traditions, or orders given by leaders or supernatural beings. For instance, religious quarrels: they cannot be stopped and cannot be altered according to the society. Even if someone makes an attempt at it, they’ll fail miserably.

Egoism is the complete opposite of utilitarianism. It promotes self-importance and only concerned about the effects a situation may have on oneself. This step only succeeds in confusing a person on making a decision. Using your example: killing an innocent person merely because you feel like it – this would go against most other morals stated in the description of this debate.

Kantian ethics provides no specific information about what people should do because Kant’s moral law is solely a principle of non-contradiction – GWF Hegel.
He used Kant’s example of being trusted with another man’s money to argue that Kant’s Formula of Universal Law cannot determine whether a social system of property is a morally good thing because either answer can require opposition. He also used the example of helping the poor: if everyone helped the poor, there would be no poor left to help, so generosity would be making it immoral according to Kant’s model.
 
Virtue ethics, it is an aim with its emphasis on the inaccurate nature of ethics. This character-based approach to morality assumes that we acquire virtue through practice. It fails to give us any help with the facts of how we should behave. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues. Most of these examples are dismissed by other morals listed.

Again, cultural values cancel utilitarianism and virtue ethics. In certain religions, lying is allowed only if telling the truth may put you in grave danger. Enabling people to follow their own culture will automatically enable religious riots and whatnot.

I conclude that the best action possible is not attained when one follows the 5 moral principles. It is doolally and the person following may often find himself in a loop as the five points combined are contradictory.
Round 2
Pro
Con seems to not have read the premise: You run it through each moral system below, whatever the majority say is moral is likely more moral than not. 
There are very little contradictions within each moral system on its own, there are merely nitty gritty cases that they have each not considered but are covered by the other four. Unless con can show something that three of these moral systems mutually agree or disagree on yet is still questionable, then he has failed to refute the case. 

Con mentions religious quarrel as impossible to stop; this is why we run it through all five moral systems. By Virtue theory, Kantian theory and Cultural ethics, this would let the person see the entirety of the correct decision: Firstly, culture says we have freedom of religion, so it is fine to argue about it. Kant puts a dent by arguing that religious debates would lead to nowhere, but virtue theory could enlighten the person by saying that the hatred and the core problem of the debate is the mood within it. Constructive arguments that make both parties happy would be the ideal outcome. As you can see, when you follow all five moral philosophies together, you can solve seemingly impossible problems. 

Next, con points out that helping the poor would make it so that there is no more poor the help, that is the entire point of helping the poor. You negate the problem. Kantian theory does not say this is immoral. Virtue theory, cultural theory and utilitarianism would also combine to say this is moral, and outweigh regardless of Kantian paradoxes.

Con has not negated the idea that the five moral systems have mutual checks and balances upon each other. Each has their own reasoning which helps in most contexts, but have exceptions. But it seems impossible that all five philosophies have missed out on something, when combined together. Because Kantian and Utilitarianism both have a world view independent of the people, they are the bigger picture and complement each other well. Cultural and egoism work together in specific contexts to determine if it is really necessary to do something. And finally I believe virtue theory is the crucial tie-breaker in case you don't know whether the people and the context is right, or the results is right, because if the people and the results balance each other out, then humanity virtue being the default correct decision could be the most moral idea to take in the end. Because you are also considering the results and the beliefs in society and yourself, virtue now has consequences and backing to be the crux of this "five moral system" decision. 
Con
Pro seems to not have understood the opposition: following the 5 steps is of no use as it puts the user in confusion and leaves them unsure of their decision as all steps contradict each other. In fact, the “nitty-gritty” cases have a higher chance at succeeding by following the 5 parameters than the important and necessary cases that need to be taken care of.
Religious quarrels are indeed impossible to stop. People have the right to religion, but are they being allowed to practice it freely? For example, the Uyghur Muslim community in China is being forced to disobey their religion. Hindus in Pakistan are being forcefully converted into Muslims. A God in one religion may be considered a murderer in another. Hence, there is no question on constructive arguments as it will be nowhere constructive due to the completely opposite views of the 2 communities.
The point has been missed completely here: if there were no poor people, more people would be able to buy products. As products would become scarce, vendors would have to raise the price of products. People with less money wouldn’t be able to afford everything they need and would be considered poor again. This is the perfect example that portrays that the 5 morals do not work and will put the person in a loop. There is no need to say more as this example alone proves that combining the 5 morals does not provide any outcome. It puts the whole situation in a loop where the events repeat themselves and no actual solution is found to the problem.
Round 3
Pro
con argues that it's impossible to follow my "majority wins" philosophy, despite similar ideas being taken in the US Democracy. Consider that all 12 supreme court justices likely have very different beliefs and ideas, yet the vast majority of their decisions have been hailed as decent and moral. In order for con to win, he would have to argue that even if, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, the individual in question, and their societal leaders (as a collective group), sitting at a table, with majority vote, cannot come to a moral decision via majority voting. Their thoughts may contradict, but their collective wisdom combined together negate each other's flaws, as laid out. As they discuss with each other they may change their ideas and add certain exceptions to allow you to do things that are too broad to encompass with a single moral system.

Con gives specific examples but they are not convincing enough. Let's tackle religion one more time: He says that community views opposing will lead to nowhere, but due to the odd number of participants, there must be some kind of result here. Mill would definitely say that unless the religious group has incredible benefits from forcing people to obey, they should not do it. Kant would consider the case where everyone was forced to follow, and see if some contradiction would occur. Aristotle would think about whether it's virtuous to force someone to do something against their freewill (likely not). The person would believe in their own beliefs, and even if the societal thought is "you must follow your religion", we already see that Aristotle and yourself are severe barriers in the place. Unless the leaders could prove there was some big consequential impact, Mill would disapprove of the societal thinking, and result in a better society. It does not matter if it is impossible to actually implement. This is only the fact that theoretically, we have found the most moral solution.

Secondly, con raises the idea of the market causing an infinite loop, but the justification is that products become scarce. This is nonsense. There are plenty of products that have been running excellently for decades and will continuously run until god knows when. Consider Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., con's justification on the scarcity vs demand is ridiculous, and without backup. If in a few thousand years, helping the poor to allow them to buy resources makes it become scarce, perhaps it is justified to not help the poor. But consider the opposite, that the poor may decide to want to steal the resources for their own benefit, and thus is even more immoral, since at least giving money allows the merchant to invest in different methods to produce the resource. In the end, if con is talking about the present, cultural, utilitarian impact, and Aristotle vote in favor, and produce a logical result, with resources on earth plenty to spare. If Con is talking about a dystopian future, once again, utilitarianism would consider if the merchants truly lost more than gained, Cultural would dictate what is the standard in this timeline, and Aristotle would think about whether it is truly generous to donate to the poor. I still don't see a problem with combining the five.

Conclusion: Con tries to assert that looping back is a problem, but it is not. Consider, if you had merely walked a circle in 100 meters radius and returned to where you were. This certainly seems pointless as you did not go anywhere. But the moral philosophies would combine to tell you, if you are healthy, not tired, and have nothing better to do, it is wise to walk a circle, as it improves your health, boosts morale, and gives you time to think about your life. There may seem to be no result, but a process is an experimental phrase that gives answers nonetheless. Therefore, con's looping problem is not a problem, especially with Aristotle and Utilitarian thoughts backing this up.
Con
USA is probably the worst example that can be taken. As we all know there have been quite many riots and there has been no justice being given to people who need it. None of the decisions made were decent or moral. The Black Lives Matter Movement is all about gaining justice and equality for the Black Community. If the democracy follows these morals, then there should've been a much better outcome but there isn't one. Therefore, by following the moral systems, we do not achieve the best action possible.

Let's understand the example once again. Poor people mainly comprise of farmers, merchants, artists etc. Let's consider farmers who are the most hard working but still poor. If they become rich, they would no longer be farming. They might use their plot of land for construction purposes leaving no land for plants to grow. Therefore, resources become scarce. The idea of products becoming scarce isn't "nonsense". Google and Facebook aren't basic needs but food is!

Pro has not addressed how religion is a right but how people (the Uyghur Muslim Community and Pakistani Hindus) are not being allowed to practice that right. 

Pro's conclusion is very unintelligent. Pro accepts that following the moral philosophies is like going in a circle proving my point that following these steps will get a person nowhere and that it is truly based on luck and chance. Pro also says that moving in a circle improves your health, stamina etc but it is not permanent and ultimately the person will return to his initial position. I stand by what I said : following the 5 morals will get you nowhere and gives no permanent solution to a problem. 

Round 4
Pro
Using black lives matter is preposterous. Did the majority of people in US come to agreement on this? No. Would our panel of five people agree with this? Hell no. Utilitarian, Kant and virtue outweigh egoism and cultural. Defeated.

Next, con then chooses to focus on scarcity again, but I have already said if this is the case, the majority would say no and hence the problem is solved.

Finally con says there must be a permanent solution, but gives no backing for this. There is a famous saying that the journey is worth more than the destination. That’s why I decided to include virtue theory to complement the other four stances. Based on con, it is pointless to take a break from work as it does not permanently resolve the project, despite potentially boosting your work and giving you morale. Nobody should ever watch entertainment as it is merely a momentary gain. Human life is about temporary movements and flexible changes within situation. Otherwise, utilitarian system by itself would suffice. But con has admitted utilitarian has immense flaws. A permanent solution in most cases is impossible and even the five moral stances could find agreement on equality for humans and rights that we deserve. Remember that the five do not have to come up with a brand new idea, they are not the legislative branch in this theory, they are the judicial system equivalent on your actions. And even the Supreme Court sometimes regrets its decisions depending on context and change of times.

Vote for pro.
Con
Pro used the example of Democratic America and compared how USA used similar principles to the 5 morals in Round 3. In Round 4 however, Pro says that the 5 morals are completely different from what America is following. Pro seems to be undecided on this matter. It is evident from this that the 5 morals make a person confused just like it confused Pro. 

Scarcity is a real problem. Even in today's world there are many strikes etc by labourers who drive up the price of products. The situation can only get worse if there is no one to supply produce and as repeated earlier, the whole system ends up in a loop.

Pro has again dismissed the way Uyghur Muslims and Pakistani Hindus are being mistreated and forced to follow another religion although in Round 2 Pro mentions about the freedom of religion.

There are many other quotes that oppose this saying. For example "aim for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars". The quote here evidently emphasises on the final destination. If the journey is pleasant, there'll definately be a destination and if not, then the person is just roaming around without a purpose. Pro agrees in Round 5 that no permanent solution is found and that the decisions made are often regretted when the moral system is followed. 

Thank you.