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54
54
Yes No
Debate Score:108
Arguments:62
Total Votes:127
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 Yes (28)
 
 No (34)

Debate Creator

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One has a moral obligation to help those in poorer circumstances.

Whenever one person sees or knows of another person is poorer circumstances does that persons have a moral obligation to help them however possible?

Yes

Side Score: 54
VS.

No

Side Score: 54
5 points

YES!

That is the moral obligation.

You have to by every religious and non-religious humanistic standard, help one you see in need.

This is an eddict, absolutely, both self as Sparsley stated, and and, I repeat socially.

This is a duty by any any moral standard ever in the history of man concieved and made popular.

So what the hell does that mean?

Does that mean Bill Gates should never have founded Microsoft, and instead should just have given everything away as he got it? No.

Does it mean every industrious invention ever should have been sidelined as the curators helped the poor? Nope.

That's the confusion, and the pull-youself-up-by-your-bootstraps bible belt I love Jesus but not more than my gun and get the eff off welfare even if you have 4 kids that would starve to death hypocrites just absolutely love, this conundrum because it forgives them for not living up to the idle they carry around their neck.

The standard is that:

1. you take care of your family if you have one,

2. you take care of yourself,

3. you help those closest to you with whatever you have left.

Now, just because I or you do not want to do this. And don't do this,

does not change the fact that you're supposed to do this.

So fine. I don't judge. I have all kinds of junk I really really don't need, and that if I sold could feed a few people.

I do what I can based on what I think is fair.

That doesn't mean I do enough.

Very few ever do enough. Jesus if he ever existed was an example of one who did, and preached that his followers should.

But we are alll like the rick dude who wanted to be his disciple (keep in mind please I'm a complete aetheist, this is just the best example I can think of.) Jesus said okay, go sell all your worldly possessions, use the money to feed the poor, and you can join me.

This is the standard.

Those preachers at the mega churches are charlatans, and akin to the pharaseas, not Jesus.

Jesus never saw the rich dude again. We don't wanna do all that, we just wanna do a little.

And that's better than nothing.

But don't try and justify your greed, twisting the idea of moral obligation to fit your wants.

Just admit you're not perfect.

It's better to be imperfect and honest, than imperfect and a liar.

Side: yes
ThePyg(6759) Disputed
3 points

you act like religious people are the only ones who believe in individualism and gun rights.

Where does that put me? non-existent?

Side: No
iamdavidh(4868) Disputed
1 point

no I don't,

I think you're reading in something that isn't there.

My only point was that if Jesus existed, he would have been against guns.

And that has little to do with my overall point anyway.

just pointing out hypocricies.

If anything it makes you less of a hypocrite, because you're not religious.

Side: yes
2 points

I loved this I cannot agree more with this but wouldn't you think that helping even complete strangers is a good thing? Think of a world with more selfless people than selfish people the beauty it would hold. Would be magnificent.

Side: yes
Nercos(6) Disputed
1 point

OK, you are advocating permissibility, as in it is permissible for me to run across the room, we are discussing an obligation here as in it may be permissible for me to run across the room but I am not OBLIGATED to run across the room. Thank you for making a nice big rant for negative.

Side: No
iamdavidh(4868) Disputed
1 point

"moral obligation" changes the standard of "obligation." As each has a different moral standard and this is most often personal, it is dependant on the individual. I was comparing the debate title to the accepted standards most often upheld, which was the reason for the length of the comment in explanation.

If it were one's own moral standard to say, kick every red head they see, than certainly helping them wouldn't be a "moral obligation."

That however is nowhere in this society nor any religions I know of.

You are kind of supporting from this reply in the typical cerebral way but more bluntly what I often see in the hypocricy I pointed out in the reply.

You are saying since it is not officially an "obligation" to help those in poorer circumstance than one would "morally" be excused for it.

I am saying you are "legally" excused from it, "technically" excused from it,

but based on every "moral" standard popular (the basis of the debate and as I explain) you are not "morally" excused.

The point is not everyone is evil. The point is 1. people don't do enough usually and excuse this exactly how you stated and 2. They are hypocrites in excusing it instead of simply accepting they are not perfect... or better yet trying harder or re-evaluting what "morality" is to them.

Side: yes

Yes, I think they do in whatever way (s) they can. It would be a much richer world if people thought about others instead of themselves most of the time.

It needn't be anything large. Even a small favor or gesture can help a poor person more than you know. I can tell you from experience that it also makes YOU feel better about yourself. To share what we have or just not throw things away that someone else may need shouldn't be such a hard task. Let me ask this...Wouldn't you feel good if someone who barely knows you called and said, "I understand you need to go see the doctor next week but have no way to get there. I'd gladly take you and maybe we can stop for a cup of coffee after that!"

I can tell you that it makes you feel like a million bucks to help someone out in a time of need.

Side: yes
woodstyle(18) Disputed
2 points

I agree with everything you are saying but this say we have a obligation and you are merely stating that is is a good thing, which I believe is true. But I do not believe we have an obligation.

Side: No
1 point

I agree. We don't have an obligation, but morality suggests that in doing so we are more morally stable.

Side: No
4 points

Yes.

I am an Eagle Scout for BSA. As a boy scout I learned a lot about helping people.

I think the key word here is "help". People forget that there are many, many ways that you can help somebody other than giving them money.

You could give them food, you could do yard work for them, help clean their house. You can help somebody just by being their friend.

It is not ones moral obligation to climb them out of poverty. That is up to them. But people need help. So lets make it easier for them to do that.

Side: yes
MKIced(2478) Disputed
2 points

I agree that we should help the poorest people in society. I feel we ALL should do so. However, this is not a moral obligation. This is charity. Moral obligation implies that we must and that we have no say in the matter. But if you earn $100, you don't need to give any of it to the poor. You can give any amount of this $100 to the poor, your family, bills, or for yourself. I never feel obligated to donate money to charity, but I do it anyway out of compassion for them.

Side: No
2 points

Thats right. You should do the right thing for the right reason, not because you are forced to do it, and people should not be forced to do the right thing. Thats why I don't like socialism. You earn 100 bucks, it's yours.

You shouldn't be forced to help people. But helping people is the right thing to do. I believe in free agency. It is a moral obligation, not a law, and should have nothing to do with the government.

As a Christian I know that it is a moral obligation and a choice to help people.

I think we are on the same page, it just comes down to how you interpret the words: "moral obligation".

Side: yes
3 points

Please read the entirety of this reply before you reply.

The author of this debate may not have foreseen the course that this debate would follow in order to answer his question. So, in accordance with the spirit of the letter and not the exactness of the letter, I will respond.

Our consciences bare witness of our inherent desire to be charitable. Yes! We are charitable by nature!

Philanthropic, altruistic, compassionate, charitable, sympathetic, empathetic, etc. are terms that are descriptive of the consequences of our natures to be kind to others. Those qualities, in greater or lesser degrees, are manifested in both deed and word by almost all mentally competent human beings. Every human being with an active conscience will demonstrate with words and deeds that they are de facto charitable, not de jure charitable. (If charity is a mandate of law then it cannot be charity, for then would it be obedience to the will of the lawmaker. If charity is a consequence of law, who has the authority to enforce or punish the subjects of the law?) Charity is a manifest consequence of the conscience. However, there are, perhaps, an infinite number of charitable decisions that are not seen or heard. Has anyone refused to give a drunkard another bottle of wine by evading the drunkard? How many among us have constrained ourselves from beating the tar out of someone who caused harm, or loss of property of ourselves?

We, including myself, demonstrate, more often than not, a self-justification for not complying with our own consciences. The multitude of justifications for refusing to obey one’s conscience is innumerable.

Now, instead of rambling about things which all adults ought to have readily identified by their experiences in life, I desire, charitably of course, to bare witness of our weaknesses and strengths concerning charity.

Please, pardon the emotion in my attempt to illustrate by word my understanding of men and charity. (Women also)

I have suffered many things in life that have ultimately brought about my ruin. However, I am not disturbed by that in and of itself; I am however, emotionally destroyed and brought low by the fact that my family equally suffers that which has befallen me; for that which has befallen me has befallen them as well. There is no doubt in my mind that I could have played the hand dealt to me differently than I did. Knowing the hand, the circumstances of the consequences of life, I labored and studied more diligently than anybody I know in order to hopefully change the cards I held. All to no avail, despite my best efforts and choices, I could not escape the certainty of folding. Am I to be blamed? Probably. Does anybody have a right to accuse me of wrongful decisions? Only they who suffer with me as a consequence of my decisions, my family!

So, if you see me, unshaven, with dirty hair and teeth on the corner of a street, wearing filthy, torn clothes, holding a sign that reads, ”Will work for food”, will you judge me by both my appearance and your ignorance and say, “It’s his fault, both he and his family should suffer for the decisions he has made; I will not think of him again.”? Are you therefore, any different than the priest, rabbi, pastor, elder, cop, politician, Christian or Muslim? No, for they are charitable only to they who are alike themselves.

Now, fast-forward five years into the future, and this time instead of me on the corner it is you on the corner. And this time, it is I who witness your destitution. What do you think I shall desire to say?

Come FRIEND, we have much work that needs to be done, but before we shall work, enter into my house, you and your family, eat that which my wife and family has prepared for you and your’s, cleanse yourselves, take upon your shoulders the clothes we have made for you, and take ye rest from your sorrows.

I say to you, and those like you, of which I too was regretably numbered, who was compassionate? He, whom, along with his family had suffered much, or he, whom, along with his family suffered not?

Call it a moral tale if you will. Yet, the tale, so called, speaks of the reality of life’s experiences.

Side: yes
2 points

Yes, I think so. But simple charity is not the answer. Like the old saying goes: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

We need to create sustainable societies in which all people have a chance to contribute in exchange for their fair share of the wealth.

Side: yes
2 points

i totally agree with the fact that those who have found sucess should teach those that haven't, if they should so choose, to have the same options.

Side: yes
ThePyg(6759) Disputed
1 point

what would happen to our janitors and ditch diggers? Shit jobs, which take up the majority, should be for the less motivated or less fortunate.

otherwise, we're fucked.

Side: No
2 points

Yeah, incompetent or lazy people should do the low skill jobs and get a smaller share of the wealth. This is part of what I mean by a sustainable society where everyone can contribute.

Being a janitor or ditch digger in America is way better than living on pennies a day like many people Africa. I think we could provide the most benefit by bringing a sustainable form of capitalism to third world countries. This is why I think stuff like microcredit is so cool.

Side: No
2 points

Yes, if you are able and it won't really harm you i think you are obliged help those less fortunate. It is a sad fact that we live an apathetic society where we choose to blame the less fortunate than try to help them. Some people are in their social status because of their own actions but many more are because they didn't have the support or ability to be more fortunate.

A moral obligation to help does not mean you need to give someone a job, money etc, just to care and do something to help them out no matter how little as long as it is sincere. The more you can help the better, obviously, but just acknowledging there position and trying to help them is all that is required morally.

We can often do a lot, with very little cost to our selves, to help those in need and to judge and blame the less fortunate shows a weak or hypocritical moral standing and lack of compassion that is a very sad yet common state of humanity in many societies.

Side: yes
1 point

As was stated by our previous Vice President a nation is deemed justified by how the members within its society treat the weakest members. Thus to be considered a justified society we have an obligation to individuals in need.

Side: yes

It is nice for those who have to give to those who don't have.

Side: Yes
3 points

I'd have to say no, because in general, moral obligations are internal edicts. That is, they are adopted by individuals through personal validation and commitment.

For that reason, one cannot make a blanket statement that all individuals have a particular moral obligation, as morals differ from one person to the next.

Side: No
jessald(1915) Disputed
3 points

Internal edicts? Personal validation? I don't get it.

Morality simply means providing the best possible quality of life to as many people as possible.

Side: yes
3 points

What if the best possible quality of life to as many people as possible means letting the very poor/sick die off?

Lets take N.Y. city for example. The percentage of slums is small compared to the whole. We have two choices.

1. We decrease the quality of life of the majority in order to improve the life of a minority. This means that the quality of life of most people decreased.

2. We let the minority die off. This means that the quality of life of most people increases because now they can plow down the slums with the money they saved from paying welfare and put a park in its place.

Q.E.D.

;)

Side: No
sparsely(495) Disputed
1 point

That's not what moral means at all.

1 a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical

b: expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior

c: conforming to a standard of right behavior

d: sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment

Many people believe homosexuality to be immoral. What's best for those people is obviously not best for gay people, is it?

Supporting Evidence: mw/moral (adjective) (www.merriam-webster.com)
Side: No
2 points

No, because i can't speak for everyone. I don't even believe in moral obligations.

If you want to talk about what we accept as socially, then that's how laws are passed. But it doesn't mean that people have MORAL OBLIGATIONS to obey these laws. A lot of the time, they do it just cause. Like speeding and seat belt laws. I speed all the time unless a cop is around. Not because my moral meter came up, but because i know that there's a chance he'll give me a ticket.

This whole idea that there are OBLIGATIONS really just makes it sound like a drag. I like to help people by giving to charity. It's not because I feel like I have to. If I felt like I had to, it would just piss me off. This is why welfare pisses me off. My tax dollars are going to some dip shit who probably broke into my car just a few weeks ago and stole, get this, a pair of sunglasses. Fuck, next time I'll just leave the sunglasses on the hood of my car cause fixing the window costs more than the fuckin' sunglasses.

In fact, I don't think I have any moral obligations. Nothing makes me feel like I just have to (maybe cause i'm not religious anymore). The only reason why i stop myself from doing something I want to do is because I'm not allowed to.

Side: No
jessald(1915) Disputed
2 points

Here we go again...

To you certain actions are good because they bring you enjoyment. Why not apply this perspective from the point of view of others?

If you do that you can see that everyone's happiness carries value.

This is where morality comes from.

P.S. Welfare was reformed a long time ago. Will you conservative types please stop beating the shit out of this strawman?

Side: yes
ThePyg(6759) Disputed
2 points

us conservative types? what about libertarians? they're more against it than conservatives.

and about this strawman... what strawman? are you actually willing to say that welfare doesn't go to dip shits who break into cars?

Side: No
fire(41) Disputed
1 point

seriously, law has nothing to do with morality. It has to do with set rules, and consequences if those laws put into place aren't obeyed.

Side: yes
2 points

Depends on how they got to that circumstance.

If I see a homeless man on the street he has probably lost his life to alcohol of course this is just an assumption since most homeless people like the drink. So lets say that I just got my pay check and I have a couple hundred dollars on me. I see a homeless man on the street and he asks me for some spare change. Let us assume that he is a drunk why should I give him money when all he is going to do is purchase booze?

We can look at it in this perspective also. Lets assume that this time the man is down on his luck. Lost his job, wife, kids, and all of his money and it wasn't even his fault! So here he is at a bus station wearing dirty clothes and he looks at me once making more in a day than what I make in a week asking me for spare change. Should I give him money? I think so, but since the majority of homeless are homeless on their own faults and avoidable faults at that how can I just know when that homeless man is going to go and buy food instead of booze? How do I know that that homeless person isn't just another drunk?

Side: Depends on the Person
2 points

That's the standard come-back but you have a 50-50 chance by helping and a 100% opportunity to not be so cynical. You don't know what the person will do with the money...so invite him/her to the nearest hot dog stand and buy them a doggie. If they say yes, they're probably hungry...if they say no, they're probably looking for something else. It doesn't always have to do with spare change or money either Wolf. It is about the things you can DO for people. Be generous but not over-generous if you don't know the person's circumstances and you don't have a lot yourself. It's simply about caring for your fellow man.

Side: yes
2 points

KEYWORD here is MORAL! We all have different morals and what you may think is right, others will think is wrong. Morality is based on the way you are raised and we are all raised differently. Take an American serial killer, he is a citizen, and after he kills someone, ask him; "Do you think what you did is wrong?" They will most likely answer "NO." Now ask another citizen if he was wrong for killing someone, the will most likely say "yes." See, everyone has different morals so therefore we shouldnt obligate anyone to do anything that is going against their own morals. This is the land of the free. Free religion, free speech, and free morals. Meaning, free of choice to help people.

Side: No
1 point

This is where most people confuse charity with justice. Justice would say we need to help the poor. I don't think we all need to help the poor financially or in any other way. We all need to work hard for ourselves first and foremost and for our families as well. After we have worked and earned our money and spent some of it on necessities, this is when we should consider charity. I'm not saying I'm a stingy person, but I don't feel I should be forced to donate my hard-earned money to those with less than me. For some of them, they do work hard and have fallen on hard times, but for others, they can get off of their butts and work harder to have a more comfortable lifestyle. That's why I don't feel the need, morally, to give to charity.

As a side note, I do give to charity, not because I feel obligated to, but because I want to help the poorer. This should be the same for all people. Don't feel obligated to do anything.

Side: No

I don't think that anyone has a moral obligation to help someone less fortunate than them because then guess what? Everybody spends all their time helping every body else! No matter how low you sink, you can always sink lower, and if you can sink lower, then so can others. So ask yourself this: Do you want to spend your entire life helping other people and basically doing nothing else? I know I don't.

But, as I'm saying this, there is something of a legal obligation related to this subject called the good samaritan law. This law legally binds you to assist anybody that you see in danger or in trouble. I personally am not a fan of this law. I know this will sound stupid, but after watching the final Seinfeld episode, what lawyer Jackie Chiles states: "With this law, we've created a new person: the guilty bystander." I don't approve of that. But whatever.

Side: No
fire(41) Disputed
0 points

This is what our society is made up of, many selfish people that have more likely than not has never lived below the threshold of poverty. The question is who gives a fuck about what the law has to say when it comes to showing love to your fellow human being. If everyone in the world had to seriously go through such hardships there might be more sympathy, and empathy.

Side: yes
1 point

I say no, for the simple fact that many people lack morals. If you lack a heart, or if you are inclined to be selfish, you wont have it instilled in you to help the less fortunate. But another question is "Who are the less fortunate?" Those bound by what social economics dictates should be the way to live, or those freed by making choices that are not predetermined for them. Another point to make is about the person giving, if the person is a political figure they likely aren't giving from goodness, they are giving to benefit themselves.

Side: No
1 point

I do not believe I have an obligation to help those with less fortune, because they are not me and you might say we are the same species but we are not the same person therefor one is not obliged to help others.

Side: No
1 point

no because this would be invading on our natural right of liberty which is defined as freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. The government is forcing you to help those in need this is invading on our natural rights which is what this country is founded on

Side: No
1 point

It is impossible to have a moral "obligation" as morality must be a choice. It is PERMISSIBLE to help those in poorer circumstances but not obligatory.

Side: No
1 point

Moral- adjective- of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.

In such definition, the concept of an idea being moral or immoral is based solely on personal beliefs. Such beliefs differ greatly from person to person and more so between religions sects. Morality is often based on religion, so what does that make those without it? Immoral? Your beliefs and mine are different, therefore, while your moral obligation may very well be to chose to assist those in need, mine may not, though I may choose to anyway. It is compassion and the desire to help which drives us to assist those in need, not moral obligation.

Side: No