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Debate Info

54
25
Yes No
Debate Score:79
Arguments:31
Total Votes:97
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 Yes (23)
 
 No (8)

Debate Creator

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Am I my brother's keeper?

 

A saying from the Bible's story of Cain and Abel.  After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where his brother was. Cain answered, "I know not; am I my brother's keeper?"

Cain's words have come to symbolize people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows — their "brothers" in the extended sense of the term.  The tradition of Judaism and Christianity is that people do have this responsibility.

 

Yes

Side Score: 54
VS.

No

Side Score: 25
4 points

We all become richer. In this world we all are holding someone's hand. They support us and we support them. If the person beside you falls, you should know why you or the person holding the other hand let them fall.

Side: yes
3 points

I agree. We are responsible for each other's well being. If more people believed this, there would be less bullying in school.

Side: yes
4 points

In the sense that the quote is being defined here, no.

Here it is defined I believe as one in the circumstance, as Kain was not, to know the whereabouts of his brother at all times.

It was a sarcastic response to avoid the question as the one asking was well aware what had happened to Abel if I remember correctly.

A keeper could have been thought of as a slave in charge of young which it was a assumed by many religious scholars that the scions after Isaac had many of. It was unlikely that is what Kain meant in this circumstance.

More likely it meant if defined literally, something that could today be compared to a personal assistant, "Am I my brother's personal assistant" could be a more accurate translation, and this lines up with Kain's feeling that Abel was the favorite brother, and Kain himself was less important.

Whichever of these two interpretations is correct though, when preachers and priests give the "brother's keeper" speach every couple of months or so, they are almost all misunderstanding the story... surprise.

However, in the spirit of this misinterpretation, the bible has plenty of other instances where it should be translated that to our ability we are responsible for helping our "brother" when possible.

How far you take that depends on whether you are reading the new or old testament. According to the new testament idealy Christians should be selling their worldly belongings and spending all of their time and efforts helping their "brother." Short of this, at the very least one should not ever have more than they need for basic survival. That much is pretty clear.

The old testament takes more a conservative view, it would be more like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you unless the other is a slave, woman, or has less money than you."

Which is directly against Jesus' teachings, but falls pretty much in line with the vast majority of Christians I have the misfortune of running across today.

So not in the sense from that particular parable, but yeah if one is Christian they are supposed to be their brother's keeper.

Since I do not believe in any type of god at all, the bible is not my reason for this,

but I feel it is better for humans as a whole to be eachother's keeper somewhere between the old and new testament definition.

Side: yes
1 point

Dude, you're totally cockblocking my attempt to appeal to moderate conservatives. I'm gonna downvote you, not because you're wrong, but because I don't think this argument should be on top.

Side: yes
1 point

><

I haven't seen or heard from a moderate conservative since the early 90's. They still exist?

Side: yes
3 points

We all have a responsibility to look out for one another. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. It is this sense of kinship between human beings that ultimately allows civilization to flourish.

By supporting one another, we all become richer.

Side: yes
2 points

Wait..., what happened to the Jessald on that side ---> who doesn't want to pay any more taxes in order to help keep his brother on welfare? I like that Jessald better ;)

Side: No
mb66(26) Disputed
1 point

I do not agree. It seems to me , the more time you spend looking out for others means less time is spent looking out for yourself. Todays society has become selfish and greed has a home in their hearts . My opinion , " we can tell ourselves 100 times a day that our brother/buddy is watching our backs , but in truth , he is only looking out for himself , and the more you look out for him/her , the more they expect it " .

Side: No
3 points

Of course everyone is supposed to be "their brother's keepers" because if no one cared for anyone else, this world would turn into a world of hate and greed and destruction. Every man for himself would be the global idea of today's world.

Side: yes
3 points

If you look at it in the biblical point of view, everyone is our brother. Just how God told us that we need to tithe, part of that could be helping our brothers.

Side: yes
3 points

To be your brother's keeper, you first have to become part of their soul. It's a two way street. Once you are close enough to a persons heart that you can become their keeper, a bond of support and 'keeping' is made. Then becoming your 'brother's' keeper is a choice. This is a personal decision that needs to be made by everyone, independently. Without people choosing yes, our world would be a painful, ongoing war of hate and anger. I am many of my 'brother's' keeper. It is a necessary part of life.

Side: yes
2 points

We are our brothers keeper. In terms of Natural Law, we originally voluntarily assisted others in society (Constitutional principle), Judeo Christian and Islamic religious laws absorb Natural Law principles such as this, and a myriad of other cultures have this principle in Communalism (not Communism where "coersion" by government is the support system) or tribal life styles. Even from an evolutionary point of view, we must have a support system in biological terms, it happens in the animal kingdom, however, to the debate creators point, we should not be "forced" to support another individual by coerced taxation or other involuntary means of societal (social mores) behavior.

Side: yes
2 points

I think it is a choice. You can either be a friend to someone and help them grow stronger, or be alone in the world and never talk to anyone. I believe Gandi once said," You can choose to help someone or not." :)

Side: yes
1 point

I think it is our responsibility to look after our fellow brother in what ever condition he may be.it is our duty to make every one strong and help them to make the world a better place.

Side: yes
2 points

In my opinion, we should look out for each other. Everyone can always be told that they are out of place one in a great while;p On the other hand, i feel like people should not depend on someone else to keep them in line, especially when they know what they are doing isn't right...

Side: In-Between
2 points

"Cain's statement symbolizes people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of others— their "brothers"." The tradition of Christianity and Judaism is that we are responsible for the wellbeing of others, is it not? As it was said before, where would this world be if it was every man for himself?

Side: yes
2 points

Well through my eyes, God put us on this Earth to help each other and support each other. We are all a part of one big team in a sense, and in a team you are only as strong as your weakest link. In this case, we must all be responsible for supporting and making our weakest links stronger, no matter what condition our brothers are in. Yes, we are our brother's keepers.

Side: yes

Yes if you are the big brother.

Side: yes
0 points

yes this is a very good debate I agree with the statements with things on this debate.

Side: yes
6 points

No, while I do try to be a keeper of my "brother," you never know if your "brother" will ever choose to turn against you. I believe that you should be as responsible as possible without giving so much that you become vulnerable.

Side: In-Between
3 points

I totally agree, there is a big difference between being someones keeper and watching their back. I think keeper is way to strong of a term because it implies (at least to me) that you are the one and only caretaker of this "Brother figure" It implies that you are in a strong, beneficial, and mutual relationship; where if one person is to fall the other would fall with him or her. However, each human being is themselves and themselves alone, so, instead of leaning on each other, every one should be self dependable so if the other person falls they will not fall to. I am not saying that people should not depend on one another, all i am saying is that everyone should have a "backup plan". There is evil in the world and even more than that there is HUMAN NATURE, someone may return your help with hurt.

Side: More Partial to NO
3 points

when i am trying to be responsible for my brothers i cant be responsible for someone else and it is just overwhelming

Side: No
cocayunoski(1) Disputed
4 points

This doesn't make sense Andreas, but if your trying to say it is overwhelming I think you are just being lazy. I do think I am my brother's keeper and I do try to be responsible for other people like my friends, the rest of my family, and and most people I know that I don't dislike. I do not think there is much evil in the world, at least where I live, and if you happen to try to be responsible with one of these evil people most likely they won't hurt you. Most likely all the people you try to be responsible for will be good and if someone does hurt you it was God's will.

Side: yes
3 points

Brothers keeper, in today's world it is all about personal gain, as the Heidi Klum once said "one day your in and one day your out." Someone who may be your friend one day will come back to stab you. Although, helping each other can also come back to help you, one should pick carefully who they help get to the "top"

Side: No
2 points

That's just not the way the world works. Why should I be responsible for the well being of some dumb crackhead? People ought to be responsible for themselves.

Besides, human nature is not so good. If you help someone grow strong today, what's to stop them from using that strength against you tomorrow?

Side: No
nthdegreeman(39) Disputed
4 points

I remain neutral on this part of your argument as it appears there are two points framed in the same response. The question of responsibility for another in terms of the druggie should only go as far as the ability of that person to have life by your means, all else (liberty, the pursuit of happiness and I would add, property of ones own sovereignty) is the solely the responsibility of the individual. This is Constitutional Theory at the very heart and center. The second part of your response is rather evolutionary (philosophically) and in some ways is accurate ONLY when we do not live the "golden rule" of Constitutional Theory (Naturalistic OR obviously Religious ontologically). One should obtain an appreciation for Natural Law and Constitutional Theory for its reasoning and logic in terms of how we are expected to treat another human being and their rights, be free from government interference and in turn, obtain an understanding of how we are treated from others in all forms of civic law. Modern society is in disarray in regards to this principle. That being stated, if you were kind and generous enough to help another of your own free will and choice, do you think and feel that there would be another human being willing to do the same to you in your hour of need?

Side: yes
DaWolfman(3322) Disputed
3 points

Hey Jess, been awhile.

Well if that dumb crack head is your brother then you are responsible for him as he has your blood in him. Depending on the age differential it is hard to argue for you're 'brother'.

However if it is your older brother then you should be there for him when he needs you the most, you are the one that is supposed to be the shoulder he can lean on.

If it is your younger brother then it is up to you to instill the morals that he needs, without you he goes into the world blind. Just having your parents tell him what is right and what is wrong is usually never enough. You are the role model in which you need to protect your brother from what is right and what is wrong.

You are helping you're brother grow strong, not some random guy from a street corner. In making you're brother stronger you aren't doing it in a physical state you are making him stronger mentally.

Side: yes
2 points

Haha, I didn't literally mean my brother.

I don't even have a brother.

I'll add some clarifying info to the debate description.

I do agree with your sentiment, though.

Side: yes
0 points

No, I am not my "brother keeper" because I do not have enough time and I do not want to think about other people because I am too busy thinking about myself.

Side: No