You've found your self debating a topic that cannot be won, simply because the "goodness" or "badness" of hacking depends
Solely on the context in which it is being done.
The purpose of this reply is to establish the point that
hacking is neither good nor bad, people make it so!
A simple analogy can be drawn with mathematics, you may ask is doing a mathematical proof a bad thing?
Most people will immediately answer: no how can maths be bad!?e
Well you could be doing a mathematical proof to decide whether a solar cell you are installing in an orphanage is
providing enough current to power the home. Which I hope implies that in this context that doing a mathematical proof can
indeed be a good thing.
or you could be doing a mathematical proof to prove that bomb you build will do enough area damage to kill the amount of
people you set out to kill. And once again I hope this point demonstrates that in this context doing a mathematical proof is a
This is also the nature of hacking. You could be hacking into a paedophiles email/website or bank account to stop him/her from
exploiting children. Or you could be hacking to steal photo's of children to put on a paedophilic web site.
It is essentially impossible to decide in a clean cut way whether hacking IS bad or IS good because its completely depended on context.
At this moment people are being paid to hack into banks and business software both by malevolent and benevolent parties, on one side
to protect and defend on the other to offend and exploit.
One good thing about hacking though is that it teaches us about the software that is supposed to protect us, its the be all end all way of
verifying whether software is safe to use---just like we verify whether a mathematical theorem is true, by trying to prove it!
If you want to know whether your firewall is protecting you, what most businesses do on a regular basis
---I hope regular basis---is hire hackers the tell them whether their firewall is exploitable and they do this by trying their utmost to exploit that
firewall by hacking it!
In this case its a firewall, but in reality they test everything!
Make a point to read about what penetration testers do, if this is not a good reason for hacking software then there cannot be a good reason.
So one point for you would be to mention the penetration testing/security engineering industry and how it helps make sure that everyday people
enjoy safe services from companies like Apple and Google and what ever bank they happen to be using.
In a way, because hacking in the chronicles of its existence was used mostly for malicious and funny things, people learned that hacking needed to
be used for good things, industry realized that they can only fight hacking with more hacking---I heard you like hacking!
If i were you I would make my point not to win the debate but to show that having this debate is pointless, and cannot be won, because for every black hat hacker
there is a team of white hats and an industry dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in software through hacking.
I hope this helped!