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Arguments on the Framework of Morality: A discussion on if we need God to define good & evil.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,477 times Debate No: 32649
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
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Arguments on the Framework of Morality: A discussion on if we need God to define good & evil.

This will be a debate/ discussion on the necessity of God in the context of morality. Do we need God to know good and bad, good and evil, righteousness and injustice?

My Stance:

God is unnecessary in all matters of morality & relating to good/evil. These can be defined and explained via logic, reason and science.


Morality: referring to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for their own behavior or normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. [1]

Good/ Evil: We must define and give rational for why this definition is accurate in our initial arguments, Round 2. For example if you say “Good means to follow the rules because the rules are authoritative and to disobey would be bad\evil,” You must provide rational for that definition. Defining good/ bad to be the opposite of the other is not acceptable.


1) Acceptance and stance

2) Initial arguments to support your stance and BoP, any questions for the other side etc…

3) Rebuttals to each other’s arguments

4) Counter arguments to rebuttals, no new arguments.

5) Closing statements, no new arguments.




I thank my opponent for starting this debate. I hope it will be beneficial for both of us, and for all readers of the debate.

I accept my opponent's terms, understanding them to mean that I am to define the two terms, and to state my stance.
(I assume you will offer your definition of Good/Evil in the second round, as you have not yet done so)

My Stance:

God is necessary in all matters of morality and relating to good/evil. These may only be rightfully applied to all individuals if a universal standard exists. Such a standard is unable to be determined by secular logic, reason, and science alone.


Morality: In a posteriori form, would be the standard, or code of conduct, by which society and individuals may uniformly judge the behavior of any given individual or group of individuals in order to determine that behavior's standing as correct/right or incorrect/wrong.

Good/Evil: The two endpoints on the scale of morality, ranging from Good, or "most conforming to the standard of morality," and Evil, or "most transgressive of the standard of morality," such that there exists degrees of Good and Evil, yet a discrete separation between Good and Evil.

I look forward to beginning the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting the debate. I must admit I am EXTREMELY busy this week so my arguments unfortunately will not be as flesh out and well defined as I would prefer, especially for this debate. Hence, this will be pretty much a first draft right from my head argument.

My Arguments:

I will present a few different arguments as to why god is not necessary for morality.

The first will be an adaption of Descartes Med. 2 regarding deception on gods’ part. I do change it up quite a bit but use very similar logic, as I have found no other logic to be as sound. This argument will serve as a statement/ question on whether god can be a suitable moral authority, and if he is not wouldn’t that imply that human morality originated from us.

The next, I will question if god himeself is moral. This will be much like if we were to take the bible at face value as an account of the actions and will of god and put him on trial with his own inspired writings as evidence. Here I will play a part of the analogous prosecutor giving an opening statement.

Finally a rational, secular reason for why we have evolved morality; in essence this is where the definition of morality, and thus good and evil, will come into play heavily.


Definition of evil: Profoundly immoral, and not beneficial to humanity

Definition of good: Morally righteous, just and fair, benevolent and beneficial to humanity

I feel that with different angles for which to provide arguments for I will hopefully give a good debate, even though I feel it will be in some way wanting a polish or two (or three or four…. 10 etc…)

A meditation revisited:

I would like to note that god’s perfection is a quality of the being that theists do not disputed and is clear in the bible in a number of places Deuteronomy 32:4 and Psalm 18:30 come to mind.

God: The creator, possessor of dominion over the universe and all it contains; a being that is matter of fact all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good and thus a moral authority, and necessarily existent.

Exodus 20:4-5 the idea of a jealous god, jealousy a very human trait, is admitted to by the lord himself. A trait that is imperfect in us & you can argue that jealousy is a symptom, or caused by our possession of freewill, and that would be a statement I would entertain in another debate. Regardless, we certainly wouldn't say it’s a quality that bolsters our desire to seek perfection in ourselves.

A logical argument would be that perhaps jealousy is not an imperfection. For that I propose the following arguments:

Jealous: Feeling or showing envy [1]

Envy: feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck. [1]

1 Necessarily, the will to be Jealous is Envy.

2 Necessarily, God is not envious.

3 Necessarily, God lacks the will to be jealous.

èGod is all perfection, thus Jealousy is an imperfection since not in possession by god.

1 A perfection is a quality.

2 An imperfection is the lack of a quality.

3 Goodness is all perfections

4 So, goodness is a quality.

5 Jealousy is an imperfection.

6 So, jealousy is the lack of a quality.

7 Jealousy is the lack of the quality of goodness.

8 God has all perfections.

9 So, God has all qualities.

10 God has no imperfections.

11 So, God lacks no qualities.

12 God has the quality of goodness.

èGod cannot be jealous, as jealousy is an imperfection.

However, he admits that he is a jealous god. From this we can take away a few thoughts: either the god of the bible is not the true god or we must conclude that god is a perfect being that consist of imperfect qualities.

Assuming the god of the bible is the one and only god as written in his inspired texts god, admits to the imperfection of jealousy. If he is imperfect doesn't that constitute a lack of ability hold ultimate moral superiority since the judgment may also consist of imperfection? Furthermore, if god is not a moral authority, wouldn't we be able to decide for ourselves what morality is collectively and thus other than for creation, we owe nothing to the being that is god save for the relative thanks we give our parents for creating us as children? Finally doesn't this leave open the possibility that the being we call god is in fact evil? If that possibility even exists, what are the implications for belief, worship and deeds of religious fulfillment and moral obligations?

To close this section, if it is possible that the moral authority of god is compromised, it would follow that any moral grounds we lay (which may also be compromised due to our own imperfection) originated from ourselves and required no god to deliver.

The Trial:

Genocide: the deliberate and systematic destruction of, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. [2]

Nation is: a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. [3]

According to the definition, genocide has occurred when such conditions are met; reason is not one of the conditions for an act to be genocide. Even if the punishment was righteous, it would still qualify via criteria met as genocide. Sodom and Gomorrah citizens shared at least culture (since the whole of the people, save for the Sodomite Lot, had been corrupt, a corrupt culture is still a culture), & more than likely since this was a large permanent settlement, the majority shared descent and a history, making them a national group. The definition of nation clearly grants Sodom and Gomorrah the title. If nothing else the act of genocide on Gomorrah alone (where no one was spared) is reason enough to call god immoral/ evil.

If god can commit an act we deem as immoral today, would that not be an example our own ability to create a moral framework for ourselves and again ask, if we can conjure this ability within us, what need do we have of god to deliver it.

An evolution of Morality:

In natures’ course for humanity, evolution chose via natural selection the most beneficial to the race as a whole. Although not an exact procedure, nature with time produces what anyone would call beautiful and ingenious methods for the promotion of life. To quote the writers of Jurassic park”Life finds a Way.” We are the results of millennia of life finding a way to get us here. Had nature not chosen the best of us, those who would benefit the race the most in its prominence, we simply wouldn’t exist in the way we do. Because of this, I support the claim that good is what is most beneficial for entirety of the race, and evil what is not. The Logic:

1 without the trait of ingenuity we humanity would not have invented tools

2 ingenuity is beneficial since it made hunting easier

3 if hunting is easier more food for more people

4 more people procreating the higher the chances for strong offspring

5 stronger offspring is beneficial to life, as weak often succumb to myriads of death

6 examples of traits that are beneficial to life are good

7 without good traits life would dwindle to near extinction

8 thus good must be passed through generations

èExamples of good traits are evolutionarily favored

How’s morality a trait?

Trait: A genetically determined characteristic. [1]

It’s not in our evolutionary best interest to kill ourselves. Our evolutionary reflexes prevent us from drowning ourselves on purpose without help. Reflexes are a trait. I propose that morality is a trait as it prevents us from destroying our own race, without help (nukes). Like reflexes, we are evolutionarily/ genetically built aid proliferation our race. I am literally low of character (a limit that is unavoidable) I wish I could go on, but luckily there things to cite!! [5][6][7][8]

[1] Google dictionary search

[2] Funk, T. Marcus (2010). Victims' Rights and Advocacy at the International Criminal Court

[3] World Book Dictionary

[4] Jeff Goldblum - Jurassic Park (1993)

[5] Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape

[6] Daniel Dennett (assorted writings)





Sui_Generis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


In the comments my opponent says they want to stay in the debate. To keep it as fair as possible, I will not post an argument here. I ask those who are voting to vote to their conscience, but please don’t hold it against Pro.

As for the remaining rounds, I will modify the debate structure:


1) Acceptance and stance

2) Initial arguments to support your stance and BoP, any questions for the other side etc…

3) Skipped Round for Con, Pro initial Arguments*

4) Rebuttals to each other’s arguments

5) Rebuttals and brief closing statements, no new arguments

*I will ask that Pro state only initial arguments, and not post rebuttals to anything posted in my initial argument yet. Act as if for you this is round 2 please.



I want to start this round by expressing my gratitude to my opponent for graciously allowing me to remain on an even level through his choice to not argue further in his third round.

Let's get right into things...

My arguments for the position of God as being necessary to concepts of morality:

If one is to accept that morality exists, one must presuppose that morality is equally and universally applicable to all people everywhere. For if it is not, then it is by definition useless, and conceptually not worth considering. Obviously, proving that something is useless does not prove that it does not exist; however, the only reason people ask what morality is, how to define it, and how we can divine it is so that we might apply it to societies and peoples for their and our benefit.

Thus, what this argument will come down to is whether God is necessary for absolute truth--the absolute truth in question being the concept of morality.

I argue that everyone holds a belief in a non-dependent reality, however that manifests itself. This non-dependent reality informs the creation of our theories, such that theories may be completely incompatible from the outset if they follow from conflicting non-dependent reality. When dealing with abstract concepts such as reality, then, the non-dependent reality necessary for morality to exist as a metric by which we judge others' actions is necessarily external from ourselves. Morality cannot exist as an external and eternal entity unto itself, it is dependent on someone or something to determine it. This thing is God.

An argument for morality as being derived from human perception suffers from culturally and temporally shifting definitions, such that our actions are not comparable, e.g., one may not call another's action always wrong. (i.e., immoral.)

Debate Round No. 3


jackintosh forfeited this round.


Sui_Generis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Request a re-match so that we can both properly give this debate a chance at real discussion?


Agreed. However, please send me a debate request later next week, finals are coming up now.

Vote tie, or don't vote!
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jackintosh 3 years ago
Sui_Generis and i have agreed to a rematch. please vote Tie or not at all.

@Sui_Generis good luck on the finals!!!
Posted by jackintosh 3 years ago
HAHA, you want to just have a redo? Basically copy paste out opening arguments and go from there? I feel like it might be a little easier to have a fair say for each of us? We both let this one slip away from us but it deserves a second go you think?
Posted by Sui_Generis 3 years ago
It's okay. I'll let you post the next argument.
Posted by jackintosh 3 years ago
Sorry, not enough hours in a day.
Posted by Sui_Generis 3 years ago
I'm still interested; despite my forfeit. I concede that that should weight the decisions in your favor, to an extent.
Posted by jackintosh 3 years ago
welcome! I am rather new here as well but have found myself addicted. Yes, for this debate, more discussion really between two sides, we offer our own definition, defend those definitions in Round 2 and proceed to show why we need god to support those moral extremes. We'll will also try to show the opponents definitions are misguided, or offer much to be desired. For example.if I said the deffinition of banana: noun, a fruit. Not much there and not helpful to someone why knows nothing about bananas. A better definition would be banana: noun a long slender yellow fruit, the outer layer is bitter to the taste and typically discarded while the inside is typically sweet and soft textured.

The second definition is more accurate and useful..note however they can both be correct. The question with the definition which is more universality useful regardless of time, region,culture and knowledge.
Posted by Sui_Generis 3 years ago
We are supposed to offer our own definitions, correct? You didn't offer your definition of Good/Evil, yet implied we may have differing ones. So I offered my definition of both.
Posted by Sui_Generis 3 years ago
This will be my first debate I don't anticipate winning. Oh well. Something on which to cut my teeth.
Posted by Vulpes_Inculta 3 years ago

This debate is interesting to me. I would be attracted to a similar debate with a different format. The topic of the debate would ask, 'Is god the most plausible foundation of objective moral values and duties?'.

Posted by jackintosh 3 years ago
Shared. I'd like this to be more of a discussion than a true debate. We each.present our thoughts,logic and facts. Then we discus each others points.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Apeiron 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Citrakayah 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I'll remove them when Ape posts his RFD.