The Instigator
charles15
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
LeoL
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Atheism can not account for moral truth

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
LeoL
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,402 times Debate No: 17211
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (40)
Votes (3)

 

charles15

Pro

To start, I want to make sure that everyone understands what I mean by the term "worldview." Everyone has one whether you are aware of it or not. A worldview is the overall perspective on which one sees and interprets the world. An example of a worldview in action would be as follows...
Science has proven that monkeys are very similar to humans based on there genetic make-up. Now, to an atheist, this evidence would convey the notion that humans and monkeys have a common ancestor. However, to a Christian, this evidence conveys that everything was created by God. Moreover it all depends on ones worldview.

Atheism's worldview is composed of the notion that humans are nothing more than matter and motion; and there is no God to establish moral truths. Since this is true, atheism can not account for morality. In a worldview where only matter and motion exist there is no standard for true morality. For instance, if one group of molecules murders another group of molecules than there is no association with morality at all. Something just happened; another phenomenon of nature if you will. There is no moral association to molecules acting upon other molecules. This is what the atheistic worldview posits.
There is nothing morally wrong about a Lion to kill another Lion, or a parasite infecting a worm. Therefore, if the atheistic worldview is to remain consistent, it most apply this concept to humans as well. This is true because the Universe doesn't care. The Universe has no laws of morality. What one human does to another human is not associated with morality. In the universe things just happen. There is no moral standard that nature has established and therefore, given an atheistic worldview, morality does not exist.
However the Christian worldview can account for morality. Right and wrong are determined by God's ever unchanging character. God has given us moral truths that we are to follow. Whether you agree with Christian doctrine or not; the Christian worldview does provide moral truth and atheism does not.

Note: I am not arguing that atheists can not recognize and or live moral lives. I know many atheists that are good people. But I am contending that an atheistic worldview can not account for an action being right or wrong. Atheists can do good things such as donate money to a school. But what an atheist may not do, is claim it was morally right for to donate the money. Moreover atheists constantly live inconsistent with their worldview. On one hand atheists will claim that everything is merely matter and motion but on the other hand claim that murder is wrong. These to claims do not comport with one another. Therefore the atheist is not living consistent to his/her worldview. The atheist must borrow from the Christian worldview - where moral truths do exist - in order to make definitive claims of moral truth. I would say that atheists are intellectually schizophrenic in this regard.

To further illustrate my argument I am going to engage in an anecdote regarding Christopher Hitchens. In case my opponent doesn't know, Hitchens is the author of "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." The title itself explains Hitchens's views on religion. In the book Hitchens assumes it is wrong for religion to poison everything. This is a presupposition he holds regarding moral truth. Hitchens is assuming that religion is offending against a standard that overarches believers and non-believers alike, and that this standard is clearly obligatory for everybody. Now, allow me to be cynical. Hitchens claims that "God does not exist. Therefore all people have a fixed moral obligation not to poison everything because..." What comes after 'because'? Because the universe doesn't give a rip? Because in two hundred years we will all be dead? Because moral conventions are just that, 'conventions'? Give me a standard to follow because it is derived from the premises of atheism, and which clearly and compellingly requires non-atheists to submit to it as well. This example could be used for any moral claim by an atheist. Such as murder, theft, rape are wrong. Again, in order for an atheist to claim a moral truth he must rely on the Christian worldview where moral truths can be accounted for.

I look forward to my opponents response and hope that I didn't sound to aggressive. I know this can be a thought provoking and interesting exchange if arguments. I wish the best to whoever accepts this debate!
LeoL

Con

I thank my opponent for creating this interesting debate. The burden of proof is on me, and I will prove that atheism can provide information as to why there is morality in our world.

First of all, I would like to point out that Christianity if very utilitarian, as it promotes community building qualities such as sharing, loving, forgiving etc. Why love, share, and forgive I ask? According to Christianity, it is because this is what God demands of us. The 10 commandments are written on our hearts, as a Christian would say. The 10 commandments are the morality which we follow. They provide us with what’s right and what’s wrong. The more people who are happy and who are good the better, and this is what Christianity strives to accomplish. Let’s look at the opposite side of this. If the most people are mad and are bad people, what will this cause on society? There will be more fights, more arguments, probably more wars, and ultimately less peace. Without peace, it is hard to survive in a world and succeed and this is what my argument will revolve around.

Now Atheists don’t follow the 10 commandments, so how can they have morality? Let’s think about this and you can realize that inside all of us we have a need to avoid pain and experience pleasure. A baby who is not aware of god, will also want to avoid pain and experience pleasure. A deer that is afraid of a human will run away to avoid any pain it thinks the human will inflict on him. Humans are progressive beings who want to survive. Bad qualities, like murder, and not sharing, damage this basic quality all humans all animals have.

Atheists can easily explain morality like this. We all want to survive, and we all seek happiness, and qualities start to form to provide this. A long time ago for example, humans would realize that the best way to create food would be to work together on a crop farm. They want the food to survive and seek happiness, which brings them to do moral things. Basically an atheist will say this; anything that helps human happiness and the need for survival, becomes a moral law in our brain. You see this with animals all of the time. Do animals have a god? No. However they are capable to work together to strive for survival and to avoid pain. They have laws which they follow. Not written laws, but that is not needed. Read this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

Now if animals who do not have gods and can tell right from wrong, why can’t humans do the same, who have much more developed brains?

“But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are "hard-wired" into the brains of all mammals and provide the "social glue" that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups.”


This says that at first animals are agressive and competative but there is some kind of social glue that makes animals live together in groups. Why is this? This is simply because they seek survival techniques and to avoid pain.

“He has compiled evidence from around the world that shows how different species of animals appear to have an innate sense of fairness, display empathy and help other animals that are in distress.”

This article is interesting as it shows examples of how wolves, coyotes, elephants, diana monkeys, chimpanzees, rodents, bats, and whales all have some kind of moral rules. According to the article these moral rules are formed by:

“He claims that these rules help to control fighting within the group and encourage co-operative behaviour.”

Why control fighting? Simple, it contributes to survival. Why encourage co-operative behaviour? Simple, it provides a way to work together to avoid pain.

morality: conformity to the rules of right conduct.

I am not an atheist, but I have just provided a reason why humans who don't believe in god can conform to the rules of right conduct. What is right, promotes survival and happiness, and what is wrong harms survival and happiness. If my opponent doesn't believe every human seeks survival and happiness, we can have another debate some other time, but this is quite obvious and I dare him to reject it.

Rebuttals

"Atheism's worldview is composed of the notion that humans are nothing more than matter and motion; and there is no God to establish moral truths"

Even if atheists believe that humans are nothing more than matter and motion, everything that exists seek survival, which creates morality. This is why a god does not have to exist for morality to exist.

"Atheists can do good things such as donate money to a school. But what an atheist may not do, is claim it was morally right for to donate the money."

This is incorrect. Do unto others as you would like them do unto you wouldn't be a moral law if it didn't provide survival. An atheist can claim it was morally write because it provides the school more potential to survive, and it provides happiness. An atheist may even do this just because he seeks the happiness of being a good person. What is a good person in an atheistic world? A good person is someone who contributes to to basic needs such as survival and happiness.

"On one hand atheists will claim that everything is merely matter and motion but on the other hand claim that murder is wrong. These claims do not comport with one another."

They have a good reason to, as murder slows down progression and humans like all animals have a need to progress in order to survive. Yes these claims comport with one another, because all matter seeks survival.

"Hitchens claims that "God does not exist. Therefore all people have a fixed moral obligation not to poison everything because..." What comes after 'because'?"

BECAUSE, they seek survival and happiness. All people, at least most people, have a fixed moral obligation not to poision eveything because they want to survive and if they harm society they will be hurt and slow down the progression, survival and happiness. (jail, death penelty etc. etc.)

For example, some kids don't want to get in trouble because they are afraid of their parents. This provides them morality. They know if they punch another kid, they are going to get "a spanking". They want to avoid pain.

"Again, in order for an atheist to claim a moral truth he must rely on the Christian worldview where moral truths can be accounted for."

Are animals christian? No. Do they have a moral code? Yes. Why? They seek survival and happiness.


Conclusion

I have easily refuted the resolution that "atheism can not account for moral truth."

I have easily refuted his arguments.

The burden of proof is on my opponent now.

He must prove either that humans don't seek survival and happiness, or he must prove that seeking survival and happiness does not create moral rules. If he cannot do any of these two properly my arguments stands and I win this debate.

Good Luck!
Debate Round No. 1
charles15

Pro

Quote: "Basically an atheist will say this; anything that helps human happiness and the need for survival, becomes a moral law in our brain."

The majority of my opponents previous post revolved around the premise that all humans want to survive and all humans seek happiness, therefore whatever promotes survival and happiness is considered moral.
There are many problems with this line of reasoning. First of all my opponent has over generalized human nature in a sloppy way. Throughout history civilization after civilization has shown the opposite of utilitarianism (i.e. the Aztecs, Vikings, Barbarians, Satanists, and many people who have committed suicide). But I believe we should save any further rhetoric on this premise for another debate.
Secondly it is arbitrary for my opponent to claim that morality is anything that promotes survival and happiness. Given an atheistic worldview where only matter and motion exist who can absolutely say that happiness and survival are absolutely good things to attain. Why should anyone be obligated to promote survival or happiness. My opponent has done nothing more than insert what he believes are good things (survival and happiness) and constructed an entire moral code around them. But my opponent has failed to prove, given atheistic premises, that survival and happiness are moral things. Why should anyone succumb to anyone else's autonomous morality.
My opponent argues that happiness and survival are common things that everyone wants. My opponent even conveys the notion that it is part of human nature to want to survive and be happy. Now for the sake of argument let us assume that my opponent is right. Everyone wants to survive and everyone wants to be happy. My opponent is going from the is to the ought without proof. Allow me to expand. Just because it is true that everyone wants to survive and be happy doesn't mean one ought to act in a way that promotes these things. What ultimate standard, in a world of matter and motion, demands that one act in a way that promotes happiness and survival?My opponent may say that if people begin to murder each other and deprive each other of happiness than our species may become extinct. I would ask: SO WHAT? Why is it objectively true that extinction is a bad thing? My opponent may respond by claiming that the fundamental goal of a species is to survive. But then this response begs the question. What ultimate standard deems it immoral to disrupt the goal of a species? The atheistic worldview can not answer these fundamental questions regarding morality.
Overall my opponent told us what human nature is but failed to show why one ought live by it. Why is it immoral live against ones nature? What ultimate moral standard can provide an answer for that? Why must humans be empathetic to one another? Why must humans treat others as they would want to be treated? Trust me, I am aware that human survival would flourish and people would be happier if everyone were show empathy. But just because empathy would promote happiness and survival doesn't necessarily make it a moral truth. See, my opponent must first presuppose that survival and happiness are good things to attain. Not only that, he must also presuppose that it is bad for a specious to go extinct. These presuppositions by my opponent are clearly arbitrary. From the beginning of the debate my opponent has arbitrarily assumed that happiness and survival are good things. He has failed to prove why! The entire notion that happiness and survival are good forces one to engage in circular reasoning.


1) Happiness and survival are good. (I would ask why?)
2) Happiness and survival are good because we may go extinct if the opposite was true. (This response begs the question. Why is it bad if our species goes extinct?)
3) It would be bad to go extinct because happiness and survival are good. (Hence, the circle is complete)

My opponent may argue that it has been the goal of every species since the beginning of time to survive. But there are two problems with this. First of all it commits the logical fallacy of "appealing to common practice." Secondly, my opponent must answer what ultimate standard obligates every organism not to disrupt a species from their goal. The atheistic worldview cannot account for this because such ultimate moral standards do not exist in a world without God.

In response to what my opponent has said about nature. First of all he has dramatically over generalized. Let me use just one example to prove my point. The female Black Widow, after having intercourse with its mate, will devour the male. If my opponent expects nature to be an objective example of how humans are to live moral lives than I have little hope. The point is that humans recognize moral laws and then apply them to animals. I'm sure lions have a way to hunt and live that is beneficial to the whole pack. But I would contend that my opponent believes lion hunting is good because he first presupposes that working together for the community is a moral thing.The question still remains. Can my opponent prove that happiness and survival are good without engaging in circular reasoning and ultimately being arbitrary?

Good luck to my opponent. I look forward to your response. This will be a great debate.




LeoL

Con

I thank my opponent for his interesting response.

It seems that my opponent is either misunderstanding my argument or spinning it into a way to make his argument look good.

Let me examine his rebuttals and show his cleverness of words.
I wish I had more space to rebuttal, because there is too much to say.

Rebuttals

"First of all my opponent has over generalized human nature in a sloppy way. Throughout history civilization after civilization has shown the opposite of utilitarianism (i.e. the Aztecs, Vikings, Barbarians, Satanists, and many people who have committed suicide)."

I never said that utilitarianism is human nature. In fact, I said the exact opposite. Our human nature such as happiness and survival, result into morality, which results into utilitarianism. If you notice, I only talked about utilitarianism when I was talking about Christianity, but for some reason my opponent decided to exaggerate it for an unnecessary rebuttal. Also, I'm quite sure that the Aztecs, barbarians etc, did have some kind of moral code. So what is my opponents point? I hope voters realize this spinning of words by pro.

"Secondly it is arbitrary for my opponent to claim that morality is anything that promotes survival and happiness."

Instead of saying it's arbitrary, why can't my opponent prove it? I challenge my opponent to name one moral law that we have today that isn't there to promote survival or happiness.

"an atheistic worldview where only matter and motion exist who can absolutely say that happiness and survival are absolutely good things to attain."


I never said happiness and survival are absolutely good things, I just said that human nature is inclined to survive and be happy...

"Why should anyone be obligated to promote survival or happiness."

What does this have to do with the resolution?

"My opponent has done nothing more than insert what he believes are good things (survival and happiness) and constructed an entire moral code around them."

I'm not saying they're good things, in fact I'm saying they're fundamentally everyones instinctive goals. These goals create human connections that result in 'laws', which revolve around the goals which are not debatable. Again you can see my opponents clever spinning of my words.

" But my opponent has failed to prove, given atheistic premises, that survival and happiness are moral things. Why should anyone succumb to anyone else's autonomous morality."

I think my opponent is forgetting or ignoring the resolution.
"Atheism can not account for moral truth."
This doesn't mean that atheism has to prove that morality is reality, all this asks for is that atheism give an explanation for the forming of morality in humanity. I don't need to say that survival and happiness are moral things. I just have to say that they're basic human needs and that moral laws are created to protect them.

"Just because it is true that everyone wants to survive and be happy doesn't mean one ought to act in a way that promotes these things."

I agree. However how does this refute the fact that atheism provides a reasonable reason for the formation of morality in humanity? I'm not saying atheism proves morality is absolutely the right thing, I'm saying that atheism 'can account for' the existence of morality.


"What ultimate standard, in a world of matter and motion, demands that one act in a way that promotes happiness and survival?"

Once again my opponent is straying away from the resolution. In a world of matter and motion, there doesn't need to be an ultimate standard that demands one to act in away that promotes survival and happiness. The resolution says : "atheism can not account for moral truth." So I am supposed to explain how atheism can account for the existence of moral truth, without "the ultimate standard". Whether there is an ultimate standard is irrelevant, simply because atheists can STILL account for the existence of moral truth. Talking about an ultimate standard is off topic because, we aren't talking about if morality is true, we're talking about if atheists can explain why there is moral truth, which we humans follow.

"SO WHAT? Why is it objectively true that extinction is a bad thing? "

Extinction doesn't have to be objectively a bad thing. This is because humans by nature DO NOT want to be extinct. This will cause them to try as hard as they can to survive and be happy. This will create the morality in which humans follow. My opponent still has not addressed the resolution that: "Atheism can not account for moral truth." It seems like he thinks the resolution is: There is no morality if there is no god.

"Why is it immoral live against ones nature? What ultimate moral standard can provide an answer for that? Why must humans be empathetic to one another? Why must humans treat others as they would want to be treated? Trust me, I am aware that human survival would flourish and people would be happier if everyone were show empathy. But just because empathy would promote happiness and survival doesn't necessarily make it a moral truth."

Once again, my opponent seems to misunderstands the phrase: "can not account for". Even if atheism doesn't provide a reason why morality is absolutely true, it can still account for a reason why there is moral truth, which we follow. I know voters will recognize this.

"These presuppositions by my opponent are clearly arbitrary."

Instead of saying they're arbitrary, I would like my opponent to prove it. Tell me one human act that doesn't involve survival or happiness. Once again, I never said they were good things and I don't have to. They're things that all people desire, and that is enough to prove the existence of morality from an atheistic perspective, which is what I'm supposed to do!

Opponents Questions.

1. They don't have to be good. My opponent misunderstands the resolution.

2. It's "bad" because we all don't want to go extinct, which is enough for us to work together to stop this from happening. Working together requires rules, which creates morality.

3. Yes the circle is complete.

"The atheistic worldview cannot account for this because such ultimate moral standards do not exist in a world without God."

My opponent is tossing around the word 'ultimate' as if it was relevant to the resolution. I would ask my opponent to read his resolution carefully and realize that all I have to prove is that atheism can explain the existence of a moral truth in which we all follow.

Conclusion

My opponent has ignored the truth I brought upfront about animals and how they have morality without a god, and how it can be the exact same thing with humans.

My opponent thinks that this debate is: "Without a god there is no morality." When the debate is actually: "Atheism can not account for moral truth" With this resolution I have to provide from an atheistic view the reason for the formation of morality.

Unfortunately, my opponent wasted his whole round without paying attention to the resolution.

I want to address the problem with this debate. My opponent thinks that I am supposed to prove that without a god there is morality, when I'm actually supposed to prove that atheism can account for the existence of a thing we call 'moral truth'.

To better explain, I'm going to say that without a god there is no real truth. Now here my opponent would think I'm conceding. I'm not conceding because we aren't talking about if there is truth, we are talking about if atheism can explain the development of morality with humans. I was able to prove that from the perspective of atheism, it can account for the existence of this thing we call 'morality'. My opponent thinks that there has to be moral truth, when the fact is that is absolutely not the case!

Basically, my opponent thinks that this debate is about the reality of moral truth, when this debate is actually about the existence of moral truth.

So far, my argument still stands, as it proves why atheism can account for what we humans consider moral truth.

Thank You.
Debate Round No. 2
charles15

Pro

I can assure my opponent and anyone else that I do in fact understand my own resolution. The resolution is atheism (as a worldview) cannot account for moral truth. My opponent contends that my previous post was overall irrelevant to the resolution. This is completely false. I believe it is not I, but my opponent who is confused. However I do appreciate my opponents response; this has been quite an interesting debate thanks to both parties.

My opponent and I have agreed it is human nature to seek survival and happiness. But my opponent contends that the actions produced from affirming survival and happiness are moral. In itself, this in nothing more than a theoretical moral code put forth by my opponent. Let us not forget that my opponent - through autonomous reasoning - has decided that good things are actions that promote happiness and survival. But my opponent has failed to prove it is true that good things are actions that promote happiness and survival. Sure my opponent has provided us with a moral code, but not true morality. The moral code that my opponent articulates is intertwined with arbitrariness and therefore it is invalid. In short the moral code that my opponent posits can not account for true morality. It can account for morality; but it can not definitively account for moral truth (see my previous post).
I could make a moral code right now: everyone seeks satisfying food, therefore moral actions are derived from attaining good food. This moral code can account for morality. But it does not imply that the morals derived are true and obligatory for everyone. In a world without God, it is merely one moral code against another. Neither is necessarily true. This is the somewhat to crux of my argument. Moreover, I have been consistent to my resolution throughout these posts. In short, my opponent has delivered a moral system that accounts for right and wrong. Anyone can do that. But he has failed to prove that his moral code is absolutely true. This is exactly what the resolution calls for; moral truth.

I am happy to see my opponent affirms the notion that there is no moral truth without God. This is the crux of my argument. Never the less my opponent continues to debate. I can only presume he continues to debate because he is confused. My opponent contends he has negated my resolution. He says we "aren't talking about if there is truth, we are talking about if atheism can explain the development of morality with humans." Actually, we are talking about moral truth; read the resolution! I am claiming that without God moral truth cant be accounted for. Secondly, I am not contending that atheists cannot create a moral code. I myself, just created one in the last paragraph. However, I am contending that atheistic moral codes can not account for absolute, true morality that everyone must abide by in order to be moral. This is because they are arbitrary and therefore invalid.

Despite what my opponent says. He does in fact have to prove that survival and happiness are truly good things. Otherwise it would make no sense that the actions derived from happiness and survival have any moral association at all. To expand, my opponent argued that people learned to work together on farms in order to promote survival and happiness. Therefore team work, if you will, exists as a moral thing because it promotes happiness and survival. My opponent even says, "Basically an atheist will say this; anything that helps human happiness and the need for survival, becomes a moral law in our brain." But in order for this claim to be true my opponent must arbitrarily assume that happiness and survival are moral things to attain. In my opponents latest post he argues he does not need to prove that happiness and survival are good things. Actually, yes he does! Otherwise, there is no reason to believe that any of the moral notions derived from happiness and survival are actually moral things. If my opponent refuses to reconsider his line of reasoning, then his moral system will be utterly baseless. In short, if my opponent can not prove that happiness and survival are truly and absolutely good, then the morals derived from them have no moral association what so ever. His moral code simply begs the question. If survival and happiness are not good things, then why are the actions that promote survival and happiness considered good? In order for my opponents argument to be sound, he must debate his way out of this dilemma. However he has failed to do so thus far. In order for my opponent to win this debate he must offer a moral system that accounts for true morality derived from atheistic premises. His argument must be rational and it can not engage in circualr reasoning like before (see my last post).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quotes/Rebuttle

"Working together requires rules, which creates morality"

I will be relatively brief. Again, any moral code requires rules. But this does not necessarily make the "rules," morally true. I could claim that eating peanut butter is moral (I wish it was) but that doesn't necessarily mean it's true. Just because working together creates rules that one may view as moral, does not prove that those rules are absolutely and truly moral. Therefore this argument does not negate my resolution.


"My opponent is tossing around the word 'ultimate' as if it was relevant to the resolution."

Of course the word ultimate is relevant to the debate. Without an ultimate standard (God) true morality could not be intelligible. In order for absolute, true morality to exist, there must also be an ultimate standard on which true morality is derived. If there is no ultimate standard, like atheism posits, then there would be nothing more than autonomous views competing against one another and therefore no absolute, true morality. Therefore this is relevant to the resolution.

" Instead of saying it's arbitrary, why can't my opponent prove it? I challenge my opponent to name one moral law that we have today that isn't there to promote survival or happiness."

I will happily address this point. It seems as if my opponent has been asleep while reading my previous post. the crux of my argument was not that the morals derived from survival and happiness are arbitrary, but rather that it is arbitrary to claim that survival and happiness are moral. If happiness and survival were truly good things, then the morals derived from them would be as well. But my opponent presupposes that happiness and survival are good things, and this is in fact arbitrary, and engages in circular reasoning. Therefore all moral laws derived from happiness and survival are arbitrary as well.

"I'm not saying atheism proves morality is absolutely the right thing, I'm saying that atheism 'can account for' the existence of morality."

Once again, to illustrate this very important argument. Anyone can claim something is moral, based on a moral code they created. But this does not affirm that the morals derived from that moral code are true and absolute. The resolution calls for my opponent to account for moral truth based off atheistic premises. My opponent has failed to do this thus far.




I am looking forward to my opponents response. This has been a great experience and I have truly learned a lot about my beliefs and the potential beliefs of any future opponents. Good luck to my opponent and thank I thank him for taking the time to engage in this debate.

LeoL

Con

After reading my opponents post, I am still sticking to what I know the resolution is asking of me. The resolution is asking me to explain the existence of moral truth in our world with an atheistic 'worldview'. Now whether 'real truth' exists, is irrelevant, because atheists can still account for moral truth that has developed in our humanity. My opponent says strongly that I have not proved with my point that atheists can't prove truth, when he doesn't recognize that my argument is showing that atheism can provide a reason for the existence moral truth without gods existence. The resolution is not about if there is moral truth without god, but rather if atheism can explain the existence of what we call 'moral truth'.

Let's observe the resolution: Atheism can not account for moral truth.

account for: statement of reasons, causes, etc., explaining some event.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Have I given a reason for the causes of moral truth? Yes I have. This doesn't mean I have to prove that moral truth is reality without god, I just have to give an atheistic reason for the development of moral truth without a god.

If my opponent would want me to explain how atheism can prove moral truth is reality he should have made the resolution: Atheism doesn't prove moral truth. Or, simply, without a god there is no moral truth.

It may look like I'm overdosing on semantic arguments, but the fact is that I have given a good reason as to the causes of moral truth in humanity from an atheistic view. My point still stands, and I will let voters decide if they agree with me.

Rebuttals

Since we disagree on my burden of proof, his arguments and rebuttals are obviously formed to push my burden of proof aside, and make it look like I actually didn't refute the resolution. I can start rebutting his arguments, but all his arguments prove is that I was unable to show that moral truth is reality without a god. If that was the debate, sure, his arguments are good. However, I was trying to prove that atheism can explain the existence of moral truth without gods presence. His arguments and resolutions don't refute this, they refute what he thinks I'm supposed to be proving, rather than what I'm actually proving. However, I will try to pick out some of his phrases and refute them anyway.

Also, my opponent seems to think that moral truth is absolutely reality. Many people disagree and believe that there doesn't have to be moral truth. He is trying to make me prove that moral truth is reality without a god, when the fact is that it's unrealistic. The reality of moral truth is irrelevant, rather, the reason for moral truth in an atheistic view is relevant.

My opponent has played with my words again and changed my argument to look bad, and to make my argument look like what he thinks my argument is supposed to be.

1. "In itself, this in nothing more than a theoretical moral code put forth by my opponent. Let us not forget that my opponent - through autonomous reasoning - has decided that good things are actions that promote happiness and survival. But my opponent has failed to prove it is true that good things are actions that promote happiness and survival."

My opponent has agreed that I was able to show why there is a moral code. Then he accused me of autonomous reasoning, without providing evidence that I might be wrong. I can do the same thing, but I rather give reasons for my accusations. Then he says I was unable to prove that it is true that good things are actions that promote happiness and survival, when his religion of Christianity is based on the fact that good things promote happiness and survival. He seems to ignore this objective fact. Alright, so I have been able to prove why there is a moral code, but I haven't proved why there is any truth, according to my opponent. However he doesn't realize that he just conceded, because there would never be a moral code if there weren't moral truths. Why would there be a code based on no truth? Think about it, and you can realize my opponents cleverness with words and his corruption of my argument to make his look good.


2. " In short, my opponent has delivered a moral system that accounts for right and wrong. Anyone can do that. But he has failed to prove that his moral code is absolutely true. This is exactly what the resolution calls for; moral truth."

I have been able to prove that a moral system has existed that accounts for right or wrong but apparently I wasn't able to prove why there is moral truth? Right or wrong is based on what is true, because there would be no such thing as wrong if there was no moral truth.

In my arguments I proved the existence of moral truth in a world where people base their truths on what promotes survival and happiness. My opponent would say, "How is survival and happiness good?" I would say, maybe it's not, but it's what everyone wants, My opponent argues that there has to be a supreme being, but has he ever though that a supreme being can be humanity and that moral truth can have been created by us?


3. "He says we "aren't talking about if there is truth, we are talking about if atheism can explain the development of morality with humans." Actually, we are talking about moral truth; read the resolution!"

First of all, my opponent tells me to read the resolution, well I tell him to read the definition of the words in the resolution. Please refer to the opening round where I explained my legitimate interpretation of the resolution. Also he seems to think there is a difference between morality and moral truth. He agreed earlier that morality proves what is right or wrong, but he thinks that is difference to what is true.

4. " Therefore team work, if you will, exists as a moral thing because it promotes happiness and survival."

Once again my opponent concedes. He agrees that teamwork exists as a 'moral thing' because it promotes happiness and survival. Moral thing, do you mean moral rule? And aren't moral rules based on morality which is based on moral truth? Hopefully voters will realize my opponents clever play with words.

5. "If survival and happiness are not good things, then why are the actions that promote survival and happiness considered good?"

Interesting, first he was saying that I was saying that survival and happiness are good things, now he is saying that I was saying that they are bad things. This just shows his manipulation of words to make his argument look good.

-----------

Conclusion

I leave it up to the voters to choose who wins this debate, but I will try to explain why I should win this debate, with very logical explanations.

I have proven why atheism can account for moral truth. It is as simple as that.

MY OPPONENT HAS STILL NOT EXPLAINED HOW ANIMALS CAN HAVE MORALITY WITHOUT A GOD.

Also, when I asked him to prove his accusations, he just continued accusing, to make his argument look good. He never answered my questions when I asked him to name a moral law that doesn't promote survival and happiness. How can someone win a debate when they ignore a very important question from their opponent?

Votes

Sources: My opponent hasn't given one source, hence I win this vote, with my animal morality link. He never backed up his accusations with evidence.

Conduct: The voter can decide this, I would put this as a tie. However I wouldn't call it good conduct to corrupt your opponents argument.

Spelling and Grammar: I had hardly any mistakes, while my opponent had many punctuation and period mistakes. He started many sentences without capitals. I deserve this vote.

Arguments: Obviously, we had a disagreement with the burden of proof, so I leave this to the voters to decide. If you think I was supposed to explain truth without the existence of god, my opponent would win this. If you understand that I was supposed to explain how atheism can account for why there is a thing we call 'moral truth' in our world, I win this vote.

I thank my opponent for this interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 3
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by charles15 5 years ago
charles15
I know that my position seems ridiculous but it is actually quite sound. I'm not lost; its just you have never heard of what I'm saying. The idea is foreign to you. I encourage you to study the Transcendental argument for the existence of God. It is complicated yet irrefutable. I have book on it thats about 900 pages lol. Look up lectures by Dr. Greg Bahnsen.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Charles your lost in a theological world of illusions. Lol.
Posted by charles15 5 years ago
charles15
"If the reasons were good ones, you could be able to derive a logical proof not only that God exists, but exactly what absolute moral standards He commands. Neither is true."

Both are entirely true, other wise apologetics and theology would not exist. Its also funny that RoyLatham "mentions logical truth." However in an atheistic worldview laws of logic can not be accounted for. Laws of logic are immaterial, invariant, transcendent and invariant. An atheistic worldview can not account for any abstract entity at all (i.e. laws of logic). Therefore, given RoyLatham's worldview, he can not account for the argument we are having now.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
LeoL: "I'm on the verge of becoming agnostic, for several reasons.
There is no REAL reason to believe that;

1. There is a god
2. There is no god"

You cite the Argument from Evil and the Argument from Non-Believe. For those of a pholosophica;l bent, Theordore Drange's book is definitive on those.

The Buddha was asked if god exists. His answer was that it is not a question worth considering. "If you were shot with a poison arrow, would you refuse to remove it until you knew who shot it." The "poison arrow"is the challenge of living a moral live.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
"The notion that RoyLatham has of religion is rather cliche and completely false. He implies that religion is based only on faith. When someone believes in something purely on faith and independent of reason, this isn known as FIDEISM. This is not what Christians live by. Rather, we have REASON for the 'faith' that is within us."

If the reasons were good ones, you could be able to derive a logical proof not only that God exists, but exactly what absolute moral standards He commands. Neither is true.

My notion of religion is that it is a social institution that evolves with society. The faith part comes into play for rationalizing the beliefs. That's not the most important part.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Does there have to be good and bad? Should humans really base what is good and bad on a book?
Faith is an excuse for gods silence, and like god, faith is a human creation. We have faith in our family not to betray us, and this faith was created by our minds. Our minds created faith to ignore the fact of the silence of our own creation of god.

I'm done debating in these comments, because I'm tired, and it doesn't change the debate in which the voters vote on.
Posted by charles15 5 years ago
charles15
"Are humans really ever going to be in a position to say what is absolutely true."

Yes, you need to affirm that laws of logic are absolutely true in order to continue a rational debate with me. There is an example of when humans need to say something is absolutely true.
Posted by charles15 5 years ago
charles15
"Your belief in a god makes you understimate humanity and makes you think humanity is a bad thing."

If there is no God to declare ultimate standards than what is a "bad" thing. This is the crux of my point. Try to answer this. Then further discussion can be based off you answer.

Morality may change with other religions, but not the Bible. God is consistent in his nature. Morality is a reflection of God's nature, therefore Christian morals should never change even though past Christians done evil things in the name of God (i.e. the Crusades) doesn't mean it was consistent to the Bible.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Jeez im getting philosophical thoughts, trying to understand the meaning of everything.
Posted by LeoL 5 years ago
LeoL
Are humans really ever going to be in a position to say what is absolutely true, or even say that there is such thing as absolutely true, when we are on a planet in the middle of a universe that is never ending? For all we know, humanity can be a virus on a cell in the body of a greater being. We are getting more powerful and soon we will be travelling a lot more frequently in space.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
charles15LeoLTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con could not resolve an ought, just state morality is X without justification. It is hardly that trivial.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
charles15LeoLTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: conduct: Corrupting argument is uneccesary S/g: Pro made countless mistakes Arguments: Animals with morals were not refuted Sources: Con used sources overall, I think both sides made mistakes.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
charles15LeoLTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not contest that animals have morality, nor did he explain it. that allows humans to se the same mechanism. God cannot provide "real truth," but rather only a belief in a "real truth." Hence, we only have available terrestrial definitions of "truth." "Truth" is then a rational explanation of what is observed. Args to Con. Con's reference was important. Both sides made a few S