The Instigator
charles15
Pro (for)
Losing
17 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
53 Points

Atheism can not account for right and wrong

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,476 times Debate No: 8033
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (50)
Votes (12)

 

charles15

Pro

Thank you Tarzan for accepting the challenge.

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Statement (1)
To begin with God is needed in order for morals to be constant and meaningful.
First of all God is needed for morals to be constant because without God's rule the morals placed in our society are arbitrary and could very well change from day to day. For instance, in conventionalism which is the view that fundamental principles are validated by definition, agreement, or convention, laws of morals can be changed by a majority agreement on any issue. If murder were to be made legal/morally acceptable in the U.S. because everyone agreed that murdering would be a good way to let go of anger and get rid of the people who they considered to be horrible in their life, then should this be considered morally right? I say no, of course not. My opponent may also say no, in fact I can almost guarantee you that he will. But he says no, not for the same reasons as I. Now, the reason I say know is because God says that I am not to murder someone, "its that simple." To clarify things, if God were not to be real than I am not saying that I would become a murderer either. My opponent says no for reasons I don't know yet because he has not given a response. So we can conclude that my opponent must give us the moral method that he will be using in the place of God, in order to account for morals. He must also give the PROPER DEFINITION of that moral method that is backed up by a reliable source.

God is also needed for morals to have any weight or meaning in society. If God did not exist then morals could be decided by the people with the most power or a majority vote. Through this morals could be corrupted and murder, rape, theft ect... could be made morally acceptable among the people, this has happened many times in history.
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(2) I am NOT saying that MORALS can not be RECOGNIZED by people who don't believe in God. I know many people who think murdering other people is immoral just like me. But what I am saying, is that there is a KEY DIFFERENCE between a believer in God and a nonbeliever in the way that they get to the conclusion for moral reasoning.

Good luck to my opponent.
charles15
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

The refutation of this position is quite simple, so I shall be glad to accept.

*****************************************

The very notions of right and wrong are entirely dependent upon the moral system one adopts. For example, if one adopts utilitarianism, "right" becomes that which maximizes probable benefit. If one adopts God's law, "right" becomes that which accords with God's law.

Thus, it is very clear that the very conception of right and wrong are entirely dependent upon the moral system one adopts. Appealing to God's law is simply another moral system, and in order for proponents of this view to state that any other view is incorrect, they open themselves to the exact same criticisms they would use on other systems.

Atheism as a whole has no specific moral system. Atheists could be utilitarians, subjectivists, hedonists, or even sadists. Any moral system that an atheist adopts can account for right and wrong, since ALL moral systems provide an account of right and wrong.

Thus, it is very clear that atheism as a whole can account for right and wrong, since all the component parts of atheism lead to a conception of right and wrong.

********************************************

It seems that my opponent is confused. He seems to be under the notion that any system that arrives at conceptions of "right" and "wrong" that differ from those found in the Bible is incorrect. To make this position salient, he must provide an account for both why moral relativism is incorrect and why an appeal to God is not simply another form of moral relativism.

********************************************

Specific responses:

>> "To begin with God is needed in order for morals to be constant and meaningful."

Only to those who appeal to God as their source of morality. All other sources of morality do not need God.

>> "without God's rule the morals placed in our society are arbitrary and could very well change from day to day."

You must provide an account for why changing morals of society is a bad thing for this to be a salient point.

>> "If murder were to be made legal/morally acceptable in the U.S. because everyone agreed that murdering would be a good way to let go of anger and get rid of the people who they considered to be horrible in their life, then should this be considered morally right? I say no, of course not."

Only because you are not a conventionalist.... duh...

>> "So we can conclude that my opponent must give us the moral method that he will be using in the place of God"

Actually, no... I just need to show that atheism on the whole is able to account for right and wrong... which I have done.

>> "God is also needed for morals to have any weight or meaning in society."

I'm sorry, but this is simply false. God actually commands slavery in Leviticus... but nobody thinks this is moral anymore, which shows that morals can have weight in society BOTH regardless of what God says, AND even contrary to what he says.

>> "I am NOT saying that MORALS can not be RECOGNIZED by people who don't believe in God."

If MORALS can be RECOGNIZED, then what on earth do you mean by accounting for right and wrong?!?! You've essentially conceded the debate with this sentence!!

>> "there is a KEY DIFFERENCE between a believer in God and a nonbeliever in the way that they get to the conclusion for moral reasoning."

Of course there is! But that doesn't mean that one of them is unable to account for right and wrong.

************************************

My opponent has a long road to travel to show his argument has a foot to stand on.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 1
charles15

Pro

Thank you for your response.

My opponent has now laid forth a moral system for me to debate against. He uses utilitarianism and defines it as... "right" becomes that which maximizes probable benefit." I also know that this is the moral method he uses because of a previous debate that I had with him and also from reading his other debates relative to the issue at hand.

So what is wrong with utilitarianism? And how can it not account for morals? I will explain this shortly, but first let me clear some things up. First of all, my opponent did not give any source, what so ever, for the definition of utilitarianism, for all I know my opponent could have just made the definition of utilitarianism up off the top of his head. I say this because I have a definition of utilitarianism backed up by source...

Utilitarianism: "Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy, generally operating on the principle... British philosopher Jeremy Bentham described it as "the greatest good for the greatest number." [go to this link for the full definition - http://economics.about.com...]

Now since not only do I have a website backing up my definition but I have a British philosopher as well, then it is fair for me to say, that from this point on, we will be using the definition of utilitarianism given above. Now obviously there is a difference between the true meaning of utilitarianism and my opponents.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

>>>"the greatest good for the greatest number."<<<

The first question I have for my opponent is how can we determine what is to be considered "good?" Let me explain...

Now I'm sure the voters want to know how this moral method can not account for morals. I will explain. First of all, we must look carefully utilitarianism. First of all, 'how can anyone know what the greatest good is for the greatest number.' How do we define what is good or wrong. For instance, Hitler thought the greatest good for the greatest number of people was ethnic cleansing of the Jews. On the other hand Gandhi thought the greatest good for the greatest number of people was peace. Now, there are a lot of people who agreed with Hitler's use of utilitarianism and there were also many who agreed with Gandhi's use of utilitarianism. Whether this is the moral method they lived by or not it is obvious that these two people executed what they thought was the greatest good for the greatest amount of people, so regardless of their moral beliefs they used the principals if utilitarianism. So, lets summarize.

Gandhi's view= PEACE was good
Hitler's view= Ethnic cleansing was good

Now, since both Hitler and Gandhi were executing as what they saw was the greatest good for the greatest amount of people then both of these people are following laws of utilitarianism. Since this is true one can say that utilitarianism can not account for what should be truly right or truly wrong, all it can do is give out its basic idea which is "the greatest good for the greatest number," and then have the person receive it either like Hitler or Gandhi. Again, this cannot account for morals because obviously its just Gandhi's view against Hitler's view, and one must choose the view that they believe is right, but no matter which one is chosen by someone, utilitarianism can not ACCOUNT for which view is right or wrong. So in actuality utilitarianism is totally baseless!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now my opponent may come back and say, well I define good as "that which maximizes probable benefit." Well lets look at this method. First of al,l this moral method is extremely broad, it has no guidelines or examples to back it up. My opponent simply puts down a phrase and that can be twisted in any which way, (I will Explain later). On the other hand the Bible is backed up with actual laws given to us by God such as Jesus' teachings and of course, the 10 commandments. Secondly, when I say someone could twist my opponents definition of what is to be considered good this is what I mean. Slavery, is obviously something that my opponent is against, but what did it do for the America? It was great for the economy, production on farms was sky rocketing, and "best of all" the majority of the people were benefiting off the backs of slaves. The same goes for Egypt, Rome and any other country that had slaves. Now for America, slaves made up a small minority of the actual population, and by doing the work the majority of the people were benefitting. Plus, most everyone agreed that it was right, until major reforms hit America. So the question here is, since slaves are "that which maximizes probable benefit," should it then be morally acceptable? Now the point is, is that my opponent says that slavery is wrong, but his moral system is so vague that he ends up contradicting himself.

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For the Voters:
(1)Expect this from my opponent, he mite tweak his definition of how one is to define good (which is "that which maximizes probable benefit.") in order for his rebuttal to make sense.
(2)He mite say something along the lines of "slavery is wrong because it doesn't maximize probable benefits by infringing on human rights." But to say that, my opponent must tell me why freedom is a human right under utilitarianism? And how do human rights fit in with "maximizing probable benefit?"
(3) He may claim that the Bible says slavery is not sinful. First off, my opponent has never given a scripture verse to back this up so how do we even know if what he says is true. Secondly, if my opponent claims that then it is completely irrelevant, because we are not debating whether God's morals are right or wrong; I already know my opponent disagrees with with God's morals. But what we are debating, is whether or not morals can be accounted for without a God REGARDLESS of what the morals actually are!
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One can see that my opponent has not even begun to scratch the surface of why something is considered right or wrong. His moral system has many loop wholes in it and it can not account for what is right or wrong. In his moral system one must choose either Hitler's view or Gandhi's view (based off my analogy), but matter which one is chosen, either one could be considered right or wrong, thus Atheistic morals can not account for morality at all, since every moral under Atheism has no weight to it in society.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Responses...

>>>"Atheism as a whole has no specific moral system... Any moral system that an atheist adopts can account for right and wrong, since ALL moral systems provide an account of right and wrong."<<<

Hold on, you cant just say this. You must prove that "any moral system that an atheist adopts can account for right and wrong, since ALL moral systems provide an account of right and wrong." I say they can't and I have shown WHY in my above text. You must first refute my argument completely and then explain to the voters HOW Atheistic moral systems can account for right and wrong. Again you can't just say things like this and with out even explaining the "how."

>>>"...He must provide an account for both why moral relativism is incorrect and why an appeal to God is not simply another form of moral relativism."<<<

God's morals are not just another form of moral relativism because he made the laws, thus they are derived from him and automatically perfect, universal, and unquestionable. On the other hand Atheistic morals are baseless, and can not account for morality. But since my morals come from God, they do have a base, thus they
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Laughably, my opponent has wasted most of his second round discussing utilitarianism. I do not have to show a system to compete with God's moral system, I simply have to negate the resolution: "Atheism can not account for right and wrong."

My opponent denies that all moral systems provide an account for right and wrong, but does not give any sort of reasoning for why this is so. His "reason" for why it may be this way is that they do not accord with God's law. This may be compelling if God's law was the only system of morality, but it clearly is not.

In fact, this debate (http://www.debate.org...) and this study (http://tigger.uic.edu...) clearly show that God is not a necessary part of moral reasoning.

My opponent has set the burden of proof at: "You must first refute my argument completely and then explain to the voters HOW Atheistic moral systems can account for right and wrong."

This is only somewhat correct - I have to refute only the RELEVANT parts of your argument, and show how atheistic moral systems can account for right and wrong.

************************************************

What charles15 doesn't seem to understand, and what I attempted to explain to him last round (The very notions of right and wrong...) is that "right" and "wrong" are simply words we use to describe how an action conforms to whatever moral system we employ.

The ONLY moral system that cannot account for "right" and "wrong" is moral nihilism, or the view that there simply is no such thing as morality. Now, moral nihilism is ONE atheistic system of morality, but it is not THE system of morality of atheism. However, even moral nihilism accounts for right and wrong by stating that they are false notions and improper descriptors.

As I stated before, atheism does not have its own moral system any more than Christianity does. Consider that the Christianity's existence is dependent on there being Christians, just as Atheism's existence is dependent on there being Atheists. Thus, the moral system of each can be considered to be an amalgamation of the moral systems of its members. Christians simply use the same moral system, whereas Atheists use a variety.

That said, ANY MORAL SYSTEM, except moral nihilism can account for right and wrong. My opponent has yet to show why other systems besides God's law cannot account for right and wrong, when right and wrong are derived directly from the moral systems themselves.

********************************************

Responses:

>> "God's morals are not just another form of moral relativism"

As soon as you began entertaining notions and arguing about utilitarianism - in short, admitted it exists as a moral system - you conceded this point. If other moral systems exist (which you admit), then appeal to God is just one choice among many, and thus a form of moral relativism.

>> "First of all, my opponent did not give any source, what so ever, for the definition of utilitarianism"

I assume if you talk intelligibly about utilitarianism (which is questionable in your case), you've read Smart & Bernard's "Utilitarianism, For and Against."

>> "Now since not only do I have a website backing up my definition but I have a British philosopher as well"

Lol - oh, all bets are off now that he's got a British Philosopher on his side. German would have been much better...

>> "both Hitler and Gandhi were executing as what they saw was the greatest good for the greatest amount of people"

What you seem to miss is that :maximize probable benefit" should be understood empirically and thus be independent of relativistic challenges. I thought you said you read my other debates... did they confuse you??

>> "On the other hand the Bible is backed up with actual laws given to us by God such as Jesus' teachings and of course, the 10 commandments."

You forgot things like stone homosexuals, take slaves, force conquered women to be your wives, murder babies, don't eat rabbits, and, of course, burn things each day as a sweet savour to the Lord...

>> "So the question here is, since slaves are "that which maximizes probable benefit," should it then be morally acceptable?"

Again, I thought you read my other debates... empirical rights-based act utilitarianism completely eliminates this notion...

***********************************************

My opponent has not provided adequate response to:

1) Appeal to God is a form of moral relativism.
2) All moral systems can account for right and wrong.
3) There is no (non-circular) reason why appeal to God's law is the "correct" moral system.
4) God is not even required for moral reasoning.
5) He must show that moral relativism is an incorrect framework.

In order to give his argument a leg to stand on, he must answer these objections, as well as clarify his statement of apparent concession:

"I am NOT saying that MORALS can not be RECOGNIZED by people who don't believe in God."

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 2
charles15

Pro

Thank you for your response.

::Responses::

>>>"My opponent denies that all moral systems provide an account for right and wrong, but does not give any sort of reasoning for why this is so. His "reason" for why it may be this way is that they do not accord with God's law. This may be compelling if God's law was the only system of morality, but it clearly is not."<<<

My opponent says I don't give a reason and then states my reasoning in the same paragraph. Just wanted to point that out.
For my opponent's sake I will give him another example, besides utilitarianism, that can explain my point. And again, the reason I did use utilitarianism as my main Atheistic moral system in which I was arguing against was because I know from previous debates that this is the moral system is which my opponent lives by. Back to the point, lets say there were a group of people who lived under the moral method of "act the best you can and do good things which benefit the majority of people." Well, I'll use the same illustration that I used before, Gandhi's way in doing this was by spreading peace, Hitler's way in doing this was ethnic cleansing. Now, which one is right? Under an Atheistic world view it would be the person's choice to decide whether they would follow Gandhi or Hitler. The person may choose Gandhi's view or Hitler's view, but no matter which one a person chooses they will both be considered morally right, since both Gandhi and Hitler were appealing to the Atheistic moral system listed above. Thus this moral system can not say what is wrong or what is right, therefor it CAN NOT account for MORALITY at all, because the moral system can not condemn something one has done as good or bad, as long as the person believes that what he/she is doing, is "acting the best he/she can and doing good things which benefit the majority of people."
So now we must ask our selves, "then how can morals be accounted for." Well the answer must be God! An ultimate judge who has unquestionable authority and can actually say Hitler your wrong for what you did and Gandhi your right. No matter what the person says back, ONE way is the ONLY morally right way under God. Thus morals can be accounted for. This is why God's law is not just another form of moral relativism, because God is it's basis.

>>>"If other moral systems exist (which you admit), then appeal to God is just one choice among many, and thus a form of moral relativism."<<<

Other moral systems do exist, yes I do admit that. But, this doesn't mean they can ACCOUNT for morals! Just as I explained in my illustration above. And for my opponents two last arguments he has not even begun to EXPLAIN how morals can be accounted for under an Atheistic world view. I urge my opponent to do this next round!

>>>"What you seem to miss is that :maximize probable benefit" should be understood empirically and thus be independent of relativistic challenges."<<<

Ok fine, they have to be understood empirically. So? Explain to me why this makes it wrong for slavery to be immoral!
Because I "don't understand."

What did my opponent do? Exactly what I thought he would do, he added on to his explanation of utilitarianism; notice - I told the voters my opponent would result to this. Please, in order for this debate to be fair my opponent must explain himself completely, not just add little by little on to the explanation of his moral method so that what ever I said about utilitarianism carries no relevance into the next round, although this is not entirely the case. Also, it's not my job to remember everything you said in a debate I wasn't even in and haven't read in quite some time.

>>>"You forgot things like stone homosexuals, take slaves, force conquered women to be your wives, murder babies, don't eat rabbits, and, of course, burn things each day as a sweet savour to the Lord..."<<<

I fear to say that my opponent has not studied theology, I'm not going to debate this point because It is totally irrelevant to the resolution at hand. For this doesn't tell me or the voters why those morals are wrong! All you have done here is taken a cheap shot at the Bible without backing up what you said with any evidence, because as far as I know, things like force conquered women to be your wives or murder babies are things that God forbids.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Adequate Responses:

[1] Appeal to God is a form of moral relativism.
I have already answered this in my argument above.
--------------------------------------------------
[2] All moral systems can account for right and wrong.
I have already answered this in my argument above.
---------------------------------------------------
[3] There is no (non-circular) reason why appeal to God's law is the "correct" moral system.
You want to talk non-circular, just look at morals without God. For instance...
1) Why is stealing wrong?
2) Because its doesn't maximize probable benefit.
3) How does stealing not maximize probable benefit?
(starts back at 1) Because your taking something away from someone that isn't yours, thus making it unbeneficial to the person who it is being stolen from, *also known as stealing*. Since this is true, there is a circle to Atheistic moral methods.
---------------------------------------------------
There is NOT a circle with God's moral laws because all the morals are derived form him, thus there is a strict wrong or right answer to every human action. For instance...
1) why is stealing wrong?
2) Because God says in the 6 commandment not to. And rite there, is where all questions end. Now, people may ask why should I obey God, but then one is bringing up a whole different issue.
---------------------------------------------------
[4] God is not even required for moral reasoning.
'I have never said' God is needed for moral reasoning, only that he is needed for morals to be accounted for. Sure people can make moral decisions, Hitler decided to murder six million Jews, and he believed he was right for doing so. Again, I am not saying God is needed for moral reasoning!
----------------------------------------------------
[5] He must show that moral relativism is an incorrect framework.
It is incorrect because it can not account for morals. I have already explained this in the argument above.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Rap Up:

In conclusion my opponent has again, FAILED, to show HOW Atheistic moral systems can account for morality. For instance my opponent says "... it is very clear that the every conception of right and wrong are entirely dependent upon the moral system one adopts." Ok fine, if the moral method that one adopts is "act the best you can and do good things which benefit the majority of people," then yes spreading peace would be the right thing to do, as long as that is the way in which one VIWED that moral method. But, it would also be right for someone to murder 6 million Jews if thats the way one VIEWED that moral method. Thus, this Atheistic moral system can NOT ACCOUNT for what is truly right or wrong. It depends on how one applies the moral method to one's life whether it is 'genocidal' or 'peace.' So my opponent can't just claim that right and wrong are based off the moral system that one chooses, if it is Atheistic, since those moral systems are not absolute and totally rely on the the way a person applies the moral method to ones life. Thus all Atheistic moral methods can not account for what is right or wrong!

Requirements for my opponent...

1 Explain why it is wrong for slavery under utilitarianism.
2 HOW can Atheism ACCOUNT for morality? EXPLAIN more than just because its derived from the Atheistic moral method!
3 Explain why these things are wrong... "things like stone homosexuals, take slaves, force conquered women to be your wives, murder
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

I grow weary of re-explaining the same basic concepts....

***********************************

Because the very terms "right" and "wrong" can only be understood in the context of a moral system, ANY moral system can account for right and wrong. My opponent has not responded to this point yet... and it is growing increasingly obvious that he simply does not understand enough about the resolution he has created to do so.

Charles spends most of his space discussing utilitarianism and how Hitler and Ghandi have differing notions of what right and wrong are. Has it occurred to anyone that Hitler and Ghandi were not driven by anything close to the same moral system?

My opponent seems to be under the ridiculous impression that whatever moral system I argue for is the one that must apply to everyone. This is obviously nonsense, as there are even differing theistic moral systems within Christianity! For my opponent to expect me to defend the idiotic universal morality he attempts to impose on my via straw man argumentation is simply ludicrous.

It becomes immediately obvious that my opponent is simply not thinking with his brain, but rather the bible when one considers this quote: ""then how can morals be accounted for." Well the answer must be God!" He has already admitted that he is not stating that God is required for moral reasoning, but seems to be under the notion that God is required to account for morals. Well, pray tell, how does one morally reason without accounting for right and wrong?

Furthermore, my opponent keeps restating that I have not shown how a system can account for morals. Well, we should actually be discussing the resolution, which says "right and wrong," but I assume my addled opponent means these terms interchangeably for some strange reason...

In order to account for right and wrong, a system of morality must be able to describe the criteria for judging an action to be right or judging it to be wrong. This is ENTIRELY dependent on the system of morality. Consider the following scenario:

Jeff murders Bob in order to save 100 people.

Christian morality refers to this action as wrong because of a prohibition on murder.
Sadist morality refers to the action as wrong because it doesn't bring the most harm.
Masochistic morality refers to the action as wrong because it doesn't hurt Jeff.
Utilitarianism refers to this action as right because it saves 100 people at the cost of 1.
Conventionalist morality refers to the action as whatever the majority of the 102 people involved do.
Subjectivist morality refers to the action as whatever the individual reader views it as.

Is it really THAT hard to understand how a moral system accounts for right and wrong? The only difference between Appeal to God and other moral systems is the mechanism by which one defines right and wrong. ALL moral systems NECESSARILY contain a mechanism for accounting for right and wrong. Thus, ANY moral system MUST be able to account for right and wrong, thus fulfilling the resolution.

*******************************************************

Responses:

>> "Also, it's not my job to remember everything you said in a debate I wasn't even in and haven't read in quite some time."

It most certainly is if you want to bring it up in a debate...

>> "I fear to say that my opponent has not studied theology, I'm not going to debate this point because It is totally irrelevant to the resolution at hand."

This is pretty funny, considering my opponent expects me to debate utilitarianism with him...

>> "because as far as I know, things like force conquered women to be your wives or murder babies are things that God forbids."

You need to re-read Leviticus.

>> "[1] Appeal to God is a form of moral relativism. I have already answered this in my argument above."

Your argumentation is off-topic and incorrect, as I explained... twice.

>> "[2] All moral systems can account for right and wrong. I have already answered this in my argument above."

Your argumentation is off-topic and incorrect, as I explained... twice.

>> "[3] There is no (non-circular) reason why appeal to God's law is the "correct" moral system."

You have not answered this, but rather asserted without any sort of logical reasoning that all other moral systems are circular too.

>> "There is NOT a circle with God's moral laws because all the morals are derived form him, thus there is a strict wrong or right answer to every human action."

This deals with the conceptualization of right and wrong, not why THIS conceptualization is the correct one.

>> "I have never said' God is needed for moral reasoning, only that he is needed for morals to be accounted for"

This doesn't even make sense...

>> [Moral Relativism] "is incorrect because it can not account for morals."

Which you have yet to show...

>> "In conclusion my opponent has again, FAILED, to show HOW Atheistic moral systems can account for morality."

Simply because you do not understand an explanation does not mean that it is incorrect.

>> "those moral systems are not absolute and totally rely on the the way a person applies the moral method to ones life. Thus all Atheistic moral methods can not account for what is right or wrong!"

If you wish to use this argument, you must demonstrate that it is only universally applicable moral systems that can account for right and wrong.... which you cannot do.

>> "1 Explain why it is wrong for slavery under utilitarianism."

Irrelevant to the resolution.

>> "3 Explain why these things are wrong... "things like stone homosexuals, take slaves, force conquered women to be your wives, murder"

Irrelevant to the resolution.

>> "2 HOW can Atheism ACCOUNT for morality? EXPLAIN more than just because its derived from the Atheistic moral method!"

Already done three times now if you would actually read my arguments.

******************************************

Readers, it is becoming increasingly clear (and frustrating) that my opponent has no idea at all what the implications of his own resolution are. He seems convinced that because he cannot understand my argument, it must be incorrect. I'm sorry, but that's not a valid reason...

The debate is clear. Vote CON.

My opponent STILL has not clarified his statement of concession: "I am NOT saying that MORALS can not be RECOGNIZED by people who don't believe in God."

Furthermore, my opponent carries himself further and further down the path of "My moral system must be correct because it involves God" without argumentation to back up his ridiculous claims. Ladies and gentlemen, we call this begging the question.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 3
charles15

Pro

Thank you for your response.

Finally, my opponent has given me what I was looking for (it took him a couple rounds but were here), he has given something to actually debate against by giving me an illustration, and then the way in which Atheistic moral systems ACCOUNT for theses morals- Finally my opponent has answered the 'HOW'!

Responses ---

>>"Jeff murders Bob in order to save 100 people."<< [Situation we are using]
>>"Sadist morality refers to the action as wrong because it doesn't bring the most harm."<<

Sadist morality isn't about bringing the most harm, Sadist morality is making one-self feel good or satisfied by causing
pain and suffering to another person. It says nothing about the "most" harm. I think my opponent is mistaken in his definition. None the less, I will use my opponents definition for the sake of debate.
My opponent claims that the 'right' thing for Jeff to do would be to let Bob go, thus this would result in 100 people dying and cause what my opponent says is the "most harm," under Sadism. But rather, let's say, Jeff thinks the most harm will come by murdering Bob, thus letting the 100 go free. No one can define what the 'most harm' is, it only can be defined by the person who is making the choice. For instance, my opponent clearly thinks that the most harm will be done by letting Bob go thus resulting in the deaths of 100 people. But this view, of my opponent, may or may not be the view for everyone who is faced with this decision. Thus we can conclude that there are different VIEWS in which someone could have on this issue, which could both be 'CLASSIFIED' as morally RIGHT! Because both people's views are doing what they believe is causing the most harm. Since this is true there is not a right or wrong way in the choice one makes under these circumstances. Therefore it is apparent that morality can not be ACCOUNTED for under Sadism.
Also, HOW can my opponent define what the MOST HARM is in this situation? To my opponent it might be killing Bob, to another person it might be letting the 100 people die! So, tell me, HOW do you define what the most harm is?!
--------
>>"Masochistic morality refers to the action as wrong because it doesn't hurt Jeff."<<

Masochistic morality is finding satisfaction when one is causing them-self pain and suffering. So me and my opponent agree on what Masochistic morality is. Not only would this be a horrible moral system to live under, but it also is the same as Sadism in which it can not account for morality. For instance, what if Jeff found that the most suffering in life was 'life' itself. Well, then the moral thing for Jeff to do would be to do nothing to himself in any way that would cause himself to die or come closer to death. In other words Jeff would not want to 'hurt' himself at all, so he would end up murdering Bob and letting the 100 people go [A] or he would do nothing to Bob and let the 100 people live [B]. So, since Jeff decides to 'not' hurt him-self, and instead execute either option [A] or [B], then has Jeff done something immoral under Masochism. No! he has done what will hurt him the most! Which is 'live' and in result since Jeff has chosen to live, he must either conduct option [A] or [B] under the situation my opponent has set up. Thus, Masochism 'can not' say which view, by Jeff, is wrong or right, just like Sadism. Therefore morals can't be ACCOUNTED for.
--------
>>"Utilitarianism refers to this action as right because it saves 100 people at the cost of 1."<<

Again the same argument applies. If Jeff decided to let Bob live thus resulting in 100 people dying, then this would also be considered the right thing to do, thus, 'negating' my opponents argument. Because, there can not be two rights to one moral method 'IF' the MORALS are to be ACCOUNTED for.
Also, "HOW does one decide what is MOST BENEFICIAL?" To one person, the most beneficial way to deal with this situation, would be to let Bob go and thus let 100 people die. But, to another person the most beneficial way to deal with this situation, would be by murdering Bob and letting the 100 people go free. Since this is true, every one who views this situation, in a certain way, would always be doing the 'RIGHT' thing. You see, it all depends on how one looks at the situation, thus, anything could be 'morally right.' Therefore, this moral system can not account for what is either right or wrong, it all depends on the person.
--------
Do to the amount of letters I have left to type I wont respond to Conventionalism, besides I would have just used the same argument since it applies to all Atheistic moral methods.
--------
>>"Subjectivist morality refers to the action as whatever the individual reader views it as."<<

Subjectivists believe that morality doesn't come from anything transcendent. First of all, if the morals are all determined by oneself then anything could be 'right' just like in every other Atheistic moral system. For instance, Gandhi believed that peace was good, Hitler believed that genocide was good. But how can two totally different views be considered good? The answer is, it's impossible. Since this is true morality must be absolute. Other wise morals become arbitrary and meaningless, because what may be right to one may be wrong to another, which results in 'right' and 'wrong' becoming UNACCOUNTABLE for!
---------
Now why is it different with God? Well, Sadism commands that people do the most harm or be cruel in order to make oneself feel pleasure. Utilitarianism commands that people do what causes the most probable benefit. Now, unlike these moral systems God doesn't just tell us - "do what causes the most benefit." If that was true, then God's moral system would be no different from any other Atheistic moral system. But here is the 'key' difference, God TELLS us what IS MOST BENEFICIAL or WHAT IS CRUEL! Thus, no one can have two views to any situation (unlike in an Atheistic moral system), in God's moral system there is ONE right way to look at a situation. Example...
Under Sadism one could say that homosexuality brings the most harm to a society, thus, a Sadist would say that homosexuality is right. But, under Sadism one could also say that homosexuality is not harmful in anyway, thus they would be against homosexuality. You see, there are two sides to this view, therefore, either view can not be accounted as moral or immoral!
But, under God's morals, homosexuality is wrong because God has deemed it as sinful. Well, what if someone sees homosexuality as beneficial and Ok? The answer is - it doesn't matter, Because thats not how God sees it, since this is true, that person, who is pro-homosexuality, is wrong because it goes against God's moral laws. There is not two different views that any person or persons can have under God's law. Thus, this is the only moral system which can account for morals.
________________________________________________________________________________________________

>>"I have never said' God is needed for moral reasoning, only that he is needed for morals to be accounted for"<<

Let me explain for Tarzan. Anyone can take an Atheistic moral system such as Utilitarianism, Sadism, Masochism, Subjectivism ect. And be faced with the situation that my opponent set up (Jeff and Bob). One will observe the situation and REASON in their mind... "should I murder Bob or not." This is moral reasoning. But, since there is more than ONE right way for the choices one makes after reasoning in their heads over the situation, then the morals can not be accounted for. Yes, people can have moral reasoning, but the final choice they make can not be deemed as wrong! As long as they are doing what they think fits the moral system in the best way. With God, its different, because there is only ONE 'right way' for any situation, no matter what the person views as right. Thus these morals are 'absolute' and can be "accounted" for!

charles15
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Sigh.... yet AGAIN my opponent demonstrates his woeful misunderstanding of both his own resolution and morality writ large.

The resolution clearly states "Atheism can not account for RIGHT AND WRONG." The resolution does NOT say "Atheism can not account for MORALITY." And even if it did, this would be of no importance, because any system that can account for right and wrong can account for morality.

What my opponent means to say is that atheistic moral systems do not align with Christian moral systems. This should not be a surprise to anyone, and my opponent has spent four rounds as though it should be.

******************************************
Responses:

>> Thus we can conclude that there are different VIEWS in which someone could have on this issue, which could both be 'CLASSIFIED' as morally RIGHT!"

This statement represents and egregious misunderstanding of morality, and explains why my opponent is so utterly befuddled on this topic. Simply because people have differing opinions of right and wrong does not mean that they are both right. It means they use different methods for determining the concept. If people reasoned with the SAME CONCEPT in the SAME SITUATION, they would arrive at the SAME CONCLUSION.

>> "Yes, people can have moral reasoning, but the final choice they make can not be deemed as wrong!"

This is entirely false, and again shows how confused my opponent is. In order to morally reason, one must be able to account for right and wrong. How else could one morally reason? It doesn't make sense to say that in a given situation, Bob is morally reasoning, though he cannot understand right and wrong. Yet this is what my opponent seems to endorse. When using a set criteria, there is only one "right" action. My opponent seems to think that the fact that other criteria exist implies that there are multiple right actions under the same criteria.

>> "With God, its different, because there is only ONE 'right way' for any situation, no matter what the person views as right. Thus these morals are 'absolute' and can be "accounted" for!"

Again, this illustrates what I stated above. If you replace "God" with any other criteria, you get: "With utilitarianism... there is only ONE "right way" for any situation, no matter what the person views as right. Thus these morals are absolute and can be accounted for."

******************************************

Perhaps if I explain this Socraticly in a way that a third-grader could understand we shall finally get somewhere...

Q: What are right and wrong?
A: Right and wrong are labels we use to describe an action in moral terms and signify that the content of the action carries moral import.

Q: Where do we get these labels? What do they mean?
A: The criteria for assigning an action a label as right or wrong is dependent on the system of morality one adopts. For example, in some moral systems, that which violates God's law is categorically "wrong." In other systems, the same action may be described as "right" given the circumstances or carry no moral import at all. However, the action itself is the same.

Q: So the content of the action and the judgment are separate?
A: Yes, the content of the action is the same in all circumstances. The judgment depends on criteria one uses to evaluate right and wrong. Consider the action of not going to Church on Sunday, but rather working to help clean trash along the roadway. Some moral systems would classify this as "wrong" because it violates one of God's laws (keep holy the Sabbath), but other moral systems would classify it is "right" because they do not have a rule that involves going to Church, and working for the benefit of the community is a good thing to do.

Q: What's the difference between Christian and Atheistic moral systems?
A: The difference is entirely in the criteria one uses to determine right vs. wrong. Christian moral systems include an appeal to the static nature of God's law, and Atheistic moral systems appeal to the nature of man as a social animal and other characteristics of interaction.

Q: Don't we need God to make right and wrong mean something?
A: Of course not - if God did not exist, we could still state that something was wrong. For example, God's existence has nothing at all to do with whether or not raping babies is wrong. Furthermore, moral principles are clearly not dependent on God. If God had made an 11th commandment that read "Thou shalt rape thy baby thrice daily," it would not be morally right to do so. Thus, one can see that right and wrong have meaning independent of God.

Q: Ok - without God, how do we account for right and wrong?
A: We account for right and wrong by assessing an action by a set of moral principles or criteria. The same mechanism applies across all forms of morality. Consider:

Example: Action -> Right/Wrong? -> Assessment in terms of _______ -> Judgment.

Christian: Murder -> Right/Wrong? -> Assessment in terms of God's law -> Wrong.
Atheist: Murder -> Right/Wrong? -> Assessment in terms of XYZ -> Wrong.

As one can see, the only difference is what one assesses right and wrong by. Since right and wrong are by their very nature dependent on the characteristics of what one assesses an action by, as long as there is a criteria to fill in the blank above, then one can account for right and wrong.

**************************************

My opponent has several glaring holes in his argument that must be addressed in the final round.

1) He has repeatedly stated that God's moral system is the only objective one. He must show both that any non-subjective system of morality is incorrect and that God's objective system is the correct objective one.

2) He has held that there are multiple "right" actions under non-God moral systems. He has not shown how this is possible. He must demonstrate that people using the same criteria and same reasoning in the same situation can arrive at different conclusions for this to be a salient point.

3) He has stated that people can morally reason without including God. He must then show that one can morally reason without accounting for right and wrong, or he has conceded the debate.

4) He has stated that non-God systems of morality do not account for right and wrong, but has not attacked by conceptualization of right and wrong as being dependent on the moral system itself. Rather, he has attacked all my points inside a Christian framework, where they of course do not account for right and wrong. However, he must evaluate the position in its native framework. To evaluate it inside a Christian framework is a begging the question fallacy.

5) He holds that God gives us the criteria for evaluating right and wrong, but does not show how this is any different from other systems that are also dependent on universally applicable criteria. For example, all act-utilitarians use the same criteria, just as all Christians of the same denomination use the same criteria. He must show the difference in the models of the system of morality.

ALL of these points MUST be addressed for my opponent to have even the beginnings of a salient argument.

**************************************

To be a moral system, a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong is necessary.
Moral systems exist.
Therefore, all moral systems have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.
If there is a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong, one can account for the concepts.
All moral systems have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.
Therefore, all moral systems can account for right and wrong.

Thus, for the fourth time, I've shown how ANY moral system can account for right and wrong.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 4
charles15

Pro

Thanks for the response.

Responses:

>>"The resolution clearly states "Atheism can not account for RIGHT AND WRONG." The resolution does NOT say "Atheism can not account for MORALITY."<<

What? Morality is what ever is right. Immorality is what ever is wrong. So, when I say "Atheistic morals cannot account for morality, I mean, they can't account for what is right. Plus, I would have thought that through the context I was using, this word, morality, would have been easy to tell the meaning of.
----------
>>"Simply because people have differing opinions of right and wrong does not mean that they are both right. It means they use different methods for determining the concept. If people reasoned with the SAME CONCEPT in the SAME SITUATION, they would arrive at the SAME CONCLUSION."<<

I'm not sure how you can say this and at the same time have read my previous argument. Look at all my responses to the Jeff and Bob illustration my opponent set up. But, for the my opponents sake I will lay out another illustration. Now, my opponent says that ANY Atheistic moral system can account for morals (right and wrong), I say this is false. Now since my opponent believes that any Atheistic moral system will work, then I choose Utilitarianism to argue against.

My opponent defines Utilitarianism as "whatever causes the most probable benefit." Now I would like my opponent to tell me, HOW does one know what the most probable benefit is. Utilitarianism alone does not tell me what is to be considered "beneficial," it just says do what causes the most probable benefit. Well, that could be anything! All depending to whom the person is. For instance the most beneficial thing to a kid would probably be candy raining form the sky. But, to an adult it may be for the government to get the economy up and rolling again. Thus, one can conclude that "what is most beneficial," DEPENDS entirely on the person to whom the moral method is applied. Which leads me to my point/illustration.

Let's look back in History. We have two totally different people, one is Hitler and the other is Gandhi. Now I know that both of these men had two radically different views on what was considered right or wrong. but this does not matter since both men were doing as what they thought would "cause the most probable benefit." Thus, in one sense they were both using Utilitarianism to guide the choices that they made in their life. For instance, Gandhi believed that peace would cause the most benefit, thus what he did was considered "right" under Utilitarianism! But, on the other hand we have Hitler, he thought that exterminating the Jews would cause the most probable benefit, therefore he was doing "right" under Utilitarianism. Now which one is right under this Atheistic moral system which is Utilitarianism?Well, they both are right, since both men were following the moral method of Utilitarianism. But, how can two radically different views be 'right' even though they are BOTH USING Utilitarianism as their moral method. The answer is it's impossible. Peace can't be right, along with Violence being right also. Thus, we can conclude, from this illustration, that under Utilitarianism (an Atheistic moral system), right and wrong can not be accounted for. Because, DEPENDING on who's Viewing the moral system, what ever causes the most benefit could be one thing and but to another person it could be totally different, therefore Utilitarianism is not absolute and can not account for what is truly right, or wrong!
--------------------

>>"To be a moral system, a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong is necessary."<<

Yes and this is what I am saying Atheism does not have. My opponent has only said, "The very notions of right and wrong are entirely dependent upon the moral system one adopts." He has said this or something like this almost every round but has not told me HOW this works, in other words he has not backed up his statement alt all. Only one round did he give me an illustration (which is what I asked for) but as soon as I argued against the illustration my opponent never cared to rebuttal. I have explained, how if there are two views, that are both radically different, but at the same time considered right, then that moral method can not account for what is right and wrong, (see above paragraph). My opponent has never tried to argue against this either. Again, my opponent just assumes that Atheism can account for right and wrong but has not yet once proven this and has also avoided answering many of my questions, even one from last round such as, "HOW can my opponent define what the MOST HARM is in this situation? To my opponent it might be killing Bob, to another person it might be letting the 100 people die! So, tell me, HOW do you define what the most harm is?!"
-------------------
>>" if God did not exist, we could still state that something was wrong. For example... Thou shalt rape thy baby thrice daily," it would not be morally right to do so. Thus, one can see that right and wrong have meaning independent of God."<<

Ya sure, but the reason why you think that is wrong is because of the culture you have grown up in. I mean, there are many countries through out the world, in which raping little children is morally acceptable. So what gives you the right to say they are wrong and you are right? Their moral system allows it, so WHY not? My opponent may say that it is wrong because it doesn't "maximize probable benefit." Well, first of all - maybe to them, they view raping little children as beneficial. My opponent may say it's not. But he can't just say that, he must explain what is most beneficial and why the foreign counties way is not. My opponent has not done this once in his debate.

You see my opponent has said that raping little children is wrong, but has not give the reason why it is wrong.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you,
Charles15
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

It is for the fifth time, and thankfully the last, that I must re-explain the same very simple concept. Perhaps if I quote the children in the study that Charles15 obviously did not read, it will be made clear to him...

If it can be shown that one can account for right and wrong without appealing to God, then the resolution is fulfilled. This study (http://tigger.uic.edu...) proves this exact point. Here's a quote from one of the subjects in the study, which concluded that "even for deeply religious children from fundamentalist or orthodox backgrounds, morality stems from criteria independent of God's word:"

I: Suppose god had written in the Torah that Jews should steal, would it then be right for Jews to steal?
M: No.

Thus, the resolution is immediately fulfilled, as it has been shown that one can account for right and wrong completely absent, and EVEN IN THE FACE OF God's law.

However, since my opponent will no doubt lack understanding of this point as well, I suppose I'll address the rest of his flawed argument.

*************************************

Responses:

>> "I'm not sure how you can say this and at the same time have read my previous argument."

Very easily - your previous argument is wrong.

>> "Now, my opponent says that ANY Atheistic moral system can account for morals (right and wrong), I say this is false."

Again - you are simply wrong, as I have now shown FIVE times.

>> [A criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong] "is what I am saying Atheism does not have.

Yet AGAIN - wrong. ALL MORAL SYSTEMS have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.

>> ""The very notions of right and wrong are entirely dependent upon the moral system one adopts." He has said this or something like this almost every round but has not told me HOW this works"

Perhaps you did not read when I said: "Right and wrong are labels we use to describe an action in moral terms and signify that the content of the action carries moral import. The criteria for assigning an action a label as right or wrong is dependent on the system of morality one adopts. For example, in some moral systems, that which violates God's law is categorically "wrong." In other systems, the same action may be described as "right" given the circumstances or carry no moral import at all. However, the action itself is the same."

>> "I have explained, how if there are two views, that are both radically different, but at the same time considered right"

In your rebuttal, you held that Bob and Jeff could arrive at different moral conclusions USING DIFFERENT REASONING, which necessitates a DIFFERENT MORAL SYSTEM. Thus, your entire rebuttal is irrelevant.

>> ""HOW can my opponent define what the MOST HARM is in this situation? To my opponent it might be killing Bob, to another person it might be letting the 100 people die! So, tell me, HOW do you define what the most harm is?!""

Did you happen to miss where I answered this?? Here it is again: "What you seem to miss is that "maximize probable benefit" should be understood empirically and thus be independent of relativistic challenges."

>> "there are many countries through out the world, in which raping little children is morally acceptable."

Yet again, my opponents radical misunderstanding of the topic has caused him to concede the debate. If there are other moral systems that can account for this action as "right," then the resolution is fulfilled. Oh... and he gives no example.

>> "they view raping little children as beneficial. My opponent may say it's not. But he can't just say that, he must explain what is most beneficial"

Perhaps "empirically" was too big of a word for you. It means by an appeal to the natural world. Thus, that which is not beneficial would be that which does not provide for the benefit of humans as a natural organism. And with an empirical understanding, it's quite obvious that raping babies harms them...

*************************************************************************

Readers, throughout this debate my opponent has displayed a dogmatic, radical misunderstanding of the concept of morality. He has refused to consider my argumentation (or is simply unable to), forcing me to repeat myself five times. He has yet to give a solid rebuttal to my position in the first round.

Furthermore, through several statements which I have pointed out through the debate, he has conceded the debate by stating that conceptualizations of morality are available absent God and that other moral systems that do not rely on God exist.

For the last time, the refutation of this position is as follows:

To be a moral system, a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong is necessary.
Moral systems exist.
Therefore, all moral systems have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.

If there is a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong, one can account for the concepts.
All moral systems have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.
Therefore, all moral systems can account for right and wrong.

Furthermore, here is a counterargument showing the fallacious nature of the resolution:

[Atheistic moral systems] can not account for right and wrong.
To be a moral system, a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong is necessary.
Atheistic moral systems exist (ADMITTED BY MY OPPONENT).
Therefore, atheistic moral systems have a criteria for the evaluation of right and wrong.

*******************************************************************

Readers, this debate is crystal clear. Vote CON.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 5
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "He did not weigh the evidence on metaphysics as you seem to claim."

I'm not claiming that he DID - I'm claiming that he SHOULD HAVE. Consider - we have millions of extant manuscripts that describe unicorns, and even ones that describe people seeing and interacting with them. But none of that shows that unicorns exist.

>> There are indeed in addition to the Bible, 5 non Christian Historians that reference Jesus, his death on a cross and the empty tomb."

Such as?? There are many historians that make mention of Jesus, but no mention of his divinity. And remember that the empty tomb is equally evidence of a resurrection as of grave robbing or a hoax.

>> "As to Christ coming back, there were events given by God that must happen before he comes back."

That's quite true. However, after Jesus told the disciples about these events, he said "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Mat 24:34). So the time period for these events to happen has already passed... oops...
Posted by Galiban 8 years ago
Galiban
NP I enjoyed as well. Nice pointed questions.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
Our discussion has reached the grounds of objective morality and the nature of altruism, which I think is a bit much for the comment section haha. Short of participating in an actual debate, I think I'll just thank you for the enjoyable discussion =D
Posted by Galiban 8 years ago
Galiban
On your first point - I think I would concede that we all come to Jesus Christ with a self saving desire. That is placed into the hearts of all people. But the concept of self serving desire is not lived out by the mature Christian. The men who go to the Jungle to save the lost spend their lives trying to share God with people. They do not do this for rewards but for the lost. To prove this there are many in the Christian Church that do not affirm this as a lifestyle they want to live. They live for their businesses, computers, comforts etc... They have no assurance of salvation unless they live out a lifestyle unto God that is First God pursuit and second loving others rather than yourself.

Second point - I agree that both affirm an objective moral value system. The muslim objective value system is one that does not put others first though. It is not a superior one when it is selfish.

This addresses both points:
Jesus was God already. He had everything but gave it up. We are called to do the same. Now that we have saved ourselves (the part you are pointing to) we give that security up and serve others. Not counting our heirship and joining with God something to be maintained but sacrificed for the good of others which is their salvation also.

Phil 2:5-11
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death —
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
NIV
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
"The issue is motivation."

If Christianity did not promise rewards for its followers, your point would stand. However, the fact that a particular set of behaviors is tied to salvation precludes the possibility of true selflessness. Setting preconditions for a reward, even if they include not actively seeking that reward, immediately establishes motivation. If altruism was a goal of Christianity, any mention of heavenly reward would actually be detrimental to the cause. Of course, this would create an issue with obtaining followers…

"The moral values are clear of each God."

Indeed, but again you fail to establish why one would be preferable to the other. You draw objective moral standards from the Christian god, then go on to say the Christian god is favored by objective morality. Seeing as a separate belief system can produce a similar claim to objective morality while following differing values, you have no grounds to claim superiority beyond your own inclination.
Posted by Galiban 8 years ago
Galiban
Tarzan,
Lee Strobel based all of his analytics on the evidence. The same standards apply. We have over 5,000 extant manuscripts of the New Testament alone from very early on. You seem to be unfamiliar with what actually was weighed. He did not weigh the evidence on metaphysics as you seem to claim. He also did not weigh the Historicity based on lack of evidence as you suggest.
There are indeed in addition to the Bible, 5 non Christian Historians that reference Jesus, his death on a cross and the empty tomb.
The tomb being empty has never been a debate it is recognized as empty. (Anyone that claims otherwise is ignoring all historical documentation).
The question is HOW did it get empty. This is the crux of the issue.
Christianity falls apart if you can prove that God did not raise Jesus from the dead. However, the proof (recorded outside the bible) is there should you choose to pursue it.

Review this and then let me know your questions on each of his points.
http://www.willowcreek.org...
The case for the real Jesus.

As to Christ coming back, there were events given by God that must happen before he comes back. The Church has known this in its leadership though new believers may not have. One of those first key events was Israel becoming a nation again in one day.
That has happened.
On to the next key event...
Posted by Galiban 8 years ago
Galiban
@Maikuru
"You seem to reiterate my point...."
No sir not at all. The issue is motivation. A Muslim literally does things for personal gain. A Christian does things for no personal gain but self sacrifice because it is the Character of God they agree with. To get the rewards you literally do not pursue the rewards but a lifestyle that is one of selfless motivations.

I believe your second point (If I understand it correctly) can be answered in this Concept, why Do Christians hate abortion but defend the death penalty? The concept is that God does indeed judge and penalize the Bad people. The Christian God claims what is right and wrong. We have objective Moral values laid out by the Christian God. The muslim community also has objective moral values and fundamentals. However, these fundamentals differ in a very obvious way.

They kill Jews and Christians not for ideals but for who they are. God judges based on ideals. All the people that the Christian God puts to death are due to ideals or moral values that have gone horribly wrong. Nations are judged corporately even in that sense.

Muhammad if you read the Koran said that Jews and Christians are fantastic people, but then they rejected him as a prophet and then he commanded they be slaughtered. The Christian does not command the slaughter of people based upon rejection. He commands their deaths based upon thier motivations and actions of those motivations.

Two very different Gods in application and we can see that in the "quality" of disciples produced. Christians get ahold of a nation and they build churches, sing and take care of the poor. Muslims kill people, beat women in the streets and dishonor the poor.

The moral values are clear of each God.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
"Though Christians do get rewards it is only for truly selfless service."

You seem to reiterate my point that Christian acts of selflessness are a means to an end. Once again, both populations are motivated by a heavenly reward through means of self-sacrifice. The methods of sacrifice may differ, but both groups understand that such acts are a necessity for salvation.

You haven't actually addressed my second point. While it seems you imagine the Christian god to be more patient with his wrath than "Allah," you haven't explained why one population's understanding of what constitutes a "bad" person more incorrect.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "You said it was not real or fake or fairy tales."

Ok... "Well I've investigated unicorns and I can't find anything logically inconsistent with the description, but I still don't actually know if they exist."

>> "Historical research proves all of the Historical claims are true."

Let me introduce you to evolution, modern medicine, geography, and accurate record-keeping.

>> "I am a Christian and can verify all of those principles."

"I am a Christian and I can verify that my beliefs are true." That's useless. You cannot verify the promise of eternal life without dying.

>> "Yes you can experiment with God."

That's odd - he never shows up when I try...

>> "Test Him on what He says."

You shall not test the Lord your God.

>> "He makes promises that can be tested."

How bout "I'm coming back" ?? That's been continuously tested for 2000 years. Still waiting.
Posted by Galiban 8 years ago
Galiban
<<Which is exactly like saying "I've investigated mathematics, and it seems to work pretty well, but I still have no idea where it came from or what principles it espouses." Useless.>>

Yes but that is a different response. You said it was not real or fake or fairy tales. Historical research proves all of the Historical claims are true. That means the Book is not fake or fairy tales. The question is then asked are the principles truly from God. The answer is Yes because they can be verified through a process like Math.

Very different Question.

The verification process:
It is simple and does not require death. I am a Christian and can verify all of those principles. Have I died? Yours was not an address to the question but a shift. Straw man as Death is not required to verify the principles, death is only needed to verify the eternal promises not the principles.

Finally,
Yes you can experiment with God. Test Him on what He says. He makes promises that can be tested. Do what He says and You will get what He says.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
charles15JustCallMeTarzanTied
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Vote Placed by Lazy 8 years ago
Lazy
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Vote Placed by hoerr 8 years ago
hoerr
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Vote Placed by tBoonePickens 8 years ago
tBoonePickens
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Vote Placed by charles15 8 years ago
charles15
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Vote Placed by FemaleGamer 8 years ago
FemaleGamer
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Vote Placed by Bjork-Taco 8 years ago
Bjork-Taco
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
studentathletechristian8
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Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
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