The Instigator
famousdebater
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points

Atheistic Objective Morality

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
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 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/6/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,728 times Debate No: 92284
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (98)
Votes (2)

 

famousdebater

Con

Challenge Status

This debate challenge is for MagicAinReal. I will be sending the challenge to him on Monday. If anybody else accepts this debate then voters are obliged to vote for me as I did NOT give them permission to accept.



Resolution

Resolved: Assuming that God does not exist, morality can be objective


Rules


1 - No Kritiks
2 - No semantics
3 - The burden of proof is solely on Pro, meaning that only Pro needs to argue and Con (I) need(s) to refute their arguments to win.
4 - By accepting the debate you accept the definitions, rules and full resolution presented
5 - The first round is NOT acceptance. Please post your arguments as you have the BOP.
6 - No source wars (you are allowed to critique sources but don't make that the focus of the debate)
7 - No trolling
8 - No forfeiture
9 - No plagiarism
10 - Failure to abide by the rules, definitions (below) and the full resolution means that all points will automatically be awarded in the person that didn't violate the rules' favor.


Definitions


Assuming: used for the purpose of argument to indicate a premise on which a statement can be based.

God: the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority

Exist: have objective reality or being.

Morality:
principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong behavior

Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts.


Breaking down the Resolution

So in essense, if we broke down the resolution it would be:

For the purpose of [this] argument the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority doesn't have objective reality or being, [yet even in this scenario], principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong behavior [can be] based on facts.


Good luck in advance to MagicAintReal!
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks for the debate Con, it should be fun.
Both Con and I were discussing this topic in the forums, when we came across some contention.
Like most members of this site, we simply had to debate it.
I appreciate that god has been effectively removed from this debate, so we can actually discuss this.

*Burden*

I have the burden in this debate, because I'm advancing a positive claim that morality can be based on facts. "Can be" implies that there may be exceptions, but that it is at least possible for morality to be objective, and that's what I'm going to attempt to prove.


*Morality*

The principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong behavior can be reduced to principles concerning the distinction between beneficial and detrimental actions with respects to humans' and conscious creatures' homeostasis, experience, and well being.


*Objectivity*

As long as something is based on facts, it can be considered objective, and I will argue that moral values are facts; these objective facts are the standard by which we determine right and wrong behavior.


*Morality Can Be Objective*

I argue that right and wrong behavior is necessarily contingent on the well being, therefore homeostasis, of humans and conscious animals, especially those close to us.
I define conscious animals as those that contain the proper neural substrates for consciousness and intention.
http://fcmconference.org...

More specifically, morality values those conscious animals who can experience the heights of consciousness experienced by humans.

I also argue that if the idea of right and wrong, morally speaking, isn't contingent on the well being of humans and/or conscious creatures, then "right" and "wrong" are useless, empty terms, not worth indicating or striving for.

Let's take, for example, health.
There may be upwards of a thousand different ways for people to be healthy or commit healthy actions, but the distinction between ingesting poison and ingesting nutrition is about the clearest distinction between healthy and unhealthy we can make; the distinction is objective because of the objective effects on health.

Is there something objectively unhealthy about ingesting poison?
Who are we to say that someone who enjoys vomiting all of the time from ingesting poison has something nutritionally wrong with them?
It might be that someone enjoys chronically vomiting corrosive hydrochloric stomach acid from ingesting known poisons.
Is there something objectively unhealthy about that?
Is there something nutritionally wrong with that person?
I'm saying, yes, of course, and thanks to our understood body of facts about health, we can make this assessment of healthy and unhealthy objectively, nutritionally right and wrong, despite rare exceptions of those who may enjoy vomiting ingested poison chronically.

For example, if your child had been running around for hours, and, as a result, had become dehydrated, it would be a perfectly healthy behavior to administer water (H20) to them, because this action would lead to their homeostasis, therefore their well being; this would be objectively regarded as a healthy, or a nutritionally beneficial/good action.

Now imagine that instead of H20, you decided to administer H2O2, the only difference between the two being one more little oxygen atom.
Well, since hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a known poison, this would objectively NOT be the healthiest/nutritionally good behavior to hydrate your child.
https://www.nlm.nih.gov...

Not only would your child not become hydrated, they could experience intense gastro-intestinal suffering, uncontrollable vomiting, and if it's pure hydrogen peroxide, your kid will likely suffer a violent death from such an action.
I argue that the distinction between "dead" and "healthy" is yet another very clear distinction that we can objectively make given facts of health and nutrition, and that we can determine behaviors that objectively lead to/away from "healthy" and "dead."

You may say, well that's not good enough, because there are exceptions like chemotherapy, where it would be healthy to administer poison to someone to rid them of cancer.

I fail to see why exceptions negate objectivity.
Let's take an objective domain like the principles of right and wrong in ice hockey.
There's a clear, objective goal to win, and this leaves behaviors that objectively lead to success and objectively lead away from success within the objective domain of hockey.

If you want to play a good game of hockey, keeping the goal keeper (net minder in Canadian) in goal is nearly always a good behavior.
But of course, there are exceptions where removing the goal keeper may be the best move to make, which would allow for more skaters on the ice to increase the chances of scoring in a time-sensitive circumstance within the objective-goal-oriented-game.
This negates NOT the objectivity of keeping a goal keeper in goal being an objectively good behavior within ice hockey.
There are just a range of objectively good behaviors within the objective domain.


*Conclusion of My Case*

Why would we think that morality is somehow immune to this objectivity?
Any action that one could consider to be moral can be weighed by whether or not that action leads to human/conscious animal well being/homeostasis, much like a move in hockey either leads to the objective goal of victory or it doesn't.

We further determine "right" and "wrong" actions with facts, like administering H2O is perfectly conducive to hydrating your child, while administering a seemingly similar compound, hydrogen peroxide (H202), is not only detrimental, it flies in the face of objective, positive health/well being BECAUSE of the facts of chemistry, nutrition, and health.

Therefore, objectively, the distinction between "right" and "wrong" behavior is determined by facts of human homeostasis/well being, and these facts inform our values sans personal interpretation.
The actions that objectively lead AWAY from threats to well being/homeostasis are MORE MORAL than those that lead toward detriments to well being/homeostasis.

I await a robust discussion from Con.
Con?
Debate Round No. 1
famousdebater

Con

Thanks MagicAintReal!


I agree with my opponent’s observations of the burdens, morality and objectivity, so I’ll directly move on to refuting the case.


Morality can be objective

My opponent uses the example of health to begin. I agree that ingesting poison is objectively unhealthy and I agree that ingesting nutrition is objectively healthy. This distinction can easily be made since we have a clear and objective definitions in which we can determine things as healthy and unhealthy (which isn’t the case for the principles concerning right and wrong behavior).


Healthy is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” [1] in a broader sense. By this definition ingesting poison would objectively not be considered as healthy as it does not fulfill the definition of healthy.


Differently to the term healthy, morality (which can be split up into right and wrong, in the same way that the term health can be split up into healthy and unhealthy), can not be objectively determined.


The term right (which corresponds to the term healthy in this analogy) is defined as “in accordance with what is good, proper, or just” [2] In this definition considering something as objectively right (or not right) becomes harder as the terms are arbitrary. Whilst the fact that poison damages the body can be considered as a truism, the claim that euthanasia is morally right (for example) is subjective. There is no way to objectively put euthanasia into the categories right or wrong because some people would believe that euthanasia is good, proper and just (as the definition of right states) and some people would believe that euthanasia is not good, proper and just. This makes the term subjective (since it’s based on personal feelings / opinions and cannot be factually determined as right or wrong).


My opponent attempts to normative ethically define morality. He states that “actions that objectively lead AWAY from threats to wellbeing / homeostasis are MORE MORAL than those that lead toward detriments to well being/homeostasis.” If we accept my opponent’s normative ethical definition here then actions could easily be objectively determined. The problem is that my opponent’s definition of morality is subjective meaning that morality can be objectively determined - only by my opponent’s subjective standards - which he fails to justify sufficiently.


A believer in intellectualism would argue that a moral action is an action that promotes and foster knowledge [3][4]. A believe in welfarism would argue that a moral action is an action that economic well being or welfare [3][5]. My opponent’s measurement and system of morality is subjective normative ethics due to the fact that different people have their own different ways of measuring morality. My opponent needs to metaethically justify their framework to show that it is the objectively correct framework for determining whether or not an action is moral because without this justification, the objectivity related element of my opponent’s burden cannot be fulfilled.


Conclusion


I think my case is clear. My opponent needs metaethics to justify his normative ethical system because without metaethics, normative ethics cannot be justified since normative ethics are, by definition, contingent on the existence of metaethics which my opponent clearly doesn’t argue. Due to the lack of metaethical justification in my opponent’s case, the outcome of the debate at this point is simple. The resolution is negated.


I look forward to my opponent’s response.


Sources


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.dictionary.com...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...

MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for that response.
I'm glad that Con agrees with my burden assessment and my definitions of morality and objectivity.
Con has some refutations that need to be addressed.

*Con's Refute*

Con claims:
"There is no way to objectively put euthanasia into the categories right or wrong because some people would believe that euthanasia is good, proper and just (as the definition of right states) and some people would believe that euthanasia is not good, proper and just."

My response:
Con ignores that the concepts of "good," "proper," and "just" can be reduced to principles of human homeostasis/well being, and Con also ignores that belief does not factor into this homeostasis at all.

Sure, beliefs are subjective, but the terminally ill patient who is objectively suffering from an objective ailment is not achieving homeostasis and this does not lead to human well being...this is the reason they are seeking suicide.
They are seeking an action that would lead them away from objective suffering/detriments to their homeostasis, irrespective of whether or not someone believes euthanasia is "proper."

Con continues:
"my opponent"s definition of morality is subjective, meaning that morality can be...determined only by my opponent"s subjective standards - which he fails to justify sufficiently."

My response:
There's nothing subjective about homeostasis, therefore well being.
If Con wants to question why we should consider human well being when determining morality, then I must quote Sam Harris as he puts it beautifully:
"Once again, we have hit philosophical bedrock with the shovel of a stupid question."
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

If we don't consider human well being when speaking of moral right and wrong, what are we even talking about?
I'm serious.
How do we even consider morality without human/conscious animal well being?
I argue that the principles of right and wrong are contingent on the well being of humans, and sans this consideration, right and wrong are useless, empty terms.

Con then talks about beliefs:
"A believer in intellectualism would argue that a moral action is an action that promotes and foster knowledge...a believe in welfarism would argue that a moral action is an action that economic well being or welfare"

My response:
We're not talking about beliefs, so, while it's nice to see who believes what, it seems rather irrelevant to whether or not morality means anything sans human well being or whether or not morality can be objective.

Con continues:
"My opponent needs to metaethically justify their framework to show that it is the objectively correct framework for determining whether or not an action is moral."

My response:
Ok.
Actions that are moral can be reduced to actions that lead to well being.
Actions that lead to well being must consider homeostasis, as true well being involves homeostasis.
Homeostasis is an objective condition.
Actions that are moral can be reduced to an objective condition.
Morality can be objective.

Metaethics is just the study of morality itself, and it seems tautological to ask me to metaethically define morality, when we're in a metaethical debate; I've defined morality with examples, analogies, and a claim that has yet to be refuted that all moral actions can be reduced to actions promoting homeostasis/well being.

Con?
Debate Round No. 2
famousdebater

Con

Thanks MagicAintReal.

Moral Nihilism

I’ll try to make a few of my points clearer, defend them and hope that the affirming of these points will lead on to the refuting the remainder of the points, thus negating my opponent’s burden - an example would be that if I managed to prove that my opponent’s definition of morality is not objective, then the example regarding euthanasia will also be negated since my opponent’s definition is not objective, I wouldn’t need to directly refute this point of contention since I would have refuted a more significant point to which the euthanasia point is contingent on.

My opponent begins by making a misconception. I stated that his standard is subjective and he responded by saying that there is nothing subjective about homeostasis. This is not what I meant. I meant that many people would disagree that homeostasis is a valid way of measuring morality objectively. Yes, homeostasis can factually measure SUFFERING but my opponent fails to justify why suffering is the valid unit of measurement for morality. Which brings me back to the point of metaethics and normative ethics. This is normative ethical and therefore, by definition, subjective (when it isn’t justified with a metaethical framework). This is because there are many, many different normative ethical systems of morality [1]. There is no way of determining which one is correct without a metaethical framework which defines what morality actually is with objective justification, thus proving it to be preferable to other metaethical systems of morality.

My opponent states,
“If we don't consider human well being when speaking of moral right and wrong, what are we even talking about?”

This is subjective and once again brings me back to another part of my case where I stated different normative ethical ways that people measure morality. My opponent believes that we should be considering human well being. A utilitarian would value happiness. A believer in intellectualism would believe that the action that produces the most knowledge is the most moral action. Different people believe different things. You SUBJECTIVELY believe that suffering should be used to measure morality but this is subjective as I mentioned - not OBJECTIVE.

He continues,
“I argue that the principles of right and wrong are contingent on the well being of humans, and sans this consideration, right and wrong are useless, empty terms.”

The key word here is “I argue”. This shows that it is completely subjective. You argue that, others such as utilitarians, intellectualists and welfarists all argue different things and would say that the principles of right and wrong are contingent on the well being/happiness/knowledge/economic state of humans. What makes your system (ie. well being) any better than any of the other possible option I put in that sentence that you used.

Next my opponent dismisses the list of different beliefs such as intellectualism due to the fact that “we’re not talking about beliefs”. My opponent misunderstands my usage of these ideologies. The reason I had for listing them is that it shows just how subjective his arguments are. Anybody can believe any different things. What makes my opponent’s measurement OBJECTIVELY correct and superior to all of these other different ways of measuring morality? It’s all subjective as to which one of these you believe are correct in measuring morality.

My opponent concludes,

“Actions that are moral can be reduced to actions that lead to well being.”

This is subjective. Many people believe in other ways of defining actions that are moral.

“Actions that lead to well being must consider homeostasis, as true well being involves homeostasis.”

Why? You are asserting this as if it is a fact that homeostasis is the correct way of measuring well being and ultimately determining what is right and wrong.

“Homeostasis is an objective condition.”

Yes - but NOT an objective unit of measurement for right and wrong actions.

“Actions that are moral can be reduced to an objective condition.”

You have subjectively decided that one (of many) objective conditions should be used to measure morality. This is not objective morality. This is subjective morality using a subjectively decided objective condition.

“Morality can be objective.”

Nope.

Lastly, my opponent seems to believe that “defined morality with examples, analogies, and a claim that has yet to be refuted that all moral actions can be reduced to actions promoting homeostasis/well being,” he has not defined morality. He’s defined what is moral - which is normative ethics, not metaethics. He has attempted to define what morality actually is and instead attempts to affirm his slightly adapted version of utilitarianism. He states what is moral - ie. well being of humans via homeostasis analysis. Not what morality itself actually is, which is metaethics [2].

The resolution is negated, as is my opponent’s burden.

Sources

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for that response.
After reading Con's remarks, I still affirm that morality can be objective.


*Con's Problems With Pro*

Con mentions:
"My opponent begins by making a misconception...I meant that many people would disagree that homeostasis is a valid way of measuring morality objectively."

My response:
So what?
Many people disagree that evolution is a valid way of explaining biodiversity, but that doesn't make evolution invalid or subjective.


*Con's Assessment*

Con assesses:
"My opponent fails to justify why suffering is the valid unit of measurement for morality."

My response:
Con, we're at philosophical bedrock here...you're asking why should human well being/suffering be considered in morality, when morality is the way we act toward each other.
Really?
I invite readers to look at the definition of morality in this debate - "right and wrong behavior."
What is behavior other than how we act with each other?

behaviour - the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Notice, I used the British spelling for my opponent.

What Con wants me to do then is show that human well being should be considered when determining the way that humans act toward each other.

Without considering human well being/suffering, there is no behavior *towards others*, there's just nonreactive, isolated actions.
Can con defend that position, that acting *towards others* doesn't exist?

If we can both agree that acting *towards others* exists, then we can both agree that there are positive actions towards others and negative actions towards others.
Fortunately, we have a wonderful objective unit of measurement.
The absence of suffering, which can be reduced to homeostasis.

We must consider human well being when behaving towards others...that's what good and bad behavior is.


*Metaethics, Blah, Blah, Blah*

Con repeats:
"Which brings me back to the point of metaethics and normative ethics. [Pro's case] is normative ethical and therefore, by definition, subjective (when it isn"t justified with a metaethical framework)...there is no way of determining which one is correct without a metaethical framework...proving it to be preferable to other metaethical systems of morality."

My response:
Since homeostasis isn't a social norm or social standard, I'm not normative ethically defining anything, instead, I'm using a standard that is neither a behavior nor normative; homeostasis removes norms and embraces an objective standard that *can be* used to determine if actions lead toward this goal or away from it.


*Perspectives On Morality*

Con points out:
"My opponent believes that we should be considering human well being."

My response:
Call me crazy I guess.

Con continues:
"A believer in intellectualism would believe that the action that produces the most knowledge is the most moral action."

My response:
Ok, though beliefs are irrelevant here, even in this case, the intellectualist is valuing human well being, because having knowledge is a means to better the human, i.e. increase well being.
The intellectualist isn't valuing knowledge because it typically causes detriments to homeostasis, rather the intellectualist still agrees that the fruits of knowledge increase well being.

Con adds:
"A utilitarian would value happiness."

My response:
A utilitarian therefore values homeostasis, no?

Con had mentioned:
"A believe in welfarism would argue that a moral action is an action that economic well being or welfare."

My response:
The welfarist values welfare, and without homeostasis, there is no welfare, so the welfarist's attempt to have economic well being is rooted in the welfarist's attempt to achieve human well being, quite in contrast to suffering, no?

So Con asks:
"What makes your system (ie. well being) any better than any of the other possible option I put in that sentence that you used."

My response:
I don't have to prove *better*, I have to prove *objective*, and, so far, you've given a bunch of perspectives that ALL consider human well being in one form or another...what does that tell you Con?
Philosophical bedrock.

Con agrees:
"Yes, homeostasis can factually measure SUFFERING."

But then, when I mentioned that true well being involves homeostasis,

Con claims:
"You are asserting this as if it is a fact that homeostasis is the correct way of measuring well being..."

My response:
Well, which is it Con?
Well-being exists in opposition to suffering, and you've already conceded that homeostasis factually measures suffering.
So, we both agree that homeostasis factually measures the lack of well-being...sounds objective to me.

Con continues:
"You are asserting...that homeostasis is the correct way of...ultimately determining what is right and wrong"

My response:
Yeah, determining right and wrong "actions towards others" must consider "others" when determining right and wrong; since homeostasis is our objective standard, there are clear actions that lead to/away from the well being of those "others" we are acting towards.

Con asserts:
"[Homeostasis is] NOT an objective unit of measurement for right and wrong actions."

My response:
Con, with respects to the phrase "towards others," how can one not consider the well being of those others when determining right and wrong behavior towards them?
All of your perspectives on morality seem to indicate a standard of well being too.

Con furthers:
"You have subjectively decided that one (of many) objective conditions should be used to measure morality. This is not objective morality. This is subjective morality using a subjectively decided objective condition."

My response:
Since morality necessarily includes actions *towards others*, it isn't subjective to consider *others'* well-being when acting *towards others*.
Therefore, the objective condition, homeostasis, isn't subjectively decided as a standard for others' well being; it's the indicator of it; it serves as our standard of actions *towards others*.

*Conclusion*

The resolution is very clear that morality *can be* objective.
I must remind readers of this.
If we use well being-->homeostasis as the standard for morality, and Con agrees that homeostasis is an objective condition, then, by using this objective standard, morality *can be* objective.
That's all I have to affirm here...that little *can be*.

Since morality can be objective, given my framework, one must affirm.

Con?
Debate Round No. 3
famousdebater

Con

Thanks MagicAintReal!


Semantics


I’ll begin by addressing the semantics that my opponent introduces in his previous round. His entire approach has now shifted to attempting to win this debate off of the ‘can’ in the resolution, instead of proving that his normative ethical system of morality is objectively justified by metaethics.

At the beginning of the debate I agreed with my opponent’s observation that there may be some exceptions. Now my opponent is distorting that observation and is making it so that every single normative ethical system is invalidated and it is only objective under his standard.

I will now clarify the resolution with some additional definitions (the reason I did not do this earlier is because I was not expecting there to be a semantical debate over the definition of ‘can’ and the argument was only made in the previous round).

Can: “be able to.” [1]

Whilst this does imply that there could possibly be some (defined: “a small amount or number of people or things.”) exceptions, which my opponent clearly states and concedes in R1. My opponent dismisses every normative ethical system but his own. This is, by definition, not some since some refers to a small amount of things - whilst this is subjective, an overwhelming majority is clearly not small as it is an antonym of this [3][4].

Ergo, my opponent’s observation is false. Can refers to the fact that something can be achieved in the MAJORITY of situations. My opponent is requesting that voters vote for him since he has shown that morality can be objective however he fails to do this since he needs to negate other normative ethical systems of morality and show credibility towards his which he fails to do.

For this reason I ask voters to vote on whether or not my opponent affirms the existence of objective morality in most cases. So far, all he has done is show that objective morality is possible (ie. greater than 0% in probability), though he has done nothing to prove that it is any more reasonable than me saying that morality doesn’t exist.


The Debate


My opponent once again makes another semantical move however this time it is more relevant and applicable to the debate.

He states that his normative ethical system must be true since behavior regards how one acts / conduct themselves towards another.

I will once again reinstate those other normative ethical systems of morality here since they are, once again, applicable - even under my opponent’s semantical approach. Welfarism - for example, regards the economic benefits of on action making it moral. Therefore, welfarism would count as a means of normative ethically defining an action as moral. Whilst all of these do regard human well being, my opponent’s normative ethical system specifically refers to the maintaining of homeostasis and removal of suffering. Welfarism does regard acting and conducting yourself in a way to another (which meets the definition of behaviour) since it regards doing things to improve a person's or group’s economic state and in order to do this you must interact or conduct yourself in a specific way towards a specific person. Therefore, my opponent still needs to prove that his normative ethical system is preferable to any other (which once again, I must reiterate are subjective since my opponent has made no attempt to prove his system to be any better than the other normative ethical systems and I have proven that this is a normative ethical belief that other people do believe in - thus showing that it is subjective as to which one you believe in).

Whilst my opponent’s normative ethical system does fit the definition of morality he does nothing to prove that it is any better than one of dozens of normative ethical systems of morality that I could list.

The unit of measurement is objective but going back to the example of welfarism. Economic gain is also an objective unit of measurement and since believers in welfarism believe that economic gain is the more moral action then this is also an objective unit of measurement to measure morality. So I reiterate the question to my opponent which he has consistently failed to answer throughout the debate, why is this normative ethical system of morality any better than any other normative ethical system of morality?


Metaethics

Please extend that my opponent’s homeostasis argument is normative ethical. My opponent’s argument is clearly normative ethical and I will repeat the reasons once more.

The argument defines a specific action that is immoral - ie. the moving away of homeostasis and moving away from suffering. That isn’t what morality actually IS. It’s certain actions that are perceived to be immoral by your subjective standards that you fail to justify.

Therefore, this is a very, very clear normative ethical argument.


Perspectives on morality

Whilst it is true that intellectualists would agree that human well being is important they would not believe that moving away from homeostasis and the creation of human suffering are immoral actions - which is what Pro is arguing here.

A utilitarian believes that moral actions are those that cause happiness. Whilst they can certainly involve homeostasis. They do not view homeostasis or suffering as a measurement of morality. They use happiness. Whilst suffering can come under happiness in negative terms, this doesn’t mean that suffering is there unit of measurement which is what you are affirming - so once again this isn’t applicable. Utilitarian beliefs are still different normative ethical ones to yours.

Giving money to a person and considering that as moral is quite different to relieving somebody of suffering and considering that as moral. Whilst they can sometimes intertwine with each other. There are occasions where they are different and as a result affirming one is not the equivalent of affirming another and if my opponent disagrees then he must prove this and so far he hasn’t been able to.

My opponent states that he doesn’t need to prove that his system is better but the problem is that he must. There are many systems of morality and choosing one at random is not objectively determining morality. That is subjectively picking a random system of morality out of a hat and saying that morality is objective because this system says so. That is preposterous. You need to prove that the system of correct before using the system to objectively determine morality.

My opponent falsely states that I have contradicted myself. I agree that homeostasis is an objective way of measuring morality but I do NOT agree that it is the correct way of doing so. To put this into a simpler analogy we can look back upon the welfarism comparison. Economic state is also an objective way of measuring morality but what makes my opponent’s system the correct system as opposed to welfarism or any other system. You can’t use a normative ethical system of morality to determine morality as objective without even trying to prove that the system is correct. Using an incorrect system of normative ethics to prove the existence of objective morality is quite frankly just ridiculous. So Pro, why is your system “correct” and not any other systems of morality?

Ultimately all Pro has proven is that homeostasis and suffering are objective standards of measuring morality (but hasn’t proven that they are the correct standards) and therefore morality is objective in most scenarios with a few exceptions.

It is true that morality includes action towards others. Though giving somebody knowledge (intellectualism) is also giving something towards others. Giving money (welfarism) is also giving something towards somebody. So is helping somebody to get away from suffering or helping somebody to maintain the correct homeostasis. They are all actions that fit the definition of morality. Though only one normative ethical system of morality can be correct (assuming that my opponent is correct and morality is objective). So which one is correct. If my opponent can’t prove that his system is correct then we have no reason to view it as correct and should assume it is incorrect due to the lack of evidence. If he is using an incorrect / unjustified system of morality then there is no reason for anybody to assume that he has successfully met his burden of proof.

I must once again repeat that whilst the condition is objective. The fact that there are many objective ways of measuring morality and they are all different means that only one can be correct and if my opponent can’t objectively prove that his one is correct then he is subjectively choosing it, and due to the lack of evidence on his behalf defending this it is clear that this is bare assertion and not objective.


Conclusion

I strongly urge that voters vote on this debate based on my opponent proving that morality is objective apart from some exceptions. My opponent’s reason to vote for him based on the semantical argument deriving from the word ‘can’ in the resolution is not sufficient and has been thoroughly refuted - furthermore, semantics are against the rules. Whilst I do not want my opponent to be penalized for breaking the rules, I also do not want voters to consider this breaking of rules and should not weigh this in his favor. The resolution is clearly negated. Vote Con!


Sources

[1] https://www.google.co.uk...
[2] https://www.google.co.uk...
[3] https://www.google.co.uk...
[4] https://www.google.co.uk...
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks for the debate Con.
While convention dictates that I forward this round, f*ck convention, because Con said I could respond.
I do appreciate that Con instigated this debate, it's been fun and I really respect Con as a debater.
That said...

*Acknowledging The Resolution =/= Semantics*

I'm not running semantics by repeating the resolution that "morality can be objective."
It doesn't say "morality should be objective" or "morality is always objective."
That auxiliary-infinitive verb phrase "can be" crucially modifies the claim, and pointing this out isn't semantics; it's observation.


*Homeostasis =/= Normative*

Con's been slingin' this term "normative" around the whole debate, and it's not been demonstrated that homeostasis is normative.
Normative refers to behaviors of the "social norm" or the social standard of behavior.
As I've pointed out in round 3 and still remains uncontested by Con, homeostasis is neither a behavior nor a social norm.
Homeostasis isn't normative at all, and it is conceded to be objective by my opponent.

Con asks:
"Why is this normative ethical system of morality any better than any other normative ethical system of morality?"

My response:
Because there's nothing normative about homeostasis, as it's not a social norm or behavior, and nothing about the resolution says anything about "better;" the term used is "objective."
Something could be inferior and still be objective, but either way, all of your proposed systems consider well being-->homeostasis in some form or another, and this was emboldened by Con saying, "all of these do regard human well being,"


*Can Be =/= Majority*

I can be a lottery winner, I can be the first human on mars, I can be a body guard for a celebrity...these are all true statements yet their occurrence is not "achieved in the MAJORITY of situations." There all rare, yet contain "can be" and are true.
Well, morality can be objective, irrespective of majority.


*My CONclusion*

I'm just going to quote Con to conclude my affirmation of the resolution, "Morality Can Be Objective."

Con:
"It is true that morality includes action towards others...my opponent"s normative ethical system does fit the definition of morality."

Con:
"I must once again repeat that whilst the condition (homeostasis) is objective, the fact that *there are many objective ways of measuring morality*"

Con:
"Ultimately all Pro has proven is that homeostasis and suffering are objective standards of measuring morality...and therefore morality is objective."

Con:
"I agree that homeostasis is an objective way of measuring morality...economic gain is also an objective unit of measurement to measure morality."

Con:
"So far, all [Pro] has done is show that objective morality is possible...my opponent is requesting that voters vote for him since he has shown that morality can be objective."

Thanks Con.
Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
98 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Death23 9 months ago
Death23
Maybe if you try again it might work
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Thanks for looking at it again whiteflame, it was much appreciated.
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Opt-in voting is the only way to go it seems.
Posted by whiteflame 9 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Death23// Mod action: NOT Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: http://pastebin.com...

[*Reason for non-removal*] After extensive consideration, the vote is still viewed as sufficient. While the voter is very clearly imposing his views of the burdens on the debate, he is nonetheless analyzing specific arguments made by both sides and explaining the decision within the context of those arguments. If it was clear that the voter's biases regarding the burdens, as well as their selective reading of the debate, were being used as the chief means to decide the debate, then this would be a different story. In this case, it's unclear whether the arguments the voter evaluates or these issues are at greater play, and with that uncertainty, the voter is given some benefit of the doubt.
************************************************************************
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Your definition of morality included mathematics and factual correctness.
If you think that morality is factual correctness, you're the one who doesn't know morality.
Well, morality is right and wrong BEHAVIOR TOWARDS OTHERS, not facts.
So, if you understand that, i've done nothing subjective.
Posted by Jerry947 9 months ago
Jerry947
This is the last I will say on the matter here. I do not want to clog famous' notifications. Morality is the distinction between right and wrong. Objective morality means there is a real right and wrong that transcends the opinions of mere humans.

In this debate, you gave your opinion on what is moral. Even though your opinions are based on some facts, they are still your subjective beliefs.

I think your problem is that you do not have the proper definitions of the words and that is what is messing you up.
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
Is morality behavior towards other humans?
If it is, then we can't have morality without other humans.
So, actions that lead to homeostasis detriments also lead to other human detriments, which if exhausted would eliminate humans, thus morality.
So, actions leading away from objective homeostasis are less moral, because they are closer to removing the human component of morality, or behavior towards other humans.
Posted by Jerry947 9 months ago
Jerry947
I asked: "Okay...so how does your opinion based off of these facts create an objective moral standard from which all humans have to follow?"

You respond: "Do all humans have to maintain homeostasis?
Seems like following the demands of this maintenance is in fact universal to all humans."

Homeostasis is how the body maintains healthy. Morality doesn't really come into play here. But you completely evaded my question.

You then state "But you just highlighted it right there...using actions that harmed the well being of those races, therefore their objective homeostasis, is less moral than actions that don't lead to all of that well-being-harm."

That is your opinion. Even though the peoples well being has been harmed, you haven't shown that the tortures have done something objectively immoral. You have only shown that they have objectively hurt those people.

You then state: "Had Hitler found a way to say, move all of those races to another land, without physically harming them,
wouldn't that be more moral BECAUSE it leads further away from all of that well-being harm?"

I share your opinion but you still have not shown how any of this is objective. You are only sharing your opinions man.

And lastly, you say "Hitler's morally wrong because his actions led to much homeostasis detriment."

Okay, again, that is your opinion. It is a fact that homeostasis detriment occurs but it is your own subjective opinion that causing people pain is immoral.

And quite frankly, that is the best you can do with atheism. Nothing is objectively immoral. All you got is your opinions.
Posted by MagicAintReal 9 months ago
MagicAintReal
"Okay...so how does your opinion based off of these facts create an objective moral standard from which all humans have to follow?"

Do all humans have to maintain homeostasis?
Seems like following the demands of this maintenance is in fact universal to all humans.

A moral that all humans *have* to follow?
No.
All humans are following it by remaining a living human.
Morality is behavior towards other living humans.
If you are exclusively suffering, you are *not* exclusively maintaining homeostasis.
If you are exclusively inflicting suffering, you are *not* exclusively maintaining the universal following of the demands of remaining a living human.

"What about Hitler?...Hitler used evolution's "survival of the fittest"

Yeah. Most things in nature shouldn't be replicated in society, hence why we wear clothing, don't piss in public, and crap in toilets, so the association between Hitler and the theory are incongruous...evolution is not a societal framework.

"And he thought that using actions that harmed the well being of those races was a moral thing to do."

But you just highlighted it right there...using actions that harmed the well being of those races, therefore their objective homeostasis, is less moral than actions that don't lead to all of that well-being-harm.

Had Hitler found a way to say, move all of those races to another land, without physically harming them,
wouldn't that be more moral BECAUSE it leads further away from all of that well-being harm?

Hitler's morally wrong because his actions led to much homeostasis detriment.
Posted by Jerry947 9 months ago
Jerry947
You say that you do have an objective standard of morality, but since an objective standard is one that is not based on your opinion or your experience...your standard is not truly objective even though it is based on some facts. You are merely sharing your opinion about the facts.

Facts you bring up:

a. People suffer.

b. Actions that lead away from suffering may benefit a person's health/well being.

Your opinion based off these facts:

a. The actions that objectively lead AWAY from threats to well being/homeostasis are MORE MORAL than those that lead toward detriments to well being/homeostasis.

Okay...so how does your opinion based off of these facts create an objective moral standard from which all humans have to follow?

What about Hitler?

Hitler used evolution's "survival of the fittest" to justify wiping out the inferior races. And he thought that using actions that harmed the well being of those races was a moral thing to do.

Why is your opinion based off of the facts above objectively correct and why is Hitler's opinion based off the facts objectively wrong?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Death23 10 months ago
Death23
famousdebaterMagicAintReal
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: http://pastebin.com/raw/7WkyDwsp
Vote Placed by Hayd 10 months ago
Hayd
famousdebaterMagicAintReal
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/90508/