The Instigator
ZebramZee
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
lxpnh98
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Does Morality Exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ZebramZee
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 591 times Debate No: 41438
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

ZebramZee

Con

Morality does not exist. This is either objective morality or subjective morality. In other words, there is no such thing as 'right' or 'wrong' as we know it. If you would like to debate this, use the first argument to accept the challenge.
lxpnh98

Pro

I accept the debate. I think morality does exist. I think it is self-evident but I will try to make it evident.
Debate Round No. 1
ZebramZee

Con

My thesis is that morality does not exist. Before we determine whether there is such a thing as morality or not, we have to properly define the term. Words, or a collection of sounds that we call words do not have intrinsic meanings, and same with words such as "moral" or "immoral" or "right" or "wrong." But I will define them the way they are commonly used in our society and in most societies around the world with which we have contact.

The term "immoral" describes actions. For example, we would say "murder is immoral." Here, the term "immoral" means that murder is something "we should not do." Something laudable, or "moral" is something we "should do," and something wrong, or "immoral," means we "should not do it." From my understanding and from my talks with most people, these are the definitions of words that are used to describe morality as most of us use them. This is important because other words that are often used to describe actions, such as "altruistic," or "empathetic," or "hateful," etc are often substituted for terms like "moral" or "immoral." These terms do not have the same definition as the terms "moral" or "immoral," and thus, we cannot merely assume they are the same, we must demonstrate the connection between the two. The word "kind" does not mean the same as the word "moral," and therefore we must prove they are connected.

There are three main arguments I will make in this posting.
I argue that there is no such thing as actions being "moral" or "immoral," though there are such things as being "kind" or "unkind," for example. I argue this based on two arguments. One is that we have no conception of what it means for something to be "moral" or "immoral." In other words, there is no such thing as what we call a "conscience." And second, that there is no such thing as free will, and therefore morality as we know it does not exist. Thus, these two arguments say that there is no such thing as subjective morality.
I also argue that we cannot know what is truly "moral" or "immoral," if such things do exist, based on the influence of evolution and natural selection, or atleast that they are not the same for all of us. Therefore, this argument says there is no such thing as objective morality.

I say there is no such thing as free will. (I do not know if my opponent argues from the point of view of belief in a god, but I am not arguing from that assumption.) Free will is a necessary aspect for morality to exist. An aspect of morality in our society is that it only applies to actions that one can control. This is why we do not blame robots for their actions. We assume they have no control over what they do, and thus refrain from applying moral qualities to their behavior. In fact the only objects that we consider capable of moral or immoral actions are biological ones because we consider everything else to not have free will. The sky, the oceans, mountains, books, rocks, etc are all considered to be without the capability of free will. Even computers as well, which are very complex. We see all their actions as being perfectly explained by the laws of nature and unable to be modified by any part or the whole of the computer. Any error in the computer is ascribed to a bug or a hardware failure rather than the computer taking a life of its own. The ocean as a whole is presumed to be governed by the laws of physics. I argue that since our brain is composed of the same elements as the ocean and the computer, it is likely that we have as much free will as they have. We may think we can choose our path, but we are only conscious of a fraction of the activity in our brains. Other objects may have consciousness as well, such as a computer or the ocean, but since they do not respond in ways we identify with ourselves, we assume it does not have any. I say there is no reason to believe we have free will and therefore morality does not exist.

The other two arguments will be presented in the next round.
lxpnh98

Pro

lxpnh98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ZebramZee

Con

My opponent's account is apparently not active. Therefore, I will end the debate.
lxpnh98

Pro

lxpnh98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ZebramZee

Con

ZebramZee forfeited this round.
lxpnh98

Pro

lxpnh98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
ZebramZee

Con

ZebramZee forfeited this round.
lxpnh98

Pro

lxpnh98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by OliveJuice 3 years ago
OliveJuice
Very interesting argument, ZebramZee.
Posted by bitterherbs 3 years ago
bitterherbs
Interesting I have been trying to get this same debate going for a couple of days.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
ZebramZeelxpnh98Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Great debate. We should have the same sometime. Feel free to challenge me. Not so many rounds tho.