Does Objective Morality Exist Independent of God?
Objective: of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.
objective. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com...
Morality: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
moral. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com...
Independent: not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.
independent. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com...
God: the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
god. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com...
1. Does objective morality exist?
2. If yes, is it independent of "God"?
Perhaps the best way to put this apology is to use a real example. Every society has laws against Murder but every society permits killing. Thus we have the objective, murder is wrong, but society subjectifies it to suit its purposes. Ergo, we have at least one objective moral (principle).
Does this moral exist absent God? This part of the thesis is a bit more obsequious. If one believes in a god or God that belief would hold that disbelief is insufficient to negate the existence of said God, thereby making anyone claiming noninvolvement of this God merely ignorant of fact. Those who hold there is no god would, similarly, hold that anyone claiming God's involvement in society's morality is just ignorant of reality, as God, by definition, cannot be proved to exist.
Aristotle held that there was a natural order to things, and that said order was inviolate. Jung posited a collective memory, giving rise to universals learned over time. Thus the entirety of my opponent's position hinges on his ability to apply objective definitions absent connotative meanings.
A term not defined by my opponent was exist. A nominalist would argue that one cannot create a term from nothingness, meaning if it is named it is, even if unseen. Others might define exist as perceptible to the human senses. Ie Do feelings exist? I shall, therefore, define exist in the above context as a codification of behavior limiters enforceable and accepted by a society or group of persons in a society, available for review.
The universality of that which Jung called collective, Aristotle nature, and the religious God seems to be at issue, therefore, let us use the above written definition of God: the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe. Inasmuch as my opponent accepts this definition he must also accept that the ruler rules and to state otherwise would be against reason. I.e. When an individual makes two statements, both of which cannot be true, one need not establish which is false to prove that said person is disingenuous. Thus by defining God as the universal ruler my opponent has accepted his/her involvement in all that is. This leaves us with "Does morality exist?", as the only remaining debatable issue, as my opponent concedes in his premise that, if it does, it includes God.
Skeptic8 forfeited this round.
(1) If God exists, objective morals exist.
(2) Objective morals exist.
(3) Therefore, God exist.
Now based on my opponent's argument he/she accepts the first premise restated as "If objective morals exist, God exist." What seems to be the debate is premise (2). As my opponent seemed to lay out, murder is deemed wrong in all societies making it an "objective" moral principle. However, this stems from a misunderstanding of the term "objective". The definition states that for something to be objective, it must exist independent of thought or observers. When my opponent states "every society has laws against murder" he is stating that the reason murder is wrong is dependent on the laws of society susceptible to change through legislation. Now this no longer makes the principle "objective" but rather subjective to the whim of the majority (or dictators).
Jung determined in a universal set of morals, however, universality is separate from objectivity. To illustrate this we can use a thought experiment. If the Nazi party had won World War II and successfully brainwashed the entire population on earth, would their beliefs (specifically their beliefs of justified murder based on religious preferences) be objectively right? The answer to this question is no, because the concept of universality is separate from the definition of objectivity. Universality implies the "collective consensus" which means that the principle is dependent on the observers.
Now my opponent seems to be narrowing the scope of the debate by stating that "God, by definition, cannot be proved to exist". My argument, however, to use my opponent's structure:
(1) Objective morals do exist.
(2) God is not a necessary cause for their existence.
I argue that objective morals exist on the basis of evolutionary reasoning. The morals that we have to interact among each other serve of reasonable and logical advantage on an evolutionary scale. To provide an example, murder is categorically (not subjectively) wrong. The reason for such a statement is that cultures or societies who believed that murder is NOT wrong, would have been (and are continuing to be) selected against resulting in their extermination. On an objective scale, to value the principle that murder is wrong is to provide one's society with better adaptive capabilities in the struggle for existence. Now individuals within the society may have their own opinions on the subject, with some saying that murder is NOT wrong. However, those individual's opinions in no way hamper the general principle that murder is wrong. As those individuals who disagree would be selected against both naturally and socially making them less fit in the struggle for life.
For my opponent to win this debate, based on the proposition stated as well as my stance registered at the beginning of this debate, he/she must show either
(1) Objective morals do not exist.
(2) If objective morals do exist, God is the only source for such morals.
Unless and until my opponent does so, I feel I deserve to win this debate.
I shall respond ad seriatim in bold text for simplicity. I have removed some of his text for space reasons, tying not to lose the substance of his positions.
… I reviewed the rules and saw no prohibition on deductive reasoning.
Actual structure of my argument
Morals are a codification of objective principles specific to a group sharing a theology or zeitgeist.
Principles are a set of principles agreed upon by a homogeneous society.
While all morals are principles not all principles are moral.
In order to establish the existence of objective morals, all one need provide is the list of OBJECTIVE PRINCIPLES for a particular group. See Moral theology for any main stream religion. Morals traditionally and historically (inter alia)particular to religion, theology is the sine qua non of the term in common use, ergo, using the term correctly requires a governing theology. This is not the case with Principles. Eg Principles of Logic
It is important for my opponent to state his position in the circular fallacy because only in that way might he support his attempt at asserting the negative, which is also fallacious. NB It is not my position that there is or is not a God, It is however my position that in order for there to be morals, there must be a diety. Examples are legion… Griswold v. Connecticut,
The Suprememe Court has determined that morality is particular to religion and has its place, but not in Law.
As a matter of English, gramer, Law and most academic disciplines Right and Wrong are synonyms with Good and EVIL, not with correct and incorrect. This is not a distinction without a difference, though it often is a difference ignored. In fact, in All Legal Jurisdictions in the United States one is free to have their own MORALITY because it is protected as RELIGION, but one must conform the statutes. Griswald v. Connecticut
Now based on my opponent's argument he/she accepts the first premise restated as "If objective morals exist, God exist." See above What seems to be the debate is premise (2). As my opponent seemed to lay out, murder is deemed wrong in all societies making it an "objective" moral principle. However, this stems from a misunderstanding of the term "objective". … Now this no longer makes the principle "objective" but rather subjective to the whim of the majority (or dictators). No, exact opposite in the example, its wrong because of God….its illegal because of society Again, incorrect. All societies permit killing human beings while having the crime of Murder. (All the executions in Nazi Germany were LEGAL.[inter alia])
My opponent makes my point perfectly. If we all define terms as we see fit, abolish areas of academic study and specialize to the point of what William Buckley called idiot savant (educated beyond reasonableness in one particular specialty yet ignorant of all others) , we will stop thinking and only feel, drop Republic for Democracy, replace Logic with critical thinking and translate English into english so people feel they read Twain, take the oath so help me evolution, have presidents declare war, make circular reasoning the zeitgeist of the postmodern era and get the Idiocracy of the short story and film.
My opponent admits, by and through his definitions that objective morals exist, otherwise he speaks of nothing, and that God also IS because his definition of God is so broad as to include evolution, the gods of Zoroastrianism and even Mother Nature herself.
Skeptic8 forfeited this round.
I shall make my case simply for this round. Does objective morality exist independent God? The answer is no. In order for my opponent to make his case he would need to dis-prove Aristotle, and all others who claim an unmoved mover, before he could proceed. Rather than disprove Aristotle he chooses to believe in a higher power “evolution”.
the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
Having claimed evolution as his god he then defines god as a supreme being, but fails to define being. Thus, evolution being real, and accepted as such by ALL main stream Christian religions, my opponent accepts a supreme controller of all things physical and of the universe, independent upon man’s thoughts or observations. Ie..just because we cant see it don’t mean it aint there.
Hacing accepted this unseen universal he claims it is not objective. Here we shall use a better definition of objective having to do with rational thought and not lowest common denominator. (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts: historians try to be objective and impartial (Oxforddictionaries).
All morality is objective otherwise it ceases to be. My opponent would have no absolutes meaning he would allow everything as his position is arguing for the subjective. This, no matter the definition of the term objective, morality does exist and is dependant upon a higher power (God), call her what you will.
Skeptic8 forfeited this round.
quess i win