The Instigator
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Interloped
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Evolutionary Atheists have no moral platform, beyond biological continuation and reproduction

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Interloped
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/13/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,838 times Debate No: 71408
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (80)
Votes (3)

 

TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

Thesis paragraph: As an Evolutionary Athiest I run into the predicament mentioned above. I find it hard to locate a platform with which I can bestow ethics or morality upon a given situation. As evolution would have it, the real purpose of life is simply to create as many organisms as possible, specifically it is my purpose in life to create more human beings. Using this logic however, many things which I find immoral cannot be considered as such. Genocide for instance would be justifiable if for instance the death of those being killed would ultimately lead to the continuation of the human species. Intuitevly this feels wrong however and thus the problem arises. Do evolutionary atheists have a platform on which to excersice morality? I instigate not just for the sake of intelectual confidence but also personal revolation and the continution of this idea. This idea has been presented to me by a christian elder whom I have always confided in; I cant seem to find a hole in the logic. thus if any challegers would like to accept this debate, just put a comment in the comments section and let's see what we can do. Thanks



Rules

1st round is acceptance
2nd round is argument
3rd round is rebutals
4th round is conclusion no new arguments

Critical arguments must be clearly labeled. The debate will of course assume no god is real, The opponent shall argue that atheists do have a moral platform on which to base their ethics that doesnt solely rely on the bettering, continuation, ultimate good or initiation of biological life. I will argue that is the only supported platform. **I will assert evolutionary atheists can only justify subjective morality or signnificantly subjective morality. Con MUST argue that those who dont believe in a god and who are supporters of traditional evolution can justifiably hold an objective morality.** Bop is shared



Definitions

moral platform- a standard on which actions or thoughts are morally justfied or unjustified. example) the teachings of the christian lutheran bible, protestand bible or catholic bible all serve as moral platforms on which specific christians operate.

Evolutionar Atheist- one who does not believe in any form of god and also holds the beleif in standard evolution.

Biological continuation- as a broad and non binding definition, this refers to something along the lines of, the continuation of life through sexual or asexual reproduction which directly results in the birth or growth of another bilogically living organism or creature.

Interloped

Con

I accept.

I will argue that Evolutionary Atheist recognize and adhere to moral platforms.

Some interesting side notes:

1) I'm not atheist.

2) A preliminary thought; I suspect evolution may be precisely why atheists and general humanity recognize and adhere to morals.
Debate Round No. 1
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

I would like to start by laughing at the strange turn of events which lead the atheist (myself) to argue against the christian who is advocating an atheist's position Hahah.

Firstly I would like to present the argument which I myself have not been able to defeat.

1.) evolution can't neccesarily have a goal, however what evolution generally acomplishes is simply the mass creation of life.
2.) evolution acheives this through any means neccesary and is thus amoral
3.) therefore there can be no justifiable platform to base reason except perhaps that a certain action would go against evolution's 'purpose'.
4.) this of course proves that humanity has little to no basis to justifiably claim morality.



Finally, I would like to make something clear right off the bat about something Interloped said in the acceptance round. He said:

"I will argue that Evolutionary Atheist recognize and adhere to moral platforms."

However this is Not an argument that could win the debate. The fact that EVAs DO adhere to various moral platforms is completely irrelevant. What Interloped must prove is that whatever those platforms are, they can be justified logically from the proper and correct and logical world view of an EVA. For me to win on the other hand, I must prove the opposite. That it is illogical and/or unfounded to have any other platform than one based on the aforementioned qualities.

That's really the whole argument so I pass the pen back to Interloped....
Interloped

Con

Moving Posts

To my dismay I hear the rushing sound of moving goal posts as I am told by Pro in Round 2 that proving Evolutionary Atheist recognize and adhere to moral platforms does not fulfill the purpose of this debate. Let the reader please note all of the work put into the comments to avoid these semantics... Still, I will indulge.


Rebuttal 1: Personification of Evolution

Pro establishes assumed viewpoints of evolution if it were a human. We've failed to distinguish the views of evolution personified and a human being who recognizes evolution as explanation for origin. The significant difference which has been overlooked is empathy and altruism.


Argument 1: The Evolution of Morality

I'll indulge and present morality as logical to the evolutionist as it has come to my attention this is what the debate is actually about.

Morality plays a quintessential role wherever groups exist. In fact it isn't just Evo Atheists that need morality, as Michael Shermer, Ph.D. observes we can see moral sentiments like the following in many species:

"attachment and bonding, cooperation and mutual aid, sympathy and empathy, direct and indirect reciprocity, altruism and reciprocal altruism, conflict resolution and peacemaking, deception and deception detection, community concern and caring about what others think about you, and awareness of and response to the social rules of the group."[1]

I'll give two interesting examples:

1) A more heart warming and viral example of reciprocal altruism and gratitude at work is this cat saving his group member from a dog, reciprocal altruism is a common sight where one individual sacrifices of itself to better another individual. According to Pro, this cat, not believing in a 'moral platform' should leave the child alone until the dog is finished and eat his corpse, this is clearly just not how group animals work, morality is a very critical part of group life... video: https://www.youtube.com...
2) Vampire bats also demonstrate a sense of reciprocity and altruism. They share blood by regurgitation, but do not share randomly. They are most likely to share with other bats who have shared with them in the past or who are in dire need of feeding.[2]

Surely, animals do not believe in a God nonetheless any specific God like the Judeo Christian one. This presents the question, why do they believe?


Argument 2: How Morality Benefitss the Individual & Group

Pro makes the mistake of assuming that morality does not serve evolutionary intentions and that it has no place in evolution. I say that evolution selected the trait of morality specifically for it's usefulness to a group species.

A group must have morality to function effectively, if the group does not have morality then members would steal from eachother, kill eachother, rape eachother or simply not share and therefore not thrive - thus the group would dissolve very quickly as its members would observe it as dangerous and damaging to them self.

It's clear why a group needs morality to remain beneficial, let's discuss the logical reasons to group? What can the group do for you? Protection from dangerous humans or animals, assistance in difficult or specialty tasks that the self may not be capable of as a individual such as caring for your health when sick, performing surgery, building complex structures, hunting (not everyone is good at these things). There is also food insurance (food stamps) or sharing of a groups cumulative reserve. Trade, using one's individual talents to gain other necessary resources such as shelter, food, health care, protection etc. Mathematically the more people you bring together the greater the feats you can accomplish like massive shelters, agricultural advances and security or protection from things that the individual could not protect itself from.


Conclusion:

Morality is essential for a group to thrive, cooperate and reach maximum efficiency and effectiveness. A group is necessary for an individual to obtain resources either he does not specialize in or cannot obtain without assistance. For humans, grouping up is the logical thing to do, ergo adherence to a moral platform is the logical thing to do, with or without religion.

I would clarify on the type of morality perhaps more resembling consequentialism, not entirely though - simplified, we would not do things that will cause harm to the group. [3]:

        • It is wrong to kill innocent people
        • It is wrong to steal
        • It is wrong to tell lies
        • It is right to keep promises

These concepts serve evolution & Logic's goal of holding groups together and maximizing their effectiveness and reliability. Ultimately, societal consensus would determine what exact moral obligations should be fulfilled. As we see in each country laws are present whether they're a religious state or not.





Citations:

1) Shermer, Michael (2004). The Science of Good and Evil. New York: Times Books. p. 16. ISBN0-8050-7520-8.
2) http://www.life.umd.edu...
3) http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

If god were real then, with certainty, I could make a truth claim about the morality or immorality of any action, killing for instance. I could say, "according to god, killing is wrong". However, being that no god exists, nothing can be considered as truely right or wrong, Being that I am an Evolutionary Atheist (EVA) and can see the effects of evolution, the only view point which enables me to make truth claims about certain actions is based on the 'purpose' of evolution, which I have detailed in the last round. Other than that though, EVAs have no basis to make truth claims concerning moralit, and that is what this debate comes down to...... Is child molestation wrong? Why or why not? The answer is based off of your moral platform. An EVA could make an argument for or against it depending on the situation and circumstances, but someone who believes in a subjective morality could not, that is because a subjective morality is not a morality at all. Here is why....

The law of non contradiction states: "A thing cannot be and not be simultaneously. And nothing that is true can be self-contradictory or inconsistent with any other truth." As applied to this debate topic, an action cannot be morally right and morally wrong at the same time, this moral changing under the same circumstances means that it would have to be the result of a subjective moral platform. Thus a subjective moral platform is not really a moral platform at all because it contradicts itself. The animal evidence that Interloped brings up last round indicates that morality is inherent in animals as we can see by their percieved moral actions. This implys that morality is already in every human when they are born and thus that morality is nothing but an opinion and a perception. Opinions and perceptions can and do change and differ, even when percieving the same circumstances and thus the morality that Interloped suggests is a moral platform in his societal consesus and animal examples, is/are not one(s) at all. This means he still hasnt justified any morality besides evolutionary gain which isnt unjustifiable/subjective.

The reason that evolution is the only justifiable moral platform is that it is the only non-subjective platform. It is the only non-subjective platform because in an EVA world, the only thing that assigns meaning to life, is evolution. Thus any attempts to have a moral platform other than evolution wouldnt really be moral platforms at all and would certainly not be logically justified.


Conclusion

In a slightly less drawn out manner here is my completed, indepth argument:

1.) A moral platform is a system of determining right and wrong
2.) Logically, two antithetical propositions cannot both be true at the same time
3.) Any proposition supposing two antithetical propostions are true at the same time is illogical

4.) Whether something is morally right or wrong is a proposition
5.) Something cannot be simultaneously right and wrong and still be logical justifiable
6.) no valid moral platform can support that an action is morally wrong and right
7.) Interloped suggests that morality is inherent and also based solely on the perceptions of the individual
8.) This allows for two or more people to percieve and thus make something right and wrong at the same time
9.) that contradicts itself and is thus illogical and not a moral platform

And secondly, stemming from the conclusion that no moral platform can contradict itself:

1.) No moral platform can contradict itself simulatneously
2.) A moral platform is a system of determining right and wrong
3.) A moral platform's system is based off of a given purpose that is assigned to life (god, evolution)
4.) In an EVAs perspective, the only thing that assigns a purpose to life is evolution
5.) Only evolution can be used as a valid and logical moral platform
Interloped

Con

I didn't see a rebuttal or even an indication that what I said had been read.


Rebuttal 1: Law of Contradiction - Morality as a Logical and Beneficial Group Element

Pro suggests that a moral platform should be subject to a 'law of non contradiction'. I submit that the optimal moral course is largely dependent on context. I submitted consequentialism as a moral skeleton for Evo Atheists, if killing one person saves 10,000 then killing one person is the morally proper course of action. I went on to elaborate - not entirely though - simplified, we would not do things that will cause harm to the group. [3]:

    • It is wrong to kill innocent people
    • It is wrong to steal
    • It is wrong to tell lies
    • It is right to keep promises

These concepts serve evolution & Logic's goal of holding groups together and maximizing their effectiveness and reliability. Ultimately, societal consensus would determine what exact moral obligations should be fulfilled. As we see in each country laws are present whether they're a religious state or not.


Rebuttal 2: Molestation

Pro submits that Evo Atheists have no moral perspective on molestation, I commented on this subject in round 2: if the group does not have morality then members would steal from eachother, kill eachother, rape eachother or simply not share and therefore not thrive - thus the group would dissolve very quickly as its members would observe it as dangerous and damaging to them self. Morality is in the perspective of Evo Atheists, a mechanism which evolved with group species to maximize their prosperity.

Pro's last statement before his conclusion actually seems like an argument for Con?

Conclusion:
Morality is essential for a group to thrive, cooperate and reach maximum efficiency and effectiveness. A group is necessary for an individual to obtain resources either he does not specialize in or cannot obtain without assistance. For humans, grouping up is the logical thing to do, ergo adherence to a moral platform is the logical thing to do, with or without religion.
Debate Round No. 3
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro


It has come to my attention that a fundamental error has been made on my part of this debate. I have set erroneous debate standards by accident and then attempted to defend the valid/intended standards in my previous rounds. Being that this is the case, I concede the round. I’ll explain further.


From an evolutionary atheist’s perspective (EVA’s) there are a select few things which can be considered morally justifiable. This is due to their moral platform, or in other words, standard on which to evaluate morality. From and EVA perspective, only things which promote biological continuation and reproduction can be considered morally justifiable, this of course because that is the whole point of evolution, to continue life.


In the acceptance round, when I said that I was having trouble finding a platform on which to base my morality, I meant that some things which I internally feel are bad, are morally justifiable under the moral platform of evolution, or in some cases they just aren’t immoral. For instance, most would consider torturing a mentally disabled child as bad (obviously) or molestation as bad, as I previously said. However the scope of evolutionary atheism does not consider these immoral 100% of the time. For instance, does it go against evolution’s human endeavor/purpose to torture a squirrel? No, but it feels wrong, thus the problem arises. So the purpose of this debate was for the opposition to A, justify another moral platform under EVA perspective and/or B, to find a whole in the logic stating that evolution is the only acceptable moral platform in the first place. I hope I have clarified this suffieciently, and once again I apologize for the misunderstanding. I fully concede and forfeit the ability to be given any points for the debate. Thank you for reading and have a good day or night. If interested in the intended debate, just keep an eye out in the challenge debates, it will be up shorty. Interloped, once again, I apologize.


Signing off...


-JVN


Interloped

Con

I understand what Pro is requesting, I am suggesting that societal consensus is a viable moral platform and that moral sentiments are quintessential to the survival and prosperity of group species. I gave examples of non-human species to demonstrate this. In other words Pro, I am suggesting that the feeling of disgust you feel when thinking about child molestation is a selected trait by evolution. Group species cannot harm individuals of their group without unraveling solidarity and eventually, the group. To conclude, adherence to morality is logical to the point of quintessential to group species and is very likely the product of evolution itself.

Thanks for the interesting debate pro, message me more about this I'd like to hear more from you on this subject!
Debate Round No. 4
80 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Interloped 1 year ago
Interloped
I am just now discovering that I may have to solicit votes if I expect my debates to go anywhere. I would expect no less of you JVN, a bias vote is of no use to me as I want to better myself and seek truth. I appreciate your offer and would request that you review my current debates. I will do the same for you JVN, let me know if you need your debates to be reviewed.

Regarding our debate and your morality: I hope that what I've said has changed your mind about moralities' role in humanity and group species, I would suggest that the evolutionist is rightfully moral and also that they boast of a 'more evolved morality' than Judeo Christians. My reason for this can be seen in my debate regarding the Judeo Christian God. There are horrific thingsin the Bible that make it all but depraved in comparison to modern (evolved) morality.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
That's true, I've commented on this before as well. I literally have to ask people to look at my debates. What's worse is that even when people do vote 1/3 of the time their votes are biased or over look fundamental things, if more people voted it would be more fair as the opinions would level each other off leaving the one who should have won 'objectively'. If you ever need a vote on an ff round just send me a message and although I obviously can't vote for you if you lost, you can message me with good debates as well.
Posted by Interloped 1 year ago
Interloped
@ JVN

To clarify, by 'serious' I meant a debate in which all parties (Pro / Con & Voters) would follow through diligently until a winner was decided. As I have observed and experienced, too many debates end either by forfeit or because nobody votes at all. It is not gratifying to win by forfeit and it is frustrating when you put honest effort into a debate but not one person votes. It seems an common problem and I hope me bringing it to light helps in solving the issue.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Well, its not like this was 'not serious' just a bit complex if you will...
Posted by Interloped 1 year ago
Interloped
It seems nearly impossible to conduct a serious debate, all of my debates have either been not voted on or forfeited... Very depressing.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
@bluesteel thanks
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Hey @bluesteel, he should definitely give a better explanation but just so you know I kinda forfeited the debate in the last round. At the very least you yourself should give Interloped the vote since I did indeed forfeit.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
=======================================================================
>NathanDuclos // Moderator action: Removed<

Voted for Con. {RFD = Reasons for voting decision: Interesting argument, and I interesting suggestions on pro's part that couldn't cary forward. . .}

[*Reason for removal*] Only four hours after having his vote removed by a moderator, NathanDuclos reissued the same vote with even *less* explanation than before. This RFD merely says the argument was "interesting." This is so generic that if this was a valid RFD, it would be pointless to have an RFD system. You could just type whatever you wanted in the RFD field and that would suffice. As *before,* this RFD fails to explain *why* Con's arguments were more convincing.
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Posted by Interloped 1 year ago
Interloped
Nobody ever votes and when they do it is removed, I wish more people would vote.

: /
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
=======================================================================
>Reported vote: NathanDuclos // Moderator action: removed<

Voted for Con. {RFD = Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate and I am looking forward to where pro will go with objective moral values (if that is where he is going)}

[*Reason for removal*] This RFD just makes absolutely no sense. It says it found Pro's argument interesting, but then voted Con. And it didn't explain why Pro was more convincing *in this debate,* but merely states that it is interested to see what one of the debaters will do *in the future.*
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3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
Midnight1131
TheJuniorVarsityNoviceInterloped
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the debate in round 4.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
TheJuniorVarsityNoviceInterloped
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded in round 4 so vote goes to Con.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
TheJuniorVarsityNoviceInterloped
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Vote awarded due to forfeit at TheJuniorVarsityNovice's request