The Instigator
Benshapiro
Pro (for)
The Contender
DareToQuestion
Con (against)

God must exist if objective morality is actually true

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Debate Round Forfeited
DareToQuestion has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 503 times Debate No: 95433
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Benshapiro

Pro

Definitions:

Objective morality "The view that there are moral statements which are factually true."

God: "Being of supreme moral authority and arbiter of humanity."

Morality "principles concerning the distinction between what is morally right and morally wrong."

Morally right "the disposition or will that someone should have, and one that is in accordance with goodness"

Morally wrong "the disposition or will that someone shouldn't have, and one that is in disaccordance with goodness."

First round is for acceptance of the debate and the definitions provided.
DareToQuestion

Con

Let's start with this. Is morality subjective or objective? Nothing can be proven empirically, but for the sake of this argument, I take the stand that morality is subjective. An objective thing is something with physical evidence. For example, if I jump off a cliff, I die. But morality cannot be observed in nature. It's a man-made construct. And it's relative to what we say, the same way musical taste is relative to what we say. If everyone said killing was moral, then it would be. There's nothing in nature that trumps what we think about morality. Morality cannot be observed in the physical universe. It doesn't have physical ramifications. Morality only has physical ramifications because we choose to enforce it. Therefore, morality is not objective but subjective for the reasons above.
Debate Round No. 1
Benshapiro

Pro

Thanks Con.

This debate is over whether "God must exist if objective morality is actually true." I am affirming that statement.

It has no impact on the resolution to deny moral objectivism and affirm moral subjectivism. The resolution uses IF/THEN LOGIC where the "IF" doesn't need to be proven true in order for the conditional to be true. You need to show the voters that God's existence is not contingent on the existence of moral facts.

Here is is why God must exist if objective morality is actually true.

Objective moral truths regarding what we should or shouldn't do can only be true if and only if humanity has inherent purpose. if God doesn't exist there is no possible means by which humanity could have inherent purpose. This means that there isn't actually anything that humans should or shouldnt do. Therefore, moral statements only reflect subjective rather than objective truths.

On the other hand, if God, defined as a being of supreme moral authority and arbiter of humanity exists, then there is a means for humanity to have inherent purpose. If humanity has inherent purpose, then moral statements can convey factual truths.

A moral statement, such as "punishing an innocent person is morally wrong" can only be factually true if there exist facts regarding what humans should or shouldnt do. There cannot be facts regarding what humans should or shouldn't do unless humanity has inherent purpose. The only way humanity can have inherent purpose is if an arbiter of humanity exists. Accordingly, the only way that moral facts are actually true is if the arbiter of humanity is also a being of supreme moral authority.
DareToQuestion

Con

Sorry for not reading your original argument on this debate since I was quite busy with schoolwork but at the same time wanted to argue on this topic. Now that I have time, I'd like to question if God is the "supreme moral authority", then what would his set standards for objective morality be?

You're right that you can't have objective morality without a god. The thing is, you can't have objective morality with a god. Favoring "God's opinion" is equally as subjective as a human opinion.

Also, this brings up another point, how do we determine God's nature? You defined morality with regards to goodness. The typical response here is that God's charm is good. But then again, this raises another dire question that I mentioned above, what is this objective standard and where did it originate from? Therefore, this doesn't establish objective morality.

" If humanity has inherent purpose, then moral statements can convey factual truths."
Your definitions of moral is in accordance with goodness. Say God is bad. Then this means God's existence is not based on the existence of moral facts.

The circular is logic clear here. You cannot have objective morality even with a God. Your "God" could define objective morality as cannibalism would be moral. Of course, this contradicts your entire claim. Even then, abiding to God's opinion on morality is still subjective.

I await your cross-examination Pro. Cheers.

Also bit in a hurry writing this, sorry if there are errors.
Debate Round No. 2
Benshapiro

Pro

At this time I'll respond to my opponent's questions from last round. It's important to note that my contention is "God must exist if objective morality is actually true." God is defined as the supreme moral authority and arbiter of humanity. I'll demonstrate how God could be the objective basis for moral statements.

My opponent's rebuttal focused on two main problems: (1.) God's will is subjective and therefore can't be the basis for moral facts and (2.) There's no coherent way to determine God's nature. He concluded that even if God existed, morality couldn't be objective.

The Euthyphro Dilemma

Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?


[1] If morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God’s will.

[2] If morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then God’s moral goodness is arbitrary.

If moral facts do exist, the answer must be neither. I will argue that this is a false dichotomy and that moral facts can be grounded by God if God's nature is essentially true.

"Moral goodness" always references the disposition or will of the mind. I invite you to think of a counter-example. You won't.

Since moral goodness can't exist independent of the mind, moral facts must reside in the mind. Anything that is factually morally good must refer to an essentially true disposition and will. The only possible candidate for this is the mind of God. This also means that moral goodness is not arbitrary since an essential truth.


We know God's nature by having the knowledge of his disposition and will in what we consider to be "morally good." We know also know God's anti-nature by having knowledge of "moral wrongs" which disconform to his essential standard of goodness - or in other words - his dispoition and will. We know that this standard is essential because none of the below have changed:

"Being compassionate is morally good"

"Being honest is morally good"

"Being humble, patient, and diligent is a virtue"

The inverse has also never changed:

"Being cruel is morally wrong"

"Being dishonest is morally wrong"

"Being boastful, impatient, and lazy are character flaws"

So, I'll wrap up my rebuttal by saying that God can be the basis for moral facts is he posseses an essentially true disposition and will. This should also highlight the point that we can't have facts regarding moral goodness if we don't have a disposition or will that that goodness is referring to. The only possible candidate that can be the essentially true source for moral facts is God. In my first round I also explained why, if God doesn't exist, morality can't be objective. My opponent doesn't take any issue with that argument though.
DareToQuestion

Con

Now that I realize it, it seems my rebuttal was out-of-context somewhat. Without any time constraints, I can go all out now.

Allow me to clarify: God-"An intelligent, self aware supernatural entity who is omniscient." Through this, we can now start on equal terms. Your definition of god presupposes the answers in your favor.

"Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?

[1] If morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God"s will.

[2] If morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then God"s moral goodness is arbitrary."

Don't know how you derive assertion #2.

"Since moral goodness can't exist independent of the mind, moral facts must reside in the mind. Anything that is factually morally good must refer to an essentially true disposition and will. The only possible candidate for this is the mind of God. This also means that moral goodness is not arbitrary since an essential truth."

Sentence one is wrong. The mind is the device that reinforces morals. For example, if I think murder is bad, my mind keeps my body from murdering. Sentence two is partially wrong depending how you look at it; not sure what you mean by "true". True as in objectively good or as in exists? Third sentence -- presupposes scenario two. Onto sentence four, I see the word "arbitrary". Very ambiguous. Arbitrary in regards to what?

"We know God's nature by having the knowledge of his disposition and will in what we consider to be "morally good." We know also know God's anti-nature by having knowledge of "moral wrongs" which disconform to his essential standard of goodness - or in other words - his dispoition and will. We know that this standard is essential because none of the below have changed:"

So here, you implying scenario two -- that moral goodness is implied by God's nature. A definition like this is redundant -- it accomplishes nothing. You're implying that we can derive God's will and disposition from what we consider morally good. I wouldn't necessarily say you straw manned my claim -- more like you just gave a dis-honest rebuttal. And while God's "will and disposition" is very much similar to what we subjectively perceive as "morally good" -- who says it's because of God? Is there any proof it's because of God that we think this?

Have fun trying to rebut this. Sorry for the sudden definition change since I overlooked the definition of God before.
Debate Round No. 3
Benshapiro

Pro

Thans Con.

To reiterate: this debate is over whether the following statement is true or false: "God must exist if objective morality is actually true."

My opponent has taken the position that objective morality wouldn't be true even if God existed. That is to say, my opponent is arguing that it is *logically impossible* that objective morality, or the view that moral statements can be factual, is true.

My opponent has chosen a much tougher burden than was required of him. All he needed to show is that God's existence wasn't necessary for the existence of moral facts. He opted to argue that moral facts aren't logically possible -- even *if* God (defined as a supreme moral authority and arbiter of human purpose) existed.

All I need to show is that it's logically possible for moral facts to exist. If we can *even imagine* an actual state of affairs wherein moral facts exist, I uphold my burden of proof.

In the first round I explained that objective moral truths regarding what humans actually should or shouldn't do can only be true if and only if humanity has inherent purpose. God, defined as a supreme moral authority and arbiter of human purpose, would be a possible means for giving humanity purpose and facts regarding their existence in the sense of what they should or shouldn't do. If God, again, defined as a supreme moral authority and arbiter of human purpose, doesn't exist, then there'd be no possible means for humanity to have facts regarding what they should or shouldn't do.

My opponent argued that God can't even grant humanity a purpose regarding what they truly should or shouldn't do.

I rebutted arguing that moral facts always refer to the disposition and will of the mind (something my opponent didn't contest) and if God's disposition and will was a fixed and true standard, then this would be a possible non-arbitrary and objective grounds for humanity's moral facts.

This in itself has already destroyed my opponent's case. My opponent can define God however he likes, as long as he remains consistent with the definition of God already defined in round 1 as "the being of supreme moral authority and arbiter of humanity." Remember, any logically possible definition of God that is conceptually consistent with the existence of moral facts has already won my case.

I would like to thank my opponent for posting rebuttals despite having a very short time to post them.

This was a fun debate and I wish my opponent the best of luck in proving that the existence of moral facts is logically impossible.




This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by missmedic 8 months ago
missmedic
Believing is not needed to be moral, as non-believers prove by being moral without belief. Objective morality must be based in an awareness and knowledge of reality (the one thing we all share), therefor objective morality must be based on reason to exist.
Posted by vi_spex 8 months ago
vi_spex
if whatever gods says is moral clearly there is no morality
Posted by vi_spex 8 months ago
vi_spex
drivel.. which god
Posted by illegalcombat 8 months ago
illegalcombat
*Uncaused
Posted by illegalcombat 8 months ago
illegalcombat
Oh I so want to debate this :).

I'd like a bit more definition on what we are talking about when we talk about "God".

I propose "God' defined as such, an uncased, invisible, immaterial person (you may add the characteristics of all powerful and all knowing if you think it helps.

Also I have no idea what you mean when you say God = Being of supreme moral authority, explain that.
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