The Instigator
Suitecake
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
TheBrightestNeon
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Homosexuality is Morally Equivalent to Heterosexuality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,209 times Debate No: 14879
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

Suitecake

Pro

I argue that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality; that is, there is no moral ground for condemning homosexuality as inferior to heterosexuality.

As this argument essentially involves an analysis of any positive argument my opponent might make, I will defer the first substantial post on this subject to him/her.
TheBrightestNeon

Con

Though Pro does not seem to understand how this works (I am supposed to be analyzing him), it doesn't matter.

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night, debate.org users. Today, my honorable opponent and I are going to be debating whether or not homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.

Because of the vague terms, and because the pro didn't specify WHO'S morals, I will squirrel a bit, and alter the terms to my own fittingness- be it resolved that homosexuality is morally equivalent (based on Christian morals) to heterosexuality.

My first point is that in the bible, homosexuality is wrong.

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."
—Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV)

This passage among many others, prove that homosexuality is clearly NOT morally equivalent (based on Christian morals).

IF the book of god says its wrong, how can it be otherwise in the eyes of a Christian?
Debate Round No. 1
Suitecake

Pro

Thanks for taking up the debate, TheBrightestNeon.

A few preliminary comments; I deferred my first post on this debate primarily because, as mentioned above, it depends upon a positive (that is ‘posit-ing') argument from the ‘Con' side. There are multiple arguments that can be made against the moral equivalency of heterosexuality and homosexuality (though they each are quite related), and it would be rather impossible for me to deal with all of them in detail in the space of 8000 characters. It would also be a rather significant waste of time, as I expect my opponent would prefer to select only one argument to discuss, leaving the rest of my counter-arguments irrelevant.

Clarification as to what I mean by ‘moral ground' should have been provided in the first post, but I did not have the foresight to do it. I will provide one here.

By ‘moral ground,' I do not mean ‘capacity for making a moral claim.' A psychopath (that is, a person devoid of empathy, and thus largely incapable of interacting in a legitimate, moral fashion with other human beings) may claim that mass genocide is morally permissible. That constitutes, in a broad sense of the word, a ‘moral claim;' it is a claim about what is morally permissible. But no rational, well-informed individual with the full swath of moral ‘knowledge' (I use that term generally; it would be far too tangential and space-consuming to hammer out a precise definition) would agree that mass genocide is morally permissible. If anything is fundamental to our modern morality, it is that genocide is heinous and evil.

Now, morality is not merely composed of the atomic inclinations of our species, but rather involves claims that can be analyzed, and are composite. Genocide is wrong because we have values that we hold in tandem: that human life, all else being equal, is worth preserving, and of great value, and that one human being, all else being equal, does not have the right to decide for another person that it is time for their life to end. There are many crevices in the composition of the condemnation of genocide for debate and discussion, and these debates will involve reasoned argumentation.

To conclude this introductory section, for a moral claim to have a moral ground, it must withstand the same analysis and reasoned argumentation that every other moral claim we participate in also withstands.
I may, here, be doing a great disservice to your (assumed, devil's advocate) position. By referring to the Bible (particularly with the phrase ‘book of god'), your argument so far rests upon a reference to authority. A significant thread of Christians argue that morality is directly created by the will of God, such that the reasoned argumentation mentioned above as so crucial to our understanding of morality is not necessary. The voice of God alone is sufficient justification for the legitimacy of a moral claim. Therefore, according to this flavor of Christianity, the voice of God (synonymous, for our purposes, with ‘the Bible') is a proper moral ground for moral claims.

And here, we reach an unfortunate point. The proper (Socratic) way forward is to analyze the assumptions implicit in your argument, until we get to a point of commonground, where our assumptions are shared, where we can then analyze that foundation, working our way back up to the top (where we currently are). Eight thousand characters in two more rounds is nowhere near enough space for that. But, let's do what we can.

P1)If the Bible is the Word of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God (hereafter abbreviated to ‘OOO God'), then it is reasonable to expect that every moral injunction contained within will be morally good.

P2)If the Bible is the Word of an OOO God, and if the Bible is the main foundation for objective morality, then it is reasonable to expect that the moral injunctions contained within the Bible will be thorough in proclaiming that objective morality as completely as is possible.

Each of the above fail.

For P1, a simple glance-through of the Bible reveals a large number of either direct moral injunctions, or situations from which a moral injunction can easily be derived, that are morally repulsive:

Genesis 6:7, where God decides to destroy all humanity and all animals (except for a handful from each category) because he was not being obeyed. Even if it is allowed to the Jew/Christian that it was morally permissible for God to kill the humans for this, how can the drowning deaths of all the animals across the planet be considered permissible?

Genesis 19, where God obliterates the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (for homosexuality, if you ask most Christians, though Ezekiel, interestingly, makes no mention of homosexuality when listing the sins of Sodom in Ez 16:48-50). Even if it is allowed to the Jew/Christian that it is morally permissible for God to kill the adult residents of these cities for sin, how can the deaths of infants and toddlers, who must certainly be innocent of whatever crime is imputed to the rest of the city, be considered permissible?

Genesis 22, where a man willing to murder his son for God is considered the champion of faith and virtue. A man willing to murder his son, for any reason, is not virtuous.

And this is just half of one book out of sixty-six. Leviticus and Deuteronomy expand this list a hundred-fold. It is difficult to see how P1 can possibly stand in light of the heinous injunctions contained within the Bible.

For P2, the Bible is notably silent on slavery, perhaps the most significant moral failing of western civilization over the last four hundred years. An OOO God would have foreseen the issues of slavery (and they extend today, in a different form, in the back streets and quiet rooms of the world over), and would have made a full condemnation of slavery in his book, if it was meant to be a complete presentation of morality to humanity.

All it takes is for either P1 or P2 to fall to negate the claim that the Bible is the Word of God (if that God is OOO). And, if that claim is negated, then the Bible does not constitute a (legitimate) moral ground for condemning homosexuality.
TheBrightestNeon

Con

TheBrightestNeon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Suitecake

Pro

Well that's frustrating.

Extend my arguments.
TheBrightestNeon

Con

TheBrightestNeon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Suitecake 6 years ago
Suitecake
Cheers then; I'll keep that in mind in the future. This is my first debate on this site, and my first 'formal debate' ANYWHERE (though I've written my fair share of formal papers, and have had informal debates for years). Not used yet to the protocol.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Regardless, you didn't exactly address my point that any resolution can be presented in the inverse, thereby producing the exact same topic of discussion, while simply swapping the 'Pro' and 'Con' designations. "

Yes and as noted, that is why it is critical to phrase it as required to affirm the burden of proof because general code tends to follow that Pro has the burden of proof. However, as also noted there is another contention that instigation itself is a warrant for burden of proof. On this site it seems to be split down the middle as to what each individual follows, there is no explict rule on it in the ToS and this is why some put it in clearly as a rule in the opening.

"not upon the cheap points won through a mis-worded introduction"

Semantic arguments are very common on this cite, some favor them heavily others just pounce on a weakly worded resolution. This is why a lot of people will actually put a rule in the resolution to prevent a semantic argument.

Nice rebuttal to the Bible, had I known you would have taken that stance I likely would have accepted the debate.
Posted by Suitecake 6 years ago
Suitecake
@Cliff: I'm not exactly sure what the problem you're referring to is; it seems to be one primarily of legalism, rather than substance. As of my most recent post (which directly addresses the argument of my opponent), the debate is structured in a way that is quite fair to both sides; the division of 'victory' in the debate (if it is even proper to talk in those terms, as separate from the popular vote that happens once it is resolved) will depend upon the substance of our arguments, and not upon the cheap points won through a mis-worded introduction.

Regardless, you didn't exactly address my point that any resolution can be presented in the inverse, thereby producing the exact same topic of discussion, while simply swapping the 'Pro' and 'Con' designations. You quoted it, and you wrote a non-sequitur in reply, but you didn't actually address it.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Now, there may indeed be a formal debate convention that I am unintentionally mishandling here. I've never done one before. I don't know the official, intricate standards."

There is no offical rule here, the site members are divided upon burden of proof being set to be pro or being set to be the one who instigates the debate. You are both pro and the instigator so you are not going to find a lot of people who agree that the burden of proof is on Con.

"If I had instead taken the subject to be 'Homosexuality is not Morally Equivalent to Heterosexuality,' then I would be 'Con' "

Yes, that is why how resolutions are phrased are fairly important, note however to complicate the above, in your opening statement you can set rules, one of which can be the burden of proof. There is nothing stopping you from doing something like :

"It is plausible that God exists"

Then as Pro note as a rule that the burden of proof is on Con to disprove it, if they can not then the resolution is affirmed. Now in doing this you have created a very lop sided debate but if they accept it then they are bound by the rules.
Posted by Suitecake 6 years ago
Suitecake
The positions of 'pro' and 'con' do not determine who has the burden of proof.

The positions of 'pro' and 'con' depend upon the construction of the subject-to-be-debated. If I had instead taken the subject to be 'Homosexuality is not Morally Equivalent to Heterosexuality,' then I would be 'Con' and (I assume, if he still wanted to devil's advocate it) TheBrightestNeon would be 'Pro.' Any statement that can be debated can be negated in this way, and the positions of 'Pro' and 'Con' accordingly swapped. It would be silly to say the burden of proof would switch in this scenario.

Now, there may indeed be a formal debate convention that I am unintentionally mishandling here. I've never done one before. I don't know the official, intricate standards.

@Cliff: 'Positive' in the sense that, insofar as he has the burden of proof, he must 'present' (or 'posit') an argument. Not 'positive' in the sense of 'Pro,' as regards the subject-to-be-debated.

As for your second comment, I was lax in defining terms at the beginning of the debate; that will come up in my next post.

@Neon: Cheers mate, always fun to tango with a devil's advocate. On religious subjects (in particular), it often seems as though the non-theist has a better grasp of the theist's argument than the theist does.
Posted by paddy11 6 years ago
paddy11
Alot of people may disagree that Homosexuality is inferior to Hetrosexuality however,the reality is that this is the case in modern day society!im from ireland and there is still a question hanging whether to legalize gay marriage.Im not a homosexual but i believe that society alienates them and this situation needs to be resolved.I want people who oppose homosexuality to consider the following.."how does homosexuality affect your everyday life"?i would be very interested to see a direct response to that question without saying "the bible says its wrong"
Posted by TheBrightestNeon 6 years ago
TheBrightestNeon
NOTES:

Squirrling is a totally legal move. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Also, I'm atheist, (I'm playing devil's advocate) so don't think I'm some lunatic fundamentalist Christian, okay?
Posted by TheBrightestNeon 6 years ago
TheBrightestNeon
I think I may take you up on this..
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
@Cobo

Con bears burden of proof.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"there is no moral ground for condemning homosexuality as inferior to heterosexuality"

This is trivial to win as you have not defined a system of morality, for example Christian Scripture provides a moral ground for condemning homosexuality.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
SuitecakeTheBrightestNeonTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits = Straight 7