The Instigator
KILLUMINATI
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

If God does not exist, can anything be morally wrong?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,071 times Debate No: 24489
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

KILLUMINATI

Con

I will argue that if God does not exist then nothing is morally wrong.

Round 1 accept only

Definition of morality: Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
socialpinko

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
KILLUMINATI

Con

First I would like to thank my OPP for accepting this debate and thank our audience for taking time to read and judge our debate.

Fyodor Dostoevsky said "If there is no God, everything is permitted."[1]

Whether or not God exists is not what this debate is about but what is important is, as people what is our collective moral grounding. How do we know what is right/good and what is wrong/evil?

Some facts are facts about the way that the world is. It is a fact that cats eat mice because there are lots of animals out there, cats, and lots of them eat mice. It is a fact that Paris is the capital of France because there exists a city called Paris that is the capital of France. For most facts, there are objects in the world that make them true.

Morality Consists of a Set of Commands:

Moral facts aren't like that. The fact that we ought to do something about the problem of famine isn't a fact about the way that the world is, it's a fact about the way that the world ought to be. There is nothing out there in the physical world that makes moral facts true. This is because moral facts aren't descriptive, they're prescriptive moral facts have the form of commands.

There are some things that can't exist unless something else exists along with them. There can't be something that is being carried unless there is something else that is carrying it. There can't be something that is popular unless there are lots of people that like it. Commands are like this commands can't exist without something else existing that commanded them. We know moral facts are a kind a command so who commanded them and morality?

Morality is most important. If someone morally ought to do something then this over rules any other consideration that might come into the light. It might be in my best interests not to give any money to charity, but morally I ought to, so all things considered I ought to. It might be in my best interests to pretend that I'm too busy to visit my in-laws on Wednesday so that I can watch a game, but morally I ought not, so all things considered I ought not.

If someone has one reason to do one thing, but morally ought to do another thing, then all things considered they ought to do the other thing. Morality over rules everything. Morality has ultimate authority.

Commands though are only as authoritative as the person that commands them. If I were to command everyone to pay extra tax so that we could spend more money on the school sytems then no one would have to do so. I just don't have the authority to issue that command. If the government were to command everyone to pay extra tax so that we could spend more money on the school sytems then that would be different because it does have that authority.

As morality has more authority than any human person or institution morality can't have been commanded by any human person or institution. As morality has ultimate authority as morality over rules everything morality must have been commanded by someone who has authority over everything. The existence of morality thus points us to a being that is greater than any of us and that rules over all creation.[2]

I look forward to my OPP rebuttal and turn the forum over to him/her..............




[1]http://www.brainyquote.com...
[2]http://plato.stanford.edu...
socialpinko

Pro

If I could I'd like to summarize my opponent's argument in syllogistic form and then proceed to dismantle each premise separately.

P1. Moral rules are requirements which are categorically authoritative.
P2. A categorically authoritative requirement implies a categorical authority.
P3. The only possible categorical authority is God.
C. Therefore, without God, morality cannot exist.


===
Deconstruction
===


P1----- I accept my opponent's P1.


P2----- I accept my opponent's P2.


P3----- It is here where my opponent's argument begins to fall apart. Now it has been accepted that some sort of authority is needed as a requisite for categorical obligation, however my opponent's argument in favor of this authority falling to a God is unsubstantiated. Now he argues that humans and human institutions are insufficient to provide a basis for morality since it is precisely humanity (and hence the institutions made of humans) that these moral rules have their authority over. So on this point I do agree with my opponent. However, he simply presumes that there is no other way to ground morality besides our own subjective valuations or the valuations of collectives in society. This would be a mistake. Reason itself actually has a long tradition of being the basis on which morality is grounded and I will show why in my own argument for the categorical imperative.


===Categorical Imperative===


Introduction. The originator and most famous proponent of the categorical imperative was the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The categorical imperative as he formulated it may be summarized as, to "act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law."[1] The rule itself is dictated and was formulated entirely by reason. Thus, logically, if it can be shown to be valid, then I would have shown that some authority other than a God or deity is possible in regards to the grounding of moral authority. If this happens then I would have fulfilled my burden of proof to refute my opponent's case while simultaneously providing a positive case in support of my own position.



P1: To justify anything (including moral rules) requires communicative argumentation. Summarized, this means that in order to justify a position, one must provide an actual argument in favor of it. I assume my opponent agrees with this though seeing as he did not merely assert his conclusion and leave it at that. If he did try that this debate would prove much shorter!


P2: Communicative argumentation contains within it necessarily presupposed norms of behavior. Jurgen Habermas is the most prominent formulator of this point[2]. We aren't just automatically able to argue with each other. Certain conditions must be present first such as our being alive, us understanding each other, that no one is being forced to say anything (that our words are non-coerced and truly reflect our opinions), etc.


P3: These presupposed norms of behavior are necessary in order to justify any proposition. If justification is not in any way possible without these presuppositions then it logically follows that they are necessary preconditions.


C1: Therefore, these norms are within themselves necessarily justified. If we suppose that argumentation is necessary to justify a proposition or idea, then it logically follows that the preconditions upon which argumentation rests are also themselves eo ipso justified. Consider that a proposition itself based on an unjustified proposition cannot itself be justified since one of the necessary premises lacks that feature.


P4: Universality is a necessary presupposition of communicative argumentation. This can be shown from the fact that there is no coherent categorical difference among truths which would make them apply to Justin Timberlake, but not to Channing Tatum. Consider the answer to 2+2. It isn't different depending on who you are asking or who asks the question owing to the fact that to suppose this would be to accept an unjustified double standard. Put more clearly, truth is objective and universally applicable. Thus, if we are planning on reaching the actual truth regarding a proposition or question, we must assume that the answer applies equally to everyone.


C2: Therefore, universality is a necessarily justified norm of behavior.


P5: Moral rules require justification. We can assume that the realm of morality is not itself immune to P1. I would again assume my opponent's agreement since he has presupposed my P5 in making his argument in the first place.


C3: Therefore, moral rules must abide by the presupposed norms of communicative argumentation. If moral rules are to be justified then they must necessarily abide by those preconditions necessary to justify a proposition in the first place. Otherwise there would be no way to meaningfully say that a moral rule has been justified.


C4: Therefore, universality is a necessary moral rule.



Seeing as this is only the first round of argumentation, I'll opt out of going into too much detail for every premise aside from a summary of the position and basic reasoning. In the next round Con may forward his own refutation against my argument so that I may focus more time and space in defending those points specifically. Now, I'll pass the debate back over to my opponent.


===Sources===


[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://royby.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
KILLUMINATI

Con

KILLUMINATI forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Pro

Extend arguments and refutation. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
KILLUMINATI

Con

KILLUMINATI forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Pro

Extend arguments and refutation. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 4 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
KILLUMINATIsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
KILLUMINATIsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Well constructed argument by Pro. Con forfeited leaving the argument unanswered.
Vote Placed by DanT 4 years ago
DanT
KILLUMINATIsocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
KILLUMINATIsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to argue against Pro's alternative foundation for morality, and thus forfeited arguments. Conduct to Pro for forfeits.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
KILLUMINATIsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious.