The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
ExNihilo
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

If God does not exist then Objective Morality does not exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
ExNihilo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,760 times Debate No: 16858
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

Resolution

If God does not exist then Objective Morality does not exist

Burden of Proof

Pro will affirm the resolution
Con will oppose the resolution

Debate details

4 Rounds
8,000 Character limit
72 Hours to respond
1 Month voting period

NO VIDEO LINKS
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PROBLEMS ?

If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.
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EXPECTATIONS

It is expected that both parties act in good faith, eg no semantics, no cheap shots.
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Round 4

Round 4 is the last round, no new arguments are to be made in round 4. Only rebuttals, counter arguments of the previous arguments, and summaries.
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DEFINITIONS

Definition of God = Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover

Opening Statement & What this debate is about

Objective morality means a morality that exists independtly of personal belief, that is to say things are right and wrong regardless if any person believes in them or not. For example if it is the case that rape is objectively wrong, then even if everyone believed rape was ok, it would still be wrong, because the moral rightness or wrongness is not dependent on what a person believes is right or wrong.

I would also point out by "person" I don't necessarily mean human, by person I mean anything with personhood or said to have personhood which includes Humans, angels, demons, faries even deities etc, as Wikipedia says.... "A person (plural: persons or people; from Latin: persona, meaning "mask")[1] is a human being, or an entity that has certain capacities or attributes associated with personhood" [1]

Some have argued that the existence of God is logically necessary for objective morality to exist, that is to say if God does not exist then objective morality does not and cannot exist. But what reason is there to justify that the existence of objective morality is dependent on the existence of God ? Why can't objective morality exist absent God ?

Until proven other wise, it is possible that objective morality can exist even if God does not exist.

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
ExNihilo

Pro

Observation:
(1) This is not a debate about how one comes to know why something is right or wrong (epistemology). This is a debate about the foundations on which objective moral values rely (moral ontology). Thus, it must be understood that one does not need to believe in God in order to be moral. Additionally, I am not here to discuss the antecedent of the conditional, which is the question of God’s existence. It may be the case that God does not exist, in which case objective moral values (OMV) do not exist. I will therefore make the following assumption: God does not exist.
(2) My opponent must present a case for how OMV can exist in the absence of God. The resolution is “If God does not exist, OMV do not exist,” which means he must negate and say that OMV can exist without God. It is not enough to refute my argument; it may be the case that my side is still true. In order to show a conclusion to be false, it is not enough to refute an argument. An independent argument against the claim needs to be put forth.

1.Evolution
Evolution by natural selection and random mutation is a fact, according to which adaptations are selected for their survival benefit and not necessarily for truth. Since this is an ontological question, it becomes inexplicable how something can really be called right and wrong if the only reason for which morality exists stems from a blind process that is not concerned with truth. On evolution, there is no objective right and wrong since the morality with which society functions is either (1) based on survival advantage, which is not necessarily true or (2) based on societal consensus, which is, by definition, subjective. Michael Ruse, professor of philosophy at Florida State University furthers:

“Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth . . .Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says ‘Love they neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves . . . . Nevertheless, . . . such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory” [1]

That some things, like murder, have become taboo because of reciprocity does nothing to explain why murder is really wrong, and the foundations on which one can base such a claim. Moreover, my opponent must answer the fact that if we were to rerun evolution it may well be the case that different sentient, rational beings might have evolved with a different set of moral values, in which case these values are not objective

2. Speciesism
On atheism, there is no objective meaning or “specialness” of homo sapiens. We will eventually go on to die like all other animals. To claim that our morality is somehow objective is to be guilty of speciesism since there is no way to claim that our evolved morality is superior to the evolved morality of other sentient creatures on our planet. Or consider the following thought experiment: suppose there exist humanoids of superior intelligence, such that the difference between our intelligence and their intelligence is the same as between us and cows, on another planet. They come to earth with the moral assumption that eating for survival is not immoral. It turns out they like our flesh. Why are we right and they are wrong? William Lane Craig furthers:

“But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species. For him to regard human morality as objective is to fall into the trap of specie-ism. On a materialistic anthropology there is no reason to think that human beings are objectively more valuable than rats.” [2]

But we all know that speciesism, or the unjustified bias in favor of one’s own species, is by definition subjective. Now, some might say that rational beings like homo sapiens and the humanoids mentioned have moral worth because they have the property of being persons. However, this does nothing to justify why personhood should be considered as something that has objective value, that is, independent of whether we think its valuable or not.

3. Absurdity of Condemnation and Societal Consensus
On atheism, how can something be condemned as being truly wrong? Note, not something that is undesirable, or something that we do not like, but how can someone claim that doing X is wrong even if everyone thought doing X was good. Take the holocaust, for example. National Socialist Germany condemned murder and punished it. They defined it in a way that suited their ideology. They therefore had a coherent, internal framework on which to base THEIR ethic. Of course, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. were not included as things which have moral worth, and were therefore not protected. Suppose Hitler won the war and was able to kill everyone who disagreed with his position. Now societal consensus dictates that killing Jews is good. What basis do we have to claim that that is wrong, considering everyone thinks that it is right? If God is not, the morality with which society functions is purely based on consensus, and if the consensus says that X is good, then X will be treated as good. But this is subjective illusory.

Also, please answer this: are you a determinist?

[1] Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262, 268-9. (CITED BY WILLIAM CRAIG)

[2] Craig, William Lane. "Can We Be Good Withough God?". http://www.reasonablefaith.org...;
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

OMV = Objective Moral Values

Burden of Proof

I think Pro has mis understood the resolution.

Pro says "“If God does not exist, OMV do not exist,” which means he must negate and say that OMV can exist without God."

In order to affirm the resolution Pro as to show that the existence of God is the ONLY possible way OMV can exist.

Pro says " It may be the case that God does not exist, in which case objective moral values (OMV) do not exist."

Pro merely asserts that Gods' non existence = therefore OMV do not exist. I ask Pro to provide justification for this, I certainty do not agree that this is a given.

As Pro is affirming the resolution, it isn't enough to just assume the resolution is correct until proven other wise, since you are the Pro seeking to affirm the resolution.

The Resolution: If God does not exist then Objective Morality does not exist

Speciesism

"To claim that our morality is somehow objective is to be guilty of speciesism"

Its not necessary that human morality be objective in order to defeat the resolution. The resolution isn't Human morality is objective.

As such I don't challenge the points made about humans having relative morality, and remind Pro that they have to prove the impossibility of objective morality existing absent God.

Absurdity of Condemnation and Societal Consensus

Pro asks "On atheism, how can something be condemned as being truly wrong?"

Because it hasn't been proven that God is the only way that OMV can exist. Therefore its possible that OMV exists, even absent God, thus the atheist can condemn something as being truly wrong.

If Pro is saying that the atheist is in a contradiction by implying OMV, then once again Pro would have to prove the existence of God is the only way for OMV to exist, until proven, the atheist is not caught in a contradiction.

Pro asks Also, please answer this: are you a determinist?

I take it you ask me this question in a free will sense, that is to say do we have free will, or are our decisions or my decisions totally the result of causality absent some kind of personal choice. In that sense I would say I believe in free will (probably not as much as others) but never the less I would say it exists. But I would also say I recognized that this is more of an unproved assumption on my part, and unproved assumptions are the most likely to be wrong.

I would also add as Christopher Hitchens once said when asked about whether he believed that free will exists, he replied something along the lines of yes I believe in free will, because I don't think I have a choice in whether I believe in it or not. Hitchens did point out the irony in this statement, but he also made the point that the theist also believes in free will..........cause the man up stairs wouldn't have it any other way.

I look forward to Pros response.
ExNihilo

Pro

BOP:
Here I don’t think my opponent understood my point at all. He cannot merely assert that absent any evidence for the impossibility of OMV without God, we should assume that it is possible. This is flawed logic. Harry Gensler furthers:

“When we criticize an opponent’s argument, we try to show that it’s unsound…If the argument has a false premise or is invalid, then our opponent has not proved the conclusion. But the conclusion still might be true…To show a view to be false, we must do more than just refute an argument for it; we must invent an argument of our own that shows the view to be false.” [1]

Thus, my opponent must erect a case of his own to show that OMV can exist without God. I did not assume the resolution true; I offered arguments to show that there is no plausible atheistic grounds for believing OMV can exist without God.

Remember, the conditional I have to prove is: “If God does not exist, then OMV do not exist.” I do not have to prove “If God exists, then OMV exist.” Both can be true, both can be false. Nor do I have to prove the antecedent of the conditional, namely, the existence of God.

Evolution:
My opponent completely dropped this point. Please extend it. Without God, there is no reason to think moral values are objective since they may have been otherwise. Reciprocal altruism may be advantages for survival but that says nothing about whether these values are objectively good or wrong.

Speciesism:
My opponent drops this point completely. There is no ontological foundation on which to base the claim that “OMV exist” in light of the presence of a more advanced species. To assert that “murder is wrong” would be guilty of speciesism, and therefore on par with the irrationality of racism. This is not only an epistemic problem, but an ontological one since the mere fact that we think X is wrong intuitively does not mean X is actually wrong. My opponent just asserts that human morality might not be objective. This is not an argument! If OMV exist, the statement “murder is wrong” is true independent of any claims by us or other species. But absent God, there is no legitimate way to say “murder is wrong” in terms of ubiquitous application. In order for him to win this point, he must provide some ontological foundation for thinking that moral values are not speciest.

Absurdity of Condemnation:
“Because it hasn't been proven that God is the only way that OMV can exist. Therefore its possible that OMV exists, even absent God, thus the atheist can condemn something as being truly wrong.”

My opponent uses flawed logic here. See the evidence in the BOP section. Just because it has not been proven that God is the only way that OMV can exist, it does not follow that therefore OMV DO exist or CAN exist.

Either way, extend this point. The argument was that we cannot legitimately condemn something as objectively wrong, on atheism, unless there is some ontological basis for this. I have shown that without God, its absurd to condemn acts as right or wrong because societal consensus ultimately wins the day. Again, suppose everyone thought murdering Arabs to the point of annihilation was good, then it would, on atheism, be considered good since there is no transcendent ground on which to base the idea that it is really wrong, independent of what we think.

Divine Command Theory:
St. Anselm of Canterbury posited, “God is a being than which none greater can be conceived.” Such a being would necessarily have essential properties, one of which is the property of having moral perfection. As Craig puts it: “God is the greatest conceivable being, and it is greater to be the paradigm of goodness than to conform to it.” [2] God’s nature is essentially good, and therefore, His commands are not arbitrary, but grounded in His nature. On such a view, God would, by definition, be the paradigm of moral values and the means through which these values are expressed emanate from His divine commands. Since “the good” is grounded as an essential property of God, with God, we have a basis for the existence of OMV.

I have therefore provided a grounding for believing that OMV can exist with God. My opponent has offered no explanation for the view that OMV can exist on atheism.

Vote for me.

[1] Gensler, Harry. “Introduction to Logic: Second Edition.” (Routledge, 2010). p. 4

[2] Craig, William Lane. “Subject: Euthyphro Dilemma.” Reasonable Faith Q&A. http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

BOP & Logical Possibilities

Pro says "He cannot merely assert that absent any evidence for the impossibility of OMV without God, we should assume that it is possible."

I am not making an "actual" statement, I am making a "possibility" statement. So what does it mean to say that something is logically possible ? ..."A logically possible proposition is one that can be asserted without implying a logical contradiction. This is to say that a proposition is logically possible if there is some coherent way for the world to be, under which the proposition would be true" [1]

There is no explicit contradiction in the concept of OMV existing and God not existing. Compare this to say the concept of a duck having no feathers and a duck always has feathers". In the duck statement there is an explicit contradiction, thus the "possibility" of this concept is shown false.

Seeing that there is no explicit contradiction in the concept of 1) God not existing & OMV existing, if Pro thinks there is a contradiction here then they must have some other premises that bring out this implicit contradiction. Until this is shown, OMV can exist even if God does not exist.

CA: Evolution

Pro says "Without God, there is no reason to think moral values are objective since they may have been otherwise." What is Pros argument here exactly ?

1) OMV can't exist by evolution
2) Therefore OMV can't exist unless God exists

Consider this example.....

1) Cars can't exist by ants
2) Therefore cars can't exist unless God exists

In both arguments, you can agree to the first premise, but the conclusion doesn't follow. Its a non sequitur.

CA: Speciesism

Pro says "This is not an argument! If OMV exist, the statement "murder is wrong" is true independent of any claims by us or other species."

I don't think this helps Pros argument, cause what is murder and what isn't is a grey area. It used to be thou shalt not kill, but that was an untenable OMV in light of commandments to go and kill other people. Pro I think would have to better define what is and isn't murder, otherwise we have this vague moral value, and because its vague its open to interpretation, and cause its open to interpretation its open to being subjective. This undermines Pros argument about murder being objectively wrong.

CA: Absurdity of Condemnation

Pro says "My opponent uses flawed logic here. See the evidence in the BOP section. Just because it has not been proven that God is the only way that OMV can exist, it does not follow that therefore OMV DO exist or CAN exist. "

Allow me to be crystal clear here, I am NOT saying that because it has not be proven that God is the only way that OMV can exist that proves that OMV DO exist, I repeat I am NOT claiming that.

What I am claiming is that their is no explicit contradiction in the concept of God not existing and OMV existing. Because of this I am claiming that's its POSSIBLE for OMV to exist, even if God does not exist.

As I said before, even with the existence of OMV not proven, the atheist is not caught in a contradiction until it is proved that OMV can only exist if God exists. The atheists that believes in OMV may be open to attack on the grounds that their OMV is an unproven assumption, but never the less until it is shown that OMV can't exist unless God exists the atheist is not caught in a logical contradiction between their lack of belief in the existence of God/s and their belief in the existence of OMV.

Divine Command Theory and Maximal Conceivable beings

Pro quotes Craig as saying "As Craig puts it: "God is the greatest conceivable being, and it is greater to be the paradigm of goodness than to conform to it."

1) Just because you can think of it doesn't mean it exists (that's why its called conceivable being)
2) Whether it is greater to be the paradigm of goodness or conform to it is debatable.

3) Its problematic for a person to be the absolute standard of morality

Allow me to expand on this point as Pro says "God's nature is essentially good, and therefore, His commands are not arbitrary, but grounded in His nature. On such a view, God would, by definition, be the paradigm of moral values and the means through which these values are expressed emanate from His divine commands. Since "the good" is grounded as an essential property of God, with God, we have a basis for the existence of OMV. "

These statements about God amount to God is good cause God is the paradigm of what is good, and God acts as God does thus what God does is good. Sounds pretty circular to me. I am pretty sure no one would accept such reasoning as Hitler as good on this basis......Hitler is the paradigm of goodness, Hitler's commands are based on Hitler's nature. Since the "good" is grounded as an essential property of Hitler we have a basis for the existence of OMV.

Why should we pick one person known as "God" as the moral paradigm of goodness over another person like Hitler or Mother Teresa ?

Pro says "I have therefore provided a grounding for believing that OMV can exist with God." Well Pro will be pleased that I agree with this point. Does this mean the debate is over ? At best Pro has shown that God can be a source of OMV. But in order to affirm the resolution this isn't enough, Pro has to show that not only can God be a source of OMV, but that God is the ONLY WAY omv can exist.

Until this is proven, the resolution is not affirmed.

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
ExNihilo

Pro

Possibility and BOP

Extend my BOP evidence. It is not enough to merely assert something exists in the absence of arguments in support of a position. In order to show that something is true, you cannot just refute arguments about how it is false; you must erect a case of your own to prove that it is true.

Notice how the evolution argument says that OMV CANNOT be grounded in nature because evolution does not produce OMV. If my argument works, it would mean that the following are contradictory:

(1) OMV exist
(2) If OMV exist, evolution is the explanation

He must show that 2 is true, because on naturalism, evolution is the reason we have moral values at all; if we don’t exist (if life does not evolve) there is no law about murder because there is nothing to murder. This is true unless my opponent is to ground OMV in some sort of Platonic way. If not, he must ground them in the contingent physical world, WHICH IS a contradiction.

EVOLUTION

He caricatures the argument. Remember, on atheism/naturalism, OMV must, by definition, be grounded in something physical. Assuming evolution is true, OMV, if they exist, must be contingent on (1) life coming into being and (2) evolution of conscious creatures. But if OMV are contingent on anything, they are, by definition, not objective! I assume my opponent accepts the fact of evolution. My argument is that OMV cannot be grounded in evolution. He CONCEDES THIS, which means he MUST provide a plausible alternative to think that OMV can exist in the physical world, without a transcendent law giver. His argument ASSUMES evolution is true, because without it there could not possibly be OMV. How can murder be ‘wrong’ if no beings exist or if there are no conscious creatures? Its not wrong for a bee to kill another bee.

He offers a caricature of a syllogism I never made.

1.If OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism, OMV do not exist
2. OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism
3. Therefore, OMV do not exist.

P1 is true because if OMV exist, they are contingent on evolution producing things that have moral duties and can apprehend moral values. P2 is true for reasons given, none of which were responded two. The two premises are sound, from which the conclusion follows by necessity.

SPECIESISM
Extend this argument. He just plays semantics about the definition of murder.
TURN: If he cannot give an objective definition of murder, he undermines his own view!!! How is something objectively right or wrong if it is based on how HE or I define ‘murder’? Either way, murder is the wanton killing of someone who did not deserve to be killed or who did not do anything that would warrant the killing. If OMV exist, murder is objectively wrong. The point is, on atheism/naturalism, there is no objective way to say X is right or wrong since it is based on societal consensus, which is arbitrary and subjective. If everyone thought raping kids was right, it would be so. If aliens came here an liked our meat and were significantly more intelligent than us in the same way that we are more intelligent than fish, who are we to say murder is wrong? They disagree.

ABSURDITY OF CONDEMNATION

You can just extend this argument. He attacks none of the warrants, he just defaults to this idea that its possible. This argument is a reason to think that its impossible for OMV to exist without God, since it would be absurd to condemn an act as immoral on atheism; there is just no foundation on which something independent of human belief can be based. Without a necessary being, what we CHOOSE to condemn is what is condemned. As I pointed out, if everyone thought X was wrong, X would be considered wrong, even if X was giving money to poor people. You cannot objectively condemn someone on atheism, since nothing physical can ground something objective. OMV exist necessarily, in every possible world and its absurd to think that in the absence of rational agents, some things would still be objectively wrong. Morever, on atheism, societal consensus is the basis for condemnation, and that is NOT objective. He addresses no warrants.

DIVINE COMMANd

Here he makes three assertions:
1.He does not understand the argument. The argument is “If God exists, there is a sound foundation for OMV.” Notice how this is a conditional claim, I do not need to prove the antecedent of the conditional. The conditional can be true while God does not exist.

2.Its objectively true that its greater to be the paradigm of morality as opposed to conforming to some already existing state of affair. That is just what it means to be a greatest conceivable being, and this being would have unnecessary limits if He had to conform to anything He could “possibly” be the paradigm of.

“Why should we pick one person known as "God" as the moral paradigm of goodness over another person like Hitler or Mother Teresa ?”

^ Vote for me on this! He is absolutely correct, it is absurd to ask this question on atheism because there just is no basis to objectively claim one is better than the other. Even if Divine Command is circular, he still shoots himself in the foot by indicting it in this way. But its not circular. He misunderstands it: God has it as an essential property (goodness), or a property that cannot be changed in any possible world. There is nothing circular about saying that goodness is an essential property of God, and therefore, OMV necessarily exist if God exists.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

BOP & Logical Possibilities

Pro says " It is not enough to merely assert something exists in the absence of arguments in support of a position. In order to show that something is true, you cannot just refute arguments about how it is false; you must erect a case of your own to prove that it is true. "

I said its possible that OMV can exist even if God does not exist. I previously showed that their is no explicit contradiction between these two statements......

1) God does not exist
2) OMV exist

Pro says "He must show that 2 is true, because on naturalism, evolution is the reason we have moral values at all;"

Cool story, and entirely irrelevant which I will explain in detail next.

Evolution, Atheism and Naturalism

Lets for argument sake agree that OMV can't exist by evolution. Does this show that OMV can't exist absent God ? No it doesn't because Evolution, Atheism and Naturalism are entirely different things.....

1) Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. [1]

2) Evolution (also known as biological or organic evolution) is the change over time in one or more inherited traits found in populations of organisms. Inherited traits are particular distinguishing characteristics, including anatomical, biochemical or behavioural characteristics, [2]

3) Naturalism is the philosophical belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the world and that nothing exists beyond the natural world. [3]

So OMV can't exist by evolution, ok and therefore this proves that OMV can ONLY exist if God exists ? As I said before this argument is a non sequitur.

Pros new argument says.......

1.If OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism, OMV do not exist
2. OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism
3. Therefore, OMV do not exist.

Once again, proving that OMV can't exist by evolution does not prove that OMV can't exist within atheism. For example there are atheists that believe in the supernatural or at least that its possible that the supernatural exists but don't accept that a personal God exists.

To claim that within atheism that OMV MUST be grounded in evolution is false, thus the argument is unsound. Pro seems to be having trouble making the distinction between evolution and atheism.

SPECIESISM

Pro mentions murder again, and my point was, its all well and good to say that murder is the "wrongful" killing of someone, but you have to define what that means exactly. This is why your claim that "If OMV exist, murder is objectively wrong." is subjective. Your haven't defined what counts as wrongful killing vs non wrongful killing, so once again how does this help your argument ?

Pro says "The point is, on atheism/naturalism, there is no objective way to say X is right or wrong since it is based on societal consensus, which is arbitrary and subjective."

Pro now conflates atheism with naturalism, once again these things are not the same thing. Pro then implies that atheism can't adhere to the view that OMV exist. Until it is shown that atheism (not naturalism mind you) is in contradiction with the existence of OMV, the atheist or atheist view can argue that OMV do exist.

ABSURDITY OF CONDEMNATION

Pro says "This argument is a reason to think that its impossible for OMV to exist without God, since it would be absurd to condemn an act as immoral on atheism; there is just no foundation on which something independent of human belief can be based. "

Pro just assume that OMV can't exist unless "God" exists. Do we need God to have objective facts like the the world not being flat ? If not, then why do we need God to have objective moral facts ?

Pro says "OMV exist necessarily, in every possible world and its absurd to think that in the absence of rational agents, some things would still be objectively wrong. "

If OMV exist necessarily, then they exist regardless of whether other things exist or not, that's what it means to exist "necessarily".

Pro says "Morever, on atheism, societal consensus is the basis for condemnation, and that is NOT objective."

No, a certain moral theory says that societal consensus is the basis for condemnation, Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of God/s, Atheism in of its self makes no moral claims.

Divine Command Theory and Maximal Conceivable beings

Pro claims that picking one person like Hitler over another person like Mother Teresa as a personal moral standard is absurd, yet they then try to argue that their person of choice "God" is the moral standard. Pro wants it both ways, Pro rejects that a person should be the standard of morality, but wants their person of choice (God) to be the moral standard. Its special pleading for God, and just saying God is essentially good doesn't change that.

Pro says "There is nothing circular about saying that goodness is an essential property of God,"

Oh but there is, your using God as the moral standard in order to put a moral value on God. As you say God is essentially good. You wouldn't accept that kind of logic if some one argued that Hitler is "essentially" good where Hitler is used as the moral standard of what is good.

But in the end, does this even matter ? I already agreed that God could be a source of OMV, but in order to affirm the resolution Pro has to show that OMV can ONLY exist if God exist, not that OMV CAN exist if God exists.

Closing Remarks

Pro can argue all day that evolution can't result in OMV, Pro can even wrongly conflate Evolution with Atheism and Naturalism. But at the end of the day has Pro being able to prove that If God does not exist then OMV does not exist ? I don't think so.

Vote Con

I thank Pro for the debate.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...(philosophy)

ExNihilo

Pro

BOP:
He once against asserts that “its possible that OMV exist even if God does not exist.” He continuously drops the analysis I presented that says that it is not enough to deny an opponents argument, since the conclusion might still be true. In order for him to prove possibility, he must erect a warrant of his own. Simply asserting that “God does not exist” and “OMV exist” as not being explicitly contradictory does not mean his argument is true. If it is the case that OMV do not exist, then his position is just not true, and he has yet to present one single foundation on which to base OMV on atheism.

Evolution

I don’t see the point of his analysis about naturalism/atheism here. My point is that on both worldviews, OMV do not exist.

Please extend this argument, he fails to refute it. I argued (1) that without God, OMV must, by definition, stem from something physical and contingent. This is problematic because that would make Objective Moral Values contingent, which seems absurd (and is a contradiction). (2) I also argued that evolution is the reason for which humans have come into being (after abiogenesis), which means the moral foundations with which we live our lives necessarily depend on evolution. But if this is the case, OMV cannot exist since evolution (a) does not provide objective values (they might have been otherwise) and (b) our values are the sole product of our coming into being by evolution. Thus, it is a contradiction to say that “OMV exist” and “God does not exist” since the only reason we could have values in the first place is by evolution.

These were the justifications I gave for the following premises, none of which were refuted:

1.If OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism, OMV do not exist
2. OMV cannot be grounded in evolution on atheism
3. Therefore, OMV do not exist.

OMV are values that are binding independent of the beliefs of beings that are subject to them. But this cannot be true on atheism/naturalism, since by definition these values are contingent on living, rational things existing.

Speciesism

Con engages in semantics about what it means to “wrongfully kill” someone. Two responses: (1) This is irrelevant since no matter the definition, my argument is that the definitions are subjective and preference in favor of one particular definition is purely based on societal consensus, which is arbitrary. (2) TURN: Once again, Con shoots himself since he cannot even ground something like murder as being objectively wrong. Our definitions might be different, in which case we follow a different moral code. He tacitly admits that these values are based on subjective definitions, which proves my case.

He then says I conflate atheism/naturalism. No, I contend both are vacuous when it comes to the existence of OMV.

Here we have another reason to vote for me: If God does not exist, doing X or condemning X as wrong is to be guilty of speciesism. He does not answer the thought experiment I gave:

Suppose aliens came to earth and call them A. A’s intelligence compared to humans is equivalent to the difference of intelligence between humans and cows, such that A is significantly more intelligent than humans. A loves human meat in the same way humans love cow meat. On atheism, there is no objective way to condemn this action unless one appeals to speciesism OR claiming that rational beings are somehow inherently valuable, both of which are arbitrary. A disagrees. Moreover, it is blatantly speciesist when linked with the evolution argument: we think it permissible to eat cows because it is ingrained into us that they are a good source of food, like other animals. Which means the justification, on evolution, we have for eating cows is the same as A eating us. The problem is that you cannot base OMV on evolution, and it is therefore speciest to say that our values are right when we have no objective justification for them. My opponent concedes this.

Absurdity of Condemnation

“Do we need God to have objective facts like the the world not being flat ? If not, then why do we need God to have objective moral facts ?”

This just begs the question! We have objective reasons for thinking the world is not flat. We have NO objective reasons for thinking OMV exist on atheism! That is my point. You assume that moral facts exist and then just assert that they are on par with observable, physical phenomena. Moreover, what is and what ought to be do not always correspond. What is, is. What ought to be does not make any sense on atheism, which is what this argument proves. Its absurd to say X is wrong on atheism since the only foundations for believing X is wrong is that most people agree! He never responds to the fact that if everyone believed X was good, X would be considered good, which is subject to change. To say massacring population group A by population group B is wrong, requires some external, transcendent check, without which this condemnation is purely contingent on one side winning over the other. Our values depend on us, which makes not NOT objective.

“If OMV exist necessarily, then they exist regardless of whether other things exist or not, that's what it means to exist "necessarily".”

Yeah. IF OMV exist, they are necessary. The question is the antecedent of that conditional: do they exist? My argument is that they CANNOT exist unless there are beings who are expected to abide by them, otherwise they just exist immaterially, without any parts, which is absurd on atheism since they would have to be grounded in some part of the physical world. But if it is the case that these values are contingent on the existence of beings, then they cannot be objective. So he fails to refute the argument.

“No, a certain moral theory says that societal consensus is the basis for condemnation, Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of God/s, Atheism in of its self makes no moral claims.”

You are incapable of comprehending the argument. I did NOT say atheism says X is moral; in fact, I argue it cant! However, my claim is that IF atheism is true, the only basis for thinking that X ought to be condemned is societal consensus. We see it everywhere. If 99% believed fornication before marriage was immoral, and banned it, the 1% would still be subjected to the will of the consensus view, which might shift 100 years from now! You have failed to give one single avenue that OMV exist in the absence of God. Societal consensus yields no way to affirm OMV.

Divine Command:

Extend the TURN. He is quite right, who am I to say Mother T > Adolf Hitler. Who am I to say that X attribute is good and therefore God has it. On atheism, it is arbitrary and subjective. He shoots himself in the foot again.

“You wouldn't accept that kind of logic if some one argued that Hitler is "essentially" good where Hitler is used as the moral standard of what is good.”

Do you know what it means to be “essentially such and such?” I don’t think so. Hitler is not essentially good because he is human (lol) and humans are not essentially good or evil, since they can be either. Moreover, Hitler was not essentially good because he was evil, on my view! But you are right, its nonsensical on your view to claim that he was evil, since others can say he was good!

There is nothing incoherent about saying God is essentially good, and goodness emanates from the necessary goodness of His nature. This is not arbitrary and I therefore have provided a sound foundation for OMV. But even if I have not, he has given NO REASON for thinking OMV exist on atheism, and he has provided NO foundation for thinking they can. On the contrary, I have given several reasons to think otherwise.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by debaterhui 5 years ago
debaterhui
uhh..the comment from before is all my opinion of course...if you disagree, then please feel free to personal message me (if this is possible on this sight, or do something in the comments..I'll be happy to debate with anyone starting from the 29th)
Posted by debaterhui 5 years ago
debaterhui
Resolution
If God does not exist then Objective Morality does not exist

this implies that god=no then OMV=no.
Burden of proof on Pro= no god then no OMV.
Burden of proof on Con=no god but possiblilty of OMV

AS FAR AS THIS DEBATE IS CONCERNED GOD DOES NOT EXIST.

IT IS NOT PRO'S BURDEN TO PROVE THAT UNDER THE ASSUMPTION OF GOD EXISTING THAT OMV EXISTS. ONLY THAT NO GOD AND NO OMV. IF PRO WERE TO PROVE THAT OMV DOES NOT EXIST ANYWAY, THEN THE FOLLOWING WOULD BE TRUE>>

there is no OMV (assume that this is true. by con's definition, pro has lost the round)
yes god=no OMV
No god=no OMV
Anything you could possibly think of=no OMV

AND ALSO, CON>>>IT'S YOUR BURDEN TO PROVE THAT OMV CAN EXIST WITHOUT GOD. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.

ALL CON DOES IT ASSERT THAT IT IS POSSIBLE...DEBATE IS ABOUT ARGUMENTS, NOT SEMANTICS!!!!!!!
Posted by ExNihilo 5 years ago
ExNihilo
No. All argument one does is to show that OMV cannot be derived from evolution.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
Is it just me, or does argument one blatantly commit the genetic fallacy?
Posted by ExNihilo 5 years ago
ExNihilo
Sorry...I rushed through that argument!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
Dimmitri.C
IllegalcombatantExNihiloTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to establish a metaphysical basis for an objective morality. Pro did a fantastic job pointing this out.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
IllegalcombatantExNihiloTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: If you negate a conditional then you get (god does not exist AND objective morality exists) con did not argue that let alone carry the BoP. ExNihilo hammered that again and again. 3:1 argument