The Instigator
AlanTiany
Pro (for)
The Contender
FreshMeat12
Con (against)

(I'm new) Objective morality MUST exist.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 376 times Debate No: 102304
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

AlanTiany

Pro

1) Atheists say we as a society collectively determine our morals. And that they can sometimes change or evolve. So what happens if the larger majority of our collective society decide tomorrow that rape is morally acceptable because it propagates reproduction and therefore our species will grow and be stronger? Obviously this is hypothetical but I'm saying this to say that your, the atheists explanation is totally arbitrary.

2) Atheists always sound like they are evolutionists. But the foundation of the evolutionary theory is that "nature selects the strongest and the weak don't survive" so according to this worldview Hitler was right in trying to exterminate the Jews because he perceived that his race was the strongest and it is therefore his evolutionary prerogative to weed out the weak.
That's the one of the foundational principles of evolution but yet you are not saying that when it comes to morality. Instead you say that nurturing and caring for the weak is how the species survive? Sounds a bit contradictory to me.

3) Atheists often quote Professor Larry Arnhart, he says that morality is basically social norms :

> "Evolution has produced the requisites for morality: a tendency to develop social norms and enforce them, the capacities of empathy and sympathy, mutual aid and a sense of fairness, the mechanisms of conflict resolution, and so on. Evolution has also produced the unalterable needs and desires of our species: the need of the young for care, a desire for high status, the need to belong to a group, and so forth." (Arnhart)

But some societies have norms that we would find deplorable. Cultures that still practice female mutilation, child sacrifice, and child rape. We would condemn that as evil but certain cultures see these behaviors as acceptable. My question to you would be who's right? Us or them? It sounds like according to your belief system if it's a social norm and culturally acceptable then it's ok?

What I'm getting at is:
A) Morality cannot just be a chemical reaction in our brain because if that were the case then we couldn't condemn any act of evil as wrong seeing that the perpetrator was just following a chemical reaction in his or her brain.

and

B) Morality cannot be just a set of social norms because there are cultures and societies with different norms. How do we know who ultimately has the "right" norm?

Solution:

See in the Christian Biblical worldview that answer is easy. Which norm is closer to Gods nature? That's the one that is ultimately right. How do we know Gods nature? We are created in his image so it is innate in us but not through evolution. Evolution if examined internally has no need for morality. Cats kill mice all the time without being condemned because that's what the stronger species is supposed to do on an evolutionary worldview.

And to be clear I never stated that you had to believe in the God of the Bible in order to behave morally. But what I said was the God of the Bible has to exist in order for us to account for objective moral values. Without the Christian God all we would have is subjective morality. You make the rules. Do as you see fit. Or as your chemical brain reaction tells you to behave. But we could not live that way.

Atheist and evolutionist alike depend on the Christian worldview to make sense of morality cogently. Without the Christian Biblical God one can only arbitrarily account for morality wit conjecture and personal opinion.
FreshMeat12

Con

I decided to take this debate because pro's actual points don't seem to be arguing for the existence of objective morals, but rather, that atheists cannot account for it. I disagree.

I'd like to define what is good as, "what brings happiness and reduced harm". To this, Pro might respond "why ought we try to reduce harm?" To this, I respond that I'm simply defining good as what reduces harm, in the same way that pro defines good as what is consistent with God's nature.

Now I will go through pro's points.

1. I agree with con on this point. I don't think that we can get a standard of morality by saying whatever the cultural norm is can be considered right.

2. Most atheists are evolutionists, but most atheists are not social darwinists. Evolution is simply the theory that we evolved from a common ancestor though mutation and natural selection. It does not state that we ought to kill the weak so the strong may live on. Darwinism is not a moral system.

3. I agree that cultural norms should not determine morality.

A. Using my definition of good, we can tell when an action is good or bad. Whether or not an action was predetermined is irrelevant to whether or not it is good or bad. What I think you actually mean is "we cannot punish a person if their actions were predetermined, because their actions weren't their fault". I think this is not true, because I don't believe that punishing a person for their actions is the only purpose of the justice system. I believe that the purpose of the justice system is to reduce crime, and thus, reduce harm. We need to have rehabilitation in the justice system, because that stops the person from committing another crime, while not punishing them gratuitously. There also needs to be punishment in the justice system, to make people scared to commit crime. This type of justice system is completely consistent with naturalism, and hard determinism.

B. See earlier responses to this exact point.
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Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
There is only one thing all humans share, an objective reality, so any moral judgements made with reasoned logic would be objective.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 1 year ago
TheUnexaminedLife
Straw man does not mean 'made up'. It means a reductive or false representation of someone's position. So, say if I said 'you Christians are lunatics, you all believe in the Creationist story'. That would be a straw man of the Christian position as well as a fallacy of composition; I assume the most irrational Christians as representative of all Christians and propose the former as the position of the whole.

I would say that the majority of atheists are not Social Darwinists as you suggest and have better arguments for morality than you propose.
Posted by AlanTiany 1 year ago
AlanTiany
TheUnexaminedLife Ok I just looked up what straw man means and your are wrong.. what am I making up? I mean you guys say our morals come from evolution and society which is basically all of my point that I attacked.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Religious faith is both arrogant and ignorant. Because of it's certainty
Far from being arrogant the scientific method is one of humility. It acknowledges the limits of our current knowledge. It doesn"t provide explanations or answers from a position of ignorance, but investigates the unknown in an attempt to reach understanding based on empirical evidence. Surely it is the superstitious or religious approach which claims to know the answers without any evidence except "faith" that is the arrogant approach.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
We don't base morality on revelation from authority, that would render us merely obedient. So often declared -'the territory of religion'- moral development is in fact something to which the scientific approach contributes far more and far more reliably due to its emphasis on reasoned logic and evidence, the tools that help us discern what's true and false and without which one can't even formulate a valid argument. To make informed moral choices and therefore moral progress religion needs science, but science does not need religion.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 1 year ago
TheUnexaminedLife
This is a complete straw man of the atheist position. Many secular thinkers believe in an absolute, scientific truth as well as social relativism. For example, the social theorist Habermas. So, don't make us all postmodern Foucault's and Nietzsche's please.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 1 year ago
TheUnexaminedLife
This is a complete straw man of the atheist position. Many secular thinkers believe in an absolute, scientific truth as well as social relativism. For example, the social theorist Habermas. So, don't make us all postmodern Foucault's and Nietzsche's please.
Posted by AlanTiany 1 year ago
AlanTiany
Ha no takers. Knew atheists have no answer. Typical atheists.
Posted by FreshMeat12 1 year ago
FreshMeat12
I would've taken this debate, but I won't because I do believe that there can be some objective standard to judge what is right and wrong. Or, rather, a "definition" of good and bad that would seem fairly intuitive. Divine command theory is just a "definition", also. It defines "good" as what God wants, which is fairly counterintuitive when you actually examine the moral ideas in the Bible (salvation only through Christ, eternal torment for finite crimes, people who we would generally regard as 'good' getting the same punishment as someone like Hitler, etc.)
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