The Instigator
PatronSaintOfAwesome
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
flaskblob
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Is God Necessary for Morality?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 34013
Debate Rounds (3)
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PatronSaintOfAwesome

Con

I believe that atheists can be just as rational and consistent for believing in an objective morality as theists, and I'd like to see if anyone can prove otherwise. I believe that God is not necessary in any way for the existence of objective moral values and duties, that is objectively true propositions concerning matters of moral value and moral obligation or duty. Furthermore I don't think that the existence of objective moral values and duties even offer evidence for the existence of God.

So the debate topic, despite the title, is a two pronged topic. My opponent can choose to either support the stronger claim that "God is necessary for objective morality", or the weaker claim that "God's existence is more likely than not given objective morality". If either of these claims can be supported, I will consider myself defeated.
flaskblob

Pro

Assertion:

The belief in a god is necessary for a rational belief in objective morality.

Definitions:

Objective Morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true. [1]

God: An all powerful figure who is not subject to fault and defines a factual moral set of rules whose obedience leads to a good afterlife and disobedience leads to a bad afterlife.

Rational: A thought process involving logical reasoning and fact as the basis for a belief.

[1] - http://rationalwiki.org...

Argument:
It is necessary to believe in a god in order to believe that morals are factual and not just opinion. Morality is by definition, an opinion. Only a higher authority has the power to make opinion fact. Group opinion is not fact. The Geocentric model was once group opinion, but science has proven this to be incorrect. Rational beings recognize that their beliefs on what is right and what is wrong (morality) is merely an opinion that they and others hold as that is the definition of morality.

My opponent might contend then that a rational being would not believe in god to which I would respond that he is correct, however this is not the assertion I am making. I'm asserting that given an irrational belief in God (who defines a moral code), it is rational to believe in objective morality (that morals are a fact not an opinion). When it is a given that there is no god, then it is not rational to believe in objective morality.

I look forward to my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 1
PatronSaintOfAwesome

Con

Thank you flaskblob for accepting the debate, this is actually my first debate here and I'm excited to explore this topic. I think a number of things you said are in error, and I'll explain why.

"God: An all powerful figure who is not subject to fault and defines a factual moral set of rules whose obedience leads to a good afterlife and disobedience leads to a bad afterlife."

God cannot define (give or determine the meaning of) a factual moral set of rules. I will assume though that you're speaking metaphorically, saying something like that God is the arbiter or locus of morality.

"Morality is by definition, an opinion."

This is either incoherent or must be trivially false. I must ask, though, what do you mean by "morality"? Do you mean moral principles, in other words propositions concerning what is good and evil, or right and wrong? But objectively true moral principles couldn't possibly be an opinion, as opinions are subjective and not matters of fact. You yourself said: "Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgements is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true." I agree with your assessment, and can only point out that you seem to be contradicting yourself.

"Only a higher authority has the power to make opinion fact."

This is simply incoherent. No one could possibly have the power to make a matter of opinion into a matter of fact, as (like I pointed out before) that would result in a contradiction. Something is a matter of opinion only if it's not a matter of fact.

"Rational beings recognize that their beliefs on what is right and what is wrong (morality) is merely an opinion that they and others hold as that is the definition of morality."

They most certainly do not. Most people think they know what is right and what is wrong. Are you trying to tell me that it's just your opinion that rape is immoral?

Just like with any belief, a rational person admits that he could be wrong, but that doesn't make it just his opinion! Also the possibility of being wrong doesn't take away from the fact-of-the-matter. Even if I'm wrong about my moral beliefs, there's still an objective truth of the matter.
flaskblob

Pro

flaskblob forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
PatronSaintOfAwesome

Con

I assume that my opponent wishes to drop out of the debate. I will start a new one fairly soon, I think.
flaskblob

Pro

I apologize, I checked the debate too late and the time expired. My apologies to my opponent. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
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