The Instigator
Lexicaholic
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

It is irrational for God to hold humanity to a code God does not follow

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/23/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,520 times Debate No: 9307
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (4)

 

Lexicaholic

Con

1. Introduction

JCMT has noted that he is looking for an interesting religious debate and I would like to deliver. JCMT, in this thread - http://www.debate.org...
, stated that :

"An omniscient God creates several problems for morality in general, most specifically the problem of holding people responsible if God knows what their actions will be. Furthermore, God represents a somewhat unusual case of an entity that can somehow be the arbiter of morality, but not live up to his own code."

I would like to dispute that, on balance, God's ability to break with his own established code of morality is unjustified. My opponent will be looking to apply established moral principles, particularly those derived from utilitarianism, against God's actions, and I will be seeking to defend God's actions using relativistic arguments.

I know that JCMT hates semantics arguments, so I am going to ensure that there will be no miscommunication:

A. God is defined as that deity of the Judeo-Christian line of faith acting as the source of all morality. For the purposes of this debate, God is assumed to exist.

B. Code of Morality is defined as a way of living or standard of acting.

C. Obedience is defined as conducting oneself in accordance with the desires of another; in this debate, that other is God. Being obedient will therefore mean being willing to act in accordance with God's wishes.

D. God is assumed to be omni-excellent, and I will not attempt to argue God's traits if JCMT assigns God those traits reasonably consistent with the Judeo-Christian conception of God.

E. **My argument will hinge on the purpose of morality, and so at this time I would like to define morality simply as right action in accordance with the established code of morality and nothing more. My opponent may include under morality anything that follows as proper conduct under those commandments and edicts transcribed allegedly on God's behalf. **

2.Rules of Engagement:

A. Pro will defend his contention first. I will then seek to disprove this contention.

B. All specific sections shall be numbered and titled for the sake of clarity by both debaters.

C. The final round for Pro shall not be used for argument, but rather as an opportunity for Pro to sum up the debate. As such, Pro may post no sources or open any new arguments in the final round. This is meant to even the overall number of arguments out.

D. The debate shall be for four rounds, max time, 1 month voting period.

E. If my opponent would like me to amend any part of this debate, he need only ask in the comments section and I will discuss with him the possibility of doing so.

My thanks to my opponent for his consideration.
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

I have indeed noted the above point, and I shall briefly outline and defend this assertion...

I will accept my opponent's points A-D above, with a short enhancement of point E. Morality is not simply right action in accordance with sort of code of morality - it involves the judgment of what, given a particular situation, is the action that best brings about the "end" prescribed by whatever standard of morality one adopts. This involves the additional component of selecting such a system, which in turn involves a normative theory about the way things should be and what is actually moral.

This is where I wish to outline what I'll refer to as Rights-Based Act Utilitarianism (or RBAU).

Without getting into a huge discussion about what rights are and whether or not we actually have them, I'm going to state that for the purposes of debate, we have certain basic rights like a right to life and self-ownership of body and labor, etc... My opponent can't really argue these points anyway without undermining the moral system he is supposed to defend - after all, you can't have prohibitions on murder or slavery without the two aforementioned rights. So I propose that we accept that we have a right to life, travel, ownership of self/labor, ownership of property insofar as the extent of these rights does not infringe upon the rights of someone else - basically Locke's "as good and as much" proviso.

Act-utilitarianism is simply the notion that the rightness or wrongness of an action should be judged based on the results of that action, as opposed to the notion that right and wrong should be judged based on the consequences of a rule - i.e. that we should judge the rightness or wrongness of, say, killing someone based on the circumstances of the scenario rather than our rules about killing. For example, we would say that killing Hitler was "right" even though it may have violated rules about killing.

So in the end, we are presented with the idea that the act-utilitarian should consider what is moral to be that which maximizes the benefit of the most actors while respecting their rights. For example, slavery may be highly beneficial to many people, but violates the proviso concerning ownership of self/labor. I also make the case that what is beneficial can be understood in empirical terms - we may have the right to impose education or health care upon children even though it makes them unhappy, because it is a beneficial action. Likewise, though cocaine makes the addict happy, it is not beneficial to the individual as an organism and can thus be called immoral.

Under this framework, I make the following contentions:

1) That the laws of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, etc... where a chapter begins with note that God is speaking to Moses are laws that have moral import. For example, when God tells Moses to tell the Israelites that buttsecks is bad - this is part of God's moral law.

2) That consideration of rights and a beneficial social organization (i.e. community) should incline one towards RBAU and away from the moral system imposed by God.

3) That a moral system wherein the criteria for what is moral is routinely negated in a "moral" fashion is an irrational moral system - i.e. it is irrational to believe that violating moral criteria can be a moral action.

4) That God is in fact not the source of morality, EVEN FOR THE RELIGIOUS, and that a better system for establishing moral principles exists.

5) And that the moralization of one's own actions creates a subjective standard of morality that cannot be rationally imposed upon others as an objective system.

************************************************************

Just some final notes:

- I consider the notion of an omnibenevolent God to negate moral responsibility, so for the purposes of this debate, I'd like to stay away from the attributes of God. I'm not entirely sure they're relevant to the debate anyway. The notion that God can impose these systems because he's omnipotent is not a moral distinction because it's simply saying that whoever has the biggest gun gets the last say.

- To command that one's own code is moral is circular in this case - so if my opponent introduces the notion that God's law is moral because God says so should be ignored by the reader.

I believe this is an adequate opening statement - I eagerly await rebuttal.

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 1
Lexicaholic

Con

1. Introduction: The resolution and its necessary implications

I thank my opponent for accepting my debate. Without further ado, here is my response:

(a)My opponent has accepted part A of this resolution that states that "For the purposes of this debate, God is assumed to exist." Therefore, the Judeo-Christian God exists, at least as far as I and my opponent are concerned. If the Judeo-Crhistian God exists, then morality is properly understood in the context by which it is established by the Judeo-Christian God; specifically, that context is overriding contractual duties. Morality is the price God exacts in exchange for God's blessings in the Bible … it is not intended to be a method of promoting man or fulfilling man's desires of peace, but in fulfilling God's desires on earth, as follows:

(b) "God created man."[1]

(c) God created [2] and covenanted with men. [3]

(d) God is not equal to man, nor does he hold himself out to be. [4] [5]

2. Men are God's bondsmen, not his equals

(a) Men are God's bondsmen to work his will on earth. [6] [7]

(b) Morality allows God's bondsmen to perform properly. [8]

(c) Additionally, acting morally purchases for God's followers God's continued devotion. [9]

3. Utility requires equality in the agents, or a direct parallel can not be drawn.

(a) Moral action is not founded in a cost/benefits analysis of free actors, through hedonism, [10] but rather

(b) a breach of contract analysis in relation to an obligor and obligee in an agreement. [11]

4. Good is relative to how well an act fulfills God's will

God has covenanted with his people, that they must fulfill their covenant by punishing or avoiding certain actions. His people, therefore, have a duty, overriding the pursuit of the people's happiness, which obviates utilitarian consideration of each individual in exchange for duty-based conformity to contract. [12]

5. It is therefore rational for God to expect compliance with a morality than benefits Himself, not his people, for God desires that his people act for his benefit, not their own.

The resolution is therefore NEGATED, as it is rational for God, being unequal, above and separate in rights from mankind, to demand of mankind fulfillment of their agreement with him. Humans may establish rights in relation to each other; but as for God, morality comes only in fulfillment of mankind's contractual obligations. [13]

6. Sources

[1] http://www.mechon-mamre.org...
[2] "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://withoutthegate.com...
[5]http://bible.logos.com... Chapter 5
[6] http://bible.cc...
[7] http://www.stempublishing.com...
[8] http://www.boundless.org...
[9] http://www.gotquestions.org...
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org... "since only the consequences of an action matter, and only happiness matters, the action is the one that results in the greatest sum of happiness."
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org... "Breach of contract is a legal concept in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance." A contractual agreement clearly overrides hedonistic urges.
[12] http://business-law.lawyers.com... See Nonperformance
[13] http://www.tecmalta.org...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

REBUTTAL:

1) Introduction.

Le's argument is quite interesting, but unfortunately for him, largely irrelevant. Let's begin by examining his point 1A - that "If the Judeo-Crhistian God exists, then morality is properly understood in the context by which it is established by the Judeo-Christian God." This proposition is at the heart of the debate, and I contend that his conclusion of this if-then is incorrect. As I stated in my contention 4 above, God is not the source of morality even for the religious.

a) This study (http://tigger.uic.edu...) was conducted among Catholic, Mennonite, Amish, and Jewish Children - among the most conservative of the Christian sects. The study concluded that:

"Between 80 and 100 percent of children across denominations stated that engagement in any of the acts entailing a moral transgression would CONTINUE TO BE WRONG even if there were no biblical prescription or statement by God concerning the act. The justifications children provided in support of such judgments all dealt with the intrinsic features of the acts as hurtful or unjust. This last set of findings suggests that even for deeply religious children from fundamentalist or orthodox backgrounds, morality STEMS FROM A CRITERIA INDEPENDENT OF GOD'S WORD... Our analyses of the children's responses revealed that the majority of children from each denomination and at each age REJECTED THE NOTION THAT GOD'S COMMAND TO STEAL WOULD MAKE IT RIGHT TO STEAL." [emphasis added].

Continuing in my opponent's point 1A above, he states, "Morality is the price God exacts in exchange for God's blessings in the Bible." Once again, I believe he has made an egregious mistake. God has indeed made a covenant with man, but this covenant contains terms that cannot be described as moral by more objective moral systems (I argue that RBAU is one of these systems). God's covenant is no more than a powerful being stating that if a group of people does what he wants, then he will use his power for their benefit; otherwise, he will use his power to bring about eternal suffering for them. This is not a covenant of MORALITY, but of EXTORTION.

My opponent's points 1B, 1C, and 1D are irrelevant - nothing about who made man has anything to do with where morality comes from. If Satan had made man, moral decisions would still be possible because the criteria for morality does not rest with the creator.

2) Men are God's bondsmen, not his equals.

In this section, I contend that my opponent's points 2B and 2C do not follow from his point 2A. Whether or not man is some sort of divine property is completely irrelevant to their "proper" performance. If man is a bondsman to God, then God's requirements for proper function and continued patronage are no more than his preferences. These preferences may be delivered under the GUISE of morality, but as demonstrated above, a simple thought experiment proves that morality stems from a criteria other than God.

What we have in this situation is the case, again, wherein God is simply a powerful being, and it is in the best interests of s mere humans to follow his wishes, lest we be punished. Consider if God was an all-powerful, but purely EVIL being - it would STILL be in our best interests to follow his wishes, but nobody would call this morality. In fact, the MORAL thing to do would be to reject God's wishes.

3) The requirements of utilitarianism.

I will accept my opponent's point 3A and raise a contention with point 3B. Utilitarian moral reasoning has no obligator/obligee agreement. Or rather, the obligations imposed by utilitarian morality are not towards another individual or entity, but rather "towards" the concept itself. I may have a moral obligation to save a drowning man, but that obligation is only to the man VIS A VIS the concept - in other words, moral obligation is a function of both whether or not an actor buys into the concept and whether or not the actor acts in self-interest.

4) Moral relativism of actions pertaining to God's will.

My opponent states that actions that fulfill God's will but may otherwise be immoral are moral because they fulfill God's will. This is a famous circular argument called The Euthyphro (http://en.wikipedia.org...), which asks if an action is moral because God commands it or if God commands it because it's moral. My opponent answers that an action is moral because God commands it. Unfortunately for him, I have demonstrated above that God is not the source of morality even for the religious.

5) It is therefore rational for God to expect compliance with a morality than benefits Himself, not his people.

With the exception of the word "morality," this statement is correct. It IS rational for God to expect compliance with a POLICY that benefits himself. However, this policy is not a MORAL policy - it happens to coincide with several moral principles, but the policy itself is not MORALITY. Furthermore, this statement s entirely irrelevant to the resolution - this debate concerns whether GOD should follow he policy - not whether PEOPLE should follow the policy.

**********************************************************************************

CONTINUATION:

1) It is irrational to propose that violating moral criteria can be a moral action.

Even if one considers God to be the source of morality, the laws that he hands down are the criteria by which morality is decided. This takes the form of Action-Question-Criteria-Decision. In this case, "Criteria" may be something like "Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder." All actions that violate the criteria are deemed immoral. Thus, it does not follow with the moral system to include the violation of the criteria (no matter who the actor is) to be a moral action.

The most common response to this is that God is not bound by his own law. In "The Morality of Law," Lon Fuller describes 8 ways to make a law fail (A simplistic overview - the book is MUCH better - http://en.wikipedia.org...), one of which states that if a law is enumerated but not enforced, then it fails. Of course, the (pseudo)contrapositive to this holds as well - if it is enforced, but not enumerated, it fails. Two other criteria are that the law be clear and that adjudication be consistent and not on an ad hoc basis.

I contend that God violates these principles in two ways:

a) He breaks the law himself, as in Genesis 7:21-23 (where undoubtedly thousands of innocent babies died), when he breaks his own prohibitions on murder and unjustly ends the lives of people.

b) He orders others to break the law, as in 1 Samuel 15:3 (where God orders the "smiting" of the Amalekites, down to the last "man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and a$$"), when he orders others to violate one of the laws under the guise of doing his will. This is a case of arbitrary an ad hoc adjudication, and in some ways, retroactive legislation, because it was deemed moral to take vengeance on these people after the prohibition on murder was in place.

********************************************************************************

I'm going to save some space and introduce the move towards RBAU in the next round. I await rebuttal.

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 2
Lexicaholic

Con

I. SURREBUTTAL (arguably you put forth your motion, I put forth my rebuttal, you put forth your surrebuttal and this would be my rejoinder, but since we're out of sequence I'll run with it) :

1) The If/Then Statement

(1) If the Judeo-Christian God exists, then he provided the Law, the supreme moral code of Judaism and Christianity.
(2) Morality under Judaism and Christianity is "right action in accordance with the established code of morality" and nothing else. ‘Tis better to obey than be merciful' and all that, because mercy outside of that commanded by God is not moral under the moral code of Judaism and Christianity. [1]
(3) Therefore, the context in which God has established morality is of supreme importance in determining whether or not, assuming a God, it would be rational for a God to expect his adherents to obey a moral code that he himself need not. The context informs the nature of the morality provided by God, at least as it originates in the Law.

(a) My opponent first argues that morality must exist beyond a contract, as there are some actions which people consider good or evil independent of their faith. Perhaps it does. As shown in my previous examples, however, God does not care what man finds moral, or how man's determinations coincide with his own. Nor does it matter whether or not there is overlap in any number of things people would do if not bound by a covenant with God.

There is a famous contract case where a man offered his nephew a large sum of money if his nephew would quit smoking for a year. His nephew did and demanded that the man pay him. The man laughed it off. His nephew sued him in court for breach of contract and won. For consideration to be adequate, your performance need not entail something you wouldn't ordinarily, but merely consist of taking or refraining from some action that one would not need to do barring the covenant. [2]

God can ask for trifles if he wants. The key is whether or not it is rational for God to expect humans to obey a different moral code than himself, not whether or not every aspect of the moral code is dependent upon God.

(b) "This is not a covenant of MORALITY, but of EXTORTION."
Man may extort man. When a man threatens to strike an unruly animal and the animal heels, it is not extortion. In a case of contract between a supremely powerful cosmic being and an animal with a superiority complex, the proper term is probably ‘leverage.' [3]

(c) Creation matters in so far as that all sense of natural rights essentially spring from the contention that one is entitled to the fruits of one's labor. God could be considered to have a right to control his work, as certainly he had an original work of authorship in humanity and fixed that original idea in a tangible medium of expression. [4] If so, it is not irrational at all for God to exercise those rights by establishing a moral code, putting humanity to a use adverse to that of others' interests.

2) Men are God's bondsmen, not his equals.

(a) "If man is a bondsman to God, then God's requirements for proper function and continued patronage are no more than his preferences." Yes, and preferences are what one considers when determining how the other bargaining side under a contract will perform. It is logical for God to take his preferences into account, and rational to believe that God acts logically if he exists.

(b)"These preferences may be delivered under the GUISE of morality, but as demonstrated above, a simple thought experiment proves that morality stems from a criteria other than God." Irrelevant. God expects those he contracts with to perform. He calls this performance "morality." Actual morality is irrelevant in the forming of the contract, and terms may be properly set by the parties to the contract. [5]

My opponent's third contention on morality under this section mimics his first and is, I believe, adequately answered above.

3) "… moral obligation is a function of both whether or not an actor buys into the concept and whether or not the actor acts in self-interest."

This statement is acceptable, and interesting, but irrelevant as to God. God clearly bought into the concept of contractual morality.

4) Moral relativism of actions pertaining to God's will.

As per 3(b), God defines morality on a contractual basis. He "buys into" that concept. God considers performance under the contract to be moral. Humans may feel otherwise. In a disagreement in terms between the two parties to a contract, first the contract is referenced and then the dictionary. God's covenant clearly defines right action, goodness, morality, what have you, as simple obedience to the Law. [6] Beyond that, mankind has only great notions of better terms it could have bargained for.

5) It is therefore rational for God to expect compliance with a morality than benefits Himself, not his people.

My opponent concedes that "It IS rational for God to expect compliance with a POLICY that benefits himself." A policy is nothing more than a way of acting. My opponent has basically argued that it is rational for God to expect compliance with a moral code that God himself does not follow. That is the opposite of the resolution, which would mean that the resolution has been negated. Whether or not the policy itself is moral is irrelevant. Whether or not it is rational is. Vote Con.

II. CONTRA-CONTINUATION:

1) On the violation of moral criteria

(a) God may break the law because the law does not pertain to God. This does not make the Law inapplicable. Remember, God said "Thou shall not kill" not "We shall not kill." If thou kill, then thou art doomed by God unto Hell. The law is enforced, as against thou, the subject of the law. In a similar manner, doctors are not punished for not following the lawyers' code of ethics and priests are not held to the standards of accountants.

(b) Arguably those subject to the covenant are the only ones to rationally expect its protection. If thou shall not kill was intended to mean thou shall not kill anything, for example, then the prohibition against killing would prevent the slaughtering of animals, which it clearly did not. Similarly, if "thou shall not kill" meant that thou shall not kill anyone, the parties would not have proceeded under the contract as they did. [7] It is clear from the actions of the parties that the statement "thou shall not kill" was in reference only to the subjects of the contract; God was saying "Thou shall not kill each other," which left the Jewish people free to kill anyone else God commanded.

III. CONCLUSION

For all of these reasons, but especially my opponent's admission that God is acting rationally, the resolution is negated.

IV. SOURCES
[1] "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[5] http://books.google.com... TERMS
[6] http://books.google.com...
[7] http://law.jrank.org...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

I. Rebuttal

1) The If/Then Statement

My opponent argues that God has established a moral code for Judaism and Christianity, and this in this context, God need not adhere to the specifics of the code because he is not one of the individuals the code was intended for. However, the weak point in this argument is that the code God has established is not a moral code - it is merely his preferences. Morality cannot be contained only to Jews and Christians. All persons (barring unusual cases) are capable of moral reasoning - it's not something that only Jews and Christians engage in.

Morality is generally held to be conforming to the rules of moral conduct, moral conduct being that which brings about a just, good, upright, etc... end. Morality is not simply the whims of God.

Thus, my opponent's contention 3A is rebutted - if there are (as CON admits) actions that people consider good or evil independent of their faith, then one CANNOT escape the necessary conclusion that the criteria for what is good and evil does NOT lie with God. And from this information, it is obvious that whatever code is given to us by God may agree with the basis of morality, but cannot be in and of itself the basis of morality.

My opponent's example used in point 3B is quite simply, wrong. When a man threatens to strike an animal and the animal heels, this is EXACTLY what the definition of extortion states - "to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like" (http://dictionary.reference.com...). And if God's contract with man is not a case of wresting "devotion" or servitude by means of violence (Sodom, Gomorrah, the Flood), intimidation (threat of hell), or abuse of authority (Entirety of Job) then I'm not sure what sort of bizarre understanding of English my opponent operates under... The covenant with God is a covenant of extortion, and it doesn't matter one bit if man doesn't KNOW he's being extorted - that just means man is stupid.

To respond to my opponent's point 3C, I offer that God gave up his ownership of man as a creation when I created man with free will. To truly have a free will, man must not belong to anything or anyone else. An analogy - suppose my girlfriend and I have a baby. Is that baby our property? Even when it is 18? 25? 40? It has long been recognized that people cannot justly be the property of someone or something else.

2) Men as bondsmen to God.

In points A and B, my opponent shies away from the clear intended meaning of the resolution and begins to fall back on the position that the contract we're talking about is simply some preferences. I won't indulge this line of reasoning, as it isn't what the debate is about.

God delivered his preferences to the Jews/Christians under the guise of morality. If God is going to behave in a manner as though he is delivering a moral code, his actions must be consistent with this premise. Violating the parameters of what is supposed to be an objective moral code, yet calling this violation a moral action is not rational.

3) - Irrelevant

4) Moral relativism in God's will.

My opponent states that God considers performance under the contract to be moral. My opponent must either also hold that God is above morality, in which case, he must explain how the supposed "source of morality" (Round 1 - point 1) is amoral, or must explain how the violation of objective moral principles constitutes a moral action.

5) It is therefore rational for God to expect compliance with a morality than benefits Himself, not his people.

Of course I concede that it is rational to expect compliance with a policy one in power enacts. If the principle a grade school implemented a no-miniskirt policy, he would rationally expect compliance with that policy. I'm not sure why this is surprising...

I argue that it is irrational to offer objective moral principles, and then to violate those principles, yet claim to still be a moral entity.

II. Continuation:

1) On the violation of moral criteria.

My opponent holds in point 1A that the law does not apply to God. However, he has not answered the question of why objective principles do not apply to all. Objective principles are not versions of "For everyone except X, Y, and Z, ABC is true".... There are a couple different questions similar to this one posed throughout the debate, so I see no reason to dwell on this one instance. If my opponent wants to make the "Oh morality doesn't apply to God" argument, then he needs to defend his reasoning for this. God is NOT the source of morality. Why does it not apply to him then?

Point 1B raises an interesting position that those in the covenant with God are the only ones that expect its protection. However, this notion is negated by three simple facts:

i. The punishments of the contract supposedly do not apply to only Jews and Christians.
ii. The Gospel of Luke was specifically written to show non-Christians/Jews that the covenant was with THEM as well.
iii. Romans 2 makes it clear that there is no excuse for not belonging to the covenant.

III. Conclusion.

My opponent attempts to mislead the reader here, noting that I stated God acted rationally... but he doesn't bother to mention that my statement wasn't about God's moral code...

I shall make a similarly brief closing statement. The arguments here are all well-laid out... please read them and ask yourself the same questions I raise, particularly:

How can God be above morality if he is not the source of it?
How can God rationally violate what he purports to be an objective moral code?
How can God rationally (or justly - see extortion) impose a subjective moral system on others as though it were objective?

If you are puzzled by any of these questions, or think the answer is in the negative... the resolution is

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 3
Lexicaholic

Con

I. SURREBUT … REJOI … MY RESPONSE

(a) A moral code does not have to be universally moral for it to be a moral code.
The code that God set down was nothing less than a series of limits on and justifications for action. That is most certainly a moral code. Whether or not one agrees with the morals is a matter of very subjective perspective. Though moral reasoning may be universal, it is not uniform. The morals of Hinduism are clearly different in many ways from those of Christianity and Islam … not to mention more arcane faiths.

Assuming that morality is subjective, then anyone can have a subjective view of it, God included. Perhaps some of the things commanded by God are shocking to the modern conscience; even if this is so, it does not make them less shocking than the concept of, say, being uncircumcised would be to God's followers in the olden days. See Romans 2.

Of course, God having an overview of everything, his subjectivity can be defined as an understanding of all things; which basically becomes objectivity by necessity.

(b) Argument from Comic Books

Any person who saw what he took as evil, given infinite power, would demand that the people doing evil either stop or be stopped. That, essentially, is the choice God gave. Yes, it is not a perfect choice, but assuming that there is some greater good, God's actions could well be as moral as Superman threatening to punch Lex Luthor if he keeps plotting world domination. Is Luthor oppressed? Is not the doing of what is evil sufficient to invoke the wrath of that is which is opposed to evil? And is it not reasonable that the strong be charged with protecting the weak through use of its greater strength? Certainly it is. Freedom is freedom to act, but not without consequences. God's ‘extortion' could arguably still be moral assuming, as God has expressed is so, that there is some evil of which he is aware. [1]

II. FURTHER ARGUMENTS

(a) Men are the children of God and yes, children are practically property

My opponent asks whether or not we own our children after they reach the age of majority. No, because they are assumed to be rational and self sufficient at that age. If God is eternal, by what standard must he judge rationality? My opponent's analogy is insufficient to show that God should have lost the right to control his creation, because it does not take into account the presumed vast differences in reasoning capability between an all-knowing deity and a simple man. We let our eighteen years old go as they will; we keep our three year olds locked in a pen. [2]

(b) Men as bondsmen to God.

I certainly have not said that the code of morality is merely preferential. Obedience, as mentioned many times, is expected as a matter of course, not of choice. I have argued that God's reasoning for establishing the morals is preferential. God is acting in his rational self interest. That God does not establish morals for a clearly moral reason does not prove that his establishment of those morals is unjustified. In fact, some individuals might argue that God is expressing the highest form of morality in undertaking such actions, by opting not to limit the expression of his will when he has no rational cause to do so. [3]

(c) Moral relativism in God's will.

Please see (b) above. I have shown how God may be moral, in one subjective sense, in establishing a code of morality that he does not intend for himself.

(d) It is therefore rational for God to expect compliance with a morality than benefits Himself, not his people.

My opponent argues that a ban on mini-skirts in a school would necessarily require that the principal not wear a mini-skirt herself. This is clearly not true. I went to an elementary school where I was forced to wear a uniform … I was hardly in a position to tell my principal that she should be wearing one as well. What is intended for a group under control as a restraint mechanism may very justifiably not be appropriate for the one seeking to restrain.

III. CONTINUING ARGUMENTS:

(a) On the violation of moral criteria.

My opponent first argues that God is and then that God is not the source of morality. I am not sure what to make of this. However, I will attempt to meet his primary contention, that I should be able to show how morals do not apply to all beings equally. Very simple.

My opponent is a human (I think, anyway). My opponent has in his profile that he believes that humans are meant to be omnivorous and should eat meat (People Eating Tasty Animals, and etc.) So, I assume he has eaten meat. How could he commit cannibalism! What, it's not cannibalism? Well, murder then! What it's not murder? Well, disrespect to a corpse at least! Who would want to be smothered in tomato paste after they died? … Oh, it's not that either … why not? Because man is as different from the animals as God is from man, assuming God exists. God has never been depicted as a mere human. His ways were never human ways. His relationship to the natural order is presumed to be on a level higher than man. God need not obey morality in the same way that a tiger need not consider morality when it makes a kill; that which is not equal in the natural order is not equal in rights or obligations to those lower in station.

My opponent also can not argue that this analogy fails because humans need to eat meat whereas God does not need to harm man, as humans presently may acquire the protein content in meat through healthier non-animal alternatives. It is merely the preference of a being higher in the so-called natural order that provides the justification for it. Sound familiar? [4] [5]

(b) On the covetous covenant

i. My opponent argues that "the punishments of the contract supposedly do not apply to only Jews and Christians." Actually, the punishments do only apply to those party to the contract. People die in general, those party to the contract are judged under it, and those found worthy under the contract are saved. It is simple contract law – those not bound under the contract can not gain from or be harmed by it, but they must still of course face a world without it --- a natural world that leads to simple death and dissolution.
ii. The Gospel of Luke is actually excellent propaganda to induce others to join the contract as well.
iii. Romans 2 is fully compliant with my part one, and may be found here: http://www.biblegateway.com...

IV. CONCLUSION

The resolution is "that, on balance, God's ability to break with his own established code of morality is unjustified." Putting aside, for sake of argument, who bears the burden, it is obvious that on balance I am looking to produce arguments for how God's ability to break with his own established code of morality is justified. Several times over, I have shown how this is so. I have shown that the faith system that defines the characteristics of God sets him above morality. I have shown that the rationale for God not being held in moral parity with man is analogous to man not being held in moral parity with other animals. I have shown how arguably even the actions God has taken in establishing his morality can be considered, from a wide view, moral. In addition I have met every one of Pro's objections while, at best, he has argued that you should vote on your feelings. Whether you believe in a god or not, you can not argue that it is unjustified that a god not bind itself to the act as mortals do. God, being supernatural, can not be expected to act as if on the same natural tier of man. I strongly urge a Con vote, for the resolution has been …

NEGATED.

[1] http://musingsofastrongblackwoman.wordpress.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.jewishveg.com...
[5] http://blueridgebible.org...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Well, I must of course relinquish this last round in the spirit of fair debate. I know the opening argument by Con states that this is a round for summary, but I'm going to forgo that, because it's certainly possible that any summary I give will have the effect of influencing the voters...

However, I am going to correct a mistake in one of my earlier rounds... Romans 2 should be Romans 1 - specifically 1:20...
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
same
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Indeed =/

I didn't even vote...
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Well, this has been a very dissapointing turnout. Two +7s and no RFDs?
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Yeah, same. I figured as much. Ah well, hopefully we get more detailed votes soon.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Random voter... I never vote myself all seven anyway unless there's clear evidence of vote bombing...
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Perhaps a little. :) Was the +7 your vote or a random voter?
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Indeed - I feel we kind of got away from the resolution though ;)
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Good debate!
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Woops =P
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
"when I created man"

You're not claiming godhood are you? ;)
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
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Vote Placed by comoncents 8 years ago
comoncents
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Vote Placed by Gamester333 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Floid 8 years ago
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