The Instigator
ThePrincesska25
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
BlackHawkWentworth
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is not necessary to have a god to be a moral human.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 662 times Debate No: 27326
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

ThePrincesska25

Pro

I like to debate and I find this topic very interesting. I'd love to debate with someone.

Rules:
Round 1 - Acceptance and greetings
Round 2 - First debate points
Round 3 - Strictly rebuttal of first debate points
Round 4 - Any new debate points or rebuttal of rebuttals
Round 5 - Closing statements

Be nice
Use proper grammar (otherwise I might get a headache)
The burdan of proof lies with the person making the claim
A point may be cast aside if the document it is based off has no provable validity.

Hello and thank you to whoever is accepting this debate. I hope to have a clean and interesting debate. :)

~Kat
BlackHawkWentworth

Con

Hello, thank you for posting this debate. I am sure it will be a great one.

Representing the "Con" side of this debate on the resolution that a deity is not necessary for a human being to be considered moral, I will endeavor to show that a deity must exist for moral human beings to exist, for the simple reasons that objective morality can only exist if a deity also exists.

In order to clarify, I am not saying that there cannot be "good" or "ethical" atheists. Certainly, there are many of them. I know that I have been blessed to meet very good people who are atheists, who I consider very moral individuals. Similarly, I know some very immoral theists. But, I can only say they are immoral individuals because I have an objective standard of morality to judge them against. To paraphrase CS Lewis, I can only call a line crooked if I have some ideal of a straight line.

Clearly, belief in an objective morality is necessary if we are going to objectively call a human "moral." But, given the many ethical debates found on this site and others, it is clear that not everybody agrees on what that objective morality is, or whether there even is such a thing as objective morality. So, how would one prove whether objective morality exists? Well, to exist means to correspond with reality. We know dogs exist because of our sensorial experience of canines, or because of stories or accounts of canines we've had from authoritative sources. However, we cannot say the same thing for morality, for how many of us have seen, heard, tasted, felt, or smelled a "moral" or an objective and universal ethical law? Similarly, have we ever heard accounts of others doing so? Probably not. I do not believe anyone could claim to have first hand sensorial experience of an objective and universal moral law.

Some would argue that natural law has an objective basis in reality as it depends upon the telos of things. For example, homosexual acts, contraception, and masturbation are wrong because they deny the obvious procreative nature of sex. However, natural law can only be applied if one believes in a deity, for in an atheistic universe, natural law comes under attack from the Humean criticism that one cannot derive an "ought" from an "is." Therefore, according to Hume, and most atheists, as well as many theists, just because sexuality is reproductive, does not mean it has to be. Only in a theistic universe can one derive an "ought" from an "is" because existence is purposeful in a universe created by a deity. Because an atheistic universe would have no purposeful grand design, violating the telos of a thing would not violate any law, for laws in their nature require a law-giver. Therefore, even natural law cannot provide the basis of an objective and universal morality absent God. Thus, morality without God cannot exist, and if morality without God cannot exist, it is clear that there can be no moral people if God does not exist.

Finally, let me repeat this is not to say that there would not be people that would act in a way that we would consider moral under whatever system of morality we believe in. It simply means that since there is no universal morality, they cannot be called moral.

Thank you for this debate, and I eagerly anticipate your opening argument and rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
ThePrincesska25

Pro

Thank you for a wonderful opening argument, and we can ignore my guidelines for what to do in each round; I like it better this way anyways.

I believe that we come into conflict right off the bat. In my opinion there is no objective morality and morality is subjective, or morality is in the eyes of the beholder. This has a lot to do with nature verses nurture, where I fall heavily on the nurture side. Your parents, society, role-models, and piers have a huge impact on your view of morality. If you had not been brought up in a scenario that promoted belief in your god, would you still believe that "homosexual acts, contraception, and masturbation are wrong"? Maybe, but there are thousands of other scenarios you could have been introduced to that would have molded your mind in another way. Why do you believe that denying "the obvious procreative nature of sex" is bad. It can't be because the mentioned acts are detrimental to you, because they all feel good or are beneficial in some way. A group of philosophers called the Epicureans believed that it was our purpose in life to seek pleasure, and to a large extent I agree with them. As long as your pleasure doesn't hurt someone else I think "go for it". This is my own morality and besides the point.

You say that "Clearly, belief in an objective morality is necessary if we are going to objectively call a human 'moral'" and I agree that there is a form of objective morality, but I don't think that it is the same as yours. I believe that the measure of the morality of an action can be based on how it affects others, and that this objective morality comes from humans and how we choose to treat one another. For example, consensual homosexuality is moral because does not negatively affecting anyone, but non-consensual homo or heterosexuality is not moral because it is detrimental to the receiver. I have come to these conclusions without any belief in a god and, in doing so, I go against the moralities in place by multiple religious doctrines. Also we cannot see, hear, taste, feel or smell things like love, air or an idea, but we still believe in those. I do not know what your point was in mentioning that morality is a non-tangible concept because you made no concluding point at the end of your rant on how non-tangible morality is, so I'll leave it for you to clarify next round.

It is not my belief that natural law dictates morality, but I agree with Hume that just because something is a certain way does not mean that it ought to be that way. I agree that just because sex is reproductive doesn't mean that it has to be. If sex had to be reproductive then wouldn't oral sex be bad? Would we have to make everything frivolous go away just because it's not productive? Is the debate we're having right now productive to the computer's original telos? Just because something is fun or "unnecessary" doesn't mean that it's not moral.

"Because an atheistic universe would have no purposeful grand design, violating the telos of a thing would not violate any law, for laws in their nature require a law-giver." Does gravity need a law-giver to tell it to pull things with a lesser mass towards a greater mass? No, it is simply an observable rule of the universe. Is it important for us to get our laws from some higher being? Why is it so impossible to make our own rules? The majority of people are of sound mind and are capable of participating in the creation of a purpose for humanity to strive towards. Why does it have to be "God"?

Morality "by God" or by humans from an atheistic point of view are exactly the same thing because from an atheist's standpoint it is clear that religious doctrines were created by humans. The problem with most religious doctrines is that they were made with the intent of controlling others and not with the best interests of ALL humans in mind. Both the bible (Leviticus 25:44-46) and the Qu'ran (Qur'an 23:5-6) make it perfectly clear that it's alright to own slaves. The two guiding books for the largest religions on earth condone something awful, and if you don't get your morals from a book about God, where do you get them? From visions? From a mystical experience? Hitler got some of his more radical ideas as "visions from God". Though there's nothing wrong with believing that the man in the sky tells you to do good things, but there is something wrong when the man in the sky is "telling" you to discriminate against minorities, harm someone, or try to wipe another race from the face of the earth. Mothers have killed their own children because they believed that God told them to.

There are perfectly good and moral religious people, but it's not because they follow the teachings of their holy book. They do good because they listen to their heads and do what's best for others.

I look forward to your response.
BlackHawkWentworth

Con

BlackHawkWentworth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ThePrincesska25

Pro

ThePrincesska25 forfeited this round.
BlackHawkWentworth

Con

BlackHawkWentworth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ThePrincesska25

Pro

ThePrincesska25 forfeited this round.
BlackHawkWentworth

Con

BlackHawkWentworth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
ThePrincesska25

Pro

ThePrincesska25 forfeited this round.
BlackHawkWentworth

Con

BlackHawkWentworth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by errya 4 years ago
errya
What BlackHawkWentworth meant is that when you have no God, you have nothing to indicate what is moral and what is not. You said you base your supposed morality on how it affects others, and what you think you ought to do, and as a subjective opinion that is fair enough. But even though most humans would consider you a good and moral human because of this, if you do not have God, you have absolutely no objective reason to act in this moral way. Atheism says absolutely nothing about what you ought to do. There are 'is' facts like: If I do this, this person will be hurt. However, there are no 'ought' facts, like: If I do this, this person will be hurt, so I ought not to. You cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is' and ought is the essence of morality. Without God, you have no logical reason to call anything moral, as Atheism gives no rules. I challenge you, from an Atheists point of veiw, to explain how you are more moral than Hitler.
Posted by pmaloney46 4 years ago
pmaloney46
BlackHawkWentworth asked me to comment that he is having trouble logging in to his account, but he is not ignoring this debate.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
ERRYA, nothing you or any hair splitting religious person can say will change the fact that all serious scientists believe in the theory of evolution as of gravity :)

Nothing you say will change the fact that non theistic countries are less violent!

BigKids 11:25--No matter how painful it is to learn, you should always want to educate yourself. When you educate yourself on which countries in 2009 were rated the most peaceful, you will see a correlation between non violence and NON theism :)

DevientGenie 6:48--The Genie's appreciation and understandings of the universe and life, is not two steps, or ten steps ahead of a religious person, it is flights of stairs ahead :)

WAKEUP 2:2--Cornell University is a very respectable institution. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences, and dozens of other scientific organizations, ALL AGREE with this...

http://www.nbb.cornell.edu... :)

The preceeding True Scripture is brought to you by our faithful sponsors, CHECK and MATE :)
Posted by ThePrincesska25 4 years ago
ThePrincesska25
errya, maybe you could clarify then because there were a couple of things I was confused about.
Posted by errya 4 years ago
errya
ThePrincesska25, i don't think you quite got BlackHawkWentworth's argument
Posted by ThePrincesska25 4 years ago
ThePrincesska25
Don't worry BHW. Immediately after I posted the rules I wanted to change them, all is cool :)
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
BigKids 10:19--Have family science night instead of family binky night. The unknown is beautiful and magical thru nature and science, its only scary in immoral holy binkies :)
Posted by BlackHawkWentworth 4 years ago
BlackHawkWentworth
I apologize, I can see you intended not to start the actual debate until round 2 and round 1 was simply for greetings. This is my first debate on this site and I was over eager and accidentally posted out of turn.
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