The Instigator
Lazy
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Nail_Bat
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Moral relativism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Nail_Bat
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,176 times Debate No: 7944
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Lazy

Con

I have a paper in philosophy class where I am suppose to debate certain topics. The Question is Are you a Cultural relativist or a moral universalist and explain why.

I am debating for Moral Universalism.
This is a brief detail as in what both mean.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Nail_Bat

Pro

The dualism between moral universalism and relativism is one of my favorite topics of discussion, so I am happy to take this debate! I will be arguing for moral relativism, but NOT against moral absolutism. I really don't see these two schools of thought as being opposites.

The first thing we have to do is be clear on the distinction between both relativism and universalism. Often it is phrased as "Can we judge the actions of another by our own morals, or must we take into account the culture in which the action took place?". The problem with this is that it actually presupposes a universal moral law: "We should only judge the actions of others by taking into account the surrounding culture". Under moral relativism, no such statement can exist.

The actual distinction between the two moral frameworks involves how we use certain words, and how we interpret moral statements. Before I put forth my defense of relativism, I will need to hear my opponents arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Lazy

Con

I believe that morality is universal because....

1) Most moral conduct throughout most societies are the same. We all believe in honesty and that murder is wrong. The arguments are not about the generals but the specifics.

2) Morality is necessary for survival. No human can live pass childhood without living in moral conduct.

Those are my first two arguments. I have more but I want to see your point. We have 5 rounds.
Nail_Bat

Pro

Of course morality ITSELF is nearly universal, nobody would debate that. However, finding universal morals is another matter entirely.

Every stable society has prohibitions against the unrestrained killing of others, so we might assume that "murder is wrong" is a universal statement. Is the killing of a terminally ill patient murder? Or an embryo? A cow for meat? A felon on death row? Civilians during wartime? "Murder is wrong" is not universal because the word "murder" is not universal. It means different things to different people. What, exactly, it means to murder another depends on exactly how one categorizes the world.

It is completely impossible for any two people, much less any two cultures, to conceptualize the world in exactly the same way. Slight differences in the meaning of key words will result in radically different philosophies. This problem is not confined to the problem of murder either.
Debate Round No. 2
Lazy

Con

Lazy forfeited this round.
Nail_Bat

Pro

Nail_Bat forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Lazy

Con

Lazy forfeited this round.
Nail_Bat

Pro

I need to stop getting into debates with people who owe money to the mafia.
Debate Round No. 4
Lazy

Con

Lazy forfeited this round.
Nail_Bat

Pro

We now go to Ollie Williams with the Debate.Org argument report. Ollie?

SHE FORFEIT!!!!

Thank you, Ollie.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Cons defaults lost conduct and left Pro's arguments unanswered.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I defaulted PRO. CON forfeited 2 more rounds and CON's arguments were therefore dropped.
Posted by Nail_Bat 7 years ago
Nail_Bat
Why the 1000 character limit?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
LazyNail_BatTied
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Vote Placed by Lazy 7 years ago
Lazy
LazyNail_BatTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
LazyNail_BatTied
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Total points awarded:07