The Instigator
Paradox_7
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Morality: Absolute or Relative?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,599 times Debate No: 21450
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (7)

 

Paradox_7

Pro

This debate is centered on whether morality exsists and if it is relative or absolute.

Pro(me) - will argue that it is absolute

Con - will argue that it is relative.

Definitions:

Morality-

conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.


Absolute Morality-
an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them

Relative Morality-
moral judgments are not universal, but are instead relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.(in all fairness there are a few types of relativeness, but I'm open to any deffinition con wishes to defend)

Round 1 - Acceptance and clarifications if needed.

Round 2 - Opening statements

Round 3 - Rebuttals

Round 4 - Conclusion/closing statements


I ask that when you follow this debate to be open-minded an rational. Do not veer from the topic at hand by inputting a certain group of people and there beliefs of absolute or relative morality. It doesn't matter who does what; this is a debate about whether or not morality is absolute or relative.

I look forward to a fair debate, and (god willing) the aptitude to convince you, that morality is infact - Absolute.

Sources:
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Zaradi

Con

I gladly accept this debate.

The only thing I would wish to change in the pro's interpretations is to add on one piece of information to how my opponent defines Relative Morality. A branch of philosophy, called moral skepticism, calls into question certain properties and facts about the nature of morality. A specific branch of Skepticism, called Error Theory, applies straight to this debate. Error theory is the claim that no moral facts exist.[1] This applies specifically to the debate because the pro is arguing for the moral fact that Morality is objective. Skepticism calls into question this fact.

What I wish by all this, is to allow the terms "skepticism" and "relativism" to be used synonymously, since they connotatively mean the same thing. Thus, if I am sufficiently proving skepticism true, the vote would be to the con debater. If my opponent is proving that morality is objective, then the debate goes to the pro debater.

Also, I would like to point out that the burden of proof for this debate is on the pro debater. My opponent must prove, by the nature of being objective morality, that morality is the same in all situations. Thus, as the con, if I sufficiently prove one situation where morality has differed or has changed over a course of time, thus not being objective and absolute, it is sufficient for a con vote.

Round starts with you, Pro.

Source: [1] http://plato.stanford.edu...;
Debate Round No. 1
Paradox_7

Pro

I want to thank my opponnent for accepting my challenge and I look forward to an edifying debate, with whom this argument seems ideal.

Morality. Right and wrong. Good and bad.

Is there such a thing? can we be certain, that anything we do, is either good or bad?

I believe the answer is obvious. No matter the time we are in, no matter the place, and no matter the circumstance. Are all moral idea absolute? I do no believe so; but i do believe without the certain absolutes, almost everything in our world today and through out time, would be alien, unrecognizable, and repulsive.


Certain things come directly to mind, when morality is questioned, in my mind; Morality, I believe to some, remains unanswered but still subconsciously conformed too. Why is it wrong to murder? Why is it wrong to steal? Why is it wrong to refuse rights to anyone?

One usually dismisses these questions on the grounds that it is obvious hurting another person out of anger, hate, or entertainment is deffinately wrong. Anyone who challenges this is out of their minds. A threat to society. A menace.

I would agree totally. But, I would ask my audience, Why?

What if someone steals from a person, is caught, and when questioned, lashes out and tries to kill them. Of course, they defend themself!(lets call this person John) John is able to subdue his efforts, and restrain; this menace. He immediately strikes him with reproof - John might ask, "whatever would inspire you to steal the things I've worked so hard for? even more so, why would you seek to harm me?"

He replies:

Theif: "You have very desireable posessions. I would have them for myself!"
John: "but they are mine, not yours, do you not know, that you are not to take from people what is not yours?"
"No. I know I want, what i want, and i will have them from you, if you do not kill me instead"
"Kill you? I will do no such thing, I've called te authorities and they will deal with you"
"authorities? HA! not over me. I will do as i please"
"Do you not know the things that you do are wrong? that harming another person for the possesions is dispicable?"
"hahah, is that so? well i do not believe such things. I will do as i please."
"it doesn;t matter what you believe because it is wrong!"
"Why?"
"because these few things belong to me and have taken me years to acquire, or even worse, you could have ended my life!"
"And this is...Wrong, you say?"
"well of course! don't you know this?"
"I know no such thing, and unless you are going to end my life, i will continue to do as i please. If i kill, i will kill."
"you are sick and i hope they do away with you!"
"why is it 'wrong' for me to end your life?"
"are you serious!?"
"absolutely"
"because it is my life, and you have no right to end it!"
"you have not answered my question."
"because...it is simply wrong now shut up!"
"what is wrong is you have chosen to continue babbeling instead of simply being rid of me!"
"I will not! it wrong to do so, even under these circumstance -you can no longer harm me and are completely incompasitated "
"why don't you simply take my life and be on with the rest of your night? i do not understand your reasons, nor have you been capable of explaing them!"
"its i not correct, it is not good, it is not the righ thing to do!"
" you keep saying the same things over and over yet you offer me with no reason out side of 'its wrong' why i should not kill you and anyone who stand in the way of me and my desires! something cannot be wrong merely because it is wrong, that is not an answer!"


This conversation could go on for hours without resolve. Why couldn't John show this man what he was doing was wrong?

I ask you this very same question. If there is no absolute morality, then why IS it wrong for this man to have murdered and robbed John? You already know the answer to this.

The burden of proof does lie on me, as I am affirming that morality is absolute, and i completely accept this burden, as it is completely self evident, that no matter where you go, no matter who you speak to, and no matter what the circumstance - murder is wrong, rape is wrong, child molestation is wrong, and stealing is wrong.


The only argument that could be posed against this, is to say that the conflicts list above are in any way relative and not absolutely wrong.

I understand that my statement is relying on your rationality, and is assuming you understand these acts to be wrong. I believe that there is no leg at all for relative morality to stand on, and that you will side with PRO on this very faoundational issue.

Thank you.

Zaradi

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for an interesting debate. However, my opponent's arguments are a little lacking in quality and only beg the question. But I will get to his arguments after I state my own case.

The entire premise of the skeptical position, or the position of skepticism, is to call into doubt, or entirely refute, the objectivity of morality. If morality were objective, we would all agree on moral actions or moral discourses and would never have any reason to disagree on anything. However, this doesn't line up with the world today. As Jeremy Koons states:[1]

"If moral truth were determined by the generation of some affective response, then this would lead to objectionable sorts of moral relativism. Our psychology is not shared by all rational creatures, or even by all humans. Imagine the possible worlds in which we experience moral emotions or desires under different conditions than in the actual world. Are there possible worlds in which, say, kicking dogs is morally required? Or imagine an alien race whose psychology differed from our own. This race might have an affective nature very different from outs. Wouldn't their morality be true-for-them, and ours true-for-us? Or perhaps we would decide that since this alien race's morality were so different from ours, that they weren't practicing morality in the first place, but intsead schmorality. Not all people have the same psychological responses; is morality different for these different people? Does this mean that moral truth is itself relative and changable?"

Remember, if morality is relative and changable, then it is impossible for the Pro to prove his burden of proof. As long as I sufficiently call into doubt the objectivity of morality, I am sufficiently winning the debate, meriting a con vote.

John Mackie continues:[2]

"The argument from relativity has as its premise the variation in moral codes from one society to another and the differences in moral beliefs between groups within a complex community. Radical differences between moral judgements make it difficult to treat them as apprehensions of objective truths. Disagreement about moral codes seems to reflect people's participation in different ways of life. Moral heretics and reformers have turned against the established rules of their own communities for moral reasons, and often for moral reasons that we would endorse. But this can be understood as the extension of rules to which they already adhered as arising out of an existing way of life."

Because morality differs so much between different communities, it is impossible to define it as something objective or absolute.

Furthermore, there is no real solid basis for morality to stand on. Good and bad can be seen as different and changing based upon whose perspective we take. I may see something as good and acceptable, while my opponent may see the same thing as horribly immoral and impermissible. Because of this relativity between perspectives, there is no way to define what is truly good or truly bad, and thus making morality relative. As Friedrich Nietzsche writes:[3]

"My curiosity and my suspicion felt themselves bound at the question of what in point of actual fact was the origin of our "Good" and of our "Evil". At the boyish age of thirteen I quite properly gave the honour to God, and made him the father of Evil. Under what conditions did man invent for himselves those judgement of values, "Good" and "Evil"? And what intrinsic value do they possess in themselves? Have they up to the present hindered or advanced human-well being? Are they a symptom of the distress, impoverishment, and degeneration of Human Life? Or, conversly, is it in them that is manifested the fullness, the strength, and the will of Life, its courage, its self-confidence, its future?"

Because good and evil are two concepts of morality that must be objective in order for morality to be even possibly objective, without these two terms morality cannot be objective or absolute.

The only way for morality to possibly be considered objective and absolute in today's society is if humans's possessed some unique sensory or perceptory process that would allow us to judge our actions and automatically perform the correct moral action. But since humans do not possess said process, moral theories cannot be objective and absolute. Mackie also writes:[4]

"Of course the suggestion that moral judgements are made or moral problems solved by just sitting down and having an ethical intuition is a travesty of actual moral thinking. But, however complex the real process, it will require (if it is to yield authoritatively prescriptive conclusions) some input of this distinctive sort, either premises or forms of argument or both. When we ask the awkward question, how can we be aware of this authoritative prescriptivity, of the truth of these distictively ethical premises or of the cogency of this distictively ethical pattern of reasoning, none of our ordinary accounts of sensory perception or introspection or the framing and confirming of explanatory hypotheses or inference or logical construction or conceptual analysis, or any combination of these, will provide a satisfactory answer."

Because we lack the ability to be aware of this authoritative prescriptivity, moral theories are relative to an individual's perspective.

Now, I will respond to my opponent's case.

One key mistake that my opponent has with his case is that he presupposes that there are objective wrongs and objective rights. But this is exactly what we're debating, so assuming this is fallacious. If I were to steal enough money from a store to get by for a month until I can find a job to support myself on, leaving a note for the store owner that I will reimburse him for what I have stolen in a month's time, is this so wrong? Them money taken was both a) repaid back and b) used to help a man improve his lot in life. What is so wrong about this action? As long as I repay him, this case of theft appears to be morally okay. But lo and behold! My opponent claims that all cases of stealing, regardless of the circumstances, is immoral. Why is this true? My opponent never really says.

This also leads me to the second problem with his case: his arguments say that killing and stealing and all that good stuff is wrong, but this only begs the question as to why it is wrong. He never really sufficiently warrants why it is so. Instead he gives two fallacious reasons as to why what he says is true:

1. He says so.
2. People agree with him.

1 is fallacious because if what he says is true, all I have to do is disagree with his position to prove that morality is relative and not objective and absolute. If morality were absolute and objective, I would be forced to agree with him. But I disagree with him. This proves in itself that his own reasoning proves morality is relative, not absolute.

2 is fallacious because it is only a mere appeal to popularity. To word his argument in a syllogism:

P1: People agree that killing is wrong
P2: Whatever idea is more popular is correct.
C: Killing is wrong.

But if that syllogism were true, then the following two syllogisms would also be true:

P1: Plenty of people get massively drunk and beat their girlfriends.
P2: Whatever idea is more popular is correct.
C: It's okay to get massively drunk and beat your girlfriend.

P3: People jumping off tall cliffs without a parachute onto solid ground to their death is fun.
P4: Whatever idea is more popular is correct.
C2: Jumping off of tall cliffs without a parachute onto solid ground and dying is fun.

Now we begin to see the fallacies in his argument.

So far, he is failing to fulfill his burden of proof and I'm sufficiently refuting his major premises in his case. Because of this, there's no real reason to not vote con.

Citations will be in comments, since I lack the characters to put them in this round. I appologize to my opponent and the voters for this inconvenience.
Debate Round No. 2
Paradox_7

Pro

A very noble attempt.

I would like to point out that since my opponent used so many other people's words to cite his cause - I in turn, will do the same.

I would also like to acknowledge that I was indeed begging the question, and it was very obvious. However, my opening statement was bait, and my opponent unwittingly fell for it.

My opponents clarification of skepticism is very descriptive, and will prove my rebuttal to be irrefutable.

The skeptic will say, "there is no absolute morality", and in doing so, must also say "there is no absolute truth". which we will certainly ask: is that absolutely true?

An unknown author puts it like this:


"You can't logically argue against the existence of absolute truth. To argue against something is to establish that a truth exists. You cannot argue against absolute truth unless an absolute truth is the basis of your argument. Consider a few of the classic arguments and declarations made by those who seek to argue against the existence of absolute truth:
"There are no absolutes." First of all, the relativist is declaring there are absolutely no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute - there are absolutely no absolutes."

The topic at hand, is whether morality is relative or absolute. My opponent undoubtedly believes his position is right. Since he must believe this (he is arguing the I am wrong) he already admitted an absolute truth exists, and it is his position.

The author continues:

""Truth is relative." Again, this is an absolute statement implying truth is absolutely relative. Besides positing an absolute, suppose the statement was true and "truth is relative." Everything including that statement would be relative. If a statement is relative, it is not always true. If "truth is relative" is not always true, sometimes truth is not relative. This means there are absolutes, which means the above statement is false. When you follow the logic, relativist arguments will always contradict themselves."

My opponents entire argument is self-defeating. Has actually poven my point for me.

Since there is undoubtedly absolute truth, whether or not we know what it is, then there is absolute right and absolute wrong. I have successfully refuted any and all of my opponents contentions.

But I will venture on into the more specific "morality", which is nearly a synonym of absolute truth - this on my part has yet to have been addressed appropriately.

Con believes he has made a point in this situation:

"If I were to steal enough money from a store to get by for a month until I can find a job to support myself on, leaving a note for the store owner that I will reimburse him for what I have stolen in a month's time, is this so wrong? Them money taken was both a) repaid back and b) used to help a man improve his lot in life. What is so wrong about this action? As long as I repay him, this case of theft appears to be morally okay. But lo and behold! My opponent claims that all cases of stealing, regardless of the circumstances, is immoral. Why is this true? My opponent never really says."

So he has taken the absolute position that because his needs were met and that all stolen items were replaced, that it wasn't absolutely immoral. I need not clarify that he has contradicted him self fatally.

The position he failed to address, is the position of the store owner from whom he is stealing. What if the store owner was on the brink of collapse himself? what if that months supply of money he stole(doesn't clarify an amount -whether large or small) is the straw that broke the camels back for this business owner? he has now placed this person in a horrible situation - he only had 1 day to pay off any loans or taxes that he owed; now that this amount was stolen he has lost his business, and his wife leaves him - he is then pressed into such a tight corner; he take his own life.

This is a fictional continuation of the situation my opponent portrayed. Though it isn't certain the following would occur due to my opponents fictional theft; the fact that position of the store owner was unknown, and could potentially crumble everything he had worked for - it is still ultimately wrong to steal from others. I must remind my opponent that Morals are based off the rule, and not the exception.

Why my opponent essentially concedes is there is no right ant there is no wrong; there is simply no way to know if something is moral or not. He claims that because he disagrees with me proves he is correct(another contradiction); but it absolutely does not - it actually proves my position. If truth is relative, and morality is relative, he has no reason to disagree with me because I may be right!

So in response to his reason why I say it's true:

1.Denying absolute morality is self
defeating
2.Popularity has nothing to do with - but the contrary; disagreement affirms there's an absolute.

I will conclude with the some wise words of the author cited above:

"We all know there is absolute truth. It seems the more we argue against it, the more we prove its existence. Reality is absolute whether you feel like being cogent or not. Philosophically, relativism is contradictory. Practically, relativism is anarchy. The world is filled with absolute truth.

A relativist maintains that everyone should be able to believe and do whatever he wants. Of course, this view is emotionally satisfying, until that person comes home to find his house has been robbed, or someone seeks to hurt him, or someone cuts in front of him in line. No relativist will come home to find his house robbed and say, "Oh, how wonderful that the burglar was able to fulfill his view of reality by robbing my house. Who am I to impose my view of right and wrong on this wonderful burglar?" Quite the contrary, the relativist will feel violated just like anyone else. And then, of course, it's OK for him to be a relativist, as long as the "system" acts in an absolutist way by protecting his "unalienable rights.""

As you can clearly see; My opponents every argument is without any solid proof; his every contention is actually a contradiction, and there is absolutely - Absolute Morality.


Sources:
http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org...
http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org...
http://www.noblindfaith.com...
http://rightremedy.org...
Zaradi

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for an interesting position. Although he has made two crucially fatal errors in his assumptions, he made a good effort to refute my case, but inevitably refutes his own in the process. Actually, it's really unfair to say that THIS arguments refuted his case. By simply arguing, he has refuted the possibility of morality being objective and absolute. But I'll get to that argument in a moment. First, I'd like to adress the basis of my opponent's refutations: whether or not taking the skeptical position automatically proves that morality is objective.

My opponent's claim of by claiming there is no absolutes is an absolute was already refuted in the very source I gave round one to define my position of skepticism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states:[1]

"Opponents of such error theories often object that some moral beliefs must be true because some moral beliefs deny the truth of other moral beliefs. However, error theorists can allow a negative moral belief (such as that eating meat isnot morally wrong) to be true, but only if it merely denies the truth of the corresponding positive moral belief (that eating meatis morally wrong). If such denials of moral beliefs are not substantive moral beliefs (as denials of astrological beliefs are not astrology), then error theorists can maintain that all substantive moral beliefs are false or neither true nor false."

Thus, because of this very explanation of skepticism, specifically error theory as I said I was using in round one, undermines the entirety of his rebuttal. As long as I am defending a belief that denies the resolution, then it is still sufficient. So for this very reason, his rebuttal is going to be invalid against my case.

But I want to talk about the cite he uses to warrant his rebuttal. To put it like my opponent didL

An unknown author puts it like this:

In layman's terms, it means this: An uncredable source puts it this way. We have aboslutely no idea who on earth wrote this. With no credability, this gives no reason why we should actually buy this argument as a credable argument.

Since this argument has been successfully refuted, my case can be cleanly extended out. So right now, we can easily vote con right here, not even needing to bother going to round four. But before I stop my argumentation, I would like to state one more point, disproving the entire thesis of my opponent's position. In order for there to be an absolute, there would have to be guarenteed evidence saying that it is. There would be no doubt in any mind. Basically, we would all recognize that this was truth. So by the very fact of us arguing refutes the possibility of absolute morality. If absolute morality were true, there would be no need to debate on whether it was true or not; we would all know it was true, and this debate would be pointless. So since we are arguing, this is enough to merit a con vote.
Debate Round No. 3
Paradox_7

Pro

First of let my start by thanking the audience following this debate. As many well understand it is one that really strikes to the core of most of us, and can generally dictate how we live our lives. It is a topic that is hard to separate emotion, and though I would not dare to ask we completely separate our feelings on the discussion, but that we primarily focus on the logic of one anothers arguments.

My opponent is a very worthy of this discussion, as he demonstrates what appears to be a sound and logical argument for his position. However, he has in no way, throughout the entirety of this debate - refuted a single point of my argument.

I believe it his clear, my opponents emotions have got the better of him (as evident in his last rebuttal) and has failed to argue his position relevantly.

No matter the title you hold, nor the source in which you find you position; if your logic contradicts itself - it is useless and truly, unreliable. My opponent has not once provided a substantial case, that does not lie in complete contradiction. He instead resorts to straw men, and discrediting those HE FEELS are not to be heard, regardless if the logic is sound. Must I point out to him, that we are not credible sources ourselves? Why should anyone even view this debate and make a decision. This very weak point, which establishes his lack of ground, is testifying to his absolute position that if a person does not meet a certain standard, they should not be heard.

His argument is riddled with absolutes - whether they are true or not. He believes that because everything is not certain, there cannot be ANY absolutes. What he fails to recognize yet again, he's making an absolute statement.

My burden of proof can be satisfied by the mere and undeniable fact, as evident through out my argument, that relative truth or morality in its self contradiction cannot exist. Not understanding all of the truths or all of the morals is not argument against the fact that they exist. Diversity is not an example of this, disagreement is not an example of this; There is no proof in the uncertainty of things - only that they must be sought out and implemented.

There is so much to devour in my opponents self-defeating arguments; like a mosquito in a nudist colony.

My opponent believes that his sources are credible - this is his absolute position. If he is right, then his sources are also false, and there is actually no reason to listen or 'buy' his position.

Our disagreement affirms there is absolute truth and morality; It maybe unknown - it may be very well known, but simply won't be adhered too. The truth need not a unity of agreement, it simply needs to be true.

My 3rd round rebuttal has literally made it through unscathed, and without contest. My opponent believes his is absolutely right - that he may not be right. This is not logical, rational, or even remotely sensible. It is a position of lack of position.

Since my points are so easily used to refute any of my opponents points - it seems like I have to simply copy and paste my previous argument. I understand he might feel a loss of dignity by simply forfeiting; so I still encourage that we entertain his previous suppositions(RD3) in context and make a count of how many times he and his source contradict themselves.

1)he opens claiming I've made 2 crucially fatal errors - therefore, since I have been erroneous, there must be a correct position, and it his his. He is claiming to know the correct assumptions. Isn't his very position that there is no correct nor incorrect?

2)His source obviously is entirely useless; let us review his contradictions -

"Opponents of such error theories - argument listed 2 lines above(sub-contradiction 1)

often object that some moral beliefs must be true because some moral beliefs deny the truth of other moral beliefs. However, error theorists can allow a negative moral belief (such as that eating meat isnot morally wrong) to be true, -
but only if it merely denies the truth of the corresponding positive moral belief (that eating meatis morally wrong). If such denials of moral beliefs are not substantive moral beliefs (as denials of astrological beliefs are not astrology), then error theorists can maintain that all substantive moral beliefs are false or neither true nor false." - is this true or false? or is he admitting its neither? (sub-contradiction 2)

3)He claims that because his position is skeptical - and since he can deny a certain belief; my argument is inadequate. He continues to affirm that his position is correct, and that mine is not. If this not what he is saying then all that's left for him to say is - "I don't know what's true, but that isn't!" In order to know what isn't true, you must know what is.

4)referring again to the claim that since my sources name is unknown - he's not credible. my opponents position is that there is no such thing as credible or incredible for that would be an absolute!

5) he ends claiming my claims have been refuted(proven them wrong); which means he believes his case is absolutely right.

6)He for some reason believes that if morality were absolute - there would be no disagreement. He now claims to know, a non-existent truth, after stating there was none.

I am getting very bored of listing all of these, so I'll conclude.

Our lives are based off of absolute beliefs and statements. There is not a person who actually lives by skeptical/relative morality; No one truly believes it, because if they did they would have already defeated their own belief. Disagreement is a sign of human weakness and imperfection, not a proof that absolute morality/truth is imaginary. Like I stated above - relative truth and morality are a logical, rational, and philosophical impossibility; and therefore can only confirm that an absolute does exist, but that it simply, isn't agreed upon or known(by some).

Just because you believe there is no oxygen, doesn't make the absolute truth that there is oxygen - relative. Just because you believe molesting children isn't wrong doesn't mean, you may be right. In order to agree that my opponents position is right, you have to concede that neither of my last 2 statements are true or false; but entirely depend on the persons perspective. Why then are murder's arrested? why then are people who commit fraud arrested? Rapists? Thieves?

I do not wish to beg the question further, but as I mentioned above, emotion should not be ignored - but that logic and reason dominant.

Lack of understanding isn't a proof that something doesn't exist or isn't real . Following that logic would lead me to believe that since I do not understand the universe and how it became out of nothing; that an answer isn't real or doesn't exist.

Argument and reason is a tool to discover the absolutes, not a reason they cannot exist. If anyone seriously believed in a relative world (including my opponent) it would be very apparent, but in a way that would be unrecognizable and completely against our nature.

To counter the argument my opponent actually stole from me - the fact that we disagree shows no one believes in relative morality but that there is an absolute and there position is it(whether or not they are actually right means nothing) If we all agreed that there was no absolute truth:

1. that would be agreed as absolute and self-defeating.
2. No one (any person, government, belief) could claim to be correct; and no serial killer, ruler, or pedophile should have been or be punished, and there should be no laws.
3. We would live in utter chaos - we all know that sucks and leads to nothing - hence why we don't subscribe to anarchy, and why any history of it, is always reformed to order.
4. finally, it wouldn't be certain that we are even in reality or are actually alive and not dead.

I hope you have now seen the truth in my position and errors within my opponents argument for even if he were right, he may not be.

Thank you, and I look forward to your unbiased opinion, and judgement.


Zaradi

Con

I'll get right to things. I feel that my opponent has misunderstood my position, and thusly has deviated from the resolution and straw manned much of my argument.

I concede that there are absolutes in life. The computer I am currently typing on absolutely exists. Of this, there is no doubt. That is not what skepticism calls into question, though. The entire premise of skepticism calls into question the objectivity of morality. The so called contradictions that my opponnent states are beyond what skepticism actually adresses. Everything that I have stated in my case so far has been to prove that morality is relative, not that a position is relative or that credentials are relative. The objectivity of morality WAS the resolution, was it not? Or has my opponent misinterpreted this as well?

In order to get back to the resolution, I shall again point out the flaws in the objectivity of morality presented in this debate. The very first and most painfully obvious is the very fact that we are currently in disagreement about what morality is lends credence to morality being relative. Our ideas of what morality is differ between the two of us: he is in firm belief that morality is objective, I that morality is relative. Is this not the very basis of what relative is? The only real way that morality could be objective in a debate is for one of us to concede. That way, we would be in agreement, making morality objective. Since neither of us have conceded, obviously as arguments have been posted in all rounds of debate, then our ideas still differ, thus making morality relative. This is the very first place, and probably the easiest place, to vote con in this debate. The very fact that we are currently debating means that our ideas differ, thus making morality relative.

Now, let us adress the so called 'contradictions that my opponent's very rebuttals revolve around me making. In the previous rounds, my opponent has basically abandoned his case, instead going all-in on refutting mine, so you as the voters cannot give him any offense off of his case. So as long as I am proving that these contradictions don't apply, then the entire basis of his rebuttals are disproven, and his rebuttals are sufficiently refuted.

The only thing I believe is that morality is relative. There are obviously absolutes that exist in life, such as the air I breathe and the chair I am sitting in, but that is not what we are debating. We are debating the objectivity of morality. All of his contradictions hunge on this principle applying to things outside of this resolution, but that is not the case. Thusly, his argument that he fulfills his BOP off of my case 'inherently self-contradicting' is negated, because these inherent 'self-contradictions' rely on the argument being straw manned.

Again, credability is not a case of morality, so my case does not make this relative. Credable sources are still credable, regardless of your view of morality. In order for a source to be taken seriously, it must be credible. Just as if I were to start talking in text talk and abandoning the rules of grammar, I would not be taken seriously. Why? Because I would have no credability as a debater. The same must apply to authors and sources. When there is no credability of the author, we cannot assume that the argument is logically sound. The same would be allowing Facebook user TrIcKy_D9472 explain, in horrid grammar, how ontology affects the world of medicine and why this means that our current government is practicing communism. There would be no credability to his claim.

Disagreement only negates, instead of affirms. I can view one thing as true while you may view that as untrue. Regardless of whether one of us is right and one of us is wrong, our views would be differing, thus making our views of the topic relative. The truth of the statement, in this case, is irrelevant; our view of it is what matters.

The third round rebuttal given by my opponent has been, regardless of what he is saying, refuted by my fourth round adressing of it. The fact that he refuses to adress the points brought up in my fourth round only means that these points can be extended out to take out the arguments brought up in his third round. To adress these contradictions that went, supposedly, unadressed:

1. A position can be absolute without changing the fact that morality is relative. This doesn't disprove my position in the slightest.
2. He never really refutes the evidence I cited in my fourth round. All he does is question if it is true. All this is saying is that a negative absolute can exist, such as my case, as long as it's purpose is to disprove the corresponding positive absolute, such as his case. Thus, I'm still not contradicting. This also de-rails his third round refutations as just flat-out incorrect (this is not a matter of morality, thus this statement does not contradict my case).
3. There's absolutely no warrant to his claim here. I don't have to know what is true to disprove what isn't true. I don't necessarily know what is the correct tax plan for the nation, but I can refute what obviously is a horrible idea.
4. Again, this is straw manning my argument. Credability is not a claim of morality. My argument doesn't call this into question. His sources are still not credable.
5. The very fact that we are disagreeing over who is right lends credence to relativity.
6. This statement is true. If morality were absolute, there WOULD be no disagreement. The very fact that we ARE in disagreement means that our ideas of morality are differing, thus meaning that our ideas of morality is relative.

All of his listed 'contradictioins' have been refuted thusly. This means that the second place you can vote con is off of the con case, as all of his refutations have been negated for a second time.

I agree, an absolute probably does exist. HOWEVER, since everyone has a differing idea of what is said absolute means that our idea of morality is relative to another person. I absolutely believe that morality is relative, that is my belief. My opponent absolutely believes that morality is objective, this is his belief. Thus, our beliefs are differing, thus making our concept of morality relative. Thus, the only vote off of this is con, for the third time.

I never claimed that the existence of oxygen is relative. This is obviously a truth. But the existence of oxygen is outside of the concept of morality, thus making this point irrelevant. The perspective is what makes morality objective or subjective, absolute or relative. My opponent only appeals to emotion here, asking that if morality is relative then why are murderers arrested. There's no actual point made here, only an appeal to the voter's emotions.

Thus, because my case still stands against my opponent's so called 'contradictions', that don't actually apply to my case and since my opponent has abandoned his case entirely to refute my own, I urge a vote for the con debater.

Before I close, I would like to thank my opponent for a very intriguing debate. He's called into question arguments I was sure that I understood fully, and caused me to research my position further. This got me off of my lazy butt and got some work done. For that, I thank you.

Secondly, I'd like to thank the voters, and also offer them my sympathy. I thank them for voting in this debate, and I offer them my sympathy for the headache that is sure to follow from reading all of this philosophical debate. May your preferred headache medicine be within close reach.

With that, I bid thee adieu and urge you to vote for the con debater.


Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
RFD

Pro fails to adequately show why certain actions are wrong. I thought this to be important. Pros first round was unconvincing, and con pointed out the flaws and unestablished assumptions in his case, though apparently it was just for bait. Pro however fails to distinguish probabilities with absolute truth. Pro tries to use cons logic against him, and force him into a corner. I however found it unimpressive. The major part of his arguments were that con was arguing in absolutes and thus self-defeating his case. I did not see it that way. Absolutes do exist as con said. This does not mean that absolute MORALITY exists. Con made the argument that pro believes morality is objective, and he believes that morality is relative. Thus their concept of morality is relative and thus establishing his case. I found this interesting and will have to think about it some more. I've always found arguments against objective morality convincing, it is only me theistic beliefs that keep from that view, and con made a well fought case.

Both sides had a number of minor spelling or grammar mistakes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this debate so thank you to both sides.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Most philosophical topics I will generally always accept. Political arguments generally aren't my thing. If you do LD debate, I will love you forever.

Anything that meets those criteria, send my way and I'll see if I'm interested.
Posted by Paradox_7 5 years ago
Paradox_7
lol for sure. I was gonna say, your pretty sharp, there is no way you really agree with that. But i will certainly direct my next debate at you; whenever something pops up that is.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Personally, I agree with you. Did that affect my debate? Nope.
Posted by Paradox_7 5 years ago
Paradox_7
Zardi - seriously.. If you can't see the false logic behind the entire relative truth argument; then your purposely ignoring it. Its a circular logic - and leads to no answer, but that everything is right and everything is wrong.. since it obviously can't be a real philosohpy there has to be absolute truth, and because everyone feels so strongly about their position; it affirms we all are seeking the truth. Are there relative morals? Yea i think so, like the meat example you gave; or drinking and smoking, etc. But that doesn't mean there ane't absolutes - like the ones i listed: pedophilia, rape, murder(not killing because there is just killing) etc...
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Ooooookay logic. You never really explain fully why denying the contradicting whatever really matters. When I question you about it, you claim that morality has to be aligned with the real world, but never explain why. I think we're done, your inability to explain your refutations against me prove that you really have no idea what you're talking about and are instead here just to troll.
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
What do you mean? I think we are done, your inability to grasp basic philosophical constructs inhibits further discourse. You should lose this debate for reasons already stated.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Does this not also d@mn your argument? You still never explain why moral truth has to be aligned with the real world.
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
See Aristotle, Plato, Socrates etc. You confuse effect with cause. A flat or round world is irrelevant to moral truth, they are science and all scientist think they are the smartest beings ever.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Why do things have to line up with how we view the world today? People used to view the world as flat, but did that make it an obective truth? People used to view slavery as acceptable, but does that make it an objective truth?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
Paradox_7ZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: I think pro made the most convincing arguments. I think the rebuttals by con sound good for debate purposes, but in practical application, fall apart. Sure I can question whether stealing is wrong and provide a situation where many might believe it's justified, but deep down I still know that it's wrong. You can't change that.
Vote Placed by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
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Reasons for voting decision: Comment 39
Vote Placed by Yep 5 years ago
Yep
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Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully refuted pro's case, stating there is no such thing as 1 answer (or truth) to any standard, thus morality is relative, not absolute.
Vote Placed by Xerge 5 years ago
Xerge
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Reasons for voting decision: counter sadolite
Vote Placed by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
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Reasons for voting decision: This vote is to easy. All 7 points to pro
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
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Reasons for voting decision: By them simply arguing this morality cannot be absolute as an absolute morality equates a single truth. Since there are multiple truths present within the debate there is no one absolute truth which Pro had to prove. Pros BOP was to show any supposed "truths" Con brought up were not true. They failed to do so, in my opinion, and therefore, this debate holds, there are multiple truths varying from person to person.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Args tied, points for sources as he had more and they seemed just as accurate. So as both where = accurate, the one with more now trumps. 100 good sources > 5 good sources.