Morality Improves Society
Debate Rounds (4)
Round 1- Accepting My Debate
Round 2- Stating Our Positions and Arguments
Round 3- Rebuttal
Round 4- Closing Statements/ Conclusions
Good Luck to my Challenger
I will challenge this proposition as there are no limits or guides on what one person or another believes is moral or immoral. Morality is personal and based in personal belief. Morality differs depending on culture, religion, ethnicity, and economic status. Also, let us remember that morality is an ever shifting force that changes throughout time as societies and cultures change.
To state that "moral values are good for society" implies that we all have the same moral values. This or course is not true as we all come from different backgrounds. Historically in the United States moral values are traditionally connected to Judeo-Christian beliefs. However, we live in a nation that is ever changing and a world that is becoming increasingly globalized. This presents a challenge for those who desire to set a pretense on what they believe is moral or immoral. Does Tom95 mean to imply that Christian morals should be used to improve society. While I am sure that there are many Christian morals that have and will continue to benefit our society, there are also many Islamic, Hindu, Scientific, and ethnic morals that have and will benefit our society.
Finally, there is also the fact that what one party believes is moral could be considered immoral to another party. Let us look back in U.S. History to see that in the 1800, slavery was considered a moral practice by may people in the world. While others felt that it was an abomination. Readers might view this as extreme but lets be rational. Many god fearing people thought that slavery was moral. Only through struggle do we now know that this group was in fact immoral.
In closing I motion for people to vote against Tom95's statement that "morality improves society" as morality is not a quality that can be gauged or outlined. I would even state that forcing one person's moral beliefs on another is fundamentally un-American and could...(or has) been used to thwart other people's freedoms.
More important than moral values dictated by one group or another are distinct and concrete laws. Laws are able to be adjusted as society shifts and can encompass both morals and ethics.
As I laid out in my first retort, slavery is a good example of how something that was once considered moral. A majority of the society in the southern states of the union (and some in the north) during the pre-antebellum era were by all standards of the time moral Christians. However they took this immoral stance because it was a social norm of the time. It took a civil war and drastic legal intervention from the federal government to change what was considered moral to something immoral.
The fact that there were Catholics or other groups that opposed slavery is a mute point as these people were not the majority and simply had a differing view of what morality is. This actually solidifies my point that morality is not concrete and can and does change depending on ones social group, ethnicity, religion, economic status or geographic location.
My challenger then went on to bring up irrational points regarding murder and rape asking if these were okay. While of course these actions are not ok by todays standards, I would challenge that in the past there have been several societies that did in fact believe that rape, murder, and pillaging were perfectly appropriate behaviors under certain circumstances. I will again bring up Christianity because this is where I have the most knowledge in regards to my own moral code. In the bible there are numerous times where the above actions were not only moral but sanctioned by god as a practice that was required by the Israelites as they moved to conquer territories. If one does not like the biblical reference I can expand further using the Romans, or Moguls, or even the British to provide more examples.
My challenger then points out that I was premature in assuming he was talking about Christian beliefs. This is a bit of an unfair statement because I never once stated anything about his/her personal beliefs. I reference Christian beliefs because we live in a society that has historically gleaned its moral code from the bible and teachings of Christ.
Ultimately my point is that morality does change and shift. If grows and progresses as society grows and progresses. Morality is not organic to humankind as it is a theory or practice that is learned. Therefore using morals to improve society or government is a dangerous tactic in a free society. Our government uses laws and these laws are dictated by the overall morality of the greater population. This ensures that the majority controls what is just or unjust. If a certain group"s morals rule the masses it leaves minorities in the society to be governed unfairly.
A perfect example of this is the topic of equality for homosexuals. Currently there are many in this country that believe that being gay is immoral. Therefore laws have been established that curtail the equal rights for gays. Whether one supports the gay lifestyle or not is irrelevant as the point of our constitution and bill of rights is to provide 100% equality for all. In the near future we will see that states will be required to be nondiscriminatory towards gays. This will present a change to our nation"s morality on the whole and we will see morality change once again.
Joyce, R. (2006). The evolution of morality. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Tom95 forfeited this round.
Tom95 forfeited this round.
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