The Instigator
Trevarno
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Morality and Determinism are compatible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Trevarno
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,011 times Debate No: 28938
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Trevarno

Pro

I am arguing that morality can exist in a deterministic world.

prove me wrong.
RationalMadman

Con

For this debate the dictionary definition of morality doesn't quite apply significantly because it doesn't render 'free will'.

I would like to define morality as "The conscious awareness of an objective right and wrong applicable in an absolute sense to all situations an individual is faced with."

Determinism says it's impossible for one to consciously choose what to do because conscious choices, such as to rape one's own daughter, were already determined by fate/logical probability that there is no power whatsoever for that individual to act according to a morality of any kind because the next time they are faced with an opportunity to rape their daughter (if raping was moral and not raping was not) then it would be nonsensical for them NOT to rape her, however they might not.

Another issue with drawing these two theories together is that of neutral things.

If something is either moral or immoral, then is one person buying a green shoe more correct than those who do not? Or the reverse? There can't be and equivalent moral correctness in a person who wears a red shoe and one who wears a green shoe if morality is applied and thus a true morality of any kind is impossible since according to determinism the choice of green or red was predetermined anyway.
Debate Round No. 1
Trevarno

Pro

Firstly, Determinism, to my understanding, doesn't state that is "Impossible for one to consciously choose". Because you then go to contradict yourself by saying "Because conscious choices, such as to rape ones own daughter..." Which Just gives an example of a conscious choice, therefore disproving yourself of your previous statement. So, I would prefer to say that Determinism says that the whole feeling of "Consciously choosing" and "freewill" are simply illusions of the human mind.
This brings me to my argument...

The feeling of freewill and conscious decisions are simply illusions of the mind, so is the idea of morality. However, this is not to say that the concept of morality and determinism are not compatible.
It could be argued that Morality is an evolutionary concept, evolved to help humans to relate to each other and create "packs" and build communities, ( as we are pack animals). In today's society a person with no morals or sense of right and wrong is known as a Socio-path or Psychopath, and is generally cast out of society... where as the "do gooders" the the strong sense of morals etc.. are seen as the role models and the more powerful, more popular amongst society.

Now how does all this fit in with determinism? well, I will put this into an analogy:

You have a man named Richard, He has no sense of morality, and believes that everything he does is determined, he sits around all day doing nothing, he doesn't work, he doesn't eat, he kills anyone that makes him angry and will rape women as he pleases... he believes he has no moral responsibility and has no control what so ever over his actions.

However you also have a man named simon, He believes he has free will, and that he is responsible for the outcome of his choices. He works hard to earn money for food and shelter. He makes friends and has relationships.

say where Richard lived, everyone was like him....Richard would eventually die, from either lack of eating, or being killed, or some sort of health problem from not enough excercise etc.. Simon however would have a greater chance of survival as he would find it easier to "form a pack", procreate. He would be at less danger of being killed... or killing.

Therefore they may both be equally determined, but the one who believes in morality, is the one more likely to survive...
RationalMadman

Con

To rape is a conscious decision in anyone's book. The question determinists answer with 'no' is whether or not the conscious choice to rape could ever have been avoided or undetermined. Please don't play childish semantics.

Let's get to the real debate...

You have essentially argued that morality was determined because the immoral would die out, you justify this by two claims.

Claim 1: In today's society a person with no morals or sense of right and wrong is known as a Socio-path or Psychopath, and is generally cast out of society... Whereas the "do gooders" with a strong sense of morals etc.. Are seen as the role models and the more powerful, more popular amongst society.

Claim 2 (I want to explain a huge error you made in assuming Richard to be lazy):

You have a man named Richard, He has no sense of morality, and believes that everything he does is determined, he sits around all day doing nothing, he doesn't work, he doesn't eat, he kills anyone that makes him angry and will rape women as he pleases... He believes he has no moral responsibility and has no control what so ever over his actions.

However you also have a man named Simon, He believes he has free will, and that he is responsible for the outcome of his choices. He works hard to earn money for food and shelter. He makes friends and has relationships.

say where Richard lived, everyone was like him....Richard would eventually die, from either lack of eating, or being killed, or some sort of health problem from not enough exercise etc.. Simon however would have a greater chance of survival as he would find it easier to "form a pack", procreate. He would be at less danger of being killed... Or killing.

Therefore they may both be equally determined, but the one who believes in morality, is the one more likely to survive...


My rebuttal to Claim 1:

Do you know what jobs attract Psychopaths, Narcissists (those who value themselves above anyone else and will go to unthinkable extents to fuel their ego) and sociopaths?

Let's coin psychopaths, which as essentially extreme sociopaths, and sociopaths into one category, although there are professions like assassins and CIA agents which attract psychopaths only and not sociopaths there are no profession which attract sociopaths that don't attract psychopaths.

Let's see the following article which I shall draw excerpts from and analyze the quotes. http://tinyurl.com...

"Traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers—a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others—are also shared by politicians and world leaders. Individuals, in other words, running not from the police. But for office. Such a profile allows those who present with these traits to do what they like when they like, completely unfazed by the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions."

Well I think this is clearly stating that a ruthless leader, who will act against the norm regardless of what others think if he thinks it's right is actually the best leader at times... Such as Gandhi (a psychopath can believe in passive aggressiveness if they think it harms their enemy in a very funny way).

"If you are violent and cunning, like the real-life “Hannibal Lecter” Robert Maudsley, you might take a fellow inmate hostage, smash his skull in and sample his brains with a spoon as nonchalantly as if you were downing a soft-boiled egg. (Maudsley, by the way, has been cooped up in solitary confinement for the past 30 years, in a bullet-proof cage in the basement of Wakefield Prison in England.)

Or if you are a brilliant neurosurgeon, ruthlessly cool and focused under pressure, you might, like the man I'll call Dr. Geraghty, try your luck on a completely different playing field: at the remote outposts of 21st-century medicine, where risk blows in on 100-mile-per-hour winds and the oxygen of deliberation is thin. “I have no compassion for those whom I operate on,” he told me. “That is a luxury I simply cannot afford. In the theater I am reborn: as a cold, heartless machine, totally at one with scalpel, drill and saw. When you're cutting loose and cheating death high above the snowline of the brain, feelings aren't fit for purpose. Emotion is entropy—and seriously bad for business. I've hunted it down to extinction over the years.”

The significance and brilliance of this quote is written better than I could ever do it... It just gets to the point about how any SPECIALIST in a field (such as a surgeon is in medicine) has to often eradicate any emotions. Empathising with the panicking family members or trainee staff will be disastrous, especially if you have a panicking boss if it's a high-risk operation that you boldly claimed you could do.

"Geraghty is one of the U.K.'s top neurosurgeons—and although, on one level, his words send a chill down the spine, on another they make perfect sense. Deep in the ghettoes of some of the brain's most dangerous neighborhoods, the psychopath is glimpsed as a lone and merciless predator, a solitary species of transient, deadly allure. No sooner is the word out than images of serial killers, rapists and mad, reclusive bombers come stalking down the sidewalks of our minds.

But what if I were to paint you a different picture? What if I were to tell you that the arsonist who burns your house down might also, in a parallel universe, be the hero most likely to brave the flaming timbers of a crumbling, blazing building to seek out, and drag out, your loved ones? Or that the kid with a knife in the shadows at the back of the movie theater might well, in years to come, be wielding a rather different kind of knife at the back of a rather different kind of theater?

Claims like these are admittedly hard to believe. But they're true. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused. Yet, contrary to popular belief, they are not necessarily violent. Far from its being an open-and-shut case—you're either a psychopath or you're not—there are, instead, inner and outer zones of the disorder: a bit like the fare zones on a subway map. There is a spectrum of psychopathy along which each of us has our place, with only a small minority of A-listers resident in the “inner city.”

If writing were pornography, I just blew my load to that...

Now for narcissists... Um... I'm not plagiarizing but I've cropped an edited excerpt from the following article: http://tinyurl.com...

When you’re sitting across the desk at a job interview, the focus is squarely on you. For some people, this can be an uncomfortable situation. But it’s where narcissists shine most.

The study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln put 72 participants with varying degrees of narcissism but similar skills into simulated job interviews with expert interviewers, and then had 222 raters evaluate their taped performance. The study found that more raters consistently favoured relentless self-promoters over anyone trying to appear humble.

For those of us without diagnosed narcissism, there’s still advice to be taken from this study. In job interviews, the rules of normal social interaction get shifted, and people looking to get hired need to view what might be odious behaviour in the rest of life as beneficial.

Most interestingly, narcissists and non-narcissists alike were able to start off self-promoting. But the narcissists really got the edge when the interviewers started to challenge their assertion – non-narcissists tended to back off into tactical modesty, but narcissists stuck to their guns, and it paid off.


So what can we learn from this?

People who lack any form of morality whatsoever can be the most respected and successful members of our species in ONE CONTEXT. However, in another day-to-day social life context... Of course not. Nonetheless, determinists appreciate that everything has been determined to occur in different contexts and leave us to wonder why morality matters at all in a determinist's world.

Debate Round No. 2
Trevarno

Pro

All right simmer down I just wanted to make things clear, anyway...

This argument was invalid. I did not state at all that he was a psychopath, socio path, or narcissist. And also remember, I said If "everyone in the world was like him", I'm sorry if I hadn't made it clear, but I meant it as in each of them are in parallel universes that contain people just like them.

Even so, If everyone was a psychopath then, we would not be able to form a Hierarchy in our society, everyone will competing for he top, and will probably as you say "take a fellow inmate hostage, smash his skull in and sample his brains with a spoon as nonchalantly as if you were downing a soft-boiled egg."....
RationalMadman

Con

RationalMadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Trevarno

Pro

hhmmmm.... VOTE PRO!
RationalMadman

Con

RationalMadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
When you say "prove me wrong," do you mean to place the burden of proof on your opponent while not accepting the burden of proof for yourself?
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Can you define how you'll be using "Morality" and "Determinism"?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 4 years ago
KingDebater
TrevarnoRationalMadmanTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Con because he actually used sources. Forfeit.