Morality can exist without religion.
Debate Rounds (3)
In this debate, I will argue that morality can exist without religion and faith. I have heard and seen many people claiming that religion and faith are what produce morality. I beg to differ. I wish to debate an individual that disagrees with my view.
Round One: Acceptance
Round Two: Arguments, no rebuttals
Round Three: Rebuttals and conclusion
1. There will be no forfeiture or concession.
2. Proper spelling and grammar will be used.
3. Sources will be cited.
I look forward to this debate.
I accept, and look forward to the debate.
Morality is independent from faith and religion. Humans are born with a set of morals. They are not necessarily taught by the parents or caregivers. They are a natural part of this species. I will prove it using a source, which is neatorama.com. According to that site, babies prefer to interact with people that are of a good nature. Babies do not like interacting with people that are selfish or over-confident.
This is a very crucial element to this debate. I will not be arguing against religion - I happen to be an Atheist - but this debate is specifically about the link between religion and morality. Morality may be an aspect of religion, but religion is not specifically a part of morality. According to greatergood.berekely.edu, "[t]here is a spectrum of views about how religion and ethics are related—from the view that religion is the absolute bedrock of ethics to one that holds that ethics is based on humanistic assumptions justified mainly, and sometimes only, by appeals to reason. These two extremes tend to be argued in a way that offers little room for compromise or pragmatic solutions to real issues we face everyday." The source continues with, "[e]ven though religious and secular ethics don’t derive their authority from the same source, we still must find a way to establish common ground between them; otherwise we’re condemning ourselves to live amidst social discord and division." They are not from the same source, but they do have commonalities. Religion is connected to morals, while morals are not necessarily connected to religion.
In conclusion, morality is a natural human aspect that does not require religion. Religion requires morality, but morality does not automatically require religion. I hope my opponent considers this.
There are two basic lines of thought: Either there is a Creator God, or we came about as a cosmic accident (that is, we were not intended to exist; there is no purpose).
In the line of thought with a Creator God, theists argue that humans were created in the image of God. Because of this, we are rational beings who can relate with one another, create new things with the tools of the earth, and we all have inherent value. Morality is objective in this paradigm.
The other line of thought is that humans were not created with inherent purpose. The first philosopher to question a Creator was Protagoras (1). He argued that "Man is the measure of all things." This is the beginning of moral relativism, which is a logical consequence of atheism. What this means is that morality is just an illusion. Just as one person may like chocolate ice cream, he is entitled to his own opinion, and noboby else is wrong for disliking chocolate ice cream. Also, one person may think murdering is wrong, but that is just his own opinion, and anyone who thinks murdering is okay is not incorrect. Morality is objectively meaningless, and we create arbitrary values so that a society can function. So, one society is not wrong to make murder legal, and so also another society is not wrong to make murder illegal. One society has no authority to tell what another society ought to do.
Atheists generally misunderstand this argument, and say that they can still be "good" without religion. But this is a problem. Under the atheistic paradigm, good and evil do not exist. They are merely arbitrary human constructs. What is good to one person is not good to another person. Because, if an atheist argues that they can be good, they acknowledge that there is evil. An atheist cannot acknowledge good and evil without there being a God. In an atheistic paradigm, things just "are".
So, for an atheist to argue that they can be "good", in the first sense they are contradicting their paradigm by necessitating a God, and secondly, "goodness" is a meaningless term in that worldview. It is as if the atheist is saying "Chocolate ice cream is good, and anyone who does not like it is wrong or evil."
But the atheist will still object and say, "I determine my goodness by the values that are set in my society. I obey the laws that my society sets, so I am a good person." Firstly, this is just begging the question; 'Why is following the law a good thing? I can say that it is bad to follow the law, and be just as correct." Also, this argument is an appeal to the masses; it is the bandwagon fallacy. Just because most people agree to something, it does not make it true.
In conclusion, morality requires religion. If an atheist argues that there is "goodness", then he must also acknowledge "evil", and both of these concepts require religion. This is a counterproductive argument for the atheist.
"In the line of thought with a Creator God, theists argue that humans were created in the image of God. Because of this, we are rational beings who can relate with one another, create new things with the tools of the earth, and we all have inherent value." The human relations, creations, and values are independent of a Creator. My opponent has not provided sufficient evidence supporting the notion that these three things are truly dependent of a Creator. I will go more in depth when I refute other points made by my opponent.
"The other line of thought is that humans were not created with inherent purpose." Humans were not created. They evolved. And humans are not even destined to have a purpose, they set it themselves. We humans evolved to think in certain ways and this has allowed us to set this purpose. This purpose is to institute justice, feel empathy for fellow humans, and to create a better world.
"This is the beginning of moral relativism, which is a logical consequence of atheism. What this means is that morality is just an illusion. Just as one person may like chocolate ice cream, he is entitled to his own opinion, and noboby else is wrong for disliking chocolate ice cream. Also, one person may think murdering is wrong, but that is just his own opinion, and anyone who thinks murdering is okay is not incorrect. Morality is objectively meaningless, and we create arbitrary values so that a society can function. So, one society is not wrong to make murder legal, and so also another society is not wrong to make murder illegal. One society has no authority to tell what another society ought to do." There is a large difference between opinions regarding chocolate ice cream and murder. Morality is not just an illusion; humans evolved to have these views, to believe these things. Morality - not at all related to chocolate ice cream - can be proven using facts. In a previous debate, my opponent won, but I still urge my opponent to read my arguments. I do make great points: http://www.debate.org...
Contrary to the belief of my opponent, humans can still be good without religion. 'Good' is not defined by the Bible or any other religious teaching. Morality derives from the opinions that were forged as a result of human evolution and adaptation.
In conclusion, morality does not require religion. If a Theist argues that morality is dependent of religion, he or she is absolutely wrong. Morality is a series of values forged over time due to human evolution, adaptation, expansion, and prosperity.
Lupricona forfeited this round.
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