The Instigator
shmackies
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
annhasle
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Morality is Indirectly Objective

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
annhasle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,532 times Debate No: 15110
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (32)
Votes (10)

 

shmackies

Pro

First round is only acceptance, argumentation starts round 2.
annhasle

Con

I accept. As my opponent asserted, this round is merely for acceptance. Hopefully this will be a fun and enlightening debate.

For clarification, I am a moral nihilist and assert that Objective morality does not exist.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
shmackies

Pro

I am also a moral nihilist.

Wikipedia's definition of moral nihilism states: "Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality".

I would agree that morality is not inherent in the universe. However, I would argue that morality is created by humans and still has value in its practicality of governing human interaction. It has objective truths within its own creation that are deducible with logic.

Morality provably has objective truth through logic.

-The universe is dual, there being material substance and information.
-The informational universe is based within the material universe, and is given meaning by informational processing. For example, DNA structure can be described physically, but has an informational meaning. This is what I acknowledge as the common misconception of immateriality. Another example: many people see that the mind and body are dual, in materiality and immateriality. The mind is based within the physical structure of the brain, but does not physically exist. It is a network of informational processing that resides in the brain. Being a network, it doesn't exist in one point, but a collection of points that make it a conceptual system, and is in a way, immaterial. It however is based in the material universe, and is in a way a second tier of existence. Emotions are physically describable by the release of chemicals in the brain, but the information is given meaning in its processing.
-The informational universe is therefore based within the material universe
-Mathematics is the language of the material universe, and Logic is the language of the informational universe.
-Mathematics determines truths about the way that the material universe works. All things in the material universe are explainable by mathematical truths. Logic is the most basic language of the informational universe, determining qualities of information.
-Descartes' proof of the mind's existence proves that informational processing exists, as doubt is an act of thinking, or informational processing.
-This indirectly proves reality exists, which refutes any solipsist or epistemological nihilism arguments.
-Morality is a creation of human beings (highly developed informational processing systems) which is a devised system of how we should treat other life forms.
-Morality, being an informational construct, has an informational purity through logic. Therefore, although morality is not inherent in the universe, it has objective truth through logic.
annhasle

Con

Thank you Pro for your fast response.

While I enjoyed reading that, there are a few mistakes in reasoning which undermine Pro’s argument.

1. You start off by asserting:

“I would agree that morality is not inherent in the universe.”

If morality is proven by logic, and logic is an inherent part of the universe as you stated, than morality would be inherent as well.

2. You continue with:

“However, I would argue that morality is created by humans and still has value in its practicality of governing human interaction. It has objective truths within its own creation that are deducible with logic.”

2a. This assertion has not been substantiated and is hardly relevant to my opponents case but I am curious. What value does morality have with governing human interactions?

2b. "Objective: mind-independent—that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity or subject." [1]

If morality is objective as my opponent has stated, than it must be mind-independent. However, he has conceded that it is created by humans and therefore it is not objective as that is a result of judgments made by a conscious entity.


Although at this point, the resolution is safely negated, I shall continue on with the assertions my opponent must prove with the use of evidence for his case to be affirmed.

3. Unsubstantiated Assertions:

3a. “The universe is dual, there being material substance and information.”

Evidence?

3b. “The informational universe is based within the material universe, and is given meaning by informational processing.”

Since the information world supervenes the material universe, you cannot logically argue for the informational world until you justify the existence of the material universe. However, since you simply stated “it exists” without justification, that burden of proof has not yet been met and your argument falls apart once again.

3c. “Morality is a creation of human beings (highly developed informational processing systems) which is a devised system of how we should treat other life forms.”

The fact that it was created disproves your resolution of morality being objective – as stated above.

3d. “Morality, being an informational construct, has an informational purity through logic. Therefore, although morality is not inherent in the universe, it has objective truth through logic.”

i. If it was created by humans, then there is no “informational purity” since it was constructed by human bias and planning.

ii. I have safely refuted your resolution by showing that your argument does in fact support morality being inherent in the universe and therefore it is directly objective.


>> I would urge my opponent to contribute evidence for the next round. Since Pro was not able to verify any of his stances, I was left only with semantics and showing the fallacies within his own arguments. This is fine but part of the voting criteria is sources.

Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...(philosophy)

Resolution negated.

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
shmackies

Pro

1. Morality does not necessarily have to be inherent in the universe. The informational universe does not necessarily have to exist, and is almost a "tier" of existence in a way. Everything that humans currently know about the universe is that of solely material matter and empty space, other than life on Earth. That point was asserting that morality (and the informational universe) is not inherent in the universe's existence. It can develop, and become a part of the universe. Logic is an inherent part of the "informational universe".

2. Morality is an informational system created by informational processing systems like humans. Being an informational construct, it has deducible truths that are objective relative to the informational universe, which is not inherent in the physical universe. Therefore it can have informational objectivity without having inherency in the universe.

2a. This assertion has been substantiated by working into my philosophical view. This view encompasses many popular philosophical topics, such as immateriality, the universe, personal identity, morality, and a few others.

To my opponent's second point in 2a, morality is a system created by humans in nearly every culture as a system of how people (moral agents) should treat each other, and other forms of life. It has been historically used as a code for societies to abide by, and violation could be punished. However, within the status quo for the sake of practicality, we must use a system of law and punishment to govern human interaction. This does not mean that a system of law will always be necessary to govern human interaction. But within the status quo, morality is still important to maintain a fair system of law. Without people fighting for moral truths within our system of law, the only law that would exist would be law that maintains order in society, or relies on legal precedent.

2b. While Wikipedia in my opinion is pretty reliable, it is not a great source for philosophy definitions. The definition my opponent gave is straight from the top of the Wikipedia page for "Objectivity (philosophy)". She, however, didn't include the beginning of that sentence: "While there is no universally accepted articulation of objectivity..." This is not the claim I am making, and it is hardly a contradiction in my logic. When I claimed that morality is "objective", I am making the claim that morality is inherent within the informational universe, and is the most basic and pure system of informational communication.

The resolution is has had no valid criticism as of now, and is safely confirmed. As I will explain later, my opponent's criticism about evidence is unfounded.

3a. The universe has become, as I assert, dual. Being only material substance originally (as our knowledge currently suggests), the universe at its beginning consisted of only material matter. When life developed on Earth, that material matter arranged into informational processing systems, which evolved into current forms of life. Unless my opponent wants to debate Abiogenesis, this point is the best way of describing the development of a duality within the universe (which I have described before as being like "tiers"). This answers why the informational universe is not inherent in the physical universe, but the universe can currently be dual. As I stated before, I will make a point about evidence later.

3b. I already stated:

"-Descartes' proof of the mind's existence proves that informational processing exists, as doubt is an act of thinking, or informational processing.
-This indirectly proves reality exists, which refutes any solipsist or epistemological nihilism arguments."

My opponent is now suggesting that I must first prove reality, or the material universe, to suppose the existence of the informational universe. Although this may seem logically true, I have already given a testable proof of the informational universe. Proving the existence of the material universe is also a testable claim, and the entire point of the system of views I propose is to give the best explanation of the relationship between these two "universes" of information and material things. My argument has not in the least bit "fallen apart". I will restate, my argument about evidence is later.

3c. My opponent is working with a flawed, partial definition of objectivity from Wikipedia that I am not using. There is no contradiction, so her point is irrelevant. I think the confusion here came from a misunderstanding. Humans did not "create morality". Humans create moral systems, but morality itself is inherent with the informational universe.

3d. The points in this quote about morality's objectivity and inherency have already been addressed.

i. Since humans are informational processing systems, they have the capacity to perceive and calculate logic. Obviously being flawed, we can make mistakes with logic, just like we can make mathematical mistakes. Just because humans can make mathematical mistakes does not mean that there is not a mathematical purity. If one correctly perceives the rules of mathematics, there is an attainable purity that is testable. As with logic, just because humans make logical mistakes does not negate that there is a logical purity.

ii. My opponent has in no way brought about any valid criticisms. I have answered previously about morality's inherency and objectivity. My opponent has only brought about semantic objections to my argument, which have all been explained. There is therefore no reason to vote Con.

-My final and unifying point for many of my opponent's criticisms is about "evidence". The claims that I have made are logically or physically testable, and do not require evidence. My opponent claims that since there is no "evidence", there is no verification. This is profoundly untrue. As she stated, she only attacked semantics, which were all explained. No fallacies were proven. This being a purely philosophical argument about a proposed philosophical system, sources are not needed, unless I am taking a definition or idea from somewhere. Since sources are voting criteria that are irrelevant, I would suggest to voters that they vote "tied" on sources, unless they want to take off points for my opponent misusing already unreliable sources.

As I said, before, the entire point of my argument is to propose a philosophical system. It's merit is in its ability to explain, and does not require that I quote irrelevant sources. My system of understanding explains many classic problems with other systems of understanding, like Physicallism and Dualism. The problems with other systems of understanding like Physicallism and Dualism lead into many problems in other areas in philosophy, like morality. That is why I propose this system, to best explain all of these problems. Unless my opponent can find a flaw in my logic or something about morality that it cannot explain, there is no reason to vote Con. Pro has provided a system of understanding that has had no valid criticisms brought against it, and thus every reason is given to vote Pro.
annhasle

Con

Thank you for your response.

>> REBUTTALS<<

1.
If the informational universe does not have to necessarily exist, and logic is the language of that universe which then proves morality, then by extension – morality does not necessarily exist. And that certainly creates skepticism about what you are attempting to prove. If you say morality is objective as you are trying to prove, than the existence of the informational world must be true for that premise to be justifiable otherwise your entire argument falls apart. Can you truly affirm the resolution when it’s based off of something which “does not not necessarily have to exist”?

2.
Not true. Since you did not provide a definition for objective, the onus was on me to provide one which I did. It is the most commonly accepted definition for objective in a philosophical sense. When something is created by humans, it has been subjected to personal bias and perspective from the conscious being that is responsible for its creation. It cannot be “mind-independent” and therefore, it is not objective.

Also, if I’m reading this right, you are claiming that information processing exists in the universe. Morality is a form of information processing. Therefore, truths exist about that information processing (i.e., information processing about morality).

Well, that is a non-sequitur. No one would doubt that people process information about morality. However, you have not shown how those truths relate to objective moral truths. It is, for example, true to say that I am thinking about God as I am writing this sentence. This does not mean that God actually exists independently of my thoughts about him.

2a.

i. Within a debate, contentions are not taken at face-value. You must provide proof for it to be taken into account during the debate. Since you have not done so, I’m not entirely concerned with your philosophical view as that proves nothing other than your attempts to philosophize along with the rest of us.


ii. Morality is not necessary, even within a society. But this is merely shifting the focus of the debate. Let’s drop this contention and focus on the debate at hand.

2b.
That definition is widely accepted, regardless of it being from a Wikipedia page. If you have gone through other debates, you’ll notice that most definitions do in fact come from Wikipedia and that is not held against the debaters. But if you are concerned with its viability, I give you another source:

Objective judgments and claims are assumed to be free from personal considerations, emotional perspectives, etc.” [1]

When you state at the beginning that humans created morality, you have forfeited the ability to claim that morality is therefore objective. The only way a human could create these standards is from personal considerations of what they deem to be right and wrongful actions. Truly, you are equivocating the definitions of objective.

3a. Since no evidence was provided and my opponent continued to claim unsubstantiated assertions, this contention remains unproven.

3b. "I already stated:

'-Descartes' proof of the mind's existence proves that informational processing exists, as doubt is an act of thinking, or informational processing.
-This indirectly proves reality exists, which refutes any solipsist or epistemological nihilism arguments.'"

i. That does nothing to prove your contention. A quote is not proof.

ii. No conclusive proof has been brought forward within this debate. Quotes and assertions are nothing without evidence. And like I said, you assume the existence of the material world without giving any basis for the assumption. This is a debate – you must put forth the contention with more than personal opinions. Since the informational world, the origin of morality, only exists if the material world does, you must show solid proof for the material world. You have not, so 3b is still unaddressed.

3c.
Since you did not provide a definition, it was up to me to provide one. Since it is a solid definition which is accepted by philosophers and students, it is accepted and used within the debate. The only way my definition could be challenged would be if it was radically different than one found in the dictionary and I assure you, it is not.

Also, even if the humans created the moral systems – the morals themselves are still subjected to bias and personal considerations which negates the objectivity of it.

3d.
Objectivity is meant to be free from human’s personal biases and considerations. For example, if I were to state “I am 5’9””, that is an objective truth since it is a fact free from anything deemed to be subjective or emotive. But what you are asserting as logic cannot be compared to my example since you have yet to give the logical basis for the morality.

Logic is based on a set of non-reducible axioms (i.e., the laws of logic.)

1. The law of identity
2. The law of the excluded middle
3. The law of non-contradiction

This is why certain things can be objectively true about logic. What axioms are you basing morality on? Since this remains opaque, your comparison is flawed. If since you do not have axioms to base your system on, you do not have a case.


ii. All explanations failed since you have yet to justify anything. You have merely evaded. This is not proper debate etiquette and should be held against you once voting commences. Debate is the use of persuasive reasoning with support of evidence or proof which affirms your case. You have definitely asserted your opinion on the resolution but your failure at supporting it with any valid reasoning or proof is detrimental overall.

iii.
All assertions within the debate require proof. To say otherwise is simply for evasion of what you cannot prove and to save yourself from being pushed into a corner. That might work against someone else but not against me. You must put forth evidence for any validity to be found. That is why I have provided definitions to verify my meaning and sources. The only reason I have stuck with semantics is because you have yet to put forth a case! Once you actually start supporting what you claim, I can use opposing evidence and sources. Until then, I can only point out the abundance of flaws in your reasoning while hoping you realize the error in your ways by refusing to give sources. I urge you to look at other philosophical debates where an abundance of proof is used. For example:

http://www.debate.org...

[CONCLUSION]

To summarize, this was a disappointing round. My opponent has not proven the existence of objective morality and has instead undermined his own case. His refusal to accept a clearly valid definition is sad and I would hope he would be more forthcoming within the debate about his skepticism towards its validity. If he cannot explain why it is wrong, or provide an alternative definition, than that is simply his problem to deal with during the voting period. But to criticize my definition without proper explanation or the graciousness of his own definition is adversarial to the high standards imposed during debating on Debate.org. His refusal to provide any evidence, and his weak appeal of him being exempt from the Burden of Proof based on the genre of this debate, should count against him. I have explained why it is necessary for two rounds now. And he has yet to even prove the objective truths he is affirming! All in all, this debate would be much stronger if he ascribed to the same idea of what a “debate” truly is. Until then, please be aware of this while voting so we may warn future debaters who make the same mistakes.

Resolution Negated.

Vote Con.


Debate Round No. 3
shmackies

Pro

1. Sure. In my model of the informational and material, the informational does not necessarily have to exist. It is almost a "tier". The fact is that it definitely exists, proven by human existence. We are informational processing beings dealing with information. Since that tier exists, I am claiming that morality has deducible objective truths, as it is an informational system with logical purity. This is not a problem in the model whatsoever. Because the informational world provably exists, this isn't an issue (Descartes' proof of mind).

2. My opponent gives no reason to believe that this point is "not true". Systems developed by humans can have attainable objective truth, like mathematics and logic, by using proofs. Therefore, although humans "created" mathematics, its rules are inherent in the universe, and were almost "discovered". It is the same with basic logical functions. There can be human error, but the point of these systems is to attain a truth or purity. That is where logical proofs and mathematical theorems come from, because they are always true.

The entire way that I have clearly laid out my system of understanding has implied a definition of objective, whenever I have discussed it. I have many times in my argument discussed "attainable objective truth" which implies a type of objectivity within itself. In fact, I would say my entire initial argument was describing the way it was objective. I stated my claim, "Morality is indirectly objective", and explained exactly how and why it is, and what it means to be objective. My opponent cannot misquote a definition that clearly doesn't apply, and say that my system is refuted, as I was never asserting that in the first place. Please do try to have honest tactics.

My apologies to my opponent, but you are reading that incorrectly. Morality is not "a form of information processing". It is a product of information processing, and an informational system. Like any physical system with mathematics, it has deducible truths with logic when working within the framework of the system. My opponent's "God" argument is invalid and irrelevant.

2a. i. My contention is not expected to be taken at face-value. "Proof" is not necessary for my philosophical analysis. My opponent repeatedly says that evidence is necessary to "prove" my argument. My opponent is shifting the focus of the debate herself. Physical evidence is not required for a philosophical system. All of my points stem from philosophical problems, which are solved by my system. The solvency of all issues with my system, as well as proofs that have gone unrecognized by my opponent (ex: Descartes' proof of the mind) validate my system. This is all an analysis, which my opponent cannot refute or find a flaw in.

ii. Saying that morality is not necessary is like saying that calculus is not necessary. They are both developed systems from basic languages (math/logic) that are important, but I fail to see my opponent's point. A society could potential exist without morality, but it is still a system that exists in logic. I object to my opponent's insult that I am shifting the focus of the debate, as the relevance of morality is significant in my system.

2b. How "widely excepted" definitions are is irrelevant. I extend my previous argument about my definition. That is what my entire first argument was: contextualizing and proving its objectivity. Also, my opponent's definition, although slightly incorrect, still does not disprove my point. Logic is "free from personal considerations". Although humans developed a system of expressing logical truth, there is still attainable logical truth. The exact same argument fails at analysis of mathematics. Would my opponent say "since mathematics is a system created by humans, it cannot have mathematical truth, and is open to personal bias"? I doubt it. Mathematics is a language, as is logic. A language is a system of agreed upon meanings to convey information about things we all experience and perceive, aka the objective. Mathematics and logic, existing outside of human perception, have attainable objective truth.

3a. This is no contention. As I have stated many times about evidence, my opponent fails to understand philosophical debate and discussion. This is about a system of understanding that best solves philosophical problems. As stated throughout my arguments, there are logical proofs. My opponent is merely taking points out of context that work into my system of understanding. If my opponent could come up with any actual objection, philosophical problem that is unsolved, or flaw in my logic, then that would be good criticism. Taking things out of context, claiming definitions that aren't used, and insulting me is not a valid criticism. No offense to my opponent, but I am disappointed in her conduct. Although I have been firm in my arguments and directly described my opponent's failures to understand my system, I have not insulted my opponent. Although I believe that she is incorrect, I am plainly laying out a framework and argument to be discussed. Please, let's have a formal debate.

3b. Once again, this is a misunderstanding on the side of my opponent. My opponent said that "a quote is not proof". I was quoting myself from my first argument, because my opponent had failed to understand my point. I quoted myself and gave a better description. My original argument was Descartes' proof of the mind, which I presented descriptively instead of in the form of a logical proof. Descartes' famously put "I think, therefore I am" is originally a logical proof, stating the futility and contradiction in denying the mind's existence. I used this to prove the mind's existence, and my original description of what the mind is and how this fits into my system is already described.

3c. I hate to sound repetitive, but this is another misunderstanding of my opponent. Please refer to 2b. Humans are not biased with mathematics or logic. There is no mathematical or logical bias, only mathematical and logical mistakes. Detailed description of this point can be seen in previous arguments, and also in 2b of this argument.

3d. I have already discussed the definition of objective in this argument, and all previous arguments. I have given the logical basis for morality. New arguments cannot be brought up at this point, unless it is in response to a new argument of mine. Since it is not, please ignore this part of my opponent's argument.

ii. I have not evaded anything. I have laid out a philosophical system of understanding, it all being a critical analysis that requires no quoted evidence (although I provide some anyway). My opponent completely fails to understand debate. I feel that my opponent's slandering and insults should be held against her, if she is going to try to inspire voting against me for etiquette. I have done nothing wrong, and am still waiting for any valid criticism of my analysis, or why my analysis fails. I have yet to hear any response which refutes my system.

iii. Once again, I have not been put in any corner or evaded anything. I have put forth my own definitions and analysis, and the point was for you to try to find flaws or raise problems with it. You have done nothing of the sort, and have been evasive yourself. If you could pose some analysis of MY analysis that shows why it fails or brings up a contradiction, or anything of that sort, that could be a valid philosophical criticism. We are not debating policy or politics. Please do not belittle me. I ask only that anyone voting read my opponent's "iii" of the argument previous to this, to see her failure in the point of the debate, and her failure in etiquette.

CONCLUSION

I agree with my opponent. I am deeply disappointed. I wanted to discuss this philosophical system, but instead my opponent has brought up "contradictions" about points that I am not claiming, and reasserting misunderstandings on her part, for example, about logic being open to bias. I am forthcoming within this debate, and have stated my position on my opponent's definition. As in the previous section, the conclusion is another clear example of how my opponent doesn't understand this debate, and then holds it against me, and says that I am not following the rules. Until my opponent understands that, there can be no philosophical discussion.

Resolution has not in the least bit been negated. Vote Pro. I will be contacting my opponent to hopefully clarify this misunderstanding.
annhasle

Con

Thank you for your response and welocme to the fourth installment of our debate.

>> REBUTTALS <<

1. Here’s the problem with that, and it stems back to the Objectivity problem, there is no purity in logic with humans. Humans can be irrational beings and this contention relies on humans being purely logical to see through to the conclusion of morality being indirectly objective. Well, I would like to direct your attention to logical fallacies. [1] These fallacies exist because, within argumentation, humans may rely on faulty reasoning or assumptions which do not further their thinking. Almost all people have been accused of a fallacy during debate – I myself have committed reduction absurdums quite a bit. The point is, assuming that humans can be purely logical is quite a stretch since all evaluations are affected by emotions, bias, personal philosophy and preconceptions.

2. Yes, this is true, Mathematics and even science to an extent are seen as Objective truths. But this is because they are free from personal evaluations – a person who is 6 ft. will be 6 ft. to everybody. But morality cannot be tested like height since it is in a completely different arena, it is epistemic almost. To put forth the idea that morality is logical would assume that its characteristics rely on the Laws of Logic. Can you prove that? We shall see in contention 3d…

Wrong again, sir. I was well within my ability and duty to provide a definition for objective. And since you negated the definition by continuing to assert that humans create morality, that is a huge blow to your argument. I am being honest here – that definition provided is correct and coherent. Many philosophers work off of that same definition and I even provided another source. Obviously your argument does not support the idea that morality is objective.

This “product” of human reasoning cannot be purely logical though or objective though which is what your resolution is predicated on. For that reason, your argument is not valid.

2a. I’m unsure as to why my opponent is under the assumption that he is exempt from providing sources for his line of thinking. This is standard procedure. Now, I’m not calling for evidence in the sense of conclusive studies which prove his point. But I’m looking for books, articles, journals, etc. which expound on his points and lend credibility to his argument. Otherwise he is merely stating contentions and assuming that I will believe them. If we did it that way, this wouldn’t be a debate. If he wanted the free sharing of ideas than the forums would have been better for this but instead he chose formal debate. They have the “sources” section for a reason.


2b. I’ve already shown why morality cannot be compared to mathematics in objectivity. It does not rely on any of the axioms of logic so my opponent has yet to prove this contention as well.

3a. Where have I insulted you? If I seem harsh, I apologize. It is merely frustrating that I’m not being understood about evidence. But let’s move forward. I’ve repeated the need for proof even in philosophical discussions so I will not repeat myself again.

3b. Okay, let us assume that the mind exists. Now, the existence of the mind in no way supports for the truth of morality through objective means. Even if morality was to exist within the mind, you must still provide sufficient evidence that it holds truth for your resolution to be affirmed.

3c. See 2 and 2b.

3d. I have brought no new arguments and have merely questioned which axioms your morals rely on if you assert that they are formed through logic. This is simply for the basis of you expounding on your contentions so I can understand them properly.

ii. My questioning about the logical basis of morality is the best place to start if you are looking for criticisms. Also the definition of objectivity and the point that even if it were to exist in the mind, that does not prove the truth-value needed to affirm your resolution. None of these have been addressed. Other than that, I am stuck repeating the need for sources for any credibility or validity in your argument. I have apologized for my brash behavior if you are insulted and will vote against myself for conduct.



>> CONCLUSION <<

Obviously this debate has not gone the way either of us has intended. I’m now left waiting for his closing remarks with a sense of sadness. I had not realized that the provision of sources was against his idea of debate but such a system is supported by Debate.org which is why there is a “sources” section. This is not a tactic to belittle or shift focus away from the debate. It is to expound on his points, to provide me with further reading for better analysis and debate, to educate the readers on points which elude them, to inform those not philosophically educated and to lend credibility to the debate. I hope my opponent can answer what axioms morality relies on, how humans can be “logically pure” and where does the “truth-value” of these morals come from. Until then, this resolution is not affirmed. I apologize again for my insults, I was not aware that I was being rude.

Resolution Negated.

Vote Con.

Sources:
[1] http://www.csun.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
shmackies

Pro

1. I have answered this previously. The fact that humans are fallible does not mean that there is no objective truth. My previous example: humans can make mathematical mistakes, but there is still a purity in the mathematical solution.

2. My entire argument led to the fact that morality is objective through its logical analysis. If my opponent had brought this up in the original rebuttal, I could have answered how it is that humans can analyze an informational construct logically. However, my opponent did not. To complete my analytical links, I shall do so anyway at the end of my argument.

If you follow the links of my original statement and then look at my concluding statement, a clear definition of objective can be seen. By reading the statement I made, the meaning of my assertion "Morality is objective" should be made clear. The fact that your own definition said that objective is hard to describe and has many definitions makes it irrelevant. I was also using a different definition of objective. My argument logically flows that morality is objective.

The product of human reasoning can be pure, although humans can make mistake. They can attain mathematical and logical truth. For this reason, my argument is not invalidated.

2a. "I'm unsure as to why my opponent is under the assumption that he is exempt from providing sources for his line of thinking. This is standard procedure."

There is no official procedure or rules for debate. If a policy is being supposed, evidence is highly necessary to prove a point. However, analytics is perfectly acceptable as well. As long as my analysis flows and is reasonable, evidence might not be necessary. Evidence can be proof, but proof can also come in the form of analytical links.

"I'm looking for books, articles, journals, etc. which expound on his points and lend credibility to his argument"

This is pretty unnecessary. I could find articles and journals that agree with me, but that has no bearing on whether or not my analysis is valid.

I do not think I am exempt from providing sources. In other less philosophical debates, I have used a plethora of evidence. However, for my argument here, citing sources is pretty unnecessary. I would ask my opponent to go after my actual analysis instead of definitions and sources.

2b. "I've already shown why morality cannot be compared to mathematics in objectivity. It does not rely on any of the axioms of logic so my opponent has yet to prove this contention as well."

I have not once stated that morality can be compared to mathematics. It itself doesn't rely on the axioms of logic. I merely stated that logic and mathematics are comparable. This point is proven in my previous arguments.

3a. It is a little bit frustrating and insulting when my opponent demeans my argument as being irrelevant and not an actual debate, especially when my opponent has still not challenged any of my analysis. Apology accepted, and I apologize as well. Let's have a good finish to our debate :)

3b. "Now, the existence of the mind in no way supports for the truth of morality through objective means. Even if morality was to exist within the mind, you must still provide sufficient evidence that it holds truth for your resolution to be affirmed."

I don't mean this to be an insult, but I think once again that my opponent does not understand my argument. I did not suppose that the existence of the mind "supports for the truth of morality". Therefore, my opponent's need of evidence of this is empty. I did not claim this.

3c. Have already responded to this

3d. I have described this before. I will clarify, as I said before, at the end of this argument.

ii. I have described before the logical basis for morality. I have previously described the definition of objectivity. I am not sure why my opponent thinks that I am claiming that morality "exists in the mind", as she has stated before, and here as well. I have addressed all of these.

For clarification, here is the logical basis for morality:
Morality is an informational system. Therefore, it has an informational purity. These points have been proven previously. Humans analyze this purity through logic. Logic, having many different variations and fields, follows a few basic rules to analyze continuity in information. Just as mathematics many different variations and fields, but in its simplest form, has a few basic rules to analyze mathematical continuity. Therefore, humans analyze mathematical problems to arrive at a mathematical purity, and therefore can achieve objective truth, although mistakes in analysis can be made. Humans analyze information through logic to achieve objective truth. Example:

Premise- All balls are red
Premise- John has a ball
Conclusion- John's ball is red

Humans can analyze an informational system such as morality to extract objective truth. By logically analyzing a moral system (a devised system in which intelligent informational processors act in regard to other forms of life and other informational processors), one could come to a logically pure system, a system of morality that fairly governs what establishes the best outcome for all people involved in a situation. The most basic moral assertion made by nearly all societies in the past: Murder is wrong. Murder causes great social harm and undermines social order and security. Since all people are fundamentally the same, the only fair way to treat people is as fundamentally the same. Logically, the best way to achieve ultimate utility and happiness and to achieve an orderly, fair, happy society is by making murder wrong. This is an analysis of a moral situation. Humans have devised different moral codes in the past, with murder being a central point in nearly all of them. By analyzing what is best for the individual and the collective and analyzing what behaviors are unacceptable, then systems of morality can be developed. Morality does not have to exist inherently in the universe to be objective. Connect this argument with all previously explained arguments. There are still no analytical flaws in my argument that my opponent has brought up.

CONCLUSION
My opponent can demand that I provide sources all that she wants and claim that it is mandatory for Debate.org, but that does not make it so. Analytical links CAN be sufficient proof. I have already explained that morality is objective inherently by being an informational system. Truth value comes from a lack of flaws in an analysis, as is with a mathematical truth. If there are no flaws in a mathematical analysis, it becomes mathematical proof. My opponent has made no attempt to challenge the actual analysis in my argument. As a mostly analytical argument, this makes its negation unlikely.

Since throughout the debate my opponent has not challenged my analysis, I extend all analysis, and assert that any criticism given now is solely for the purpose of making me not be able to answer in the final round. Since my analysis has no supposed flaws by my opponent, I would say that it is not invalidated and is correct. We have both been straightforward and maybe a little blunt and I would not say any major conduct rules have been violated by either. As far as sources go, I correctly cited Descartes and my opponent misused a definition to try to prove my definition incorrect. My other non-use of sources is irrelevant to the source vote, as they were unnecessary and my argument was purely analytics (which is perfectly acceptable in a debate). My assertion that morality is objective stands. Thank you to my opponent for this debate.
annhasle

Con

Thanks for the reply. Let the last round begin!

1. I don’t think you understand my rebuttal. I’ve already shown that the morality you are describing cannot be objective due to it being created by humans and not relying upon any Laws of Logic. Therefore, there is no “logical purity” in its creation since its objectivity is not the same as mathematics and cannot be justified like its foundation is logical.

2. I sincerely hope you are kidding! In Round 2, I put forth the three axioms which the laws of Logic rely upon and asked which axiom morality depended upon. I even gave the same example using height. I’ve grown tired of this evasion.
“The product of human reasoning can be pure, although humans can make mistake. They can attain mathematical and logical truth. For this reason, my argument is not invalidated.”
Once again, you have shown that you do not understand my rebuttal. See 1a.

2a. Here’s an example of an analytic argument (simplified Ontological Argument):

1.God is possible.
2.If God exists, God necessarily exists.
3.If God does not exist necessarily, God is not possible.
4.God is possible.
5.Therefore God necessarily exists.

Now, in a debate, how would you challenge that? Well, you would attack the earliest contention and ask for evidence. Or you would ask for definitions of “God” or “possible”. This is exactly what I have done with your argument. So far you are the only one who is shocked at the use of evidence.

“This is pretty unnecessary. I could find articles and journals that agree with me, but that has no bearing on whether or not my analysis is valid.”

That is not the reason why I ask for the articles and journals. It’s too late now.

“I do not think I am exempt from providing sources. In other less philosophical debates, I have used a plethora of evidence. However, for my argument here, citing sources is pretty unnecessary. I would ask my opponent to go after my actual analysis instead of definitions and sources.”

In a less philosophical debate? Philosophy requires evidence just like any other subject. I’ve already provided an example of a philosophical debate which used multiple sources.

2b. You stated, and I quote, in Round 1: Morality provably has objective truth through logic.

So, through logic, morality can be proven. This means that the morality created by the humans is based off of logic – and by extension, it would have to be predicated on the axioms. Since you have conceded that it doesn’t rely on the axioms of logic, it is not logical and therefore, not proven through logic.

3a. I have challenged enough to prove the Burden of Proof has not been met.

3b. Once again, look at this from Round 1: Morality provably has objective truth through logic.

Here you claim that you can prove that morality has truth through logic. You have shown neither the truth and conceded that it is not logically based. QED.

3c. Have already negated this.

3d. You claim that information processing exists in the universe. Morality is a form of information processing. Therefore, truths exist about that information processing (i.e., information processing about morality).

However, your move from (A) to (B) is a non-sequitur. No one would doubt that people process information about morality. I'd be willing to grant that. What you have not shown, however, is how those truths relate to objective moral truths. It is, for example, true to say that I am thinking about Santa Clause as I am writing this sentence. This does not mean that Santa Clause actually exists independently of my thoughts about him.

Now, add my previous arguments in regards to the definition of objective, the unsupported contentions, your concession of the lack of logical justification (due to morality not relying upon any axioms of logic) and the fact that you have not proven morality is true through logic, and the resolution is negated.

Resolution Negated.
Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Apologies, I changed my vote to reflect it being non-tournament.
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
All the tournament matches are listed here: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
Roy, what are you doing? This debate was not in the tournament. Ann is facing J.Kenyon. This is separate.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
We have a tournament rule that requires participants to vote all seven points. I suspect that encourages retaliatory vote bombing.

Why is it that guppies eat their offspring and humans universally consider it immoral to do so? Reading this debate no one would get a clue as to the reason. It's really hard to judge a debate that is so abstract and unrelated to the real world. I think Pro had the edge based upon the semantics of "indirectly objective."
Posted by annhasle 5 years ago
annhasle
1. I resent the implication that my "friends" are voting for me simply because they know me.

2. I've been on this site long enough that I've gotten to know a good amount of the users here -- our friends will inevitably vote on our debates. End of story.

3. ceruleanpolymer has voted again to change his/her vote to a full 7 points -- I'm guessing this is your friend, hmm?
Posted by shmackies 5 years ago
shmackies
Apparently, annoyance is now a justification to vote against an argument. I would like to have more unbiased people vote, as the people that have voted so far are annhasle's friends.
Posted by annhasle 5 years ago
annhasle
Anyone going to vote...?
Posted by shmackies 5 years ago
shmackies
Well then read through the entirety of this debate and vote!
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
I love how ever since I started the "Morality is subjective" debate, everyone has been doing debates on wether they are objective or subjective. I consider myself a pioneer.
Posted by shmackies 5 years ago
shmackies
1. I did not concede that it doesn't rely on the axioms of logic. I stated that morality itself is not contingent upon logic, merely that you analyze morality through logic. Your point proves my resolution further. Because of analysis through axioms of logic, objective truth CAN be attained. Exactly how analysis of a mathematical system can of objective truth by analyzing with a mathematical framework. If you had actually attacked my analysis, your arguments would have been a lot more credible.

2. I already said why your definitions are unacceptable. They are vague and broad. Humans created systems of mathematics, but does that mean that there can be no objective mathematical truth? Of course not.

3. My "contentions" (misused term) were analyses. My claim that the universe is dual was not just a statement to be blindly accepted. It was part of an analysis. Finding a journal that agreed with me would lend NO credibility to my actual analysis. If you could go after my actual analysis instead of repeating empty points, your argument would be more valid.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's extremely ambiguous use of the term "indirectly objective" did not serve him well. I was not convinced that Pro's understanding of objective is correct, at least in the sense that he uses the term to affirm moral realism. The definition of objective Con gave is actually pertinent to moral realism. So, I cast my vote for Con.
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a lot of assertions, but didn't substantiate them well. He did not fulfill his burden of proof, so arguments go to Con. Con also used sources, while Pro didn't, but I didn't think the sources were all that relevant to the debate, so I'm leaving that tied.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: The debate hinged on the semantics of "indirectly objective." That odd terminology make the the debate difficult to judge, but Pro argued consistently with the claim.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 5 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
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Reasons for voting decision: the pro had a more thorough grasp of the concepts and presented convincing arguments throughout the debate.
Vote Placed by tvellalott 5 years ago
tvellalott
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Reasons for voting decision: Pros approach to the subject annoyed me. Arguments to Con. Everything else, tied.
Vote Placed by joshuaXlawyer 5 years ago
joshuaXlawyer
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Reasons for voting decision: morality is subjective and con proved this more than pro
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: Well presented on both sides, slight edge to Con.
Vote Placed by nonentity 5 years ago
nonentity
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel that Con negated all arguments put forth by Pro. Pro compares morality to mathematics without acknowledging the fact that mathematics is reliable, and will get the same results across cultures, times, and people. 2 plus 2 will always be 4 no matter what scenario. Pro did not show how this could be the same for morality.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments for RFD.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
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Reasons for voting decision: CON successfully show's how shmackies arguments are non-sequiter, and why if morality is created, it can not be objective. Pro fails to show how morality is confined to logical axioms, Great read!