The Instigator
woeler
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Morality is a product of religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,012 times Debate No: 26405
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

woeler

Con

I will argue that morality has nothing to do with religion. Religious people often claim that morality can only achieved trough religion. According to them atheists or antitheists like myself can't have morals.

I ask you, religious people: Why don't I have morals, or what is wrong with my morals? You don't see me killing another man or abusing a dog because I am nonreligious.
RationalMadman

Pro

Morality is man-made just as is religion.

There is no objective source of either.

They are co-existent and co-dependent neither is exclusive of the other.
Debate Round No. 1
woeler

Con

Your argument that morality is manmade is wrong. The morality of cooperation has been one of the key elements to survival. It might seem like we"re the only society on our planet, but we certainly aren"t. Actually, there are far more efficient societies than ours. For example: Ants and bees have a far more efficient society than ours. Their societies are more harmonious and directed towards the greater good, whether it"d be monarchy or communism.
Every single bee or ant is part of a colony as a finger is part of a body. They both work for the greater good. Ant colonies basically function like one body. They"re born, they grow, the reproduce and they die. In the harvester ant of Arizona, the queen lives for almost 20 years. Between the 3rd and the 5th year the colony grows and attacks other colonies, just like adolescent apes. They grow and want to show their dominance. After the 5th year the colony stops growing, and just like a mature ape, it starts to reproduce.
Beehives can be seen as one tentacle-creature. This creature can reach flowers as far as 1 mile away. Some ants and termites build deep underground nests in which they grow agricultural crops and fungus on carefully prepared compost of chopped leaves.
Let"s go back in time. About 5 billion years back in time. Small bacteria are living here, less than five millionth of a meter long and run by thousands of genes and chromosomes. Even these bacteria were team workers. Today bacteria swarm together to disperse their spores. Some algae form very large colonies and divide all the work over singe cells. 1.6 billion years ago the first complex cells arrived. They had over 10.000 genes. By 500 million years ago small animals began to live, the biggest was the trilobite with a little over 1 billion cells. Animals kept growing and kept evolving until today. We now know creatures like the blue whale with over 100.000 trillion cells (that is 100.000.000.000.000.000 cells). Compare your body to the ant colony. You are not one single body. You are a colony of cells cooperating to stay alive. The very moral of cooperation was not created by consciousness, it"s in our genes.
But it doesn"t stop there. All your cells are in fact coalitions themselves. Every single cell in your body is home to what we call mitochondria. Mitochondria are specialized bacteria working as batteries. They were living individually until about 800 million years ago. At that time they surrendered their independence in exchange for a life inside cells. The cells of your ancestors and even your cells.
Is it over? Nope, we can go even deeper. Inside the mitochondria are chromosomes working together and inside the nuclei of your cells are chromosomes too. In these nuclei are 46 large chromosomes, they cooperate. Inside these chromosomes are genes, about 75.000 of them. Genes work together in small teams of 50.
Researching the history of collaboration and morality in living organisms has taken us into the very depths of biology.

Morality is certainly not manmade. Animals live by moral standards as well. Morality was essential to our survival and is an evolutionary product.

--Sources--
The selfish gene - Richard Dawkins
The moral landscape - Sam Harris
The origins of Virtue - Matt Ridley
RationalMadman

Pro

I think you and I have vastly different ideas of what morality is and since you did not define it in round one I think as Pro I reserve the right to do so.

Morality[1]: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.

Let's not be stupid enough to really think an ant, bee or bacterium follow any principles of right and wrong behaviour, they merely act instinctively as to what they have been programmed to do, they have no consciousness whatsoever and are almost robots by which no logic nor reasoning passes by their minds.

Stop that nonsense right now, this is about conscious awareness of PRINCIPLES and acting on them, ants, bees and bacteria do not follow any, they merely are set to behave in a more selfless way than most species, it just is that way they didn't THINK ABOUT BEING IT! They didn't consider the PRINCIPLES BEHIND IT! They merely did it.

I would also like to define religion as you failed to do so.

Religion[2]: a particular system of faith and worship.

I believe that principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong behaviour originate from a particular system of faith or worship, for I see no way that we can derive those principles without a religion.

Sources:

[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
woeler

Con

And you're basing that argument against insects and other beings on what...? Promising research has been conducted and astonishing results have been shown. You are clearly not familiar with the research done by Nicholas Strausfeld, Holldobler, E. Wilson, D.M. Gordon, P.W. Sherman and many, many others who have researched the consciousness and morality of animals. But alright, if you wish me to drop that argument, I will. It is by far not destroyed. This comes from proper research and biological examination. I have yet to see any scientific evidence that opposes it. I stated that morality is an evolutionary imperative essential to our survival. If you acknowledge that, my argument would again prove totally valid.

Lets get to the point then:
Morals have two essential sources, those include nature and nurture. The natural urges and restraints that we all have born within us and the psychological condition achieved through personal experiences. The main part of our morality comes from our Darwinian heritage as kind of a misfired byproduct of our Darwinian past, when we lived in small villages which meant that we were surrounded by close kin, and that as you know is one good prerequisite for the evolution of altruism. The rules of thumb that applied to the small groups and villages in the past are playing themselves out under the alien conditions of modern society. Those rules included ""be nice to everyone, because they are likely to be family and/or someone you will meet again"". Nowadays this rule is a byproduct of evolution. We still use it although it isn"t needed anymore. Being nice to others is a lust. Just like sexual lust, the one difference is that we now use contraceptives so we do not actually create offspring. This is the Darwinian origin, of course it has been modified and refined by culture, civilization and society.

Sources:
The selfish gene - Richard Dawkins
The ancestors tale - Richard Dawkins

The argument that our morality today is like it is because of religion is absurd. The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include what? Stoning people for adultery?(Bukhari 6:60:79) Death for blasphemy?(Leviticus 24:13-16) Punishment for breaking the Sabbath?( Exodus 31:14) Those are all things which are religiously based absolute moralities. I don"t think we want an absolute morality. I think we want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, discussed, argued and base upon (no pun intended) intelligent design. If you actually look at the moralities that are accepted among modern people, 21st century people; we do not believe in slavery anymore, we believe in equality of women, we believe in being kind to animals. These are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in biblical or quranic scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time through a combination of reasoning, sober discussion, argument, legal theory, political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion, to the extent that you can find the good bits in religion, but you have to cherry pick. People search their way through the bible or the quran and find the occasional verse that is an acceptable profession of morality, and they say ""look! Look at that, that"s religion!"" and they leave out all the horrible bits. When asked they say ""oh, we don"t believe that anymore. We"ve grown out of that"". Well of course they"ve grown out of it! They have grown out of it because of secular, moral philosophy and rational discussion.
RationalMadman

Pro

Your entire second half of debate is irrelevant, jus tbecause Islam and Christianity (the only religions you referred to) have immorality within their scripture does not at all contribute to the disproving of the proposition that morality is a product of religion, please do not refer to religious scripts, just because a religion is wrong doesn't disprove the pro, it merely states that morality is not a product of those religions only, this doens't exclude other religions so please do nto continue wiht that part.

I fail to understand the following phrases and would like proof of all, if proof cannot be given, retract all statements and re-iterate round 3's debate:
  1. "Being nice to others is a lust. Just like sexual lust, the one difference is that we now use contraceptives so we do not actually create offspring."
  2. "The main part of our morality comes from our Darwinian heritage as kind of a misfired byproduct of our Darwinian past"
What evidence do you have, if ants, bess and bacteria are conscious, that they do not regard the queen of their colony (or bacteria regard a god) as the source of their morality, exactly you have none thus this renders that argument null, thank you very much, please just drop that nonsensical argument.

I see not a single reason given to oppose the opropoition that principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong behaviour originate from a particular system of faith or worship, for I see no way that we can derive those principles without a religion.
Debate Round No. 3
woeler

Con

woeler forfeited this round.
RationalMadman

Pro

Concession!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Debate Round No. 4
woeler

Con

woeler forfeited this round.
RationalMadman

Pro

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by woeler 4 years ago
woeler
No problem Sir. I think I'll stick to that too (Joined today)
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
Thank you. I may do just that, but I won't do it at the moment because I am involved in another debate right now and I like doing one debate at a time.
Posted by woeler 4 years ago
woeler
You can start another debate with me if you like :P
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
I would argue that morality is independent of religion but not independent of God.
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