The Instigator
Letsdebate24
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Tophatdoc
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Morality is fair

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Tophatdoc
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 702 times Debate No: 44240
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Letsdebate24

Pro

I will be arguing that morality helps to ensure fairness among all people.
Tophatdoc

Con

I accept and I would like to thank Pro for hosting this debate. I as Con will be arguing morality is not fair. I will be courteous and await my opponent to provide his argument first.
Debate Round No. 1
Letsdebate24

Pro

I look forward to this debate.
The origins of morality have been debated since man began to question religion. Many people believe that it comes directly from religion or the God's where as others believe it is purely the creation of man so that we can live in a civil society. Personally I tend to believe we created it.
Morality puts a figurative leash on our true nature which is not as kind hearted as we've been shaped to be but it creates a more fair society for everyone.
For example: In the early years of America's creation slavery was the right of anyone who had enough money to buy one. Slavery is to take away the freedom of another person and force them to do literally whatever the owner desired. Slavery was done simply because people could with no consequences. They believed the slave to be beneath human dignity and thus justifying the possession of another person. Clearly this was not fair and over the course of time people began to realize what they were doing was morally wrong and slowly slavery was abolished. Morality set slaves free which everyone can agree was the fair thing to do.
Tophatdoc

Con

I won't contest my Pro's point that morality is man made. I agree with that point.

First let us go over the definitions of in words in the resolution.

Morality:"beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior[1]"
[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Fair:"treating people in a way that does not favor some over others[2]"
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The resolution is "Morality is fair." Morality is not fair. Why? Because it is created by human beings from my observations. My opponent agrees on that point that morality is man made. So it can not be fair because it is not absolute. It is relative as my opponent has shown with his examples. The standards of morality are relative so how can it be fair? When one benefits and another suffers how is that fair? There is no absolute authority to dictate fairness either. The only authority is through those who have the most power. Therefore they are only an authority through the threat of force. Fairness has no valid basis. So morality can not be fair.

"Morality puts a figurative leash on our true nature which is not as kind hearted as we've been shaped to be but it creates a more fair society for everyone."
It can not be fair because there is no such valid concept of fairness. That is exclusively a matter of opinion because there is no absolute authority to derive fairness from.

"In the early years of America's creation slavery was the right of anyone who had enough money to buy one. Slavery is to take away the freedom of another person and force them to do literally whatever the owner desired. Slavery was done simply because people could with no consequences. They believed the slave to be beneath human dignity and thus justifying the possession of another person. Clearly this was not fair and over the course of time people began to realize what they were doing was morally wrong and slowly slavery was abolished. Morality set slaves free which everyone can agree was the fair thing to do."

Morality was the initial reason why the Atlantic Slave Trade took place. Pope Nicholas V issued an edict so save these unbelievers[3]. Was this fair? I would say it was not.

[3]http://www.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Letsdebate24

Pro

My opponent believes that because it is created by human beings but that does nothing to negate the fact that the nature of moral decisions are ones that tend to be fair. I do not contend that morality is absolute but that its creation was to ensure people would make decisions that are more fair. I believe my opponent missed the point in my example of slavery. People were not showing morality by owning slaves but when morality was applied slavery was abolished. People began to ask themselves if it was fair to own another human being and deny them all rights.
"The only authority is through those who have the most power" This is a perfect example when applied to my slavery example because the slave owners were the ones with the power and they decided to relinquish the power and start granting them their rights. To make them equal was fair.

Here's another example of slavery that swaps the ones in power.
An employee has the chance to steal some merchandise from their employer but they decide it would not be morally acceptable.
In this example the employer is the one who has the most power and yet the employee still makes a morally upstanding decision. They determine that stealing is not fair just because they have the opportunity.
Both morality and fairness are beliefs that are man made so it has to be judged on a case by case basis to determine if the decision made was moral and fair because there is no absolution in either.
The following are "defined" definitions fair

fair1

/fe(ə)r

1. in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.

2. just or appropriate in the circumstances.

3. without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage.

This definition reaffirms my position on fairness because these are scenarios that do not require any absolution.
Number 1 can be applied in many aspects of our every day lives such someone playing a game. If they do not cheat that are playing fair.

Number 2 specifies that it is according to the circumstances (meaning no absolution)

Number 3 can be the same as number 1.
Tophatdoc

Con

"My opponent believes that because it is created by human beings but that does nothing to negate the fact that the nature of moral decisions are ones that tend to be fair. I do not contend that morality is absolute but that its creation was to ensure people would make decisions that are more fair"

Fairness is exclusively a matter of perspective. If it is a matter of perspective it is inherently an opinion not a fact. How can it be a fact when Pro even admitted in the United States the morality on slavery changed? If the morality regarding the subject of slavery can be changed how can morality indefinitely be fair? Previously the morality behind slavery was not fair to those whom were enslaved. Even Pro admits morality is not absolute so it can not be fair because it is a matter of perspective as I just demonstrated.

" I believe my opponent missed the point in my example of slavery. People were not showing morality by owning slaves but when morality was applied slavery was abolished. People began to ask themselves if it was fair to own another human being and deny them all rights."

Pro has only shown a certain morality which he considers acceptable. Pro thinks slavery is morally wrong. There are others who think otherwise and history has shown this[1]. Pro is claiming that abolishing slavery is absolutely moral and to maintain it is not moral. But didn't Pro say earlier, " I do not contend that morality is absolute." So how can Pro make the claim the abolishment of slavery is exclusively moral while implying having slaves is immoral. Pro has already shown he does not have the authority or that he believes in such an authority to hand down such an absolute claim. Therefore he has only shown that abolishing slavery is moral from his views on morality only.

[1]http://www.bbc.co.uk...

I won't focus on this point too much because it is not too relevant to the debate. Pro believes that slave owners ended slavery. In the United States, this did not happen[2]. A minor event called the American Civil War took place that resulted in half a million casualties which ended slavery not slave owners. Slavery did not end because the slave owners decided to change their morals.

[2]http://www.bbc.co.uk...

"An employee has the chance to steal some merchandise from their employer but they decide it would not be morally acceptable. In this example the employer is the one who has the most power and yet the employee still makes a morally upstanding decision. They determine that stealing is not fair just because they have the opportunity."

Who says it is not morally acceptable for the employee to steal? I would argue from the employee's perspective it is fair and moral for him to steal. The employee is benefiting himself by stealing. Of course the employer wouldn't like this nefarious act. But why should the employee care? What Pro really is insisting is a certain type of morality which he subscribes to. But he has already admitted it is not absolute. So how can Pro prove it is fair? He does not believe ,orality is absolute so morality is based on opinions according to him. If something is moral for one how can we distinguish what is not moral for another? Morality cannot be fair because it is based on opinionated talk.

"Both morality and fairness are beliefs that are man made so it has to be judged on a case by case basis to determine if the decision made was moral and fair because there is no absolution in either."

"Judged by a case by case basis," interesting. Who would have the authority to dictate the absolute claim for what is moral and what is not? For example, my opponent and I agree on 50% of the issues currently. But we disagree on Euthanasia. I assume Pro would claim that Euthanasia is moral and fair. I tend to think otherwise because I don't think it is fair or moral in many cases. So how can he determine that his opinion is fair and mine is not? That is a matter of opinion exclusively.

"This definition reaffirms my position on fairness because these are scenarios that do not require any absolution."

The definitions speak for themselves. Pro has only shown his morals and his views of what fairness is not any form of absolute morals or fairness. Let us look at the definitions of fairness that Pro has posted in his argument and analyze what is said. If you look at the first definition, it says " in accordance with the rules or standards." So who makes the rules to be "fair"? That is a matter of opinion only. The second definition, "just or appropriate in the circumstances." Who determines what is just? Once again, an opinion from human only according to Pro.The third definition, "without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage."Who determines what is an unjust advantage? That would be whoever determines what is just. According to Pro, it is not a god or the gods, so it must be man made. Therefore we are left to the opinion of those with the ability enforce their form of morality and their form of fairness.

Morality is not fair. The best example of this is right here on this website. I'm referring to the RFDs. There will be some debates where someone may votebomb. Some would consider it moral or just for a moderator to intervene and throw out said vote. Is this fair for a moderator to throw out a vote? Let us use a more contemptible example. What happens if the moderator is friends with one of the participants of a debate and just decides to throw out votes he doesn't like? Nothing will happen to the moderator because he is the supreme authority on RFDs. Is this fair? From the party that suffers from the lost votes, it is not fair. Fairness is relative to perspective, it is a matter of opinion not a fact.
Debate Round No. 3
Letsdebate24

Pro

The world we live in is not so black and white that we can claim things to be absolute.
This is similar to the debate "is love real", the trouble is love is not something physical but it is as real as anything in the world to those who have it.
Con seems to believe that because morality is not absolute it cannot possibly be fair and that being a matter of perspective somehow diminishes the intent of morality which is to be fair. I suppose a more appropriate way to define morality would be "the intent to be fair to others" because like love, sadness, happiness they are all just situation conditional, not one is absolute. There is only one thing in life that is an absolute and that is that death will take us all.
True though it may be that morality is not always fair it is certainly intended to be by those that choose to have morals. Those that engaged in slavery were not being moral by definition despite any justifications they made in their minds.

The 2nd definition of morality listed in your source is much more matter of factly stated

: the degree to which something is right and good : the moral goodness or badness of something

Those that fought in the American Civil War were indeed slave owners at one time such as Abraham Lincoln the 16th president. The north owned slaves though not as many but they were the ones that initiated the abolishment of slavery.
http://slavenorth.com...
Tophatdoc

Con

"The world we live in is not so black and white that we can claim things to be absolute.This is similar to the debate "is love real", the trouble is love is not something physical but it is as real as anything in the world to those who have it."

Love may be advocated by some forms of morality but not all. Some forms of morality denounce any form of intimacy therefore love will not exist in said system. Nor is love and morality are the same or comparable for that matter. That is a "Weak Analogy" fallacy[1].

[1]http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

"Con seems to believe that because morality is not absolute it cannot possibly be fair and that being a matter of perspective somehow diminishes the intent of morality which is to be fair."

I said in the previous rounds that fairness can not exist according to Pro's reasoning due to the simple fact there is no absolute judge for fairness. At least according to his line of reasoning in this debate thus far. Therefore fairness must be relative according to his perception. Then it is a matter of competing perspectives of what fair is.

"I suppose a more appropriate way to define morality would be "the intent to be fair to others" because like love, sadness, happiness they are all just situation conditional, not one is absolute."

Even according to the association to morality Pro has provided in the above sentence is relative. The "intent to be fair to others" is extremely relative. For example, if I lived in some countries and was one of the wealthiest persons, I could have majority of my income stolen every year. It is considered moral and just to take at least 75% of my income away a year that I earned from voluntary engagements with others. The country I am referring to immediatly is France and they steal income by taxing other it from people[2]. It is done out of "fairness" to others. I ask is this fair? If so, how so because the money that these people have is earned. While the government steals that which it can not receive naturally for itself. Yes it is a form of stealing because the government is using coercion and other threats to take that which does not belong to it.

[2]http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Steal:"to take (something that you are not supposed to have) without asking for permission"
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...

"True though it may be that morality is not always fair it is certainly intended to be by those that choose to have morals."

Once again, my opponent has made it clear that only his morals are acceptable(at least in his opinion). I would make the claim that everyone has a form of morals. Just not the type of morals Pro subscribes to. For example, some societies tolerate adultrey, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and other libertine acts. While these committing these acts in other societies could get one sentenced to death because it is considered immoral[3]. Everyone has a form of morals but the morals tend to be relative to states, nations, tribes, families, and individuals.

[3]http://www.ekantipur.com...

"Those that engaged in slavery were not being moral by definition despite any justifications they made in their minds.........
: the degree to which something is right and good : the moral goodness or badness of something"

Yes, the slave owners were being moral because from their perception they were teaching people to be upright and train them in Christianity. In their minds they were right. Again, Pro has tried to force his morals onto others by dictating what is moral and what is not. But he does not have the authority to make that claim because he does not believe in a supreme authority to judge morality. Therefore morals are relative to the individual as I stated earlier and other times throughout the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
Letsdebate24

Pro

Upon reviewing the last round I must concede and admit defeat. I was not too sure I would be able to win this but the in depth analysis of the concept was worth the loss. My opponent has provided exceptional arguments in this debate and I look forward to our next debate.
Tophatdoc

Con

Again, I would like to thank Pro for hosting this debate and offering his time for this debate. Vote Con please.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
@FeedFwd, Read my response at the beginning of Round 2.
Posted by FeedFwd 3 years ago
FeedFwd
How is fair defined? Equal outcome or equal opportunity or something else?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Letsdebate24TophatdocTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Great debate, but when Pro said "True though it may be that morality is not always fair" he effectively lost and was gracious in concession. I thought Con had more and good sources, so source points to Con. With respect to conduct and spelling and grammar I split the points. Very nice debate to both.
Vote Placed by Anakin 3 years ago
Anakin
Letsdebate24TophatdocTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: To determine whats fair one would have to go back to countless years, centuries etc. Its too relative to the person deciding. The fact is life isnt fair so therefore morality cant be.