The Instigator
3RU7AL
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
CosmoJarvis
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Morality is indisputable.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
CosmoJarvis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,965 times Debate No: 102174
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (43)
Votes (3)

 

3RU7AL

Pro

Thank you for participating in this debate. I will be arguing in favor of the view that morality is indisputable.

In order to qualify for this challenge, you must have completed at least 1 debate.

(IFF) morality requires principles (AND) principles require truth (AND) truth requires fact (AND) fact requires indisputability (THEN) morality cannot be disputable.

(IFF) morality is disputable then it does not logically qualify as morality per its own definition (and may be more precisely described as an opinion which does not require the property of indisputability).

Therefore if some people think that eating a bacon cheeseburger is a violation of "the law of the YHWH" and any violation of "the law of the YHWH" is "immoral" and some people dispute this, then eating a bacon cheeseburger cannot possibly qualify as a "moral violation" based on the definitions detailed below because it is not strictly indisputable.

Morality: "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior".
https://www.google.com...

Principle: "a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning".
https://www.google.com...

Truth: "that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality".
https://www.google.com...

Fact: "a thing that is indisputably the case".
https://www.google.com...

Feel free to expand upon and/or challenge any of the arguments described above or add your own. I look forward to having a civil conversation regarding the topic at hand.
CosmoJarvis

Con

Outline:
I. Introduction
II. What are Morals?
III. Different Types of Morality in Different Cultures
IV. Rebuttals
V. Sources

I. Introduction

I thank my opponent for setting up an interesting debate and wish him good luck.

The idea being debated is the belief that morality is "indisputable." My opponent, pro, is arguing that morality is indisputable, or objective, saying that morality directly relates to fact and indisputability. I will be arguing that morals are subjective and are fallible and disputable by defining morals and explaining how morals are different in various cultures and why.

II. What are Morals?

According to Dictionary.com, morals are "principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct," [1].


Objective morals are morals created by a higher power and are "indisputable," while subjective morals are morals subject to interpretation, one's personality and experiences, and one's culture, and are "disputable" to other morals.

III. Different Types of Morality in Different Cultures

As I have said in my introduction, I am arguing that morals are subjective and are disputable. As philosophynow.org argues, "if morality were objective then every member of our species would share the same moral values. But it is apparent that we do not share the same moral values," [2]. Instead, we gain morals based on our society's moral values, outside influences and experiences.


Firstly, I would like to discuss the Aztecs. As most may know, the Aztecs were a large empire in central Mexico that dominated during the 14th to 16th centuries. Compared to today's society, many may find some parts of Aztec culture to be considered archaic such as frequent human sacrifices. In fact, prisoners of war and peasant children were often used as sacrifices[3]. Actions such as drunkenness were deplorable according to the Aztecs and were punishable by death. Consumption of alcoholic beverages was required during certain religious rituals but was restricted to people otherwise, except to elders [4]. Now, of course, in today's society, drunkenness, while looked down upon and sometimes may result in penalties such as jail time (if someone is drunk driving or is harming others), is not dealt with a punishment as terrible as death. However, because morals are subjective, the Aztecan society came to a consensus that things such as drunkenness were terrible and should be dealt with harshly and that human sacrifice was appropriate to avoid the Gods' wrath.

Another example, much simpler and easier, demonstrating how morals are subjective are a basic difference in what people believe. For example, I personally believe that the acceptance of homosexuality and the granting of legal rights to homosexual is moral and provides justice to the minority. However, many people (nearly 45% or so of Americans) find this immoral as it violates their religious beliefs, grants legal rights to the LGBT community, and is supposedly the "way of Satan." Around 17% of people on DDO supported the Iran-Iraq war, arguing that it was the "greater good," helping Americans and helped stop the Iranian Regime because, as AbuJarir states, "the Iranian Regieme is the root of all of Earth's problems and why we can't have World Peace." On the other hand, 83% of people on DDO said that it was unnecessary, caused further tensions between America and the Middle East and, as MakeDebatingGreatAgain says, "this is what brought terrorism to America, and now the only way to stop them is to continue this fight, which was unnessacary in the first place," [5]. We can visibly see that people have differences in opinions and in their moral standpoint. These disagreements show how morals are clearly subjective.

IV. Rebuttals

My opponent's argument is based solely on the idea that morals require principles that consist of "truth" and "fact." My opponent follows this idea with little support, aside from a remark regarding the "law of the YHWH" and bacon cheeseburgers. My opponent fails to continue further support his argument.

My opponent assumes that morality is based on facts. However, as I have demonstrated, it is developed from one's culture or experiences, or outside influences.


V. Sources

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

[2] https://philosophynow.org...
[3] http://aztecsandtenochtitlan.com...
[4] http://www.mexicolore.co.uk...
[5] http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 1
3RU7AL

Pro

I am honored that CON has decided to participate in this debate.

However, there seems to have been some conclusion jumping.

The concept of "objectivity" is outside the scope of this discussion.

I am making a very simple and perfectly logical statement based on the common definitions listed explicitly in round 1.

(IFF) morality requires principles (AND) principles require truth (AND) truth requires fact (AND) fact requires indisputability (THEN) morality cannot be disputable.

Based on this, I will add the following clarification.

(IFF) morality cannot be disputable (THEN) any attempt to make a moral claim evaporates the moment anyone disputes such a claim.

In other words, based on common definitions, only indisputable claims can actually qualify as moral claims.

Disputable claims cannot be moral claims. This makes morality like a delicate glass sculpture that can be shattered by even the slightest hint of disputability. Whoops!! Uh, well, I thought it was morality, but it just sort of shattered into exactly three million two hundred and twenty two thousand pieces when I attempted to examine it, so it was probably merely "a strongly held opinion"...

It is a simple enough matter to dispute a moral claim, or even to point out that it is essentially "disputable" even if we don't personally dispute a particular claim.

Often people like to bring up horrific crimes which they believe prove the existence of morality, and by a standard of "indisputability" perhaps such claims actually are "morally wrong" at least if everyone who is asked agrees. However, this would mean that morality dosen't cover 99.999% of the other, non horrifying actions that are commonly and easily disputed.

Morality is indisputable by definition. If you can dispute a moral claim, it cannot be considered morality.

I'd like to address one quote by CON,

"My opponent assumes that morality is based on facts. However, as I have demonstrated, it is developed from one's culture or experiences, or outside influences."

I have "assumed" nothing. I have based my assertions on the most common and mundane definitions. CON doesn't even seem to be talking about the same thing (morality), when CON talks about other cultures. Social norms are more like shared values or consensus opinions. Intersubjective observations that are generally defined as "normal" for a particular group of people at a particular time and place. As you can see, these social norms are not "indisputable" generally, and therefore cannot be considered "morality".

(If CON would like to dispute these definitions, please only use common definitions. CON has offered an alternative definition of "morality" but since it does mention the word "principles", it is not essentially different than my own.)

I hope this clears up our (possible) misunderstanding. I would like to thank CON again and look forward to the next round.
CosmoJarvis

Con

Rebuttals:

"The concept of 'objectivity' is outside the scope of this discussion."
My opponent claims that I have jumped to conclusions. He follows this by saying that his claim is not about how morals are objective but are indisputable. However, my opponent clearly describes objective morals with statements such as "only indisputable claims can actually qualify as moral claims" and that morals consist of "principles [that] requires truth... truth [that] requires fact... fact [that] requires indisputability..." In this case, the morals my opponent is describing and objective morals are synonymous.

"Disputable claims cannot be moral claims... It is a simple enough matter to dispute a moral claim, or even to point out that it is essentially 'disputable'..."
Moral claims are assertions of whether something is morally good or bad such as "torture is morally bad." Moral claims make up one's morality.
My opponent first states that moral claims are not disputable. In that regard, he suggests moral claims, like his definition of morals, consist of facts. Yet, in the following paragraph, he says that moral claims can be disputable. This is a fatal flaw in my opponent's argument. By admitting that moral claims can be disputable, then why can't one's morals be disputable?

"I have 'assumed' nothing. I have based my assertions on the most common and mundane definitions. CON doesn't even seem to be talking about the same thing (morality), when CON talks about other cultures. Social norms are more like shared values or consensus opinions... As you can see, these social norms are not 'indisputable' generally, and therefore cannot be considered 'morality"
To refute my arguments about how morals are based on my experience, my opponent said that experience and subjective ideas are not "indisputable," and therefore "cannot be considered 'morality." However, my opponent has never provided substantial claims that morals were ever "indisputable," aside from basic definitions. Because my opponent has failed to provide a proper burden of proof and examples demonstrating how morals are indisputable, my opponent cannot conclude that morals are "indisputable."
Debate Round No. 2
3RU7AL

Pro

As much as CON might enjoy conflating the terms "indisputable" and "objective", I would like to point out that they are not identical and I have made absolutely no claim that "morality" requires the quality of "objectivity". I would like to politely ask CON to please focus on the debate resolution stated clearly in round 1 which is quite simply, "Morality is indisputable" which is abundantly clear, based on the definitions presented explicitly in round 1.

I am merely pointing out that, according to the most common and mundane definition, morality is required to have the quality of indisputability. Please stay on topic.

I would like to refer to another quote from CON,

"My opponent first states that moral claims are not [or rather must not be] disputable [by definition]. In that regard, he suggests moral claims, like his definition of morals, consist of facts [or rather, moral claims should be held up to the standard of the definition of morality]. Yet, in the following paragraph, he says that moral claims can [often] be disputable [if they fail to meet the standard defined by the definition of morality]. This is [probably not] a fatal flaw in my opponent's argument. By admitting that moral claims can be disputable, then why can't one's morals [one's morals should be expected to meet the standard of the definition of morality, this does not mean that all moral claims meet this standard] be disputable?"

It would seem that CON also enjoys conflating "moral claims" and "morality" and "one's morals".

In the same way that all truth claims do not actually meet the standards defined by the definition of truth, not all moral claims meet the standards defined by the definition of morality.

Put more simply, just because someone says their claim is moral, this does not make it automatically immune to investigation. It is very likely that when a so-called moral claim is subjected to proper scrutiny, it will fail to meet the definition of morality and would therefore probably be better described as something like a "strongly held belief".

I would like to refer to yet another quote from CON,

"To refute my arguments about how morals are based on my experience, my opponent said that experience and subjective ideas are not "indisputable," and therefore "[by definition] cannot be considered 'morality." However, my opponent has never provided substantial claims that morals were ever "indisputable," aside from basic definitions [which CON has made absolutely no attempt to dispute, so they would seem to stand quite firmly]. Because my opponent has failed to provide a proper burden of proof and examples [pure logic doesn't seem to carry any weight with CON apparently] demonstrating how morals are indisputable, [CON makes a deliberately misleading assertion:] my opponent cannot conclude that morals are "indisputable.""

Yes, my key support for the debate resolution "Morality is indisputable" is explicitly stated in round 1. CON had full knowledge of my position before accepting this debate and has yet to negate the resolution in any way. CON's round 1 attempt to drag "a higher power" (item II) into this is especially erroneous.

Please focus on eviscerating the logic of my round 1 support instead of merely conflating terms and jumping randomly off-topic.

I hope this clears up our (possible) misunderstanding. I would like to thank CON again and look forward to the next round.
CosmoJarvis

Con

Throughout the course of this debate, I have stated that morality is disputable and is subject to one's experiences and culture. Through examples such as polling demonstrating the differences in opinion in a moral debate and discussing the nature of the Aztecs and how some of their traditions can be considered immoral by today's standards yet moral during their time, I have established how morality can be disputable and subject to various interpretations.

My opponent's arguments consist of simplistic definitions of words from Google.com alongside the following proposal: "(IFF) morality requires principles (AND) principles require truth (AND) truth requires fact (AND) fact requires indisputability (THEN) morality cannot be disputable."

My opponent has constantly dismissed my arguments by saying that I have jumped to incorrect conclusions with the "concept of 'objectivity' is outside the scope of this discussion," and saying that my arguments do not abide the definitions for words that he has provided.

My opponent's argument fails to provide a burden of proof aside from overly simplistic definitions. He has not provided evidence such as real-world applications to support his argument. Also, my opponent has only used one website to support his claims (Google.com), limiting his reliability. On the contrary, I have also used input from multiple reliable sources to support my claims such as PhilosophyNow.org.

My opponent concludes by calling my arguments "especially erroneous" and addressing me, saying "Please focus on eviscerating the logic of my round 1 support instead of merely conflating terms and jumping randomly off-topic."

This has been an exciting debate and I would like to thank my opponent for this opportunity. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 3RU7AL 8 months ago
3RU7AL
CosmoJarvis:

I put lots of words in quotations as a matter of course if I believe their meaning seems unclear or imprecise (to me) or if there is some explicit and obvious dispute of their definitions.

Thanks for your clarification about the "or habits" thing.

It has been an honor to have this discussion with you and I have learned some important lessons.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 8 months ago
CosmoJarvis
I argued that mortality is disputable primarily because morals are not objective. People do not share the same morals, therefore people's perspective on morals, or morality, can be disputed between different cultures.

I do not believe I argued about how morality does not require principles and the bit about habits.

Also, with all due respect, why are you putting certain words in quotations? Is this mockery of some sort - suggesting that my understanding of morality is wrong and that I shouldn't have won by putting the words, morality and won, in quotations?
Posted by 3RU7AL 8 months ago
3RU7AL
CosmoJarvis:

Were you trying to argue that "morality" does not require "principles" because "morality" is instead comprised of "habits"?

Because I'm pretty sure you never said any such thing, even though Jonbonbon and whiteflame say you "won" the debate based on that argument.
Posted by 3RU7AL 8 months ago
3RU7AL
whiteflame:

I can't believe I just noticed your mention of the "or habits" portion of CosmoJarvis' proposed definition of "morality".

Yes, if "morality" is based on "habits" and not on "principles" then "morality" can be "disputable".

However, I think the general population would not agree that "morality"="habits".

Thanks again for your detailed and insightful analysis.
Posted by 3RU7AL 8 months ago
3RU7AL
Jonbonbon:

Thank you for taking the time to vote on this debate.
Posted by Jonbonbon 8 months ago
Jonbonbon
It's kind of weird. I remember writing something different in my vote. Either way, people seem to think it's sufficient, and the debate is over. If I'd written what I thought I wrote, points wouldn't have been effected.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 8 months ago
CosmoJarvis
Good debate, 3RU7AL.
Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Jonbonbon// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Only arguments will be awarded- Pro argues that morality requires principles. Con essentially attacks this in two ways, and he only needs one to bring down the proposition. Con argues both that principles do not exist and that morality does not rely on principles. Con presents examples where morality differs among cultures, and shows a lack of evidence for principles. Pro responds by getting hung up in wording. For the purpose of debate something that's indisputivle is objective. Con showed why that's the case, and pro did not show why it wasn't the case. Pro spends the rest of the debate defending his wording versus his con's, and he never establishes that moral principles actually exist, which is essential to win. Con at least has solid ground in saying that if moral was indisputable, everyone would agree on morality. Pro never disputed this. I am unable to affirm the resolution under pro's case due to a severe lack of support at the focal point of the debate, so I vote con.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter is required to provide specific assessment of arguments made by both sides. While it is unclear that Con explicitly made the arguments discussed in this RFD, the voter is allowed some discretion in the assessment of what she may perceive as implied argumentation. The voter also provides an alternative reason for voting that is based largely on the points made in the debate, and while it could be more thoroughly explained where she sees these points being made, the vote is nonetheless sufficient under moderation standards.
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Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
whiteflame
I'm torn on this one, guys, because neither side does much of anything to support their definitions, and based on which definition I accept, the rest of the debate is a landslide victory for one side.

Either I buy Pro's definition and view that morality is solely based on principles, in which case I'm buying the assertion (which goes uncontested) that principles require truth, thus requiring fact, thus being undisputed (all unsupported assertions, but never challenged), or I buy Con's definition, which includes "principles or habits", and thus I can agree with his argument that all of the exemplar habits he provides are effectively defined as moral within their contexts, and thus are subjective as they are disputable.

Trouble is, neither side provides any argumentation in support for their definition, nor do they throw any shade at the other side's definition (beyond Con's assertion that Google is a problematic source, which really doesn't address the definition itself). It wasn't made clear at all that Con had to accept the definitions as written in the first round, and in fact it's stated that he should challenge them if he wishes to do so. Merely presenting an alternative definition isn't much of a challenge, but it does nonetheless call Pro's definition into question.

So I'm stuck here, guys. I can't vote either direction because both sides just zone in on supporting their view of the definition and neither side does anything to make their definition stand out. I buy that you're both very successful under your views, but without a reason to prefer either definition, I simply abstain from awarding points.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 8 months ago
CosmoJarvis
Likewise. I apologize for misinterpreting the debate topic. If we debate again, I will try to pay greater attention to what the debate topic is and, if I am confused about the topic, I'll ask for clarification before accepting the debate.

I appreciate debating with you, especially since, unlike many whom I have debated against, you have been very respectful and proved to be a great debater.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 8 months ago
whiteflame
3RU7ALCosmoJarvisTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 8 months ago
Jonbonbon
3RU7ALCosmoJarvisTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Only arguments will be awarded- Pro argues that morality requires principles. Con essentially attacks this in two ways, and he only needs one to bring down the proposition. Con argues both that principles do not exist and that morality does not rely on principles. Con presents examples where morality differs among cultures, and shows a lack of evidence for principles. Pro responds by getting hung up in wording. For the purpose of debate something that's indisputivle is objective. Con showed why that's the case, and pro did not show why it wasn't the case. Pro spends the rest of the debate defending his wording versus his con's, and he never establishes that moral principles actually exist, which is essential to win. Con at least has solid ground in saying that if moral was indisputable, everyone would agree on morality. Pro never disputed this. I am unable to affirm the resolution under pro's case due to a severe lack of support at the focal point of the debate, so I vote con.
Vote Placed by PowerPikachu21 8 months ago
PowerPikachu21
3RU7ALCosmoJarvisTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: See comments for expanded RFD. Pro's argument relied too much on definitions and expecting me to understand his argument, whereas Con showed that morals can change depending on your culture.