The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
The Contender
Rjupudi18
Con (against)

Morality is subjective not objective

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 116 times Debate No: 97093
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Capitalistslave

Pro

Round 1: acceptance, introduction, and brief explanation of your position
Round 2: Main arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion

Morality, for this debate, shall be defined as "Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour"[1]

Subjective is defined as "Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions:" [2]

Objective is defined as "(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts" and "Not dependent on the mind for existence" [3]

I shall be arguing that morality is subjective and shall do so by bringing up examples of societies which have had different morals and how morality is ingrained inside the brain and thus dependent on the mind.
Sources:
[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
Rjupudi18

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

The first evidence I have that morality is subjective, is through looking at various cultures. Let's have a comparison between American culture and cultures elsewhere.
For example, in the US it is okay to:
1) eat beef
2) Drink Alcohol and gamble
3) Allow women in school and businesses
4) For women to wear shorts and have face uncovered.
However: in India it is not okay to eat beef; in Middle Eastern Islamic countries it is not okay to drink Alcohol or gamble; In Afghanistan it is not okay for women to go to school or go into business; and in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan it is not okay for women to wear shorts or have their face uncovered. [1]

For the reverse, it is wrong in America to:
1) Kill newborn females
2) Perform female genital mutilation
3) For a family member to kill a woman family member who is raped
However, in China and India it is okay to kill newborn females; In many African nations it is okay to perform FGM; and in Somalia and Sudan it is okay for a family member to kill a woman family member who is raped. [1]

These examples show that morality differs from culture to culture, which indicates a subjective morality and shows morality is relative.

Second, it has been found in a study performed by Goldstein & Cialdini, "that feeling psychologically close to another person is enough for this person"s behavior (whether the behavior is ethical or unethical) to affect our own." [2] For example, they "found that hotel guests who learned that most other guests had reused their towels (the social-proof appeal) were 26 percent more likely to recycle their towels than were those who were only exposed to a general prosocial environmental-protection message."[2] Thus this indicates that our actions and what we determine to be right is largely dependent on what others around us are doing. This would indicate that morality is changeable and can be molded based on what people feel is right. If a person sees other doing something, they will be more likely to feel that thing is right. In Francesca Gino's and Adam D. Galinsky's own experiments, they found that most people were more likely to deem an unethical action of a person to be ethical if they felt psychologically close to that person. [2]

Third, studies have been done showing that moral judgments can be altered in an individual through the use of magnets upon a portion of a person's brain. [3] What this implies is very significant. It implies that 1) there is a portion of the brain which determines what we consider to be right and wrong, and since different people across the world develop different senses of right and wrong as shown above, this means we all develop differently in the brain for that portion in which we determine what is morally right. 2) it means a person's sense of morality can be completely changed in another way besides having psychological closeness to an individual.

Finally, I imagine someone could argue that some things are objectively wrong such as murder, however as I showed above, in some countries it is okay to kill people in circumstances other nations consider immoral. Secondly, psychopaths and sociopaths also do not see murder wrong in any instance.

Sources:
[1] http://www.qcc.cuny.edu...
[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com... (you should be able to access the full document if you go to google scholar and look for the article, and then click on the link "[doc] harvard.edu". The link provided here is only the abstract)
[3] http://news.mit.edu...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 week ago
missmedic
It is important not to confuse objective morality with absolutist morality. The latter is a hallmark of religious doctrines, which make statements of the type "thou shalt not". But an objective morality, i.e. a morality based on the facts of reality, does not need to be of that type. All it needs in order to be objective is to refer to some facts of reality as source of moral judgments.
Posted by sboss18 3 weeks ago
sboss18
Darn, already got accepted, nevermind.
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 weeks ago
Capitalistslave
sboss18: I suppose you could say that, but I don't go down without arguing for my point of view. I only concede if I see no other way to argue against that example. I will argue, where possible, that their example doesn't prove that moral choice is objective. If I see there is no way for me to win, I'd concede.
Posted by sboss18 3 weeks ago
sboss18
Meaning if your opponent comes up with a counterexample for a single case where a moral choice is strictly objective, you essentially concede?
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 weeks ago
Capitalistslave
sboss18: yes, I am arguing all moral choices are subjective
Posted by sboss18 3 weeks ago
sboss18
Are you arguing all of morality, and all moral choices, are subjective?
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