The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Morality, like gravity, is a physical force in nature

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/11/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,020 times Debate No: 56433
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)




I (Pro) would like to explore, from a scientific vantage point, with my opponent (Con) in the construct of morality being part of the physical Laws of Nature, not man-made.

I would like to keep the debate within the following spectrum: That is, morality is an outgrowth of life's Unalienable Rights, which is an outgrowth of the Constructal Law, which is an outgrowth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The topic of life's Unalienable Rights have been debated recently, and I encourage Con should review this debate for background.

Ideally Con is familiar with the following two references, but it is not a prerequisite:

Pro would like to keep the debate in the realm of physical science as oppose to metaphysical speculation.

Round 1 is for Acceptance
Round 2 is for Arguments
Round 3 is for Rebuttal
Round 4 is for Closing Statements


I accept, although I feel obliged to note that physics is a type of metaphysics.

Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


Creedhunt (Con), thanks for your interest and may we both enjoy a learning experience from a constructive debate.

First, about your point on metaphysics. Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy. During the Enlightenment era, the scientific method transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment becoming separate from the rest of philosophy. Therefore, I take the position during this debate that metaphysics denotes philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character, where my focus throughout this debate, is on the empirical.

The scientific method is about studying repeatable patterns in nature and trying to understand our place in the universe, while using those patterns to advance our standard of living. When we understand a pattern to some degree, we classify it as a Law in Nature. We also came to learn that life is a product of the Laws of Nature and everything is confined within the matrix of these Laws.

To begin our consideration of morality as a force, we will use the property of Symmetries starting with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. To simplify this Law in reference to flow, there is a persistent tendency in the direction of flow. For example, water flowing from the height of a mountain down to sea level. Flow having the tendency to move from high resistance to low resistance, from high pressure to lower pressure, from a high temperature to lower temperature, and so on.

On the human level we find similar patterns in general, however, not exclusively. That is, the desire to take the path of least resistance or less work for the same result. Human migration from the high resistance of tyranny, to the low resistance found in freedom. To go with the flow within a social group, rather than facing the high pressure struggles going against the flow. Moving from the high pressure of emotional stress, desiring a lower stress level. From pain to comfort, and so on.

Let’s study the traceability path from Thermodynamics to life to morality:

Recently Bejan discovered the Constructal Law which is an outgrowth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Constructal Law states:

“Given freedom, for a finite-sized flow system to persist in time (to live), its configuration must evolve in such a way that provides easier access to the currents that flow through it.”

In general, the Constructal Law explains how everything that moves, whether animate or inanimate, naturally evolve in ways that facilitates such movement. According to Takac, movement for all “Live” includes freedom (“Liberty”) that facilitates “the pursuit of” positive-feedback (aka survival, chemical/electrical, etc., including “Happiness” for us humans); hence, our Unalienable Rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Thomas Jefferson).

We took a big step between Thermodynamics to our Unalienable Rights. For background see the following:

The subtle nonverbal communication between a parent and infant is miraculous, and it flows through life’s Unalienable Rights in harmonious inter-species symmetry. This symmetry is apparent when we hear the cries from the screeching chirps within a nest, to the whimpering pups in a den, to the cries of a human infant along with the feelings those sounds evoke; the sounds throughout the tree of life. In many species, a newborn cries instinctively, elevating its cry to a scream when something is wrong—such as hunger triggered by the genetically programmed need to pursue food. Among humans, the parent is instinctively annoyed or alarmed by this cry and, in distress, tries to seek mutual Happiness by catering to the infant’s desires. In contrast, there is something quite pleasant about the sight of a smiling infant, as it naturally invites the sharing of Happiness. The behavioral difference between a smile and a cry are the tenets of right and wrong, the primitives of Morality.

The smiles and cries do not end with infancy; they persist through the cycle of life, from cradle to grave. The perception of doing something right, manifesting in Happiness between parent and child, naturally extends to the scope of the family, our neighbors, and throughout society, with the desire to bring about Happiness, promoting cooperation and social unity. Morality is a bias, a drive, and a desire to promote positive feedback that embraces Happiness and preserves an atmosphere of goodwill.

When two or more humans form a group, the group becomes alive as a separate entity with its own Unalienable Rights. The pursuit of group Happiness through goodwill and kindness leads to a mutual moral respect for the Unalienable Rights of all the members within the group. Goodwill is a conservative force that promotes order, stability, and harmony through the pursuit of group-wide positive feedback. Over time, group-wide positive feedback is the genesis of traditions, values, beliefs, language, etc., the norms of society. These norms are tried and tested, and conservatively pass down from one generation to the next establishing its culture. A moral order guides an individual in the prudent exercise of judgment relative to those norms. The individual in a civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous; that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable, respecting and embracing the Unalienable Rights of others relative to those tested norms.

The evidence of morality in a wide range of independently developed cultures across isolated human tribes empirically supports the hypothesis that morality is a universal gravitational force throughout the nature of life. This force is responsible for the diversity of traditions, values, and languages that formed the independent civil societies found throughout the world today and throughout recorded history.

Independent groups have developed among many species on the tree of life. These include schools of fish, flocks of birds, packs of wolves, tribes of humans, and even inter-species relationships, such as those between humans and their pets. In each of these groups, the group members unite around some type of shared positive feedback. Thus, positive feedback promotes unity, order, and harmony among the group members, whether genetically or socially.

The Constructal Law, “reveals that the movement towards harmony, toward flowing together and in balance, is the central tendency of design in nature.” The concept of wrong involves going against the flow and feeling the constraint of high resistance, which results in high emotional pressure and negative feedback. In contrast, the concept of right involves going with the flow and feeling the freedom of low resistance, which results in low emotional pressure and positive feedback. There is a natural tendency throughout nature to move from high to low resistance, from high pressure to a lower pressure, and from wrong to right. Within human interactions, this tendency manifests itself as morality, and it leads to social harmony by causing people to flow together. This flow falls within the shadow of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The empirical evidence, of a repeating pattern of flow, from inanimate to animate to social flow, enhances the concept of morality being a gravitational force in nature common throughout life embracing positive-feedback resulting in living-system attraction.


I truly apologize to the floor and to my rather distinguished and intelligent opposition for this.

I'm afraid that given my residential situation and the upcoming finals, I will be unable to continue with this debate. I ask that the remaining rounds be forfeited, and we can debate this topic another time. I can challenge Pro when I have more life to spare, or conversely (if it works out better) Pro can challenge me. I understand this is tactless, however please acknowledge that I have a few priorities.

Sorry once again, I look forward to debating this in the near future.
Debate Round No. 2


My Friend Con (creedhunt) I understand and good luck with your finals.

Perhaps, one day academia will teach morality as a force being part of the physical Laws in Nature. When that day comes, a manifestation of a higher level of moral character will migrate through civil societies. And on that day, from this debate, you will have a head start on your finals.

I look forward in meeting you on the debating floor in the future.

I'm new to and not sure how to gracefully terminate a debate. Maybe, the timeout will end this debate.


creedhunt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent is taking finals. I will soon place this subject back on the debate floor.


creedhunt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago

I did not say, a "moral code must be a physical force." Values are associated with a moral code, where the genesis of a moral code comes from the physical force of morality.

Morality is a force in life, where all life desires positive-feedback, from a single cell to humans. Positive-feedback includes the terms you used: "generosity, help, benefit, improving, live longer, feel good, more liked, appreciated, desirable, etc." At the single cell level, positive-feedback includes survival and replication within social selection and the evolution of cooperative groups; hence, the physical force of morality:

You are arguing my point! If you would like, I could reopen this debate naming you as Con.
Posted by AlexanderOc 2 years ago
Since con will not be rebutting Pro's arguments allow me.

Pro presents a point that morals are so prevalent in nature because they are a natural law. He states the because morality extends through most cultures and species, that the moral code must be a physical force.

This point is easy to rebut if you know the origin of the emotions that we associate with morals. Let's start with some simple ones.

Guilt: An emotion that causes one to feel bad about an action they took against another organism, especially an action causing distress to that organism.

Guilt is commonly associated with morals because it is what we want to avoid by being kind to other life forms. However, this emotion has a much more scientific origin. Consider evolution for a moment. Natural selection would favor an a genetic mutation that caused a human/intelligent animal to help those around him. This would benefit the species by improving the chances of the one being helped to live longer. Perhaps humans without the genetic guilt would not be help others and would therefore be disliked, most likely leading him to a lesser chance of passing the non-guilt trait down.

Generosity: A quality of to one who tends to help others be means of gifts.

It is morally correct to be generous yes? Again natural selection can be used to explain why we feel good when we are generous. Someone who is generous to the species is more liked and appreciated. Therefore, he is more likely to be helped in return and would seem more desirable to a mate. So again, future generations are benevolent and liked.

Natural selection encourages the helping of our species, and others too. It strongly discourages the hurting and killing of others as well, as explained above. So we desire these morals because evolution designed us that way. Not because some physical force in nature with no observable effect says so.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
AlexanderOc, you raise a good point earlier, how could there be a force of morality before life. Should the same logic apply, how could the Laws of Aerodynamics exist in a pure energy state moments after the Big Bang? There were no planets having an atmosphere yet. Similar to how could the force of morality exist in a pure energy state moments after the Big Bang? There were no planets having an atmosphere supporting life yet. I"m inclined to take the position since both Aerodynamics and life are part of nature, their structure came into existence moments after the Big Bang and in time came into the human experience during the evolution of the universe.
Posted by KhalifV 2 years ago
You would be right mike. Before the universe, there was no laws of physics.
Posted by AlexanderOc 2 years ago
Mike, thank you for the response. I made the statement that were morality a law, it would have had to existed before humans. The law of aerodynamics is a law, therefore it DID exist before humans. I'm assuming morality isn't a law therefore it wouldn't have existed before humans. If you were to use my logic, then the laws of aerodynamics did exist moments after the big bang, not the other way around
Posted by dmussi12 2 years ago
If you don't have a background on philosophy or any morality studies then don't just comment and make yourself appear ignorant. I mean come on, you two seriously don't understand Pro's position at all. Eonshadow you look like the idiot right now. At least let him explain his stance before blurting out nonsensical crap. And Pro, I for one am actually intrigued by your claim and can't wait to see your arguments.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Socratits, thank you for your interest in this subject.

Your statement containing, "... aerodynamics probably didn"t exist ..." was precisely the point I was making in response to AlexanderOc's comment about morality did not exist before life. I selected a time back at the beginning of our universe where Aerodynamics did not exist either.

As for the connection between morality and Constructal Law, stay tune, I just received notice of a challenger.
Posted by socratits 2 years ago
Also, I dont see how a physical law, constructal law, gives rise to morality. are you suggesting that morality has a physical presence?
Posted by socratits 2 years ago
Actually, the laws of aerodynamics probably didn't exist considering that space is a vacuum. I'm not 100% sure, but it doesnt seem likely that any wind can exist. The Big Bang was more of a release of energy than particles.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
AlexanderOc, thanks for your comment. What we are looking at, is a new way of looking at something old. Humanity is continually studying the machinery of nature for repeatable patterns that can be classified as a Law in Nature. Humanity is just scratching the surface of this machine.

You stated, ""the resolution being true would mean the morality has existed forever, before humans, before Earth "" If I was to use your logic, then the physical Laws of Aerodynamics did not exist moments after the Big Bang.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
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