The Instigator
Seagull
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
famousdebater
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Murder is Objectively Immoral

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
famousdebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/6/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,880 times Debate No: 89278
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (66)
Votes (4)

 

Seagull

Pro

Resolved: Murder is Objectively Immoral

4 rounds/6,000/select winner/72hrs
famousdebater

Con

I accept and look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Seagull

Pro

Resolved: Murder is objectively immoral

Thank you to Famousdebater for accepting this debate. It is my second. Please bear with me, I am still learning the nuances of debate and this website.

Glossary


Due to terms not being defined in round one, these are up for debate. That stated, I simply found what I think are sufficient definitions.

Murder:to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.” (1)

Objective: “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased:”(2)

Morality: “conforming to the rules of right conduct.” (3)

This effectively makes the resolution “To slaughter barbarously is, based on facts, not conforming to the rules of right conduct.”

Clarification

There is an important difference between saying something is objectively immoral and saying that something is absolutely immoral. Objectivity is in reference to the status of moral rules, absoluteness has to do with stringency. For example it is objectively true that some people need shots of insulin to survive, but it is not absolutely true since not everyone is diabetic. In like manner, it may be objectively wrong to break promises but that does not mean it is absolutely wrong.

This is important to understand in this debate because a claim can be objective and non-relative without being absolute. I have included this as people often confuse these two concepts and I want to avoid this confusion if possible.

Affirmative Case

In my first debate, I wrote my argument in essay format. It was mentioned to me that it is helpful to readers if I present my case in the form of a syllogism. I thought I would try that for this debate. Here it is;

Premise 1: morality is objective
Premise 2: Murder is immoral
Conclusion: Murder is objectively immoral

We see that the syllogism is valid, now all that I have to do is provide warrant to my premises and the conclusion follows logically.

Premise 1: Morality is Objective

There are many ethical theories that fall under moral objectivism. By moral objectivism is meant “The view that what is right or wrong doesn’t depend on what anyone thinks is right or wrong. That is, the view that the 'moral facts' are like 'physical' facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are.”(4) Utilitarianism is one such theory. “Essentially, utilitarianism tells us that, in any situation, the right thing to do is whatever is likely to produce the most happiness overall. (The wrong thing to do is anything else.)”(4) The determining factor is not personal preference or belief, rather, it is happiness.

Utilitarianism is grounded in the reality that all desires we have boil down to pleasure, and freedom from pain. All other things we desire, are extensions of these base desires. As John Stuart Mill states in his book entitled "Utilitarianism;" "The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it... In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it." (5) Because Utilitarianism is grounded in the reality of human nature and desire, it is an appealing moral philosophy.

I have presented Utilitarianism as a true moral philosophy. It is an objective moral philosophy. Thus premise 1 is shown true.

Premise 2: Murder is immoral

The mechanism by which we can determine what is morally permissible, is the greatest happiness principle; Jeremy Bentham explains “By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question.” (6) To stress this point, I repeat, actions are morally permissible in so much as they augment happiness. They are impermissible as they cause pain or suffering.

My opponent would be hard pressed to argue that Murder augments happiness or pleasure. It is clear that murder does however cause pain or suffering. Thus we can conclude that Murder is immoral. Premise two is shown true.

Conclusion: Murder is objectively immoral

As both premises have been shown true, the conclusion follows logically. I affirm that Murder is objectively immoral.

(1) http://www.dictionary.com...
(2) http://www.dictionary.com...
(3) http://www.dictionary.com...
(4) http://www.ucs.mun.ca...
(5) http://www.utilitarianism.com...
(6) http://plato.stanford.edu...


famousdebater

Con

Observations


OBV 1 - The sole burden of proof rests on my opponent to present me with an objective metaethical philosophy. Therefore, in order for my opponent to win their arguments must remain standing by the end of the debate. In order for me to win, I must successfully negate my opponent’s arguments. Since my opponent has the sole burden of proof I will not need to provide a case I will simply be refuting my opponent’s arguments stated. If my opponent does not contest with this then judges out to be viewing this debate as Pro having the burden of proof to prove that morality is objective, and ultimately prove that murder is objectively wrong.


OBV 2 - My opponent types out their argument in the form of a syllogism using the premise and conclusion structure. Therefore, even if one of my opponent’s premises do not stand by the end of the debate then you ought to vote Con. If one premise does not stand then the conclusion cannot be met.


Definitions and Clarification


I agree to all of the definitions that my opponent provides.


I also agree regarding the clarification and I was planning on making one myself but my opponent does one in his round. Just to expand upon that, I do not believe that murder is moral and I do view murder as immoral. The factor that me and my opponent disagree on here is whether or not it is objectively immoral or not.


Morality is Objective


My opponent introduces a framework of normative ethics based on utilitarianism [1]. The fact that it is based on normative ethics [1] is highly problematic though. My opponent needs to provide a metaethical system of to show me what morality actually is and to ultimately prove why murder is wrong under this moral standard. Normative ethics are problematic in this scenario for 2 reasons:


1 - Normative ethics are highly subjective provide no base definition of what morality is. This debate is on objectivity rather than subjectivity.


2 - If my opponent does not have a clear framework on what morality actually is (beyond the definitions), then he cannot say that murder is objectively wrong.


3 - Normative ethics depends on metaethics and my opponent does not have a metaethical framework. This ultimately means that you ought not to buy his normative ethics based framework because it has no metethical foundation to support it.


Regardless of these problems, my opponent will probably enforce a metaethical framework next round so I will now refute my opponent’s contention on utilitarianism.


John Torek raises major concerns regarding the concept of utilitarianism that I agree with. Utilitarianism is founded on the principle that happiness can be measured. My opponent correctly defines utilitarianism the concept that ‘the right thing to do is the thing that produces the most happiness”. Torek raises the following concern, “But in virtue of what should we take five people's pain or sorrow (all else being equal) as worse if no single person experiences that pain or sorrow?” He continues, “Each person's potential loss has the same significance to me, only as a loss to that person alone. because, by hypothesis, I have an equal concern for each person involved, I am moved to give each of them an equal chance to be spared his loss.” [2]. The question here that is being begged is, how do we measure happiness? And, can we measure happiness? It is completely under my opponent’s burden to prove this.


Murder is Immoral


Since I have negated utilitarianism we ought to view this contention as invalid because we have no objective metaethical framework. However, even if we accept the principle of utility the argument is still flawed.


By agreeing to debate this topic my opponent takes on a large burden. They must prove that murder is ALWAYS wrong due to it being objectively immoral. If this is the case then they need to do more than just state that under the normative ethics based framework murder is wrong because this is not the case. There are scenarios in which murder can benefit the majority. This is why my opponent needs to present a metaethical framework. Without one then I am able to bring up scenarios and specific instances where under the framework murder is not immoral. This means that murder is not objectively immoral if I am able to do this.


The scenario of revenge murder is not uncommon. There are many incidents regarding revenge murder, for example, Alam Khan killed his father’s murderer (who was a serial killer) as an act of revenge. Under utilitarianism this murder would be justified because he killed a serial killer who was likely to kill more people. This means that murder cannot be considered objectively immoral under utilitarian standards because there are many instances like this in which murder is viewed as moral under utilitarianism. My opponent’s burden requires him to prove that murder is objectively immoral. If his framework has instances where murder is moral then it cannot be considered objectively immoral.


Conclusion


My opponent introduces normative ethics which is something that will rarely work in a debate regarding objective morals. This is evidently proven in my objection to the claim that murder is immoral since under utilitarianism there are exceptions. The resolution states that murder is objectively immoral. Under my opponent’s definitions we can interpret the resolution as, to slaughter barbarously is, based on facts, not conforming to the rules of right conduct. My example provided (regarding revenge) is justified and it coincides with the resolution. Therefore, you ought to vote Con. My opponent’s arguments are negated and they hold the full burden of proof. You ought to negate based on the premise that my opponent fails to provide a metaethical framework which is necessary in order to prove objective morals to be true.


Sources


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Seagull

Pro

I accept both observations given by Famous.

P1: Morality is Objective.

I demonstrated in my opening argument that Utilitarianism operates under the premise that morality is objective. This means it is not based on personal preference or belief. I even provided a source to affirm this fact of objectivity. (1) Famous’ first contention is that normative ethics are subjective and thus cannot be used to affirm objectivity. This is entirely untrue. It is worth noting that he provides no source to back this claim up. Likely because no such sources exists. Normative ethics “rest on principles that determine whether an action is right or wrong.” (2) Utilitarianism is an objective moral theory.

The second contention raised against this premise was that I have not provided a clear framework. I am beginning to wonder if famous really read my arguments. I provided a clear framework of what morality is i.e. the greatest happiness principle. I am not sure what my opponent finds unclear as he did not offer any indication or detail to this contention. To be thorough I will expound the happiness principle. John Stuart Mill in his book “Utilitarianism” explained it like this.

“The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.” (3)

Next Famous’ third contention was that normative ethics is dependent on Meta ethics. Famous does not demonstrated why he thinks a meta ethical framework is necessary, he merely states it is. This is also misguided. “Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because it examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language…”(2) I have no need to present a meta ethical framework.

Finally Famous’ final contention and perhaps his best is really a question. He asked “how do we measure happiness? And, can we measure happiness?”

I have a few thoughts to share on this. The first being that I do believe there are limits to what we can know, that is to say that there is epistemological limitations. This does not however eliminate the objective nature of truth. For example, a ten year old may be able to do basic arithmetic but not be able to do college algebra. Does this mean there is no truth or objective answer to algebra? Of course not! The same is true of this question.

Can we measure happiness, yes! Perfectly, and in all circumstances, no. Consider what Mill had to say;

“If I am asked, what I mean by difference of quality in pleasures, or what makes one pleasure more valuable than another, merely as a pleasure, except its being greater in amount, there is but one possible answer. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure.”(3)

Now, this does sound subjective. Complex circumstances are harder to apply objective moral reasoning to, not because there is no objective answer but rather due to our inadequacies of comprehension and application as people. Murder, however is like simple addition. It is as clear as can be. This leads into the next Premise.

P2: murder is immoral

Famous made the following statement in his opening argument. “I do not believe that murder is moral and I do view murder as immoral.” Despite this perhaps accidental concession of this premise I will demonstrate how it is immoral due to utilitarianism.

In my opening argument I presented that “utilitarianism tells us that, in any situation, the right thing to do is whatever is likely to produce the most happiness overall. (The wrong thing to do is anything else.)” (1)

It is clear that murder does cause pain or suffering. Thus we can conclude that Murder is immoral. Even in Con’s example does not show otherwise. Alam Khan could have had his father’s murderer arrested and removed from society without killing him. This would have provided the same utility without the same pain or harm. Thus, the action that is likely to produce the most happiness overall is non inclusive of murder. It objectively never will.

Aside from this basic view of utility, I will argue specifically for what is called “Rule Utilitarianism.” This view holds “that we can produce more beneficial results by following rules than by always performing individual actions whose results are as beneficial as possible.” (4) They “claim that our knowledge of human behavior shows that there are many cases in which general rules or practices are more likely to promote good effects than simply telling people to do whatever they think is best in each individual case.”(4) As we are imperfect beings, incapable of knowing all the ends, it becomes clear that while objective moral law does exist, our ability to know it may be questionable. In the case of Murder however there is no such confusion. We see then under Utilitarianism, murder is immoral. Even if my opponent does not buy this, Rule Utilitarian’s would institute murder as immoral as a rule.

As both premises stand, the conclusion is affirmed. Murder is objectively immoral.

(1) http://www.ucs.mun.ca...
(2) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.utilitarianism.com...
(4) http://www.iep.utm.edu...

famousdebater

Con

Clarification


My opponent seems to understand the basic concept of normative ethics and metaethics, however he fails to understand their contingency on one another in order for my opponent’s burden to be met. My opponent’s fatal misunderstanding here may cost him the debate as, in essence, he has misunderstood my rebuttal completely.


Morality is Objective


I did state that normative ethics is subjective however my opponent gets the wrong idea. I meant that normative ethics cannot be determined objectively without a metaethical system of morality. You cannot say that we should be fulfilling human base desires unless you can prove that morality even begins to begin with. [1]


Utilitarianism is a specific, objective moral theory. It is dependant on moral realism though. You cannot say what is moral (normative ethics) if morality doesn’t exist (metaethics) [2][3].


My opponent fails to show why the action that promotes the most happiness is the best action or the morally right action. Sometimes decisions that are unpopular are considered moral by the minority. They may not increase overall happiness but that doesn’t change the fact that some people view these actions as moral. So the question remains, why is doing something that makes most people happy the right thing to do.


Since my opponent doesn’t realize why metaethics are necessary, I’ll explain. Normative ethics are about what actions are right and wrong (as my opponent defines it) and metaethics is the moral language (ie. what morality is). If morality does not exist then normative ethics cannot stand. Moral objectivism is the ideology that objective moral values exist. Unless my opponent can prove that morality exist and is objective then their burden cannot be fulfilled because there is no reason as to why judges ought to view morality as something that exists and if morality doesn’t exist then we cannot consider murder as immoral.


My opponent is correct in stating that their method of analyzing happiness and measuring it is subjective. If an objective answer is “beyond our comprehension”, then how do we know that there is one. Just like people subjectively believe that murder is moral, this doesn’t mean that there is an objective solution. It works both ways. Basic psychology tells us that murder makes people feel good, satisfied and happy [4]. So even under my opponent’s framework of utilitarianism you ought to be voting Con.


Murder is Immoral


My opponent thinks that my claim that I believe that murder is immoral is a concession, however it isn’t. I don’t have to believe that murder is immoral to win because, as my opponent concedes by agreeing to the observations, my opponent must try to prove that murder is objectively immoral and I must refute his case. I can subjectively believe that murder is immoral and still negate - it is also crucial to note that I believe (subjectively) that murder is moral in some instances too. I concede that I believe that murder is immoral however the key thing to observe is that I never conceded that murder is OBJECTIVELY immoral which is what my opponent is affirming. I’m perfectly content with agreeing that murder is immoral, what I’m arguing is that it isn’t objectively the case which is sufficient for me to negate since Pro’s burden states that he must prove that murder is objectively immoral and if he can’t prove this then his burden is not met.


In the instance regarding Alam Khan the situation isn’t as simple as my opponent sets it out to be. He waited 12 years for his father’s murderer to be arrested and the court did nothing (because he was in a poor area of India) [5]. He killed a serial killer who was free for 12 years - by doing so he prevented deaths, getting him arrested was not an option as he had already attempted this.


My opponent shifts their advocacy from the general concept of utilitarianism to rule utilitarianism. This is a fallacy and voters should NOT buy this. My opponent is purposefully shifting their advocacy so that it negates my arguments. They begin with doing what produces the most happiness and now they introduce rule utilitarianism which states that murder is objectively immoral as a rule. Furthermore, if murder is objectively wrong under rule utilitarianism then rule utilitarianism is flawed for the very reason that murder does produce happiness as I showed and sourced above.


The resolution is negated!


Sources


[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...

[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] https://www.quora.com...

[5] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 3
Seagull

Pro

P1: Morality is Objective.

Famous continues to insist that I need to provide a meta ethical system as it is, as he claims, a “contingency” for normative ethics. He further implies that it cannot be said what is moral, until morality is shown to exist. In retrospect, I have within this debate provided such an argument. I qualified or proved utilitarianism via John Stuart Mill’s proof. I have shown solid reasoning that desire exists and that the ultimate desire is happiness. As I have in addition explained that an actions morality is determined in “proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”(1) We see then by moral we mean happiness, and proof of its existence is that all desire happiness. Thus based on my opponents reasoning, I have shown both that morality exists and how to determine what is moral.

My opponent subtly misunderstands Utilitarianism when he says I fail to show why the action that is most likely to promote happiness is the morally right action. Morality is conforming to the rules of right conduct; that is synonymous as to say, morality is doing what is most desired. What else could it be!? Happiness is the universal desire. Clearly this demonstrates that the moral action is that which tends to promote the greatest happiness.

As a final rebuttal to my first premise, Famous argues that according to psychology, murder can make a person feel good and thus according to utility is moral. This is obviously false. I demonstrated in this debate that utility is weighed via the greatest happiness principle. I further defined this principle in Jeremy Bentham’s words; “that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question.” This means, that utility looks not at the individual who murdered, rather the whole “party” whose interest is in question. This includes the victim, family, and society at large. Thus, the individual’s happiness is weighed and measured, but is only a drop in the bucket. In addition, I have also demonstrated that there is a distinction between quality and quantity of pleasures. Thus the pleasure that one may feel while committing murder is a lower pleasure and when weighed against all of society, less in quantity.

P2: murder is immoral

My opponent claims that I am shifting my advocacy by pushing Rule Utilitarianism. This is not true at all, Rule Utilitarian’s are a subset of Utilitarian’s. Everything I have suggested and argued for is accepted by all Utilitarian’s. To say I have shifted advocacy is like suggesting that someone explaining Christianity who then moves to share a Methodists viewpoint is shifting advocacy. Surely not, I am merely honing in on a particular viewpoint. Rule Utility deems murder immoral as a rule. This is not shifting advocacy as my reasoning given for this addition fits the framework presented. It simply adds the truth that “our knowledge of human behavior shows that there are many cases in which general rules or practices are more likely to promote good effects than simply telling people to do whatever they think is best in each individual case.”(4)

Famous continues with his example of Alam Khan stating that I have oversimplified the story. Remember how morality is determined… let us apply our understanding of utilitarianism and the greatest happiness principle once again to murder. It is very clear that murder is “wrong as it tend(s) to produce the reverse of happiness.”(1) Nor could it be said of murder to be “likely produce the most happiness overall.”(3) Thus we see, Murder is immoral. Utilitarianism is based on what is “likely,” or what “tends to” promote happiness. Surely Famous is not suggesting that murder fits this criteria?

Conclusion

Thanks to famous for an interesting and thought provoking debate. I have demonstrated that

Morality is Objective and that murder is immoral. It follows logically that Murder is objectively immoral.

The resolution is Affirmed!

Sources

(1) http://www.utilitarianism.com...
(2) http://plato.stanford.edu...
(3) http://www.ucs.mun.ca...
(4) http://www.debate.org...

famousdebater

Con

Thanks for a fun debate Seagull.


Morality is Objective


Utilitarianism is an objective normative ethical system of morality but this debate is contingent on the existence of metaethical morality. In this debate pro has undertaken a large burden and this is a burden that he is unable to fulfill. He manages to prove that the ultimate desire is happiness but why is the ultimate desire relevant or applicable to morality which is defined as “conforming to the rules of right conduct.” According to his own description, he needs to prove the following: To slaughter barbarously is, based on facts, not conforming to the rules of right conduct. At best, Pro has proven that murder is wrong because it it goes against human base desires but that is not what his burden entails.


Without the fundamental establishment of a metaethical system of morality then normative ethics cannot exist. My opponent needs to prove the existence of morality before presenting reasons why things are moral and immoral. This is something that pro simply fails to do. He continues to insist that utilitarianism is objective. This is true however it isn’t setting the necessary existence of and perception of morality that this debate needs. Without that voters cannot and should not view morality as an existing concept.


He does assert that happiness is a universal desire however that doesn’t make it something that is “conforming to the rules of right conduct” as his definition states. Innateness is not mentioned in the definition of morality and given that my opponent does not expand upon this point it should not be weighed when voting. He is shifting his advocacy and his definitions once more. The definition of morality doesn’t refer to an action being more moral as a result of something being innate or universal (which he seems to believe with his off topic claim).


I have also proven that basic psychology proves that murder creates happiness. This may not always work under the framework of utility, it is crucial to note that there are circumstances where it does work - ie. Alam Khan. Many people will be satisfied, the economy does not have to pay for the criminal in jail, nobody else will die, etc. His only rebuttal to this point is invalid because he fails to consider the example (Alam Khan).


Murder is Immoral


Pro is shifting their advocacy and they’re are trying to deny it. This is like me debating Christianity and then when I raise a potential error regarding it you say that you’re actually debating from a Catholic viewpoint and Catholics don’t believe this whereas most Christians do. His analogy fails. He says that it’s like debating Christianity and then mentioning the opinion of the Methodist Church. This is not what he’s doing. He not just mentioning or bringing up the opinion of a rule utilitarian - he’s shifting his entire framework from utilitarianism to rule utilitarianism. In his initial framework he was doing what will create the most happiness. Now he introduces rule utilitarianism which states that there are certain things that are always wrong. This is a shift in his advocacy as his initial framework mentioned NONE of this. This is a completely new addition to his framework that he cannot do as he commits a logical fallacy in doing so. A framework cannot be shifted as it is incorrect debate etiquette - voters ought to dismiss his addition to the framework as it changes his original advocacy which is fallacy that must be viewed as having no impact upon the resolution. It is a change to the original framework not an extension that coincides with it. If pro wanted there to be rules then he should have began by providing a framework of rule utilitarianism. A framework of utility does not have rules of specific actions being deemed immoral. A framework should be clearly and concisely presented in the initial round. Adding to it largely unfair and is penalized in debate.


The Alam Khan example produces more happiness with his death than without it. With his father’s murderer’s death many deaths would be prevented (causing increased happiness). Pro does not refute or even attempt to refute this point. He says that it tends to create negative happiness. This would be a sufficient response if this debate was about whether murder is wrong in most instances but it isn’t. The resolution in the simplified form regarding the definitions (that Pro presents) is:


To slaughter barbarously is, based on facts, not conforming to the rules of right conduct.


Pro must prove that barbarous slaughter based on facts isn’t conforming to the rules of right conduct. This does not include exceptions. It doesn’t say sometimes - it is a positive statement asserting that murder is wrong. It is the equivalent for me to claiming I am always objectively right about all issues. Then I later claim that there’s an exception where I’m occasionally wrong. This is contradictory. Just like his claim. The resolution does not account for exceptions and pro’s claim that this is one is a concession. I merely need to provide a single exception to this and my burden is fulfilled. The fact that he says: “murder is “wrong as it tend(s) to produce the reverse of happiness.” is a concession as in order for my opponent to fulfill his burden he must account for all scenarios. Saying the word tend(s) means that in most scenarios murder produces the reverse of happiness BUT NOT ALL and this is a concession to his burden.


Conclusion


Pro needs both premises to stand in order to fulfill his burden. Even if judges find one to be inadequate then you ought to vote Con.


Pro concedes his BOP by proving that murder isn’t objectively wrong in all scenarios. If it isn’t applicable in all scenarios then it is no longer objective and the claims required to meet my opponent’s burden are invalidated.


Pro doesn’t provide a metaethical framework which is needed for normative ethical frameworks to stand. This is a clear win for the neg case. Vote Con!


Source


[1] http://bit.ly...
Debate Round No. 4
66 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dude100 9 months ago
dude100
should we deduce it down to what benefits all of human society as a whole or does that even matter? By that extension who is it ok to kill and who is it not ok to kill? I suppose the people who fall within your "tribe category" would be the ones we wouldn't kill because you wouldn't want your tribe people to die it reduces your child's survival odds yet we still have to compete for mates. I have to think about this some more but these are definitely good questions to ponder.
Posted by dude100 9 months ago
dude100
I apologize if my comment appeared as an argument that was unintentional. I just meant to say that morality is not only within the scope of philosophy, there is a science behind it as well. I'm speaking objectively to help other viewers understand the facts and both sides of the argument. I personally am caught in the middle and have a difficult time deciding. I don't think I'll vote on this one. On one hand morality among the human species could be a fluke on the other hand it may have actually helped us survive. The unspoken rules of human survival. Like why do some animals care for their young yet others do not? We humans have a tendency to care for our young, is it because our children would have a better chance of surviving that way? It seems likely yet morality is on the fence when it comes to murder. sometimes we do it for territory or resources, other times we do it out of protection. Both benefit humanity in some way at the very least your tribe or family.
Posted by Seagull 10 months ago
Seagull
Thanks for reading and voting Tuf.

It seems I poorly illustrated the difference between absolute and objective. While I'm not a huge fan of Doctor Craig maybe this video will help explain the distinction I was trying to make. http://youtu.be...
Posted by famousdebater 10 months ago
famousdebater
Thanks TUF! :)
Posted by famousdebater 10 months ago
famousdebater
Thanks fire! :)
Posted by fire_wings 10 months ago
fire_wings
Voted
Posted by DavidMancke 10 months ago
DavidMancke
My apologies for the irrelevant commentary

@Seagull

I would say that while your opening case establishes what utilitarianism is, I am not sure you go the full distance to use it to show that morality itself is objective. You establish what Util is and that this moral paradigm is objective, but you don't cross the finish line that your case; the first premise of you syllogism, relies on.

You need something that takes us from what you have established (Utility is objective) to morality is objective. This could be as simple as offering examples to show the merits of utility, especially related to "murder." like the reliance on objective evidence when determining guilt in a trial.

Regarding the claim that you need a meta-ethical framework for your case, again, what you really need to do is provide something that shows us why utilitarianism is the best within this debate.
Posted by famousdebater 10 months ago
famousdebater
Again, I urge you to PM me David. This isn't the place to be discussing this.
Posted by Seagull 10 months ago
Seagull
Seriously, please only comment something relevant to this debate.
Posted by DavidMancke 10 months ago
DavidMancke
My vote wasn't nonsensical, you made all the mistakes mentioned.

You haven't answered the problems with your case here.

I read that thread, three comments counting your own addressed my rfd. I added my own comment to Saud thread, and explained it without jargon. If it can't be understood in those simple terms, you must not have a clue how this game really works. I've got twenty-five centuries of debate theory on my side, and I am consistent in what I say. You've got allot of work ahead of you if you ever intend to compete in college, let alone teach or judge.

How was the vote biased? That's the first time you've mentioned bias. Your shifting again.

To blame my jargon is one thing, but again, confusion was not offered as a reason for removal, your reasons continue to change.

Inconsistent debaters make horrible debaters. I suggest you read my comment in the thread, and start arguing with some consistency
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 9 months ago
tejretics
Seagullfamousdebater
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con had more compelling arguments. Specifically, I think Con won on the critical response that moral realism itself doesn't work. Pro's warrant for moral realism was simply that pleasure and suffering are intrinsically valuable, for which he cites Mill. Pro fails to properly evaluate what "morality" actually means, by objective definition. Pro's sole justification for the whole assumption that morality exists is that desires exist, but this fails to properly elucidate what "morality" is. Pro only argued normative ethics, specifically that morality exists because respecting desires is imperative. I don't weigh that sufficiently against Con's more compelling objections, specifically that the measuring the weight of desires is subjective and so desirability fails to sufficiently justify an obligation itself. In essence, all Pro manages to prove is that humans desire pleasure. Con wins on the response that universal desire doesn't mean an action conforms to right and wrong.
Vote Placed by lannan13 10 months ago
lannan13
Seagullfamousdebater
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments section.
Vote Placed by TUF 10 months ago
TUF
Seagullfamousdebater
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Voters Union Vote: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LZf6-IPWnDARIHJg6YIORezEOCh4JVVb2Us_UkxUAKw/edit?usp=sharing
Vote Placed by fire_wings 10 months ago
fire_wings
Seagullfamousdebater
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: http://www.debate.org/forums/philosophy/topic/85859/