The Instigator
MetaForge
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Not following the set moral standard

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 490 times Debate No: 70665
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

MetaForge

Pro

Okay, So my argument is that people don't have to follow set morals.

Reason one: Religious morals mean nothing if you do not believe in that/those god/s.
Reason two: Not being subjected to a religion gives you a choice in your morals
Therefore, people have a choice to believe in morals or not.

example, if I decided I wanted to steal money from a bank (and I could), most people would say that is bad. Why? Because god said it was bad. Okay, ask atheists and they would say because people are hurt in the process. When the first person came onto this earth by whatever means, there were no laws. Laws are created from morals over what people don't want to happen as a protection force. Therefore, in the beginning, there were no morals because there was no danger. Why do people follow morals if there are no laws? The ten commandments are just morals. If god exists, sure they came from god, but that doesn't mean we have to follow them. we always have a choice. we have always had a choice. Morals were made to keep people from helping themselves.
Example, Say I was poor and penniless by no fault of mine and I robbed that bank. Everyone would say I'm a bad person because I robbed a bank. But am I really so bad? I robbed the bank for survival. Should that merit me being put in jail over everyone Else's success? In the end that is all it comes down to. Survival. But then, its always every man or woman for him or herself.
Example 3, say I decided to live on government land that they are not using because I have no money, and no land of my own, and that land has never been used by the government or anyone else. Why should I not be able to live on that land? Because its the governments? What is so wrong with me living on it? Why does the government have land it is not going to use? If I am homeless, and I decide to make a small cottage and a farm plot on that land and the government comes and says I cant live there, then where can I live? The government is overriding morals, so why cant the common everyday person override those same morals?
Nowadays, nobody can live for themselves. It must be for the good of everyone. If I wanted to go live alone I couldn't without having to help other people. So, I leave it to you to argue why I should not be able to abandon everyone else's morals.
bsh1

Con

Firstly, I just wanted to thank Pro for instigating the debate. Secondly, it is clear from Pro's opening remarks that he intends for this round to be for argumentation, not merely acceptance, so I will launch straight into the debate. Thirdly, given Pro's opening statement that "[his] argument is that people don't have to follow set morals," I will assume that my position is the converse one.

MY CASE

A. What is Morality

Morality refers to "[p]rinciples concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior." [1] I will endeavor to put forward and justify a moral system in parts B of my case.

B. Constructing A Moral Standard

I am not going to attempt to argue that morality is a divine construct, or even that morality exists separate from and independent of humanity. Frankly, that is not my job in this debate. My job is merely to affirm that humans should follow some kind of moral standard, whatever that standard may be and regardless of wherefrom it arose.

If we suppose that morality is a human construct, then we should look to human notions of what is good and right to inform our moral standards. The most fundamental of human goods seems to be happiness. It is the one thing that has for us intrinsic value, whereas all other things only have value instrumentally.

For instance, I value my friends, but I value them because they make me happy, I do not value them for themselves. Friendship is an institution that has worth in that it promotes the happiness of the participants involved. Of all the things we value in our lives, we can say we value them because of the joy, pleasure, or reassurance they bring to our lives, and so it is clear that happiness is something--and the only thing--that we value for its own sake.

Similarly, we assign negative value to things by virtue of the fact that they bring us pain. There is nothing that we cannot identify as having negative value to us that either doesn't obstruct our pursuit of happiness or actively inflicts on us some form of suffering.

Consequently, happiness is something we recognize as inherently good, and pain is something we recognize as inherently bad. They are things we value or not for their own sakes, not in as instruments. "Pleasure and happiness, however, are “intrinsic” goods, meaning that they are good in themselves and not because they produce some further valuable thing. Likewise, on the negative side, a lack of food, friends, or freedom is instrumentally bad because it produces pain, suffering, and unhappiness; but pain, suffering and unhappiness are intrinsically bad, i.e. bad in themselves and not because they produce some further bad thing." [2] It follows that, that a human-centered approach to morality would assign positive value to maximizing happiness, and negative value to minimizing pain.

This leads us to a utilitarian notion of morality, whereby working to promote net happiness is right, and working to promote suffering is wrong. To that end, societies construct rules of behavior that are best suited for the task of promoting happiness. For example, wanton murder, rape, theft, etc. are prohibited, because these actions tend to work against the interests of happiness. Things like healthcare, food, and shelter are provided, because they tend to facilitate happiness. Thus, we have a system of social morality that we can now reference in the debate.

C. Why Should We Obey

There are several good reasons for obeying a moral system:

The first reason is that doing so is in your own rational self-interest. Consider, if everyone disobeyed the moral system, then you could never trust anyone, your property would be at risk, there would be no predictable rules to guide human actions--you would be unsafe and life would be unstable. So, it is important that every person obey the system and that all people punish those who disobey the system, because it is in the self-interest of everyone to do so. Moreover, disobeying a system where enforcement mechanisms exist can result in censure and penalties, which is definitely not something a person wants to incur.

Secondly, it's the right the to do. The whole idea of morality is that it divides right action from wrong action. If we hold that happiness has intrinsic value, and you do something that produces unhappiness, you've violated the one concept that is not only objectively valued, but whose value inheres within it. That, on an ethical level, seems to be repugnant. Value demands respect, and that which has inherent value should be respected.

PRO's CASE

Pro's case is based entire upon a critique of religious morality. The moral system I am advancing is a secular system of morality, and so it is not subject to the objections that Pro makes. But, let me go through an address some of his specific claims. I will put quotes from his round in italics.

"When the first person came onto this earth by whatever means, there were no laws. Laws are created from morals over what people don't want to happen as a protection force. Therefore, in the beginning, there were no morals because there was no danger."

In the beginning, there definitely was danger. People didn't just pop onto a Utopia; we evolved over a period of time in a natural environment often with scarce resources and limited space. Humans clashed with one another over land, mates, food, water, etc., just like all living creatures. There were therefore always moral issues, in the sense that people always wanted to maximize happiness and minimize pain. The growth of associations of people and, later, of societies expanded those moral issues beyond mere egoism, but into social norms of behavior, and these norms are now what we call "morality."

"If god exists, sure they came from god, but that doesn't mean we have to follow them. we always have a choice. we have always had a choice. Morals were made to keep people from helping themselves."

Firstly, my argument isn't about god, so I won't be touching on that.

But, secondly, simply because we CAN break the rules doesn't mean we SHOULD. Moral systems developed not as means of repressing people, as Pro suggests, but rather as means of protecting people. In a world where no moral rules exist, anything goes. Murder, rape, theft, torture--everything is allowed and accepted. Clearly, this creates an extremely dangerous and hostile environment where it is actually harder for people to live. People will be unwilling to cooperate and communicate because they cannot trust other people to follow rules of fairness that don't exist. Humanity won't advance, and life will be, as Hobbes put it, "nasty, brutish, and short." By instituting norms of behavior, i.e. morality, we regularize human interaction, making it less violent and making it easier for people to trust each other and to work together. This allows society to progress, and, in turn, gives people innumerable benefits, including things like education, safety, greater recreational time, etc. So, morals actually help people help themselves.

"In the end that is all it comes down to. Survival. But then, its always every man or woman for him or herself."

In a sense, Pro is right, it is about survival. But, human survival rates go up when we work together, and not put oursleves at odds with one another. And, to be able to work together, that requires that we be able to have some basic level of trust among us. When everyone knows and follows the rules, we have trust; we can expect people to do and not do certain things, and so we don't fear being cheated or back-stabbed. Morality is the embodiment of those rules or norms, and so, when it comes down to it, to survival, morality is the way to go.

Thus, I negate.

SOURCES

1 - http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2 - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
MetaForge

Pro

MetaForge forfeited this round.
bsh1

Con

Extend my remarks.
Debate Round No. 2
MetaForge

Pro

no argument
bsh1

Con

I hope my opponent is feeling better. Thanks for the debate.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
Metaforge, what u are referring to are Baals and aestra's
those are immoral codes of conduct.
morals are not opinion statmnets,
the are scientific conclusions based on ethics. (again, not an opinion. facts)
Posted by MetaForge 2 years ago
MetaForge
sorry, was sick, had no access to computer
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Just reminding Pro that he had 5 hours, 6 minutes to post.
Posted by MetaForge 2 years ago
MetaForge
Please argue before time runs out.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Illegalcombatant 2 years ago
Illegalcombatant
MetaForgebsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: 4 Fet
Vote Placed by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
MetaForgebsh1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF & concession
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
MetaForgebsh1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF