The Instigator
MBill
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SkySky16
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Objective Moral Values and Duties Show that God Exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SkySky16
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 560 times Debate No: 101548
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

MBill

Pro

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

This is due to the grounding problem. If God doesn't exist, then there is no objective standard by which moral values can be established. Each of us (or each society) can choose its own moral code, and there is no "right" or "wrong" to it. Morality is merely a matter of preference (although that preference may be informed by evolutionary history, society, etc).

2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.

Moral values and duties are an undeniable feature of our experience. We don't just dislike horrible acts like rape and child abuse, deep down we know that they are really wrong. It has been said before that, "The man who says that it is morally acceptable to abuse little children is just as wrong as the man who says 2 + 2 = 5."

This is no less true of societies in general. The Nazi society within Germany that perpetrated the holocaust could not, by majority vote, make the holocaust a moral good.

3. Therefore, God exists.

If premises 1 and 2 are true, then the conclusion follows logically and inescapably. If objective moral values and duties can only exist if God exists, and if objective moral values and duties do exist, then God exists.
SkySky16

Con

First I will be addressing what Pro has argued. For Pro to win this debate they must prove:
What is God's moral values and where do they come from
God is the only being that can decide objectively on morals
Objective morality does exist
That no man-made standard for morality is objective

I will concede the that no man-made standard for morality is objective and that humans cannot be morally objective (meaning that some sort of god or "higher being" would be required if objective morality is even possible.) What I will be debating is that objective morality does not exist and/or is impossible.

By not stating what these objective morals are and where they came from, Pro has set up a debate that is nearly impossible to answer. This is because anything I claim against Pro, they can just dodge by saying that isn't what they are saying. This is abusive and should be clarified at the very beginning of the next round.

1. Moral Nihilism aka Ethical Nihilism

I am a moral nihilist. Moral nihilists claim that nothing is inherently moral or immoral. This is contrary to most societies belief that killing is naturally immoral and rescuing a puppy from a burning building is naturally moral. Nihilists believe neither action is inherently right or wrong.

The term inherently is important here, and that is why I used it multiple times. We believe things are without natural morality, but that doesn't mean they can't be given morality. This means that right and wrong are constructed by society to serve society, which is why different cultures have differing beliefs. This is why human sacrifice was considered moral, same with slavery, caste system, etc.

It comes down to meaning that morals are not universally objective reflections of some divine truth, such as a god(s). They are. as anything else, constructed by society to benefit us. Nihilists also believe they are necessary because humans are social and emotional beings. We need to be able to express these feelings of right or wrong to create social groups, this explains things like different tribes. WE assign right or wrong to express our feelings of such things and create structures to be used to build societies in. Nihilists believe these morals do have meaning as well, that meaning is just not natural or divinely given. This is why we don't assume animals are evil or immoral, they are just parts of nature. Morality is something we constructed to define our species alone.

2. Logic disproves objective morals

In morals there are standards. These standards are used to judge whether or not something is moral. These standards also has "sub-standards." Allow me to give an example. One of the most popular standards is Human Suffering. This seeks to limit human suffering as much as possible. But there are differing levels. "Purists" believe that human suffering should be limited at all costs, except human suffering of course. Some believe that there is give and take of human suffering and whatever that surrounds it. Even then there are more divisions and sub-standards. Those within these groups within this single standard some believe short term should be prioritized over long term and others vice versa.

With every little thing that someone believes changing their stance on morality, objective morals cannot exist. Even conceptually, with a god. To what standard does god or some divine being subscribe to? If not a single one, how does that being take into account all or none at all? This is conceptually impossible and here is why:

objective: not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

I have shown that morality is just this, influenced completely or almost completely on personal feelings or opinions. Morality is not factual, it is an interpretation of what YOU consider to be right or wrong.

This is why I believe this debate even exists! Religious people use their faith to explain things that are generally unexplainable. This can be said for morality, they need something given to them in the pretext of "This is the best, follow this." This is the reason faith exists in the first place.

Conclusion:

I'm well read in most subjects, including religion. I do not know of any religion that has a set of morals clearly defined by their holy book. Moral nihilism explains the reason society has created morals to use to their benefit, as well as why we don't see nature as immoral or wrong. This is of course because objective morality does not exist and can not exist.
Debate Round No. 1
MBill

Pro

In order to clarify, I am defending three premises.

1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.

The third premise merely follows from the first two. If objective moral values and duties can only exist if God exists, and objective moral values and duties do exist, then it follows that God exists.

I did not detect in my opponent"s response any objection to premise one. I pointed out the grounding problem of objective morality in an atheistic universe (that there is no other candidate in which objective values can be "rooted"). Since that point is unopposed, I will not belabor it here.

Instead my opponent denies premise two, "Objective moral values and duties do exist", and affirms moral nihilism. He states that morality is a social construct, that it has no objective reality. We first need to understand the full implications of this view. First, it turns out that morally reprehensible acts are not really morally reprehensible. In fact, to say that something is morally reprehensible is only to describe our reaction to it and NOT to say anything about the act itself. If my opponent is correct then actions such as rape and child abuse are not really wrong, they are just taboo or opposed to social norms. On this view, molesting a child is morally equivalent to wearing white after labor day.

This also means that social reformers are, in fact, immoral because they oppose social norms. Consider the Valkyrie conspirators who risked, and ultimately sacrificed, their lives in an attempt to end the tyrannical and murderous reign of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. If my opponent is correct, then it is the conspirators who acted in a morally reprehensible way and Adolf Hitler who was the paragon of morality (because he embodied the cultural norms and expectations of his society). I"ll say that again, on my opponent"s view Adolf Hitler turns out to be the moral hero of the story because he embodies the social norms of Nazi Germany.

Moral progress is also impossible on my opponent"s view. The United States engaged in the horrible practice of slavery many years ago, and today it does not. If my opponent is correct, then this represents no moral improvement whatsoever. The difference in the practice and prohibition of slavery is no more superior morally than differences in popular fashion between the two eras.

Are we really going to say that acts like child abuse and rape are not really wrong? Are we really going to say that social reformers like Martin Luther King Jr. were actually moral villains? Are we really going to say that evil but socially consistent men like Adolf Hitler are actually moral heroes? Are we really going to say that social developments like the prohibition of slavery represent no moral progress whatsoever? If we are to adopt my opponents view, then we must answer "yes" to each of these questions.

So what reason does my opponent give in support of his claims? As it turns out, very little. He simply appeals to difficulties in moral reasoning. He said, "I have shown that morality is just this, influenced completely or almost completely [by] personal feelings or opinions." He has only shown that people come to different moral conclusions, but this does nothing to undermine the objectivity of morality. Consider the scientific enterprise. For centuries scientists have come to different conclusions about the nature of our universe. Does that undermine the objectivity of the universe? Clearly not! This is because our understanding of things (be they universes or moral values) is incomplete and progressive. Our limited understanding, however, is no evidence against the object that we understand.

The fact is that our common sense experience of "right" and "wrong" shows us that there is a real difference between the two. This is obvious to us, and unless and until my opponent gives us some reason to doubt objective moral values that is more obvious to us than our common sense experience, we are rational to maintain our belief in them.

My opponent suggests that there may be some basis for objective moral values other than God. He has given us no candidate for such a basis, however. The fact is that there simple is no candidate for objective moral values apart from God, because there is no candidate who has an unchanging/unchangeable nature and existence. If morality is merely a social construct, then (as both my opponent and I have shown) different societies will come up with different moral systems. If it is created by individuals, then different individuals will come up with different moral systems. If it is created by evolution, then a different evolutionary history will have produced different moral values and duties.

God, however, could not have been different. Philosophers recognize that God, if he exists, exists as a *necessary* reality. This means that his existence does not depend on any external source, and he therefore is the same in every possible world. Only if such a necessary being exists can there be any objective basis for morality. I want to be clear, I"m not saying that such a being exists and therefore objective moral values exist. I"m saying that objective moral values exist, and they can only exist if such a being exists. The moral argument (the three premises I have stated above) leads to the conclusion that such a being must exist, it does not start with that assumption.

If my opponent abandons his position of moral nihilism and instead denies premise one, "If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist", then he must give us some alternate objective grounds for moral values and duties. This objective grounds must be the same in every possible world (unchanging and independent from any external cause) and it must be capable of obligating us to conform our behavior to it (it must be capable of issuing moral duties to us).
SkySky16

Con

"I did not detect in my opponent"s response any objection to premise one."

My entire argument is talking about how objective moral values and duties do not exist. This is in direct conflict with premise 1. Pro then goes on to talk about the problem with objective morality in an atheistic universe. Did pro read my arguments? I don't support objective morality at all, it does not exist. So pro claiming that this point went unopposed as well is laughable, at best.

Let's dissect Pro's interpretation of my argument of moral nihilism, and how utterly incorrect it is.

"it turns out that morally reprehensible acts are not really morally reprehensible." Not sure exactly what Pro's point is with this. It's true that morals are only in existence to carry on the well being of our societies and species, which is why many people believe incest is wrong, including me, but that doesn't mean violating the society's agreed upon moral terms in the forms of law or social structure shouldn't be punished. They were there for a reason, protection of the human race and/or the society which they hold up.

Now let's get to the obvious elephant in the room, the appeal to emotion fallacy pro uses. Pro brings up rape and child abuse and claims "On this view, molesting a child is morally equivalent to wearing white after labor day." Let's address these statements individually:

1. Rape and child abuse are not really wrong

I stated nothing is INHERENTLY wrong or right. WE as a species or society deem them as wrong because it goes against us as a species or society. This goes for rape and child abuse. I challenge Pro to provide a completely objective standard and reasoning as to why they are INHERENTLY wrong? What is Pro's god's amazing and objective moral standard that is objectively superior to any other.

2. Molesting a child = wearing white after labor day

More appeal to emotion. Pro hasn't addressed my argument. Again, neither are INHERENTLY wrong or right. We as a society or species deem them to be wrong or right depending on what our group or society needs to function.
Stop with this obvious misrepresentation of my argument Pro, I never even glimpsed in my previous arguments that I believe this.

More appeal to emotion, what did I honestly expect from a religious person on a religious topic. This has happened every time. Pro goes on and on about various people that went against social norms to attempt to disprove my argument when that is not even what I'm arguing. I'm convinced Pro saw the part about morals being about helping society and decided to google people who opposed social norms. I've stated my actual argument multiple times now. Regardless, let's peer into each:

1. Valkyrie conspirators sacrificed their lives to attempt to end Hitler's reign. Then pro states " If my opponent is correct, then it is the conspirators who acted in a morally reprehensible way and Adolf Hitler who was the paragon of morality"
This shows they have absolutely no dang clue as to what I am arguing. I am literally arguing that neither are inherently at fault or in the right.
No, my view does not turn Hitler into the moral hero because of social norms. When did I even state that social norms should be accepted above all? Where did pro get any of this he is talking about?

"Moral progress is also impossible on my opponent's view." Really? Because my view literally changes nothing about human morality. Just states that it isn't inherently correct or incorrect. This idea has been around for centuries and is pretty popular, at least on face value, to a lot of philosophers.

"Are we really going to say that acts like child abuse and rape are not really wrong?" etc. etc. etc.
More fallacy of appealing to emotion while not even responding to my arguments, I'm just going to move on at this point.

Pro goes on to quote me saying that morality is influenced completely or almost completely by personal feeling or opinions and then concludes that this doesn't address objective morality.
Again, did pro read my argument?
My argument was that these personal feelings or opinions changing people's moral standards show how societies formed separately with their own laws and social norms; and these laws and social norms are a product of subjective morality, because morality was created by humans to serve humans. Please revisit my first round for clarification.

pro then states that the common sense of people's right and wrong shows there is a difference between them??? I didn't understand that part but afterwards he challenged me to give you all reason(s) to doubt objective moral values. Revisit my first argument, that is the entire thing.

I never suggested that there was a basis for objective moral values other than god because my whole argument is predicated on the fact that there IS NO BASIS. That is my entire point. Why do I feel like a broken record?
Has pro actually read my arguments?

"If morality is merely a social construct, then (as both my opponent and I have shown) different societies will come up with different moral systems." Thank you for proving my point. That is my argument; but I explain how this shows there is no objective morality because it leads us to believe morality was created by humans to serve humans.

Pro then states how objective morals and duties do show god exists. He still hasn't adhered to my challenge to present these objective standards and where they come from.

"If my opponent abandons his position of moral nihilism and instead denies premise one, "If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist", then he must give us some alternate objective grounds for moral values and duties. This objective grounds must be the same in every possible world (unchanging and independent from any external cause) and it must be capable of obligating us to conform our behavior to it (it must be capable of issuing moral duties to us)."
No, my role as Con is to disprove that objective morality proves god. I have just chosen to do this by proven there are no objective morals.

Pro is grossly negligent and ignorant to a vast amount of philosophical knowledge, as shown here by this poor argumentation. He has not even begun to address my actual argument and would rather appeal to emotion by saying my thinking support rape, child abuse, and Hitler. What a stimulating debate *sarcasm*
Debate Round No. 2
MBill

Pro

Ok, so I want to remind you of the premises of my argument.

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

Whether my opponent realizes it or not, we agree on premise one. Notice that premise one is not incompatible with either atheism or the absence of objective moral values and duties. It says that if atheism is true, then there are no objective moral values and duties. My opponent says that atheism is true, and that there are no objective moral values and duties. I cannot be more clear, we are not in disagreement on this premise.

Our disagreement lies in premise 2, "Objective moral values and duties do exist." Now my opponent feels that I am appealing to emotion, but this is not the case. I am appealing to your moral intuition. Now we need to be careful here, I don't mean "intuition" in the sense of some sort of clairvoyance or feeling. Moral intuition can best be explained by comparison to your rational intuition.

Consider one of the rules of logic, the law of non-contradiction. This law states that A is not non-A at the same time and in the same way. It is intuitively obvious that something cannot both be itself and its negation at the same time and in the same way. One can never create an argument to demonstrate the truth of the law of non-contradiction, because any argument you might construct would rely on the law itself. One understands the truth of this law "intuitively", that is to say that the truth of the law is obvious to us once we understand the terms.

In the same way that the law of non-contradiction is rationally intuitively obvious to us, the "wrongness" of acts such as child abuse and rape are morally intuitively obvious to us. Merely by understanding what the term "child molestation" means one understands intuitively that it is wrong. It is this obvious understanding that I am appealing to.

Now my opponent seems to think that the rule of law or societal construction can substitute for this. I have shown that this is false by presenting to you situations where societies have engaged in immoral acts. If morality is a mere social construction, then societal norms can never be immoral. They are the rule by which morality is measured.

My opponent suggested that "violating the society's agreed upon moral terms in the form of law or social structure" should be punished. This is an affirmation of my point. In Nazi Germany, protecting Jews was a violation of the society's agreed upon moral terms and form of law. In other words, on my opponents view it wouldn't be inherently right or wrong to protect the Jews, but it would be subjectively wrong to protect them in light of the "social structure and form of law." Yet this is obviously false to us. It is obvious that the moral thing to do in that situation is to aid the Jews.

I want to remind you that my opponent has only given one argument in favor of his view. He has said that since different societies come up with different moral systems, that therefore there is no set of objective moral values and duties. I showed previously that this simply does not follow. The fact that different societies come to different conclusions does nothing to undermine the objectivity of the subject they are working on. As I said before, consider science. Different societies at different times have come up with different conclusions with respect to the nature of the natural world. If my opponents line of thinking is correct, then this should undermine the objective reality of the natural world. Clearly it does not! Difficulties in moral reasoning do nothing to undermine the objectivity of morality any more than difficulties in scientific reasoning undermines the objectivity of science. The only argument he has presented in favor of his views cannot support his conclusion.

My opponent posed the challenge to account for the wrongness of rape if God exists. This is simple. Moral values are rooted in God's unchanging nature. God is love, and therefore love is a moral virtue. God created us in his image, thereby giving us the duty of reflecting his character in the world. The act of raping someone is an inherently unloving act. In other words, it both fails to uphold the moral value of love that corresponds to God's nature and fails to carry out the moral duty of representing him that was given to mankind.

God exists as a necessary reality. It is outside of the scope of this debate to fully unpack what that means, but essentially it means that God exists in every possible world and is unchanging in his nature. His existence is an objective and non-contingent one. It is for this reason that his moral nature can be objective. Only if such a being exists is there any objective standard in which objective moral values and duties can be rooted. In the absence of such a being, there can be no objective moral values and duties.

My opponent said something that is very telling. I had said that on his view there is no inherent moral difference between molesting children and wearing white after labor day. He affirmed this statement saying, "neither are inherently wrong or right." In evaluating our debate, I ask you to consider if this is a view you are willing to adopt. Is this a view that is persuasive to you? If you agree with me that there is a fundamental (inherent) moral difference between molesting children and poor fashion sense, then you agree that at least some things are really wrong. This entails, however, that there are objective moral values and duties. As I have shown, these moral values and duties can only exist if God exists.

I want to thank my opponent for his time in debating me, and thank you for reading our exchange.
SkySky16

Con

1. Premise one

We do not agree. I haven't argued with atheism I've argued with moral nihilism. We do not agree because, as I have stated, objective moral values and duties do not exist. Furthermore, they don't not exist because of a lack of god. They don't exist because morality was constructed by society to serve society. This is shown with the differing morals in different cultures due to a vast amount of reasons.

Stop misrepresenting me Pro, I have never even stated atheism as an argument. Read my dang arguments.

2. Premise two

By attempting to refute my appeal to emotion accusations, Pro reinforces my accusations. Your moral intuition is nothing but a product of the society you live in. You are influenced by your society in every way, most especially morally. This just goes to reinforce that morality was created by society and is only used to further society. As soon as society needs to do something to survive, morality will change in that society or it will perish. Example: Historically speaking, famine was a problem for some societies. In multiple cases wherein famine is extremely prevalent, cannibalism was adopted and moral in that society. This is because the society had to chose to change morals or die. They made the wise decision. The moral intuition argument by Pro fuels my argument.

The law of contradiction does not prove that morality is intuitive innately. It only shows that we have adopted what our society deems wrong. If you go up to someone that has lived by themselves for their entire life and survived and somehow communicated to them unbiasedly what child molestation is, I have a hard time believing their intuition and instincts would be against reproduction.

Sigh. I have never stated that social norms are what the society deems moral. Rape happens and is a norm in some communities in the US, doesn't mean that communities LOVES rape. This is just a blatant misrepresentation of my argument. In fact, the examples that you provided that shows what you think as immoral acts prove my argument. Hitler believed wholeheartedly that the human race was in danger of extinction by it's own hand. He wanted to make everyone the same to stop war and conflict and thus, saving the human race. He viewed this to be true. That is why he morally justified his slaughter of Jewish people. This is just proving my argument.

I never stated that something should be punished. I just stated that that is what societies do and are in existence for. Yes, it isn't inherently right or wrong to protect Jews, but I never stated or argued that it was subjectively wrong. I have only been speaking on objective morality and why it is non-existent. I used subjective morality to explain why this is, but not to condemn what I believe to be right or wrong.

Implied that only having one argument is bad, which is a logical fallacy. My one argument destroys the argument with which your position stands on. "He has said that since different societies come up with different moral systems, that therefore there is no set of objective moral values and duties." Way to oversimplify my argument. Read my dang arguments. I argued that this was true and then I explained why. Learn how to debate.

He then brings up science, which has literally no impact on morality in my interpretation whatsoever, to try and disprove me. He states that if my thinking is true then the objective reality of the natural world is untrue. What? Never have I claimed this and pro never showed why the continuation of my line of thinking would result in this, he just stated that it would. Either way, this is the line-drawing fallacy. Just because the end result of the line is untrue doesn't mean the other parts of the line aren't. In this case, the end result isn't even what pro claims it to be. He claims that because this my argument doesn't support my conclusion... What? Even if I was arguing that the natural world isn't an objective reality, what does that have to do with my argument against objective MORALITY?

Oh look, "because god" argument. You cannot academically point to god to prove your argument, look into credential authority. Furthermore, you cannot claim something about god and prove it because god. This is circular thinking. I could get into a whole argument about how god isn't love and how he advocates for so many horrific acts with pros reasoning, but that is irrelevant. You haven't proven that god is a credible source (he exists), that he has the authority on the issue (no one has authority in moral debate), or that he is completely objective.

Pro claims that god is a necessary reality. Pro then states that his argument is not relevant to the debate but still goes on to argue it. "Only if such a being exists is there any objective standard in which objective moral values and duties can be rooted." That is what I stated in my first round. I stated that if it is possible it must be by another being other than humans. But I've shown it to be impossible.

Oh look, more appeal to emotion. Pro complained that I stated that there is nothing inherently wrong with molestation. This is fact. Nothing completely objective tells us otherwise, only our society influenced "moral intuition." I have not advocating for the god dang molestation of children. I have not said that we should get rid of morality, this is in response of the "ask which you are willing to adopt" statement. Plus, anyone with any logic will see that my arguments are far superior and thus more persuasive than Pro's.

You have not proven any objective source that shows there is a morally superior standard.
You have not shown the objective moral values and duties that you claim your god gave you.
You haven't shown any sign of logical thinking in regards to morality, only the product of indoctrination and being subservient.
Understand my arguments before you try to debate them.
Understand debate and beginners fallacy before you debate.
Understand what makes a credible source and a crud source.

These are my critiques and advice for Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jakabus 1 year ago
jakabus
MBill I agree with you that God exists but I don't know about objective moral values & duties. You could put moral values down to survival instincts or primitive. Humans have known for years not to rape and kill. We STILL can't get the basics down because were tricked into the mentality of "know one will ever know" &/or An extremely high emotion spontaneously over riding our common sense. A momentary impulse followed by regret. And there lies the question about the morality of guilt. Do we feel guilt because of consequences ahead for our mistake or because it was a legit mistake and so we want to fix mistakes? (Notice one is self-centered while the other is selfless) I would like to debate you this topic as well... That's an interesting concept you reminded me of... I still wouldn't go as far as proof of God though. I wish people could smell the roses as well...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 3RU7AL 1 year ago
3RU7AL
MBillSkySky16Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO failed to support the resolution "Objective Moral Values and Duties Show that God Exists". There is no evidence presented to support the "Objective Moral Values" claim except a very weak "appeal to popularity" which is intersubjective at best. Also, absolutely no support for any particular "god" was presented by PRO. Should we believe that "Ahura Mazda" or "Marduk" is the "necessary" "god"? CON made clearer logical points but could have attempted to be slightly more polite.