The Instigator
Chaosism
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Henlopen
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Objective Morality Does Not Exist, Regardless of the Biblical God's Existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Chaosism
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 628 times Debate No: 75172
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

Chaosism

Pro

If anyone is willing to accept this debate, I will argue that morality is purely subjective, whether the Christian God of the Bible exists or not. (I am only specifying the Christian God because I am not familiar with other religions.)

Definitions [1]

Objective : (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Subjective : based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Morality : principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Structure

Con may elect to use Round #1 for acceptance only or to present arguments. If the latter is chosen, then Con must waive the final round in order to maintain an equal number of opportunities to argue. The rest of the debate shall not follow any specific structure.

[1] Oxford Dictionaries - http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Henlopen

Con

Hello Chaosism, I accept your debate. My position is that objective morality exists, and it has nothing to do with any of the world's religions. I believe morality can be explained through neuroscience and behavioral psychology, and our understanding of morality will become clearer as science progresses in the coming decades.

That's my position, but I won't argue for it until you get a chance to present your argument.

This should be interesting!
Debate Round No. 1
Chaosism

Pro

Excellent. Thank you for accepting this debate challenge.

Moral Biology

I shall open by stating that many organisms have evolved as social organisms. Through the process of evolution (via natural selection and mate selection), these organisms (as a population) developed the sense of empathy that we are all so innately familiar with [1]. Modern neuroscience explains that this phenomenon is a process or function of the brain [2]. Empathy is simply the ability to vicariously experience and understand the emotions of another being, and emotions themselves are a result of the processes of the brain [3].

However, empathy and morality are not a universal constant. For example, consider the Black Widow Spider's tendency to devour its mate[4], which is an evolutionary trait [5]. To our standards, cannibalism is almost unanimously viewed as highly immoral and repulsive and as such, we regard this as a horrifyingly immoral act. If the spider shared this same view (well, I'm sure the male does), it would not be so frequently performing this act. The spider is driven by biological and psychological factors, and clearly doesn't see this action as "wrong" or "bad". This demonstrates that he judgment of morality lies in the beholder.

It is quite easy for us to acknowledge that there are actions that are universally right and wrong, but that is because we are all the same species (human) and as such, have very similarly developed brains, which is the very source of this judgment. To continue this point, empathy isn't universally the same within even our own species. If the act of killing is universally "bad", why can we so easily kill a fly or mosquito but shudder at the thought of killing a puppy? The basis of this judgment is a result of the feeling that we get as a result of our evolved, socially-based cognitive development.

The above indicates that the source of our morality lies within ourselves. Specifically, within our psychology and emotions and as such, is subjective.

Moral Value

Like other comparative descriptive words, morality depends on a value which is then compared to other possibilities. A similar descriptive word would be "large". If something is assigned the label of "large", it is based completely on its size relative to other objects. Compared to a pebble, a boulder may be large but then, if compared to a planet, it is not. A single object in existence cannot be described as either large or small because there is nothing to compare it to. This is, of course, unless one believes in objective largeness.

Morality is similar to this because it can clearly be recognized as some actions hold a greater degree of wrongness than others. An observe attaches a value to the subject (based on empathy and emotion) which represents a moral judgment, and that judgment is only applicable to that particular observer. Certainly, different observers can associate the same general value with a given subject, but each individual's perspective is their own.

[1] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu...
[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com...
[3] http://www.humanillnesses.com...
[4] http://www.livescience.com...
[5] http://www.livescience.com... (essentially. same source as above)
Henlopen

Con

Henlopen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Chaosism

Pro

Arguments extended.
Henlopen

Con

Henlopen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Chaosism

Pro

Arguments extended.
Henlopen

Con

Henlopen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Chaosism 2 years ago
Chaosism
@ canis

I'm definitely interested in hearing your arguments. Would you be willing to debate on it?
Posted by Chaosism 2 years ago
Chaosism
C'mon, Henlopen! You can do it! 01 hour 34 minutes 35 seconds left at the time of this Comment!
Posted by canis 2 years ago
canis
Evolution has its own objective morality. The secondary subjective morality must follow.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
I'll be sure to stick around then, I'm glad you decided to not argue from the god route.
Posted by Henlopen 2 years ago
Henlopen
Kozu - I am fresh from the registration page, but I'm not a neophyte!

This is a great subject for a debate.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
Yea, that's what the majority argues, but if I were to debate Pro for objective morality I would base it on evolution.

But it looks like someone fresh from the registration page has taken your debate!
Posted by Chaosism 2 years ago
Chaosism
I know, but I included it because a lot of people use that as the reason that it must exist. I say "whether He exists or not" so it doesn't have to be part of the discussion, but I can state that explicitly, I guess. I guess that I have that there in an unintentional effort to goad someone into accepting. I'll remove that later if no one accepts. Thank you!
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
I'm glad you made a debate specifically about objective morality, I was wanting a longer explanation of your position on morality.

You should take out the god part, since objective morality doesn't *have* to come from a god. Although people tend to argue that it does.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
ChaosismHenlopenTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit.
Vote Placed by Fkkize 2 years ago
Fkkize
ChaosismHenlopenTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full FF by Con
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
ChaosismHenlopenTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture