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Objective Morality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 467 times Debate No: 72894
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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The rules of this debate are
O burden of truth will be shared, we will both give evidense and explanations
OI i will argue that a persons ethics and principles are their own and COn will argue that there are already set principles and ethics and morals that should be followed
O i dont believe i need to specify the already set list of ethics including no stealing, no killing, no lying etc.
OThe winner will be decided because of the information in their arguements
not the way it is said or the usual rules, wether you cite or not isnt a factor and things like that althoguh cites should be there just so we know if the information is legitamte. and i repeat this is not a factor in who wins
O i will not report you for insulting me as that would pair in nicely with a debate on morals

the deffinitons of morality
principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.

the extent to which an action is right or wrong.

My opening arguement
I believe that morals and ethics are the boundary between good and evil but that since what is good and what it is evil is perspective for example while robin hood was shown as good in the movies for giving to the poor and punishing the rich he from the royals and rich's perspectives was a thief and a murderer and traitor.


I accept the challenge.

I will save my rebuttals of Pro's opening argument for the second round. My opening argument is as follows:

Nearly universally across all cultures, there have been the same core standards of right and wrong, and nearly every human being possesses an awareness of the difference between the way things are and the way they should be. Children who haven't been taught the laws and principles of right and wrong, have, nonetheless, an acute understanding of when they have been treated unfairly, and what actions must be undertaken for that unfairness to be righted again. In fact, in my experience, even those who believe morality to be subjective have an interesting habit of appealing to objectivity when they have been inconvenienced. Therefore, I believe morality is objective.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent states that nearly all cultures have basic standards of right and wrong and that we all even children know when they are being treated unfairly and that even people who believe in sujective morality stand by or prefer these already set standerds. Most of that is true except CON only looks at it though the perspectives of the harmed and society itself but doesnt consider what these morals are for. Morals and ethics were created by society to help govern and control society not so everyone can be happy mainly just for surivle of the human race because thats biologically our only purpose is the continuation of the human race. BUt original creation of the human race was basically an accident, i mean if you go back far enough we are all decendents from ALGEA!!! There is no divine reason to continue the human race and in this universe we are all worth less than nothing. So what value is there in societies morals anyway? Good and evil is just our perspective and right and wrong is jsut what we believe is the best choice, ethics answer whats right and wrong and the best choice for us from the view of society in general but that might not always be whats best for us, this relates to how the law isnt always synanimous with good or right even with society. So just because one action might be best for society which furthers the humans race you have to ask yourself is the human race the most important thing ever and will anything bad actually happen to it if we just act for oursleves? an example of this is a favorite book of mine named Lex Trent vs the gods in which the main character is a thief almost completly out for himself, his not a bad person but he is still a conman, theif and sneak who cares very little for others and puts himself first and above all like we all should.



My opponent states that morals and ethics were created by society for the purpose of humanity's survival. I see a number of problems with this statement. Will Pro please elaborate on what kind of evolutionary benefit humanity gains from helping the sick and the weak instead of appealing to survival of the fittest? Why is humanity appalled by an action like rape, even though every other species sees it as fair game? Why is stepping in and taking someone else's punishment considered noble when all it results in is a "guilty" person going free and an "innocent" one being harmed? Why is cowardice not rewarded as self-preservation? Why is torture abhorred? I expect Pro to respond with "because that is what society has decided was right/wrong." This does not help their argument, as they have not addressed how society would arrive at that conclusion, or why these definitions of right and wrong have been nearly universal since the dawn of civilization if there is no objective standard of morality in the universe.

In Pro's opening argument, they reference Robin Hood and how he was a hero to those he helped but a villain to those he stole from. This is not an example of subjective morality. If Person A robs Person B, it's not because Person A believes theft to be good and righteous by their moral standards. It's because Person A either sees Person B as "deserving" of theft ("you're rich, you can afford to lose the money") or because Person A sees their circumstances as a justification of theft ("this is the only way I can make enough money to feed my family"). People do not throw their hands up and say "yup, I'm a thief and that's morally right for me." They say "yes I stole but here's why it's okay in this case," implying that theft is morally wrong, but there are reasons behind it that are morally right. If Robin Hood did not have a morally good reason to steal from the rich (say, for instance, because he couldn't be bothered to work for the money himself) he would be seen as the villain of the piece.

Pro also argues that because we are an accidental product of an uncaring universe that morality has no meaning. However, Pro has not provided evidence that we are, in fact, an accidental product of an uncaring universe. What if there is a god or divine force who has a plan for us? The vast majority of earth's population believes so. What if we were engineered by extraterrestrial life? That's the official stance of NASA, if I recall. Both of these premises would conclude that our existence has meaning, and that there is an ultimate purpose. Pro does not have to accept either of these ideas as true, but they cannot construct their entire argument on the premise that they are false without providing evidence of their falsehood.

Lastly, Pro asks "is the human race the most important thing ever and will anything bad actually happen to it if we just act for ourselves?" Well, I don't know about you, Pro, but I lock my doors at night. Someone might decide to act for themselves and steal all my belongings. After all, it might be in their best interests to do so. It might also be in my best interests to kill them and get my stuff back. In fact, it's in everyone's best interests to be the biggest, strongest, most ruthless bully imaginable because that's sadly how nature works, and therefore why we need a moral law that does not appeal to personal preferences.

I also find it very interesting that Pro references a novel's protagonist and states that he is not a bad person, but still a conman, thief, etc. What exactly is it about this character that makes him not a bad person? In order to provide a satisfactory answer, Pro will have to appeal to objective standards of morality by stating his "good" qualities, behaviors, or intentions, therefore undermining their stance of subjective morals.
Debate Round No. 2


Here is a list of most all morals and ethics, these are all designed to do everthing from keep societies frombreaking apart, to stop infighting, to rienforce the laws put in to control the population etc. these when used often can come out in different ways, they at times dont seem to work and as CON said rape benefits society by increasing population but in fact rape does not benefit society in the big picture because it can cause fighting inside society damaging society in the big picture. Also while society m not benefit from showing someoen about to die kindness the act of kindness itself helps society, doesnt in save lives to donate to charity? the morals were created to benefit society preferably without society giving it much thought, thats where the idea of "good and evil" comes from.

1. Being Honest, Truthful, Trustworthy— is frank and open, refraining from lying, stealing, or
2. Having Integrity— is principled—being of sound moral character, showing courage of convictions, standing up for what is

3. Being Caring/ Compassionate/ Benevolent—shows good will, generosity; charitable, considerate, kind.
4. Doing One’s Civic Duty—abides by the laws and rules; does fair share; participates in community betterment.
5. Having Courage—does what is right, even in the face of personal consequences, rejection by others, or danger.
Being Willing to Sacrifice—gives of oneself or one's possessions to help others or for something one believes in.
7. Maintaining Self-Control— is able to stay calm and rational, even under conditions of temptation, stress, or aggravated assault (such as being teased or "put down') by others.

8. Being just and Fair—treats others as you would want them to treat you; rules applied equitably; does not discriminate on improper basis.

9. Being Cooperative—gets along well with others, willing to compromise; committed to the concept of neighborhood, society, country, and world.

10. Being Persevering/ Diligent—puts out best effort and works hard; does not give up easily; keeps trying despite hardships; selfR09;reliant.

11. Keeping Promises— attempts to keep commitments, reliable, dependable.

12. Doing no harm—considers the potential for physical or emotional harm to others and avoids that harm.

13. Pursuing excellence/ takes pride in work—does one's best; is not unduly influenced by setbacks or external pressures to do less than one can.

14. Taking personal responsibility—is accountable, dependable, amenable; considers consequences and accepts responsibility for own actions or inactions; does not shift blame for own mistakes to others.

15. Having Empathy —is able to identify with another's feelings or point of view in order to better understand him/her.

16. Benefiting others —makes decisions that have the potential for a positive effect on others.

17. Having Respect for others —Acknowledges and honors the rights, freedom, and dignity of others.

18. Having Patience R09;- knows that good products, actions and outcomes take time; can delay gratification; does not leap before looking.

19. Being Forgiving -- is able to leave upsetting and hurtful things behind; stops the cycle of the hurt to others or oneself; does not seek revenge.

20. Making Peace R09;- is able to compromise, to talk things out without resorting to violence, to seek solutions to problems that will be in everyone's best interests; values calmness and safety.

Also while I personally believe that while extraterrestrial life does exist somewhere in space i do not believe they are anywhere in our galaxy simply because our existence was such a rare incident. I would also like to point out that if we were genetically engeneerd by aliens that, that would mean we were created to be labrats, servants or worse some wierd alien kids science project or worse than that toy. COns alien life arguement leads to the same conclusion as my opening "the human race was an accidetn arguement" and so doesnt hold water for him.

My opponent states that we need a moral law which really just supports my arguement that morals and laws are made to support each other. We need laws if we do want to preserve society but morals by deffintion are to help you decide between right and wrong and to decide what is right and wrong you need to look at your priotities and see what is "right" for you. In my personal morals I do not break the law because i dont want to be put in prison, and i act nice so people are nice to me but i in reality i can still do whatver i want without feeling guilty about anything.

As i final thougth Lex trent is nice because he is clever, friendly and inteligent while this those go along with some of the listed morals like i said these are to stop fighting in society and they do this by appealing to human nature.
We live in a world where we are confined to societies standerds, standerds crushed into our heads from childhood. children need look at the world around them and then they can make their own morals that can go along with societies standerds or their own but it has more value if they choose rathher than it be forced down their throats (every cartoon on preaches a different moral, one good example of down the throating).

work cited


I will first address Pro's statement that an extraterrestrial origin of human life would not give a purpose to objective morality. Pro concludes that if we were engineered by aliens, it would only be as lab rats, slaves, or playthings. This not only fails to disprove my original point, but it is also purely speculative, and thus holds no weight.

However, Pro responds very well to the core of my previous argument by stating that while the specific action of dying for another may not be beneficial for society, the overarching concept of kindness and/or compassion, on which self-sacrifice is based, nonetheless is. I can find no flaw in this, as it logically follows that a society that promotes kindness and compassion would eventually become a society that promotes self-sacrifice as the ultimate expression of that kindness. As such, I must concede this point and continue to the next level of my argument:

Pro believes that morality is a social construct created solely to promote the wellbeing of society (and thus the species at large). Therefore, right and wrong depend on nothing more than society's definitions. With that in mind, let's take a look at selfishness in general. I believe Pro and I would both agree that while selfishness may be beneficial to the individual, it is harmful to society (and thus to the species at large). Therefore, by Pro's logic, that is why selfishness is considered wrong.

Let's take this argument to its logical conclusion.
We have already established the following:

  1. Being selfish is in my best interests, but not society's.
  2. I should not put my best interests over society's, because that weakens society.
  3. I should not weaken society because it weakens the species at large.
  4. Therefore, I should not be selfish (i.e., "selfishness is bad").

Let's make sure that the reverse is true, as well:

  1. Selflessness is in society's best interests, but not mine.
  2. I should put society's best interests over mine because it strengthens society.
  3. I should strengthen society because it strengthens the species at large.
  4. Therefore, I should be selfless (i.e., "selflessness is good")

But it's clear upon further examination that these arguments leave a very important question unanswered: why should I care about whether or not I weaken the species at large?

Well, let's take a look at that:

  1. If the species is weak, it will die out.
  2. If the species dies out, so will I.
  3. Therefore, it is in my best interests to help the species.

But herein lies the rub: it is also in my best interests to be selfish.

Moral relativism has left us not with enlightenment, but with a logical paradox. Both options have precisely the same amount of total benefit to the individual. Logic cannot determine why one should select the short-term gain of helping oneself over the long-term gain of helping others, or vice versa. Nonetheless, humanity has universally, time and time again, selected the long-term gain as superior on the sole fact that it is the only of the two options that considers the wellbeing of others. I cannot think of an explanation for this unless morality--right and wrong, and the difference thereof--is objective.

Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Regemdeus 1 year ago
This was an amazing debate and i am glad i got an opponent that provides arguements we can benefit from both ways when we leave.

cons finals statements i found especially enlightening and believe that this is why we have debates, this was amazing.

Also to cap the debate of i would like to say that his final lines while they have the same final result said iether way on society the affect it has on you changes. If you are selfish you and society can be strong and powerful or you can be punished by a weakened society and forgoten if you are self sacrificing you could iether be loved and famous like mother Theresa or like my great aunt who spent her whole life taking care of her mother who got alzheimer then after she died her sisters one after the other each with alzheimer and now they are all dead and she who had always just lived at home sacrifing her life for the care of others now has alzheimer and cannot walk and can barely remember anything including what she said 2 minutes ago.

It can go iether way but whats more likely to make you strrong? is it 50/50 or is one more likely than the others, who knows...
Posted by Regemdeus 1 year ago
please dont make this a debate fought on spelling prhasing or formailites, i believe i have a clear arguement and have covered all possible questions
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