The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Objective morality can only exist if God exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,155 times Debate No: 17113
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)





Objective morality can only exist if God exists

Burden of Proof

Pro will affirm the resolution
Con will oppose the resolution

Debate details

4 Rounds
8,000 Character limit
72 Hours to respond
1 Month voting period



If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.

Round 4

Round 4 is the last round, no new arguments are to be made in round 4. Only rebuttals, counter arguments of the previous arguments, and summaries.


Definition of God = Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover

Opening Statement & What this debate is about

Objective morality means a morality that exists independently of personal belief, that is to say things are right and wrong regardless if any person believes in them or not. For example if it is the case that rape is objectively wrong, then even if everyone believed rape was ok, it would still be wrong, because the moral rightness or wrongness is not dependent on what a person believes is right or wrong.

I would also point out by "person" I don't necessarily mean human, by person I mean anything with personhood or said to have personhood which includes Humans, angels, demons, fairies even deities etc, as Wikipedia says.... "A person (plural: persons or people; from Latin: persona, meaning "mask") is a human being, or an entity that has certain capacities or attributes associated with personhood" [1]

Some have argued that the existence of God is necessary for objective morality to exist. That is to say its impossible for objective morality to exist unless God exists. But what reason is there to justify that the existence of objective morality is dependent on the existence of God ? Why can't objective morality exist even if God does not exist ?

There is no explicit contradiction in the concept of God not existing & objective morality existing, if Pro thinks there is a contradiction here then they must have some other premises that bring out this implicit contradiction. Until this is shown, it is POSSIBLE that objective morality can exist even if God does not exist and thus the resolution is not affirmed.

I look forward to Pros reply.




If I were to show someone the computer I am using to type, and tell them that it is a good computer, what would I mean? Would I mean that it is an ethically good computer? Am I saying my computer has good morals? No. I would be talking about the quality of design, not the morality of the device. What is my point? Morality and ethical obligations exists between persons, not persons and impersonal things. Wood, stone, metal, dirt, water, etc. are not morally obligated to do or not do what they do.

Let's look at a non-theistic, naturalistic worldview. Life arose from chance; random mutations and genetic drift weaned by natural selection. And, life arouse from non-living self-replicating molecules. Granted, one might imagine a naturalistic world with a different history, but ultimately the point is the personal arises from the non-personal. The universe is not personal, and doesn't care what happens.

If an objective morality exists, an objective reality must exist that is ultimately personal. If God is uncaused... if he is a se, then he is the basis for ethics, among other things. As Cornelius Van Til puts it:

If God is self-sufficient, he alone is self-explanatory. And if he alone is self-explanatory, then he must be the final reference point in all human predication. [1]

So, if God exists, he must be the source of ethics. On the other hand, what source of ethics and morality can a naturalistic world-view offer?

Is it to be found in humans? After all, humans are persons and ethical obligations are personal. So, is the grounding of ethics to be found in man? If it is found in man's instincts or preferences then it is not an objective morality as “moral rightness or wrongness is not dependent on what a person believes is right or wrong,” let alone the other problems that has.

Is it to be found in society? Not if it is objective.

Is it found in nature or the universe itself? Again, no. The universe neither cares about what we do nor demands any ethical standards. And, we cannot pretend that we see a thing in nature ergo it should be a standard; even if a thing is, it doesn't follow that it ought to be that way.

The only ontology that allows for ethics is that of theism.


[1] Van Til, Cornelius. A Christian Theory of Knowledge (P & R Publishing Company, 1961).
Debate Round No. 1


Okey looks like some last minute stuff came up, at the very least I will have to forfeit this round, and seeing we just got started I think its best if I just forfeit the whole debate.

Chances are I will be debating this topic again in the near future, but till then...........Pro wins by forfeit.


BrianCBiggs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Illegalcombatant forfeited this round.


BrianCBiggs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Illegalcombatant forfeited this round.


I'd like to thank my opponent for setting up this debate; I'm disappointed that he had to forfeit. But, seeing how he currently has a debate in the challenge period, perhaps we will be able to have this debate in the near future.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Haha nvm - you did.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Define morality in R1 plz.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit