The Instigator
Benshapiro
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Feroste
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Objective morality exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Benshapiro
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 512 times Debate No: 63076
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

Benshapiro

Pro

Objective morality is an argument claiming that humans beings all have in inner sense of what is wrong on some issues. I will argue that this is true.

To say that objective morality exists it must follow that not all morality is subjective. My opponent must argue from the position that all morality is subjective in order to rebut my claim that objective morality exists.

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

This will be a debate with no specific structure. First round may be for rebuttals, arguments, or acceptance. Thanks and I look forward to an informal but constructive debate.
Feroste

Con

My argument is against objective morality on the basis of being a logical fallacy constituted by the rules of debate.

"Naturalistic fallacy. This is the fallacy of trying to derive conclusions about what is right or good (that is, about values) from statements of fact alone. This is invalid because no matter how many statements of fact you assemble, any logical inference from them will be another statement of fact, not a statement of value. If you wish to reach conclusions about values, then you must include amongst your assumptions (or axioms, or premises) a statement of value." (1)

And we both know that opinions are subjective, this source continues to go on to give a really good example

"/"This medicine will prevent you from dying" immediately leads to the conclusion, "You should take this medicine." But this reasoning is invalid, because the former statement is a statement of fact, while the latter is a statement of value. To reach the conclusion that you ought to take the medicine, you would need at least one more premise: "You ought to try to preserve your life whenever possible."\" (1)

This logical fallacy of there being any objective morals derives from the appeal to nature fallacy which I think you are trying to argue on human instinctual ground. First, you must define what natural is or what are basic human instincts? Then, you must also argue that unnatural is the same as wrong.

(1) http://www.csun.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Benshapiro

Pro

By opponent brings up an issue that value judgments can't be made from facts alone and asserts that I am committing a naturalistic fallacy. I'll explain why this isn't the case.

Objective morality, as explained in P1 is "an argument claiming humans beings all have an inner sense of what is wrong on some issues."

Whether the value judgements that humans perceive are actually "right" or "wrong" are irrelevant. If it is a fact that all human beings have a shared inner sense of right and wrong on some issues then objective morality evidently exists. The argument doesn't depend on the value judgments made on what is specifically "right and wrong" but simply that it is a fact that all human beings share this perception.

I'll illustrate with an example as to why my opponent's claim of the naturalistic fallacy are false:

(1) Eyes can see (2) you shouldn't observe dead bodies

and

(1) all human beings share moral sense on what is right and wrong on some issues (2) you shouldn't murder

The 1 statements are factual and 2 statements are value judgements. My opponent claims that I am making value judgements by claiming the existence of objective morality but I am merely claiming factual moral perception of what is right and wrong on certain issues. The actual "right" or "wrongness" of those issues is irrelevant to the definition given and to the argument itself.


My opponent asserts that I must define what natural is and what basic human instincts are. He then goes on to say that I must show why something unnatural is the same as wrong. But I don't have to show this. My burden of proof is just to show that all human beings evidently have shared inner sense of what is right and wrong.

Shared moral standards

If all morality is subjective, then every society has a subjective sense of right and wrong. If all societies share constant, universal moral standards then all morality is evidently not subjective. All societies have held infant rape to be immoral regardless of culture, nation, religion, or time period. If it is a fact of consciousness that raping an infant is morally reprehensible, then objective morality evidently exists and it follows that not all morality is subjective. This is empirically observed by the behavior of every known society in existence. If it is naturally derived and instinctual it would still be objective. It simply means that it is a fact that you know that raping an infant is perceived as morally wrong regardless of how your moral perceptions became ingrained into your consciousness.

Necessary justification

Anyone that commits murder, theivery, rape, etc,. is punishable by law unless necessary justification is given. For example: I can't kill my neighbor unless I argued that it was in self-defense. My necessary justification for killing him then, was that it was in self-defense. Its important to note that laws are founded on ethics and ethics are founded on morality. Society is merely a collection of individuals. So societies are a collection of individuals with moral sense. How these societies behave are empirical evidence as to whether morality is objective in certain cases or whether all morality is subjective. Societies clearly show that they impose and uphold laws stemming from a shared inner sense of what is right and wrong on some moral issues and why they won't tolerate rape, murder, theivery, etc. unless necessary justification is given otherwise. This is evidence that not all morality is subjective.

Over to con.
Feroste

Con

I stand by my argument of the naturalistic fallacy as the only means to produce morals. The pro has in fact reinforced my argument by saying

"Whether the value judgements that humans perceive are actually "right" or "wrong" are irrelevant. If it is a fact that all human beings have a shared inner sense of right and wrong on some issues then objective morality evidently exists. The argument doesn't depend on the value judgments made on what is specifically "right and wrong" but simply that it is a fact that all human beings share this perception." -Pro

I would agree that we are not arguing right or wrong, but you are arguing that there are value judgments that ALL humans indisputably agree on without providing evidence.

Just to point out your (2)s are statements of value yes but they are missing the in between opinion statement which is why those values are subjective
-(1) Dead bodies look disgusting, therefore (2)
- (1) You wouldn't want someone to murder me (2) (golden rule?)

Again, Objective morals are things that EVERY HUMAN finds right and wrong. Your Shared moral standards paragraph does not prove shared societal morals to be objective, more that they are well accepted morals. What about pedophiles? they would disagree with that moral which makes it subjective. What about murder? most people would find it to be wrong but serial killers would disagree.

an Objective moral would be a moral that someone cannot possibly disagree with or act out against because it is fundamental to the human mind. Give me 1 example of a indisputable moral.
Debate Round No. 2
Benshapiro

Pro

I feel that con has largely misunderstood this debate but it was worthwhile nevertheless.

Just to recap, I set out to show that "humans beings all have an inner sense of what is wrong on some issues" as defined in R1. I gave examples in round 2 of how this is empirically observed based on how societies act. I showed that all societies share a universal and constant shared moral standard against infant rape and how all societies have held certain actions like murder, rape, and theivery to be punishable by law without necessary justification. I pointed out that laws are founded ethics, and ethics are founded on moral sense and that societies are merely a collection of individuals with moral sense - so how societies behave is indicative of whether or not they have a shared moral perception of right and wrong.

Last round my opponent has asserted that I haven't shown evidence of value judgements that all humans indesputably agree on. This is false as per last round when I specifically mentioned the immorality of infant rape. My opponent is also under the false impression that if everyone indesputably agrees on something, that it would be objective. This is not true, however. Notice that in R2 I used terminology and gave examples of shared moral standards of objective morality "evidently" existing. Objective morality can only be evidenced by, and not proven by the consensus of all human beings. If all human beings have a shared moral standard, that infant rape is immoral for example, then it is evidently a fact that everyone has the moral sense to know that it is wrong. In a hypothetical world where everyone allowed infant rape despite knowing that it was wrong, it would still be objectively immoral to rape an infant because they still factually perceived that it was wrong. This example would never happen because how people behave is affected by their moral perceptions, but it shows that the objectivity of something perceived isn't dependent on, but evidenced by behavioral actions.

I will point out the logical inconsistency in response to my opponent's argument last round which is structured as follows: since group X people engage in immoral behavior Y then they must not have the moral perception to have known that it was immoral.

He's arguing that since some people engage in immoral behavior it must follow that they must not perceive it as immoral. This is simply not necessary though. Many people engage in behavior they find to be immoral all the time for selfish reasons. Cheating on a significant other despite knowing that it's wrong for the sake of your own pleasure, for example. His reasoning *necessitates* that people *simply can't* engage in behavior that they know to be immoral.


I would like to leave a final word on the central refutation that my opponent has brought to this debate. "I would agree that we are not arguing right or wrong, but you are arguing that there are value judgments that ALL humans indisputably agree on without providing evidence."

My opponent has just shifted from defending his claim that my proposition is a naturalistic fallacy to simply an unsubstantiated claim. If all humans indisputably agree that certain moral behaviors are right and wrong without concern to the value judgements of those behaviors, this can't be an example of a naturalistic fallacy which necessitates that those value judgements are made.

Thanks for this debate and I look forward to debating with you sometime in the future.





Feroste

Con

I pointed out in R2 and again here that I still stand by the fact that there are no objective morals due to the naturalistic fallacy. However I attempted to use other reasoning to reinforce my argument. I did not shift my claim as my first line here and in R2 prove.

I already disputed in R2 that shared societal morals are still subjective.
Take for example the death penalty. What is the objectionable morality of that? Is it right or wrong. http://www.debate.org...
People are split almost 50/50 objectional morality would have figures closer to 100% maybe with a few outliers (You brought up the point of people knowing their actions are immoral and doing them anyways so maybe not 100%)

50% of the countries in the UN have abolished the death penalty
20% use it as a normal practice of law (1)
the other 30% havent used it in forever or only use it in extreme circumstances (like treason)

Since there is dispute among societies what is the objectional morality of it?

Same with 90% of the issues on http://www.debate.org...

Also your argument that since all societies condemn infant rape, therefor it is objectionably wrong is an argument to the majority.
If everyone was raping infants it would be objectionably right by that argument.
Just because everyone is doing it or not doing it doesn't make them right.

For objective morality to be outside of human influence it would need a inhuman basis (insert random god here) which you could argue is nature but that goes back to my R1 argument, you then have to argue what is natural and that unnatural is the same as wrong. If you don't use god and can't argue that then "objective morality" is subject (subjective) to what humans make of it.

Finally, There are people who do things like murder and rape and honestly don't think it is immoral because morality is subjective and they don't see it as wrong (Insert hitler, every country going to war ever, every religious war ever, euthanasia, raping prisoners of war, beheading infidels, ect.) also Sociopaths and Psychopaths, although you could argue mental disorders don't count maybe?

However, good debate. It's been fun.

(1) http://www.amnesty.org...
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
morality has no substance unless it relates to the "relationship" between humans. All empirical observation suggests that the purpose of any species is its own survival, reproduction and wellbeing. These three principles applies to any and all living creatures and there is no reason why this should not include humans. The only difference between us and the rest of the natural world is our comparative super-intelligence and super-capabilities which underpins our ability to progress and it is that ability that makes us unique. These concepts find their origin within our species and exist nowhere else but within our species.
Posted by Feroste 2 years ago
Feroste
No that example is in favor of my own subjective morality.

Yes I would agree, Murder torture and rape are not objectionably wrong. However, the accepted morality in most (not all) of the world is that they are wrong.

The problem with objective morality is that you have to have something to base objective morality off of. (namely religion) An action is only good once someone says it is good but if a human does that then it is subject because in order to reach that conclusion they had to input their opinion on the issue.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
We mustn't restrict something objective to humans only, it applies to all creatures capable of making a decision, instinctual or not. If killing another living creature is objectively wrong, then all predatory animals are immoral. Even if it did only apply to humans, hunting animals and tearing plants from their roots are objectively immoral actions. Objectivity of morals would also outweigh any benefit from disregarding the moral rule, so eating the animal or plant would not redeem the immoral act. If we believe that infanticide is objectively immoral because it should be universally wrong to kill a baby animal (human or not), then male lions taking over another pride and killing the offspring of the previous male is immoral. Morality can fall into a significant gray area when you start addressing the needs of the few versus the many.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
The example you give is an argument in itself in favor of objective morality!

You say: "And what about what is happening in Palestine? Israel is blatantly killing them for a "good" reason."

If objective morality does not exist, then things like murder, torture, and rape are not wrong. They are just as "good" as they are "evil". It is only in the case of objective morality that any action can truly be "good" or "evil". In your statement, you present one of the biggest problems with relative morality, namely anyone can say anything is "good". You deny the existence of objective morality, yet it seems as if you recognize that relative morality cannot be true.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
"An objective moral means that everyone believes it."

False. Trivially false.

Objective morals exist even if there's not a single person in existence that believes in them. Objective morality has nothing to do with anyone believing something to be "good" or "evil" and everything to do with "good" and "evil" existing. In other words, a "good" action is "good" independently of human opinion or even human existence.
Posted by Feroste 2 years ago
Feroste
an Objective moral means that Everyone believes it. So when I say murder is wrong you would agree yes? Now did hitler believe that his genocide of the jews was wrong? I actually remember hearing that he thought he was doing a service to the world by exterminating their kind.

And what about what is happening in Palestine? Israel is blatantly killing them for a "good" reason.
Same with the war on terrorism "ISIS is bad because they behead people" Do the people in ISIS think they are wrong? No... It is impossible to have objective morals.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
I disagree, it seems as if Con misunderstands the essence of the debate topic.

"trying to derive conclusions about what is right or good"

Pro does not need to derive any conclusions about what is right or good in order to win this debate. He need only show that objective morality exists; interpreting it or "deriving conclusions" is not his job.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
I understand Con, but it might've been better if he explained it a little more slowly for other people.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
Damn, Con went in swinging his hammer of logic. This will be a short debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
BenshapiroFerosteTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe con failed to rebut the fact that, all human have a sense of core believing of something that's exactly wrong/right. Pro showed that people can believe something to be immoral and still do it due to their selfishness.
Vote Placed by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
BenshapiroFerosteTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with the voter below. Con failed to give good reason to think that objective morality, if it exists, must necessarily by identified and agreed upon by every last human being.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
BenshapiroFerosteTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It was close, but I believe pro was able to show that a behavior doesn't have to be undisputed in order to be objectively moral.