The Instigator
Robikan
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
MrCarroll
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

One can have morals without God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,635 times Debate No: 14852
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (30)
Votes (6)

 

Robikan

Pro

Many religious people have claimed that without divine authority, there is nothing on which to base morals. I will be arguing against this position, and offering other foundations for morality.

To be sure that I am clear on my opponent's position, I will allow him to make the first argument.
MrCarroll

Con

Thank you for this exciting challenge. First, I think we should go through a few things.

============

Definitions

Morality
- conforming to the standard of right conduct (morals)

Moral relativism
- right or wrong are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual [1]

============

Rules
If you disagree with these rules, or want new ones, I would advise in letting me know in the comments section so we can sort it out.

I. When referring to the opponent's (my) beliefs, one must use the more recently coined word, ‘worldview,' instead of ‘religion.' This is due to the misuse of the word in previous debates.

Worldview – the manner in which a person perceives his universe

II. The next rule is probably obvious, but again, in the last debate I encountered this issue. An attacker may only attack the other's position by using their worldview. For example, I believe evolution is scientifically and logically impossible; therefore you cannot use evolution to attack my views. However, you can clearly defend yourself with evolution.

=============

I do not exactly know everything about my opponent's beliefs as I am no expert in Daoism. I'm not sure how I should make my arguments because I will be assuming your beliefs. In order to solve this problem, I think we should answer the following "worldview questions." Be as brief unless it really applies to the debate.

1) Is there a God, and if so, what is He like?
2) What is the nature of the universe?
3) What is the nature of man?
4) What is the basis of ethics and morality?
5) What is the cause of evil and suffering?
6) What happens to man at death?
7) Do life and history have any real meaning?

=============

Worldview of Con:
1) God exists. God is an infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, transcendent being. God is just; God is love itself; God can do no evil; God cannot create anything infinite.
2) Created by God.
3) Man has free will (mostly). Man is inherently sinful because of "The Fall." Man is given dominion over the earth.
4) God is the basis. In fact God is good itself.
5) Man is the cause of evil. Earth was cursed at "The Fall."
6) Man will be judged by God.
(7) History is God's plan unwinding itself. Meaning of life is to glorify God.

=============

Now I will begin my argument while assuming your beliefs.

I. Let us begin with, God does not exist. This says many things about the universe. It means that the universe was caused by nothing (let me know if you disagree). If you believe in the Bing Bang Theory, then our galaxy, our solar system, our earth, and life itself are all based on chance. Chance means nothing. If you say that the earth came to its present location by chance, you are basically saying it is there by nothing since nothing caused it to be there. Thus, human existence is based on chance i.e. nothing. Now, I'm not sure where you think morality resides, but if morality is based in the human physical mind, then we could conclude morality is based on chance i.e. nothing. In this perspective, there is no basis for morals in the universe. Perhaps they always existed? I'm not sure.

II. Here is an argument on moral relativism:
If morality is relative, a person can decide what is right for himself. If so, every case could be moral if one conforms to the right conduct of his own ideas. This makes the standard of right and wrong relative to each individual. This means there is no single standard. This means that an idea can be true and not true at the same time, which breaks the rules of logic. Therefore morality cannot be relative.

In this argument, morality must either be universal or non-existent (moral nihilism).

III. Moral reformers dilemma:
Sometimes morals are not relative to the individual, but to social groups. Let's use Martin Luther King as an example of why this doesn't make sense. He completely went against what society's ideas of right and wrong. Martin Luther King was thus, in the relativist's view, acting wrongly. But the moral state of society was arguably improved [3].

IV. It is impossible for a moral relativist to claim anything is wrong, including intolerance. If moral relativism is true, there are no immoral societies and there are no immoral laws [4].

[1] http://www.moral-relativism.com...
[2] http://blogcritics.org...
[3] http://personal.bellevuecollege.edu...
[4] http://www.scottmsullivan.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Robikan

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate!

I agree with both the definitions and the rules.

To answer your questions as briefly as possible:

1) I am agnostic so I make no claims as to whether or not there is a God, but I debate from the position that there is not, as I do not believe in any of the traditionally defined gods.
2) Came to being via the big bang/evolution.
3) Man is a highly evolved mammal.
4) Very briefly: awareness and compassion/minimizing suffering, desire for a highly functioning society (essentially, we are all better off if we refrain from harming one another).
5) Generally speaking, greed, self importance, ignorance and lack of empathy.
6) I'm not sure, but I do not believe eternal judgment takes place.
7) In a contained sense, yes (meaning, they teach us the nature of ourselves and our surroundings so that we may improve as a species).

Now, onto your arguments:

I. Yes, human existence was caused by chance. This in no way means that there is no basis for morality, however. We can witness social structures both in our own species and in others (1), many of which have developed some sort of moral code. Thus far, we are unsure of where these morals originate, but research and speculation lead many to believe that morals came both from necessity (2) (social animals require both structure and empathy to successfully live in groups) and empathy in and of itself.

II. I struggle with moral relativism, and so this will be difficult for me to adequately explain. On the one hand, I do not believe in a universal morality in the sense that an outside being (God) has laid out for us what is "right/good" and what is "wrong/evil". I do, however, believe that humans (and other species, in fact) have developed a basic morality over time, and so, despite the existence of individual morals, it is still possible for one to go against basic human morality.

In regards to your statement about something being true and untrue at the same time, I believe you are oversimplifying to reach this conclusion. When applying the idea of moral relativism to a society, one must keep in mind that the standard will not change drastically from one individual to the next, but from one situation to the next. The simplest example of this is the act of killing, as I talked about in our previous debate. Most humans will agree that, in a general sense, killing is wrong/immoral. When we delve deeper into it, however, we find that it is only viewed as wrong in specific situations (murder is almost always considered immoral, while military action, abortion, self-defense, accidental killing and euthanasia are hotly debated). Our moral standard seems to be based largely on intent, making a universal morality almost impossible.

III. Going against a societal norm is not necessarily immoral. Human morals likely developed from our status as a social species, meaning that whatever minimizes suffering and maximizes efficiency is morally correct.

IV. Incorrect. Again, morals can be judged based on minimizing suffering and maximizing efficiency.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org... (note that this article does not cite sources, so I normally wouldn't use it as a reference. However, it offers a list of animals with distinct social structures, and these links *do* cite countless sources)
(2) http://books.google.com...
MrCarroll

Con

Good answers. That was everything I wanted to know.

I. The main point here is that if you do not have an explanation of existence itself, how can you explain morality? Basically you say evolution has developed these moral codes. The problem is evolution is based on chance i.e. nothing. So my guess is that either morals have always existed and are universal, or that morals are from God.

II. Another thing you say is that humans developed morality. This is better than saying evolution developed it. I personally do not think that animals exhibit morality. Some animals are cannibalistic, animals don't really punish themselves for doing something socially unacceptable, and the main goal of animals is simply survival. In addition, you cannot prove that animals know or care what is right and wrong.

"...The standard will not change drastically from one individual to the next, but from one situation to the next." You use the example of killing to illustrate this. I would agree not all forms of killing are wrong, but the "acceptable" forms of killing are due to the choices of the individual being killed (I should have been more clear in our last debate). I think there is still an absolute right and wrong in every situation. This is a type of relativism that is not moral relativism. But if these issues of abortion, war, self-defense, etc. are relative to the individual, then the argument still stands.

III and IV. "Whatever minimizes suffering and maximizes efficiency is morally correct." This sounds like an absolute statement. So this is not really moral relativism. Now, I think humans are very individual. Most people are arguably more worried about their own desires then society's. Also this is strongly based on evolution, and once again basing morals on evolution is very sketchy. I think you should explain this argument more.
Debate Round No. 2
Robikan

Pro

Thank you for addressing all of my points.

I. Morality without god can be explained rather simply, actually. How we came into existence has very little impact on how we live today. Because we are social animals, we developed a social structure, which included morality. This happened for many reasons, some of which we are still trying to figure out, and some of which we are sure of. What we know for sure is that all social beings, from ants to humans, have evolved to work together for the greater good of the species. We also know that primates, as well as a few other animal species, exhibit signs of empathy and altruism, telling us that the more intelligent a being is, the more able they are to understand the needs and feelings of their peers (1). What this tells us is that social beings develop morality, both out of necessity and as a natural progression from awareness. Very simply, those who live in groups don't generally want to do harm, as they know it will be bad for them, bad for their community, and because they know and aren't comfortable with how they will be making another individual feel.

II. What you personally feel about animal morality is irrelevant, unless you are a sociobiologist or otherwise involved in these studies. Many examples of animal morality are readily available for you to study (2, 3). True, their morals can differ from ours, but that does not negate them, it simply furthers the theory that morals are relative. If morals developed out of intelligence and necessity, their purpose is not to get us into god's good books, but to improve us as a species, making it completely logical that each species (and perhaps even each community) will have their own moral code. The common thread is empathy, which is what makes morality easy to witness and understand. Despite the many differing values of each species, community, or even individual, there is a fairly common desire to refrain from causing harm. This is seen most in animals who are highly intelligent and social, which indicates that, upon developing self-awareness and emotions, we in turn develop the ability to apply those feelings to others. "Right" and "wrong" are human constructs -- "harmful" and "helpful" are not.

III. As I said previously, I struggle with the idea of moral relativism as it is commonly defined. My point here is not to defend moral relativism, but to defend morality without god. I agree that humans generally worry more about their own needs than the needs of society, but we still adhere to societal standards. If we did not, we would all be out stealing whatever we needed or living in the bush, satisfying only our own needs and wants. Most of us do not do this -- we seem to understand on a very base level that working with others betters us all. For example, I am certainly more concerned with my own needs than with the needs of my neighbor, but I still go to work, which benefits not just me, but my employers, my co-workers, my clients, my landlord, my neighborhood, etc. We, as a social species, simply have more chance of success when we work together (maximize efficiency) and refrain from harming eachother (minimize suffering).

To sum up my argument, morality need not come from God. It can be explained by two separate, yet related issues: empathy and necessity:

Empathy: I do not want to harm you, because I know what that feels like and have no desire to make another feel that way (the fact that this is the *only* things the major worldviews seem to agree on is very telling).
Necessity: I do not want to harm you, because it is actually more beneficial to me if I don't.

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2)http://www.nytimes.com...
(3)http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
MrCarroll

Con

I. I would argue how we came into existence has a ton of influence on how we live today. Many people see themselves living in a universe without a cause and consequently without a purpose. For a lot of people life is about drugs, sex, and money. This person will live a life different than one who sees life as an opportunity to love God and others. You believe that we are animals, social animals whose existence is by evolution.
While I am not a sociobiologist, I do know a bit about animals. None of these animals exhibit a sense of right and wrong or guilt associated with humans, and each of these sources confirm this. They never do anything immoral in the sense that humans do something immoral.
One source says: "Professor Frans de Waal, a primate behaviourist at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, said: 'I don't believe animals are moral in the sense we humans are – with well developed and reasoned sense of right and wrong...'" [1] This kind of contradicts the rest of the article.

II. a. Like I said, I think these are not really morals at all. Anyway, the original argument still stands because this still constitutes logical contradictions. Let's say animals do have morals and eating offspring is moral for snakes and immoral for antelope, there is still a contradiction. Or maybe you meant only some animals show morality such as chimpanzees. But it turns out, chimps kill each other, eat each other, eat their babies, and different groups go into all out wars. "Scientists believe the drive is survival. The primates, recognizing that larger numbers means greater chance of survival, take over new land in order to have access to more fruit trees." [2] Is this moral? It does not sound like it. If this was the case of humans, then a society that is out of resources has the right to move into a more abundant area and kill everyone who lives there. They are optimizing their chance of success and survival.
b. If you equate morals with what is "harmful" and "helpful" then we can argue all sorts of scenarios. The holocaust is one of them. Hitler viewed the Jews as an inferior race. They were detrimental to the Aryan race, thus he should kill the Jews. He was helping the Aryan race and more importantly, helping evolution along. His whole philosophy was based on evolution. So he was in the end, helping not just the Aryans, but all of human society.

III. True, humans rely on society for their utmost happiness. But let me give an example of some very "happy" people. Leaders of terrorist groups get paid from tons of sources. They use their terror to get rich and they're so crafty, no one can stop them.
Is morality explained by empathy and necessity? You see, not everyone feels empathy. And taking advantage of others is some times much more beneficial to these people. Is this immoral?

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[2] http://kotaku.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Robikan

Pro

I. My apologies; you are correct that how we came into existence influences how we live. I phrased that very poorly. What I was arguing against was your statement "if you do not have an explanation of existence itself, how can you explain morality? ". What I should have said is that, regardless of how we came into existence, the existence of moral codes is difficult to deny. And, in fact, those who believe in evolution *can* explain our existence and offer rational theories on why morals would have been a part of that evolution.

Now, onto the rest of your argument:

"None of these animals exhibit a sense of right and wrong or guilt associated with humans, and each of these sources confirm this."

Actually, I think the sources indicate that there is a sense of right and wrong, or at least empathy:

--Experiments with rats have shown that they will not take food if they know their actions will cause pain to another rat. In lab tests, rats were given food which then caused a second group of rats to receive an electric shock.
The rats with the food stopped eating rather than see another rat receive a shock.--(1)

And, the quote you use goes on to say "Human morality was not formed from scratch, but grew out of our primate psychology. Primate psychology has ancient roots, and I agree that other animals show many of the same tendencies and have an intense sociality." , which supports my position.

II. "Let's say animals do have morals and eating offspring is moral for snakes and immoral for antelope, there is still a contradiction."

There is only a contradiction if you believe that morality came from god, or is necessarily universal, which I do not. If, as I argue, morals developed out of social necessity and empathy, there are two valid reasons why there would be no contradiction. First, not all animals would possess morals; only highly intelligent, highly social or with emotional qualities would develop them. Second, since part of the basis for morality is societal benefit, the morals of each species would logically differ, as what benefits one species may not benefit the next.

"But it turns out, chimps kill each other, eat each other, eat their babies, and different groups go into all out wars."

Humans do all sorts or immoral things, as well. This does not mean morals do not exist, it means that certain individuals ignore them for whatever reason.

"It does not sound like it. If this was the case of humans, then a society that is out of resources has the right to move into a more abundant area and kill everyone who lives there."

Which was not an unusual practice until a couple hundred years ago, and is still practiced on a smaller scale.

As for your Nazi example, I addressed this in the comments section.

III. I'm not sure that what you are saying here is relevant. Regardless of where morals come from, there are people who behave immorally. The fact that some people are immoral has no bearing on whether morals can exist without god or not.

Ultimately, this debate was about whether or not morals can exist without God or not. Whether or not my opponent accepts that morals can be viewed in other species or not, and whether he accepts that they are developed through evolution or not, I believe that I have shown that it is at least possible for morals to have come from something other than God. Add to that the obvious fact that atheists, agnostics and people with non-god-based beliefs still adhere to some sort of moral code despite their lack of god, and I think it is clear that morality can and does exist without God.

(1)http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
MrCarroll

Con

I will begin with addressing your last paragraph and then return to the original order. "Add to that the obvious fact that atheists, agnostics and people with non-god-based beliefs still adhere to some sort of moral code despite their lack of god, and I think it is clear that morality can and does exist without God." Now, I was NOT debating whether one can have morals if they believe in God, but rather if God exists. I am not denying the existence of moral codes in atheists; I am not denying the fact that everyone knows right and wrong.

I. The two other sources say that animals do not exhibit morals as well. "...Primates may not possess morality in the human sense..."[1] "Many philosophers find it hard to think of animals as moral beings, and indeed Dr. de Waal does not contend that even chimpanzees possess morality."[2]
Empathy is not the same as knowing right and wrong. Chimpanzees have no conscience and therefore, what they did was not wrong in their eyes. You aren't going to punish them. On the other hand, if they did have morals, then why isn't it moral for them to further their group and why weren't they acting for the good of the species?
Ultimately, in my original argument, I claimed that universe never gives us any real basis or reason for morals. What is wrong with someone doing whatever was most beneficial for himself and not caring about society? I'll leave it to the voters to decide if my opponent disproved this argument.

II. "First, not all animals would possess morals..." As the sources say, animals do not possess morals like we do. And yes, I do recognize that its only the highly developed animals that exhibit empathy, meaning the snake and antelope analogy may be wrong. But let's assume that these animals have what you call "morals" or empathy as an example.
"Second, since part of the basis for morality is societal benefit, the morals of each species would logically differ, as what benefits one species may not benefit the next." My evil chimp argument shows that it is not simply societal benefit, but also individual survival as well. These apes actually destroy and eat their own kind for their own individual survival. This is not benefitting the entire species, or if it is, this confirms the Nazi argument (benefit of the species at the expense of a few). I think this is what you miss in the next few paragraphs.
Again, we may have gotten a little away from the first argument, which I still think is valid.

III. What I said is relevant because you claimed that morals are explained by empathy and necessity. I was trying to show that I don't think this is valid. A terrorist leader's motive can be explained by both of these.

Like I said in the beginning, I totally think everyone knows right and wrong. Only, I argue it's from God, because evolution, which is based on chance (nothing), is not an adequate explanation. Also, no one can hold out true moral relativism and I argue that there is an absolute right and a wrong in every situation. Otherwise we get contradictions. Anyhow, thank you for the debate.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org.....
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 4
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wolfhaines 3 years ago
wolfhaines
You do not know where morals came from, therefore they came from God and I am right'. Most used form of reasoning by religious people, and it fails every time. If Gods proof lies in ignorance, then we cannot know his moral guidance anyway, so they cannot come from God full stop. What make you think God is a moral being anyway? He could just as easily be non-moral, especially if he is omnipotent or omniscient (impossible to be both at same time by the way).

How can you claim morals come from God when there is no evidence for God? I could just as easily claim morals were taught to us by Aliens 200,000 years ago, and use the same 'either P or Q, not P, therefore X' argument to support my case.

With no evidence for God, the only logical conclusion is that morals came from elsewhere, and seeing as that 'elsewhere' must exist as we have morals, it is safe to state that without doubt it is possible to be moral without God.
Posted by R.Trenbath 3 years ago
R.Trenbath
I guess it comes down to what one thinks came first; God (who created humans) or humans (that created God). Personally, I'm with the latter. I think that humans evolved and as their cognitive sentience became more complex and morality as a concept developed the most natural school of thought would have been to compare ones own actions to that of a standard. In this case the standard is called God. Since to me no such standard exists then we are misled in our concept of morality and reject the claims of the religious to hold a monopoly on morality.

Take some empirical proof: the theological golden rule. Pretty much every major religion developed this one rule that is a form of the sentence; "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Now consider this remarkable fact. These religions (or worldviews if you prefer) dispute the viable causal existence of the others (so to justify and validate their own), yet the one thing everybody can agree upon is that we have a responsibility to treat each other well.

By the very fact that this rule has developed across cultures independent of each other is to me proof that morality is a HUMAN phenomenon. The source of which is in the simple interaction between them. Our morality is founded on certain truths about human nature. Everyone is capable of sympathy, or fellow-feeling, and that ability enables us to imagine what we would feel if we were in the situation of another and, once we have made that imaginative move, we can then judge whether those feelings are appropriate. Therein lies morality; the most important human endeavour.

As Adam Smith supposed; "How selfish soever a man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derive nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it".

My two pence (not cents- I'm British)!
Posted by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
As promised...
Posted by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
Your appreciation means very little to me. You already said you would be upset if you lost a debate based on an illegitimate vote. Well, I feel the same way. I don't want you to change your source vote based on threats. I want you to change that particular vote because it is WRONG. If you look at my losses, I voted against myself on both of the others. In fact, I was the only one who voted in my last loss, meaning I would not have lost unless I had voted against myself. Your vote was plain wrong, and at this point, I am asking for you to give me the same respect that I would give to you. This will be my last post, and I am a man of integrity. No more words are required. I will know where you stand based on the vote, and you can expect me to stand by everything I've said in this forum. OUT..
Posted by Robikan 3 years ago
Robikan
Well, gavin, I suppose I will just have to deal with your votebombing -- I am certainly not going to change my vote because you are threatening me, and I stand by my vote anyway. When I said others voted the same, I didn't mean they all voted *exactly* as I did, only that most of them voted for your opponent rather than for you. Why you are so obsessed with my one vote is beyond me. In any case, this has gone on far too long, and I would appreciate it if you addressed me no further. Thank you.
Posted by AntiChrist666 3 years ago
AntiChrist666
To even think atheist cannot have morals (and they have greater morals on average than religious people) is absurd, and disrespectful.
Posted by J.Kenyon 3 years ago
J.Kenyon
Let's not start a votebombing war. If I retaliated every time I got votebombed, it would be effing chaotic. Just report it to the mods.
Posted by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
Oh yeah, the most points against me by any other voter was 3. Go put that in one of your poems.
Posted by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
Wow, you are delusional. Why don't you go back and have a look. No one else gave him the sources vote, because he had no sources. Also, her original vote WAS a 7 point vote. Robikan, don't ever question my integrity again. Why don't you actually read the debate this time, because it becomes more clear to me every time you post that A)You did not actually read the debate, and voted Pro because you FELT like I somehow wrong my opponent, or B)You simply are delusional . Either way your vote is illegitimate, and until you do the RIGHT thing, and negate your sources vote, you can expect 7 points to go against you in every debate from here on. Again, don't EVER question my integrity. OUT...
Posted by Robikan 3 years ago
Robikan
It was not a 7 point vote against you, it was a 6 point vote FOR your opponent. And it was not illegitimate -- I explained why I voted the way I did, and, in fact, others voted the same way I did. Did you go to each of their debates and bomb them as well? Do you really not see how childish you are being, for no reason at all? Losing a debate is not the end of the world.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
gavin.ogden
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Con presented no actual evidence that god is necessary for one to have morals. Furthermore, his sources left something to be desired. unfounded assumptions also have no place in a formal debate, so Pro also takes the conduct vote. On the flip side of the coin, Pro's arguments were very coherent, and well founded. Nicely done.
Vote Placed by reddj2 3 years ago
reddj2
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I have moral and I do not believe in god, Pro made a better arguement
Vote Placed by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: McCarrol continues to argue from ignorance. His assumptions of how the world would look and does look without a god is sad to say the least. I hope there aren't too many people who share these eighteenth century delusions. Robikan definitely had better conduct just for tolerating this guy. pro offered rational arguments continuously and lets hope the vote reflects that.
Vote Placed by rogue 3 years ago
rogue
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate guys. Con lost when he could not accept things that he believes to be impossible, like something being true and untrue at the same time. Right and wrong is an opinion not a fact, and so since opinions are subjective, things can be true and untrue at the same time.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "I totally think everyone knows right and wrong. Only, I argue it's from God, because evolution, which is based on chance (nothing), is not an adequate explanation" If Con is going to advance this as an argument, then at least one of them has to be supported with argument. Pro did make an argument for moral development through evolution, noting the proto-stages evident in other animals.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 3 years ago
Ore_Ele
RobikanMrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: I found CON's arguments to be mostly falacies. Namely that the human brain happened by nothing (chance), and so our morals happen by nothing, therefore, they are based in nothing. Also with his 2nd contention that morals cannot be different for different animals because it would be logically false, was not based in logic itself. f(x) can logically be different then g(x).