The Instigator
Mikal
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Lupricona
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points

Resolved : A Christian God is necessary in order for objective morality to exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,503 times Debate No: 63448
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (7)

 

Mikal

Con

BOP is on Pro.

We kind of threw back ideas as to what the resolution should be, but we finally went with this one.

Christian God - The Judeo-Christian God (Yaweh, etc)

Objective morality - is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true

Pro shall begin his arguments in round 1 and pass in the final round to even out the rounds. He has the BOP as he is the affirmative in this debate and requested I send it to him.

Best of luck
Lupricona

Pro

Thank you, Mikal, for debating this topic with me.

Thesis: A Christian God is necessary in order for objective morality to exist.

Arguments

Intentionality

There are two major assumptions about the beginning of the universe. The theistic line of thought supports the notion that a transcendent being created our universe, while the atheistic line of thought supports the notion of no transcendent being creating the universe.

Intentionality requires a moral agent. According the the law of causality, every cause can only produce certain effects. Intention only can produce intention, and non-intentionality can only produce non-intentionality. Therefore, non-intentionality can never cause an intention.

In the atheistic paradigm, the only logical consequence is amorality, or moral relativism. The theistic paradigm supports an objective moral system, as the universe was created with intention.

If the creation of the universe was non-intentional, humans would be unable to produce intentions. Since moral agents (humans) can recognize intention, it is impossible for the universe to have been caused without some intentional moral agent.

I define this moral agent that caused the existence of the universe as God.

Premise 1: Intentionality necessitates God.

Premise 2: Intentionality exists.

Therefore, God exists.

Morality

There are only two options for the concept or morality- objective and subjective. Objective morality, as defined by Con, is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgements is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true. Subjective morality is equivalent to amorality, that is, humans decide their own moral systems, but none are actually right or wrong, because morality is just a human construct that is only illusionary. Protagoras was the ancient philosopher that started the subjective moral system and claimed that, "Man is the measure of all things." (1) And, if man is the measure of all things, then it is impossible for there to be an objective moral system, because no person has the moral authority over another to determine what is right and wrong. Essentially, under moral relativism, morality is like ice cream flavor. Everybody has their own opinion, but nobody is right or wrong to say that chocolate ice cream is the best flavor.

If there is no God, then it logically follows that man is the measure of all things, and therefore moral relativism (amorality) is all that there is.

If there is a God, then a trancendent being sets the standard for humankind to follow. There are things that are right and wrong.

If a person robs another man, because the robber feels that is is morally right for him to steal, the victim does not thing, "Oh, this person has a different moral system than me, so I cannot be upset at him." Instead, we all become upset when people go against moral codes, because we all prescribe to objective morality.

Premise 1- A world without God requires a subjective moral system/amorality.

Premise 2- The world we live in follows objective moral standards.

Therefore, we live in a world with an objective moral standard because God exists.

Conclusion


The world was created by God with certain intentions, and one of those intentions was for humans to follow an objective moral system. The only way for an objective moral system to exist is if a trancendent being who can set it up also exists.

References

1- http://www.ancient.eu...

Debate Round No. 1
Mikal

Con

Hopping straight onto this. As I have stated Pro has the BOP to show that a Christian God is necessary for objective morality to exist. Objective morality per the definition is a system or set of moral judgement that are not true due to a persons subjective opinion, but are factually true. The hard part is trying to pin what objective morality actually entails. Are we referring to an universal set of guidelines and principles that exist throughout everything, or are we defining a set of objective principles that exist among certain cultures and vary from culture to culture.


C1) Objective Morality and Different Cultures ( opening)

There are certain truths that can vary from nation to nation but that are objective facts. It is objectively wrong to kill someone without cause in America. It is also considered objectively wrong to rape a child. Now the issue with this is someone can say, it's not wrong to me therefore it is subjective. This is a false perspective, because what is objectively right or wrong can exist and be true despite one persons subjective opinion. If one person thinks its okay to kill without cause, that does not shift the fact that it is morally wrong to kill without cause. It's like a law in some ways. There are some laws that are true. Again murder for example, murdering without cause is wrong. If you murder without cause it is committing a crime. Just because someone may view this as a non crime does not change the fact that it is a crime. If they murder without a cause, they will still be punished. Morality among cultures and nations is often the same way. There are guidelines and moral causes that exist within cultures that are objectively true despite someones opinions and thoughts, that are entirely non dependent of someones subjective perception of what morality is. Now the following contentions will define and label some ways we can gauge objective morality without God and how objective morality can be defined in both cultures and even on a larger scale.

Basically for objective morality to be true, there has to be a way to gauge what is right and wrong. Pro is asserting that there is no way to gauge this without a Christian God ( The moral argument for Gods existence), and i'm negating this with the fact there are countless ways to gauge morality without a God.



C2) The Veil of Ignorance

This was developed by John Rawl and was one of his most if not most greatest contribution to philosophy[1]. His contribution literally stemmed from his desire for equality under a common system that everyone could embrace. This is basically a thought experiment developed by Rawl. This is defined by the word rational, and what a normal ration citizen would want in a way. If you could take one rational person and ask them how a society should be ran, and apply the veil of ignorance then you have a guideline for morality. Basically the veil of ignorance is a way for someone to act without applying conditions like social status, income, age, sex, etc.

" Veil of ignorance: The exclusion of superfluous information such as age, sex, etc. allows for the determination of choice to be rendered justly and without the difference principle, which worsens the societal situation of those members who are worst off - John Rawls. Rawls’ concept of the “veil of ignorance” is a model for adopting principles of justice and was derived from an unpublished document of the same title written by Wilfried Hinsch. The concept has been submitted as a solution for equalizing people’s personal interests and doctrines as a means for allowing the political conception of justice to be successful employed. " [2]

The rational person concept was worked up after this theory, Shelly Kagan is a person who uses this often [3]. People often misinterpret this debate as whether or not an atheist can act morally which is wrong, because obviously someone who lacks belief in God can act morally. The debate hinges on the fact whether we need a God for objective moral values to exist.

Now to extend further on this and back to the rational person perspective. There are different ways we could come up with how morality is objective. We can propose that it's defined by contractarianism. This is that it is defined by ideal reasoners in which you could separate one individual or use the group and apply the veil of ignorance. As I have already stated the veil of ignorance is a way to exclude any type of social interest, age, sex or anything else that could effect someones subjective ideas on what would make an ideal moral system. So at this stage you are asking any rational being or person what is considered moral and non moral. Most often you will find you will get the same answers. It's wrong to kill without cause, it's wrong to rape, it's wrong to do things without consent. Almost any rational person will give you the same logical answers and the veil of ignorance helps separate someones own personal interest from the occasion. Most of these answer tie into what helps people and what harms people, and this goes into my next contention.



C3) Help Vs Harm

This ties into C2 in a way but is yet another way to define objective morality. What can help one person or what can harm one person is a guidelines for what is morally right and morally wrong. This obviously has some faults in it that we will address in detail as they come up, but essentially it is a good guideline for what is morally right and morally wrong. So to lay this out in a proper syllogism.

P1) Any action that intentionally harms someone is morally wrong
P2) (x action ) intentionally harms (x) person
C) x action is morally wrong

This is a basic guideline for it, but any action that you know that will directly and intentionally cause someone harm could be considered wrong because you are knowing and intentionally harming that person. Most rational people would not want to cause harm to someone even if in self interest. Why is it wrong to kill someone and take their money? Because you are harming that person. Sure it could benefit you, but intentionally causing pain to someone for self benefit is entirely wrong.


C4) Utilitarianism

This is another fun way to apply objective facts and come up with them. What is beneficial to society as a whole could be considered morally correct. There are certain actions that will help and advance society in a way that benefits the entire society. Any action that calls under these guidelines could be considered morally acceptable.

P1) Any action that benefits society as a whole is morally permissible
P2) (x) Action benefits society as a whole
C) (x) Action is morally permissible.



Conclusion

In short there are a lot of ways to define and label objective morality without a God. As per the debate title we are debating a Christian God is necessary for Objective morality to exist. I have disproved that with 3 ways in which we can gauge morality without a God.


[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] https://www.papermasters.com...
[3] https://www.youtube.com...



Lupricona

Pro

My argument is that, without God, morality does not exist at all. Morality is just a concept constructed by society, but is just a subjective system that is only illusory.

Con states, "People often misinterpret this debate as whether or not an atheist can act morally which is wrong, because obviously someone who lacks belief in God can act morally."

This is utterly and completely false. An atheist cannot act morally. If there is no God, morality is only subjective. Amorality is all that there is. There is no good or bad. It is all just opinion. Saying an atheist can act morally is like sayng a 2 dimensional person can move in 3 dimensions. No, in an atheistic world, there are no real morals, and in a 2 dimensional world, there is not a 3rd dimension.

If the world began without intention, then according to the law of causality, only non-intentional affects can occur. This means that there is no purpose at all. Morality requires intention and purpose; without them, it cannot exist.

My opponent did not rebut either of my two arguments, so they still stand. However, I will refute all of his baseless assertions.

Baseless Assertion 1- Objective Morality and Different Cultures

It is not objectively wrong to kill someone (in an atheistic paradigm) in America. It is legally wrong, which is a difference. So, different cultures will have different guidelines and regulations, and some may follow objective morals, and some may not. But society does not define objective morals. It can only obey them. My opponent is correct in saying that objective morals are true regardless of peoples' opinions of them, but he does not give any supporting evidence to how objective morals can exist in his atheistic system. However, he attempts to do so in his next argument:

Baseless Assertion 2- The Veil of Inorance

My opponent attempts to argue that a normal rational person would know what the objective morals are. But my opponent fails to explain what a normal rational person is. This is completely debateable, as everyone disagrees over moral issues, so this argument fails in that this thought experiment is not realistically feasible. This "normal rational person" is a fiction. Unless my opponent can show this normal rational person existing in reality, this argument is refuted.

Baseless Assertion 3- Help Vs Harm

"Premise 1- Any action that intentionally harms someone is morally wrong."

This premise is a baseless assertion. He has not proven why this is true, he just assumes it is true. Humans intentionally harm animals to eat them. In acts of war, soldiers have tortured for valuable information. This is an impossible premise to prove. This argument is refuted.

Baseless Assertion 4- Utilitarianism

"Premise 1- Any action that benefits society as a whole is morally permissable."

Hitler argued that by exterminating the Jews, the economy would increase, which would benefit the society as a whole. One could argue that the Jews would not be benefitting, but once they are massacred, they would not exist, so the entire society would benefit.

And there are many other examples of how this premise is entirely debateable. My opponent has not substantiated any of his claims. He just assumes they are true and starts from there. He may have valid arguments, but they are unsound. I disagree with all of his premises.

Conclusion

If mankind is the most rational being in the world, then mankind is the measure of all morality. If we created morality, then it is entirely subjective. It is no different than peoples' taste in flavors of ice cream. My opponent needs to show how objective morals can exist without a God. Instead, he has tried to show that objective moral systems are helpful to society (which I agee with), but all of these arguments are easily refuted from an atheistic paradigm, as I have done.





Debate Round No. 2
Mikal

Con

Rebuttals and rebuilding arguments

R1) Without God Morality does not exist at all

This is where my adversary fails to understand my argument. He is assuming God is the only basis for objective morality, but if there is another way to gauge how objective morality can be weighed then objective morality can exist without God. His logic is as follows

P1) Objective morality exists within the world
P2) Morality cannot exist without God because God is the only way to gauge morality
C) God exists because morality exists

Granted this entire premise is false. His first assertion is actually wrong in every possible way. I will quote him on this directly.

" My argument is that, without God, morality does not exist at all "

Then he follows up with this

" An atheist cannot act morally"

Both of these assertions are the ramblings of an indoctrinated person brought up in the church. Morality literally by definition is as follows.

morality - particular moral principles or rules of conduct [1]

Any culture can have their own rules of conduct and moral principles, so yes an atheist can act morally according to those guidelines. Stating that no morality exists without God is a baseless assertion and is just flat wrong, it is also ignorant. That was going to be the original context of the debate, but it would require such little effort that I gave him the edge of objective morality. Thus far he has not even argued that objective morality cannot exist without God, but morality itself cannot exist without God. This entire conclusion is false and utter nonsense. Morality can exist and does exist without God, the question is whether it is objective or subjective and how we define objective. As my adversary asserts, what is moral in certain nations often ties in with law. This is not always the case but it can tend to be the case in a lot of areas. What is moral is a question of what is right or wrong, that is generally what the law is based off of. So the law itself follows and abides by what the nation or culture perceives to be right and wrong.

There are objective facts about what are right and wrong that differ from nation and culture. Certain acts in america are considered taboo, while in Africa they could be considered fine. Incest, Pedophilia, etc. So there are objective moral facts that exist within different nations and cultures, but the question is whether those objective facts are really objective because they differ. He is asking the wrong question and defending the wrong premise, instead of asking how can objective morality exist without God, instead he is trying to argue that morality does not exist at all. As I stated this is utter nonsense per the definition of morality itself.

There would be 2 conclusions to rebuttals his arguments

(1) No morality exists at all even with God ( Nihilism)
(2) Morality is based on subjectivity (Moral Relativism )

It would take two seconds to refute the fact morality itself cannot exist without God ( Which I have just Did), but that still leaves his burden unfilled. Instead of arguing from the first syllogism I laid out he should be arguing the following.

P1) God necessitates objective morality
P2) God exits
C) Objective morality exists because of God

You can interchange that syllogism a few ways, but he should be arguing that God is the sole reason that objective morality exists. His entire approach to this is kind of baffling, instead of taking the only way to win this debate he has went the way he cannot win. He chose to argue that no morality exists without God, therefore objective morality is necessarily true because god exists. Basically if God did not exist, morality would not exists therefore objective morality has to be true because God is the only way morality can exist.

As I stated morality is a set of moral principles and constructs. So yes morality does exist without God. The only thing I have to do to refute his argument is just assert that morality can exist without God and prove it. I have did this already, and it's a simple concept. He is saying humans do not possess the capability to know right and wrong without God, which is also false. What is right and wrong is subjective from his perspective. So in a sense he is acknowledging that morality exists but it is subjective, but he is then asserting that because its subjective morality does not exist. That is a self contradiction and shows a lack of understand for what morality actually entails.


Reconstruct 1 ) The veil of ignorance

My adversary just asserts what is is rational is fiction. I tied this in with the second argument after this but a rational person would not want to harm someone, would not want to hurt someone without cause, would literally not want to hurt people for no reason. The idea may be routed in subjectivity depending on what someone perceives as rational but that does not change the fact you can derive objective morality from the veil itself. By applying the veil and basing it on what a rational person would think, you have a set of standards that you could abide by. The veil removes social status, wealth, age, sex, etc from the occasion. It is a thought experiment where a group of or a single rational person is acquitted from all society impacts and is asked what is right and wrong or what would make society prosper.


" Rawls calls his conception “justice as fairness.” His aim in designing the original position is to describe an agreement situation that is fair among all the parties to the hypothetical social contract. He assumes that if the parties to the social contract are fairly situated and take all relevant information into account, then the principles they would agree to are also fair. The fairness of the original agreement situation transfers to the principles everyone agrees to, and further that whatever laws or institutions are required by the principles of justice are also fair. The principles of justice chosen in the original position are in this way the result of a choice procedure designed to “incorporate pure procedural justice at the highest level”


Basically you are asking either that person or a group of people (generally a group) to agree upon a contract or agreements that are fair and just. The issue with this is that what is fair and just would vary depending on age, wealth, political affil, etc. The veil removes all of this and focuses strictly on things that would make the society prosper and run. Ie not killing without cause, no harm , etc. You tie this into with my second argument, then you have a guidelines for how objective morality can be achieved without God.



Reconstruct 2 ) Help vs Harm

Obviously there are actions that are going to harm people that are justified. My adversary just too that statement without much thought and did even offer a proper rebuttal

The first premise would actually line up to be

1 - Any action that intentionally harms someone without a justified purpose is morally wrong

You role this back to the highest possible standard and you get the basic question that accompanies this line of thought that often shows up in morality debates. It's often called the trolley and follows with something like this


"A train is hurtling down a track and you see that it is going to hit a group of 5 people and will certainly kill them all. However you happen to be standing next to a switch that can divert the train down another track where only a single person would be killed. Most people say they would pull the switch and kill 1 rather than 5" [3]

Then you get the question is it morally permissible to kill one to save 5. By saving 5 you have did the greater good. Some would argue no, some would argue yes. You base this on util and the greater good, then the answer is save the 5. Roll this back to the highest degree as I stated and you get the ultimate question. Is it moral to kill 1 and save an entire planet. Its on a higher scale, but asks the same question. The answer is obviously yes. It is moral to kill the person because it is for the greater good of society.

So to answers pros objection, what is helpful and harmful is also tied in with my util argument. Basically unnecessary harm or harm that does not benefit society is objectively wrong. Anything that could further society is objectively right.


Reconstruct 3 ) Util

This literally goes non refuted and I basically refuted this in my other two points as well. He makes a baseless assertion about Hitler that is off topic and not relevant. He basically asserts Hitler said (x) is best for society so util is false. Util operates under the good of society. Just because someone claims something is best for society, does not actually make it best for society. There are literally principles that make society function. Would committing this action help people more than harm people, would doing this action have a positive effect, etc and so forth

Anything Hitler did , you can logically rule out because it was strict harm instead of help. All of these contentions tie together in a way to establish a system of objective morality without God.



Conclusion

sadly this debate is going to come to an end soon, and this is a clear and concise win for me. He chose to argue the worst possible case. He is arguing that morality cannot exist without God, not objective morality but just morality itself. Therefore sense morality cannot exist without God, and God exists all morality is objective because it is defined by God.

As I have stated and show, this is false. Morality does exist without God but the question is whether its subjective or subjective. My adversary is asserting that subjective morality is not morality, which is a self contradiction and kind of funny. Basically he asserting there is no such thing as objective morality.

This debate is pretty one sided.


[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] (CP, 310, cf. TJ 120/104). (Rawl, A Theory of Justice)
[3] Trolley problem, philosophy 101
Lupricona

Pro

Con: "Both of these assertions are the ramblings of an indoctrinated person brought up in the church."

Con loses conduct points for his innappropriate and misguided attack on my character.

I offered two arguments right from the get go: One from intentionality and one from morality. Con has never addressed either of these. These remain unrefuted, and as I'll not be able to get to chance to remark on his rebuttal (if he even gets around to it), out of fairness these two arguments will remain unrefuted until the end of the debate. I displayed the burden of proof, and therefore won the debate.

The problem with my opponent is that he is not understanding my arguments. Subjective morality and amorality are equivlaent, they are just two ways to say the same thing. Subjective relativism is nihlism. If morality is relative, one cannot escape the logical consequence of nihilism.

An atheist cannot act morally, because without God, there is only nihilism. Morality would be an illusory concept. This is why an atheist cannot act morally, and con entirely misunderstood my argument, and his perpetual straw-mans are becoming increasingly tiring.

My opponent did not add anything to his arguments, so they need not rebutting, however, lest he think he's actually constructed good arguments, I'll attempt once again to explain why he's wrong.

Veil of Ignorance

My opponent is basically saying, 'My subjective opinion tells me that a rational person would not want to harm someone, therefore, a rational person would not want to harm someone.'

My opponent is trying to make an objective statement from his subjective opinion. Clearly, this fails, because one cannot creat objectivity from subjectivity. He failed to offer any objective arguments or evidences to support his position for what a rational person would desire.


Help Vs Harm


Again, my opponent argues that because he believes harming people is wrong, then it must therefore be objectively wrong, without presenting any objective evidences besides his own opinion.


Util


Again, con personally believes that what is best for society is morally good. But different people have different opinions for what is best for society, and my opponent presented no objective standards with which to follow to make a good society.


Conclusion


This was a poor debate, where I presented only two arguments, and my opponent never addressed them. He only repeated his same arguments after I refuted them. Even if my opponent finally addresses my arguments and addresses the concerns I raised for his, I won't get a chance to rebut them, so he may just put forth terrible arguments that I won't be able to knock down.


Debate Round No. 3
Mikal

Con

That is not a loss of conduct per pro, when he asserts that a certain group of people are unable to act *morally* because they are not of a certain religion. That is by definition indoctrination. The truth hurts sometimes, but saying someone is incapable of acting moral when they do not believe the same thing as you falls under that definition verbatim. Plus he is addressing morality, not objective morality which makes the position even more absurd.

Con asserts that his contentions where not refuted, but he is also wrong. They were refuted through my contentions. Both his C1 and C2 which are referring to intentionality and morality in generally specifically address God as the only means by which morality can be gauged. You can even see this through his contentions when he states some of the following

" In the atheistic paradigm, the only logical consequence is amorality, or moral relativism. The theistic paradigm supports an objective moral system, as the universe was created with intention."

This ties in with his first contention. Basically he is asserting that atheism via absence of God is only able to support subjective morality without no way to gauge a concept of objective morality. Through my contentions which he has failed to refute, I have given an alternative way by which morality can be gauge. Thus negating his contentions.

In short he says morality can't exist without God, I show that it can. His arguments are refuted due to a bare assertion for God being the only gauge. It was pretty simple, and i'm sorry he missed that throughout the entire debate.




Conclusion.

There is no much left to say on this topic. I provided a standard by which morality can be gauged via what benefits society or intentional harm to others through util, and the veil of ignorance. My adversary fails to understand the idea in principle and has not even properly refuted one of the arguments. The veil removes subjective thought in the process via our own intentions, along with applying a greater good and what benefits society as a whole as the gauge. All of the arguments tie into each other as a way to establish a system for which an objective morality can be established.

Note : Even if you disagree with the system I put forth , it is a system. I only had to show there was a way objective morality could be estbalish to negate pros contentions as he asserted anyone who lacks God lacks the ability to act morally. His assertion was there is no morality without God at all, thus God is the only measure and thus moraliy is objective. If i was able to show morality exists at all, his contention fails. Also if I was able to show there is a system where objecitve morality can be established his contention fails, and he does not hold up his BOP. I did both and they went no refuted.

He was spouting around the word subjective ideas, without understanding what they veil of ignorance acts as. The aim toward a greater society via the veil and rawls experiment is a way by which you can gauge moral actions as all social constructs and personal ideologies are removed from the equation.



Wrapping it up

In short, the debate turn out like this. Con makes 2 assertions which limit and restrict God as the only source of morality. He then states that without God morality cannot exist. I have refuted these contentions through my counter contentions. I have shown him that morality does exist without God, and that not just morality can exist but objective morality can exist as well. Both of which counter his initial arguments. He has failed to understand how my contentions offer an objective way to establish morality without God via util and what best benefits society, thus they go un refuted and in turn refute his contentions as well.

As pro says, it was a poor debate. He failed to grasp anything I was saying and just merely asserted over and over again that morality itself cannot exist without God. This is a pretty clear decision.

Vote Con


Lupricona

Pro

I pass this round, as agreed from the 1st round.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 10] Addendum/Recap

So basically Pro argues two typical criticisms of any objectively moral system: (1) moral disagreements disprove it, and (2) subjective interpretations of the system entail subjective morality. These are very difficult criticisms to answer. Yet, Con never levels them back at Pro. So all of Con's proposed systems get taken down by these criticisms, but Con is never successful at attacking Pro's system.

Further, Con says Pro has the BOP, but Pro satisfies it with his syllogism, and then Con negates by trying to prove an alternate system of objective morality exists, which gives him the BOP to prove that particular proposition. So this debate basically tricks Con into taking the BOP back to prove that his alternative systems are truly objective. He spends too much time trying to prove they are, rather than finding others ways to show that Pro's system is *not* objective.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 9]

In conclusion, sorry Mikal, I warned you about objective morality debates. I warned you that they were semantic debates, and yet you weren"t very careful with your definition of "subjective." You argued the former topic you chose -- whether atheists can be "moral" -- just fine, but you didn"t establish that there were alternative objective moralities, so you never disproved Premise 2 of Pro"s argument.

Therefore, I vote Pro.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 8]

(7) Pro is wrong that atheists can"t be moral. I don"t really know why Mikal brings this up. It"s not key to Pro"s argument, but rather necessarily follows from the idea that God is the only possible source of objective morality (which is the resolution). Mikal basically just says, c"mon, that"s stupid, atheists can be moral. As with a lot of Mikal"s arguments in this debate, this statement is unfortunately just *way* too conclusory for me to buy this as an argument. Mikal says essentially that atheists can be moral because Mikal defined morality as "a set of moral principles and constructs." Okay sure. But the resolution is talking not about "morality," but "objective morality." The word "morality" is *modified* by the word "objectively." Mikal"s definition of morality -- in saying that atheists can follow their own "set of moral principles" -- is merely describing subjective morality. In contrast, "objective morality," as defined in this debate, is "a set of moral principles" [morality] that do not come from humans [objective]. With his points here, Mikal merely proves that atheists can act "morally" because they can act in accordance with their own moral code. That"s not an objective system though.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 7]

(6) Util. Not really any different analysis here than any of Mikal"s other systems. Pro argues there are moral disagreements about what is moral once you run the utilitarian calculation. Hitler ran the utilitarian calculation and decided that util justified killing all the Jews. Mikal says Hitler was wrong. But I"m not really told *why* Hitler was wrong and why Mikal"s conclusion that Hitler was wrong is necessitated by an objective basis, rather than Mikal"s own opinion of the outcome of the utilitarian calculation.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 6]

(5) Help versus Harm. Mikal argues that it is objectively true that intentionally harming someone is morally wrong. Pro brings up torture in order to save other people"s lives. Mikal revises the statement to be that intentionally harming someone with a justified purpose is objectively wrong. The fact that Mikal has to alter the statement really hurts his credibility. How can the original statement be objectively true, if his opponent proved it wrong with a caveat? How is the addition of the words "justified purpose" making the statement any more objective? Isn"t the word "justified" subjective and question begging. Justified presumes a moral system to determine what is just. I don"t feel like I can vote on this as a complete objective moral system apart from Pro"s. I"m also, like all of Mikal"s arguments, never told where the founding principles from this statement derive from. Mikal has trouble explaining what an "objective truth" is. If he defined it as something that is rationally non-falsifiable, he would have a better time in this debate. But remember, he allowed Pro to define "objective truth" as something that is not in any way derived from humans. And the proposition about help and harm presented here seems to derive from Mikal, so it is subjective based on the definitions presented.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
(4) Veil of ignorance. Mikal argues that Rawls" veil plus a rational person = an objective system. Con argues that there are still moral disagreements about what moral truths the veil of ignorance results in. People can run the veil thought experiment and come out with different outcomes, so the veil is not objective. Mikal and I discussed this point, and I noted that there is a difference between the *system* of morality and its application. A *system* can be objective, but its *application* never can. The veil is an objective system because it is always true that the most fair decision always ignores your personal place in society after the decision takes effect. However, people can apply the system incorrectly or disagree about the results. The *Bible itself* (i.e. the supposed method through which humans receive objective moral truth from God) is subject to misinterpretation. Christians disagree about whether killing an abortion doctor is permissible (i.e. is it self defense on behalf of another human or a violation of "Thou shalt not kill"). Christians disagree on whether homosexuality is immoral. Christians don"t stone their disobedient children, even though the Bible says to. Furthermore, the New Testament altered some of the objective moral truths of the Old Testament, so how objective can the system really be if it was altered. Mikal, however, never makes any of these arguments. I say all this because I can see where he was trying to go with this, but he doesn"t get there. The bare assertion that the veil of ignorance = objective morality is not enough for me, when his opponent is correct that moral disagreements about the results exist. Mikal never really grapples with this issue.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 4]

(3) Certain moral truths are universal. Mikal tries to argue this in his opening. He says that some truths are universal like murder is wrong. He says that even if people view murder as not morally wrong, it is still objective. So Mikal is saying that things can be objective in spite of moral disagreements? But why? This is no more than asserted. How do I know that murder is "objectively" wrong and not "subjectively" wrong if there are moral disagreements? This is what Pro argues next round: murder is legally wrong, but without universal agreement, you can"t prove it is objectively wrong. Mikal later clarifies that some taboos are not universally recognized as wrong, like incest and child molestation. But Mikal fails to explain why there is a distinction. How is murder objectively wrong, but child molestation isn"t? I have to assume that it"s because society all agree on murder laws and there are no dissenting countries that disagree, but I don"t get why a country-consensus proves objective morality in the face of no individual consensus (and the lack of individual consensus is what Pro argues).

Mikal also says in later rounds that each country can define objective morality for itself ["Any culture can have their own rules of conduct and moral principles"], which seems to try to turn moral relativism into objective morality. I"m not sure how something is "objectively true," but only within one society. Both debaters agree that disagreements between *people* proves morality is subjective, but Mikal keeps seeming to try to argue that disagreements between *societies* does not make morality subjective. But I"d need an explanation for why this is in order to vote on it.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
[Part 3]

Mikal only ever contests the second premise, that objective morality can only come from God. He never contests the first premise, which is the more problematic. Does objective morality as defined by Pro even exist? Pro argues in the rebuttals (against Con"s veil of ignorance argument) that people currently have moral disagreements, so Con"s systems cannot be objective. However, the fact of moral disagreements disproves Premise 1 above: that people actually do follow objective morality. There isn"t even absolute agreement among Christians as to what is included within their morality, despite their morality coming from the word of God. A major criticism of objective morality from God is the "conveyance problem": how does God convey his perfect moral system to humanity, when the methods of conveyance and human interpretive ability is imperfect. But Mikal never argues this, so he basically let"s his opponent hold him to a higher standard than Mikal holds Pro to. Against Mikal, Pro gets to argue that objective morality doesn"t actually exist in practice, whereas in support of his own arguments, Pro gets to argue that objective morality does exist in practice. Mikal"s failure to point out this contradiction is deadly because it gives Pro the best of both worlds.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
MikalLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Mikal had the un-refuted utilitarianism argument.
Vote Placed by Defro 2 years ago
Defro
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Reasons for voting decision: All Con had to do to win was demonstrate how objective morality can exist without the existence of a Christian God, which he did through his Util argument. He showed how Utilitarianism can provide objective morality through its principles. Pro didn't negate this.
Vote Placed by Dennybug 2 years ago
Dennybug
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Reasons for voting decision: Bit hard to follow since we had sides dismissing what the other person was saying. I'd say that Mikal won arguments but not by much. His case for objectively valuing one moral system wasn't exactly proven. But he did refute the necessity of God for objective morality to exist with his subjective morality idea. Which wasn't properly addressed by Pro. Bit of a quickie vote here but if anyone wants me to clarify further or write a longer RFD I am happy to do so. Sources go to Mikal because it was 6:1 - Denny
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
Jonbonbon
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Reasons for voting decision: The way I read this, con barely won on the arguments. Both sides did a really good job, and the law of causality argument was something I actually thought was good (without intention there's no purpose, therefore no point). However, that doesn't necessarily mean there can't be an objective morality. While I'm not sure con actually proved one moral system that can be valued objectively, he was able to explain that it's not necessary for God to exist for objective morality to exist. Basically, all con had to do was refute necessity, and that happened when he showed subjective morality at the very least exists apart from God, and because there are definite moral standards apart from God, God is not technically necessary for there to be an objective moral system developed. Con should have focused on that a little more, but he kind of breezed it. However, it was enough to make it into the RFD.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
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Reasons for voting decision: While the law of causality is indeed an argument for a Creator, it is because there must be an original cause to see an effect, thus a spiritual Creator can be the cause but a physical cause must always have an earlier cause, and thus never a solution. Nonetheless, I thought the morality argument as used by Pro was sound and never effectively rebutted. Although Con to their credit did effectively summarize the frameworks proposed by atheism, they all ultimately resorted to subjective opinion as pointed out by Pro. Societal morality is relativistic and subjective, while a normal rational person is a subjective unquantifiable construct. Even help vs. harm is subjective, as abortionists deny away that they are harming others, e.g. And utilitarianism is especially disproved by Nazi Germany, as excellently pointed out by Pro.
Vote Placed by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Benshapiro
MikalLupriconaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution of this debate focuses on whether the "Christian" God is necessary for a moral/ethical code to exist as fact. Despite this obvious disparity of the God needing to be "Christian" this wasn't of any contention during the debate. Pro made an argument from intentionality showing that moral facts/ethics can't exist if atheism is true. It follows that moral *facts* exist independently of human behavior. If everybody agrees on some moral/ethical code that doesn't make the moral/ethical code exist as fact. It just means that it is a fact that these moral/ethical codes were agreed upon. If nature itself is a state without intentionality (means with no end) and we derived from nature, human beings are means without ends. We exist for no reason and were a product of this unintentional/random state of nature. Thus moral facts (ends) don't exist because we exist without any reason towards any end. Regardless, given the ambiguous lack of contention over Christian I call it a tie.