The Instigator
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Gingerbreadman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: Objective morality is determined by the collective goals of society.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,341 times Debate No: 22738
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (31)
Votes (1)

 

phantom

Con




Resolved: Objective morality is determined by the collective goals of society.



Clarifications


This is an attempt to debunk a certain atheist view of morality, though my opponent does not necessarily have to be atheist, nor does he have to argue from an atheist viewpoint.

According to this viewpoint a moral action, such as murder, is wrong because it goes against the collective goals of society.




Burden of proof


The BOP rests on the pro to prove that the collective goals of society are reliable in determining objective moral truths.



Definitions


Objective morality: morality that is absolute, set in stone; fact,

Goals - the end toward which effort is directed[1]

Collective - shared or assumed by the large majority of members of the group [2]

Collective goals of society - the end toward which effort is directed, in which the sought after end is shared or assumed by the large majority of members of society

[If you have any questions or complaints about the definitions please post in the comments]

Set up

As the BOP rests on pro, if my opponent wants he/she may go first. But if so, please refrain from using the last round for arguing so as to keep the amount of round arguments between us even.

1st - 3rd rounds: Arguments and rebuttal
4th round: No new arguments


Please no semantics


[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Gingerbreadman

Pro

Could you please re-post your main point because I'm having trouble understanding what your idea is that you are fighting for and/or fighting against
Debate Round No. 1
phantom

Con

I welcome my opponent to this website and would like to thank him for accepting this debate.



I have not had time to use a computer very much these past few days and I also accidentally moved the chord which unplugged the computer erasing everything I had written, and the internet keeps turning off as usual so as it is now working I better post this before it turns off again, so I apologize for the incompleteness of this. But since my opponent has the burden of proof I suppose it does not matter to much.



The collective goals moral theory is based on human opinion and is thus subjective, not objective.


Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to negate the resolution is to point out the fact that the purposed moral theory coincides perfectly with the definition of subjective morality, thus rendering it useless. Subjective morality is defined as influenced by personal judgments beliefs.[ http://atheism.about.com...] In other words subjective morality is based upon opinion. The foundation of morality that pro is advocating consists completely off opinion and so is found to be subjective which completely refutes his position. For example and to make it clearer, let’s create a hypothetical conversation. Suppose Emily wants to know why Rick thinks stealing is wrong. Rick, being an advocate of the same theory my opponent is affirming, tells her that it is wrong because it does not correspond with the collective goals of society. Emily isn’t satisfied however. Most people would agree that stealing is wrong if they believe in objective morality, but she doesn’t like Ricks hypothesis. She points out the goals society sets out are based upon the opinion of the individual people making up this society, but objective morality is independent on human opinion thus it is not sufficient in explaining moral truths. There is no way for Rick to justify his moral view as anything close to objective.



The goals of society are based upon beliefs prone to falseness.


Taking into account mans limited knowledge and fallible reasoning, this is a self-evident fact. Humans set goals derived from the knowledge they believe to be true. But the problem with this is, very often what they believe to be true is wrong. For example, in ancient times rules were often times set up based upon the religion that was believed in. Unfortunately if this religion is false, the entire basis of the moral assertion completely falls. Thus the moral postulation is found to be false for it relies on premises that are false. Burning witches used to be acceptable therefore according to my opponent, burning witches used to be an objectively moral act. We know now however that there is no justification in burning those who were thought of as witches.



The goals of society are constantly evolving thus rendering it a non objective moral code.


Objective morality cannot be relative. It is absolute and never changing. My opponents moral views however change constantly. For example it used to be illegal to buy and sell alcohol, whereas now it coincides with the law perfectly as long as you are the right age. It used to be acceptable to own slaves. Now people would be disgusted at the thought.



Why does majority rule trump other individual’s opinion?


My opponent needs to explain why we should view the majority as right and ignore those who hold different views. Objective morality is a morality which applies to all mankind. Even if we did accept opinion based morality as objective, there is no way to justify one groups opinion as superior to another’s.

Gingerbreadman

Pro

Gingerbreadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Gingerbreadman

Pro

Gingerbreadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
phantom

Con






/////////
(-)-(-)
<
___
Gingerbreadman

Pro

Gingerbreadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Oh I agree, completely. The problem is that they do. They do, and often.

Think of a resolution after you read Unspeakable Ethics Unnatural Law. Argue against that, because that's highly similar to what I want to argue about.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
I'm nothing close to a philosophy major and my interest in philosophy is only quite recent but if someone can't understand the statement, "atheism offers a sound explanation for objective morality", I do not want them voting on my debate. But what resolution would you like to debate?
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I also don't like debates with more than two or three contentions, character limits and all.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
It isn't so much the words themselves as the phraseology. Simpler resolutions tend to produce better debates, I think. Complicated resolutions -and complicated debates- make both the arguments and ideas within debates inaccessible to non-philsophy majors (or philosophy nerds, such as myself).

For example, I would rather have a clear exchange of ideas than an esoteric rant about something which I can only truly understand. (Which is why I prefer Nietzsche to Kant, stylistically, for example, among other reasons.) Reading Kant is like trying to tread quick sand. Although I suppose the same could be said -and with cause- for Nietzsche.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
Which words specifically do you have a problem with?

Also I'll probably only be able to finish reading that tommorow, but I will tell you what I think when I am done.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I don't like the phraseology of the resolutions you offered. I hate jargon. It confuses people and debaters alike, even those who themselves think that they understand what they say.

Give this a read though, and tell me what you think:

http://inklingz.net...
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
Alright I will gladly debate you on whether God is neccessary for objective morality. I already debated dakotakrafic and it was one of the best I've experienced, and I will say he oppened my mind up to the idea somewhat more.

Just to be clear, I can assume you believe naturalism accounts for objective morality correct?

I purpose the resolution be, "Atheism assumed, objective morality does not exist."

(Or "naturalism assumed" perhaps)

Or "Naturalism/atheism offers a sound explanation for objective morality."
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Specifically:

In order to affirm this in a way that doesn't appear to be logically offensive, I would have to redefine the meaning of the word objective. Given that I'm not especially fond of assailing the dictionary, I'll pass.

To say that objective morality even could be determined by the 'collective' goals of society is to say that a whole mass of people's opinion makes something "objective" -which is empirically not the case. That many people think something only means that there is popular support for that thing, not that the thing is itself objectively the case. Given that I'm also not especially fond of making arguments which reduce to argumentum ad populum, again, I'll have to pass.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I did like your forum post though... a lot actually.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I'd be happy to debate something like:

"Objective morality can exist without religion."

You take pro. I'll take con.

But I can tell you how the voting would play out. I'd write something long and complicated, and you would get every vote, if I argued pro -in the way I have described- for your resolution, which is why I'm going to have to decline the specific challenge you offered.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
phantomGingerbreadmanTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Due to forfeits, Pro was unable to respond and thus conceded all of Con's arguments.