The Instigator
UltimateSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Secular Morality

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 3 votes the winner is...
UltimateSkeptic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,631 times Debate No: 28302
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)

 

UltimateSkeptic

Pro

I will be making the case for secular ethics/morality.



*This is not to be a debate on semantics.



*This debate is a no forfeit zone. If you do, it's an automatic loss.




*The first round is for acceptance and for my opponent to answer the following questions before the debate:




1)Do you believe animals and insects possess morality? Basically, from a theist standpoint, you'd be virtually answering if you believe animals and insects to have a soul as well.


2) Which theistic view will you be upholding in this debate?



*There is a shared burden of proof. I must make the case for secular morality, and my opponent must uphold theist morality. (This is not to be a debate where Con just picks at Pro, Con must present the case for theist morality as well as argue against secular morality)


*My opponent cannot say that both exist.


*This debate is unacceptable because I'm looking for an opponent that can beat me. I will review those who may comment and say they're interested, and I will directly challenge the one I believe to pose the greatest threat. (If you happen to be intellectually brilliant and find a way to accept, there is no punishment or automatic loss. You've just simply thrust yourself into the Con side of this debate.)





Definitions:
"Secular ethics
is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics). Secular ethics comprises any ethical system that does not draw on the supernatural, such ashumanism, secularism and freethinking."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

My opponent is allowed to present his own definition of theist morality.
RationalMadman

Con

I first will answer your questions:

1) No, I don't even believe in souls.

2) Agnostic theism with the moral outlook of a Hindu (SEE BELOW).

*TO SAVE ARGUMENTATION OVER MY ANSWER TO 2, LET'S SAY I'M A NON-VEGETARIAN HINDU, NO ARGUMENTS OKAY? I HAVE ALL OTHER VIEWS THAN THE ISSUE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS.*

Theist Morality - The view that any and all 'unpleasant acts' to human race will in and of themselves come back to haunt you regardless of when you physically die and that to have such a mindset is to find true reason to be 'good' and 'righteous' in life and thus in any afterlife one might face.
Debate Round No. 1
UltimateSkeptic

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for taking this debate and I will be arguing for secular morality versus his intended monopoly on morality with theistic claims. I will be upholding the style of morality as presented by Sam Harris in his debate with William Craig.

To give a brief road map of my intended style of debate, I will be outlining my case in this round and then following this round with a rebuttal and then a conclusion upholding my case once again.


I. The purpose for moral values.

Morals and values don't just exist because of someone's claim to divine law, they have a very important place among our environment as a whole; it is for the betterment of our society. Morals stem from a need to avoid the worst possible misery for everyone. Consequently, the idea of do onto others as you wish to have done to yourself is born. If you are working against success as a species, you can be seen as objectively wrong not relatively. Whether they be someone’s relative morals or some objective morals, they are attributed to a view of what one thinks is the way away from what is the worst possible misery for everyone.



II. Objective moral values and relative moral values coexist.

It is often argued that there must be some total moral absolute code and nothing else or that there must be a total relative code, and nothing else. These are both flawed because morals exist as both objective and relative. Murdering in and of itself, thieving in and of itself, and raping in and of itself are things that all people consider to be objectively wrong. Wrong in a sense that it is not working against the worst possible misery for everyone. One can make those relative morals by giving them further meaning, but in and of themselves they are always seen as wrong.

For an example of giving them further meaning from a theistic standpoint, we have Islamic law in Iran. In Islamic law a woman cannot be executed for any crime, if she is a virgin. Virgins are automatically granted access to heaven, but the women in question have moral behaviors that are deemed heinous and unproductive towards society. Thus, they devised a system that enables her forced marriage and rape so that they are able to enact capital punishment, and they base it on their Qur’an. In this same country, rape is still illegal. The average citizen may not rape another person; it is still seen as objectively wrong. But it has been made relative in the instance of execution. [1]

With the previous example, it is important that one can be wrong when they delve into the realm of relative values. Someone can think they’re working for the betterment of society, and not actually be doing so. Relative morals from a theistic standpoint also include abortion, divorce, gay rights, the rights of women, separation of church and state and so on.

From a secular standpoint, one can use the instance of saving children. If attacked, people have the responsibility of protecting children. It is seen as objectively wrong, to surrender kids to an attacker. Says who? A societal code ingrained into us to ensure the success of our species. It more useful terms, it is called vile or cowardice to go against moral code. However, if someone were to stumble upon kids in a burning building or kids that were drowning in a crashed car in a river, one does not have that same responsibility. If you do act, you are seen as a hero. If you do not act, you are not instantly deemed cowardly. Deciding if one should use excess profanity, drink, or smoke in a school zone is also a choice relative to your own moral code. When one decides to drive 100mph over the speed limit in a school zone, it is deemed as objectively wrong because they are endangering society, no sane individual disagrees.

III. Conclusion

What I have shown is that the exhibition of moral codes can be relative to different people, while also encompassing basic ideas that are all objectively right or wrong. I’ve also provided reason for why they are objectively wrong. In my opponent’s post in this round, it is important that you look for the ontological argument behind his case, and not the semantic quarrels. Things are not just wrong because a deity claims them to be, because the deity would then have to have his reasoning for why it thinks they're wrong. The answer is abundantly obvious, because of societal welfare and it takes no belief in a deity to accomplish such a conclusion. Moreover, no one deity is more provable than another, so no one set of theistic claims of morality can take precedent over another. They're all equally improbable glimpses into the unknown.

IV. Discussion between my opponent, myself and the audience.

My opponent asked made a statement in the comment section that initially offended me, but it was necessary to address because it follows the belief system of the opposition to this debate. He said,Without a higher power for morality, if you one day woke up and felt the urge to rape a one year old daughter there'd be no stopping you… Now just shut up you stupid atheist.” (I move that there should be no conduct point evaluation in this comment because it was not inside the parameters of the debate).

The problem behind this is that I already don’t believe in God, have a 6 month of daughter, and yet I would never do so out a personally responsibility for the welfare of my child. It's for the betterment of society and the progression of the human race that I be given the responsibility for the moral obligation for the welfare of my own child. Something ingrained through evolution and enforced through the love of my own creation. We do so out of ingrained social law & evolved morality; otherwise, we are working towards the worst possible scenario, the worst possible misery for everyone. This is something even accepted in parts of the animal kingdom that my opponent has expressed to have no moral code whatsoever. I value rights as much as my opponent does, I just don’t attribute them to an external improbable source. I attribute them to what my opponent’s improbable source attributes them to—societal welfare. As follow up questions of my own, I’d like to ask my opponent a question on the idea of theistic morality & a hypothetical similar to the one he presented me. When one says they’re acting in accordance to their theistic view, is there anything that is off limits? If you were to find out tomorrow that there was no God/metaphysical governing force for the supernatural, would you start murdering & pillaging among your community?

[1]http://www.news.com.au...

RationalMadman

Con

RationalMadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
UltimateSkeptic

Pro

Violation of rule #2
*This debate is a no forfeit zone. If you do, it's an automatic loss.

My opponent accepted the rules when he accepted the debate and didn't question them.

An unfortunate turn of events.
RationalMadman

Con

I gave up. I can't prove moral absolutism this was stupid for me to accept but even stupider for pro to defend morality based on one's feelings in that instant in time. Nonetheless, rules are rules :)
Debate Round No. 3
RationalMadman

Con

Just to point out something... atheists have no moral compass, they use the law as a map and emotions as the sun.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
Yeah, I was pretty disappointed.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
sigh, another ruined debate courtesy of rational madman.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Dude a lto fo ppl overrrate buddhim, reason for civil war of hindus and tamils was blody buddhism to begin with
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
It was an example of relative theistic morality, not an idea meant to be debated in and of itself. I know it's a different moral philosophy than Hinduism, that's what makes it relative.

The onus is on you to prove why Hinduism is the one true theistic belief, not me. I'm against all of them, my stance is that morality is secular.

Let's keep the debate in the debate rounds. I'm open to any messages regarding any confusion.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Just tolet you knwo your point regarding iran is really irrelevant. I am representing hindu morality.
Posted by emj32 4 years ago
emj32
"I'm looking for an opponent that can beat me. I will review those who may comment and say they're interested, and I will directly challenge the one I believe to pose the greatest threat."

Yup, you surely nailed that criteria. RationalMadman is the pinical of logic and highly sufficient debating skills.
Posted by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
Shutup RM.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Your interest isn't my concern.
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
RM- I'm not really interested in your mentally unstable & childish rants. If you can control those so that we may have a lucid debate on the resolution at hand, I'm willing to prove you wrong. Fair deal?
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
I like this guy :3
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
UltimateSkepticRationalMadmanTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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: Pro automatically wins as a result of Con's forfeit. Pro's arguments went uncontested by Con, and he therefore gets points for arguments. Pro was also the only one to use sources; hence, he get's points for sources, as well. I also awarded Pro conduct points due to the previously mentioned forfeit by Con.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
UltimateSkepticRationalMadmanTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: There needs to be some sort of restrictive element so that people like CON cannot just accept any debate willy-nilly.
Vote Placed by Wishing4Winter 4 years ago
Wishing4Winter
UltimateSkepticRationalMadmanTied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited.