The Instigator
GenesisProject
Pro (for)
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The Contender
CJKAllstar
Con (against)
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The Bible is not the source of morality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 606 times Debate No: 49220
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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GenesisProject

Pro

I will argue that the Bible is NOT the source of morality.
CJKAllstar

Con

I accept the debate and will be arguing that the bible is a source of morality, and you may start, but I would like to start with some definitions.

Morality:
A particular system of values and principles of conduct.
The extent to which an action is right or wrong.

Sources:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
GenesisProject

Pro

Morality is subjective. What might be moral to one may not be moral to another. Some say eating meat is immoral, for example. Other say it is moral.

The way people determine morality is with empathy. If a person doesn't want to be punched, it would not be moral for that person to punch someone else. However, if 2 consenting adults go int a boxing ring, and expect to punch each other, there is nothing immoral about that.

Since morality is subjective, it would make no sense for a book to dictate objective morality for everyone. In order for a reader of the Bible to agree with an objective moral concept from the Bible, they would have to compare it to their own subjective morality.

You can only determine something moral by comparing it t something immoral.

The Bible condones slavery, which is now considered immoral. If we use the Bible for our source of morality, we would have to set our own personal subjective morality aside and accept the objective morality that slavery is right, according to the Bible.
Exodus 21:20-21
Leviticus 25:44-45

The Bible also condones things like rape and killing, which most of us would now agree is immoral.
"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." Deuteronomy 22:28-29
CJKAllstar

Con

"The way people determine morality is with empathy. If a person doesn't want to be punched, it would not be moral for that person to punch someone else. However, if 2 consenting adults go int a boxing ring, and expect to punch each other, there is nothing immoral about that."

First of all you stated that morality is subjective. That means the way that people determine morality is also subjective. If a person does not want to be punched, in the view of some people, it is still moral to punch him, simply because as you stated, morality is subjective, you can't objectively say how people determine morality.

"You can only determine something moral by comparing it t something immoral."

No. Even excusing the fact that morality is subjective, to say the morality of something must be determined by the comparison to something immoral, is implying that the thing which is immoral is objectively immoral. Again, as you stated, morality is subjective, so how do we define the morality of the immoral thing? Well not as you stated above, so this is also incorrect.

"The Bible condones slavery, which is now considered immoral. If we use the Bible for our source of morality, we would have to set our own personal subjective morality aside and accept the objective morality that slavery is right, according to the Bible.
Exodus 21:20-21
Leviticus 25:44-45"

The Bible also condones things like rape and killing, which most of us would now agree is immoral.
"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." Deuteronomy 22:28-29"


These last two I will rebut as part of my main argument of why the bible is a source of morality. Your biggest error is implying that there is such a thing as an objective morality. If we take the Oxford dictionary definition and objective means, "Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual:", then objective morality implies that outside human perception this is still right. Well then this is an oxymoron, because the idea of morality is that it is always taken through
perception.

"Since morality is subjective, it would make no sense for a book to dictate objective morality for everyone. In order for a reader of the Bible to agree with an objective moral concept from the Bible, they would have to compare it to their own subjective morality."


The bible doesn't have an objective moral concept. Such a thing does not actually exist because the idea of morality is within perception. The only reason you state that rape is bad is because the popular mentality dictates so. But popular mentality is simply a sum of subjective mentality. Rape, as an action itself, doesn't have any moral link. It can't, morality is only via perception, so to say it is bad is subjective of any sort.

Linking this back, morality as we now know is only viewed in perception. From the point of view of the bible, it is right. There is no contesting. From its view it is the source of morality. And it is...in its sense, because morality is perceived. So to the bible, what is known as correct morality, it is the source of, and as the whole idea of morality can only be perceived and cannot be objective, we can only look at this from a perspective basis. So it the bible the source of morality? Morality as it knows it? Yes.
Debate Round No. 2
GenesisProject

Pro

You say "If a person does not want to be punched, in the view of some people, it is still moral to punch him"
Yes, but the person who thinks it's moral to punch people lacks empathy.
I said morality comes from empathy.

I claim that "You can only determine something moral by comparing it t something immoral."
That's how we determine all things, by comparing them to something else.
We know something is designed by comparing it to something that's not designed.
We know something is bright by comparing not to something that's not bright.
We know something is moral by comparing it to something that is not moral.

You asked, "How do we define the morality of the immoral thing?"
Once again, the answer is with empathy.

You don't get the concept of using empathy.
You state, "The only reason you state that rape is bad is because the popular mentality dictates so"
Most people have empathy. That is why empathy is the "popular mentality".
You don't determine morality with popular views. You determine them with empathy. It just so happens that most people have empathy.

The popular view in the Bible is that rape is OK. That's because back in the time the Bible was written, women were not viewed as equal to men, hence the lack of empathy for them.

The same can be said about the Biblical view on slavery. Slaves were also viewed as less than full human back then, hence the lack of empathy for them and the reason slavery is condoned in the Bible.

We now understand that women and slaves are, indeed, fully human and deserve equal rights. Using empathy, we can look at the Bible and say it is immoral, because it condones rape and slavery.
CJKAllstar

Con

"You say "If a person does not want to be punched, in the view of some people, it is still moral to punch him"
Yes, but the person who thinks it's moral to punch people lacks empathy.
I said morality comes from empathy."

Empathy definition: "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another."

I am fully able to understand and share the feelings of another and be the most empathetic person ever, but if I don't think being punched in the face is immoral, then even with my immense empathy, I could easily punch you, simply because I don't view it as bad. And the way in which empathy works is once again, subjective to the person. Morality does not come from empathy. Morality is subjective so nothing can be objective about it, including what is moral or immoral, what counts for empathy or not, and where it comes from.

I claim that "You can only determine something moral by comparing it t something immoral."

That's how we determine all things, by comparing them to something else.
We know something is designed by comparing it to something that's not designed.
We know something is bright by comparing not to something that's not bright.
We know something is moral by comparing it to something that is not moral."

If I take, "we know that something is moral by comparing it to something that is not moral." That doesn't make sense because how do we define the thing that is not moral? Not with empathy, as I have stated above, so with what? By comparing that to something moral? Well how do we define that moral thing? This debate is not about the origins, but read this article please and if you can, the book. I have not but tell me if anything about comparison pops up, which I'm sure it won't, because it is contradictory.

You asked, "How do we define the morality of the immoral thing?"
Once again, the answer is with empathy.

You don't get the concept of using empathy.
You state, "The only reason you state that rape is bad is because the popular mentality dictates so"
Most people have empathy. That is why empathy is the "popular mentality".
You don't determine morality with popular views. You determine them with empathy. It just so happens that most people have empathy."

Empathy is not the popular mentality. One is purely subjective and the other is based on the subjectiveness of a culture, one of the factors in your perceptual set which help define subjectiveness. Empathy as I have stated cannot be the cause of morality. Because one can be empathetic, but under a morality different to the popular one so believes that rape isn't wrong. To him, as empathy is subjective, he is empathetic but not with rape because as morality is subjective, he does not see it as bad.

"The popular view in the Bible is that rape is OK. That's because back in the time the Bible was written, women were not viewed as equal to men, hence the lack of empathy for them.

The same can be said about the Biblical view on slavery. Slaves were also viewed as less than full human back then, hence the lack of empathy for them and the reason slavery is condoned in the Bible.

We now understand that women and slaves are, indeed, fully human and deserve equal rights. Using empathy, we can look at the Bible and say it is immoral, because it condones rape and slavery."

First of all, excusing the fact that this is biased as you have left out basically the whole New Testament. And also leaving out how saying that women deserve eqaul rights is really subjective, and althought it fits with the popular mentality, popular mentality does not mean objective truth. And even without applying Hitchens' Razor to make this argument invalid, to say that using empathy you can say the bible is bad is implying that empathy is objective, and certain things require empathy. If I am under the impression that rape and slavery are right, I can still in my own right be empathetic to things I view as wrong, and can still be sympathetic for things I view as wrong. All of this is subjective and you have missed the fact that empathy and the way in which morality is acquired for each person are too subjective. You didn't even argue the motion that the Bible is not the source of morality, just that it is immoral. Unless of course morality to you is only what isn't immoral, in which case, morality is subjective. Whether every last person views an action as immoral, it can still possibly be viewed as good. As morality is subjective, the idea of an objective morality is also subjective. From the perception of the Bible, it holds absolute morality, thus is the source of such morality.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by GenesisProject 2 years ago
GenesisProject
You can argue anything you want. I'm not telling you what to say.
Posted by ZebramZee 2 years ago
ZebramZee
Can I argue that the bible is just as valid a source of morality as any other source? I don't personally believe in morality so I would not be arguing that the bible actually gives a valid moral code, since I don't think there is any such thing.
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