The Instigator
Amoranemix
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
PGA
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points

The moral argument for God is sound.

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,311 times Debate No: 104041
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (50)
Votes (2)

 

Amoranemix

Con

The argument is the following :

1. If God does not exist, objective morality does not exist.
2. Objective morality does exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

subjective : to a high degree dependent on opinion
objective : to a low degree (or not at all) dependent on opinion
God : omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe

As requested by my opponent :
- The voting is to be done by judges.
- The character limited is 10.000.
- The first round is for acceptance and additional definitions only.
- The second round is for the presentation on one's case without rebuttals.
- No new arguments may be presented in the last round.

We (mostly my opponent) have found some judges. Maybe it will work this time.

May the truth prevail.
PGA

Pro

Thanks, Amoranemix, for setting up this debate!
I ACCEPT!

Additional definitions I hold relevant to this discussion:

Definition of relativism
1
a : a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing
b : a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them
2 : relativity


I will mostly be opposing 1b and the philosophical and moral relativism definitions found below.


Philosophy
The theory that value judgments, as of truth, beauty, or morality, have no universal validity but are valid only for the persons or groups holding them.



Moral Relativism
The philosophized notion that right and wrong are not absolute values, but are personalized according to the individual and his or her circumstances or cultural orientation…The opposite of moral relativism is moral absolutism, which espouses a fundamental, Natural Law of constant values and rules, and which judges all persons equally, irrespective of individual circumstances or cultural differences.


There are facts about which actions are right and wrong, and these facts do not depend on the perspective, opinion, or anything about the person who happens to be describing those facts.


Objective Morality
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.

Objectivity
The terms “objectivity” and “subjectivity,” in their modern usage, generally relate to a perceiving subject (normally a person) and a perceived or unperceived object. The object is something that presumably exists independent of the subject’s perception of it. In other words, the object would be there, as it is, even if no subject perceived it. Hence, objectivity is typically associated with ideas such as reality, truth and reliability.
The perceiving subject can either perceive accurately or seem to perceive features of the object that are not in the object. For example, a perceiving subject suffering from jaundice could seem to perceive an object as yellow when the object is not actually yellow. Hence, the term “subjective” typically indicates the possibility of error…

“Objective judgment or belief” refers to a judgment or belief based on objectively strong supporting evidence, the sort of evidence that would be compelling for any rational being. A subjective judgment would then seem to be a judgment or belief supported by evidence that is compelling for some rational beings (subjects) but not compelling for others. It could also refer to a judgment based on evidence that is of necessity available only to some subjects.

http://www.iep.utm.edu...


Moral realism
Moral realism (also ethical realism) is the position that ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which propositions may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 1
Amoranemix

Con

In philosophical topics one can debate without the need for encyclopedic knowledge, like one would in a creation - evolution debate. I have also not adopted a moral philosophy that I read about and then liked, but developed my own. So I can't reference you lots of information and quotes about the merits of my favourite moral philosophy.

Argument from contradiction

The moral argument is a god-of-the-gaps argument. People don't understand morality and God is so smart and powerful he must be able to do it. My main goal is to provide understanding, making the gap left for God as small as possible. I will also address some of argumentation I have seen presented in support of the moral argument , among others by my opponent.

The moral argument uses the principle that based on a contradiction one can prove almost anything.

Suppose that the statement S is both true and false. So we can use the following assumptions :
A1) S
A2) not S

Let us now 'prove' the earth is flat.

P1) If the earth is not flat, then not S. (from A2)
P2) S
C) The earth is flat.

C follows from P1 and P2 if S and not S are mutually exclusive, which they must be. The argument is thus valid, but one of the assumptions is false.

In the moral argument S is 'Objective morality exists.' and the conclusion has been replaced by 'God exists.'

Rather than assuming A1 and A2, theists try to prove them.
A1, that objective morality does not exist, is 'proven' by appeal to ignorance : No one really understands how objective morality can exist, hence, unless we invoke magic, it doesn't.
A2, that objective morality exists, is 'proven' by appeal to intuition and popularity : Deep down we all know some things are really wrong. Those who don't know that are usually insignificant enough to be ignored, the goal not being to prove A1, but to convince as many people as possible.

Having established A1 and A2, theists resolve the contradiction by invoking God as creator of objective morality, without getting into the details as to how that is supposed to work, as that would open their argument to attack.

Before trying to establish whether objective morality is, let us first decide what objective morality is.

Language is conventional

You can find an explanation on this topic by a professor who had more space in [1] and a course on how to understand arguments by that same professor in [2], where this is also treated. A new course starts September 25th..

Language is a set of agreements used to facilitate communication. That has the uncanny consequence, one my opponent refuses to accept, that whether claims are true or false depends on what people decide.

How does that work ?

Consider a math teacher drawing what resembles a circle on a blackboard before an audience. Consider further that person pointing to the blackboard and making the claim : “That is a circle.”
Is that true ?
In order to establish that, the claim needs to be assigned meaning. It is the meaning behind the claim that is true or false, not the words. Different people may interpret it differently and consequently reach a different answer. There are probably good reasons to believe that the language used is English and that 'that' is referring to the just drawn shape, and thus everyone in the audience should interpret the claim using those conventions.

Nonetheless, 'circle' is ambiguous. It could be a mathematically perfect circle (a set of points in a plane equidistant to a single point), or something that is a good enough approximation.
So there will be two camps : Those who agree that is a circle and those who disagree. There is no way to prove either side right or wrong without clarifying the convention, i.e. decide based on personal opinion what circle means in that sentence.
If the agreed convention is that 'circle' means mathematically perfect circle, then the claim is false.
If the shape just needs to be close enough ('close enough' needing to be explicated), then the claim is probably true.

Things can hardly be more objective than mathematical concepts and yet a mathematical claim depends for its truth on opinion and is therefore subjective.

Consider the claim 'Raping children for fun is wrong.' Almost everyone will agree that is true. However, if we were to switch the meaning of the words right and wrong, would raping children for fun still be wrong ?
Here people will disagree. The reason is that I have sown confustion : In my question, did I use 'wrong' with the normal meaning or the new, switched meaning ?

Conclusion : before judging moral claims, we should first ascertain that everyone agrees on the meaning behind the claim.

Thus we will next investigate what people mean when making moral claims.

What is morality ?

For this debate we need a definition of objective morality that allows us to evaluate the truth of both premises of the moral argument as presented in the opening post.

Let us first try the definition provided by my opponent :
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.

Obviously that idea exists. It may be completely false, but that doesn't prevent people from fostering it.
That idea clearly does not depend on God as people can believe things without God's help and this belief is not special in that respect. (That the existence of people themselves – and as a consequence their ideas – may depend on God is a completely different argument and thus off topic.)

Let us try a more useful definition, that I explained more elaborately in [3].

Morality is a method of classification of behaviour and agents.

In other words, morality is a standard that applies to behaviour and agents. The claims that my opponent relies on to be factually true to support that morality is objective are moral judgements. Judgements are made according to a standard (a method of classification), even if that standard is one's own personal opinion. Hence the meaning of the moral values attributed to behaviour (or the agents exhibiting the behaviour), like bad, wrong, evil, nice are defined by the standard that is used in making the moral claim.

So, the claim 'Raping children for fun is wrong' means 'Raping children for fun is wrong according to <some standard>'. It is that standard that defines the term 'wrong'. It is therefore easy to cause confusion omitting that standard. I complained about that in our forum debate 'Objective morality argument', post 733 [4] :

PGA 477 :
“Your mind is your highest authority on goodness, right? Why is what you believe actually good since your mind determines it?”
Amoranemix 733 :
“Notice how again you made your question ambiguous by failing to mention the moral standard you are implicitly referring to.”
PGA 802 :
“That is not true. I refer to God as the objective measure. The Ten Commandments relate to both our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow man. Jesus summed them up in the two commands.”

My opponent seemed to claim that he relied on God's moral standard (GM). Let us rephrase the questions he asked me with that clarification :
“Your mind is your highest authority on goodness according to GM, right ? Why is what you believe actually good according to GM, since your mind determines it ?”
Those questions are nonsensical to ask an atheist who has given no indication to believe anything close to what they imply. The thread is full of such questions.

What is more likely to go on is that my opponent thrives on the confusion about the ambiguity of the used moral standards. It doesn't make any sense. No one understands it. Therefore, God must have done it.

Conclusions :
With morality, we mean moral standard.
Moral claims are ambiguous in absensc of reference standard.

Does objective morality exist ?

Another ambiguity is the meaning of the term 'existence'. Existence is clear for physical objects. However, what does it mean for a standard to exist ?

Consider the following moral standard :
'Stealing is wrong.'
It is a substandard of the moral standard of almost everyone (which is why almost everyone agrees with it) and is extremely incomplete, but does it exist ?

I think a good definition for existence for standards is to let it depends on their use : if a standard is used, then it exists. Furthermore, if one has an objective standard for ownership, for example as part of a legislation, then the standard is objective, as one can objectively classify theft as wrong. Given the 7 billion people on earth, at any time someone must be using an objective moral standard, which then by definition exists.

Conclusion : objective morality exists.

Does objective morality depend on God ?

Obviously in order to use an objective moral standard one does not need God's help. That falsifies the first premise of the argument.

But objective morality is subjective !?

My opponent will likely object that using an objective moral standard does not make your morality objective, as you could have chosen another objective moral standard.

Consider the two contradictory, objective moral standards :
'Stealing is wrong.'
'Stealing is right.'
Just by virtue of choosing your moral standard – the second one has its merits – you make your morality subjective. However, by arguing that way you are changing the meaning of objective and invalidating the conclusion we reached earlier, namely that objective morality exists.

Making moral claims or judgements requires the use of a moral standard. Since there is more than one mutually exclusive standard that one could use, that necessarily implies choosing one. That would make all morality subjective.

May the truth prevail.

[1] Understanding Arguments by Walter Sinnot-Armstrong and Robert Fogelin : zu.edu.jo/UploadFile/Library/E_Books/Files/LibraryFile_17113_11.pdf
See page 17 on language and convention
[2] www.coursera.org/learn/understanding-arguments[3] The subjectivity of objective morality : http://www.debate.org...
[4] http://www.debate.org...
PGA

Pro

The Moral Argument for God is Sound.
The task of this debate is to show that the moral argument for God is rationally sound; it makes sense. To do this, it requires I demonstrate that the contrary argument makes no sense.

My opponent (Con) proposes this syllogism:
1. If God does not exist, objective morality does not exist.
2. Objective morality does exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

1. If God does not exist, objective morality does not exist.
There are numerous ways to tackle this argument.

1) Prove the Bible is reasonable to believe as God’s word to humanity, affirming His existence. In this way, the moral argument for objective morality would make sense because it is reasonable to believe there IS an objective best - an omniscient Being who knows all things and commands against evil.

Prophecy is concrete factual proof that can be used to establish the Bible as logically sound. I will leave this argument for another day since we are debating morality.

2) Contrast the two positions – God or impersonal forces. What is the more sensible explanation?
If you take God out of the equation, what is left is an impersonal, indifferent, uncaring, random, evolutionary process devoid of reason that is responsible for morality - but how?

How does such a process arrive at moral beings? The answer is not known but speculated upon and assumed it does happen.

"In perhaps its broadest form, the How question asks how the consciousness of the relevant sort could be caused or realized by nonconscious items, but we can generate a wealth of more specific questions by further restricting the range of the relevant explanans...How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp (1866)."

The article goes on to describe many different competing explanations of consciousness.

"...neuroscientists still don’t know what consciousness is, or how it’s even possible...Most neuroscientists agonize over consciousness because it’s so difficult to explain..."

So, if and how consciousness arises from physicalism/matter is highly speculative. Without conscious, and reasoning beings morality is dead. With God, we have the necessary being that creates other sentient, thinking beings. With subjective beings, it appears we do not have the answers. World history testifies against subjective beings finding the moral truth without first presupposing God.

3) Show that subjective morality or relativism does not make sense of morality, nor can it. Relativism would demonstrate the impossibility of basing morality on a fixed best. How do you determine "good" or "right" if you have no fixed best, just subjective beings arbitrarily making it up?

The evolutionary system has no moral or teleological end in sight. If morals are always evolving then how does someone ever arrive at a BEST? If "best" is arbitrarily made up and differs between cultures and people what standard do we measure "best" against? How does an uncaring, indifferent, impersonal, non-thinking universe achieve an end in sight - something that is best? There is no REASON that it would or SHOULD since it is a process devoid of intelligence or uniformity.

How does a subjective human being arrive at best? This is something I will be looking for my opponent to answer.

[1] Is genocide right?
[2] Is infanticide right?
[3] Is cannibalism right?
[4] Is human sacrifice right?
[5] Is child abuse/molestation right?
Can my opponent say for certain? Does he know for certain?

Here are countries, listed by Wikipedia, that have practiced or still practice these:
[1] http://www.pbs.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]
https://en.wikipedia.org...


So, if good is what evokes approval, then anything can be passed off as good. It is all relative. Therefore, to determine what is good an absolute, objective best is needed. Can Con produce such a standard?

I will be looking for Con's SOUND explanation to make sense of morality from the subjective stance, OR prove that objective morality apart from God is possible and sound.

2. Objective morality does exist.
Morality requires a best. You can't describe something as good unless you have an accurate, fixed measure of goodness; something that is best to measure good against. Since morality is a mindful process, which conscious being established what is best?

A=A; The Law of Identity (The heart of the matter).
You can’t have a moral right unless you have a fixed identity for what is right.

Physically,

A dog is a dog. A dog is not a cat. A dog has a distinct, fixed identity.

Likewise, abstractly/nonmaterially,
Good is good. Good is not bad. What is right has a definite, fixed identity.

You can’t determine right without having an objective best measure against which to compare rights.
Con must show how two opposing subjective individuals, or systems of thought regarding what is right, can both (logically) be right, or how he determines which is correct. The Law of Identity, as well as the Law of Noncontradiction, and Law of Excluded Middle says both can't be right because they state opposites. So, if he can't make sense of which moral view is indeed right then the case for the biblical (revealed) God (as the ultimate objective being) is sound in making sense of morality. It is sound because there is a best we can measure what is right against, versus subjective claims. It is sound because it gives a reasonable answer to the query.

https://www.youtube.com...

Con, which society is correct in its view of abortion as a woman's right to choose, or correct that it is wrong (unless in life threatening conditions)?

Without this fixed measure goodness and rightness loses its identity. Morality makes no sense unless you have something more than subjective opinion to fix it on because it becomes a question of whose personal, relative opinion, or which cultural opinion? Then, what makes such opinion RIGHT? Let’s see if Con has a solution or just wants to beg the question that morality doesn't need one. This inability to establish a fixed identity is one of the problems of relativism. It can’t create any fixed moral identity.

The Bible has a sound reason for why there is evil (moral wrong). People suppress the knowledge of God. In fact, the biblical account attributes this to the Fall when moral relativism started. What moral relativists do is enact their preferences - their likes and dislikes, since it 's hard to fasten objective moral beliefs to subjective minds without an objective being first revealing them. It would be interesting to see how Con does this.

Morality requires mindful being, yet not just any mindful being. Morality is not dependent on Con's belief or my belief. It is independent of either. But morality is necessarily a product of conscious beings. The question is which mind is the necessary mind. Can Con point to that mind(s)? Can Con show his thinking is objective in regards to morality?

I contend that morality is like mathematical laws; we discover them via our consciences. What is good is independent of whether Con or I believe it. I argue that Con KNOWS it is never right to torture an innocent baby for the fun of it, neither murder or rape an innocent human being or baby for fun. So these are objective moral principles.

The Bible lays down a moral code that I believe is most sensible and objective in our human dealing with each other:
1) Do not murder,
2) Do not steal,
3) Do not lie,
4) Do not commit adultery,
5) Do not covet.
That covers humanities relationship with each other. Jesus summed these principles up in "love your neighbor as yourself."

If Con does not think these are objective moral standards of human conduct, then let him JUSTIFY how it is ever right to murder, lie, steal, or rape for fun. If he can't do that then, he thinks these are objective, universal moral obligations also.

A stone nor a tree contemplate right and wrong, so material, mechanical processes are not a SOUND explanation for deriving morality. Unless Con can present a sound reason how something physical/material can acquire the non-material, abstract nature of consciousness, morality, logic, intelligence/reason, and life, for his view to be consistent, then I contend it is not.

Norman Geisler makes the argument that "human thoughts and transcendent moral laws are not material things. They are immaterial entities that cannot be weighed or physically measured." - I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. p. 187

So, Con has to take a giant leap of faith from what we observe - minds and conscious moral beings giving rise to other similar beings - to demonstrating material things giving rise to immaterial entities such as morality. He has to prove that morals are physical and explain them as such.

3. Therefore, God exists.
He is the explanation that is sound and can make sense of morality.

Con needs to demonstrate he can, or prove that morality does not exist, that what we call moral is just opinion enforced by might.

A few questions for Con:
1) Does evil exist?
2) Is tolerance a universal "good" or are there some things you should not tolerate?
3) Is it EVER right to torture a baby for fun, or murder for fun?
4) Are love and kindness "good" qualities, independent of what a person might think of them?
5) Are human beings intrinsically valuable?

Debate Round No. 2
Amoranemix

Con

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

I am disappointed pro ignored my request for clarity. He made several more claims and asked me many moral questions. How many times do I have to answer questions about who is right ? It will always depend on the reference moral standard, that my opponent systematically omitted. I will answer a few of pro's 'Who is right ?' questions after having picked a reference moral standard. I will quote using AM and GM for being right according to my morality or God's morality respectively. So I would quote the question as “Who is right GM ?”

PGA : “The task of this debate is to show that the moral argument for God is rationally sound; it makes sense. To do this, it requires I demonstrate that the contrary argument makes no sense.”
If that is a convoluted way of saying that he is required to prove both premises of the argument are true, then pro is right. Otherwise he is wrong.

1. If God does not exist, objective morality does not exist.


My opponent proposes three ways to support the first premise.

1) First my opponent proposes to prove God exists through the Bible. However, that would, if successful, only prove God's existence, not the the first premise.

2) PGA : “Contrast the two positions – God or impersonal forces. What is the more sensible explanation?”
That is a false dilemma fallacy. Pro assumes without justification that these are the only two possible positions.

Pro then relies on the God of the gaps argument. He claims that science cannot yet explain the rise of consciousness and that therefore God must have done it.

First, the possible dependence of consciousness on God is borderline off topic.

Second, in the article a possible natural explanation for the rise of consciousness was mentioned. God wasn't.

Third, I will address the worth of the God-of-the-gaps argument :

In history, mankind has been confronted with millions of mysteries. Those mysteries can be roughly classified in two ways :
a) those that have been solved
b) those that have not been solved

Those that have been solved have almost always received a natural explanation. I know of no exceptions. Perhaps pro can share some if he knows any.
Therefore, given a mystery, history teaches us that if it will ever be solved, the explanation will most likely be a natural one, not a divine one.


PGA : “With subjective beings, it appears we do not have the answers. World history testifies against subjective beings finding the moral truth without first presupposing God.”

World history as much testifies against subjective beings finding the moral truth without the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the photonic beings from the fifth dimension and Santa Claus. So what ?

3) PGA : “Show that subjective morality or relativism does not make sense of morality, nor can it.”
How would that support the first premise ? Suppose the above is granted, then what ?
Pro would have to refute all alternative explanations for morality, not just relativism

PGA : “Relativism would demonstrate the impossibility of basing morality on a fixed best. How do you determine "good" GM or "right" GM if you have no fixed best, just subjective beings arbitrarily making it up?”
If God exists my opponent should know God better than I do, so he should answer that question if it is relevant.
Otherwise, the attributes of fictional beings are decided by convention. Hence what would be good and right according to God's morality would be decided by people.

PGA : “The evolutionary system has no moral or teleological end in sight. If morals are always evolving then how does someone ever arrive at a BEST?”[*] If "best" is arbitrarily made up and differs between cultures and people what standard do we measure "best" against?[**]
[*] That depends on the person, the circumstances and the reference standard of quality.
[**] I can speculate, but pro has presented no evidence that “best” is arbitrary. He has not even defined “best”. The quotes suggest the best used by people. Again, the answer depends on the people and circumstances.
The rest of pro's questions are plagued with the same flaw.

Pro is hinting at an argument that is too clearly fallacious to be presented. However, if the argument is merely suggested, the fallacy is harder to spot :

Without God, the best people arrive at is unsatisfactory. Better (according pro's and hopefully the reader's opinion) would be to have some sort of ultimate best, that only God could provide. Then the nirvana fallacy should convince people that is indeed the case.

PGA :“[1] Is genocide right?
[ . . . ]
[5] Is child abuse/molestation right?
Can my opponent say for certain? Does he know for certain?”
For righteousness according to GM the answer is that I don't know and I doubt it would be useful for me to speculate.
According to my own morality, the short answers are :
[1] to [5] No
Yes, I can say for certain.

PGA : 'So, if good is what evokes approval, then anything can be passed off as good. It is all relative. Therefore, to determine what is good an absolute, objective best is needed.[*] Can Con produce such a standard?[**]
[*] Needed for what ? Pro has not even demonstrated a relation between morality and best.
[**] Define absolute.

Conclusion : My opponent didn't support the first premise. He presented a lot of questions and assumes that if no one (or more specifically, me) can answer them satisfactorily, God must be the explanation.

How God is supposed to create that objective morality or best, is as big a mystery. Of course, God, if he exists, could do the same as everyone else : choose a moral standard, but that would put his morality in the same boat as everyone else's. It would also not explain how conscious beings get their morality, something that allegedly cannot happen naturally.


2. Objective morality does exist.

PGA : “Con must show how two opposing subjective individuals, or systems of thought regarding what is right GM, can both (logically) be right GM, or how he determines which is correct.[*] The Law of Identity, as well as the Law of Noncontradiction, and Law of Excluded Middle says both can't be right GM because they state opposites. So, if he can't make sense of which moral view is indeed right GM then the case for the biblical (revealed) God (as the ultimate objective being) is sound in making sense of morality.[**]
[*] Pro is mistaken. I must do no such thing, as I never claimed so and it is not my position.
If two people are opposing each other about what is right, they are probably referring to different moral standards.
Alice : “Jumping is right, while crouching is wrong.”
Bob : “Crouching is right, while jumping is wrong.”
Both may be correct, as long as they use different meaning for right and wrong, i.e. refer to different moral standards.
Basically, pro equivocates the term 'right'.

[**] That does not follow. My inability to determine who is right GM does not support God's existence, nor the existence of objective morality.

PGA : “Con, which society is correct in its view of abortion as a woman's right to choose, or correct that it is wrong (unless in life threatening conditions)?”
Pro's question is again ambiguous. 'Correct' seems to refer to the standard of truth. More than one could be correct, as long as their claims are consistent with their (consistent) moral standard and with the standard of truth.

PGA : “Without this fixed measure goodness and rightness loses its identity. [*] Morality makes no sense unless you have something more than subjective opinion to fix it on because it becomes a question of whose personal, relative opinion, or which cultural opinion?[**] Then, what makes such opinion RIGHT? Let’s see if Con has a solution or just wants to beg the question that morality doesn't need one.[***]”
[*] That is not entirely false. The measure does not have to be fixed, but everyone needs to be using the same. Otherwise that could cause confusion, sometimes enough for people to feel the need to invent God.
[**] That morality makes no sense to pro does not prevent it from making sense to others. Clearly pro dislikes a morality consisting of personal opinions. However, reality does not cater to pro's desires.
[***] My solution can be found in post one. With a pertinent moral standard (one that classifies the behaviour of the claim) in principle all moral questions can be answered.

PGA : “Morality requires mindful being, yet not just any mindful being. Morality is not dependent on Con's belief or my belief. It is independent of either. But morality is necessarily a product of conscious beings. The question is which mind is the necessary mind. Can Con point to that mind(s)? Can Con show his thinking is objective in regards to morality?”
That is fallacious. Pro relies on the following reasoning :
In order to exist, X needs support from one person.
A, B and C support X.
Therefore, X does not depend on A, since B and C support it.
Also, X does not depend on B, since A and C support it.
Therefore, X depends on C.

No, I can not show my thinking is objective in regards to morality and I never claimed it is.

PGA : “I contend that morality is like mathematical laws; we discover them via our consciences. “
Pro provided many references, but one to the mathematics of morality is missing.

“The Bible lays down a moral code that I believe is most sensible and objective in our human dealing with each other:
1) Do not murder,
2) Do not steal,
[ . . . ]
If Con does not think these are objective moral standards of human conduct, then let him JUSTIFY how it is ever right to murder, lie, steal, or rape for fun. If he can't do that then, he thinks these are objective, universal moral obligations also.”
In debates one has no burden to justify what one thinks.
With the proper standard, anything can be made 'right'.
Pro implies these values are objective moral claims. I invite him to prove it.

The argumentation for the existence of objective morality provided by pro is not even related to any of the definitions provided for the concept.

May the truth prevail.
PGA

Pro

Cross-Examination of Round 2

Con's God-of-the-gaps argument is moot.
1) Con's argument could just as easily be called evolution-of-the-gaps since how the materialist gets from lifeless matter to conscious, mindful, moral beings via materialism is pure speculation.

Con's argument is the argument from contradiction, not mine.
What does he have that bolsters his view that subjective morality is correct? Social conventions and cultures on earth contradict each other in the values people hold because of subjectivism. The logical laws of Identity and NonContradiction, plus the need for a final measure, address these issues.

My argument has shown the soundness of an objective, unchanging, moral source by contrasting it with the senselessness of subjective morality and its contradiction in terms. Subject morality is made up based on preferences - likes and dislikes.

Right and wrong are what morality should be built upon, not subjective preferences. Con's Godless standard is a changing chameleon.

2) Not a God-of-the-gaps Argument, per Con
I laid out simple commands from the Bible that deals with our relationship to each other:

Do not murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, covet (Exodus 20).
Jesus summed up these in one command - Love your neighbor. These laws are fundamental to all civilized cultures and rationally compassionate people.
Con said: "The moral argument uses the principle that based on a contradiction one can prove almost anything."

Of course! Objective morality abides in logic! It has what is NECESSARY for morality to be true. Two conflicting statements CANNOT both be true at the same time and in same manner.

***

Con: Suppose that the statement S is both true and false. So we can use the following assumptions:

A1) S
A2) not S

The statement 'S' cannot be both true and false. It contradicts logic, the foundation of all language and meaning.


Con: Let us now 'prove' the earth is flat.
Con: P1) If the earth is not flat, then not S. (from A2)
P2) S
C) The earth is flat.

Con: C follows from P1 and P2 if S and not S are mutually exclusive, which they must be. The argument is thus valid, but one of the assumptions is false.

First,

Let me sum up the original argument:
P1. No God, no objective morality
P2. Objective morality
C. God

Now Con's new argument:
P1. No flat earth, no S.
P2. S
C. Flat earth.

(What is 'S' in Con's premise? It is not defined.)

Second, there are two components to a categorical syllogism, validity, and soundness. Vern Poythress, Logic: A God-Centered Approach, explains:
" A valid argument is an argument whose conclusion follows from the premises. But in using the word valid we do not indicate whether the premises are actually true. A sound argument is an argument that is valid and whose premises are all true." p. 49

I have laid out why premises 1 and 2 are true, so Con's argument is once again moot. Based on that evidence I have confirmed the conclusion is sound.

Con: In the moral argument S is 'Objective morality exists.' and the conclusion has been replaced by 'God exists.'

Categorical syllogisms are briefly stated cases.
'S' has not been "replaced." It is stated.
If not-X, then not-S.
S, therefore X.

What is necessary for 'S' to be is shown in the Premise 2 argument - a transcendent, objective/absolute/omniscient, universal, unchanging, immaterial Being.

Not only does objective morality transcend our being, the laws of logic required for this discussion also transcend our being. They are universal/absolute, unchanging, and immaterial.

If Con feels the syllogism is invalid, then let him give his reasons why since his analogy bombed:

P1. No God, no objective morality

P2. Objective morality
C. God

If he thinks it is unsound, then let's see how he undermine my arguments that expand on this syllogism.

Con: "Rather than assuming A1 and A2, theists try to prove them."

That is the point; to demonstrate the premises are sound. We justify and make sense of morality by offering the solution, the objective basis needed for morality.

Con: "A1, that objective morality does not exist, is 'proven' by appeal to ignorance"

Sure, I appeal to Con's ignorance. He doesn't know, hence the debate.

Con: "No one really understands how objective morality can exist, hence, unless we invoke magic, it doesn't."

Not true. Con does not understand so he equivocates that no one understands.

If anything, evolutionary processes are magic. Life just magically appears, as does consciousness, reason, morality, logic, mathematical laws, and other attributes of being.

Objective morality exists by the impossibility of the contrary. It is impossible to have "rights" and moral obligations without a best we derive rights from, so Con has to 1) either establish why his views are objectively moral or 2) that subjective morality is possible.

(His failure to address these points will boost my argument for God as the sound explanation)

1) What is the objective source that makes one right over the other? If he found that he would have an objective moral basis to make sense of morality.

2) If he goes with subjective morality Con needs to make sense of how two opposing subjective value systems can both be right, or which one is correct. Logically, they can't.

Con then questions how theists invoke God as the conclusion.
Simple: God gives credence to morality. Con does not like this reasoning; I ask him to make sense of morality otherwise. He is also under the FALSE assumption that there is no proof of God's existence. This assumption comes from his starting point, his basic presuppositions upon which his focus rests.

The theist is NOT appealing to magic at all, but to an ultimate, objective being as necessary.

Con then goes into discussing/determining what objective morality is by stating the necessity of language.
I agree communication is needed, and I don't refuse to accept this as Con claims.

Logic is also required. As for what Con wants me to glean from this web link, there is no summary to know, except it refers to page 11. Please clarify this!

Con: "...whether claims are true or false depends on what people decide."

No, they depend on whether what someone believes lines up with what is TRUE. It either is true, or it is not. Choices do not alter the truth.

Con goes into a detailed discussion on circles.
I agree that definitions provide the clarity in meaning. So what?

The idea of "circle" forms when a person understands that there is an IDEAL and what it is. The explanation depends on how close to the ideal the teacher gets as to its clarity.

The point: A conception requires that it meets an objective source or form to be true. What is Con's source for morality? It is subjective minds. Which ones?
We don't know.
Con's ideas are no better than the teacher's wonky representation of a circle. He can't give clarity to why his belief is right because his standard is relative - subject to change.

Con: "Things can hardly be more objective than mathematical concepts and yet a mathematical claim depends for its truth on opinion and is therefore subjective."

While I agree the underlined is true, the rest of Con's statement is blatantly false. Mathematical claims depend on what is, such as 2+2=4, not on Con's opinion. They are universally true.

I ask the reader, does 2+2=4 DEPEND on opinion or is it a necessary truth?

I'm not following Con's argument regarding raping children for fun. The ambiguity needs to be clarified. What does he mean?
1. Raping children for fun is wrong.
2. Raping children for fun is right.
Which is it? Does Con believe it is wrong only for some?

Later on, he says:
"So, the claim 'Raping children for fun is wrong' means 'Raping children for fun is wrong according to <some standard>'. It is that standard that defines the term 'wrong'."

It SHOULD be wrong by any moral standard. Does Con agree?

***

Con's definition of morality:

"...morality is a standard that applies to behaviour and agents,"
is sunk by Tim Barnett's four points:

1. Evolutionary Naturalism Cannot Get an “Ought” from an “Is”
That is, "Knowledge is what “is” and values are what “ought” to be....The problem stems from trying to deduce a moral duty from a scientific description. Darwinian evolution may be able to describe past behavior, but it lacks the resources to prescribe future behavior."

2. Evolutionary Morality Keeps Evolving

Evolution is arbitrary and could have evolved differently; therefore, the same is true of evolutionary morality...Since evolution is a process of change, morality must also change.

3. Evolutionary Naturalism Explains Morality Away

Evolution is all about survival of species. This means, on an evolutionary view, moral beliefs are fitness directed, not truth-directed.

4. Evolutionary Naturalism Undermines All Moral Beliefs

On an evolutionary view, there is no reason to trust our moral convictions. After all, if we hold our moral beliefs because of the fitness conferred by the resulting behavior, then it appears that we would have had those beliefs whether or not they were true. Minimally, this means we could never know whether our moral beliefs correspond to moral facts.

https://www.str.org...


***

Con refers to Post 477 and 802 claiming I rely on God's moral standard in asking him,
“Your mind is your highest authority on goodness, right? Why is what you believe actually good since your mind determines it?”

My intent was to find out how Con can make sense of morality if his or some other relative changing mind is his highest appeal. It begs the question of why he gets to determine good based on his preferences.

Instead, Con turns the tables to make it all about God's morality (GM) and my belief system, thus avoiding the questions (as usual).

Please notice my questions, his responses, then my replies to his questions for I did not avoid his questions.

Because of space, I hope to address his other arguments in Round 5.
Debate Round No. 3
Amoranemix

Con

Pro again omitted to add reference standards to his questions.

PGA : “Con's God-of-the-gaps argument is moot.
1) Con's argument could just as easily be called evolution-of-the-gaps since [ . . . ] speculation.
I didn't even mention evolution.


PGA : “Con's argument is the argument from contradiction, not mine.[*]
What does he have that bolsters his view that subjective morality is correct?[**]”
[*] Pro does not attempt to support that. He just claims it out of the blue.
[**] My views are irrelevant. Only my claims matter.

PGA : “Right and wrong are what morality should be built upon, not subjective preferences. Con's Godless standard is a changing chamelon.
Notice again how pro went off topic : However abysmal my morality may be, that does not support the moral argument.
Pro invites the fans of the nirvana fallacy to conclude that what should be, is.


PGA : “Of course! Objective morality abides in logic! It has what is NECESSARY for morality to be true. Two conflicting statements CANNOT both be true at the same time and in same manner.
That pro does not just think that last statement worth mentioning, but even underlining, illustrates how far he is removed from what this debate should be about : the soundness of the moral argument.

* * *
I won't get into the proof by contradiction sideline as it doesn't really apply, since pro doesn't try to prove the premises.


PGA : “Con: "No one really understands how objective morality can exist, hence, unless we invoke magic, it doesn't."
Not true. Con does not understand so he equivocates that no one understands.
Pro mistaken, for I know he is clueless, as I have extensively debated him on the topic.
Besides, pro missed the point. The argument is addressed at those whodo not believe morality comes from the Abrahamic God. Therefore, whether believers understand morality is irrelevant.

PGA : “Objective morality exists by the impossibility of the contrary. It is impossible to have "rights" and moral obligations without a best we derive rights from, so Con has to 1) either establish why his views are objectively moral or 2) that subjective morality is possible.
These are just a few of the many bare assertions pro makes. I can't afford to challenge them all. I invite pro the prove all the relevant ones and retract the rest.
Of course subjective morality is possible. Tons of people have very personal, very subjective and even inconsistent opinions on all sorts of moral issues (something pro complains about). However, like most of what pro argues about, that is irrelevant, for it supports nor undermines the moral argument.
In addition, putting quotes around rights does not provide clarity about its meaning.


PGA : “2) If he goes with subjective morality Con needs to make sense of how two opposing subjective value systems can both be right, or which one is correct. Logically, they can't.
That illustrates something else pro fails to understand, namely that truth does not apply to standards (with possible exceptions, like the standard of truth). Pick any standard and try proving it true or false. You can't. Truth only applies to statements. Best one could do is (dis)prove individual statements that may be part of a standard.

PGA : “Con then questions how theists invoke God as the conclusion.
Simple: God gives credence to morality.
Pro has not supported that. He has only claimed (not proven) that God has certain attributes and argues that those attributes make one the proper source for morality. For that he points to the problems of the real world : See what happens when that source doesn't exist.
Basically, pro is arguing that his/God's morality is the best, which is off topic.

PGA : “The theist is NOT appealing to magic at all, but to an ultimate, objective being as necessary.
God perfectly qualifies as magic, as no theist has ever explained how God does it (or anything), i.e. the science behind it. Closest I have seen as an explanation comes from William Lane Craig as a third option to the Euthyphro Dilemma : morality comes from God's nature. How that works ? No one knows.

PGA : “Con then goes into discussing/determining what objective morality is by stating the necessity of language.
I agree communication is needed, and I don't refuse to accept this as Con claims.
Pro committed a straw man fallacy, as I did not claim pro refuses to accept that. I have already explained the material he does refuse to accept in the thread 'Objective morality argument' (http://www.debate.org...). A fragment of the conversation :

PGA 479 : “On that basis I again ask the question why is you subjective morality morally true? Opposite truth claims cannot both be true. Either Hitler's morality was true or it was false. It can't be both true and false at the same time. Either he was right or he was wrong. He can't both be right and wrong at the same time and in the same sense.[60] [ . . . ]

Amoranemix 864 (2nd response, 1st see 799) : “Of course, in a different sense he could be both right and wrong at the same time, which you knew. That is why you had added the guarding term 'in the same sense'. So, have you truly grown more ignorant or are you dishonest ?
Suppose Alice in England says : “It is right to drive on the left side of the road.”
At the same time Bob in the USA says : “It is wrong to drive on the left side of the road.”
They are 'clearly' contradicting each other. So who of them is right ?
PGA : [no response]

Pro himself brought up traffic lights and I tried using that example to explain that apparent contradictions may not be real. The reader can discover how that went from page 28 on (posts 823, 884 and 885). Pro dismissed that example as fictional. He dismissed the example of contradictory side-of-road drive rules as 'change of subject'.

Pro will not allow his ignorance, the foundation of his God-belief, to be weakened.

PGA : “Logic is also required. As for what Con wants me to glean from this web link, there is no summary to know, except it refers to page 11. Please clarify this!
Sorry, but I don't know of any link to page 11.


Pro follows with questioning the quality of my morality, which is off topic.

This subtopic illustrates typical behaviour of pro. He blows smoke, sows doubt around the topic and criticizes his opponent's worldview, hoping to create enough confusion to give the impression I am wrong and that maybe God is the solution.


PGA : “I ask the reader, does 2+2=4 DEPEND on opinion or is it a necessary truth?
I ask the reader, do those symbols, their meaning and the syntax of the expression depend on the opinion of people or are they imposed by some law of nature (or God) ? If an alien civilization that used a different mathematical syntax and vocabulary wrote :
“2-2=4”
Would they be wrong ? Would someone be able to prove they are wrong ?

Pro is apparently unable to make the distinction between a concept and a term. A concept is a part of reality. A term is a name, tag or label that is used to refer to a concept. A concept is that which fits the description / definition of a term. It is the meaning behind a term.
Although a concept may be objective, terms are chosen, as are the concepts associated with them.

Hence, alien mathematics may look completely different, even if it is conceptually the same as ours.

The same goes for morality. We should not evaluate moral claims, but the meaning behind the claims, thus interpret the claims first. Unless we want to believe in God of course.

PGA : “I'm not following Con's argument regarding raping children for fun. The ambiguity needs to be clarified. What does he mean?
1. Raping children for fun is wrong GM.
2. Raping children for fun is right GM.
Which is it? Does Con believe it is wrong GM only for some?
I don't know what ambiguity pro is referring to.
I realize now that God is defined as omnibenevolent. Therefore, raping children for fun is wrong GM.

PGA : “It SHOULD be wrong by any moral standard. Does Con agree?
The answer is obviously no. However, in my opinion, it would be better if all existing moral standards condemn child rape.

***

PGA : “Con's definition of morality:
"...morality is a standard that applies to behaviour and agents,"
is sunk by Tim Barnett's four points:”
None of the points even address my definition. Nonetheless I will address 3 and 4.

PGA : “3. Evolutionary Naturalism Explains Morality Away
Evolution is all about survival of species. This means, on an evolutionary view, moral beliefs are fitness directed, not truth-directed.
In the real world people have beliefs that are not truth-directed. Would that not be the case if God existed ?

PGA : “4. Evolutionary Naturalism Undermines All Moral Beliefs
On an evolutionary view, there is no reason to trust our moral convictions. [ . . . ] Minimally, this means we could never know whether our moral beliefs correspond to moral facts.
I never claimed moral beliefs are facts. The above applies as well to beauty beliefs as well as many other opinions. None of it supports the existence of God.
Throughout this debate pro tacitly assumes that there is some ultimate, true moral standard out there, one that is not subject to opinion. I predict he will never prove that.

***

PGA : “My intent was to find out how Con can make sense of morality if his or some other relative changing mind is his highest appeal. It begs the question of why he gets to determine good based on his preferences.
Pro has yet to prove that I get to determine what is good based on my preferences. He just assumes it.

In addition to the premises of the moral argument pro should address what I actually claim in stead of what he wants me to believe.

PGA : “Instead, Con turns the tables to make it all about God's morality (GM) and my belief system, thus avoiding the questions (as usual).
Pro refused to share what morality he was referring to (a requirement I clearly mentioned) to make it difficult for me to answer his questions. Confusion is his greatest weapon.

May the truth prevail.
PGA

Pro

How would I refute subjective morality?
“Show that subjective morality or relativism does not make sense, nor can it.”

CON: How would that support the first premise ? Suppose the above is granted, then what ? Pro would have to refute all alternative explanations for morality, not just relativism.

If there is nothing objectively true morally, then subjectivism is left by default. I only have to refute subjectivism/relativism. What is left is objective morality or no morality.

"Ethical subjectivism is the belief that whenever people say something is morally good, they mean they like it or approve of it." Ronald Nash, Life's Ultimate Questions, p.342.

"Ethical Relativism is the belief that conflicting moral beliefs can be true at the same time and in the same sense. These conflicting moral beliefs may exist in the case of two or more individuals or in different cultures (cultural relativism) or in different historical epochs (historical relativism)." p. 343.

Nash lists the implications of Relativism.
1) No moral code can be better than another. Thus, there are no grounds to criticize others.
2) No such thing as moral progress. Nothing is transcendent and objective to judge what is an improvement.
3) Why strive to be better if moral progress is impossible?
4) Accepting ethical relativism means no human being lives better morally than any other.
5) Morally reforms are not possible.
6) All choices are equally good.

What moral relativism does is unravel the moral fabric of societies.

Cross-examination of Con's 3rd Round
I do not understand what Con is getting at with his (AM) and (GM) statements.
Con keeps interjecting God morality (GM) into my statements. Doing so misrepresents my meaning. Although I hold to (GM), I question a subjective moral position. I ask, how two subjective beings holding opposite views on the same issue can both be right? Logically they can't.

***

Con comments on Premise 1 (P1):

"1) First my opponent proposes to prove God exists through the Bible. However, that would if successful, only prove God's existence, not the first premise."

I argued that without God there would be no objective morality, in fact, no morality, just preference - hence, P1: "no God, no objective morality."

I prove the biblical claims for God is sound, via prophecy, which provides soundness to His revelation on morality. God says He does not lie nor change (He speaks the truth and is not relative).

***

Con says regarding "God or impersonal forces. What is the more sensible explanation?” that I create a false dilemma fallacy. He says I assume without justification that these are the only two possible positions."

Con is also ASSERTING here, without support. He thinks that just by stating something he wins the point. Can Con show other viable options? If not, he fails to prove a false dilemma fallacy.

Is my assertion reasonable and sensible?

What are the options for the universe, life, morality?

I claim they result from one of two origins:

1) God as the originator of the universe, life, and morality.
OR,
2) Impersonal, unintentional, blind random chance as the source.


Which option makes sense of the universe?

***

Con falls back on his God-of-the-gaps argument/claim once again. I assert God is more reasonable to believe than evolution-of-the-gaps. Until Con gives reasonable evidence to the contrary, I will let that claim stand.

***

Con: "Second, in the article a possible natural explanation for the rise of consciousness was mentioned. God wasn't."

QUOTE: "How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp."

The article was used to showcase that scientists can't explain how natural causes makes something conscious. They can't make sense of how. With God, I can!

***

I argued the evolutionary system has no teleological end in sight - evolutionary values are always changing and subject to change depending on biological functions and who controls others. Best is never realized. What makes power right?

Con wants to make it depend on "the person, the circumstances and the reference standard of quality."
That does not answer the question. How does a person ever get to a best to compare values without an objective best?
Con just materializes a social convention and calls it best or good.

Why is it best?
Answer: Because Con decides to call it so!

Con: "Again, the answer depends on the people and circumstances."

He can't tie it down. Two opposing conventions can both say the opposite is true. I can list many examples of cultural conventions doing this (example below *).
Con doesn't have a best, but he will argue that what he believes is "good."
"Good" for Con relates to his opinion or the views of a social convention he supports. Why is what he believes good? He won't say.

1) There are no international or multinational treaties that deal directly with abortion.
2) The American Convention on Human Rights...declares human life as commencing with conception.
3) Abortion is allowed in most countries (97 percent)...to save a woman's life. [Not allowed: Holy See, Malta, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua]
4) Abortion in the case of rape or incest...(49 percent)
5) ...[B]ecause of economic or social reasons...(34 percent)
6) ...[A]bortion only on the basis of a woman's request is allowed in 29 percent of all countries..."

So, logically all social conventions can't be equally valued as "right" since contradictions are evident. Con is suggesting a value can have two opposing identities and still be valid in the same meaning.

Would my opponent take such a contradictory stance when describing something physical like a dog? He would not say that a dog is a cat, yet he wants to impose such a standard on moral values. Therefore, his views are inconsistent with logic or reality. They are not SOUND; they do not make SENSE.

***

Con askes what is best?
Answer: It is the ideal or perfect form of the value or object.

Take the teacher's circle. The teacher's representation compares to the perfect.
But Con has no perfect form or ideal regarding morality. He, or his convention, is just made up. Why is that best?

Con would not know what a circle was unless there was an ideal. In the case of morality, he doesn't know what best is. One convention is no better than another if there is no final reference point.

***

Concerning rape:
I asked in Round 3: " Is child abuse/molestation right?"
CON: "No."
Con says he is certain. How does he derive certainty? He just plucks it out of mid-air (magic), UNLESS he can produce a fixed reference point.

In Round 4 I asked: "It SHOULD be wrong by any moral standard. Does Con agree?”
CON says, "...No. However, in my opinion, it would be better if all existing moral standards condemn child rape."

Con believes it is only wrong for some; some condone rape. (Lock up your kids) Con does not believe it is morally evil for every moral standard to allow abusing children for fun. Who would like to live under such rules as rape for fun is permissible?

His view of certainty is put into question by stating his opinion. How does his opinion equate to certainty? Does anyone else see the contradiction? He says he is certain; then he says it is only his opinion.

***

Con asks how God could "create" an objective moral standard?
The standard comes from His being, from who He is. Thus, not created. He doesn't 'choose' it as an option. It is His nature to do what is right and best.


***

Con says if two people oppose a particular issue they 'probably' have different standards of morality. Exactly, and I'm asking which is the correct standard since they both state opposites about the same issue. He continually by-passes the question.

His example about driving in England and America confuses two different physical conditions with a moral condition.

Driving on the right or left is not a moral issue, it is a cultural choice. It only becomes a moral issue when someone breaks the law or causes an accident.

***

I state: “Morality requires mindful being, yet not just any mindful being. Morality is not dependent on Con's belief or my belief. It is independent of either. But morality is necessarily a product of conscious beings. The question is which mind is the necessary mind. Can Con point to that mind(s)? Can Con show his thinking is objective in regards to morality?”

Con poses a logical problem while not identifying X, A, B, or C.
Con calls my argument fallacious.
Con does not represent my position.

I will substitute values into the equation and hopefully make sense of it:
[1] To exist, X (morality) needs support from one person.
[2] A (subjective Amoranemix), B (subjective PGA) and C (Objective God) support X (morality).
[3] [Therefore], X (morality) does not depend on A (subjective Amoranemix), since B (subjective PGA) and C (Objective God) support it.
[4] Also, X (morality) does not depend on B (subjective PGA), since A (subjective Amoranemix) and C (Objective God) support it.
Therefore, X (morality) depends on C (Objective God).

Con continually misrepresents my statement by faulty interpretation/logic.
[1] Not my argument at all. (i.e., support from a necessary person)
[2] Again, not my argument. My argument is that neither A nor B are the required mindful beings needed for morality to exist since it existed before either, but an objective mindful being (C) is necessary.
[3] Therefore denotes a conclusion but no conclusion has yet been reached, hence -> remove it.
[4] Still no conclusion.
[5] (THEREFORE) My argument is that (C = God) is the necessary mindful being. Neither your subjective mind nor mine is what is needed.

***

I never said mathematics is moral. I said logic, math, and morality share qualities of immateriality, eternality and are unchanging. They also require a mind to know them. Human's discover them, not invent them.
Debate Round No. 4
Amoranemix

Con

PGA : “If there is nothing objectively true morally, then subjectivism is left by default. I only have to refute subjectivism/relativism. What is left is objective morality or no morality.”
What pro fails to realize is that they all exist side by side (if one is not too strict for objectivity, as I explained in post 2). No god is required.
Pro also fails to realize that objectivity comes in degrees and ways, as I explained with the circle example. It is both objective and subjective.

Next pro continues to criticize relativism. Supporting the moral argument seems to be the farthest thing from his mind.

PGA : 'Cross-examination of Con's 3rd Round
I do not understand what Con is getting at with his (AM) and (GM) statements.
Con keeps interjecting God morality (GM) into my statements. Doing so misrepresents my meaning.[*] Although I hold to (GM), I question a subjective moral position. I ask, how two subjective beings holding opposite views on the same issue can both be right? Logically they can't.[**]
[*]So pro tells us that he was not using God's moral standard (contrary to what he claimed in the thread). What standard he was using, he keeps refusing to share.
[**] I already explained how that is possible in round 2. Alice approves, while Bob disapproves. They are both right according to their own moral standard.

***

Pro demands alternatives to support the accusation of a false dilemma fallacy regarding natural forces or God.

Other options are obvious. It is up to pro to refute them as unviable. There could be a gazillion deities other than God that through their nature could somehow create morality. After all, pro still hasn't demonstrated that God has the attributes he claims are required to be the source of morality. Moreover, humans could also create morality that way. In addition, morality could be based on well-being and intention, which hardly qualify as forces.

***

Next pro claims that God is more reasonable than evolution-of-the-gaps. He does not counter my criticism of the god-of-the-gaps argument, which therefore stands.

***

Next pro uses a defunct argument to argue that God must have created consciousness. He also boldly assert that he can make sense of the rise of the consciousness with God. Let him prove it. I doubt he will get father than God doing it with his magical powers.

***

Next pro criticizes a part of reality : evolution.

PGA : “Con wants to make it depend on "the person, the circumstances and the reference standard of quality."[*]
That does not answer the question.[**] How does a person ever get to a best to compare values without an objective best?
Con just materializes a social convention and calls it best or good.[***]
[*] Pro is mistaken, for I don't want that. I was describing reality, not my desires.
[**] It is not my duty to answer pro's questions to his satisfaction, especially given my space and time constraints. If he were interested in specific answers, he would have asked specific questions that can be answered shortly, for example by giving the requested information.
[***] Con has not done that, but even if he had and on top of that con were to lie, steal, rape and murder, that still would not support the moral argument.

PGA : “Why is it best?
Answer: Because Con decides to call it so!
I challenge pro to prove that.

PGA :"Good" for Con relates to his opinion or the views of a social convention he supports. Why is what he believes good? He won't say."
Pro committed a loaded question fallacy : he has yet to prove that what I believe is good.

Next pro continues with showing different legislations in different countries regarding abortion. If I understand correctly, that would not be possible if God existed. He also invents desires and behaviours for me and criticizes them.

PGA : “So, logically all social conventions can't be equally valued as "right" since contradictions are evident. Con is suggesting a value can have two opposing identities and still be valid in the same meaning.
Pro is mistaken, as I am suggesting no such thing. Again, pro should focus on the moral argument and my claims in stead of what he would like me to suggest.

***

PGA : “Con askes what is best?
Answer: It is the ideal or perfect form of the value or object.
The problem is of course that perfection and idealism are subjective. They are defined by standards, which are chosen. Pro gives a non-representative example : a circle. For that case everyone in the know agrees what perfection is. However, what about the perfect island, economy, girlfriend or submarine ? No one one here will agree on what qualifies as perfection and it probably even depends on circumstances. Those examples are more representative for our case : morality. What does the perfect morality say about abortions ? Opinions are all over the place, as pro has illustrated.
Hence, what is best usually depends on opinion, while pro's argumentation in round 2 depended on there being an objective best.

***

Concerning rape:
Pro asks me how I can be certain I disapprove of the obnoxious behaviours he listed. I accumulated enough life experience to remember I experienced disapproval when confronted with them (be it via account). What relevance that has, I don't know.

PGA : “Con believes it is only wrong for some; some condone rape. (Lock up your kids) Con does not believe it is morally evil for every moral standard to allow abusing children for fun. Who would like to live under such rules as rape for fun is permissible?
I remind the reader that this debate is not about who has the worst moral standard. I disagree with pro's characterization of my morality, but this is not the place to argue about it. I have already argued about it in the thread 'Objective morality argument'.

Notice how pro is trying to trick people : he is clearly trying to raise disapproval for me and my position for believing that there are moral standards that condone rape for fun. Yet according to the definition I provided about existence and moral standards, people actually use that standard (assuming children are being raped for fun). Hence, I merely believe in an unfortunate aspect of reality, but pro phrases it such to make me look bad.

The Catholic church also has a denial approach regarding sexual abuse of children by clerics. Pretending no priests with such moral standard exist merely aids in hiding the problem. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing it.

PGA : “His view of certainty is put into question by stating his opinion. How does his opinion equate to certainty?[*] Does anyone else see the contradiction? He says he is certain; then he says it is only his opinion.[**]
[*] Pro committed another loaded question fallacy. He has yet to prove that my opinion equates certainty.
[**] I ask reader not to rely on pro to learn about my beliefs and claims. There are big differences between the claims and beliefs he attributes to me and the ones I actually make, respectively hold. In this case for example, my certainty and opinion were on/about two different subjects : the former was about my own moral standard, the latter about used moral standards in general.

***

PGA : “Con asks how God could "create" an objective moral standard?
The standard comes from His being, from who He is. Thus, not created. He doesn't 'choose' it as an option. It is His nature to do what is right and best.
How does that standard come from his being without being created ? What form does it have ? How does it become adopted (i.e. used, required for its existence) by people without them choosing it ? Does God mind-control people to adopt his morality ? What evidence does pro have for that ? Why didn't everyone adopt it ?
If God were to remove his moral influence from the world, would we notice ? Would raping children for fun not be wrong anymore ?

***

Next pro shows that he still hasn't understood that truth does not apply to standards, assuming that is what he means with 'correct'.

PGA : “His example about driving in England and America confuses two different physical conditions with a moral condition.“
Pro failed to understand I had used an analogy.

***

I don't understand how I am supposed to have misrepresented the argument pro relied on other than this important difference : In my ABC-example, the existence of C was assumed. Pro uses a variation that tries to support the existence of C. After eliminating everyone else pro concludes that X must be supported by the one he conveniently did not eliminate : C.

About pro's complaints :
[1] He never demonstrated God is necessary (nor objective).
[2] Of course it existed before A and B, since mindful beings existed before A and B.
[5] Indeed, that is the non-sequitur.

***


I intended to finish with all pro had done in stead of supporting the moral argument, but I prefer to explain some more.

Planet Pluto was discovered in 1930. Pluto was a planet because people (more specifically the astronomic community) decided it was a planet. From 1992 on more and more other bodies similar to Pluto were found and it was inconvenient to all call them planets, so in 1992 the astronomic community voted to demote Pluto to dwarf planet, see news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060824-pluto-planet.html.
Now we have a problem : if Alice says that Pluto is planet and Bob says it is not, who is right ?
Planet-subjectivism clearly does't make sense, so you can redo the whole of pro's argumentation, but this time for planet-objectivism and conclude that you need God for that.

One more thing :
Usually the god-of-the-gaps argument is used to answer scientific questions, but in case of the moral argument, the problems are linguistic : people do not undestand what the words mean. Some even refuse to accept that people decide their meaning. Once we have established the necessary conventions, we can ask scientific questions and search for real answers. We should not let people like pro get in the way of acquiring such knowledge.

May the truth prevail.
PGA

Pro

Abbreviations:
GM - God morality
P - Premise
C - Conclusion
R2/3/4/5 - Round 2/3/4/5/

In my opening arguments (R2) I set out to show the moral argument for God was sound by negating the opposite. Con set up a syllogism that I played along with:

P1. No God; no objective morality.

I listed three reasons to show the reasonableness of God's existence (two in detail) and what would be the case if God did not exist (left with subjectivity/relativism).

P2. Objective morality exists.
I contrasted subjective morality with objective morality in making sense of morality. A fixed 'best' reference point is needed that evolution does not provide.
I laid down the foundation for rational discourse - the Laws of Logic and why subjectivism does not meet them.

C) Therefore, God and objective morality is a sound belief.

Con's Irrationality and Logical Inconsistency
In my outline, I documented 12 self-refuting or inconsistent statements Con made. I will list three due to space requirements:
1)
CON (R2): "Suppose that the statement S is both true and false."
A statement that is both true and false at the same time/same sense is a self-refuting statement. 'S' cannot equal non-S (Identity issues).
2) CON (R3): "...whether claims are true or false depends on what people decide."
Then I choose not to believe Con's statement, therefore (according to Con's logic/standard) my belief is true! I win!

CON (R3): "mathematical claim depends for its truth on opinion and is therefore subjective."
My opinion is 2+2=5 is true because it is my opinion.
How inconsistent is Con's thinking here, to make mathematical truths a matter of opinion?

CON: "Language is a set of agreements used to facilitate communication. That has the uncanny consequence, one my opponent refuses to accept, that whether claims are true or false depends on what people decide."
It does not depend on what people choose to accept but on whether what they believe is so (see my response in R3).

3)
CON (R4): "If an alien civilization that used a different mathematical syntax and vocabulary wrote :
“2-2=4”
Would they be wrong? Would someone be able to prove they are wrong ?"
Yes! 2-2 does not equal 4; it equals 0.
Con's reasoning is flawed. He continues: "Hence, alien mathematics may look completely different, even if it is conceptually the same as ours."
The example is not conceptually the same. 2-2=0; not 4.

A Humdinger of Confusion on Standards

CON: "[M]orality is a standard that applies to behaviour and agents."
Later (see below), Con argues that the only standard that is true is 'the standard of truth.' What is the standard of truth? His subjective behavioral argument (Con chose above) is self-refuting because it undermines this 'standard of truth.'

In a forum debate question, I challenged Con's standard, his highest authority about goodness. I asked for HIS supreme authority in determining this, not mine. He asked what mine was, I told him, then he makes it all about mine. It steers the topic away from him answering my question regarding his subjective standard of authority (CON: "I have also not adopted a moral philosophy that I read about and then liked, but developed my own.").

Then Con makes confusing statements like this, "my opponent thrives on the confusion about the ambiguity of the used moral standards."
Why would I want to believe Con's subjective viewpoint when he holds to a standard (his own) that he has not shown is true?

CON: "Conclusions:
With morality, we mean moral standard.
Moral claims are ambiguous in absence of reference standard."
AGAIN, Con has no basis for a true standard of morality as his statement in R4 demonstrates: "That illustrates something else pro fails to understand, namely that truth does not apply to standards (with possible exceptions, like the standard of truth). Pick any standard and try proving it true or false. You can't. Truth only applies to statements."
Why SHOULD anyone believe that any standard Con uses is true???

Con R2 confuses objective with subjective. The passing of legislature does not make a standard objective; it just makes it the standard used.
Something objective is true. Con lacks such a standard, except the 'standard of truth.'
CON: "Since there is more than one mutually exclusive standard that one could use, that necessarily implies choosing one. That would make all morality subjective."
Con confuses what is right with what is preferred. Preferring something does not make it right. Who in their right mind would say that raping children for fun is right?

Evolution of the Gaps
Con's 'address' of the God-of-the-gaps show just what I claimed, an evolution-of-the-gaps. He says:
"Therefore, given a mystery, history teaches us that if it will ever be solved, the explanation will most likely be a natural one, not a divine one."
(i.e., Evolution-of-the-gaps)

Alice and Bob

CON:
"If two people are opposing each other about what is right, they are probably referring to different moral standards.
Alice: “Jumping is right, while crouching is wrong.”
Bob: “Crouching is right, while jumping is wrong.”
Both may be correct, as long as they use different meaning for right and wrong, i.e. refer to different moral standards.
Jumping or crouching is not a prescriptive moral issue. It is a descriptive preference, like, taste.

CON (R4):
"Suppose Alice in England says: “It is right to drive on the left side of the road.”
At the same time Bob in the USA says: “It is wrong to drive on the left side of the road.”
They are 'clearly' contradicting each other. So who of them is right ?”
No, the cultural preference in England is different from the USA, but the result of breaking the law (morality) is the same.

CON (R5): "I already explained how that is possible in round 2. Alice approves, while Bob disapproves. They are both right according to their own moral standard."

Con's statements are not rationally defensible. For one thing, Con confuses moral right with subjective preference. He also conflates the Law of Identity and Noncontradiction, as I already explained. Try these on for size:
Alice - A dog is a cat!
Bob - A dog is a dog!
Are they both right?

Alice - I like ice-cream! Therefore ice-cream is good!
Bob - I don't like ice-cream! Therefore ice-cream is evil!

Alice - Your 'good' is bad/wrong!
Bob - My 'good' is good/right!
According to Con, they are both right.

Alice - It is good to murder for fun.
Bob - It is wrong to murder for fun.
According to Con, there is no contradiction because what a person believes depends on his subjective preference.

Alice - "Don't like rape, don't do it!"
Alice - "I like to murder for fun; it is good, but you do not have to hold to my standards.
Bob - "Don't rape because it is evil."
Bob - "Murder is evil, regardless of how Alice perceives it."
This is the consequences of faulty thinking. Any standard can be passed as 'right.'

Cons Code of Conduct - Ad hominem and Poisoning the Well
Con continually makes statements that imply my argument is deficient to sway the vote:
1) CON (R4): "Pro will not allow his ignorance, the foundation of his God-belief, to be weakened."
2) CON: "This subtopic illustrates typical behavior of pro. He blows smoke, sows doubt around the topic and criticizes his opponent's worldview, hoping to create enough confusion to give the impression I am wrong and that maybe God is the solution."
This tactic is precisely what Con is doing here - blowing smoke, sowing doubt and criticizing my view to give the impression he is right. My ambition was to show that the moral argument for God is sound. That means undermining the ability of a subjective/relative position to make sense of morality adequately.
3) CON (R5): "We should not let people like pro get in the way of acquiring such knowledge."
Pro poisons the well. "People like me"? Is Con insinuating that I am as dumb as a church mouse, that I get in the way of knowledge because I do not approach life the same way he does?

Summary: Why the Moral Argument for God is Sound
1. The moral argument is logically sound. There is an objective, unchanging, universal, personal source of morality. In opposition, Con's argument lacks objectivity raising the valid point of who is right and how two opposing value systems can both be right regarding the same issue. Rationality goes out the window.
2. There can be a certainty because the basis for morality has a fixed, unchanging source if this necessary being exists. In opposition, evolution is constantly changing, and there is no reason behind it. 'Reason' is injected into it by people. The very fact that we can find reason in the natural realm suggests reason behind the natural realm.
3. Moral values cannot be seen. In opposition, how does an evolutionary process arrive at the immaterial, intangible? Con never explained how this was possible.
4. Moral values affect every area of human life. The Bible has an answer for this - people are made in the image and likeness of God. We reflect His values to a lesser degree. I asked Con to explain how evolutionary naturalism is capable of values. It is indifferent to morality or survival because evolution does not reason or care.
5. God is an answer for how moral values are possible. Con did not give me a reason how values are derived from a piece of granite or mindless matter because values require consciousness. We witness mindful beings producing other mindful beings, so it is SOUND to believe an eternal mindful, moral Being is the necessary being. I have nothing to dispute in respect to an evolutionary worldview. No answer was forthcoming (evolution-of-the-gaps).
6. My belief is consistent with objective morality. I know raping children for fun is wrong. Con's belief is inconsistent. Con sees that raping children for fun is close to a universal standard (wrong), yet he sees it as possible that someone could develop a moral system where such a belief was not held. Therefore, Con reasons that it is not universally wrong to rape children for fun, just that he is certain it is wrong for him.

Please judge grammar and spelling.
Debate Round No. 5
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
PGA : "YOU: "You passionately want to believe in God and only the evidence that supports that belief matters."

ME: "You passionately don't want to believe in God and the evidence that supports this belief."

YOU: "You are mistaken. I no more want to not believe in God than I want to not believe in Santa Claus, Vishnu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Ghosts of Flight 401. You on the other hand are much more passionate about believing in God than in than in any of those other beings."

The very fact that you attach the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Santa Claus to a belief in the biblical God shows your gullibility and extreme bias.

PGA : "There is logical, coherent evidence for God's existence. The prophetic evidence is not something I have found an atheist making a reasonable evidence against."

YOU: "Perhaps there is, but in that case I am either unaware of it (which would be strange, given that I debate Christians) or it is not sufficient to make God's existence plausible, especially considering the evidence against God's existence (the evidence you ignore, remember ?)"

You are not aware of it because you don't want to be aware of it.
You generally debate a particular mindset, a futurist mindset, when you debate Christians.
Your bias prevents you from being aware of the evidence since you dismiss everything that does not agree with you as the final arbiter.
Your belief is not neutral. It is well invested in a particular worldview.
Posted by Amoranemix 5 months ago
Amoranemix
I notice you have again tacitly conceded most of our contentions. That illustrates what I mean when I refer to the landslide with which I win our debates. I am then not talking about command of English, quantity of links or ability to convince people who don't think, but about consistency with reality in general and specifically on the the debate topic.

PGA : "YOU: "PGA, post 177 to Double_R in http://www.debate.org......... : "The data requires an interpretation and where you start is how you tend to look at it. The paradigm shifts as new evidence is brought to light with science."
YOU: "Sceptics adapt their beliefs to the evidence."
That was one of my points. The paradigm is always changing. Where does truth start - with who?"
That point was probably relevant in your forum post. Here it is just another red herring.

PGA : "YOU: "You passionately want to believe in God and only the evidence that supports that belief matters."
You passionately don't want to believe in God and the evidence that supports this belief."
You are mistaken. I no more want to not believe in God than I want to not believe in Santa Claus, Vishnu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Ghosts of Flight 401. You on the other hand are much more passionate about believing in God than in than in any of those other beings.

PGA : "There is logical, coherent evidence for God's existence. The prophetic evidence is not something I have found an atheist making a reasonable evidence against."
Perhaps there is, but in that case I am either unaware of it (which would be strange, given that I debate Christians) or it is not sufficient to make God's existence plausible, especially considering the evidence against God's existence (the evidence you ignore, remember ?)
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
PGA : "So, from the time I posted my R2 response on the first debate (Friday, September 15, at around 3A.M.) until your 2nd debate R3 there was a period of one month (Nov. 5). That is twelve days ex"
That is a non-sequitur. I posted my third round long before November 5th.
I posted the first round of the third installment on 19/9, the second on 20/9 and the fourth on 24/9. That last day being a Sunday, it is therefore likely I posted round 3 on 23/11.

YOU: "Hence I had one more week, but that time was not wholly available for that round as I needed to discuss the issue and repost two rounds."

Okay, you needed more time. Why did you not just ask for it?

I asked you a couple of times to re-post ASAP because of the delay. I asked you to arrange a time when we could both be available to get caught up.

***

ME: "I see you are online now. Are you ready to tackle the transfer?"

YOU: "I still don't understand why 'the transfer' needs to be coordinated or be made in a hurry.
In addition, airmax1227 and Wylted have not yet responded."

ME: "There is an obligation when committing to a debate. The timeframe of 72 hours for your argumentation to be posted has expired. For the sake of the debate if you need extra time then just ask. If not, then what is the problem? To be fair, your argument should be posted ASAP since your time expired at roughly 4AM on Friday morning. So, two days have already passed. As I said, to transfer the data will take awhile on my part. I may need around 1-2 hours in all to make the format the same."

The point is you were delaying, stalling for time.
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
YOU: "I notice you have tacitly conceded most of my contentions."

I don't know what you are talking about.

YOU: "What you also forgot to mention is that you declined the first debate challenge out of carelessness."

I was under no obligation until the debate was accepted. Once the debate was accepted then I was under obligation to meet the time requirements stated in the debate. You failed to do this. I did not.

PGA : "You KNEW you had 36 minutes left to post. YOU STATED AS MUCH."
And ?

You purposely forfeited the round which led to a lot of complications.

PGA : "You started the D2 on September 19th. I accepted quickly after the initial restart, your R2 began in Belgium @ 9:11 AM, September 22, 2017."
How do you know that ?

I asked Google the time in Belgium at that point in time.
Posted by Amoranemix 5 months ago
Amoranemix
I notice you have tacitly conceded most of my contentions.

What you also forgot to mention is that you declined the first debate challenge out of carelessness.

PGA : "You KNEW you had 36 minutes left to post. YOU STATED AS MUCH."
And ?

PGA : "You started the D2 on September 19th. I accepted quickly after the initial restart, your R2 began in Belgium @ 9:11 AM, September 22, 2017."
How do you know that ?

PGA : "So, from the time I posted my R2 response on the first debate (Friday, September 15, at around 3A.M.) until your 2nd debate R3 there was a period of one month (Nov. 5). That is twelve days ex"
That is a non-sequitur. I posted my third round long before November 5th.
I posted the first round of the third installment on 19/9, the second on 20/9 and the fourth on 24/9. That last day being a Sunday, it is therefore likely I posted round 3 on 23/11.

Hence I had one more week, but that time was not wholly available for that round as I needed to discuss the issue and repost two rounds.
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
PGA : "I agree the vote does not always reflect who is right for the very reason that we all carry worldview bias in every decision we make. When you leave the judgment or outcome of a debate to be judged by others you do not always get a favorable outcome to your position. One factor of the outcome could depend on how well you out-debated your opponent. I don't believe you did this."

YOU: "In my opinion, as someone who care about truth and thus clarity, it should be made clear, probably in the OP, what the vote should be about. I am inclined to present a list of criteria voters should score and leave it to the voters how much weight they assign to each criterion.

Oh yeah, like what?
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
ME: "I understand that you care passionately about your worldview as being true. So do I about mine. I would not hold to what I believe if I did not believe it to be true."

YOU: "You are mistaken. That is a big difference between us. I care about believing what is true. If I am wrong, I want to know about."

YOU: "PGA, post 177 to Double_R in http://www.debate.org...... : "The data requires an interpretation and where you start is how you tend to look at it. The paradigm shifts as new evidence is brought to light with science."
YOU: "Sceptics adapt their beliefs to the evidence."

That was one of my points. The paradigm is always changing. Where does truth start - with who?

YOU: "You passionately want to believe in God and only the evidence that supports that belief matters."

You passionately don't want to believe in God and the evidence that supports this belief.

There is logical, coherent evidence for God's existence. The prophetic evidence is not something I have found an atheist making a reasonable evidence against.
Posted by Amoranemix 5 months ago
Amoranemix
There are criteria that are truth related : number of false claims, fallacies and arguments won/lost. Those are more indicative of who is right. When I claim I won forum debates from, I rely on such criteria. I understand you dislike these.
The first two criteria also relate to the quality of the debate.
They also relate to respect : trying to deceive the audience is disrespectful.

"I understand that you care passionately about your worldview as being true. So do I about mine. I would not hold to what I believe if I did not believe it to be true."
You are mistaken. That is a big difference between us. I care about believing what is true. If I am wrong, I want to know about.
PGA, post 177 to Double_R in http://www.debate.org... : "The data requires an interpretation and where you start is how you tend to look at it. The paradigm shifts as new evidence is brought to light with science."
Sceptics adapt their beliefs to the evidence. You passionately want to believe in God and only the evidence that supports that belief matters.

PGA : "I agree the vote does not always reflect who is right for the very reason that we all carry worldview bias in every decision we make. When you leave the judgment or outcome of a debate to be judged by others you do not always get a favorable outcome to your position. One factor of the outcome could depend on how well you out-debated your opponent. I don't believe you did this."
In my opinion, as someone who care about truth and thus clarity, it should be made clear, probably in the OP, what the vote should be about. I am inclined to present a list of criteria voters should score and leave it to the voters how much weight they assign to each criterion.
Posted by Amoranemix 5 months ago
Amoranemix
PGA : "YOU: "[*] I have explained why I used less sources. In what way are your sources supposed to be more reliable ?"
You, for the most part, were your own source of authority. Need I say more?"
If you want to support your claim, yes.

"I used well thought of scholars on the conservative side of the aisle, as well as a few on the other side of the aisle. These people have proven that they are not light-weights in their respective fields of expertise."
The problem is that your sources don't support your position any more than mine. Me linking to a geographer claiming the earth is round or a historian claiming Nero was not as bad an emperor as is thought, should not earn me an points either.

PGA : "[**] What was wrong with my grammar ?
[ . . . ]"
Some of your objections seem valid, but
- I lacked time in round 5, not without your help.
- You are nitpicking.
I was not paying attention to your spelling and grammar. That illustrates how we have different priorities.

"The grammatical section is worth one point (quite rightly, IMO). The aim of judging grammar, IMO, is an appeal to professionalism. The reason, I feel, that it is included is because the Forum cares about the quality of the debate (not only in the truth claim argument and which argument is more logical or reasonable)."
Professionalism ? I am an amateur.
A problem (for me) with such criteria is that they tend to be deceitful. If you had won based on spelling and grammar, you would not have sold your victory as demonstrating your better command of English. You would have just mentioned you won and let the audience reach the natural conclusion that you therefore had a better case. You would thus have successfully deceived them. That is probably the real reason why you want spelling and grammar to count.

[to be continued]
Posted by PGA 5 months ago
PGA
ME: "You left some of the debate until Saturday, then you ran into time restraints because you were not paying attention.[*] That is not my problem.[**]"

YOU: "*] With your selective quoting it may indeed look that way."

You KNEW you had 36 minutes left to post. YOU STATED AS MUCH.

YOU: "[**] Indeed, but what was your problem - which at first I didn't realize - was that I forfeited a round. That was why you wanted a clause in the next debate so that that would not happen again. Initially I thought you were being honourable."

My problem was that you agreed to the 72-hour timeline and you failed to live up to it. I wanted a clause so this did not happen again.

ME: "This stalling for more time because of defaulting left you a few weeks in which to reorganize. So, your 3rd round time restraint was very generous."

YOU: "I didn't stall and days hardly qualify as a few weeks.
Nonetheless, I grant that should have worked in my favour."

The debate was initiated on Monday, September 4, 2017.
If the 72-hour timeline is followed to the day, the day you forfeited the round would have been 15 days later. My request to Wylted to be a judge once again went out on Monday, September 18, 2017. The new debate started on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 (9/19/2017). To get each stage of the debate caught up to where you forfeited it took around two weeks.
Dsjpk5 and Whiteflame judged the debate 3 weeks ago. That would be around October 15th-19th.

You started the D2 on September 19th. I accepted quickly after the initial restart, your R2 began in Belgium @ 9:11 AM, September 22, 2017. I posted quickly once again whereas you took almost the full amount of time. I posted my R2 as soon as I knew you had posted then I waited once again for a few days for you to post your R3.

So, from the time I posted my R2 response on the first debate (Friday, September 15, at around 3A.M.) until your 2nd debate R3 there was a period of one month (Nov. 5). That is twelve days ex
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 6 months ago
whiteflame
AmoranemixPGATied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 6 months ago
dsjpk5
AmoranemixPGATied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Rfd in comments.