The Instigator
Microsuck
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Reason_Alliance
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

The moral argument for the existence of God is sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Reason_Alliance
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,943 times Debate No: 23177
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (224)
Votes (4)

 

Microsuck

Con

Resolved: The moral argument for the existence of God is sound

This debate is in response to my opponent's forum post challenging the atheistig debaters to the moral argument.

Definitions:

The moral argument -

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values & duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

Good luck.

You may argue in the first round, but if you do, you should not argue in the final roudn to keep the number of arguments even.

Reason_Alliance

Pro

Thank you David for accepting my broad challenge to the Atheistic worldview.


Preliminary Remarks
Normally I argue in an ethos where I propose a superior ontological grounding of morals while my opponent has her own metaphysical basis on offer. Such a backdrop pits the combatants in a more "strike-block" encounter, allowing one side to argue for their case and defend it and vice versa. With this debate however, though the same encounter will undoubtably take precedence regarding sub-arguments, nevertheless my position will remain, on average, in an overall defensive "block only" condition.


(There are more jargon-rich names for what I've just described yet I find those terms boring compared to my days as a power ranger.)


Now such a debate can seem like the defending position is losing terribly by virtue of of the inherent criticism alone. Yet apart from all contrivances, and when viewed in it's totality, and even though some of the truth value of the premises will be found less obvious, nevertheless insofar as 51% of the rest persists unscathed and still obvious to us; then we're within our rational right to affirm the soundness of the argument. It will therefore be my opponents job to strike only, while I block; and as long as the blocking or rebutting is successful then I've done my duty in showing the moral argument to be sound.


Definitions
Objective: valid & binding regardless of human opinion
Moral values: Good & bad, which bespeaks moral worth.
Moral duties: Right & wrong, which bespeaks moral obligation.
Moral Epistemology: How we come to know moral truth.
Moral Ontology: A Meta-Ethical claim about the objective status of moral properties.

Soundness: A valid argument where and all of its premises are more plausibly true than its denials.
Law Of Identity: If you have A, then you have A.

http://www.debate.org...



Debate Round No. 1
Microsuck

Con

I thank my partner for accepting this debate and agreeing to debate this. Because he did not post any arguments in the previous round, I suppose he was using that for terms.

1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist.

This simply does not logically follow. It is like saying, "If the objective moral ferries do not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist. Moreover, I wish to respond to this argument using the Euthyphor's dilemma; namely, is good and evil good and evil because God says so, or because it is already good and evil? There is a serious problem: If good and evil is good and evil simply because God says so, we beg the question under what basis does God determine the good and the evil? If it is subjective to God, then how can it be objective to us? If it is already good and evil, then there is no reason to conclude the basic premise of the DCT.


Let’s further consider the premises of the DCT. How does one determine these objective moral facts? Under what basis should we choose the Bible over the Quran, Book of Mormon, or any other ancient document that claims to be of divine revelation?[1]

Some have responded in saying that this is a false dilemma because there is a third option; namely, that good and evil is determined by God’s character. However, this does not adequately refute the dilemma, as Michael Martin notes in his 1997 essay “Atheism, Christianity, and Rape”:[2]

“[A]ppealing to God's character only postpones the problem since the dilemma can be reformulated in terms of His character. Is God's character the way it is because it is good or is God's character good simply because it is God's character? Is there an independent standard of good or does God's character set the standard? If God's character is the way it is because it is good, then there is an independent standard of goodness by which to evaluate God's character. For example, suppose God condemns rape because of His just and merciful character. His character is just and merciful because mercy and justice are good. Since God is necessarily good, God is just and merciful. According to this independent standard of goodness, being merciful and just is precisely what a good character involves. In this case, even if God did not exist, one could say that a merciful and just character is good. Human beings could use this standard to evaluate peoples' character and actions based on this character. They could do this whether or not God exists.

Suppose God's character is good simply because it is God's character. Then if God's character were cruel and unjust, these attributes would be good. In such a case God might well condone rape since this would be in keeping with His character. But could not one reply that God could not be cruel and unjust since by necessity God must be good? It is true that by necessity God must be good. But unless we have some independent standard of goodness then whatever attributes God has would by definition be good: God's character would define what good is. It would seem that if God could not be cruel and unjust, then God's character must necessarily exemplify some independent standard of goodness. Using this standard one could say that cruelty and injustice are not good whether God exists or not.”

Moreover, this attempt to avoid this dilemma has more issues than the one Michael Martin listed above. Michael continues:[3]

“It assumes that there would not be an objective morality without God. However, this seems to beg the question against an objective atheistic ethics. After all, wht would the nonexistence of God adversely affect the goodness of mercy, compassion, and justice? Yet, this is precisely what would happen if being part of God’s character created the goodness of mercy, compassion, and justice. This point can perhaps be made in another way. One could affirm the objective immorality of rape and deny the existence of God with perfect consistency. There is no contradiction in claiming, ‘Rape is objectively evil and God does not exist.’”



2. Objective moral values & duties do exist.

I concede this premise. I will bring forth my moral theories in the next round if my partner desires. I have shown that premise 1 is not sound and doesn’t logically follow. Therefore, I urge a vote for con.



[1] Martin, Michael. "The Transcendental Argument for the Nonexistence of God." Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, Naturalism, Skepticism and Secularism. The Secular Web, 1996. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://www.infidels.org...;.

[2] Martin, Michael. "Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape (1997)." Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape. The Internet Infidels, 1997. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://www.infidels.org...;.

[3] Ibid.

Reason_Alliance

Pro

Rebutting Objection to P1
Con said P1 somehow doesn't follow, yet surely many prominant secularists are indeed dedicated to the premise, Neitzsche, Sartre, etc.

Failed Parody
First Con attempts to parody P1 with with a straw-man,

"If the objective moral ferries do not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist"

^ the problem with this parody is that I'm not arguing for a contingent being (fairy). Rather I'm positing a metaphysically necessary non-contingent being, who's existence is either possible or impossible: a far cry from river sprites! Of course P1 for river sprites don't follow, but that's not what's being proposed. P1, hence, stands firm against this silly (albeit all to common) objection.

Euthyphor's dilemma
The Euthyphro’s Dilemma also fails as a strong objection since it not only takes the argument out of context, but alse becomes a false dilemma; it presents me with choosing either,


1) a Theistic-Independent moral theory or;

2) a Theistic-Dependent theory, but which is arbitrary


First let's look at (1). The dilemma is construed for Atheistic Moral Platonism (AMP), against theism. For the non-nihilist, AMP is needed in place of non-explanatory assertions of moral objectivity being that such assertions have proved arbitrary & implausible. But does AMP fair any better since it attempts to anchor morals in a non-theistic transcendent ground by essentially saying they “just exist?”

It doesn’t appear so, since what does it mean to say 'justice' just exists? A person can be just, but with the absence of people, how can justice “just exist?” Since an abstract 'justice' itself isn’t just, then without people justice can’t exist! But that idea seems to contradict the AMP hypothesis.

As an important aside, with the Christian God certain virtues would exist as a unity between the Father, Son & Holy Spirit in a timeless and space-less state prior to creation. God is, in essence, a Trinity of persons. Just as you have the mental faculties and capacities to constitute one person, so God has the mental faculties and capacities to constitute 3 persons, 3 seats of consciousness, all in a love unity from eternity past.

Now at best, AMP leaves moral truths floating in an unintelligible way, lacking any adequate foundation. Furthermore, moral obligation is incompatible with AMP: for suppose duty indeed "just exists" Platonically, how then does that result in obligation? An obligation towards wrong may exist too; why not commit wrong actions? Theism, however, as described above, provides a more plausible basis for the moral realist under Divine Command Theory.

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

We’ve seen how AMP is a highly arbitrary basis for morals, but how does the plausibility of AMP fair? Well it seems absurd to think that creatures would blindly evolve to correspond to abstract moral realms! (It’s almost as though the moral realm knew we were coming). It's more plausible that the moral and natural realm would coincide under a Creator-Law-giver hegemony then to think these two realms "just meshed."

So it seems that at first glance the Atheist-moral realist is beholden to the same dilemma, all I have to do now is show which moral ontology is more plausible and less arbitrary then that of AMP.

Second, let's look at (2) a Theistic-Dependent theory, but which is arbitrary. The proper context: Plato's Republic, deals witha mythology of gods, which is something very different from the dilemma presented by the modern atheist. For a plurality of gods with different moral opinions is no doubt a hard problem for Euthyphro, but modern Christians do not believe in a multiplicity of gods with differing opinions; they're simply so utterly unlike the Christian God.

The Trinity is the true source of morals for the Christian. It is clear that in this understanding of God, He could not be other than what He is, not only because it is ontologically inconceivable for God to be other than what He is, but also because of the fact that for the Persons of the Trinity to relate to any other way would mean the dissolution of the Trinity itself! Hence the very identity of God is this unity, or basis of value. Therefore, for God to not be the standard of Good, is to cease having his very identity; and identity is a necessary relation. There is no possible world in which some entity A is not identical to A. This doesn’t at all seem arbitrary once one grasps the concept of a maximally great being. What could BE a more plausible and less arbitrary ground for moral truth?

The love, which God commands, is not arbitrary for it is grounded in the ontological and ethical necessities of His own being. So asking what makes God good would be like asking what makes the number 5 possess it's five-ness? The question is just as meaningless as asking why can't God make a round circle, or create a stone which he himself cannot lift? Such questions come from misguided preconceptions of Theology unstudied.

Would Socrates have posed the same kind of questions about this kind of God? He certainly could not have referred to jealousy and strife between the Persons of the Trinity and questioned our ability to know what pleases God, as if what were pleasing to the Father might not be pleasing to the Son.

Moral duties, then are grounded in Divine Commands, and moral values are grounded in God as the triune unity of all love and goodness. So neither are God’s commands arbitrary or independent, for they are necessary reflections of himself.

Why pick God’s nature as definitive of the Good?” Because God, by definition, is the greatest conceivable being, and a being that stands as the paradigm of goodness is greater than one who just exemplifies it. Thus the non-nihilist must recognize some ultimate standard and God has been offered as the least arbitrary, hence the more preferable.

Rebut Conclusion
Now I've just shown how Con gave a straw-man parody, and an out-of-context dilemma. Further, one can see how Martin's revised dilemma amounts to nothing more than a semantic game, similar to meaningless and out-dated parodox's.

Argument Defense
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist.

In support of premise one, the argument doesn't explicitly reach God as a basis for objective morals, rather it's implicit in the first premise and emerges in its defense (as witnessed).

Contra-Martin, observe that the issue before us is NOT,

〻 Must we believe in God to have moral lives?
〻 Can we formulate an ethics system without reference to God?
〻 Can we recognize the existence of objective morals without reference to God?

These questions are all based on a misunderstanding of the argument. For it confuses God's existence with belief in God's existence: the argument isn't whether belief in God is necessary for objective morality, rather it's that God's existence is necessary for the existence of objective morality. Thus moral ontology shouldn't be confused with our moral epistemology.

Theists and secular humanists alike, indeed everyone can appeal to their intuition of morals; for even the bible says God's law is "written on the hearts" of all men-- Christian or non-Christian. Thus the central question about morals concerns their ontological foundation, not how we can know them.

It's not obvious to see that atheism provides a logical foundation for objective morals, for our sense of morals on naturalism is only an illusion wrought by socio-biological conditioning.

Premise 2: Objective moral values & duties do exist.
It seems that our moral experience is on a par with our sensory experience. We perceive external truths just as we perceive the internal truth of morals. In moral experience we apprehend a realm of objective morals, just as in sensory experience we apprehend a realm of the physical world.

Yet Con concedes premise 2 already.

Therefore, since premises one and two are more plausible and obvious, it necessarily and logically follows that God exists. Objective moral prescriptions requires a prescriber.

Debate Round No. 2
Microsuck

Con

Thank you for your swift reply. I'm sorry I have taken so long for my response. I wish you the best of luck.

--->DEFENDING MY ARGUMENTS<---

PREMISE 1: IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST, THEN OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES & DUTIES DO NOT EXIST

A. A PARODY

My partner does not quite understand what I am arguing. I am arguing that this is the fallacy of the non sequitur; namely, that it simply does not follow. [1] What this parody attempts to show is that the argument is a non sequitur. Why does this argument prove Bible god over Qu'ran God or Book of Mormon god?

B. THE EUTHYOPHRO'S DILEMMA

This dilemma basically asks whether or not something is good simply because God says so, or because it is already good and evil. Unfortunately, my partner plagarized his response to the dilemma http://www.berith.org...; and therefore, I will not respond to his rebuttals. I am debating you and not your source. When you respond to the dilemma properly (i.e., without plagarizing), we can continue from there. I urge a con vote for the conduct.

--->Contra Pro<---

PREMISE 1: IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST, THEN OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES & DUTIES DO NOT EXIST

My partner hasn't really argued anything here. He has simply asked us questions:


〻 Must we believe in God to have moral lives?
〻 Can we formulate an ethics system without reference to God?
〻 Can we recognize the existence of objective morals without reference to God?

Let's start with the first part. Do we really have to believe in God to live moral lives? According to Pro (and the scripture he has provided) the answer is no. I agree and will not respond to that qwuery.


Second, can we formulate an ethics system without references to God? I believe that we can. My partner has not shown that we cannot so as of now, it is simply a bare assertion.

I want to ask my partner a few questions.[2] In 1 Samuel 15:3, "God" says this: "No go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him: but put to death both man and woman, child and infant.."

Questions:
  1. Was "Put to death both man and woman, child and infant" the word of the Lord whom you worship?
  2. Can God issue that same command today? Why or why not?
  3. If you did believe you were commanded by God, could you and would you obey?
    1. If not, why not?

I'm out of time to go any further. Good luck.

REFERENCES

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...(literary_device)
2. Questions inspired from http://www.infidels.org...;
Reason_Alliance

Pro

A
I understand Con's attempt to show the argument as a non sequitur. Problem is, his claim of a non sequitur is itself based on a fallacy; a straw man, namely that I should be arguing for a specific deity, or a contingent being. But I'm arguing for just theism in general; and for a non-contingent maximally great being as the standard of moral truth himself.



(So in essence, the fallacy of which I'm accused is based upon a fallacy of it's own... it's a shame that fallacies don't cancel each other out, because Con would maybe have a case!)


So arguing for a specific deity isn't my aim, just because I showed a Christian model for conceptualizing 'how' all love can be grounded in the Triune God, it wasn't my aim to use my Rev's material for arguing specifically for the Christian God. (or to plagiarize it in an academic sense, but now I know the site's not loosey-goosey about the issue, my faut pas).



Now being that the moral argument attempts to prove theism in general, I'm not concerned with other religions but instead I'm arguing for the objectivity of morals and their ontological basis in a maximally great reality, God. Such a being is greater if he is the standard of morals rather than just exemplifying morals. This doesn't have to be Allah, the Christian God, etc.



B
My rebuttal was in fact this,


"asking what makes God good would be like asking what makes the number 5 possess it's five-ness? The question is just as meaningless as asking why can't God make a round circle, or create a stone which he himself cannot lift?"


I think Con has confused God, a non-contingent being, with a contingent being; or something reflecting a moral character like every other contingent being, rather than Something being the moral standard, in itself subsisting.


Martin's Euthyphro's dilemma
Martin's revised Euthyphro's dilemma, therefore, is simply a play on words and doesn't confront us with any obvious dilemma. Martin's argument doesn't apply to a non-contingent entity. This is why no philosopher takes the dilemma seriously, for it's simply viewed as a verbal game. The alleged dilemma applies to a contingent god who can have a good character, but it doesn't apply to a non-contingent God who exists within the necessity of his own nature.



Thus we're presented with a semantic game at best, NOT a knock down argument for premise one. At best what Con does is arbitrarily place the standard which defines God and moves it to platonism, but as I've said, Atheistic moral platonism is more arbitrary than a metaphysically necessary being as the grounds for morals himself! So not only does Con move the definition of God to a story lower, as a contingent being, without any reason or justification, but he moves the moral ontology to a more arbitrary and less plausible level than if it were placed, ontologically, in a non-contingent God!



Folks, this simply does nothing at all to refute premise 1! It's just an old out-of-context-argument boxed into the corner of a verbal game. Whenever a substantive argument moves from a logic-based contest to a semantically based contest, then it seems to me the argument is won on the side still using logic.



Remember I'm arguing for a necessarily existing metaphysical and ontological ground for moral value; that is God. God as the necessary foundation for moral value is the most plausible and least arbitrary basis for morals. That's what I'm arguing for,


" for God to not be the standard of Good, is to cease having his very identity; and identity is a necessary relation. There is no possible world in which some entity A is not identical to A"


Atheistic Support for P1
We've all heard the overused cliché, "God is Love," well that's implicit in P1. Indeed hailed Atheists themselves are committed to the premise. As 'G. Eliot' praised her new found “Religion of Humanity”vis a vis with the death of God, Nietzsche complained at this saying, “They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality.” (1968, p. 69)



Nietzsche argued that such a superficial understanding is very much inconsistent exclaiming, “Moral judgments agree with religious ones in believing in realities which are no realities.” Nietzsche rightfully claimed nihilism at God’s grave, asserting, “There are altogether no moral facts,” because he believed that neither were there theological facts. Fellow atheists hadn’t yet grasped Nietzsche’s lament however. And it seems to me that advocates of new atheism hasn't grasped the situation either,


http://www.amazon.com...



Premise 1
Therefore, we've reached something of a trilemma for the Atheist which is thusly,


1) either choose a less plausible and more arbitrary ontological basis for moral value than;
2) a maximally great being who necessarily exists as the basis; or,
3) choose nihilism.


Con's already a committed non-nihilist, all I can do is offer a more plausible and less arbitrary ontological basis for the moral value he so desperately wants to affirm. But to merely show the moral argument to be sound, I just need to argue in favor of the plausibility of morals grounded in God over the plausinility of morals grounded in Atheistic Moral Platonism (AMP). Which I have already done. There are other non-theistic moral ontologies I'l like to refute at less plausible, but alas they have as yet to be offered.


Red-Herring
Now here we come to a major misunderstanding of the argument: Pay careful attention: I said that what the argument does not have anything to do with is,



〻 Must we believe in God to have moral lives? (my answer; belief in God isn't required, no)
〻 Can we formulate an ethics system without reference to God? (My answer; of course we can formulate an ethics system)
〻 Can we recognize the existence of objective morals without reference to God? (My answer; Con certainly does, so yes)


But Con thinks I'm asking these irrelevant questions, which is evident when he says,


"My partner hasn't really argued anything here. He has simply asked us questions"


^no, I made a line of distinction between such misplaced questions. The line was between,


how we can discover morals versus the proper metaphysical basis for morals.


In other words our moral epistemology versus moral ontology. The former involves those questions, the latter does not, and it's the latter of which concerns the argument.
Here's a diagram to help,



http://www.debate.org...



So Con's attempt to actually answer these questions are just stalling his rebuttal by drawing out conclusions about what I've already shown to be useless to our debate.



But then Con goes into an even bigger red-herring. He asks a question regarding the doctrine of biblical inerrancy! Such a doctrine is wholly irrelevant to the issue of our moral basis.



Now I'd be happy to answer this question but it's answer, whether adequate or inadequate still remains a separate issue, and goes nowhere to confirm or disconfirm the moral argument itself. For suppose I'm a theist but not on the basis of the Bible?



Nevertheless I'll open a forum regarding these question and post it's link in my final rebuttal for those interested, since I agree they are good questions regarding biblical inerrancy.



Conclusion
Now I was promised in the comments section a more plausible and less arbitrary moral ontology from Con. But he hasn't given one except the implicit ontology in the Euthyphro's dilemma (Atheistic Moral Platonism AMP). But I've already shown this ontology to be lacking as compared to Theism's ontology for moral truths, specifically, in terms of plausibility and arbitrariness. Thus P1 remains more plausible than its denials, and Con affirms P2; so therefore it follows the conclusion that God exists. The moral argument is hence indeed sound.
Debate Round No. 3
Microsuck

Con


Thank you for a great debate. Generally, the last round I like to keep for summaries and closings. I don't like adding new arguments/rebuttals to the argument.

PREMISE 1

A. Non sequior

I argued that the first premise does not logically follow to which my partner claims is a straw man. The only problem is that it is not a straw man. If I can make any parody argument sound that is contradictory, then the original argument is unsound.

B.

"I think Con has confused God, a non-contingent being, with a contingent being; or something reflecting a moral character like every other contingent being, rather than Something being the moral standard, in itself subsisting."

Yet what is a contingent being vs. a non-contingent being? Moreover, in some theologies God is a contingent being such as Christianity which teaches the trinity; or in the pagans that teach that their gods are in human form. Moreover, why does got necessarily have to be non-contingent?

Premise 1
Therefore, we've reached something of a trilemma for the Atheist which is thusly,


1) either choose a less plausible and more arbitrary ontological basis for moral value than;
2) a maximally great being who necessarily exists as the basis; or,
3) choose nihilism.


One needs to define what a MGB is. What exactly does an MGB mean?

I asked my partner several questions about Biblical ethics. Whether or not the God of the Bible is the standards for morality is irrelavent. However, it plays in an important part: If the god of the Bible who is supposedly love can order genocide and barbarianism, then why can't any god that is allegedly love do the same thing? If my partner was convinced God ordered him to commit genocide, why or why not would my partner obey god. He has not answered the question.

Conclusion

We see that God is not necessarily necessary for morality. It is not up to me to provide an objective standard of morality apart from god (though we should debate that later, as I am out of time), it is up to my parnter to prove that god is the only standard of morality. He has not done that. I have shown that it is possible for God to order crimes we know to be wrong (i.e., genocide).
Reason_Alliance

Pro

There's nothing more vulnerable than a being who is all Love...


Recall the argument,



1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values & duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values & duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.


Con has only tried to negate P1 with a misunderstood parody, an out-of-context & irrelevant dilemma, and a less plausible & more ad hoc moral ontology. We've even been witness to Con attempting to divert to the red-herring of doctrinal questions.




By contrast I've offered arguments for P1 including a theistic moral ontology, atheistic dedication to P1, and even a rationalist argument for God as a maximally great being, as it would be better to be the moral standard then just exemplify it.



Taken together, it seems that P1 & P2 remains more plausible than any negation offered. It therefore follows that on pain of irrationality, one ought to affirm the soundness of the moral argument.


A. Non sequitur
Con has not adequately responded to the fact that his parody only includes a contingent being, not a non-contingent being, hence it is a failed parody or straw man. All he does to defend this is ask what the difference between contingency and non-contingency is.


A contingent thing could have been true or false, whereas a non-contingent thing must be true or false. The former bespeaks probability, and the latter bespeaks possibility. I argue for the latter, but all Con does to show the latter as a non-sequitur is say,


"If I can make any parody argument sound that is contradictory, then the original argument is unsound."


^This is true, but only if the argument is in fact logically parodied. However, it wasn't since Con assumed a contingent being.


B

I've clearly stated I'm arguing for God as a necessary being, I haven't affirmed any pagan gods, etc so Con is misrepresenting the argument under B. He merely asks why God has to be necessary. But that's like asking why God has to be God? Or like asking me to give a definition of God and show two examples? All I can do is offer God as ontologically maximally great. I can gradually discover God's attributes of all love and goodness while they still remain wholly true apart from any subjective opinion of them... the same goes true for the objectivity of morals.

Why does God necessarily have to be non-contingent? Because a maximally great being is by definition maximally great in all possible worlds, i.e., either possible or impossible, i.e., non-contingent or necessary.


Now Con continues to ask questions regarding the doctrine of inerrancy. Surely these are good questions; is the bible the inspired word of God or just human inventions? Is the bible infallible on what it teaches, even though our fallible minds interpret it? All good questions, but irrelevant to this debate,


http://www.debate.org...


Con concludes that I must show God as necessary for morals. I think I've done this the only way how one can using metaphysics, by offering a rationalist argument for an ontologically maximally great being who necessarily is the moral standard rather than just exemplifying it. This argument has largely gone unanswered however. All we've seen is misunderstandings.



Also, I've shown how God as the moral ontology is more plausible and less ad hoc. From which it follows that P1 is more plausibly true. P2 has gone unchallenged but I've supported it regardless. So on pain of irrationality the reader must affirm the soundness of the moral argument within the purview of this debate.



Conclusion
To the reader, I want to bring it all into a proper context by saying that God is not just the conclusion of some syllogism. I've experienced him as the living God of the universe! That's how I know God to be true, but arguments and evidence is how I can show God to be true. So if you remain unconvinced by this debate, that doesn't mean God doesn't exist, rather it just means I'm a bad apologist or debater.



Before I was a Christian it wasn't any intellectual barrier I had that kept me from a relationship with God, rather it was fear of being hurt or exposed. But then I realized, that though my fear of hurt is keeping from experiencing God, He knows full well how much I'm going to hurt him right from the start; and yet he even died to make it possible. There's nothing more vulnerable than a being who is all Love, and there's nothing more valuable, purposeful and meaningful than experiencing God, forever.
Debate Round No. 4
224 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
You know this whole discussion that took place over, what almost a month, probably takes like 5 minutes in real life... whoever said the internet speeds life up?!
Posted by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
No, I was really laughing when you made that Seattle joke: my former boss just moved to Seattle and we gave him an umbrella as a parting gift! ROFLz hard! I also cracked up when you said "well that's just too specific :)" regarding the debate with unitedandy.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
Oh it's cool- I thought you meant my position was laughable or something.
Posted by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
I apologize if my language might have been interpreted as negative or offensive, but I truly did not intend for it to be the case. I have great respect for you, your sense of humor and your debating capabilities.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
The proposition "if God doesn't exist, then NCOG [of moral truths] doesn't exist" asserts that only subjective morals would exist without God's existence. And so denies any other non-theistic explanation of objective moral values & duties if such morals are indeed objective. No infinite regress needed.

I criticized Generic NCOG of morals just existing because of the nature of such an ontology: What does it mean for justice to just exist if it itself isn't just within the absence of any persons? If you want to say such morals exist in this way, you must contend with the more plausible notion of a theistic ontology first... which you haven't: you've just affirmed moral truths.

Whereas God, presumably a person, if he is just, then he is maximally just. If he exists, then he maximally exists. Everything that exists has an explanation of it's existence, either in the necessity of it's own nature or in an external cause. Nothing caused God.

I'll debate you in the future if we agree to not resort to pejoratives once one side realizes they have the inferior position. There's nothing wrong with being wrong intellectually friend.
Posted by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
"I only claim God as the highest moral standard since he is maximally good if he is good. No infinite regress needed."
-- But you did try to make the little argument that "if God doesn't exist, then NCOG [of moral truths] doesn't exist." So you were either inadvertently stating a tautology or you were proposing an infinite regress by saying that God is the NCOG of NCOG of moral truths.

"I never affirmed "God can still exist without an ontological grounding." I think God exists within the necessity of his own nature like all other necessary existing things."
-- Yet you were criticizing the Generic NCOG for "just existing." No, it doesn't "just exist," it exists within the necessity of its own nature, like all other necessary existing things :).

Here is a debate topic for you: Generic NCOG is a good parody of God, with respect to the Moral Argument. We've already made our arguments here and it doesn't look like we're going to make anymore progress, so we should either make an official debate or leave it here. I don't think I'll be making any more comments here, although it was certainly fun and entertaining, particularly your sense of humor: you have plenty of it!
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
I only claim God as the highest moral standard since he is maximally good if he is good. No infinite regress needed.

I never affirmed "God can still exist without an ontological grounding." I think God exists within the necessity of his own nature like all other necessary existing things.
Posted by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
"That's just trivial- what my argument says for morals to be objective, a maximally great moral good must exist, & this we know as God."
-- Or, we know it as Generic NCOG- the less arbitrary alternative to God.

"P1, If God doesn't exist, then NCOG [of moral truths] don't exist
P2, NCOG [of moral truths] does exist
C, Therefore God exists"

This would be an actual tautology, since you claim that God is the non-contingent ontological grounding (NCOG) of moral truths :). Unless you're re-defining God as the NCOG of NCOG of moral truths, in which case we can keep this going ad infinitum.

"What you want to say is NCOG of moral truths can still exist without God."
-- And you're saying that God can still exist without an ontological grounding... it's becoming ridiculous isn't it? That's a known trait of a good parody: it does result in reductio ad absurdum.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
" According to your argument: if it's raining rain, then it's raining the best conceivable rain! LOL"

If that were true, Seattle would be hell- & Microsoft Satan... Kidding aside your argument essentially says OMV requires objectivity. That's just trivial- what my argument says for morals to be objective, a maximally great moral good must exist, & this we know as God.

I know you don't like where the premise leads but to object with a triviality, or with AMP, or with the baseless claim that OMV don't need any further explanation isn't to make the premise less plausible.

It seems NCOG depends upon God's necessary existence in an ontologically logical sense,

P1, If God doesn't exist, then NCOG [of moral truths] don't exist
P2, NCOG [of moral truths] does exist
C, Therefore God exists

What you want to say is NCOG of moral truths can still exist without God. Do you have such an NCOG of moral truths in mind other than just affirming the NCOG of moral truths? (As I've shown, simply affirming the NCOG of moral truths does little to negate P1).
Posted by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
"This is what I mean by arguing a tautology."
-- According to your argument: if it's raining rain, then it's raining the best conceivable rain! LOL

My argument is a tautology as much as yours: generic NCOG is just like God, but without the many different properties you ascribe to god which are not necessary for NCOG. If you want to dismiss my argument as a tautology, then you must also do the same with yours.

"...but God is a maximally great being Who possesses many different properties; the moral argument gets you to His maximal goodness."
-- The ONLY thing that the moral argument gets you to is the necessity of NCOG. Without a supporting argument, you can't provide any reason for the necessity of the mentioned properties. You also said that he moral argument doesn't provide such reasons and it would be disingenuous to expect such a thing from it. I AGREE! :)

"The generic NCOG just affirms moral truths are ontic."
-- Specific NCOG (God) just affirms moral truths are ontic.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Mestari 4 years ago
Mestari
MicrosuckReason_AllianceTied
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Reasons for voting decision: To be honest this debate was one-sided in my opinion. I loved Con's opening round but Pro dissected it piece-by-piece. After that though, the debate practically ended. Con in his next rounds simply reasserted the titles of his arguments without addressing the rebuttals. Nonetheless, Pro continued to add reasons not to believe Con's objections.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
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Reasons for voting decision: Upon further review, Pro did not plagarize. Pro's arguments were more compelling. Comparing God to a fairy (or flying spaghetti monster) is really just silly as there are good reasons to believe God exists. Also, Con did not give any arguments for how objective morals and duties could exist apart from God.
Vote Placed by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro outright plagiarized and even admitted to doing so. I'm going to keep conduct tied since Pro apologized, but Con had better sources (and he always cited them). I fond Con's argument to be more convincing (see comments for more details).
Vote Placed by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
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Reasons for voting decision: Conclusion: Conduct to Pro for the apparently unfounded accusation of plagarism by Con. Arguments to Pro for meeting the resolution overwhelmingly. I was very impressed with the clarity and presentation from Pro. Con will need to come to an understanding of the theistic argument prior to taking this resolution in the future.