The Instigator
syz
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
tomricotta
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The origin of human morality is an omnipotent god

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
syz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,144 times Debate No: 49732
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)

 

syz

Con

Pro: the source of human morality is the Christian God (and by extension Jesus).
Con: the source of human morality is from humans themselves.

Definitions:
Morality - there are two forms, relative and universal. It will be important to specify which is being discussed.

Format:
My opponent can either choose to start in the first round or just accept if he/she wishes me to!
tomricotta

Pro

I accept your challenge. I will be arguing that the origin of human morality is an omnipotent god. I would like to thank my opponent for this and I hope we come to truth! I look forward to your opening argument.

Omnipotent: Having very great or unlimited authority or power.

God: The one supreme being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

Objectivism: the belief that certain things, especially moral truths, exist independently of human knowledge or perception of them.

Subjectivism: 1. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
2. Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience.

I would also like to know if con believes in subjective or objective morality.
Debate Round No. 1
syz

Con


Thank you for accepting.

In general I find there to be a universal/objective moral principle: promote the well-being and flourishing of conscious creatures. However, I do not hold that there is only one possible, absolute expression of this principle. That is to say it is possible to objectively assess though research and study whether a specific moral precept promotes or inhibits well-being and flourishing, but I do not claim to there are any specific precepts that are uniquely true. There may be many possible moral frameworks that promote this general principle.

There are two ways support for this might go:

First: Man is innately good, that goodness is instilled by an all-powerful god.

If the source of humanity's sense of morality were a single, omnipotent god, one would expect to find consistency.

This point is rather clear I think by itself, but if morality were innately instilled in man, one would expect to find complete consistency across humanity. That is, consistent moral truths that can be found everywhere. Not just some consistencies, but everything would be consistent.

I suspect this is not the route pro will take, so I'll leave it for now, but I'm happy to come back to this point.


Second: Man is innately evil, and it takes a divine being to make man behave

Which god figure best embodies this objective moral truth?


The reason I had originally said "Christian god" in the topic was to skirt this problem in the debate. Of course any arguments that involve attributing morality to an external source must not only give evidence for such source existing, but prove that it's from a singular entity and not multiple, for example. Also, with the current wording, why must that being be omnicient? Then you have the problem of proving that god exists AND its will is knowable AND we know it.

I personally find the existance of many gods, many religions, and conflicting claims amongst all of them to be evidence enough to reject it as the source of anything, especially morality.


The moral teachings of any external authority are compared against one's own moral judgement before action.

The examples of filtering are countless in the Christian bible, including the rejection of slavery, wives being subservant to their husbands, and wives needing to be stoned on their father's doorstep if they are not virgins on their wedding night. The fact that we look at biblical texts and view certain moral teachings in a historical context and others as being "the good parts" shows the humanness of moral judgement. Religious followers are actively choosing which parts are true and which are allegory or merely historical.

Here's an exercise to demonstrate this (taken from Sam Harris, but the words are mine). Consider the 10 commandments. Do these really represent the most important tennents of morality? Consider the commandment about 'No graven images or likenesses'. Any person could come up with more important moral truths than this one. For example, 'Thou shalt not beat children,' or 'Thou shalt not rape.' The fact that we can, as objectively rational, reasoning humans improve upon the moral teachings of religious dogma shows a capacity for morality that extends beyond that dogma.


Morality with the concept of god is cheapened and doesn't represent true morality.

One of the key tennents of true morality is doing that which is right, even when no one is looking. To put it in terms of Kohlberg's stages of moral development (http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_stages_of_moral_development), morality in a religious framework cannot extend beyond stage 1, pre-conventional moral development. That is, actions are driven by the threat of punishment against one's self. True moral reasoning


Innate moralities are easily explained from a darwinistic perspective.

Morality can easily be explained by Darwinian evolution. Further, behavior that we consider to be moral in humans can be found in other social animals, including in those we don't consider to have any capacity for reasoning or judgement.

Animals even demonstrate true altruism, that is, behavior which would on the surface seem to diminish the individual's evolutionary fitness. This ignores kin selection, which itself would express forms of morality, but that is not true altrusim.

Examples from http://en.wikipedia.org...


    • Meerkats often have one standing guard to warn whilst the rest feed in case of predator attack.

    • Dolphins support sick or injured animals, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe.

    • African buffalo will rescue a member of the herd captured by predators.


Chimps even value fairness: http://www.livescience.com...

It should be rather clear that evolutionary pressures are not as simple as promoting the good of an individual. In social creatures like humans, evolution pushes toward altruistic behaviors that we humans label as morality too. No omnipotent god required.



There's more to be said on the matter, but I'll end here and see where Pro takes it!
tomricotta

Pro

As you have pointed out, this argument is really an argument of whether or not god exists, just focused on the morality argument that many theists take. My argument will go somewhat like this:

1 .Real moral obligation is a fact. We are really, truly, objectively obligated to do good and avoid evil. (This does not mean that humans do not sometimes do evil things.)
2. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the "religious" one. (By atheistic view of reality, I mean a view of reality that does not involve a deity.)
3. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation.
4.Therefore the "religious" view of reality is correct.

While this argument assumes that there are objective values, you have stated yourself that there are many objective values in this world. No one can be a consistent subjectivist, I am glad you do not believe in that.

Also morality must come from an authority either:
1. From something less than me (nature)
This cannot be true, because how can humanity be obligated to something less than ourselves. The practical need for survival is no moral obligation.

2. From me (individual) How does one obligate themselves to be a moral authority? Does one have the right to demand moral obedience from society, or even themselves?

3. From others equal to me (society) What right do my equals have to impose their values on me? Does the quantity of others necessarily make quality? Is a million people enough to make a relative an absolute truth?

4. From something above me (God) Therefore, this is the only rational explanation for moral authority.

Is there really Moral Authority?
In preparation that you might argue that there is no moral authority, I will say that there needs to be moral authority in order for there to be some degree of objective morality. However, if these moral authorities are bound to desire and want, then there is no moral standard on which desires can be judged. If there is a desire to feed the hungry, I would be stating something about my own wants and desires, nothing else.

First: Man is innately good, that goodness is instilled by an all-powerful god.

I disagree with the above statement. I would say that man is innately bad, however, watched over by an omnipotent creator. This god gave us a conscience in order so that we could know what was right, but obviously gave us the free will to do wrong if we choose to do so. Therefore, I do not take this route in my argument.

Which god figure best embodies this objective moral truth?

Maybe you should change the title of the argument to, "The origin of morality is an omnipotent god or system of gods". Whatever really floats your boat, I am simply arguing that there needs to be a god (or system of gods for that matter) in order for there to be the system of morals by which we live by.

The moral teachings of any external authority are compared against one's own moral judgement before action.

I believe the Bible does not have pertinence in this argument, as I am simply talking about the existence of a deity as a whole. A single religious text does not rule out the possibility that there was an ultimate causer who created the system of morals by which we live by.
However, I will address the Bible briefly. You mention the advocacy of slavery in the Bible. Slaves during biblical times in that area were treated very differently than slaves in the 19th century. Slavery was not associated with racism at all, and slaves lived no different than that of a lower class worker at the time. Penalties for slave trading are specified in the Mosaic Law (see Exodus 21:16 and Deuteronomy 24:7), and it is frequently mentioned by Greek writers as a crime. You also mention the 10 Commandments as not mentioning the moral problems that we as modern people think of. However, you have to consider the context of when God created these commandments. The Jews had just been worshiping a golden calf, so of course the commandment, "No graven images or likenesses" was at the forefront of God's mind. I would say please research the context of what you are saying.

Innate moralities are easily explained from a darwinistic perspective

If anything, the fact that dolphins and other animals have created a moral system even more points to a creator. This system needed to be created by something, and it is unlikely that something lacking in reason could have created a system of morals. In this conundrum, I point to a god who is the only person with enough reason and intuition to create such a complex system.
Debate Round No. 2
syz

Con

In response to your argument

1 .Real moral obligation is a fact.
2. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the "religious" one.
3. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation.
4.Therefore the "religious" view of reality is correct.

#1, no, real moral expression is a fact, "obligation" is a completely separate matter which assumes an external entity we are obligated to. As far as morality, all we can assert plainly is an obligation to ourselves as that's what moral sense is. I might go so far to say we have an obligation to eachother, but this does not extend to an obligation to god.

In #2 - #4 you're saying, "either atheists are right or theists are right. Since atheist's view isn't possibly compatible with moral obligation, theists must be right" This is a false dichonomy. Even if the atheistic view is wrong, it doesn't automatically make you right.

In #3 you assert this without supporting evidence or reason. The atheist view of morality is in line with darwinian evolution and scientific fact. It also gives us a perfectly reasonable explanation for moral obligation: It is evolutionarily benefitial to exhibit behaviors analogous to what we humans call "moral," even if the individual does not survive or receive a direct benefit, it helps the species survive as a whole.

----

Many social animals... exhibit what Michael Shermer refers to as premoral sentiments.

attachment and bonding, cooperation and mutual aid, sympathy and empathy, direct and indirect reciprocity, altruism and reciprocal altruism, conflict resolution and peacemaking, deception and deception detection, community concern and caring about what others think about you, and awareness of and response to the social rules of the group.

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

----

Regarding the source of morality

1 From something less than me
2 From me
3 From society
4 From god

Here's one that you didn't include: From evolutionary pressures, slowly rewarding over millions of years the behaviors in social species that make them adhere to rules of fairness, reciprocity, mutual aid, cooperation and altruism. These pressures created the sense of "moral obligation" we have to ourselves, our families, and our broader community, because sometimes it was the species that developed a sense of "moral obligations" that survived. But sometimes not.


Regarding "Is there really Moral Authority?"

"I will say that there needs to be moral authority in order for there to be some degree of objective morality"

Moral authority--is that an obligator, or moral creator? Couldn't we have "objective morality" simply with a deistic god rather than a theistic? That is, a creator without judgement.


"if these moral authorities are bound to desire and want, then there is no moral standard on which desires can be judged"

I don't really follow this sentence at all. Why are moral authorities bound to desire and want?


"If there is a desire to feed the hungry, I would be stating something about my own wants and desires, nothing else."

Maybe that's true. Maybe there is no such thing as true altruism: maybe people just do good things because it makes them feel good.


Responding to your responses

You mention the advocacy of slavery in the Bible. Slaves during biblical times in that area were treated very differently than slaves in the 19th century.

Would it even matter if it were 'less bad' than some other form of slavery? Does it seem moral to hold captive someone from another place and keep them as a "low class worker" away from their own society and families? Who could be called moral and not question this?

People choose which passages to focus on and how to interpret them to arrive at some sense of morality that's congruent with the culture and where and then they are. The history of bible interpretation shows it is blatantly linked to people's perception and objective at that time.

----

"Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, ... nor his manservant, nor his maidservant." In the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master, and, although slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it."

http://www.ushistory.org...

-----

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.... You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

-----

You are choosing which way you want to interpret it, and there are many readers of the bible that actively lobby for racism, for antisemitism, for homophobia and for war. You have no more “correctness” in your interpretation than any other person on the planet. When I say it is evil and not a good foundation for morality, it's because it objectively contains some widly wicked, crazy, horrible ideas about what consistutes moral behavior and what should be rewarded. That does not mean it’s impossible to forge good values from it, but you’re forging morality out of the bible, and the hammer you use is your true, darwinian and human, sense of morality.

You also did not address my point: that you do not read something in the bible and just take it at face value as it commands you to do. You filter and choose which commandments to take and emphasize based on an arbitrary (that is, your personal) pre-existing moral sense.


you have to consider the context of when God created these commandments. The Jews had just been worshiping a golden calf, so of course the commandment, "No graven images or likenesses" was at the forefront of God's mind. I would say please research the context of what you are saying.

With all the rape, torture and warfare that was going on, not to mention an infant mortality rate of at best 1 in 3 (http://www.understandingyourancestors.com...), that's the best God could come up with? How about "thou shalt wash your hands before birthing", "thou shalt breast feed", or "thou shalt not judge others by the color of their skin". Sounds way more important than people looking at golden cows. This is a demonstration of flawed moral judgement.

At best you've argued that god's teachings are out of date and doesn't reflect what you, I, or "the west" view as important. We have an updated sense of moral priority today, one that was hard faught for in the philosophy, anthropology, psychiatry and science departments, but not as much from the world’s religions.


If anything, the fact that dolphins and other animals have created a moral system even more points to a creator.

Just as people say that all of science points towards just how awesome their god is. The point is that the system works without the assumption of a god. You are going beyond the realm of what is knowable and provable and asserting something without evidence or reason to believe it to be true.

Further, if 'some animals have moral behavior' says there must be a god, what does 'not all animals have moral behavior' say? One way or another? Why?
tomricotta

Pro

1. Real moral obligation is a fact.
You may have not realized it, but you just affirmed that there is moral obligation in your refutation of my argument. Admitting that there is moral obligation is okay for an atheist to admit.
2. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the "religious" one.
Contrary to your belief, a statement is only a false dilemma if there can be more than two choices. However, since the only two choices are, 1) god created morality, or 2) god did not create morality, there are actually only two options in this argument.
3. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation.
I explained this in the argument below, unfortunately you thought those four choices were the choices for the sources of morality, not the sources of moral authority. I am afraid that you utterly misunderstood my arguments. However, I will copy and paste them again for you and the voters pleasure.

1. From something less than me (nature)
This cannot be true, because how can humanity be obligated to something less than ourselves. The practical need for survival is no moral obligation.

2. From me (individual) How does one obligate themselves to be a moral authority? Does one have the right to demand moral obedience from society, or even themselves?

3. From others equal to me (society) What right do my equals have to impose their values on me? Does the quantity of others necessarily make quality? Is a million people enough to make a relative an absolute truth?

4. From something above me (God) Therefore, this is the only rational explanation for moral authority.
Regarding the Source of Morality

Since you totally misunderstood my arguments and applied my arguments for moral authority to my arguments for the sources of morality, I will disregard your arguments made in this area. Just so you know, evolution would fall under the category of something less than me, or nature as I have previously stated.

Once again:
1 .Real moral obligation is a fact.
2. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the "religious" one.
3. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation.
4.Therefore the "religious" view of reality is correct.
I believe I have supported my third premise in my arguments above, and again assert that moral authority cannot exist without god.

The Bible
I do not know why you insisted on arguing about the Bible, as that is another argument for another time. Arguing whether or not the Bible has bad things in it or not is pertinent to this discussion. I am arguing that a god created morality, not that the Christian god created morality. I know you like to spend a lot of time on the bad things in the Bible and if you wish to challenge me on that subject after this, please go ahead. However, the Bible has no place in this discussion, and you should be judged accordingly. For all we know, this god could be unknown, with no religious texts written about this god. This must be taken in consideration when going after a particular religious sect in a morality argument.

Evolution does not account for our care for other humans.

Imagine this situation. A man falls into a fast flowing river and is quickly swept away by the overwhelming current. You do not know this man, and are not even related to him. However, your conscience tells you to jump in and save this man, perhaps even if this man is your enemy. How does this urge come from evolution? It would seem like the humans who would jump in the river to save a stranger would be among the first to die out. Evolution does not account for the fact that we feel this way for other humans. Evolution wants to protect the passing of our genes, but this has no account for why we would jump in to save a random human.

Evolution more resembles a system that has no free will, only a system to do what is necessary to help yourself and the passing on of genes. However, a process led by a creator shows a system that started with moral norms and a conscience, but who led creation go on, relying on their own free will to make decisions with a moral conscience guiding them through their complex evolution.
If you really look at it, the evolutionist perspective has no account for why we care so much for other humans who are complete strangers and no account for why there is a sense of moral accountability in all of us. Once you look at all of these things, you may find that believing a god created morality is not such a fantastic belief after all.

"It was true, I had always realized it- I hadn't any 'right' to exist at all. I had appeared by chance, I existed like a stone, a plant, a microbe. I could feel nothing to myself but an inconsequential buzzing. I was thinking... that here we are eating and drinking, to preserve our precious existence, and that there's nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing."
-Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea.

It seems as though this belief of evolving unguided by anything does not fall in accordance with the complex moral system that separates us from animals.

I would like to thank you for you arguments, and regret that you misunderstood my viewpoints and that you went a little off track in this argument. Nevertheless I have learned a lot from this, and hope that you were enlightened as much as I was about our opposing viewpoints.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Defender1999 3 years ago
Defender1999
Syz

You're probably joking here, if you say people have different interpretations for text- then surely what you have written in your post either means of what your wrote it to be or an allegorical meaning wouldn't it? You need to understand Biblical hermeneutics here and who says it's my message (ad hominem)? The art of Biblical interpretation isn't about one's opinions of what the text means but rather what the text is telling you about. It's all in the context, we know words stand for some meaning given in its context.

Regarding slavery condoned in the Bible and giving out verses, from reasoning in your own explanation that no one knows what really the Bible means, then those verses you gave may either mean of what really it is or maybe it is just another allegorical form not focused on slavery as you would like to see it right? Are you sure of those verses actually condoning slavery that's equal to Southern Slavery or like a bondsman with status and a chance to have a family (which the Bible OT & NT clearly outlines)?

'You completely failed to establish why the "darwinistic conception of the universe is absurd". Further, your level of comfort with various realities has no bearing on truth.'

But what is truth in an evolutionary ideology? Since there are no objective moral values or even ideas why bother talking about "truth"? You think I am taking a pragmatic stance here? Nope, it's common sense, we know there is meaning in life, humans are separate from humans and there is good and evil and is independent of survival implications. This is evolution in its true form, it's nihilism, subjectivism and social darwinism.

Critics like you complain about how God "kills" in the OT but have you even considered looking for reasons why He did or are you just cherry-picking verses out of Scripture?
Posted by Defender1999 3 years ago
Defender1999
Syz,
> I never said there was no meaning in life, I simply never made any claims to know what it is. You did. Further, if your life lacks meaning without an authoritarian, I feel sorry for you.

Absolutely! Because if life just means of creating a meaning for your own, then that means one can think that evil is good and good is evil and he can decide for himself the rules and can inflict pain on others if sadism is the only reason for his existence. But an objective, definitive and conclusive explanation for life which is the God of the Bible outlines from man's rebellion to the given of redemption through His Son Jesus Christ. You see, an objective meaning in life is better than a subjective meaning in life- which your evolutionary worldview propagates. I feel even sorry for you more- calling God an "authoritarian" sounds like a kid's tantrum.
Posted by Defender1999 3 years ago
Defender1999
Syz,

Then you are admitting possibly that a person can call something like rape to be "normal" to some? Because let's face it, there is no such thing as objective morality for evolution. While it may explain morality, it does not explain ultimate basis and justification for calling such behaviour wrong or correct? For your allusion to Star Wars of being "entertaining", this is personal preference or a taste, morality isn't. Morality ain't someone's personal preference, we know that there are objective moral values that exist and is independent of people's subjective and arbitrary tastes.

Second, hardly for ultimate basis for morality, and also, survival doesn't have to be good or not- it cares about your survival irregardless how you treat other species for you to survive? Second, why compare that to animals? What animals may do may sound like "moral" to us but such a term, which is a human term is misleading. You can do something evil to ensure your species survive right?

But it actually is! It doesn't matter whether individual or collective so long as your species survive and others die right? What you are giving for me is just acting morality out, but you're not explaining how morality originated, you're just explaining how people can act morally which is different from origins of morality? An individual can also act out of genocide to ensure his species survive right?

As a high school student, I rarely use wikipedia for reliability due to being edited by someone freely.

Lastly, I want to comment, only the Biblical explanation of the world, mankind and the universe is the more probable and probably the only one that can explain the world. It unifies moral, spiritual, scientific and intellectual in one great big weave. But for evolution, I see it as an incoherent worldview inferior to the Biblical explanation. http://www.tms.edu...
Posted by syz 3 years ago
syz
Last comment I swear.

> I have to suggest [evolution of morality] is a rather weak proposition. It is just more than mere accumulation and development of having morality, but nowhere does it suggest ultimate origin of morality so it actually presupposes morality already.

Look, "morality" is a value judgement like "entertaining". If I say "Star Wars is an entertaining movie" I am making a value judgement about Star Wars. Does that have anything to do with how movies are made? No. Calling a behavior "moral" is making a value judgement on a particular behavior. Evolution is the "ultimate origin" of specific behavioral traits being judged. The origin of *morality* is each individual human that makes a *value statement* about which particular behaviors are correct.

> It may provide to act moral but where is the basis and justification in that? It may impulse you to do such things but why bother anyway?

"Why bother"? Because the survival of your species may depend on it! If that infertile soldier ant does not sacrifice its life to stop the invading army, its entire familial gene pool might get wiped out. Isn't it moral?

What do you mean of "strawman" view of Darwinian evolution? This is the very tenet view evolutionists hold to when it comes to morality that it is survival of the fittest and to pass genes for survival, but nowhere it does suggest of acting in good manners or possess altruistic impulses.

You conflate cause and effect here. The mechanics of evolution are blind to all specific results directly. That is, evolution is a process toward survivability and procreation, all results are derived from that process. Good manners, but especially altruism, is easily explained under this model. Your "strawman view" of Darwinian evolution is the over-emphasis on the individual. You think there is no scenario where an individual acting out of altruism can benefit it or its offspring. Edify yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by syz 3 years ago
syz
Cut me off...

> I never said there was no meaning in life, I simply never made any claims to know what it is. You did. Further, if your life lacks meaning without an authoritarian, I feel sorry for you.
Posted by syz 3 years ago
syz
> It is simply ludicrous to believe that the Bible cannot understood clearly as when one picks up a children's book where the meaning of the words in sentences are clear: 'Emma goes to school this Thursday". I dispute that, the Bible can be clearly understood, those who say that are generating confusion among themselves.

Indeed, no one debates words as much (though they do even about that--does "Elef" mean "thousand" or "clan"?), the *meaning* behind those words is important. "Emma goes to school this Thursday" Does that mean she likes school? Does she then condone school as good behavior because she is doing it? Is she allowed to go to school? Did she actually go to school or is this allegory? Is it true that she goes to school on Thursdays? When given any text, there are wildly vast interpretations of it. People can't agree on what simple poems mean, you think everyone agrees with you on the entirety of the bible, what its messages are? You're joking.

> You also contradicted yourself too since you gave Biblical verses "condoning" slavery?

Not sure why you're asking me? But how on earth did I contradict myself? Regarding my conclusion? I said that the bible condones slavery and provided proof that it does.... Maybe you don't know what 'condone' means? There's no contradictions here that I see so you'll have to be more specific. Why do you need slavery defined...?

> Why suggest there should be objective meaning in the world if the world is just an evolved world with no transcending or objective authority? You see, the Darwinistic conception of the universe is absurd, no one is going to put up with saying there is no morality nor even meaning in life.

You completely failed to establish why the "darwinistic conception of the universe is absurd". Further, your level of comfort with various realities has no bearing on truth.

I never said there was no meaning in life, I simply never made any claims to know what it is. You did. Further, if your life lack
Posted by syz 3 years ago
syz
Phew. Where to begin. I am just giddy with excitement at virtually every statement you said being wrong.

> What you did here for your Darwinian explanation is that you assume to have morality starting all there in the first place.

I never said anything remotely like that. I said, "Many social animals... exhibit what Michael Shermer refers to as premoral sentiments." Premoral sentiments. I claimed and established that animals on aggregate exhibit many of the same behavioral traits that we do, traits that when expressed in humans we call "moral". However, within each particular species there could be a few, only one, or none of those behaviors exhibited at all, and to varying degrees.

My claim is explicitly that morality didn't "start all there" but that various behaviors evolved over millions of years very gradually amongst our ancestors, originally from "no behavior that we would call moral" into what we humans have today. There were advantages along every step of the way for our species to behave in that way.

It's literally the antithesis of what you make it out to be. Oh, and don't conflate "behavior" with "morality." It's like conflating "movement" with "soccer". "Soccer" is a human term for a particular set of movements that we enjoy--same too with "moral".

> You gave samples of animals having morality but does this in even any way give credence to a Darwinian morality?

Wrong. I was not establishing the "credence of Darwinian morality", that would involve scientific proof and experimental evidence. Go here to start research: http://en.wikipedia.org...
The point was:
1) why are we so special that our "morality" is not caused by the same thing that causes the behavior we see in animals?
2) the existence of moral behavior in animals cheapens your religious dogma which espouses humans as more "special" and "above the rest" than we truly are. Your religion is predicated on arrogance. This was to show we are not so differ
Posted by Defender1999 3 years ago
Defender1999
Syz,

I did read your Darwinian morality explanation. While it is interesting, I have to suggest it is a rather weak proposition. It is just more than mere accumulation and development of having morality, but nowhere does it suggest ultimate origin of morality so it actually presupposes morality already. It may provide to act moral but where is the basis and justification in that? It may impulse you to do such things but why bother anyway? It simply doesn't add up since it never bothers giving justification and basis for acting moral anyway.

What do you mean of "strawman" view of Darwinian evolution? This is the very tenet view evolutionists hold to when it comes to morality that it is survival of the fittest and to pass genes for survival, but nowhere it does suggest of acting in good manners or possess altruistic impulses . As Dawkins said, 'The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.' (River out of Eden, 1999). Why would this be a strawman view when at the heart of evolution is just survival of the fittest and all is there is?
Posted by Defender1999 3 years ago
Defender1999
Syz,

Humans aren't just any mere animals, unlike animals, we humans exhibit a high degree of knowledge and understanding as well can appreciate abstract meanings attached to objects.

I have read your argument on whether Darwinian evolution best explains source of morality. What you did here for your Darwinian explanation is that you assume to have morality starting all there in the first place. You gave samples of animals having morality but does this in even any way give credence to a Darwinian morality? What you gave is the actions of morality, not origins of morality. It PRESUPPOSES the existence of morality already.

If everyone interprets the Bible differently then your statement on that is contradictory, your statement has a ring of authority and objectivity on it. It is simply ludicrous to believe that the Bible cannot understood clearly as when one picks up a children's book where the meaning of the words in sentences are clear: 'Emma goes to school this Thursday". I dispute that, the Bible can be clearly understood, those who say that are generating confusion among themselves. You also contradicted yourself too since you gave Biblical verses "condoning" slavery? Can you please define "slavery" for me?

By what I mean "Biblical" you have to borrow certain ideas and aspects about the world. What is reality? Why should we trust our brains to reason when it's all products of mere atoms? What is morality? How do we know some things and why do things have attached certain ideas and concepts in it? Why suggest there should be objective meaning in the world if the world is just an evolved world with no transcending or objective authority? You see, the Darwinistic conception of the universe is absurd, no one is going to put up with saying there is no morality nor even meaning in life.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Recall from the start of this debate, the very first thing Con says:

"Pro: the source of human morality is the Christian God (and by extension Jesus)."

Pro never contends that this is not his burden in the debate until the final round, where he says that he is no longer beholden to that burden, and that any deity that created morality would prove him right. It's far too late to question your burden at that point. I get that you could, theoretically, have proven that a deity besides the Christian one was responsible for the inception of morality, and therefore that neither debater should win this debate (since Con's burden is to prove that morality comes from humans), but the argument here is not that. As such, I must evaluate it as whether Pro has upheld his burden, whether Con has upheld his, and if Pro has failed to uphold his burden, Con wins on presumption.

That's really all I need to do. I see no argument by Con that actually supports the Christian deity being the source of morality. The best he manages to do is support the notion that a deity may be responsible. That's where my arguments vote comes from. I could go further into the arguments proper and make evaluations (they were relatively close because Con doesn't spend enough time explaining why morality is something that evolution would select for), but I really don't have to, given the way the debate was framed.

I'm also giving sources to Con. He didn't give me much to work with, but he supported some of his points, so he deserves some credit for that.
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Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments contained a lot of assumptions that Pro could not back up with reasonable evidence, Con on the other hand produced evidence with sources for concepts and argument. Pro could not convince me that objectivity exists in morality nor that we are born innately bad, which is the opposite of natural childhood nature, in that case all children would behave badly, which they do not since children are not born with a moral compass.