The Instigator
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Losing
23 Points
The Contender
TUF
Con (against)
Winning
33 Points

There Exists an Objective Moral Law

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
TUF
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,693 times Debate No: 24003
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (29)
Votes (15)

 

KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to challenge TUF to a debate on objective morality for Phantom's 99 percentile tournament.

The resolution will be that there is an objective moral law. I believe that TUF wishes to debate that arguments for the existence of one, and only one, certain Morality are fallible, which would negate the resolution if he can show that arguing for one objective morality is fallible.

Voting will be one week as per the rules of the tournament.

A few terms:

Objective -- Independent of the human mind.
Objective Moral Law -- A moral law that exists independent of human feelings, interpretations, or prejudices.
Subjective Morality -- Moral values that change depending on the individual or on society.

Round one will be for acceptance
Round two for opening arguments (Con may rebut)
Round three for rebuttals
Round four for closing statements/rebuttals.

I look forward to an interesting and challenging debate!
TUF

Con

RULES:
1. No semantics. The resolution says it all, but let's stick to the obvious meaning of this debate.

2. Both debaters will remain polite, and cordial throughout this debate.

3. Foreits conduct in the loss of the debate.

DEFINITONS:



Moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules ofright conduct or the distinction between right and wrong;
ethical:
moral attitudes.

Exists: to have actual being; be: The world exists, whether you like it or not.

Objective: the state or quality of being objective towards an ideal. This ideal then is seen as reknown, rather than subjective, which is to say that this ideal can vary between parties. Objectivity is the a view that can be commonly accepted by all parties.

Law: the controlling influence of such rules; the condition ofsociety brought about by their observance: maintaining law
and order.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Upon my opponent agreeing to these definitions, both debaters will follow these definitions through all of their arguments.

If my opponent does not agree with the rules, or the definitions taken from my source, he may bring up any discrepancies in his Round 2 rebuttals, that can be argued and decided upon by the voters.



I am very much looking forward to round 2 of the 99th percentile tournament with my humble opponent, and wish you keytarhero, the best of luck through out this debate.

Let's get this show on the road!

Debate Round No. 1
KeytarHero

Pro

I thank TUF for debating this topic with me. I will not be arguing for drawing a Moral Law Giver from an objective moral law, since that is not within the scope of this debate.

My task in this debate is to show that there is an objective, moral law; that is, a moral law that exists independently of human opinion, feelings, interpretations, or prejudices.

C.S. Lewis writes, there is "something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong." [1]

There must be an objective, universal moral law, or else no ethical judgements makes sense. Nothing could be called evil or wrong, and there would be no reason to keep promises or treaties. [2]

There must be an objective moral law, for at least four reasons: 1) Moral disagreements would make no sense (as we all assume they do). 2) All moral criticisms would be meaningless (for example, you could not say that the Nazis were wrong for killing all those Jews during the Holocaust). 3) It is unnecessary to keep promises or treaties, as we all assume that it is. 4) We would not make excuses for breaking the moral law, as we all do.

In fact, if you compare the moral teachings of ancient cultures (e.g. the Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.), it will be striking how similar they are to ours. While men have disagreed on what to be unselfish to (whether it be friends, family, strangers, etc.), they have always agreed you ought not to put yourself first. Additionally, while we may disagree on what constitutes murder (e.g. killing in cold blood, wars, abortion, etc.), we all agree that murder is wrong.

In fact, we couldn't even say that a rapist was wrong, because his personal feeling is that it is an acceptable way to act. If morality were truly subjective, then we wouldn't be able to judge a horrific event as wrong. One action would be no better or worse than another action. A man who kills his kid to feed his dog would be no worse than a man who kills his dog to feed his kid.

[1] Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, p. 34.
[2] Summarized from Lewis, C.S., God in the Dock, chap. 1.
TUF

Con

I thank my opponent KeytarHero for creating what I feel will be an overly interesting and promising debate!

*****FRAMEWORK*****

First I will Refute the point my opponent brings to the debate.

Next I will go into definitions and their importance to this debate (My opponent has not pointed out any discrepancies with them, so we must assume that he is okay with the definitions provided).

Finally I will touch down on my case with whatever remaining characters I have.

*****MY OPPONENTS CASE*****

ETHICAL JUDGEMENTS

Okay so my opponent brings up an interesting point here, one that I am grateful that he has done, such that it will save me space for additional arguments in my case.

The point he comes up with here is on whether the Judgements of right and wrong being controversial, hints to morality being Objective.

He states four reasons clearly, on why he feels this way. I would like to take time to respond to each one of these reasons.

1) Moral disagreements would make no sense (as we all assume they do).

Ah, moral Dis-agreements, the crux of controversy in the world we live in! My question here is simply what makes this bullet an objective stand point? The very fact that moral relativism exists in the world, and is recognized by you, should hint to the fact that one or the other cannot specifically be right? Can it? If so I would love to hear about which one objectively is moral. My question is if moral dis-agreements exists (which they do), then what is the moral objective law we must follow? What is the correct moral objective law if we all seem to dis-agree on what morality seemingly is?

2) All moral criticisms would be meaningless (for example, you could not say that the Nazis were wrong for killing all those Jews during the Holocaust).

Meaningless criticisms eh? What exactly qualifies a criticism as meaningful? You state that you feel that A universal law can exist without human subsidiaries present. The Nazi's themselves (maybe not all) had the belief that what they were doing was right. They had their own ideals that they themselves formulated which led to the actions brought forth from the holocaust. Whether we agree with their morals or not is irrelevant, as we are at least recognizing that the Nazi's had their own set of morals. By recognizing this, we must know and understand that morality is subjective.

3) It is unnecessary to keep promises or treaties, as we all assume that it is.

This is completely correct sir. Even more so that when we are raised with a moral system, we can choose to stick with it, or create our own moral system. By following the standards in that moral system, we can then determine the feelings that C.S. Lewis has when he violates his own moral code. But in truth, Mr. Lewis's moral code is just that; His own.

4) We would not make excuses for breaking the moral law, as we all do.

This reminds me of a clip from a south park episode that I wouldn't mind quoting here.
"If I had wheels, I'd be a wagon" -Craig.

Just like Cartman had done with taking false credit for a joke he did not write, he has adjusted his moral values, such that they were guilt free and pleasing to himself. Him creating his own set of moral values proves subjectivity.
However what is moral law KeytarHero?

I see on your profile that you are con abortion (as I am). Does a woman who gets an abortion feel the need to make an excuse of for getting an abortion? What if she was raised her whole life knowing that their was nothing wrong with getting an abortion, and that is was in fact a moral choice? To you and me, this woman has committed an act of immorality. But what about the 50% of other members who happen to agree with abortion? Are people like BlackVoid, Royalpaladin, F-16_Fighting_Falcon and the other 50% of members who agree with abortion coherently wrong? What is the determining factor in deciding which morality is the right one? If any of those 50% of members happens does not feel guilt in accordance to having an abortion, does this now mean that they are committing an act of morality? Simply the question is, what is the fine line for determining which morality is proper?

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

The following descriptions of the rapist, and the man who kills his kid to feed his dog, you must realize, are exclusive only to your perception of what morality is. In order to have a universal law, we must have unanimous human feelings towards a similar concept of morality.

****MY CASE****

C1: THE RESOLUTION IS DEFINED IN SUBJECTIVE TERMS

Let's break down a few key words from above such that we can achieve a better knowledge of the debate at hand.

Exists: to have actual being; be: The world exists, whether you like it or not.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

The word "Exists" proposed that upon recognition of something, we must understand that it has actual meaning. So if we recognize the difference in ideals than that must mean there is a subjective set views around the world.

Moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules ofright conduct or the distinction between right and
wrong; ethical:
moral attitudes.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

This word to me is the most important key word for this debate, and is the crux of argumentation for both the Pro, and the Con. The word moral is defined specifically with the word distinction.

I feel the word distinction is powerful enough to break this word down a little further.

Distinction: the recognizing or noting of differences;

http://dictionary.reference.com...

This word implies that in order for an individual to make a moral choice, they themselves must provide their own reasoning and moral attitude as to why that specific choice is in fact moral or unmoral. Given that a distinction is made of one's own accordance, this definition already implies that humans must make a subjective choice in order to define morality.

This my friends, will be the main underlying goal I will attempt to show to our audience throughout the remainder of this debate.

C2: ABSOLUTE MORALITY IS FALLIBLE

http://www.rationality.net...

Please Source the link above for all arguments made in this category.

SUB A: Theological Absolute Morality is fallible:

"There is never any clear, objective, historical chain that might clarify and establish the authenticity of the authorship of religious texts. These writings have been copied innumerable times and have become less and less focused with each copying process. As a result, religious writings have become so ambiguous and nebulous that it is often necessary to substantially re-interpret or re-phrase their meaning."

This quote could not be more true. Not only are their values sourced on hypothesis's pulled from ancient books, and unfactual based religions, there are also countless religions with differing beliefs. Discerning one to be Absolute is Near impossible. We recognize that opposing moralities "exist" Thus we recognize that morality is subjective.

SUB B: The Sociological Argument for relative morality.

An objective morality becomes a fallible principle when weighing in human expressions. When a Human being is presented with moral confrontation, it has something to do with infringing on the rights or causing harm to another individual. Take other human beings away, and absolute Morality becomes invisible. In reference to the link above, a lone stranded survivor on an island is not bound to any moral laws. There are no other persons whose right he can infringe upon, and thus can create his own laws and rules for his existence upon the island. If there is no absolute binding law for morality, then this man could hypothetically create his own society upon which he could set his own subjective set of rules.

*****CONCLUSION*****

Based on the arguments I have provided, I feel I have adequately proven that is impossible for an absolute or objective morality to exist.

I look forward to my opponents response,

Thankyou.

Debate Round No. 2
KeytarHero

Pro

Thank you again to TUF for his opening argument. Indeed, I did not see anything I would take issue with in his definitions, bearing in mind that I did give my own definitions in round one. In the interest of space, I have abbreviated the headings.

1 -- Moral disagreements

The reason moral disagreements point to an objective law is because if there was no objective moral law, then we would have no basis for our moral disagreements. As C.S. Lewis has written, "a man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line." [1] What is the point of arguing over matters of morality if one does not believe their view is correct? Even relativists believe their view to be correct, and if moral subjectivity would be correct, then that, indeed, would be an objective moral law (i.e. "morality is subjective" would be an objective truth). But not even relativists can live as relativists at all times. Even a relativist would get upset if you steal money from them or cut in front of them in line.

2 -- Moral Criticisms

Simply saying that the Nazis lived by a different moral code than ours is irrelevant. If morality were truly subjective, we would have no right to say that Nazis were wrong, and therefore it would be completely acceptable for another Hitler to come along and have another Holocaust. But I don't know of anyone who would say that another Holocaust would be completely okay, as long as those people believed that what they were doing is morally acceptable. If morality was truly subjective, then Hitler was really no different than Mother Teresa.

3 -- Keeping Promises and Treaties

I don't think TUF's objection here is truly relevant to the issue at hand. I don't know anyone who would say it's okay to make promises with the intention of breaking them. I don't know anyone who teaches their kids it's okay to lie, or it's okay to break promises if it can result in personal gain. It's the responsibility of parents to raise their kids to be generally moral citizens. Lying is not illegal in our country (with the exception of perjury), yet we still try to raise our children to be honest people.

4 -- Breaking the Moral Law

I'm not sure quoting South Park is a great way to prove subjective morality, since Cartman is a cartoon character, who is written that way. I don't deny that there are people who don't feel guilty when they do wrong, but those people we label as psychotics and lock them away in a mental institution (especially if they feel no remorse after killing someone). We may give lip service to subjective morality, but I think deep down we all know that there are some things which are simply wrong.

I am, indeed, con abortion. But I would ask, TUF, why you are con abortion. If you are con abortion, but feel that morality is subjective and a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion, shouldn't you be pro abortion? Even if you are personally opposed to it, shouldn't you be pro so that a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion if she feels she needs it?

I would say that, yes, the members who support abortion are wrong (does that surprise you, considering I'm arguing for objective morality? ;) ). And I would gladly debate them on the issue (as I have done in the past). The unborn are innocent humans, and it is wrong to kill innocent humans. I have no problem saying that abortion is objectively wrong.

As I stated in my opening round, "objective" means independent of the human mind. In order to have a universal moral law, all humans do not necessarily have to agree on it. It exists independently to all humans recognizing it, just like the Earth has always revolved around the sun, even when common belief held that the sun revolved around the Earth.

My analogies still stand and remain unrefuted, since I'm sure most (if not all) people can agree that it is worse for a man to kill his son to feed his dog than for a man to kill his dog to feed his son. And I don't know anyone who would say that rape is morally acceptable for anyone who believes it to be so.

TUF's Case

TUF's own definition of "exists" refutes his case. "The world exists, whether you like it or not." Whether you like it or not. People do not have to agree that the world exists in order for it to be so.

C1 -- Subjective Resolution

Most people recognize morality, even if they make a choice that goes against their personal morality. For example, someone may decide never to make any sacrifices for another person, because they only have so long to live and don't want to squander what little time they have. However, even a person who lives selfishly and would never make a sacrifice for someone else due to their own personal morality, can still recognize a selfless act and praise it (such as someone feeding the hungry or giving their life in the protection of others). Personal subjective morality does not disprove an objective morality. Just because people disagree on something does not mean there isn't a correct answer. There are many different religions that all disagree on key doctrines, but that doesn't mean that one of them isn't true.

C2 -- Absolute Morality is Fallible

Sub A -- Theological Absolute Morality is Fallible

Christians can actually make a solid case for Christianity being true, and therefore the God of the Bible's morality is the correct one. To say that during each copying process the writings become less focused is simply not true. They have been translated into many different languages, but we have overwhelming manuscript evidence (dating back to very close to the originals) that the message of the Biblical Scriptures has not been changed. Furthermore, Christianity is actually a factual based religion. Christianity is a religion based in history that can be historically verified. In fact, the Bible is one of the few holy books (if not the only one) that actually encourages you to test its claims.

Sub B -- The Sociological Argument for relative morality

The problem with the man on the island is that if he starts a society with other people, in order to be fair to the others, he would have to set some standards (such as making murder, theft, and rape illegal), which are objectively immoral due to the fact that they harm others. Which is worse, telling someone they can't behave a way that would be harmful to someone else, or telling someone they can because you don't want to infringe on their personal morality? The very fact that you are concerned with not wanting to cause harm on another shows that there is objective morality.

Conclusion

TUF has not shown that objective morality exists. Just the opposite: the fact that we can argue about morality shows that there is an objective morality, for one cannot know what is wrong unless he/she has some idea of what is right. Additionally, it is simply impossible to live as a relativist at all times. The existence of an objective morality seems more likely.

I thank TUF again for his argument, and I look forward to his response.

[1] Lewis, Clive Staples, Mere Christianity, p. 45.
TUF

Con

My opponent agreed to allow me to use sourcing in this debate to get around character limits, if that becomes an issue.

****MY OPPONENTS CASE****

1. MORAL DIS-AGREEMENTS

My opponent makes an interesting point on a person arguing over their morality, even if they do not feel it is correct at first. But this is called the process of "creating your own morality". Kind of what I was saying with the south park arguments. When in their ignorance, humans will create an argument for why doing what they did was okay so strongly, that they themselves believe it. They thus, have created their own morality. However even if a person STILL doesn't believe in that morality, but argue against it's actions, that just makes them a hypocrite. This doesn't actually make any justification for an objective morality based on the presumption of ignorance. C.S. Lewis is absolutely right in saying a man won't call a line crooked if he knows what a straight line looks like. Subjectively, to him, a line is straight. This same premise is shared by thousands. Besides the fact that this isn't a majority, this is still fallible because there exists a man in the world who believes a crooked line to me or you, is indeed straight.

But by your logic you discount a great many scenario's. I am partially colorblind for example. If you see an apple as red, but I see the apple as pink, does this mean that I am absolutely wrong? How can I be wrong if this is what I see? Is it wrong simply because other people dis-agree? What about those who are completely color blind? You will argue that the apple is red, I will argue that the apple is pink, while he will argue that the apple is grey. Morality is not absolute or definitive as it is merely created by those who own their own moral code. It can be perceived and viewed in a vast amount of ways.

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


2. MORAL CRITICISMS

"If morality were truly subjective, we would have no right to say that Nazis were wrong, and therefore it would be completely acceptable for another Hitler to come along and have another Holocaust."

This statement to me has completely altered anything I said previously. In order for morality to be subjective, only one party must agree that morality is correct. Sure what Hitler did was incredibly wrong. According to both of our moralities. But not Hitler's. Hitler was okay with doing the actions that he did, guilt free, as evidenced by the Mein Kumpf in which contains his political ideologies, properly defining and justifying why he feels the actions he has committed are just.

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

Nothing I have said makes him committing another Holocaust okay though, so I believe you must have grossly mis-understood my argument. If we can recognize that Hitler's believed in his own moral code, that it "Existed" as opposed to a world wide view of morality, then we understand that morality is truly subjective. The fact that neither you or I can fathom how Hitler could commit such atrocious acts, is evidence to the fact that he owns a morality that exists outside of our own.

3. KEEPING PROMISES AND TREATIES

I apologize to my opponent for mis-understanding the relevancy of my arguments. I will attempt to re-iterate them.

"I don't know anyone who teaches their kids it's okay to lie, or it's okay to break promises if it can result in personal gain."

I felt this was worth quoting from my opponent for specifically the reason of personal experience with it. Believe it or not, teaching or believing of principle outside of your morals, is not so profound. My step-mother would always tell me that lying is okay as long as it was for some greater purpose, or some helpful justification could be mustered up from doing so.

Also there are actually religions and churches that teach and condone such acts. I think it would be safe to say, that a lot of religious people even use their own religion for personal gain in some way or another, thus violating their own moral code.

Anyhow the Wiccan religion has a moral code they teach "An it harm none, do what ye will", which is called the wiccan rede. Contrary to what you would take the meaning as, they actually condone a lot of the practices in which you stated above, to believe as sinning.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Strictly speaking, yes parents ought to teach their kids the to follow certain values. But that is just my relative morality speaking ;-) I recognize that not all people hold that morality the same as I do.

4. BREAKING THE MORAL LAW

First off I was merely using the south park reference as an example. The south park reference however, is not so invalid to other humans beings. I clarified in the rebuttal to argument 1 a little better, but this was in reference to humans re-writing their own morals codes by justifying violating a previous moral code.

What you, keytar, label as a psychotic, is merely someone who dis-agrees with your opinion. Not all people with whacked opinions though are psychotic. Hitler, while having horrible views in my moral opinion, can be generally categorized as an intelligent individual.

Saying that we all feel something deep down, is more of a hope for obective morality than a fact proven.

"This I still do, and must do, because guilt is a subjective feeling where any further step is only a reduplication–feeling guilty about my guilt."

This is a quote from a rather interesting article (it is also a great read if you have the time), called the Guilty Vicarage, by Wynston Hugh Auden.
When guilt is noticed, or felt by someone who completes an atrocious act, that guilt will be commonly associated with knowing that they violated a moral code they were taught. However being taught something, simply cannot write a person's morality. If an individual chooses not to believe in that moral code, and instead follow their own, then they do not feel guilty for the act they have committed, but rather for the act of letting down their mentors.

A boy raised in a religious, conservative family, who actively supports that any gay actions are immoral, cannot conform to these ideals if he himself is gay, or does agree with these views.
If you are con abortion, but feel that morality is subjective and a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion, shouldn't you be pro abortion? Even if you are personally opposed to it, shouldn't you be pro so that a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion if she feels she needs it?

"If you are con abortion, but feel that morality is subjective and a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion, shouldn't you be pro abortion? Even if you are personally opposed to it, shouldn't you be pro so that a woman who approves of it should be able to get an abortion if she feels she needs it?"

Absolutely not. In my opinion no woman should ever get an abortion period, because that is in my morality. I am recognizing philosophically however, that woman has her own morality that the action is correct, and that a morality separate to mine exists.

Anyways my question to you wasn't whether you agreed with the other members on their standpoint. My question was asking you if you recognized that their is a separate morality from yours based on the split votes? Upon recognizing that their Morality exists, we can finally know and understand that absolutism is virtually impossible.

So you feel that Morality exists outside of human recognition. If this is true, than how do you know your moral code is the correct one? You must understand how making a statement like that is completely versatile.

Even by you admitting that most (not all) people would agree that killing another mans dog is wrong, you recognize there are others with differing beliefs. Subjectively you recognize that someone else's morality exists outside your own.

This debate will continue in the link below.


http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 3
KeytarHero

Pro

I did agree to allow him to use sourcing in the debate. I’ll do likewise if my response doesn’t fit in the 8,000 character limit.

1. Moral Disagreements

Con asserts that there may be some people who would call a straight line crooked, but hasn’t provided any examples of any such people. The reality is that a line is straight when it’s straight. If it’s bent at all, then it would be crooked. You could call a straight line crooked, but you would be incorrect. A straight line is straight regardless of whether someone else thought it was crooked. A stick in a pool of water may appear crooked, but this is just an illusion. The stick, itself, is still straight.

In the example Con used of colorblindness, yes, he would be wrong if he called a red apple pink. He may perceive it as pink due to his partial colorblindness, but the apple is still red regardless of how either of us perceive it. Try running a red light, then telling the police officer who pulled you over that you perceived the light as green so you shouldn’t receive a ticket, and see if you’ll get out of a ticket that way.

2. Moral Criticisms

I really don’t think I’ve misunderstood Con’s argument here.
If morality is subjective, then we have no right to tell Hitler he was wrong for killing all those Jews. Therefore, it was morally acceptable for him. It would also be morally acceptable for another Hitler to come along and commit another Holocaust. We may disagree with his morality, but it’s okay for him because morality is subjective. We would only have a right to stop him if murder was objectively wrong, despite his believing that killing Jews is morally acceptable.

3.
Keeping Promises and Treaties
It is true that sometimes it is justified to do something immoral for a higher moral purpose (e.g. it is morally right to lie to protect an innocent person from death), but all this would point to is there is a hierarchy of morality, not subjective morality. Lying is still objectively wrong, but it is worse to kill an innocent person than to lie, so lying to protect an innocent person fulfills a higher moral purpose. However, breaking a promise for personal gain is wrong, and a parent is being negligent in teaching their children that they should break their word whenever it benefits them. This is quite different from lying to protect an innocent person.

4. Breaking the Moral Law

I understand the reference to South Park (I have been known to make reference to science fiction in my debates), it would simply help to appeal to a real-life example to show how this could happen (e.g., appealing to Superman would not prove that human beings can fly).

When I refer to psychotics, I’m not referring to someone who disagrees with my position. I don’t believe Atheists or Muslims to be psychotic. However, there are some things which are deemed as objectively wrong, so someone who can perform the acts without remorse are labeled psychotics and locked away in mental institutions. At the heart of it, I think it can be shown that most people realize an objective morality exists. Using Cartman as an example, even if someone re-wires their brain to accept a different morality, that doesn’t negate objective morality, it just shows that some people will go to great lengths to prevent themselves from feeling guilty over performing an immoral act.

Now, it seems to me that Con believes that morality is subjective, but not everyone should be able to act upon their subjective morality. For example, he is still con abortion, believing that no woman should ever have an abortion. He also indicated earlier that we should not allow another Hitler to commit a Holocaust. But what good is subjective morality if one cannot act upon their moral standards? You can say, “well, you can act on it as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.” But that’s an objective moral statement! Telling Hitler that he can’t kill a Jew because they can’t harm someone is appealing to an objective moral truth, that harming or killing innocent people is wrong. This goes back to my earlier statement that it is impossible to live as a moral relativist.

I can recognize that other moral codes exist, but again, this does not negate the existence of an objective morality. There are many different religions that all claim to hold the truth despite all being contradictory in key doctrines. Just because they all hold the truth doesn’t mean they are all wrong. One of them may be correct, and many of them may have true aspects to them. In the same way, just because people hold to contradictory moral codes does not negate the existence of an objective morality. One of them may be the correct moral code, and many of them may have
true aspects.

Con’s Case

C1 – Subjective Resolution

I have already explained how this proves my case: the existence of other moral codes does not negate the existence of an objective moral code. And if an objective moral code exists, it is one in which all humans should act upon. I also don’t deny that some acts of selfishness are morally justified. But not at the expense of others. For example, if you are in a burning building with others trying to get out, you are not justified in shooting other people to increase your chances of escaping unscathed.

C2 – Absolute Morality is Fallbile

Sub A: Theological objective morality is fallible

It is true that ultimately, the existence of God must be accepted on faith. However, a case can be made that God’s existence is more likely than not (in fact, there is a Moral Argument for God’s existence that is often used as part of a cumulative case). Con’s entire case rests on claiming that the existence of other, subjective moralities negates an objective morality. I have already shown why this is not the case. Con has not made a case for why Christian morality should be disregarded as the objective one. Jewish morality was based on the Ten Commandments, not Christianity morality. Christian morality is largely based on loving others and living in peace with them, and loving God (though of course, loving God would only be accepted by those who believe God exists in the first place).

Sub B: The Sociological Argument for relative morality is fallible

Regarding Con’s question of harming others, Con, himself, has agreed that one should not harm others (which seems like an objective truth). He has already agreed that women should not have abortions, even if they believe it is right, and another Hitler should not be allowed to commit another Holocaust. But if morality were truly subjective, then we should allow others to do whatever their morality tells them is okay. What right would we have to stop them? The only right we would have is if these things were objectively wrong.

Regarding Con’s analogy of the cookie jar, the mother is acting responsibly in telling the child not to eat a cookie before dinner. This is because eating a cookie before dinner may spoil his appetite. Now, he could grow into an adult that likes to eat cookies before dinner, despite his mother’s warnings. But this doesn’t make his mother’s warnings unfounded. Cookies can still spoil a person’s appetite, whether they believe it is okay to have a cookie before dinner. Additionally, even if we agree that eating a cookie before dinner is subjectively immoral, the only person he’s harming in this case is himself. So the objective morality already established in this debate of not to harm anyone else is still being kept, even though he disregards his mother’s advice and has a cookie before dinner.

Conclusion

I have shown why the existence of subjective moralities does not negate an objective morality. Even though they all contradict one another, that does not mean there is not one that is correct, or that they all don’t at least hold some morals that line up with the objective morality. I thank Con for a stimulating debate.

TUF

Con

This is my last response, So I would like to thank my opponent for offering up a fantastic debate, and I wish him the best of luck in the voting period, as he truly was a worthy opponent!

****PRO's CASE****

1. MORAL DIS-AGREEMENTS


ANALYSIS OF A STRAIGHT STICK

The analysis of the stick being particularly straight depends entire on someone subjective belief of what straight is. My opponent was the one who said this himself to begin with. So with that said, what if a society of people have learned that the word straight is associated with what we call a crooked stick? To them, that stick is straight. My opponent keeps saying that the stick is universally straight no matter what. I say that is it unfair of him to make that opinion and say it is objective. In my subjective belief, the stick is simply an un defined object. It's definition becomes important when applying our subjective beliefs onto the stick. Being raised on taught to know what straight is, I may call that stick straight. I also may notice it is brown, sharp, and dirty. But this is simply my definition of the stick based on what I have learned and then believed. Again, a different society who was raised to believe that the stick was blue, clean, dull, and crooked cannot be objectively wrong, as that is what they believe. Subjectively in my belief this is still just an in animate object with no physical properties until someone applies their own belief system onto that object.

TRAFFIC LIGHT ANALYSIS

My opponent attempts to use an example of me being pulled over by a police officer for simply not knowing the color of the light. Again this is deterring from the point. I myself will not run the traffic light, because subjectively I know the laws of driving, and choose to abide by my societies moral code. I however am not everyone, and that's where my opponent is mistaken. If someone from a different society were to enter ours being raised to believe that red is green, and that green is red, and is told to go on green, and to stop on red, they will inevitably run many red lights. They will be given a ticket, though, while failing to understand why, as subjectively they were taught and believed this themselves.


2. MORAL CRITICISMS

Back to the Hitler stuff are we? My opponent keeps using this word "Right". He keeps saying that in my opinion, we don't have the "right" to stop Hitler. This is why I feel he is deeply mis-construing me here. I have never said that, nor will I ever. In my subjective opinion, we had every right to stop Hitler and his atrocious acts. All I am saying is that just because Hitler's actions are subjectively wrong to most societies, doesn't mean they are objectively wrong. We fail to understand how his morality could allow him to do such a thing guilt less. But you see, us failing to understand it doesn't mean it was objectively wrong. And Hitler wasn't the only one who shared this belief. Hitler taught his people his beliefs, and a great many of them did agree with his actions. They accepted it as part of their morality, thus making it their own subjective morality. The fact that you and I don't understand/don't agree with it, only enforces the fact that morality cannot be objective. If morality was objective then they would not have been able to make their own moral code and feel okay with carrying it out.

The book called the Ten commandments was Hitler's attempt at showing the world his beliefs in Nazism, and many people agreed with the codes of conduct it presented. I don't however, and you don't. Thus we are subjective.

http://www.goodreads.com...


3. KEEPING PROMISES AND TREATIES

Again I am going to say I completely agree with you on your moral code of lying in order to save a life, etc. This is our shared morality.
However this is not a viewed shared by everyone around the world. In fact, popular philosopher Immanuel Kant, is of the opinion that Lying, no matter what the circumstance, is always an act of immorality.

http://www.scu.edu...

Simply saying once again, that being that their exists different moral codes, simply proves that objectivity is impossible.

4. BREAKING THE MORAL LAW.


I am a little peeved about the assumption con is making towards my morality, as he is vastly saying things that I never said. I have agreed with him on many of his moral codes. He goes on to say however that I don't believe in acting upon it. This is completely false. I don't understand where he is getting this either. I don't agree with a woman getting an abortion, and yes, I believe in taking the necessary actions to prevent her from getting one. I recognize that she has a different moral belief than me. I get that. In my subjective morality, she is still committing a murder however, and I will not approve of the action. It is really annoying that Pro keeps assuming that I would be okay with her getting an abortion.

With that said my opponent has admitted that he notices that other moral codes exist. If this is true, than how can you say there is an objective morality? And also the question I have been seeking the answer to: What is this universal code of morality, and where is your proof that it is omnipotent other than your faith in it being so? The fact that you acknowledge there are other morals codes out there has already fulfilled my BOP.

****MY CASE****

C1: SUBJECTIVE RESOLUTION

I don't want to waste a whole lot of time here, as my opponent really has not argued anything new. For this point I am just going to say that in my opinion, the words used in defining morality, are subjective. They note specifically that in order to have morality, a person must choose to believe what they believe. My opponent accepted this definition. He has not argued that it's meaning suggests that a single morality is fallible, thus we must assume that he agrees that morality is Subjective.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Key word: Distinction.

C2: ABSOLUTE MORALITY IS FALLIBLE

SUB A: THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

My opponent admits that in order for the Christian morality to be true, than it must be accepted by a persons faith. This was all I wanted. He cannot prove then for 100% fact that his Christian morality is objective true. He admits that Other religions can be accepted upon by faith.

So the question is un-answered. Outside of our own beliefs, how can we determine one being objectively true?
The argument my opponent is making: "We just can" Doesn't seem to make sense to me.


SUB B: SOCIOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

On the cookie analogy. I am not making a case here to prove that what the child is doing is inherently wrong. The point of this argument was to prove that the distinction of what wrong and right is, will be determined by the individual. That boy may agree later on in life that the cookie spoils his appetite, and may choose to change his morals based on that premise alone. But early on in witnessing his father, his morality will be different as he learned it is okay to eat cookies before dinner. Thus with several moralities existing before him, he has no choice but to create his own based on what he is learning as a child. Morality than becomes Subjective.


****VOTERS****

Dear Voters, I know there has been a lot of back and forth arguing about virtually the same thing. I have attempted to steer away from that as much as possible. But I am now going to outline, why I believe I have one this debate.

ARGUMENTS: My opponent has finally accepted that there are different moral codes. I'll let you make what you will of the rest of the debate.

SOURCES: I have provided a vast plethora of sources, as opposed to a couple quotes from a favorite author. I have provided in my opinion, a superior support and analysis for this debate.

With that said, I thank the voters once again for your time in reading this debate.

Thanks to KeytarHero for a fun debate!
Debate Round No. 4
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
Thank you as well!
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
It was close. You did very good my dear sir, thankyou for the privilege of the debate!
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
Well, I lost. Good show, TUF.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
9 minutes until the end of the world as we know it...
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
"If one is justified every time they decide to change their morals, no longer can anyone objectively say "murdering children is wrong" it simply turns into," I don't care for murder murdering children". "

This argument again? It is true, no one can objectively say murdering children is wrong, because obvjectively, everyone is not of the same belief. If they were, then abortionists, wouldn't abort babies, and the communistic government in China wouldn't believe in trashing female children upon birth.

Subjectivity is what defines the difference in our beliefs. But you just like many objectivists, seem to think that a subjectivist recognizing these differences in the human belief system, means that they agree with and are okay with others believing these things. Again this false, as I had to explain many times in this debate. The underlying point is that if you don't understand how another person could commit such an attrocious act, you recognize that their moral code allows them to do different things than yours does. By recognizing that, we know their exists alternate moral codes. There is no universal definition making our belief system more right than others, given their are SO many countries who believe in murdering the unborn, or the new born. I can only subjectively say that I am right, and stick to my morals. I can only subjectively look at others who do this and tell them that the action was wrong. There is no way to define a universal morality, as there will always exist different societies with conflicting point of views.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
I am disappointed in Pro as I felt his arguments were weak. Pro, you may be interested in this debate I'm in now http://www.debate.org... which outlines my theory of morality and objective morality.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
You seem to be stuck on the opinion that the stop sign is red no matter what. This is not true. You say it is red. Society tells me it is red. I believe it is red. However I still see the stop sign or the apple or whatever it is, as pink. So does the other percentage of colorblind people with the same "deficiancy" as me. I put qoutes around the word however for a reason. Is it really a deficiancy because other people see something differently than we do? Can the stop sign not be pink if a only a hundred people see it as pink compared to a million who don't? I know when we are talking about the physical world it is hard to compare it to that of morality, but the point remains. What "is" cannot be defined by one universal belief. If I chose, I could adamantly pursue believing that the sign is pink, ignoring what others around me are saying. I am justified in my belief based on what I see. The only reason this stop sign has a property defined as color attached to it is based on several perceptions of that sign. A good movie explaining this in more detail, is "down the rabbit hole". You should be able to watch it for free on tubeplus.me if you are interested in learning more about this concept, and want to look into some other concepts as well.
Posted by Doulos1202 4 years ago
Doulos1202
Ill try to break this down differently,

You have perception and you have fact (or what is).

The color itself remains the same a red stop sign is a red stop sign whether or not society has anything to do with it, due to the fact that you have a slight visual abnormality does not dictate whether the color itself changes it is your perception that is altered. The fact remains regardless of perception. You wouldn't go agreeing with with a mentally ill patient if they are suffering from visual hallucinations. You would be concerned with the potentially unstable reaction they may have to something that is not even there. If we are to go along accepting everyone perception (mentally ill included) then why be concerned with there well being?

You admit that there is an abnormality with your vision (perception), you then follow with the "fact" that there is an actual normal color (standard) that the normal eye recognizes.

If one is justified every time they decide to change their morals, no longer can anyone objectively say "murdering children is wrong" it simply turns into," I don't care for murder murdering children".
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
"Why does one feel the need to rationalize moral values if they are already considered subjective. I believe the better argument would be "Is objective morality superior to subjective"."

The point is that rationalizing morals can lead to accepting and creating new morals altogether. Thus the south park reference. A person who has committed an act of attrocity, may feel guilty at first. But upon constistently defending their reasons for doing that act, and then believing that the act was moral, that pesron may come to accept new morals, thus making them subjective. But a more politically correct example could be used I suppose. If a person who is against abortion, later changes that morality to being pro Choice, before proceeding to get an abortion, will they objectively feel guilty? If their morality has accepted that abortion is okay, and then they commit the act, it is no longer violating that person's morality. Given the person changing their morality, it shows us that there cannot be an objective moral law.

"Do you not already admit that you are partially colorblind and perceive a given color incorrectly, Though you view red as pink does not remove the fact that it is indeed red. Your "perception" of the color, unfortunately incorrect does not change the color in itself. This argument refutes itself."

No, to me the color is still pink, as that is how I see it. Society calls the color red. However I am told that a lighter version of the color red is pink. Thus when I see the lighter color, I will always see pink. Objectively, no one however can tell me what color I really see. I have accepted my societies word on the color red, and accept that the apple is red rather than pink.

Comprende?
Posted by Doulos1202 4 years ago
Doulos1202
@TUF
If I may ask,

Why does one feel the need to rationalize moral values if they are already considered subjective. I believe the better argument would be "Is objective morality superior to subjective".

Secondly you make the comment:
"But by your logic you discount a great many scenario's. I am partially colorblind for example. If you see an apple as red, but I see the apple as pink, does this mean that I am absolutely wrong? How can I be wrong if this is what I see?"

Do you not already admit that you are partially colorblind and perceive a given color incorrectly, Though you view red as pink does not remove the fact that it is indeed red. Your "perception" of the color, unfortunately incorrect does not change the color in itself. This argument refutes itself.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
KeytarHeroTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Ugh...so I hate doing this, but I vote on a failed burden. I do not believe either side sufficiently affirmed or negated, so I default con. Con's arguments did not adequately negate all of the logic brought by pro but did the minimal needed to prevent Pro fro proving that indeed objective moral law exists. Intuitively it would seem that pro proved his point but to that extend an intuitive feeling does not warrant a vote. So 1 pt. to Con
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 4 years ago
popculturepooka
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter vb waterskier.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
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Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting arguement! Think Pro made some good arguements but Con fought back hard. I think Con had better resources.
Vote Placed by waterskier 4 years ago
waterskier
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Reasons for voting decision: con did way better in this debate, but I still agree with pro
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was successfully able to refute Pro's points being that there were pre-supposed points. However, point for Pro as he did a good job.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: This was very close. Pro's definition was "independent of the human mind." I think Pro made a good case for universal morality based upon common recognition of genocide and lying as immoral, the exceptions notwithstanding. However, if the morality is not within the human mind it would have to be common teaching, and there is no evidence that, say Christian principles are universally taught and accepted. Con broke the site rule on character limits; the debaters cannot waive that.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter orator until he makes an rfd, pm me when the time comes.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 4 years ago
THEBOMB
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Blithe.
Vote Placed by Blithe 4 years ago
Blithe
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Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting debate
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
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Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully managed to refute Pro's points by pointing out that they were based on pre-supposed points (obligation to commit treaties and Nazi actions begin immoral). Pro's Hitler and Treaty argument is based upon points which he did not elaborate upon or even justify in the first place, i.e. murder being immoral. As a result, win to con.