The Instigator
Stephen_Hawkins
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
TUF
Con (against)
Winning
47 Points

There exists a moral system that which all humans ought to follow

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
TUF
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,458 times Debate No: 23920
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (11)

 

Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

The debate is as it seems (that is, the topic is how you'd imagine it to be). The topic is as it is read. All definitions are typical (either common usage or context specific). If my opponent has any grievances with the current layout, he should state them. As per the norm, first round for acceptance/definitions.
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.

System: an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming acomplex or unitary whole: a mountain system;
a railroadsystem.


Humans: of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature ofpeople: human frailty.

Ought: (used to express duty or moral obligation): Every citizenought to help.

Follow: to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with;obey.

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 Man-is-Good's Debate tournament with my humble opponent, and wish you stephen the best of luck through out this debate.

Let's get this show on the road!

Debate Round No. 1
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

Due to timing of abysmal proportions, I have managed to have to do 5 debates now, with 3 hours left on the clock. With that in mind, I respectfully request a stay of a day if my opponent can allow it so I can post my argument somewhere with a small amount more time. If not, I request a draw, so we can redo this.
TUF

Con

Given that we only have a limited number of rounds remaining, I am going to go ahead and make my case, and allow for the Pro to give his rebuttals in the following round.

*****FRAMEWORK*****

I will Start by clarifying the importance of definitions for this round, Then will proceed on to making my case.

Next I will provide a covered and detailed conclusion to wrap it all together.

I did state it my opening Round in rule 3, that a forfeit would conclude in the loss of this debate. Given that the round 2 was posted in, I will leave it up to the voters to decide on whether they feel round 2 counts as a forfeit or not.

So let's get this thing underway!



*****DEFINITONS*****


As I said, I would like to cover definitions exclusively, as they detail a lot about what this debate is specifically about, and underline the importance of the key values being argued. If one can understand the exact wording, and purpose of arguments, one can properly understand and argue the resolution.
Given my opponent not stating any grievances with the definitions I have provided, we will use them for the remainder of this debate.

First and foremost, let's hit that of morality.

The resolution uses the word Moral.

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: therecognizingornotingofdifferences;

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.


The next definition which carries specific importance of this debate, one which I feel deserves proper notification, would be the word "Ought".


Ought:(used to express duty or moral obligation): Every citizenought to help.

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

The specific part of this definition that rings out to me, is the phrase "moral obligation". This word under the resolution basically asks us to use moral obligation to determine whether something we should or shouldn't do, is moral, or immoral.

I felt this word important enough to have it's own definition appointed to it,

Obligation: something by which a person
is bound or obliged to docertain things, and which arises out of a sense of
duty or results from custom, law, etc.

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

So now we have another subjective definition that basically implies that we have an obligation to make a certain moral decision. The subjectivity in both of these words, being that both imply that a moral decision is left up to the individual.

Obligation using the phrase "Something by which a person is bound" rather than "People". So if someone has an obligation to do something moral, we see no objective terms in by which morality is defined. Why is this?
It is because it is simply impossible to define morality in an objective sense. When breaking each word in this resolution down to it's core, we only get implications that a person subjectively only makes their own decisions.
So how are we going to define this resolution with an objective sense, when all the definitions clearly point to human subjectivity?

*****MY CASE*****

C1: MORALITY IS LEARNED

This contention widely resolves around what I feel is most important. Where an individual achieves their sense of "morality".

In the link provided below, I will source plenty of information, as it pertains to the resolution both scientifically, and presents legibility to the point I will be attempting to make.

http://users.rcn.com...

This contention will be paraphrasing what instincts come in to play when developing "moral" behavior.

First I am going to hit on "Sensitization"

SUB A: Sensitization
Sensitization is defined through the above source as: "Sensitization is an increase in the response to an innocuous stimulus when that stimulus occurs after a punishing stimulus. "

We learn are behavior through both physical and mental stimulation. The source above use the example of a sea slug reacting to touch, VS reacting to shock waves.

I am going to example something similar, but a little less complex to understand, on how our ideals of right and wrong our developed.

A child reaches his hand into an open cookie jar before dinner. The child's mother quickly slaps the child's hand away, before saying "No cookies before dinner!".

The message the child receives is that eating sweets before dinner is inherently wrong. The child now reacts to the punishing stimulus, as he knows and recognizes his mothers view on eating cookies before dinner. The child now knows that this behavior is universally wrong. Whether the child will continue to reach into cookie jars or not in the future, will now be effected by the child viewing the action as wrong as he does so in future occasions.

This stimulus can be very different though as well.

SUB B: Habituation

Habituation is defined in the source above as "Habituation is a reduction in a previously-displayed response when no reward or punishment follows."

If a child coherently watches his father take a cookie out of the cookie jar each day before dinner, then the child will assume that his superior is making the right decisions. Everything this child knows is from the superior source of intellect; his father. In viewing his fathers actions, this child will respond in a way in which he believes is a "moral" action, as no representation of negative consequences were stimulated to his father from taking the cookie before dinner.

C2: WHAT IS THE UNIVERSAL LAW?

The Title of this point provides a spectacular question; one in which I hope the pro will be eager to answer. In order to establish a sense of a universal law in accordance to an objective morality, we must first understand what this objective morality is.
And thus is the question I post to my opponent during this debate.

SUB A: Individual views

People have argued for centuries, on whether specific actions should be viewed as coherently right or wrong.

We had the United States Civil War to decide on whether Slavery was immoral. Individuals in the south had grown up and learned throughout their whole lives, that Slavery was acceptable. Were they wrong if that's what they have learned? Or did the northern states just determine whether they were wrong or not based on their formulated opinions?

We have many issues developing in our day and age. Abortion, Death Penalty, Gay marriage etc. We have plenty of arguments supporting either side to each issue. Give the definitions of this debate, what will determine which side is definitively right? How can one substantiate a statement their morals being incredibly better than anothers?

I would like to source an article by Michelle Maise to provide further insight.

http://www.beyondintractability.org...

*****CONCLUSION*****

During my arguments in this debate match, I will attempt to the best of my ability, to prove that a single standard of moral objectivity simply cannot exist.

This is true though learned behaviors, and non-definitive laws on boundaries of morality.
I await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 2
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I am going to concede, partly because I am questioning the whole motion itself whenever I read it, but mostly due to personal lack of time. Too many debates, school starting, and other commitments are causing too many problems. Vote TUF.
TUF

Con

Thankyou Stephen_Hawkins for the honorable concession. I ask the voters share him a conduct point.

I look forward to debating you sometime in the future.


Debate Round No. 3
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

lol: give me conduct, but don't vote on anything else. I think that's fair. >:D

But on a serious note, vote CON. Good luck later on in teh tourney.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tnkissfan 5 years ago
Tnkissfan
Looking forward to the full debate.
Posted by Tnkissfan 5 years ago
Tnkissfan
Way to go TUF!!!!
Posted by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
Err, that's not even what other people mean by semantics. Typically people who say 'no semantics' mean 'no abusive definition arguments.'

Look up semantics, it doesn't mean irrefutable arguments, it means the relationship between symbols (words) and their meanings (definitions).
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
Semantics is where you make arguments that can't really be refuted. Definitions and there meanings can be argued.
Posted by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
@Zaradi and TuF: definitional debating is semantics debating. That's what semantics is; what words (among other things) mean. One of the most long-running annoyances I have with this site is the ubiquitous misuse of the word "semantics."
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
It was a vote
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Where did Orator's comment go?
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
@Orator:

There's a difference between definitional debate and semantical debating.
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
Orator, properly defining the resolution and proofing that subjective terms exists through definition is not semantics lol.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
This will be a push to do it on time... got Jubilee...may have to do a really short bad argument to outline position instead of fully developed.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
ScottyDouglas
Stephen_HawkinsTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I voted the way they wanted!
Vote Placed by CalvinAndHobbes 5 years ago
CalvinAndHobbes
Stephen_HawkinsTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
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Reasons for voting decision: Voting as Con requested, after Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for concession like a sir. Arguments and sources though to Con since Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession..
Vote Placed by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
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Reasons for voting decision: Got 'dat ff. Conduct because wise master TUF has instructed me to do so.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct as Con requested. Arguments to the only one who made them.
Vote Placed by K.GKevinGeary 5 years ago
K.GKevinGeary
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Reasons for voting decision: con gets the arguments for the only one and pros concession due to time issues. easy read.
Vote Placed by Xerge 5 years ago
Xerge
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
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Reasons for voting decision: ff