Debate Rounds (5)
Resolution: Morality is objective.
You're pro, and I'm con. Good luck.
Merriam-Webster defines morality as, "a doctrine or system of moral conduct." This system, in a sense, serves to innately define what is right and wrong. Objective is defined as "of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers." Combining these two ideas, we can see that the resolution asks me to stand in affirmation of the idea that there is a moral system, or a system of right and wrong, that all people observe.
SP A: The differences present from culture to culture are simply parameters of an objective morality.
Marc Hauser writes:
"A growing group of anthropologists and economists have taken the evidence discussed thus far as a signature of a uniquely human cognitive adaptation. Whereas we inherited a largely selﬁsh nature from our ancestors, we also evolved a uniquely human psychology that predisposes us toward a different form of altruistic behavior: strong reciprocity.Social anthropologists are fond of pointing out cultural exceptions to apparently universal patterns of human behavior... In the same way that all humans share a universal grammar but might speak Chinese, English, or French, it appears that all humans share a universal sense of distribution fairness, with cross-cultural differences coupled to local quirks of exchange, justice, power, and resource regulation. The idea here, returning to our analogy with language, is that fairness is a universal principle with the potential for parametric variation and constraints. Cultures set the parameters based on particular details of their social organization and ecology, and these settings constrain what are optional forms of exchange and distribution."
"To begin answering some of the unresolved issues raised by Petrinovich’s and Mikhail’s work, my students Fiery Cushman and Liane Young and I created the Moral Sense Test (moral.wjh.harvard.edu). Within the ﬁrst year of opening the site, and with only an English version of the test, we had collected data from sixty thousand subjects, covering 120 countries. The sample included children as young as seven and adults as old as seventy; males and females; individuals with no education, primary school, secondary school, college, Ph.D.s, MDs, and JDs; atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs; and 120 ethnicities. Like Petrinovich and Mikhail, we also used trolley problems and other moral dilemmas involving questions of harm, rescue, and the distribution of beneﬁcial resources such as medicine... We explored a wider range of dilemmas varying in content (not only trolleys, but stampeding elephants, burning houses, rescue boats, dispensation of limited drugs), wording (killing, saving, running over), the time allotted to answer (as much time as needed or speeded, requiring an immediate response following the question), and the identity of agents and targets (unknown bystander, test subject as agent or target/victim). For each dilemma, we asked whether an action was permissible, obligatory, or forbidden... Based on a sample of several thousand subjects taking the test, and responding to one of these cases as their ﬁrst moral dilemma, about 90 percent said that it was permissible for Denise to ﬂip the switch, whereas only about 10 percent said it was permissible for Frank to push the large person. Although these were all English speakers with access to the Internet, the judgments were consistent across subjects with widely different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds in religion, general education, and speciﬁc knowledge of moral philosophy." (In reference to the famous trolley problem)
The two subpoints above give me sufficient ground to affirm. Since the apparent differences in moral systems are a result of a parametric shift from culture to culture, and we can see that there are universal ideas of right and wrong actions, I have fulfilled my observational burden. Feel free to ask any questions about the evidence in your argument, as I realize it is kind of cluttered and difficult to grasp without context.
Thank you for letting me know what Marc Hauser said. I'm very glad that he is so well-informed about your stance.
Can we start the debate soon?
Thanks. I look forward to it.
This should be great, once it gets off the ground.
And hopefully there are even more juicy excerpts from my main man, Marc Hauser.
mmaherbexley forfeited this round.
Nice. Glad I waited for it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||6|
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeit from Pro. Sources and arguments are also awarded seeing as the entirety of Pro's case were long excerpts of someone named Marc Hauser. In his entire argument, Pro only offered a single sentence of original argument and it was simply a sentence long summary of his Hauser extracts.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.