The Instigator
artzy125
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Without God, there is no base for morality to stand upon

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 940 times Debate No: 49069
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (7)

 

artzy125

Con

I personally believe you do not need a religion for morals. Common decency is a human condition that we already have prior to any teachings. You can recite the Bible all you would like and so will I, please, no name calling or rudeness. I preferably want to debate a Catholic, or a person of similar religion (Christianity, Mormonism, etc.)
ConservativePolitico

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for an interesting debate topic.

I. God

First, let us look at what God brings to morality. Let's hypothetically say that there is a God. In this case, it would seem that God as our Creator has the right to dictate to us a sense of morality that is pleasing to him. This gives morality an anchor that can be concretely referred back to as an objective source. This would give morality a base to stand upon if you will. It would be something eternal and transcendent to give people to strive for.

II. Without God

If we take away God from this equation we allow people to come up with what they think is correct for morality which gives us no solid base to work from. My opponent claims "common decency" has existed prior to any teachings. But I do not believe this to be the case.

Without a solid moral anchor such as God morality becomes completely subjective between individuals and between cultural groups. One might say that murder is universally reviled but it's not. Murder is a common initiation right among gangs who obviously don't find anything egregious with killing [1]. One cultural group might say that gangs are wrong but the gangs obviously don't feel that way or else they would refrain from murdering as well.

Sure, there can be a group of people who get together and say that they believe certain things to be right or wrong but without a base that supersedes humans this cannot be seen as a completely legitimate form of morality. All it would take is another group of people to come along and say "you're wrong". Debate would ensue and each side may believe this or that, fine. But that is not a true base for morality to stand on.

Human decency doesn't exist as a universal principle, especially in cases involving groups who severely dislike each other such as the Israelis and the Palestinians or Civil War era white supremists and blacks. No universal sense of common decency was ever followed between such groups.

In contrast however, if we take something like God or the Bible we can use that as an outside source of morality to judge the actions of all different groups thus creating an actual base in which to build morality upon.

Therefore, without God, there is no true base for morality that can be accepted as a universalist principle among all different peoples. In short, a subjective morality cannot form a cohesive base on which to sit.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
artzy125

Con

Well first of all, I thank my opponent for participating in this debate with me.

I personally am only talking about god as a belief, not necessarily a real being.

While I understand that the majority of the world teaches morality though religious teaching, I believe it does not need to be that way. I believe humans have morals already without any form of teaching. Let us go back to the days of the common, let's say, neanderthal. They were close to the human species on an evolutionary level. They would live together, in nuclear families, they would nurture their sick and take care of each other. Of course they would have had territories, and if another neanderthals outside of the family enter their territory, they would be killed.

Now if we compare this with our theories of morality today, they were morally correct. They would care for each other, hunted for food, gathered, and traveled. They would kill others outside of the family, for they were seen, as immediate threat to their territory and family. They would not have a concept of a god because their brains could not process like ours do today. They had morals without any teachings, they didn't know right from wrong, it was instinct, animal instinct. That is the reason I believe morality is something that isn't needed to be taught it is instinct, aka, The Human Condition.

Now, I understand what my opponent is trying to say with the examples of gangsters. I understand that most people like that have little to know morals, yet, it is not their fault. They were brought up into those situations by possibly family, surrounding, media, etc. They aren't that way because of any reason other than they were around hostile environments while they were young. I don't know about my opponent but this seems like a form of unintended brainwashing. They don't know what is morally wrong because they were never told, or they were raised wrong and they became rebellious to authority figures.

My opponent is saying that without god there are no morals, yet, what is there with a god? It seems to me that most religious teachings are hostile and controlling. With every religion there are extremists, and they follow the same god as everyone else in the religion, following the same scripture, same moral teachings.

I agree with you that nobody can ever have the same morality. There can never be universal morals that everyone follows, yet without religion you can still have the same exact morals as a religious person, just without their god.
ConservativePolitico

Pro

"I agree with you that nobody can ever have the same morality. There can never be universal morals that everyone follows..."

With this statement my opponent has basically conceded the debate. If we look back at the resolution we see that we are trying to argue that without god there is no BASE for morality to stand on. Not bases, not some kind of foundation that is subjective but a singular base. By agreeing that nobody can ever have the same morality and that there can never be universal morals that everyone follows my opponent concedes that there is no singular base for morality to stand upon. There may be multiple bases, or factions of morality but there is no true base. In this he has conceded the debate to me.

However, I will continue and dismantle his arguments further.

First, on his point about neanderthals, they are not human. One of the key points in discussing morality and ethics is establishing who is a moral agent and what constitutes a person. I think it is a fallacy to try and debate the existence of morals and moral bases using an extinct species that was not even human.

Secondly, he claims that these types of actions, which he admits himself are just natural instinct, would fall in line with our sense of morality. There is a difference between morality and instinct. In fact, they probably cared for their wounded and lived in families because it was the best thing to do for their survival. Morality completely aside. Anyways, the whole example is on a whole, a terrible one that cannot really be considered.

My opponent then tries to counter my example about gang members by saying: "They don't know what is morally wrong because they were never told, or they were raised wrong and they became rebellious to authority figures."

This further highlights my point that there is no moral base here. First, how can they or their parents or you or anyone know what is "morally wrong" without a true base? You can argue this way and that about what you FEEL is right but with no base to stand upon it will be subject to personal feelings and opinions which is no base at all. What if they weren't "raised wrong"? What if their parents brought them up to be like this on purpose because they felt it was morally right? In the situation we are discussing this is a very real possibility.

Next, I will address my opponent's points about god. He says:

"It seems to me that most religious teachings are hostile and controlling. With every religion there are extremists, and they follow the same god as everyone else in the religion, following the same scripture, same moral teachings."

However, with a god there is that moral base to judge their actions against. Having a moral base does not mean everyone will interpret it the same or follow it but it is there. The extremists are called so because the bulk of their respective religions judges them against the moral base and casts them out. And your opinions on the rightness of religious teachings is irrelevant if there is that moral base in existence.

Lastly, I agree that people can have the exact same morals as a religious person without god. The difference is while they may have the exact same morals, there are an indefinite set of other morals that people can also come to. In the scenario with god, there is only one.

My opponent concedes the debate when he says morality without god can become fractured. A moral base would imply a universalist moral principle that everyone strives to follow. My opponent admits without god this is not possible and therefore admits without god there is no base for morality to stand upon.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
artzy125

Con

artzy125 forfeited this round.
ConservativePolitico

Pro

Extend arguments.

Thank you to my opponent.

Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Not sure if people actually read these debates often. I mean a full seven point vote for both opponents shows a certain lack of integrity. Then again this is my personal opinion.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Tempted to counter the fluff vote...
Posted by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
Good job CP! Very impressive!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes Crazed: Objective means exists regardless of consciousness.
If consciousness creates something it is not Objective.
Since Theists believe God is a Conscious being, then it cannot create objectivity.
So all Morals, whether God created them or not are Subjective, so we can certainly disagree with them.
Maybe this was your point, but I thought I would make it a little more wordy for typing practice.
XD~
Posted by crazedAtheist 2 years ago
crazedAtheist
even with a god there is no base for a morality. god is still taking an ultimately subjective stance. even if god is unchanging we can still disagree with him on what should be done. the idea of an objective ought is sort of contradictory.
Posted by LuckyStars 2 years ago
LuckyStars
Sam Harris might be able to show you some nice arguments on this subject.
Posted by artzy125 2 years ago
artzy125
That is a pretty cool point of view. I don't believe in it but I respect it.
Posted by SmallTacos 2 years ago
SmallTacos
I believe while God created morals, us being in his image makes us born with inhibitions.
Posted by artzy125 2 years ago
artzy125
That is a very good point, thank you.
Posted by LuckyStars 2 years ago
LuckyStars
I don't think anyone believes this?...

Maybe title it: Without God, there is no base for morality to stand upon.

At least that's what I'd say, while making myself (Or in this case yourself) Con.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's source was not really supportive of the argument when taken rationally. Con was ill prepared for Pro's rebuttals and failed to assert a decent case. Pro only won on argument grounds even though I disagree totally with Pro's position for several reasons. Pro only win this debate, but as far as concepts go, Pro's arguments are not convincing to a rational person. Con could have made a winning case, but didn't, possibly needed a better education on the Evolution of Morality in Humans. Yes, morality is a product of evolution, just like everything else humans have in their attributes. No God Required There!
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by sengejuri 2 years ago
sengejuri
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited a round and gave very poor, contradicting arguments.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro since Con forfeited last round. Sources goes to Pro since Con failed to include any.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Argument points are shared, as even though Con forfeited the last round I do not believe Pro made a good enough argument. I think when Pro pointed out that Con essentially concede this is a false statement, as it does not mean concession by saying all morals are subjective. Pro gets conduct points as Con forfeited. S&G is tied, and source points are tied, as only one news source was cited.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Not having the same morality =/= not having a base for morality to stand upon. Con argued well that through the likes of human decency and evolution, morality can have a base. Con convinced me that the base does not have to be moral itself, nor objective, in order to be a base for morality. Conduct to Pro for Con's round forfeit. Pro's source wasn't good enough for source points.
Vote Placed by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
artzy125ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded, FF, had errors in his arguments and had no resources so points goes to Pro .