The Instigator
Benshapiro
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
LenaQueen
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Atheists cannot adequately explain morality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,632 times Debate No: 53562
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (0)

 

Benshapiro

Pro

By "explain morality" I mean that atheists can't give an adequate explanation of the existence of objective morals unless God exists.

Objective morals are morals that are inherently true regardless of society, culture, time period, or beliefs.

By "God" I mean the supreme being (omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent) and creator of the universe.

The first round is for you to present your case as to why objective morals can exist in the absence of God. The burden of proof is on my opponent.

By accepting this debate you agree to these terms and rules. Thanks! Over to my opponent.
LenaQueen

Con

First, as it says in the comments, I am assuming you are referring to the Christian God. Now to start. I am an atheist, but my morals (and other reasons it is irrelevant to get into) have helped with my decision to be vegan. I believe causing harm to other animals is wrong. I do not believe this out of fear of being sent to Hell or because a God told me to think this way. These morals exist because we as humans are empathetic and a majority of us feel something when we see an animal being injured or killed; especially one we relate to more like a human. Another issue is fairness. Say someone steels from you. You'd get upset. Why? Not because of God, because you feel cheated. We base our morals on our understanding of others' feelings. This has nothing to do with faith.
Debate Round No. 1
Benshapiro

Pro

Thanks con. I am referring to a God that has traits of the Christian God.

I'll paraphrase your major points while staying true to your logic.

1. I am an atheist, but I know that objective morals exist. I believe they exist because causing harm to other animals and stealing is wrong.


If you agree that objective morality exists, I will then ask you how can anything definitively be "right" and "wrong" morally if we have no deliberate purpose for our existence? If we evolved from non-living material, how can a definitive purpose exist among the human race? Objective morals require that we have a purpose. Why? Because objectives don't exist in an objectiveless world unless you create objectives for yourself but then all morality would be subjective. Murder without cause and rape against someone's will is always wrong. Why though? Our moral code tells us that it is wrong. But why do we have a moral code that directs us for/against any kind of "wrong" purpose if we have no purpose to begin with?





2. I didn't need God to give me my objective morals. Humans have a sense of right and wrong because we are naturally empathetic.



My argument is that objective morals can't exist without a God. Either God exists or he doesn't. There is no middle ground. If a supreme being does not exist, it follows that we have a spontaneous, unconscious, non-deliberate cause for our existence. If God does exist, it follows that have a purposeful existence to do God's will. Since the will of an omnibenevolent God is for us to treat each other with unconditional love, it follows that this is the same principle guiding the moral code of each human being. Empathy is a way of understanding how others feel. But why do human beings care about how others human beings feel if we sincerely have no objective purpose in life? If one human being wants to harm another, why is harm considered a "bad" purpose if we really don't have any purpose at all?

LenaQueen

Con

First of all, our purpose of existance does not matter. What is rellavent is that we are here and if we are to stay here we need morals. Without them, the world would be crazy and hectic, and we would be extinct rather quickly. We care about how others' feel because we have emotional bonds. And your main point is based on us having a God. We obviously have objective morals, so for you to be correct, you must first prove God exists.
Debate Round No. 2
Benshapiro

Pro

Jumping right in.

Here are my paraphrased arguments from the previous round:

Previous round, Pro: How can an objective moral truth exist when our existence is objectiveless?

and . . .

Previous round, Pro: If objective moral truths require that we have a purpose, how can any intent (purposeful) existence of the human race exist if we're the product of undirected random mutations?


[paraphrasing] my opponent responds . . .


Con: 1) Purpose doesn't matter.



Con: 2) Morals are necessary for suriving in a world that requires cooperative order.



------------------------------


1) my opponent refuses to agree that objectives require a purpose. What is an objective? It's an intentional fulfillment of a requirement to reach a specified purpose. If no purpose exists among the purposeless human race, how can any objective exist among us in the form of objective morality? It's a simple logical contradiction.


2) cooperative order presupposes that our existence is to promote the evolution of the human race. If we sincerely have no purpose for our existence (resulting from undirected, random mutation) then no cooperative goal to enhance our continued survival can exist.



Thank you, I look forward to your specific rebuttals to my points of contention, con.




LenaQueen

Con

For my second point, I meant that we would individually die without order so we instinctively have morals as to not ourselves get harmed. This goes along with empathy.

For my other point, there are many different theories for our purpose, I just don't believe any I've heard. The one we are arguing over is that we are here to serve God. So until you can prove He exists, and that He made us to serve him, none of your arguments are valid/ sufficient.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 20 records.
Posted by dtw 7 years ago
dtw
"...if the only purpose is that "we exist", why would you presuppose a purpose that "promotes our continued existence"? If our purpose IS "to exist" how could this be an objective truth?"

The fact that we exist is not a presupposition, it's a fact. The fact that all life fights for it's continued survival and if not for itself, then for the proliferation of it's species, is an objective truth. Our intention or purpose is the same as all life - to continue to our existence. How is that a presupposition? How can a fact not be an objective truth? Does truth not meet your initial objectives?

Of course, as is typical with men of religion or of those who wish to believe in some higher power, truth is not good enough. Faith is held in a higher regard than is factual data. Hence, any presentation of objective truths can ignored based on some other mystical and imaginary reason.
Posted by Benshapiro 7 years ago
Benshapiro
I was never referring to the Christian God. I'm referring to a God with the same traits
Posted by irreverent_god 7 years ago
irreverent_god
You mean the morality that allows the Abrahamic tribe to 'objectively' wipe out entire civilizations, and be 'moral?' You mean the objective morality that allows for god to violate his purported stance on murder (flood)? You mean the objective morality that has no issue with slavery, rape, incest, genocide, or human trafficking? You really think that William Lane Craig did not embarrass your belief structure enough, against Hitch? You have to come here and present the layman's regurgitation of Craig's intellectually carcinogenic rhetoric? Really? SERIOUSLY?!
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Posted by Benshapiro 7 years ago
Benshapiro
The only argument I'm bringing is that atheists cannot adequately explain morality without God.
Posted by Benshapiro 7 years ago
Benshapiro
dtw, if the only purpose is that "we exist", why would you presuppose a purpose that "promotes our continued existence"? If our purpose IS "to exist" how could this be an objective truth?
Posted by dtw 7 years ago
dtw
"If you agree that objective morality exists, I will then ask you how can anything definitively be 'right' and 'wrong' morally if we have no deliberate purpose for our existence?"

What is the argument that proves we exist for some higher purpose?

Our only purpose, or the closest thing to it, is to live. We are life on this planet, evolved from millions of years of evolution. There is no real "purpose" for this beyond, "we exist". The only thing that can define right and wrong is what promotes our continued existence, and typically that is defined by society's acceptable behavior - which isn't always correct in the minds of many, but it is what it is.

If you're searching for a higher meaning in life, then you are searching for the absurd. It is as if you're searching for a different answer for the equation, 2 + 2 = 4. If you believe it must be something more than 4, you're wrong. Atheists do not need to explain morality beyond what is and what exists because we accept the logical answer.
Posted by SNP1 7 years ago
SNP1
Pro set it up so Con almost certainly cannot win by making the debate about OBJECTIVE morals (which do not exist), and not morals in general.
Posted by Surrealism 7 years ago
Surrealism
Naturally, ignore all the work done by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Peter Singer in developing moral frameworks that aren't contingent upon a God or Gods.
Posted by Christian_Debater 7 years ago
Christian_Debater
Genius.

"If you agree that objective morality exists, I will then ask you how can anything definitively be "right" and "wrong" morally if we have no deliberate purpose for our existence? If we evolved from non-living material, how can a definitive purpose exist among the human race? Objective morals require that we have a purpose. Why? Because objectives don't exist in an objectiveless world unless you create objectives for yourself but then all morality would be subjective. Murder without cause and rape against someone's will is always wrong. Why though? Our moral code tells us that it is wrong. But why do we have a moral code that directs us for/against any kind of "wrong" purpose if we have no purpose to begin with?"
Posted by Pfalcon1318 7 years ago
Pfalcon1318
*By "God" you mean the Christian understanding of God.

Deist here :) (omni-benevolence isn't necessarily included in God-characteristics)
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