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Holy Objective Morals Are Subjective.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/13/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,509 times Debate No: 52388
Debate Rounds (4)
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I would like to open my statement saying that, this is a form of Theist vs Atheist debate. I do take kind enjoyment in them simply due you can learn a good amount of knowledge from both. Of course so long as you refrain from forcing your ideals in the shape of dogmatic phrases and statements. So I am defending the common Atheist argument to a common Theist argument to the Atheist regarding Moral that include the objective and subjective topics.

I also would like you all, anyone reading this and my fellow contributor that will be against me in here, to think about something. It is a question I want to ask: What would it take for you to think that there is no objective moral? That the moral of God is really a subjective and not perfect?

Objective Moral

With that said I would like to state I do not think there is any form of Objective Morality. This would be in example of the Biblical Moral Laws God had laid down for men. This was in the Book of the dead also. So many religions if not all own a moral law, even if it is one thing. The question is, what is a Objective Moral? Well a common way to look at it would be it is a standing that is not just subjective to that persons opinion on the issue or particular subject, but it is also factually true. Something like this would be 1+1=2. That would be a Objective thought. People would see that moral objective view as you would when asked what is 1+1.

Subjective Moral

A subjective moral is a moral that is based on that persons ideal, view or just flat out opinion that can be shaped on or by many aspect like past experience. Many famous Theist defenders have claimed a Objective Morality in Christianity is formed by us having built in knowledge of Good and Evil caused by the fruit in which God gave us. So in a way we all unlocked that Objective Moral with Subjective (if you wish to include) upon the fruit being devoured by our herbivorous desire.

Why The Is No Objective Moral

Because I not only fail to believe in one, but in the hypothetical universe of a God being real with out a doubt hands down, this does not make it a Objective Moral. God being in his place - Think of the God of Abraham, the Trinity that is Islam, Christianity and Judaism, they are by me called the Trinity God. Do not confuse with the Christian Trinity. - is really no different then a normal human leader. If I took The U.S. President, Barack Oboma and stood him on a stage. I would then finish this with putting you, a common civilian next to him. Generally the President would have far more power as a body leader and head poster boy of the U.S. Government. When he makes a speech, everyone listens. If he makes a law or even attempts, everyone listens. Everyone might not agree but they will listen.

Barack Oboma has more power to make a law then you do and can do more with his two fingers then we as a two man body could alone. This is due to his influence on the American system as a leader for America. Now if Oboma made a law to make sam-sex marriage legal in all state, 300 years from now in America if still here, that would be the norm.

You can see this with Black Rights, Female Rights and even Slavery. It was a subjective moral on human rights of what you could or could not do. However we all now in America, most at least see slavery as a bad thing just as you would with 1+1. Not everyone sees this, so it is not very factual with out everyone really agreeing on the same human right. It is a majority subjective thought.

However there is one which we all share, killing. We all in almost every society, see killing or murder as objectively bad. But since we all do, does this make it objective? I don't think so. Just as the majority has with slavery and will continue to grow till it is completely gone, the same has happened with murder.

Because of the fact anything can change into a majority in terms of views and morals, it can easily be seen as objective. Murder as objective is seen because we all look down on it. The bible does not discredit rape, pedophilia or even slavery, so most if not all the world looking down on one or more of these does that make it a holy objective moral of God? No, this is simply the human race coming together on thoughts and ideas that become a objective moral yet can still be seen and set as subjective due to someone out there bound to do something in the closet when we do not look.

We all have the subjective moral but will as a society adopt others. What we might agree on now can be looked down on later.

With that said, I will end my opening, thank you.


In this debate, I will be arguing that objective morals find their foundation within God's Ontology.

God, classically defined, is a maximally great being; that which no greater can be conceived. If he exists, then he must be omnibenevolent, or all good, as opposed to morally flawed or partial. If he wasn't, he wouldn't be the being as defined, or "God."
With this definition in mind, I want to examine two issues.

1. What motivation do we have for wanting to ground objective morals?

Many philosophers believe that our experience of the moral realm is as objective as our experience of the outside world. We have no more reason to deny the objectivity of good and evil any more than we have reason to deny the existence of our surroundings. To quote Louise Anthony, a philosopher of mind, "Any argument for moral skepticism will be based upon premises which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values themselves." Any reason that might be given to deny the objectivity of, say, the torturing of children for fun being truly evil will be less plausibly true than the self authenticating reality of the cruelty of the event itself. Even if I couldn't give any explanation as to why it is evil, it would still seem obviously so. Similarly, suppose someone wanted to convince you that you were actually a brain in a vat being stimulated by a mad scientist to make you think you had a body, a job, a home, etc. Surely this is metaphysically possible, but it is so absurd and implausible based upon the evidence we do have, namely, our consistent experience of the outside world and its laws, that it would require an overwhelming amount of evidence to be accepted as true. Even if you couldn't prove that you were not a brain in a vat, you would still have no reason to believe that you were. We shouldn't deny having a body unless given a remarkable reason to do so. In the same way, we have no more reason to deny our moral experiences any more than to deny our external environmental experiences unless given extraordinary proof. Now I will leave it up to Pro to provide such evidence if he so desires. However, I understand fully that this is not the debate topic. My sole purpose for discussing this portion is to underlie the reason we ought to wish to affirm objective morality.

Moral subjectivism is forced to bite the bullet by admitting that the difference between burning someone at the stake because of their religious beliefs or treating them with equality is equivalent to having a preference of ice cream: vanilla or chocolate. It is simply an opinion, and there is no leverage on either side to say the opposing viewpoint is objectively wrong. Morality is just the socio-biological spin-offs of evolution; communal and parental conditioning supporting one act over another. Surely, this contradicts our moral experiences and this terrifying conclusion drives those sworn to objective morality to find an anchor point for ethics.
Atheist Richard Dawkins has this to say regarding morality, "There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference. We are nothing but machines meant for propagating DNA. It is every living objects sole reason for being."

However, Dawkins is a stubborn moralist. He vigorously condemns the mistreatment of homosexuals, the religious indoctrination of children, and the Incan practice of human sacrifice. He even offers his own version of the Ten Commandments for guiding moral behavior. He does this without realizing that his own worldview betrays him in regards to morality. Although he gives lip service to moral subjectivism, he cannot live it out.
Now of course Dawkins doesn't necessarily stand for all subjectivists. My point is to show that humans typically, deeply want to affirm that some things are truly good and evil, but on subjectivism, we simply have no grounds for morality.

Moreover, on subjectivism, what obligation do we have to love one another? Even if one could show that taking care of your fellow man benefits your species, we would need of that person a reason as to why we need care about them and not just look after ourselves and our own interests. In order to have moral obligations and prohibitions, we need a moral law giver or else we are just left in social and cultural differences and opposing opinions with no real right or wrong answer. Again, this goes against all we know about moral obligations and prohibitions. Just ask yourself, do you really think we have no obligation to treat others with dignity? Do you really believe that atrocious acts like rape and murder shouldn't be prohibited simply for the sole reason that they are truly abhorrent, or are these actions simply reduced to just acting contrary to the general consensus of cultures and customs?" Again, my whole point is to draw together this idea of wanting to so desperately ground our morality; to supply the motivation for wanting to affirm objective morality. Even Pro, I believe, really wants to affirm that some things are good and evil (however, he is more than capable to speak for himself so i should let him), but he has the courage to realize that there can be no moral grounding on his view and, according to his opinion, on theism as well. For that, I applaud him.
However, I wish to disagree with his take on Divine Command Theory not being a plausible explanation for objective moral duties, hence the debate.

That being said, lets move on to how we might be able to ground the moral values and duties we so desperately wish to affirm.

2. Why is God a plausible explanation of objective moral values?

Plato gave us what's known as the "Euthyphro Dilemma"

Put Simply:
Is something good because God wills it?
Or does God will something because it is good?

If something is good because God wills it, then it makes moral duties arbitrary. God could simply will tomorrow that murder is good and tolerance is evil.

If God wills something because it is good then we don't really need God at all because he just looks at this standard above himself and gives us his commands. He just looks at this abstract "Good" and takes notes, so to speak, to give to us later based on this standard outside of himself.

Either way, it seems to leave God as an insufficient explanation for moral values.

However, this is a false dichotomy.

The proper response is neither A or B. We can give our own possibility: C.
God wills something because HE is good. His very nature is the standard of goodness. His character is necessarily kind, just, merciful, forgiving, loving, etc, and these attributes are equivocal to his intrinsic characteristics and therefore cannot be separated from him.
His will acts in accordance with his own nature when laying out the standards that we live by. So God's nature determines the good and evil, and his will determines what's obligatory and prohibited.
Since God's nature is the source of moral values and duties, and God has his nature necessarily, then we have moral values and duties that are necessarily binding.
So for example, if the Nazi's won WWII and either brainwashed everyone in thinking that the holocaust was right or killed everyone who disagreed, and the whole world thought it was the right thing to do, it would still be objectively wrong because it runs contrary to the very nature of this necessary being who created persons with intrinsic moral worth.
Indeed, God being a moral agent who is the Summum Bonom, Latin for "Highest Good", can anchor for us a firm foundation and standard for the objective morality we all experience.

I will leave it up to Pro to further defend his point and hopefully we can have a very engaging conversation that brings forth rich and wholesome discussions following the debate, and perhaps we can learn a thing or two along the way.

Disclaimer: If you, the reader, are an atheist who affirms objective moral values, please do not be offended. I'm not arguing that one needs to BELIEVE in God to be moral. I'm saying God HIMSELF is required to be moral. Either we all can be moral, theists and atheists alike, or none of us can.

This being my introduction, I will not respond directly to anything Pro has said in his opening remarks at this time.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Berend forfeited this round.


Reprimand forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


OK, that was an interesting read. Forgive my late replies, I do well to try my best. Now, I will go over what my opponent had said, however not in the same order. Namely I will go on what I feel might be more important.

Now you brought up a very interesting point on the morals that of which the Abraham God is. It is neither A or B, but C. Now my opponent mentioned how it can be C and neither A or B. This Can be true, if that was how the world worked. Before I go further, I want to address something. People will almost always retort to this subject to defend God as someone who is outside of Space and Time. A being who is alive, or has a form is outside of space and time? Normally time itself is what we think is the beginning.

Take the Big Bang Theory. If this were to be flawless and true, then time was around before the Big bang possibly, but the aspect of it would be as ell known as the end of Pi itself. We can't know it simply because we have no way to know of it, at least not know. So is God outside of space and time? No, upon what we consider Space and Time, he would be subject to it. Being outside of it is a simple way of saying he was around before it was accounted for. Similar to pre-historic times.

So if he is not outside of time and space itself, but in fact in it like us, then is a being of capability that we have yet to reach.

However, as my opponent told us, God is needed for morals. But, this would be impossible. Now, God making a moral law, is possible on all levels yes, this is very much so. This however does not, in anyway make it a objective moral. In fact, God is intelligent, it is even said that since we are intelligent and the world is intelligent looking, it must have a creator. AKA God. This is also known as God of the Gaps. But if this is so, God would need a creator also. And even if he did not, he would still be a being of intelligence not making a moral code based on objective morals, but because he knows they will be for the better. He knows that killing in our life would be bad and to prevent what might happen, he laid the law down. This would be a protective moral, but not in the sense an objective.

In fact, if we dig further on this subject, you would find that even if God thinks his law is right, that is only a subjective moral. Satan clearly disagrees with him and might not even be evil. However the moral way to which we find on the 20 commandments would be a result of his opinion on what is right based on his intelligence, thus also a subjective moral.

If God came down today and said to everyone "You must never rape a girl or man." This would be objective to the ones who believe him, but subjective overall. It is on his opinion and what he knows and only is subject to the ones who agree. Not because it is built in, but because we think critically and say why it is bad. The Pro's and Con's of rape and how it is bad based on us thinking and coming together.

Now of course some people ask if you would eat a baby. Well if the issue was forcing either the baby and I die or I eat it to live I would It is almost like war. We are all taught killing is bad, but in war we kill. Now some will say "War is different." No, because it is a man made thing, so killing there is still killing.

Now if we go back in the bible, NKJ, you will find that God specifically says to not kill. [1] However, if you look back, we will find this moral laws are and mean in some.
  • Witches must be killed. [2]
  • Bestiality participants must be killed. [2]
  • Anyone in another religion that does a form of sacrifice (anything even if it is not killing) must be killed. [2]
  • People who tell fortunes need to be killed. [3]
  • Murder those homosexuals by stoning them! [4]
  • If you work at all on the Holy Day (Sabbath) you shall be stoned to death. [5]
  • Death to anyone who hits his mother or father. Even cursing at them. [6][7]
  • Cheaters (adultery) will be killed. [8]
  • If you are a priests daughter and has per-marriage sex, you will be burned to death. [9]
  • Worship of any other God or even another religious belief equals death. [10]
  • Anyone who prophesies must be killed. [11]
  • Women who are not virgins on their night of being wedded will be killed. [12]
  • If one person in a town or city worships another God, purify that evil by killing the entire town or city. [13]
  • Blasphemy will not be tolerated by the Christian, Jewish or Islam God. You will be put to death. [14]

Yes, this God has had a law for his people to follow and the book even speaks of all that and more. How can anyone worship a being who is so evil that this would be his message? So evil and yet people worship him. they worship him and give him money. As George Carlin once said on stage, also a well known atheist, if not from that mainly from his stand up. Very intelligent man at that.

Religion easily has the greatest bullpoop* story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullpoop* story. Holy *poop*! [15]

So there you have it. How can a God, who is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving who was around before all matter and creation in the empty universe make a law that is objective based on what I said above and who commits such things we would find morally wrong? But there is more. Oh yes, many people try to forget these. The acts of which God himself did.

The first of the Flood, not in some debates I will prove how Christianity is wrong, and I can. In fact all of the trinity Abraham God religions I can. The trinity are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. However I am here about morals. And I will get to the other later. All three are nothing if the creation story is fake, we know this. Because Jesus would be pointless without original sin. It also debunks the creation aspect. If that is wrong, then how do we know the others are right? I mean the flood is in the same book as the creation and just after is Moses

In fact Moses with God that took 40 days and 40 nights is an almost moral law copied from The Book of the Dead, from Egypt. That is odd, right? A man who was a prince in Egypt and lived in Egypt, most likely worshiped and knew the Egyptian Gods went on a mountain alone and came down with laws following that of the same from which he is from. That is very odd indeed. This only shows that since they are basic copies, it is not a Objective moral from God at all. And it is even a subjective as it is created by a society.

Moses is believed to have been alive around the years of 1393-1273 BCE. Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE).

Now this of course is a based assumption or hypothetical theory on his year of life. We do not know exactly unfortunate. But, looking at this stone tablet, which clearly by all logic was not created based on the ten commandments, the Code of Ur-Nammu was 2112–2095 BCE. [16]

(To save room, I will link it.)


Book of the Dead -

Code of Ur-Nammu

  • 1. If a man commits a murder, that man must be killed.
  • 2. If a man commits a robbery, he will be killed.
  • 3. If a man commits a kidnapping, he is to be imprisoned and pay 15 shekels of silver.
  • 4. If a slave marries a slave, and that slave is set free, he does not leave the household.
  • 5. If a slave marries a native (i.e. free) person, he/she is to hand the firstborn son over to his owner.
  • 6. If a man violates the right of another and deflowers the virgin wife of a young man, they shall kill that male.
  • 7. If the wife of a man followed after another man and he slept with her, they shall slay that woman, but that male shall be set free. (§4 in some translations)
  • 8. If a man proceeded by force, and deflowered the virgin female slave of another man, that man must pay five shekels of silver.
  • 9. If a man divorces his first-time wife, he shall pay her one mina of silver.
  • 10. If it is a (former) widow whom he divorces, he shall pay her half a mina of silver.

The Code of Ur-Nammu was 2112–2095 BCE.

As you see, they are not knew and are built on societies and not Gods.

If God made a law of morals, they would in fact be subjective. It all depends on what is for the best and the things going on that will determine. 98% of the time, eating a baby is wrong, that 2% is that very rare thing that would actually make it OK. Not that you would feel ok about, but there would be reasons for it.

So come on people, you have to see ho God is not a good being. In my closing statement at the end I will also open with the wrongs God has done. I hope this gets to someone. Thank You.


1. Exudes 20:13

2. Exudes 22:18-20

3. Leviticus 20:27

4. Leviticus 20:13

5. Exodus 31:12-15

6. Exodus 21:15

7. Proverbs 20:20, Leviticus 20:9

8. Leviticus 20:10

9. Leviticus 21:9

10. Exodus 22:19

11. Zechariah 13:3

12. Deuteronomy 22:20-21

13. Deuteronomy 13:13-19

14. Leviticus 24:10-16

15. George Carlin -

16. Ur-Nammu -

I ran out of room, so this is as far I can go. I also have work now, so I was rushed or I would have missed the time.

Next round is a Cross-Examination, I ask and then you answer and ask.

Last is Closing, which I would do and answer.



Reprimand forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Berend forfeited this round.


I'm having difficulty following Pro's train of though regarding God's incorporeality and changlessness. Never did I assert that since God is outside of space and time, then he is therefore our moral anchor. That wouldn't follow. Now, that being said, he is NOT within space nor is he within time, at least sans the universe. In fact, it's IMPOSSIBLE that he be within time and space for if time and space had a beginning, then God would have a beginning since he would exist within it. God is not spatially located nor does he endure through necessary changes. He is an unembodied mind, a pure consciousness, who does not think in sequential thought processes. he has all of his knowledge at once. Classical theism as never asserted God being within time and space nor do i find pro's reasoning for God's being within time and space convincing. It is not a matter of semantics. God does not find his being within time and space. In order for a being to create time and space, he must be without it, because if he weren't, then he didn't really create it at all because it would HAVE to exist in order for that being to exist.

Pro says that we can have an option C for the euthyphro dilemma but he seems to be defending that we cannot. He seems to say that God wills something because it is good. He knows it would be better for us not to kill each other and so on. I defended that this isn't true. It would mean that there is a standard which is outside God himself. He wills something because HE is the good. His nature and goodness are equivocal. Thus, his will for us will be determined by his character. It is not his WILL that makes something good, it is his NATURE. This means that it's not up to God's decision as to what would be good or evil. God cannot just decide tomorrow that killing children is good, nor would he. It doesn't coincide with his nature. This isn't a slap against god's omnipotence either. It is impossible that a morally defective being would be God. Since it's no part of God's omnipotence to do the logically impossible, there's no issue. That's like saying since God cant choose to kill himself, is he still all powerful? Well sure, because it's logically impossible for a necessarily existent being to cease to exist.
So this means that morals are not objective to us and subjective to God. God does not conjure these values up arbitrarily. If a being, such as described, exists, and if we are made with intrinsic moral worth, then that is JUST to say we were made to be moral agents such as he is a moral agent. since he is the paradigm or existence, he is the standard for whether or not we are living according to what he would desire of us.
Perhaps i could put it differently. If we found our self in such a world, and we saw someone torturing a dog for fun, could we say that this is not what God would do if he was in the same situation? If we can, then we have something that is objectively against God's nature, and therefore, objectively evil.
Again, the point is this. The debate is that IF god existed, could he be the grounds for morality? It's not whether he does or not. IF a being exists, as classically described, a moral perfect being, could he ground our morals? It seems to be as true as saying if God created gold on Pluto, and we didn't think there was gold on Pluto, but later found out there was, were we previously wrong? Of course we were. The point is that there is a FACT of the matter. On atheism, there is no fact of the matter whether it's a part of God's nature to be loving or not. But on theism, there is a truth about it, and if he made us in his likeness, then he made us with the same moral compass. If our compass points west, and yet we decide to travel east, we are objectively wrong regardless of how right we may think we are, and the reason that we are wrong is because the compass has already been made. We do not create our own compasses. On atheism, we do, but on theism, we are made with a moral compass, and therefore, a standard to measure against.
Now, if someone made God, then surely HE could have been made with this metaphorical "compass" but i would argue he wasn't and cannot be. Again, the point remains. If there is such a being as god, the first cause, the unmoved mover, the supreme good, then it seems apparently true that he could endow us with moral worth, but if we have moral worth, there must be someone handling the moral price range. If not, then we are morally worthless, in the objective sense. Any worth we place upon ourselves would be like the the value we might place upon the U.S. dollar. It's only worth something until other countries start rejecting it.

Regarding God believing his law to be correct, I want to reiterate that the law being true isn't based on his intelligence but on his nature. It has nothing to do with God's opinion. I tried to make this clear in my opening statement, so if this is where the issue really lies, then I believe we can all sleep soundly tonight knowing that this is no longer an issue.

Regarding all the scriptural quotes, I'm going to make one sweeping response. Pro is confusing moral epistemology with moral ontology. Moral epistemology deals with how we come to KNOW what is right and wrong. Moral ontology deals with what is the FOUNDATION of right and wrong. It does not follow from any of the verses that God can't ground or does ground morality. It would only follow that perhaps the writers were mistaken in thinking that this was God's decree and recorded it saying that it was.
It could also be that we aren't reading the texts properly. For example, slavery wasn't the same as the way we think of it today. People had the choice to sell themselves into slavery if they needed employment. It was also not ethnically specific. Anyone and everyone could be a "slave". See Paul Copan's "Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God."
The last possibility is that we ARE taking the scriptures properly and we are wrong and the writings are correct. Now, I don't defend this option at all, but the point is this; It simply does not follow that evil recordings show that God can't ground morality, nor would it follow that GOOD recordings would show that God CAN ground morality. This response is simply misconceived. Moral ontology is a separate issue from moral epistemology.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
Yea, with the max time, space and life it becomes hard.
Posted by Reprimand 7 years ago
I hope we can further discuss this topic. I'm sure you'll have several things you'd like to say but as it is, we missed a few turns which is pretty unfortunate.
Posted by Reprimand 7 years ago
Feel free to give a closing statement. if i say some things you wish to directly reply to, perhaps we can sort out a way to do that. if not, oh well. hopefully i can better prepare next time.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
Haha, life hits hard. IF anything, I would simply give my closing statement. Similar to an opening. However, if you want, I can leave it empty to allow you to post for the rebuttal. It is up to.
Posted by Reprimand 7 years ago
we have really not monitored this debate very well.

this is my very first one. thought i had more time. if you want to say anything else, i'll try to give a sweeping response afterwards.
or you can just enter nothing and pass the turn to me if you want. either way, i'm fine.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
Haha yea, I was trying to find time to read and post my side. But my hours at work prevented that.
Posted by Reprimand 7 years ago
I went ahead and left it blank. I didn't want to have an extra turn.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
I'll reply soon. If not today it will be tomorrow when I get off. Been busy with work and personal things.
Posted by ZebramZee 7 years ago
I'm not religious. I am a moral nihilist from an agnostic point of view.
Posted by Berend 7 years ago
Take your time. I am patient. :)

I guess I should have said.

Round 1: Opening Statement

Round 2: Rebuttal

Round 3: Cross-Examination

Round 4: Answer Round 3 Questions & Closing Remarks
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