The Instigator
TouchtheSky
Con (against)
The Contender
Phenenas
Pro (for)

Is Morality Relative?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 468 times Debate No: 114956
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

TouchtheSky

Con

Hello, Phenenas! I'm excited for our third debate, and I really want to hear what you have to say on this subject.

This is the definition I'd like to propose for 'moral relativism':

The philosophized notion that right and wrong are not absolute values, but are personalized according to the individual and his or her circumstances or cultural orientation. It can be used positively to effect change in the law (e.g., promoting tolerance for other customs or lifestyles) or negatively as a means to attempt justification for wrongdoing or lawbreaking. The opposite of moral relativism is moral absolutism, which espouses a fundamental, Natural Law of constant values and rules, and which judges all persons equally, irrespective of individual circumstances or cultural differences. [1]

Before I begin, I'm going to lay out a few rules:

1. This question is often viewed through a religious lens, in attempt to prove God as the center of an absolute morality. Although this idea is something I support, I'd like to evaluate nonreligious arguments for this debate. I want to see if these ideas that I believe can be supported outside of my religion.
2. I ask my opponent not to personally insult me or my beliefs, and I will do the same to you. By all means, attack and poke holes in my argument, but don't attack my character as a person. For those of you who are commenting, please don't attack other debaters or those in the comment section.
3. You can choose whether or not you want to make the first argument, or if you simply want to accept the debate and let me go first. Either way is fine with me.

[1] https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
Phenenas

Pro

Hello, TouchtheSky, it"s a pleasure to be debating you again! I agree with the definition you"ve chosen for moral relativism. I certainly won"t insult you or your beliefs, because I have total respect for both. You generously gave me the option to go first, and I"ve thought about it, but I think I"ll let you make the first argument. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
TouchtheSky

Con

Hey, thanks for accepting! I'm excited to get to this. I'll be copying another argument that I wrote about the same topic elsewhere on the sight, but it's my argument, so I hope that's okay, and not considered copywriting.

ARGUMENT 1: MORAL RELATIVISM IS SELF-CONTRADICTORY
To say that 'morality is relative' you are essentially saying that, 'moral relativism is true'. If you say that moral relativism is true, then that contradicts the whole notion of moral relativism- that truth is not independent of people's beliefs. By calling yourself a moral relativist, you are claiming to know the truth- that absolute morality is wrong, and relative morality is correct. Surely you can see the irony of this- to believe in moral relativism is to believe in absolute morality, which contradicts moral relativism. So the whole idea that no one can know the truth is self-refuting. [1]

While the relativist may claim that his view is nonjudgmental, and produces tolerance and inclusiveness, the opposite is actually true. By claiming that relativism is the truth, relativists are saying that if you believe in an absolute moral truth, you are wrong. All absolutists are therefore 'incorrect', meaning that you are exclusive. Whether you are judgmental and intolerant has nothing to do with whether or not you are a moral relativist, and everything to do with how you treat people who believe differently from you. [2]

ARGUMENT 2: JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE DISAGREE DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE BOTH CORRECT
One of the common arguments for moral relativism is that there can't be objective moral values because moral values differ from person to person, and culture to culture. This argument may seem valid on the surface, but when you look closer, the argument collapses.

Just because two people or cultures disagree does not mean that they are both correct. In most instances, it will be impossible for them both to be correct. If two people were to have an argument over whether or not there was milk in a fridge, it would be impossible for them both to be correct simply because they genuinely believed that. It is fully possible that a person (or even an entire culture, such as Nazi Germany) could be mistaken. [3]

ARGUMENT 3: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORAL VALUES AND PERSONAL PREFERENCES
Personal preferences are statements that differ from person to person and don't address the question of what is right or wrong. An example of a personal preference claim would be, 'I like to eat pizza'. These claims do not say anything about whether or not it is right or wrong to like to eat pizza. So this is not an example of objective morality, because it differs from person to person. Similarly, a statement like, 'I like to murder people without justification' is only a personal preference claim, and it doesn't say anything about whether it is right or wrong to murder a person without justification. Moral absolutism does not encompass personal preferences, but it does encompass right or wrong, and, in many cases, whether or not those personal preferences are justified.

I believe that moral values are absolute, and even if people disagree with them, they exist despite personal preferences. Moral values might be statements like, 'murdering people without justification is wrong', and I would argue that this stands regardless of whether or not someone believes that murdering people without justification is wrong.

Much confusion has happened in debates such as these when people confuse personal preferences with moral values. Moral relativists argue for personal preferences, but they will neglect to mention how those personal preferences correspond with the moral values themselves. [4]

[1] http://dellatorre9.blogspot.com......
[2]http://www.qcc.cuny.edu......
[3]https://www.researchgate.net......
[4] https://www.lesswrong.com......
Phenenas

Pro

You can reuse your argument, it’s no problem. No sense in writing up something from scratch if the topic, as well as your belief, is the same.

With your first argument, you kinda lost me. You say that moral relativism is self-contradicting because we’re saying “moral relativism is true” when, according to you, we believe that truth doesn’t exist outside of people’s beliefs. Where did you get that idea? That wasn’t included in your definition. I certainly believe in truth. There is such a thing as objective facts, and anyone of sound mind would agree regardless of personal beliefs. I’m not going to deny that the sun produces heat, or try to convince you that the idea of a hot sun is a social construct. It’s something that can be figured out through simple observation. In all three of your arguments, I think you had trouble distinguishing between observable truths, like the one I just mentioned, and abstract concepts. Things like courage, love, happiness, wickedness, and morality. Do these things exist? Not in the same way that the sun exists, because they’re products of the human mind and highly debatable.

You also claim that relativists are intolerant, because they believe absolutists to be incorrect. There is a big difference between tolerating something and agreeing with it. Google’s definition of tolerance is “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.” Many diverse religious groups live in the United States, and even if they all disagree, they tolerate one another. Tolerance is allowing people to be different from you, not just blindly agreeing with them. I wouldn’t call you intolerant if you said I was wrong to be a relativist. If you insulted me for it, or hunted me down and killed me, I certainly would.

Moving on to your second argument, when did I say that all cultures are “correct” in their morality? I’d respond that there is no universal standard for what’s “correct”. You do have a universal standard that comes from your religion, but I don’t. And again, you’re mixing truths with beliefs. Your third argument stresses the difference between moral values and personal preferences, but I’d argue that they’re almost the same thing. More on this later, though. I wasn’t quite convinced by your example involving milk in a fridge. Perhaps if two people were arguing over whether or not milking a cow was harmful, that would be closer to our debate. Going back to an earlier example, two different cultures aren’t going to argue whether or not the sun isn’t hot. Using examples is a nice tool of rhetoric, but yours strayed a little too far from the topic. If I tried to convince you that milk wasn’t in a fridge even if it was right before my eyes, you’d laugh and dismiss me as a harmless idiot. If I told you that I loved killing innocent people, you’d see me as evil and try to run away. See the difference?

And obviously, I think killing is wrong - and that’s my opinion, not a fact. I have my own ideas of right and wrong, as does everyone in the world, and they may be a little different from yours. But they overlap a lot. Almost everyone sees murder as wrong, because it frightens us and goes against human nature. And while I agree with what you said in Round 1, that we should avoid religious arguments, what it ultimately comes down to is that you believe in a God that has set down rules for us to follow, and I don’t.

All moral values are personal preferences. But not all personal preferences are moral values. You try to make them seem different by leaping from the mundane, “I like to eat pizza”, to the extreme, “I like to murder people”. But is murdering people not a personal preference? A strange one, sure, but if that’s what a person prefers to do, then it’s a personal preference. Eating pizza doesn’t have to be a matter of morals, but it can be. For example, eating a pepperoni pizza would be a moral issue for Jews and Muslims, because pepperoni contains pork, which is neither kosher nor halal. There is much more overlap here than you realize. Besides, you say that moral absolutism “does encompass right or wrong, and, in many cases, whether or not those personal preferences are justified.” So if personal preferences are subject to morals anyway, what’s the point of trying to explain them as two different things?

“Moral values might be statements like, 'murdering people without justification is wrong', and I would argue that this stands regardless of whether or not someone believes that murdering people without justification is wrong.” I agree that murder is wrong, but disagree with the second part. It’s not a fact, but a widely held opinion. For you to be right, the universe itself - or something that controls the universe - would have to share your opinion. And you seem to admit that killing is sometimes justified, so where do you draw the line? Is killing in self-defense alright, even if your opponent has given up and is begging for mercy? Is it okay for a soldier to kill, and if so, what about Nazi soldiers? What about killing animals? What about torturing animals? What about hunting down someone who killed your entire family? What about assassinating a ruthless dictator? What about taking one innocent life if it’ll save someone you love? These issues aren’t quite so black-and-white.

I’ve argued against your points, but I’d like to make a few of my own. I must clear up a few misconceptions about moral relativists. I don’t worship the Devil. I don’t have the desire to harm anybody or steal anything. I am not depressed, and I don’t believe life is meaningless. I simply don’t see any evidence for one set of moral rules guiding the human race. Morals change according to time and culture, but this isn’t the reason for my opinion. There are many cultures whose morals I absolutely despise, such as that of modern Iran, or the Puritan Christians of the 17th century. But that doesn’t make these groups somehow factually wrong.

Moral relativism isn’t some new phenomenon. It goes back to the ancient Greeks, at the latest. Thinkers like Herodotus and Aristotle came into contact with many different cultures outside Greece, and learned that they all worshiped different gods and had different laws. Did they whine about how damaging this was to their worldview? Not at all. Aristotle wrote a whole book examining the best way for a human to live, based on the many moral codes he studied. And that’s more or less how I think morals ought to work. Everyone should observe the world around them, study different cultures and histories and the lives of great men and women, and create a moral code on their own. I have enough faith in people for that. Our laws should prevent people from hurting others or taking their stuff, to preserve order, but otherwise, let them do as they please.

And that concludes my argument. Thank you Con, I’m enjoying this debate and looking forward to your reponse!
Debate Round No. 2
TouchtheSky

Con

Thank you for all of your wonderful arguments. The things that you said really did get me thinking, and I'm going to do my best to respond to each of your challenges and bring up more points of my own.

To begin with, I'm going to explain in greater detail what I meant in my first argument. I never claimed that moral relativists don't believe in truth- I simply said that moral relativists believe that truth is dependent on people's beliefs. You affirmed this when you said, 'there is no universal standard for what is correct. You do have a universal standard that comes from your religion, but I don't.'. This idea contradicts itself- if the truth is dependent on people's beliefs, then moral relativism cannot exist outside of people's beliefs. Therefore, you would argue that both 'moral relativism' and 'moral absolutism' can both exist simply because people agree with them. This is a contradiction. It's similar to claiming that both an immovable rock and an irresistible force can coexist. Just because two people believe in something (like moral absolutism) does not automatically mean that this belief is justified.

I did use several examples of concrete truths to prove my point, but not because I think these things are exactly the same circumstances as morality, but because I was trying to highlight similarities between the two scenarios, and use exaggerated examples to prove a bigger point.

I think my point about tolerability came out the wrong way because you interpreted it completely different than what I originally meant. I never meant to imply that relativists were intolerant. My point was that tolerance has little to do with whether or not you are a moral relativist, and everything to do with whether or not you treat people with different beliefs with respect. Clearly, we both agree on this point. This was not a judgment against moral relativists, but simply a statement that I said to counter a line that was in the definition: 'moral relativism can be used to positively change the law by promoting tolerance for other customs or lifestyles...'. Just because you are a moral relativist doesn't mean you are tolerant. There are intolerant moral relativists, and tolerant moral absolutists, and the other way around. A certain belief system is not what makes you tolerant- the way you treat other people is.

I never said that you believe that all cultures are correct in their morality, but I do believe that moral relativism can lead to this. After all, if 'right and wrong are personalized according to the individual', then that would mean that all individuals are correct in their beliefs simply because they believe in it. If one person believes that abortion is wrong, for example, and the other believes that it is acceptable, then that doesn't mean that both of them are correct. Afterall, abortion can't exist and not exist at the same time.

You are right that most cultures overlap in their beliefs, but just because something is publically accepted does not mean that it is correct. I believe that 'killing people is wrong' is not a personal preference- it is a fact. Just because 'almost everyone' believes something does not mean that they are automatically correct. Almost everyone in nazi Germany believed that murdering Jews was an acceptable practice, but I do not believe that this was right and morally acceptable just because people at the time thought it was okay.

And there are people, even today, who believe that killing is okay. I was recently reading a book (called the Peace Child) about a tribe that murdered people for fun and their tribal heroes were the people who had murdered the most people [1]. There are other examples as well of people who think that it's acceptable to kill people for fun [2]. Sure, the majority disagrees, but as I said above, just because the majority of people believe something does not mean that the majority is correct. I do not believe that the Sawi people were correct in their practices simply because it was tradition.

And what about terrorist attacks? For many Muslims, jihad is part of their religion, and it's perfectly acceptable. But I also believe that terrorism is wrong, and that the military should do everything possible to stop these terrorists from hurting innocent people.

I fully agree that there are many complicated and sticky issues even on the topic of murder. There are many questions that were rightfully asked about 'what qualifies as proper justification?' and 'in what circumstances is murder okay'? I'm not going to go into my beliefs on all of these examples, and I'm not even fully sure of my beliefs on others, but I do believe that there is an absolute truth that each of these encompasses. These issues are very complicated and have been debated for a long, long time, but I would argue that there is a strong truth behind each of them.

Phenenas, I certainly hope I have never conveyed any belief that you worship the devil, harm people, and are depressed. As my friend, I know you, and I certainly do not believe and will not fall for that stereotype. Honestly, you are probably my favorite person to debate on this whole site- your points are so wonderful and you get me thinking more than perhaps anyone else I've talked to.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://www.express.co.uk...
Phenenas

Pro

Thanks, and same to you! You make some strong arguments, and you’ve clearly thought about this topic a lot.


However, I really tried to emphasize the difference between concrete facts and abstract concepts last round, and maybe I didn’t explain myself well enough, because I didn’t seem to get through to you. I don’t think truth is dependent on people’s beliefs, as you say. The moon orbits around the Earth, and that doesn’t change if people try to deny it. Your quotation of me was out of context, and when I said “correct”, I was quite clearly talking about it in the moral, righteous, “good” sense, which is entirely dependent on people’s beliefs. The difference is that morality was created by people, while truth is going to remain the same whether or not humans are around to see it.


Moral relativism and moral absolutism do both exist - because they’re ideas. Saying this contradicts itself is like saying “Christianity and atheism can’t both exist” or “Optimism and pessimism can’t both exist”. Of course both these things exist, because they’re contained entirely within the minds and conversations of different human beings. I believe the contradiction you were looking for is “Moral relativists and moral absolutists are both correct.” That sentence is an impossibility, and I don’t believe in it.


I’ll admit, I misinterpreted what you were saying about tolerance. So you were saying that tolerance has little to do with what kind of moral code you follow, but simply how you treat others. And you’re completely right that Just because you are a moral relativist doesn’t mean you are tolerant.” But you’re saying that relativism can’t be used to promote tolerance? It most certainly can, just as it can be used negatively, and absolutism can be used both ways as well. I’ll give you one example of relativism being used positively to change the law: the United States government. Our Constitution is not based on any religion or dogma, but an amalgam of all kinds of different philosophies, like how I described my own personal morals in the last round. I believe laws shouldn’t regulate the people’s morals, but should only maintain order, and thankfully most of America’s laws follow this relativistic idea. And they aren’t meant to remain the same until the end of time, but are subject to lots of editing and reinterpretation. Contrast this with a country like Iran, one of several countries still basing its government on the absolute moral principles of Islamic law, and this has led to endless intolerance: speech is unfree, women have no rights, Christians and Jews face discrimination. And if you drink alcohol, insult Muhammad, fornicate, convert from Islam to a different religion, or come out as homosexual, you're killed.


These sets of laws didn’t come out of nowhere, but were based on certain moral codes. The United States follows no absolutes (and that's all relativism is, a rejection of absolutes) and accepts almost all lifestyles and cultures, while Iran imprisons or kills anyone who disagrees with Sharia law. Of course, the United States isn't innocent and had a hand in creating many of Iran's problems, but that's a whole different story. Is relativism always good and absolutism always bad? Are they always used as tools to promote tolerance or intolerance? Certainly not. All I’m saying is that they can.


“I never said that you believe that all cultures are correct in their morality, but I do believe that moral relativism can lead to this.”


That’s impossible, and here’s why. If you are a moral relativist, there’s no such thing as “correct”. If there are no absolute morals that apply to everyone, then how do you even define “correct” in the sense you’re talking about? Perhaps it’s because we were raised with different worldviews that it’s tough to communicate these ideas, but you keep saying things like “If relativism is true, then it’s right for [insert culture here] to do [insert evil-sounding action here]”, not realizing that in a relativistic world, “right” doesn’t even exist and is a social construct. I know you believe in right and wrong, and that’s fine, but you can’t exactly use it as an argument against me.


“If one person believes that abortion is wrong, for example, and the other believes that it is acceptable, then that doesn't mean that both of them are correct. Afterall, abortion can't exist and not exist at the same time.”


Are you saying there’s an objective right answer to political issues? I have a fairly strong opinion on it, but even I will admit that nobody can truly be “correct” about abortion; it’s all a matter of personal preference. As for the sentence about existing and not existing, I have no clue what you mean.


You misunderstand me; sometimes the majority agrees upon things that I disagree with, as you demonstrated with your Nazi example. You believe that “killing is wrong” is a fact, so I explained what I think, that it’s a widely held opinion, because there is no universal standard for “wrongness”. And we may have to chalk this part up to a difference of opinion, because there’s no way either of us is going to convince the other.


I think I’ve made it quite clear that there are cultures whose morals I disagree with, so I don’t understand your point about the Sawi people and Islamic terrorism. Perhaps you think it’s foolish that I’ve made up my own moral code, so please feel free to criticize that. But as long as you understand that I don’t believe “right and wrong” exist outside the human imagination, then I’ve done my job.


Oh no, you’ve definitely never implied any of those things, but those are stereotypes about moral relativism. And I don’t blame people who fear and hate it; saying “There is no right or wrong” can seem scary, and in some ways goes against our nature. But you are one of the most understanding people on this site, and I’m grateful that I get to debate you. Thank you for your kind words, Mercy, and same to you. I’m glad that we can argue and disagree and still remain friends.

Debate Round No. 3
TouchtheSky

Con

I apologize for misunderstanding your point and misquoting your statement- I think I understand what you're saying now. You're right that absolute facts are very different from moral beliefs, and I'll try not to cause more confusion by comparing the two. However, I do believe that in the case of right and wrong, morality and righteousness are absolutes, and I hope that in this argument, I can further explain why I believe this.

To an extent, moral values to exist in our minds, as you suggested, but it's really much more complicated than that. Take your example of Christianity and Atheism- clearly, both belief systems can and do coexist within human minds, but only one of them can be 'correct'. Either there is a God, or there isn't. This is not, as you said, 'entirely contained within the minds of different human beings', because, if God were real, then he would exist in an absolute sense, and if God were false, then once again, he would be absolutely false, and he would be completely apart of a human idea or theory.

I certainly agree that moral relativism can be used to promote tolerance, but I also don't believe that this automatically makes moral relativism true. There are plenty of belief systems that I believe are false that promote certain ideas that I do agree with. Communism can be used to promote equality, but that does not make communism the right answer for us economically. Similarly, Capitalism can be used to hard work and dedication, but I don't believe that that makes capitalism the right answer for us economically either. While I agree with both of the values that are promoted, I also believe that these systems may or may not be the right way to promote these values.

Growing up between two countries with a very different view of free speech and tolerance, I sympathize with your comparison between American and Iran. However, while I believe that Iran's policies are horrifically wrong, I also disagree that this is purely because of moral absolutism. I believe that a country's and people can be tolerant of people's beliefs and different belief systems, while still disagreeing with them and upholding another moral standard. This is where I believe Iran has gone wrong, killing anyone who does not fit their "perfect" standard. This is not a result of moral absolutism, but simply people's applications of moral absolutism, which I believe is very wrong, and a terrible way for a country to be run. As a person, I certainly hope that, when talking to people of other belief systems, I have continued to be tolerant and kind. I do not believe that being a moral absolutist is contradictory with being intolerant.

I understand now that a lot of my arguments came down to a misunderstanding of the relativistic belief system, and I apologize for that. I take back what I said about moral relativism believing that all cultures are correct in their morality. I do have a hard time understanding, though, how you are suggesting that all cultures beliefs simply don't have a right or wrong, but are simply ideas. The examples that I gave in my last argument, like terrorists and the Sawis, you agreed promote ideas that you disagree with. This isn't a criticism of your moral code, and I certainly don't think it's foolish- I agree that these are wrong, but I also believe that there is a concrete right and wrong for many cultures, including the Sawis.

My point in asking questions about relativism allowing for evil ideas to thrive was to suggest that there are limits to how far the idea of 'tolerance' can go. While I believe that tolerance should be extended towards people of different belief systems, I do believe that wrong actions (like murder) should be punished, and 'tolerance' does not stretch to allowing people like this to go unpunished. This is what relativism is suggested as in the definition, where it says, "relativism can be used as a means to attempt justification for wrongdoing or lawbreaking'. I am simply saying that, while a relativistic standpoint can be used to promote tolerance, there is also an extent to which punishment and justice must occur.

I do believe that, in most circumstances, there is a right answer for most political issues. Certainly, to an extent, these issues do have to do with different opinions, I also believe that concrete action must be taken for each of these. Let me explain my sentence on abortion not being able to both exist and not exist at the same time because that was confusingly worded. My point was that action must be taken on the issue of abortion- it must either be abolished or permitted. If abortion merely exists in the mind, then what concrete action should be taken on this issue and many others? Our laws are a reflection of the moral values that our country believes in, and America is arguing that abortion is a feasible option.

Thank you so much as well, it's been so good to debate you once again. I'm sorry for my late response- I've been busy, and I'm only just managing to slip this argument in before it will make me forfeit.
Phenenas

Pro


It’s okay, no need to apologize. Just a simple misunderstanding. A lot of this debate simply comes down to personal preference, since there aren’t a lot of sources we can use like in earlier debates. That makes it a little harder, but I enjoy hearing your opinions!


I stand by my point that moral values exist only in our minds. You try to counter this with the example of Christianity and atheism. And if God exists, then you’re right, moral values are completely universal and absolute. But if he doesn’t exist, then where would morals possibly come from other than humans?


“Either there is a God, or there isn't. This is not, as you said, 'entirely contained within the minds of different human beings'.”


I’ll answer this in the same way. If there is a God, then you’re correct. But if there isn’t? Then there is no answer to where the idea of God came from other than a product of human imagination. I don’t see religion as something that can be proven or disproven, so I’ll say no more.


“I certainly agree that moral relativism can be used to promote tolerance…”


It seems you’ve changed your mind on an opinion you’ve held in the rounds before this. I’m grateful that you understand my point about both belief systems being used for helpful and harmful purposes. You give a thought-provoking comparison to the systems of capitalism and communism. If I may, I’ll borrow that example for a bit, just to explain my morals. I believe that the best kind of economy we know of is a mixture of both capitalism and communism, taking the best elements from both. In the same way, a relativist takes the elements he or she likes most from different moral codes. I’m deeply inspired by the story of Jesus’s life and his teachings in the Gospels, and I try (and fail) to live up to them every day. However, I don’t care for what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, atheism, lust, and the treatment of women, so I don’t really take those bits to heart.


I never said absolutism was the only reason Iran is such a travesty for human rights - but it’s certainly one of the reasons, since many of their laws are clearly and openly based on Islamic thought. In giving this example, I was trying to prove a point you now seem to agree with me on - that both worldviews we’re talking about can be used for tolerant and intolerant purposes. To use an opposite example, Nazi Germany is one of the most intolerant societies ever, and they believed in Nietzsche’s ideas of moral relativism. However, it’s a lot harder to find a society that follows an absolute moral code and doesn’t oppress those who disagree. You’re one of the most kind and tolerant people I know, Mercy, so I’m certainly not trying to say anything about you, or even about moral absolutes. I actually was trying to think of a tolerant society that bases its laws on a religious or other absolute code, and I couldn’t. If you have any examples, I’d welcome them. And I don’t blame religion for this; I blame human nature, because we tend to fear that which is different.


I’m sorry that you have trouble understanding, I hope I can explain myself a little better. I’m not saying that nobody believes in right and wrong - many people clearly do. The Sawis have their own ideas of right and wrong, and groups like ISIS have their own ideas of right and wrong. It just so happens that butchering innocent people falls within the purview of “right” for both. Are they wrong to believe this? To me, there’s no objective, unbiased, scientific answer to this question. You believe in a God that abhors such actions and probably has a punishment waiting for those people, and I believe we live in an indifferent universe that has no moral code. We can agree that every culture and perhaps every person has their own sense of right and wrong, and while you believe in one moral code that’s greater and more truthful than all the others, I do not.


I agree with you that many things should not be tolerated. If we’re talking about government, then I believe people should be punished for harming others or for taking their stuff, and little else. I have no sacred books to base this creed on, but many people agree with me. In my opinion, laws should have nothing to do with morals - instead, they should maintain order. What’s the point of arresting someone for being a homosexual, or a prostitute, or for using marijuana? I see no practical reason at all. Maybe you see their actions as evil, but I don’t, and so long as they aren’t hurting anybody, they should be free to do as they please. You believe that wrong actions should be punished and use the easy example of murder, but does this include all sins? What would your ideal society be like? The same as the Bible’s rules? Would you have the law punish adulterers, alcoholics, fornicators, gays, lesbians, atheists, women who speak in church?


You believe that most political issues have a right answer, an opinion I’m slightly surprised to learn. Such complicated issues as immigration, healthcare, the EU, and the Israel-Palestine conflict clearly have no single right answer. And as for abortion, I will stick with the idea of protecting people and their property. I support the right of a woman to control her body, and I don’t believe that an embryo has human rights. I understand what a controversial statement this is. I wouldn’t have shared my opinion if you hadn’t asked. I grew up in the state of Louisiana, a state that sees abortion as evil and is doing everything it can to make it illegal, so I understand the pro-life point of view.


No worries! I just hope you’re not too overwhelmed by the arguments and deadlines. Good luck on the final round!


Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jackgilbert 4 months ago
jackgilbert
I am really enjoying this debate! I can't wait to see what happens next!
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