The Instigator
Samual_Jennings
Con (against)
The Contender
A341
Pro (for)

Is morality possible without God?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 494 times Debate No: 114436
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (0)

 

Samual_Jennings

Con

I make this my statement: That absolute objective morality is impossible without God. Without God, there is only relative morality. I'm sure most people who read this will agree "Murder is wrong." But my question for you is this: How do you know?

Debate Rules:
1. Political correctness goes out the window.
2. I will only debate an atheist. I will not "preach to the choir."
3. If you respect my position, I will respect yours.
A341

Pro

I'm unsure if the first round is for acceptance only as this is not stipulated within the rules, as such in this round I will simply roughly lay out my position similar to how my opponent has done. Also for reference on my profile it says I'm agnostic and my opponent says he will only debate an atheist, I would call myself an agnostic (or indeed a cultural christian) if asked for my religion but my the technical definition I am an atheist.

I believe that objective morality is possible without a belief in god. Most morality is shaped by two things:

1. Innate human morality shaped by evolution.
2. Cultural values.

I will argue that these are far from simply relative and can constitute the basis for an objective morality even without the belief in a higher power.
Debate Round No. 1
Samual_Jennings

Con

I accept the credentials of my opponent. In relation to your reasons for absolute morality without God, I pose you another question: What causes "innate human values" which you speak of?

Indeed, if morality were subject only to cultural values and random induction by way of evolution, all morality would by merely opinion. Morality would be based off of what "works for me". Many atheist and agnostic sociologists agree that without, not just the belief, but the PRESENCE of a God, all morality is relative.

Justin P McBrayer wrote an article for the New York Times titled "Why our children don't think there are moral facts". In it, he describes the illogical teaching of the Common Core Standard; which defines "fact" as something you can prove, and "opinion" as something you believe. It also teaches that any given statement is either one or the other. However, in reality, any truth you happen to believe is both a fact and an opinion.

When you come right down to it, God gave His people Israel His instructions (often mistranslated as "commandments"). God made our minds and bodies, and He knows how they work. Thus, He gave us a guide as to how to prosper in it.

Here is the question I want answered: If all morality is in fact relative, then what is to keep any random regular joe from murdering someone for fun?
A341

Pro

My opponent argues that cultural values and evolution are not objective. I believe that this is not the case.

Evolution is not simply random it is the selection of beneficial traits over consecutive generations and to the extent that morality is regulated by human genetics genetics it is influenced by a multi generation process of selection of moral traits which are beneficial. This clearly shapes innate moral understandings, this can be seen by some aspects of morality that are universal to humanity, for instance across cultures the killing of innocents is considered immoral, as is theft, torture of innocents, infliction of pain for purely sadistic reasons, excessive self indulgence and a whole number of other pathological behaviors. I submit that these are not merely relative but the result of a particularly objective process.

Cultural values may at first seem relative but of course they are not, cultures do not exist in a vacuum and those that do must be at least somewhat functional. In this way the model of natural selection (albeit to some extent, lacking the random generation of new values) can be at least partially applied to cultures. Cultures that survive are more successful than those that do not and one of the ways that they can be more successful is the propagation of appropriate moral values. This is not to say every surviving culture is more moral than every dying one but over time you would expect to see a gradual improvement in morality.

And as for what will keep any regular Joe from murdering people for fun? In an individual without mental health issues (as a regular Joe would be) their genetics. Simple as that, something fully objective and entirely independent of the need for a deity.
Debate Round No. 2
Samual_Jennings

Con

According to my opponent, evolution and natural selection dictate an inherent morality. However, this argument is simply illogical. While I was not going to delve into conflicting concepts the creation of the universe, that is where this debate has lead.

The entire premise of the evolutionary hypothesis is that everything before us is solely the result of "natural" processes, with neither instigation nor continuation from anything "supernatural".

Nevertheless, in so speculating, the entire hypothesis embraces doublespeak! There are two examples of this.

1) The hypothesis claims to need no supernatural stimulus. Yet, the so-called "big bang" is supposed to be caused by essentially nothing; therefore silently embracing biblical "bara", creation from nothing.

2) The hypothesis claims to be solely founded on knowledge through the scientific method. However, the second law of thermodynamics clearly states that the disorder in the universe can only grow larger or stay the same. It can not grow more orderly, as evolutionists describe, without a supernatural stimulus.

Thus, while the hypothesis claims to be independent of the supernatural, and embrace scientific fact; it actually is DEPENDANT on the supernatural, and UNDERMINES the scientific method!

How, if at all, can you refute this?
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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