The Instigator
Con (against)
5 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

Morality is subjective

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,334 times Debate No: 16861
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)




1. No semantics; use your own common sense to know that this means.
2. No vulgarity; keep it clean
3. Arguments cannot be based solely on evidence. This is a philosophical debate, not an evidence debate. That said, evidence may be used so long as it is not the driving Factor
4. A breach in round structure will be counted as a forfeit of the debate.
5. Multiple breaches in character limitation beyond the grace area are grounds for a loss of conduct point.

This debate will take place in LD Style

Round 1: NEG Clarifications; AFF Constructive arguments (6,000 Character Limit)
Round 2: NEG Constructive and arguments against opponents
s case (7,000 Character Limit); AFF Argument rebuttal, and defenses on own case (4,000 Character Limit)
Round 3: Neg, Rebuttals, and Voters (6,000 Character Limit); Aff Voters (3,000 Character Limit)

Each speech will have a 100 character Grace period.


I thank my opponent for another opportunity to debate him, this time perhaps without the disappointing ending that occurred last time. I am arguing in LD format that morality IS subjective. My opponent has asked for no evidence and therefore I shall provide none beyond a definition. My opponent also requested a 100 character grace period after each 'speech'. I do not know if this means that there is a 100 character leeway in my speech (ie 6,100 characters) or that I need 100 blank characters after my speech (resulting in 5,900 usable characters). While the first certainly seems more logical, I don't want to assume and will therefore keep my speeches to the character limit set by my opponent in his clarifications minus one-hundred. And now, without further ado, I'll present my arguments.


Value: Truth

We often value many different things at many different points in our lives, but if there is one thing that is absolutely integral in human affairs it is truth. All human beings make their decisions and actions based upon what they believe is the truth. Also, all fields of human study are concerned with the hunt for the truth. Clearly truth is the most important value that can be tied to today's debate because truth is something of which we base all of our philosophies.

Criterion: Understanding the Nature of Morality

This criterion directly links to truth because in order to reach the most truth, we most have the most accurate understanding of the nature of morality. Clearly, it is necessary to understand the nature of morality in order to understand what the truth is regarding it.

Clarification: Please note that this is a value/criterion that both my opponent and I can uphold that lets us better get in to the real meat of this debate - the arguments regarding whether or not morality is subjective. I ask that my opponent also accept this value/criterion set as his own to avoid a debate centralized on value/criterion and more so focused on the issue of morality.

Contention 1: There is no master moral standard.

My opponent vies that morality is not subjective. This means that he is advocating a position of objective morality, seeing as the words are opposites. Objective morality ordains that there are certain actions that are OBJECTIVELY wrong in all situations. This means that, no matter what, that certain actions are wrong (ie "murder is always wrong" or "murder of innocent children is always wrong" or even "murder of innocent children that will do more harm to society than good is always wrong") no matter what.

Morality deals in standards like those. Standards, however, are created by humans, and it certainly can't be said that there are any objective standards. There is no reason to believe whatsoever that there is some master standard. There are many works such as the Bible which contain standards that are objective in nature, however there is no reason to assume that there standards are actually standards that are objective instead of human opinion on what should be objective.

Contention 2: No standards can be justified

Morality, as previously stated, creates standards off of which to base the "justness" of one's actions. However, what justifies a standard? If the only thing that can justify something else is a standard, then standards themselves can only be justifies by other standards. This leads to a trail of standards which continue back infinitely, never allowing us to reach a "master standard" (because that would need to be justified by another standard.) To say that something is objectively wrong means saying that the moral standards involved are objectively right and just. As I've shown, however, standards cannot be truly justified and therefore never shown to be objective.

Conclusion: I have not presented large arguments, but I do feel, however, that they are well enough explained to relay my points. My main point is that there is not objective source of objective standards. My opponent, in order to satisfy his burden of proof (this is LD, so it's on both sides), must show that there is an objective standard and be able to show how that standard is ultimately just. I am about 1,700 characters behind my character limit, which should appease my opponent, and I hope for a great debate focused on this most important issue of the nature of morality.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and would also lie to say that it is indeed a privilege to be able to debate them once again!

As a brief road-map, I will be going first NEG, then AFF


I will also be upholding the Value of Truth.
I will conceded partially with my opponent wishes, and will also uphold the value of truth, and had planned to do in the first place. My opponent has already stated a bit on truth, and I will concede his logic; I will however also build and warrant this as a supreme value for the Neg stance.
When dealing with such a resolution as this, we indeed must differentiate between objective, and subjective morality. and as is entailed with this resolution only one can be true. The debater whom proves that their standard of morality is true will win the Value portion of this debate

Here is the point I divulge from my opponent's request, I instead offer a separate criterion.

That of; Occom's Razor.

Occom's dictates that when comparing two logical explanations, the one with the simplest explanation is the more reasonable example.
For example, a tree disappears from the woods.
One explanation suggests that it was destroyed by a meteor and that the meteor itself was flung back into space due to explosion of the gasoline buried beneath the tree
the other explanation claim that it was cut down and used to build the log cabin 20 yards away.

This is the greatest criteria in this round for multiple reasons;
1. Because it provides the greatest ground for both sides to access during the course of this debate
2. Because without being circular in nature to either out agreed value, or resolution; it provides the most direct link to the resolution for both sides.

Obs1: When we look to such as resolution as this, one thing is brought to light as being substantially clear. True morality is not a subject that can be flippant in nature; but is directly polar in nature.

Obs2: The resolution's intention is not for us to decide what is moral or immoral, but it is to show whether or not morality is subjective.

C1: Subjective morality is unstable-

If we accept that stealing is wrong, then this should be the standard; that stealing is wrong. we should not have to make this ideal of of whether or not stealing is wrong subjective because of a person's needs/ or wants.
Say an able bodied man was slightly hungry, and stole food from an old woman on social security in order to satisfy hi hunger; this would be blatantly wrong, we would see this as a blatantly immoral action as they are depriving another human being of their food.
Broadening the scope, if a starving pregnant mother stole food from an incredibly man, would it be an immoral action? Yes, absolutely; Despite the fact that we as a society would have more pity on the starving mother, it does not change the fact that she committed an immoral act, and thereby put an undeserved act on this rich man.

She stole to satisfy the needs of herself and her child, but she stole nonetheless. Justifying it as moral because it is a necessity only serves to destroy true moral fiber, as one will then justify any action to their benefit as moral in order to justify the action to themselves.

C2: Objective Morality is a truthful standard

Again, if we accept the standard that stealing is wrong, we must continue to accept this standard through all scenarios; failing to do so rejects all of what morality is, all of what morality stands for.

By keeping a strong, solid standard between the moral and the immoral; we do not allow human emotion to come into play, and thus limit what s true.

Underview: Subjective morality is nothing but an excuse to maintain personal integrity; the cost is the forfeiting of truth of for nothing but vague ideals suited to the desires of the individual, not the truth of what is moral.
The fact is that morality is not always a feel-good, right-for-me kind of thing; it the pivotal institute for the serving of justice.


My opponent holds the value of truth, however cross-referencing my own C1 with my opponent's value, we see this is one he cannot uphold; But even more so than that, my opponent never justifies why the value of truth upholds "Subjective Morality" he simply outlines what truth is.

At this point, my opponent's value has no link to his case, you must default NEG.

First my opponent's criterion is circular to the resolution, his weighting mechanism for morality, is morality; or to say "understanding the nature of morality" However through this he neither achieves the AFF BOP, nor does he weight his own value.

Second, my opponent's Criterion is not a weighting mechanism; is an activity. At the understanding of this, we see that his criterion is not criterion at all, but a value.

Third, My opponent has no explanation to the functioning of his value, he explains what it is; but he never explains how he achieves it in this debate.

You have no reason to look to the AFF criterion, you must default NEG

C1: There is no master moral standard-
First, My opponent never proves this claim, be it logically or empirically. Just because we justify an action, that does not make it moral; it simply means we've made ourselves feel better about it.

Secondly, the argument hinges on accepting that Morality is Subjective prior to the round; however this is abuse, and blatantly outside the framers' intent. The purpose of this debate it to discuss whether or not Morality is Subjective; my opponent has not done this as of yet, thus he looses all connection and impact.

C2: No standards can be justified-
Link this first to my observation 2, we are are not her to debate the standard of what is moral and immoral. This is extra-topical, and thus irrelevant to the resolution.

Link this secondly to my under-view, if we even accept that morality exists; then there must be some kind of standard of morality. This is basic fare in morality, in fact by claiming that no standard can be justified, my opponent forfeits this debate, as he cannot justify something that is not an absolute.

Finally, because justice exists; standards can be justified. This is the entire basis of the American legal system, a problem is raised, decided on democratically, and justified as a moral or immoral standard

In conclusion, you have no reason to vote for the AFF side, whereas you have every reason to vote for the NEG

I now hand the debate back over to my very capable opponent.


It seems that the character limit has become a problem. At a shallow glance the character limit seems fair, however when put into position to follow it I find the problem within it. My opponent asks me to fit a response to a 7,100 character argument in only 4,100 characters. My opponent would have been better off allowing four rounds, the fourth being his own final rebuttal. However unreasonable, I did agree to these rules and I will follow them.

My opponent himself often uses video in order to satiate his arguments for rounds. This shows that he, as a debater and competitor, considers arguments placed elsewhere to be allowable arguments so long as they are linked back into the site itself. This being said, it should be noted that pictures themselves are, by nature, unchangeable without editing software and cannot be rearranged. This makes them a character unto themselves. So each picture I present is only one character, as is the nature of pictures. Also, all of my pictures are located on the site themselves which makes it content posted directly to


I look forward to next round! Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


MY opponent has tried to warrant his posting a link to his gallery as being the exact same thing as when I have done a video debate. While I feel like other forms of debating are fine, this was not something agreed upon before the round.

Whenever I do a video debate, it is always specified prior to the round.

Therefore refer back to rule 4 "A breach in round structure will be counted as a forfeit of the debate."
Also refer to the comments section where I explicitly deny my opponent in his request for more characters than where specified earlier in the debate.

Had this been an actual LD round and my opponent simply handed a few pages of notes to the judge, the judge would not have accepted them as legitimate arguments; in the same way the character restrictions where put in place to mimic LD debate time frames.

As such my opponent has forfeited this debate; Please vote Con accordingly!


I'm sure my opponent is disappointed that I chose to present my arguments in such a manner, but I will now show exactly how I didn't breach the rules and how I deserve to win this debate.


My opponent claims that I have broken rule number 4 by breaching structure. Let's take a look at structure. First, my opponent stated this round will be in LD style. I have done this. Second, my opponent stated that there are character limitations. Whilst I did post pictures of my arguments so as to avoid the character limit, I still did not break character limit, the only structure specification. Despite the fact that this was an underhanded move, it is still one that is technically legal as per my opponent's rules. My opponent did not specify in any of his rules that using information from other parts of the site where not allowed. Because he did not mention this in either his rules or structure, I have broken neither.

I completely understand why my opponent would be angry, as well as voters (Cliff.Stamp), however, I hope that the people of DDO will see that I am technically within the rules. Also, I hope they will see the move was not to hurt my opponent or be malicious in any way, but was to argue for the subject at hand.


Conduct: I admit, I don't deserve the conduct vote. My move was a clearly to avoid pack in more information than originally would be thought.

Spelling/Grammar: I have consistently used correct capitalization, grammar, and spelling throughout. My opponent has not consistently done this and frequently has randomly capitalized words, left off important letter, and used incorrect grammar.

Arguments: My arguments all have been technically within the character limit. My last arguments have not been responded to by my opponent. My opponent had ample space (infinite, in fact), to counter my arguments, and certainly his distaste for my presentation technique is no excuse not to present counter arguments. This clearly falls to me.

Sources: Sources were not used by either side as this was a philosophically oriented debate.


Sometimes innovation is necessary in order to get things done in this world. It is important to be able to innovate, but to also be able to counter innovations made by the opponent. My opponent failed to react to my innovation, claiming that it was unfair. My opponent may feel that what I have done is wrong. But right and wrong, as I have shown, is quite subjective. The philosophically inclined voter will realize that votes can't be based off of personal feelings of right and wrong, but off of logic, and in this case technical adherence to the rules.

I thank my opponent for this debate and am quite disappointed he did not post a combating argument to my previous arguments. I thank the voters for reading. May the better debater win.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Orange-Coconut 0.o
Posted by BlackVoid 7 years ago
Lol @ "Orange-Coconut".
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
Pro, that is likely going to cost you the debate.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Dude seriously?
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Dude seriously?
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
No, I'm sorry but I will not remove the character restrictions.
I would like to remind my opponent that not only does he have one more speech then I do, but in his first round he willingly did not use 1700 of his own allotted characters.

If my opponent finds it necessary to use short-handed arguments, then that is fine; but the rules have already been set in place and he has agreed to them.
Posted by Ad_Infinitum 7 years ago
There is quite a bit of material for 4,100 characters. I ask that my opponent allow me to break the restriction. If not, I'll be forced to remove many letters and shorten many words.

For instance, " My opponent then says that in morality, there must be some sort of standard of morality" will become "con say in mrlty, thr hz 2 b sum srt of stndrd o/mrlty". It will be legible, however you might have trouble getting through it. I also have many other ways of getting around the character limit in a "technically fair" way, but I ask that my opponent simply remove it so I don't have to do this.

Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Phew! I got it all on :D
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Also, the 100 character grace period is a 100 character leeway. i.e. you may use an additional 100 characters as necessary to close up an argument; that doesn't mean you can stuff a new one in during those last 100 characters.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 7 years ago
Hey end up forfeiting a round, it's because I've timed out.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear forfeit by Pro, and weak semantic defense. No guy, not angry, but disappointed as Orange-Coconut is a solid debater and I was looking forward to reading this debate.
Vote Placed by Dmetal 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't think Pro broke the LD style debate, and Con wined about it.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gives a too-literal interpretation of the rules. Its self-evident that outside arguments wouldnt be allowed. Also, con's LD Notes example went unrefuted, so his logic extends to this debate anyway. Anyway, in an actual LD round the AR is limited to 4 minutes, just like this was limited to 4000 characters. It IS hard. Many people struggle with it, but adapt to it eventually. Since this was LD format, it is subject to the same limitations there are in a real round.