The Instigator
budding_demonologist
Pro (for)
The Contender
Jhhillman
Con (against)

Morality isn't subjective

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/5/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 117349
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

budding_demonologist

Pro

I will be arguing that morality is not subjective.

Morality- a principle of rules regarding the distinction of right or wrong, Or food and evil.
Subjective- based or influenced by personal feelings tastes or interests.

Please only accept this debate if you agree with the above terms, Understand my stance, And use correct grammar.
Please do not accept to troll.
Jhhillman

Con

I accept! I am looking forward to this. There are two ways to look at this fascinating question. The first is that there is a clear, Universal distinction between right and wrong/ This thing is good and that thing is bad, And anybody who says different is objectively wrong. The second is that morality, What is right and wrong, Is not intrinsic to the universe and that "right" and "wrong" are labels made up by humans, Which we then ascribe to things based on our interpretations of them.

The difficulty with the first interpretation of the question, (that things are objectively good or bad) is that there is no way to tell which moral system is the correct one. There has been no evidence pointing either way. If morality isn't subjective, It must be objective. But which moral system is objectively true? What objective morals are you arguing for? Please provide evidence. Even claims that one moral system is correct because it's better (i. E. It results in good things, Or fewer bad things) are always predicated off of one moral system to use as the arbiter of what is good and what is bad. Please explain which moral system should be preferred, And why.

Due to the arguments outlined above, We can reasonable default to the second interpretation, That there is no intrinsic moral system, And that what is moral from the perspective of each person depends on their interpretation of the situation, And the general meanings of good and bad, Or right and wrong. This clearly means that morality is subjective, As it is obvious that different people, Both today and across history, Have differing beliefs on what is moral and not moral. Look at the abortion debate. This is clearly the clash of two moral systems. It's clear that people have different interpretations of what is right and wrong. Their principles of rules regarding the distinction of right and wrong are based on or influenced by personal feelings or interests. Your beliefs on abortion are supported by your moral systems, Which likely involves religion or the sanctity of life, Which likely came from your upbringing or personal tastes. Meanwhile, My beliefs on abortion are supported by my moral beliefs the definition of life, And bodily autonomy/personal freedom. My beliefs bodily autonomy and personal freedom in particular are informed by not only my upbringing but also my personal experience with and vested interests against loss of bodily autonomy. You, Presumably not having the same experiences and vested interests, Have a differing perspective and therefore a different moral system. This means that our experiences and principles of morality are subjective, Regardless of whether there even is an objective moral system at all.

In conclusion, Morality is subjective because (a) there is no clear objective moral system, And (b) people have differing beliefs and subjective interpretations of morality.
Debate Round No. 1
budding_demonologist

Pro

I am arguing the point that, For something to be considered as "morals", It can not be subjective.

By definition morals can"t differ from persons to person, Otherwise those aren"t morals.
A moral is a principle, And a principle is a fundamental truth. A fundamental truth can"t differ from person to person. Views on which morals are correct, And which way of viewing morality is correct, Is subjective as it differs from person to person. Morality in itself is objective, As something can"t possibly be considered as a moral without it being a "fundamental truth of what is good and what is evil. " I agree that people"s experiences can influence their views, This doesn"t however mean their view is fundamentally correct.

I am not necessarily arguing on which moral system is "correct" rather that there is a moral system that is the correct one out there, And that all moral systems/morals can not be considered as subjectively correct, Because by definition they can"t be considered as morals. One can consider such to be "moral views" which are subjective since they demonstrates what one considers to be "moral", But this does not mean that each person"s moral view is "subjectively correct. "

Moral - standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong
Principle - a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.
Truth - a fact or belief that is accepted as true.
Fact - a thing that is known or proved to be true.
True - in accordance with fact or reality.

Therefore morals are "fundamental facts or beliefs accepted as accordance with truth or reality regarding right or wrong. "
If my opponent considers a fundamental truth to be subjective, You would theoretically have to argue that nothing is objective.
Jhhillman

Con

It sounds like you are essentially arguing that there is an (unspecified) moral system out there that is The One Fundamental Truth, But you haven't provided any explanation of why this one moral system is fundamentally true. In order for something to be accepted as fundamentally true, It has to be proven so. There is no proof of a true moral system, So therefore there is, For all practical purposes, No fundamentally true moral system. Maybe there is some kind of fundamentally true moral system, But as yet we have no way of accessing it, So for all practical purposes there is no fundamental moral truth. If morals are fundamental facts or beliefs accepted as true (for your value of true) than how do you explain the fact that there are multiple conflicting moral systems accepted by different people as being in accordance with reality? Fundamental moral truths cannot be demonstrated, So therefore they do not exist. But we still think that there are fundamental moral truths. We just disagree on what they are. What each person considers fundamentally true differs between people. Therefore, Moral truths are subjective. There is not yet any proven fundamental moral truth. Therefore, It is up to us to morally interpret the world as we see fit.

I am not arguing that nothing is objective. I am arguing that only concrete things are objective. It is an objective, Fundamental truth that I am sitting in a chair writing this. Both I and the chair are concrete objects interacting in a concrete way. But morals are not concrete. I can't pick up a moral and look at it, To determine what it is. Morals are a lens that humans have made up to interpret the actions of themselves and others in order to determine how to respond. We have created morals in order to look a the world through them. (Note that I am not saying morals should be disregarded) No moral system can be demonstrated as fundamentally true, So we have to look at morals subjectively. We, Of course, Are already doing that. For the purposes of the human experience, (which is the only relevant perspecive) morals are subjective.
Debate Round No. 2
budding_demonologist

Pro

I can"t provide proof of why this moral system is fundamentally true because you would need to know everything to provide an explanation of a set of moral rules that hasn"t been found yet. I"m not arguing that this fundamental truth can be used, Or is in any form practical, Rather that it exists and isn"t subjective. Just be a use we can"t access something, And it"s essentially useless in modern day time, Does make it nonexistent. When you refer to such a thing as "moral systems" I assume you mean things such as religion and philosophy. The are not "moral truths" in such, But systems that have their own view and idea of what "morality" is. This is called a "moral view" and is very much subjective. What I"m referring to is morals themselves.

Consider a stadium filled with people. In the middle of, Say, A football game a cow walks onto the field. Suddenly the sound of gunfire rings out and the cows dead. Some people in the crowd say that the shot came from the fifth aisle, Some say the ninth, And some say the thirtieth. All of these people have their own view on where it came from, But none of them know for certain. Each believe that they are correct, But again, None know for sure. This gunshot could not have come from all of these places, And therefore we know that either one or none of these people are correct. We don"t know which row it came from, But we know that it came from one. Through time and evidence, The police are now close to finding the source of the bullet. The same can be said for morality. Although so many of us see things in different ways, Interpret things differently and have our own beliefs on morality, This doesn"t necessarily mean that all of our beliefs are the "right ones".

Let me ask my opponent a theoretical question. If an innocent child was raped and murdered for no reason, Could this be subjectively right? (Note that the words "innocent" and "no reason" refers to the perpetrators own thoughts. )

I can not stress the following statement enough "What people believe to be fundamental truths are their moral view, Which is subjective. This does not mean that their is no objective moral truth. They can"t all be subjectively correct. "

The fact that there are fundamental moral truths is about as concrete as your chair. What colour is your chair? People who are blind or colorblind would probably answer this question different to someone with twenty twenty vision. This does not change the fact of your chair colour, Just displays the views of other people.
Jhhillman

Con

If we have no way of observing this fundamental truth, Then how do we know it exists? If you have no proof that any moral system is true, Then how do we know there is one? The existence of a fundamentally true moral system is the keystone of your argument, But you have openly admitted that you have no proof for it. There is absolutely no proof that there is a fundamentally true moral system,

On your baseball/gun/cow metaphor: This is not the same situation. The shooting of a cow was a concrete, Perceivable event that definitely happened. It can probably be pinpointed with CCTV footage. But there is no CCTV footage of the One True Moral System. Your metaphor is a logical fallacy.

If an innocent child was raped and murdered for no reason, That would certainly go against the moral systems of me and just about every other decent human being. But, Sadly, There is probably some monster who thinks that's perfectly okay. In their mind, They are right.

On your chair metaphor: This is a different situation. A chair is something that can be measured and observed. If there is disagreement on the color, We can use a camera and a color-sensing program to discover the true color of the chair. We can't do that with morality.
Debate Round No. 3
budding_demonologist

Pro

I would like to remind you that this debate isn't whether or not morality exists, But rather that it is/isn't subjective. I'm saying that if there is such a thing as morality, It would be subjective. By accepting this debate, My opponent has agreed that there is morality, Of have agreed to work under that idea. The idea that morality does/doesn't exist is an argument for another time. I would again like to emphasise the difference between a "moral view" (what one believes is/isn't morally correct) and a "moral standard" or simply "morals. "

"There is absolutely no proof that there is a fundamentally true moral system. "
My argument on morality is based on the ideas of fundamental truths that stay exactly the same from person to person. By saying that morality is subjective, My opponent is admitting that fundamental truths are subjective. My opponent stated in his earlier arguments that "Moral truths are subjective" and continues to distinguish them from fundamental truths by describing the latter as "concrete. " This separation essentially makes no sense. The fact that 1 + 1 = 2 is truth, Yet it's not concrete, The same way that morality is made up of fundamental truths. By definition morality is made up of fundamental truths. What my opponent insists on calling "subjective morality" is simply not morality at all. This is but a "moral view" which is ones opinion on what they consider to be "true. " I am not arguing that this "one true moral system" will ever be found, Used, Or recognised, But rather that morality can't possibly exist in objective form by definition.

Moral - standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong
Principle - a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.
Truth - a fact or belief that is accepted as true.
Fact - a thing that is known or proved to be true.
True - in accordance with fact or reality.
Therefore morals are "fundamental facts or beliefs accepted as accordance with truth or reality regarding right or wrong. "

My opponent continues to make the case that since you can't "prove" morality it therefore doesn't exist. He makes the point of a chair being able to be "observed and measured" there fire it's concrete and a fundamental truth. Whilst he may say that, His chair may not be concrete, And he not be sitting on this chair. We could all be living in a simulation, We could be hallucinating. We essentially can't "prove" anything in this world with absolute certainty, This doesn't mean that nothing is true.

Whilst there may or may not be morality, If there is than it can't possibly be called "subjective morality" because by definition that wouldn't be considered as morals unless you consider fundamental truths/facts to be subjective.
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Jhhillman 3 years ago
Jhhillman
Move to another debating site. I recommend DebateArt. Com. Debate. Org is basically dead at this point.
Posted by budding_demonologist 3 years ago
budding_demonologist
No problem! Although I don"t know what to do now. . . .
Posted by Jhhillman 3 years ago
Jhhillman
Oh no I forgot! I'm so sorry, I've been super busy.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
"Morality isn't subjective". . Well if you have no subjective morality. . You have no morality.
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