The Instigator
AmericanNick
Pro (for)
The Contender
PointyDelta
Con (against)

There is no objective morality

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 691 times Debate No: 110022
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

AmericanNick

Pro

In order for an objective morality to be established, it would need to be based on objective data. Since all data concerning morality is based on individual feeling, there is no objective data, thus there is no objective morality.
PointyDelta

Con

Rebuttal:
My opponent's argument:

P1:morality would need to be based upon empirical data to be objective
P2: morality is based upon feeling
C1: morality is therefore subjective

We reject both of his premises here - the idea that there is a transcedental category of moral things and immoral things could easily exist without being perceived by humans. It's not necessary that individuals feel something to be moral or not for it to actually be moral or not. This is very much assuming the conclusion - only if morality is subjective is it the case that morality would need to be based on any data at all.

A rather basic argument that falls apart rather quickly.

Substantative:

First argument: cannot ex post facto determine morality - makes it absurd

P1: Morality is a tool for determining for humans whether things are right or wrong in that situation
P2: Were morality subjective, one could only determine whether a thing is moral or not after the fact
P3 : given that humans can't know the consequences (the full ones, that is) of their actions
P4: subjective morality fails at establishing any sort of moral code or justification
C1: Therefore morality is objective

Second argument: reason alone can determine morality

P1:We can determine whether things are moral or not to humans
P2: by using our reason alone to determine the action
P3: this logical reasoning is common to all humanity and holds up to every example
C1: therefore morality is objective




Quick question - is it objectively wrong to enslave someone?
Debate Round No. 1
AmericanNick

Pro

First argument:
Rejection of P1: Limits morality to specific situations and excludes virtue ethics and other non-situational ethical theory
Rejection of P2: People have subjective moral perceptions of actions prior to taking them. Ex: Someone could consider hurting someone but then not do it because they judge it to be immoral.
Rejection of P4: Not obvious. Subjective justification is a reasonable approach.
Rejection of C1: Even assuming that subjective morality fails, this does not necessitate objective morality.

Second argument:
P1: This is assumed but requires support.
P2: From a consequentalist perspective, as my opponent has pointed out, we can't know the consequences of our actions and thus we can't determine actions.
P3: Assumed but requires support.

Response to question: While I subjectively find it wrong, I don't think it can be objectively proven to be wrong. In fact, historically, logical arguments have been made in support of slavery so the rejection of slavery is not "common to all humanity"
PointyDelta

Con

Rebuttal:
>Limits morality to specific situations and excludes virtue ethics and other non-situational ethical theory
Opponent assumes this case as well, individual feeling not necessarily present always. Situational ethics is problem at hand. This refutes Pro case.

> People have subjective moral perceptions of actions prior to taking them.
Changes nothing. Pro assuming conclusion, that morality is subjective so an individual's perception is what makes things moral or not.

>bjective justification is a reasonable approach.
because one cannot establish a moral code ex post facto



>Even assuming that subjective morality fails, this does not necessitate objective morality.
1.) morality exists
2.) morality can be only subjective or objective - all things can be only subjective or objective
3.) subjective morality fails
4.) but morality exists
5.) morality is objective




Reason arguments are pretty much dropped here, the arguments hold for all situations, not necessarily only some situations, even if logical arguments have been made against them.

Follow up to question - were you to see someone attempting to enslave another person and assuming that you had the means to (a weapon of some sort, presumably) would you stop them?
Debate Round No. 2
AmericanNick

Pro

> Situational ethics problem at hand
This was never established but assumed by Con

>Pro assuming conclusion
I am not assuming the conclusion. I expressing my position based on 1st and 2nd hand experience that people have subjective (personal) views concerning morality. I also never claimed that individual perception is what made things moral only that some individuals have moral perception.

>One cannot establish a moral code ex post facto
This claim is controversial and thus requires support

>Morality exists
This is also controversial and thus requires support.

>arguments hold for all situations
Assuming this means that the reason arguments for objective morality hold for all situations, I have yet to see these arguments, and thus can't agree or disagree with them.

Response to question:
Yes I would stop them as I habitually try to prevent the suffering of others when possible.
PointyDelta

Con

>This was never established but assumed by Con
Proved previous, this arg is nonsense.

>1st and 2nd hand experience that people have subjective (personal) views concerning morality.
Intuition has no relevance

>a moral code ex post facto
Previously proven

>This is also controversial and thus requires support.
framework assumes morality exists, anything else is semantics and squirelling

Follow up - do you think that your action would be the right thing to do in that situation? Presumably you would, right?
Debate Round No. 3
AmericanNick

Pro

>Previously proven
Con can't just say previously proven without reference and then assume it adds something to the argument. Making claims without justification is nonsense. Otherwise I could just say "There is no objective morality" and claim it was previously proven and automatically win.

>Intuition has no relevance
Having views and hearing other people describe their views is not intuition. Otherwise all my experiences are intuition. When someone is talking to me, do I have intuition that they are saying something? Con is confusing sensory perception and self-awareness with intuition.

>Framework assumes morality exists
It does not. This is like saying that if I said "There are no blue dragons" I assumed dragons existed. I could be claiming that there are other types of dragons, but I could just as easily be saying there are no blue dragons because there are no dragons. Disagreeing that objective morality exists doesn't necessitate me believing in another type of morality.

Follow up- I don't think it would be the right thing to do as I don't believe in that concept. I don't think it would be wrong either.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
"Objective morality".. Its just words.. Everything is subjective doing... Just words ?... There are subjects and "doings".
Posted by AmericanNick 3 years ago
AmericanNick
@nodogma No worries about breaking the rules. I don't think they really care cause when you vote you say what your position prior to the debate was anyway. I guess one way to explain my position is to point out that not everyone's conscious is the same: some people have none, and even those that do can have wildly differing reactions. Ex: One person might find offending others to be immoral, another might think there is nothing wrong. My point is there is no way to objectively determine who is right or wrong in that situation. Thus there is no way for someone to objectively determine what is morally right and do the opposite, which eliminates the possibility of objectively immoral people. Put another way, I don't see how one can prove a certain objective result has a certain objective moral implication.
Posted by nodogma 3 years ago
nodogma
Well, I wasn't sure how much I should comment on the subject under debate because it would look like I would be weighing in on one side or the other. When I posted below, I thought I might be breaking the rules, so I searched for a rule which ruled such comments out, but I could not find one, but I got bored pretty quickly reading the rules, so the rule might be there somewhere? Anyway, in the example you gave, about hurting someone, that subjective decision would objectively hurt or even ruin your relationship with that person--especially if the hurt was without justification. Your point is not unrelated to whether or not a person is moral. If a person cannot see the connection between the objective results of his actions and what is (as you say subjectively) morally right, then that person is amoral--without conscience and so cannot fathom morality. An immoral person knows what is morally right and does what is wrong anyway. I don't understand you're point that you do not understand the connection. I agree that moral decisions are made subjectively, but all actions have objective results which are moral, immoral or amoral. So. . .how can there be no objective morality? Anyway, hope I am not getting in trouble here for over commenting?
Posted by AmericanNick 3 years ago
AmericanNick
@nodogma I agree with your conclusion as I also value people being thoughtful in their relationships. I also obviously agree there are measurable effects we can have on others. What I don't see is the provable connection between the objective effects and morality. One could hurt someone and someone could think that was wrong, but I don't see how that claim could be proven or disproven.
Posted by nodogma 3 years ago
nodogma
Morality and what is humane to me are linked in real relationship. What is right in one"s mind is subjective, but one"s relationship is to objective things which really exist; such as to other human beings, to the earth, to animals, etc. All those things I just listed can be tested and measured with empirical data. How we relate to the other things we share life with have real consequences which can be measured objectively. Morality, to my subjective self, has to do with what is right and fair in my relationship with other beings who are real objects. Will my relationship and future be right or wrong morally in light of the way I act in relationship? The answer is yes. There is a moral objectivity if it is linked to what is real in relationship. Hopefully, for the objective worlds sake and the rights of others people will be subjectively thoughtful of the others in objective relationships.
Posted by AmericanNick 3 years ago
AmericanNick
What is immorality?
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
DeletedUser
morality is not immorality
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