The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

is morality subjective or objective?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,568 times Debate No: 44394
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




I pro, will argue in favor of subjective morality.....


Round 1...acceptance
round 3....rebuttal
round 4.....conclusion/summary ( no new evidence)


There isn't objective morality!

A lot of the philosophers and thinkers I respect are coming around to the view that there can be an "objective" morality, which I take to mean this: rational consideration of the world"s facts will reveal criteria whereby things can be seen objectively as either right or wrong.
It may be hard to get those facts, but once you do the moral path would, it seems, be clear.
Debate Round No. 1


will be arguing that not everyone has the same views. Right and wrong is subjective. The evidence of this claim is evident by the existence of this site. We are on this site because we have views that are different possibly from the majority. We believe that something is moral while others don't. This debate is evidence itself. I believe right and wrong is based on perception. While my opponent believes that right and wrong are objective. He believes his views are right while I believe his views are wrong. This is evidence itself that right and wrong is based on perception. Below are some more reasons.

1. Morality is subjective.

morality-accepted moral standards: standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper.

So morality is basically our perception of right and wrong.

What is perceived to be right is subjective when talking in a singular sense. In a government witch makes laws about what is right and wrong it gets its ideas of what's right and wrong based on majority of opinion. If morality was objective and unchangeable and all ideas were generally accepted to be either right or wrong then all governments would have the same laws. In America all states would either allow gay marriage or all states would outlaw it. Laws can be changed. Witch means that not everyone has the same views on what is right and wrong. it also means that views of what is right and wrong tend to change. I may believe that pornography should be illegal only because porn is just like prostitution, but because there's a camera involved for some reason that makes it legal. Since porn is legal then prostitution should be legal. Majority of people who vote on this may believe differently than me. My opinion of what's right and wrong is not a general fact that everyone agrees on. If it was then 100% would either agree or disagree. As we know with most moral issues there's almost never a wipe out vote of 99-1 .Thus we can see that morality is subjective. A so called witch in Africa may believe it is right to kill children to make their magic stronger. The community may think its right to burn the witches[1] ( witch happens alot) or majority of people somewhere may feel its right to burn a thief. [2]

( I am going to post this example, I warn anyone who watches these links these websites are extremely goreish and gruesome and may make you cry and or have nightmares, so I caution those weak of stomach to not watch this.)

While majority of people in Africa may believe it is objectionable to burn thief's and witches, America im almost positive that majority of us believe that no one deserves to burn alive nor could most watch it. Obviously a majority believes something is right while another majority believes something is wrong. One culture may see something as being justified while another culture may see that thing being taboo. This also proves morality is subjective. Witch proves that right and wrong is a perception.

2. Even if morality was objective, right and wrong is still a perception.

Even if some how my opponent proves morality is objective, right and wrong had to have been based on how we see things in a moral sense. Even if America is a democratic republic, its because America perceives this type of government to be the best for itself. oppossers of this type of government may think otherwise. But to get to either of these conclusions or any conclusion on any matter. We base our judgements on something based on how we perceive something ethically. people get their ideas based on different perceptions of the world and different situations were in. Witch is why we may have opposing opinions on things. So in the end to even have an ideal on something we had to have had something to influence our perception of the subject to reach the conclusion. Thus right and wrong is still a perception even if morality was objective.

Conclusively I have proven these unmistakable points being: 1. Morality is subjective , 2. Even if morality was objective, right and wrong is still a perception.

Thus I have proven my case and I believe that pro should be the victor of this debate.


I still don"t accept this, and for the reason that, unlike science, morality also includes "add ons". That is, after you divine the consequences of any action, one still has to add on the stipulation that those consequences comport with some standard of "rightness" or "wrongness." Now people like Sam Harris claim that those standards are objective, too (his is "does an act increase general well being?") but I don"t think it"s so simple, and neither do other philosophers.

In contrast, science has no add-ons. Once you find out that birds descended from dinosaurs, nothing else need be added to make this an objective truth (provisional truth, of course!).

To see the problem of objective morality, consider this question:

"Is it right or wrong to eat meat, even if the animals are humanely raised?"

How do you answer this, even using the criterion of "well being"? Whose well being is being assessed? Humans, animals, or both? And how do you trade off human with animal well-being? Is it immoral to kill a mosquito just because it bites you? What if the mosquito lives in a place where such creatures are disease-free? Does your annoyance trump the life of an animal? It doesn"t for the Jains.

Any criterion of "moral action," including "well being," will end up so nebulous that in many cases it becomes useless"as in the above.

Let me hasten to add that I agree with Sam"s view that morality"although I prefer to avoid the terms "moral or immoral""will nearly always jibe with what increases general well being. Like him, I am a consequentialist, and favor those actions that increase well being.

Where we differ is that I don"t think the criterion of "well being" is an objective one. It is a subjective choice, and can"t be chosen based on a scientific study of nature. (In contrast, the molecular structure of benzene can be objectively discerned.) And "well being" is sufficiently nebulous that it can be stretched to cover everything, in which case it becomes useless. Is it moral to torture a prisoner if there is a 1/1000 chance that he will reveal where a bomb is planted that will kill 100,000 people? You could argue, based on well being, that torture is not only mandated, but required, in this case. But one could also argue that "well being" includes the structure of a society, and it"s not good to create a society in which anyone can be tortured.

I"m just working out some thoughts here, so don"t take this as a final pronouncement. But I still have difficulty in seeing how "morality" can be objective in any sense. Once you decide on a criterion, of course, then all else follows. But it is the case that "well being" always comports with what our notion of morality is? And if it doesn"t, should we revise our notion of morality to bring it in line with "well being"? Or, if you agree that morality is objective, do you have some criterion other than well being?

But I emphasize again, that, as a consequentialist and determinist, I don"t favor the notion of "moral responsibility," which I see as inimical to needed legal reforms. I would favor, instead, using the term "actions that are either good or bad for society." This still leads to punishment on the grounds of keeping bad people out of society, as well as rehabilitating them and deterring others. But it eliminates the notion of retributive punishment, which in my view adds nothing to society.

Finally, it"s clear that under the standard of "general well being," nearly all of us would be acting morally by giving a third of our income to the poor and starving people of the world. Yet we don"t. Are we then immoral? Or are we going to selfishly argue that well being is actually maximized if we"re able to keep as much of our money as we want, and bestow its largesse on our family and friends?
Debate Round No. 2


I thought that cons introduction and case sounded quite familiar. So I took it upon myself to Google it. Woe and behold his entire case is the exact word for word body and introduction of this article.......

I do not believe its ethical to rebuttal a plagiarized case because the actual author is not here to defend his views.

I do not know if the viewers are able to see the time each round was posted but, my opponents response to round one was posted about 2 to 3 minutes after I posted my round 1... I think its more than a coincidence of such a fast post and remarkably same sentence structure and wording of another article to be called chance.

Not to mention this is a violation of DDO rules and a breach of conduct. Since my opponent provided no original argument he has no case thus must forfeit his stance.

pros points stand undefeated thus all points of vote should be given to pro.



You know what you can do? talk to my boss about this!
Debate Round No. 3


Ive got better things to do.


Yeah, I bet, you think because I know you personally you can do this! Your wrong! I can take you down! Anytime I want!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
Hey philosobot we can battle if you like......and kbun...your absolutely right didnt realize it at the jackblack thanks for the advise.....its been a while since ive been in here im rusty
Posted by kbub 5 years ago
Careful about the "majority of Africa thinks it's ok to burn witches" stuff (sorry, paraphrase). That line boarders on being quite offensive.
Posted by Philosobot 5 years ago
Its a shame this debate didn't go anywhere - I love reading and debating about moral realism. I can't vote yet, but if I could it would go to Pro (even though I disagree with him), because Con plagiarized and essentially gave up.
Posted by JackBlack 5 years ago
As you set up round 2 as a case rather than rebuttal people can easily make up their case and save it so they only need to copy and paste from a text file. They don't need to make their case after you have made yours.

But a larger issue is the debate topic. Debate topics should not be questions, especially ones that have an A or B answer rather than yes or no. They should be statements, where pro argues that statement is true and con argues it is false.

It seems Pro is arguing based on the topic of the debate being "Morality is subjective" while Con is arguing as if the topic was "Morality is objective." You both seem to be arguing that morality is subjective.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con plagerized and. Failed to make his own arguments.