Instigator / Pro
7
1669
rating
25
debates
78.0%
won
Topic

There is a Universal Moral Law

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

The voting will end in:

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Publication date
Last update date
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
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Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
7
1667
rating
70
debates
73.57%
won
Description
~ 81 / 5,000

Moral Law: Principles describing conduct that is right and wrong.

No solipsism.

Round 1
Pro
Thank you for accepting this debate. 

Any ethical discussion takes places within four levels:
1. Particular case
2. Area rule - a rule that applies to an area of ethical responsibility
3. Overall principles - principles that apply to every area of responsibility, entire moral life
4. Basis of which upon those principles rest

  Desires are intrinsically motivating. They are not however, all that is intrinsically motivating. Right and wrong are also intrinsically motivating concepts. Since right and wrong are both concepts, then they are subject to the laws of Reason, such as the law of non-contradiction which states that to contradict oneself is inherently irrational. For this reason, the basis upon which our moral principles must lie is Reason alone. If my opponent was to question the reason of Reason, then he would implicitly be committing to using reason. 

     Whenever we make a moral judgement, it is influenced by two factors: the empirical input (such as the act of stealing) and the A Priori principle that we apply to that empirical input (the wrongness or rightness of the action). Furthermore, when considering Ethical questions, it should be done behind a veil of ignorance, where we do not know where in society we will be placed, our race, nationality, sex, etc. "Behind such a veil of ignorance all individuals are simply specified as rational, free, and morally equal beings.[8]" Therefore, the moral principles that we derive from Reason, will be reasoned A Priori.

  The will is, "The faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action [1]." 

   The word "autonomy" is composed of the greek word, "Nomos," meaning "law" [2], and the greek prefix "auto-," meaning "self" [3]. Therefore, to act autonomously is to act according to a law one gives oneself. The contrast of this is "heteronomy," [4] or, "acting according to a law given by another [5]" 

  Our desires can, and oftentimes do, impose themselves on our will. If we are simply obeying the whims of our desires, then we are not acting autonomously, but heteronomously. This reasoning extends to moral autonomy. If one is to act morally autonomous, then they are to act according to a moral law they give themselves. But moral autonomy is not enough to take us to moral good, so we must make the classical distinction between things with intrinsic value and things with instrumental worth. The thing that is intrinsically good is the good will.

  "To act of a “good will” means to act out of a sense of moral obligation or “duty.” In other words, the moral agent does a particular action not because of what it produces (its consequences) in terms of human experience, but because the agent recognizes by reasoning that it is the morally right thing to do and, consequently, there is a moral duty or obligation to do that action.[6]"

  Talents, temperament, fortune, and even happiness, are not good without qualification. Only when they contain good will, do they gain moral value. It's moral value is not derived from what it brings about or accomplishes. Good will is to virtue and action, what a gemstone is to a ring. It has its full value in itself, and its value isn't modified by its setting. The good will is a broader concept, incorporating the dutiful will. A will acting from duty overcomes hindrances to maintain the moral law. Therefore, we may distinguish the dutiful will as a form of good will, that acts of good will in the face of adversity [7]. 

  There are only two types of motives: those of duty and those of inclination. 

  Suppose Dick and Jane are walking from opposite ends of the sidewalk, and there is a beggar in between them. They both give the beggar one dollar, so assume the consequences are equal. Janes gives because she thinks it's the right thing to do. Dick gives because he want's Jane to notice him. I argue that while they both did the right thing, their motivations were fundamentally different. Jane acted from a sense of duty to her concept of "Right," while Dick acted from an arbitrary inclination, or a hypothetical imperative.

  A hypothetical statement is an "if, then" statement. In the case of Dick and Jane, Dick reasoned thusly, "If I give to the beggar, then Jane will notice me." His maxim, his reason for action, was based on his inclination, his desire, to get Jane to notice him.

  All inclinations, preferences, and desires, are motives of action that are qualified by their satisfaction. All inclinations are arbitrary and cannot convey moral praiseworthiness to an action. Oftentimes, duty constrains us against our inclinations. Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between an action done from duty, and an action merely in accordance with duty. 

    Take the example of a shopkeeper who has the opportunity to shortchange his customers. He decides not to for the reason that he will lose reputation. While he did the right thing, it was for the wrong reason. He acted in accordance with the moral law, but not from duty to the moral law. Had he been following the maxim, "I will always give my customers the correct change, because it's the right thing to do," then his decision would have moral worth. That means that there are two kinds of moral imperatives, categorical ones, that are binding without qualification; and hypothetical ones, that are based on the satisfaction of inclinations.

  A categorical imperative of morality is binding in all cases as a moral principle.

  A hypothetical imperative of morality is an "if, then" statement. The moral obligation is always qualified by the satisfaction of the "if."

  We have no room for hypotheticals in this approach, because we don't' want anything said to even resemble mere opinion.

  A categorical imperative of morality, in order to be binding to all rational beings in all cases, must be Universally applicable. For this reason, it is logically necessary to universalize the motivation for an action in order to measure it's rationality. 

  Kant said, "act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." 

  By this measure, we may determine the rationality of ones maxim for action. 

  Finally, by virtue of being rational, persons are morally responsible, and have dignity. By respecting this dignity, we can, with the framework laid out above, derive a Universal Moral Law. 

  This law is:
  Always treat persons as ends in themselves, and never solely as a means.

  The universalizability is conveyed by the words "alway" and "never." We, as rational beings, are the end-setters. Without Persons, there would be no goals, no ends. Therefore, Rational Beings ought to be treated as ends in themselves.

  In conclusion, as autonomous beings, we should be acting out of a sense of duty to the moral law we give ourselves. The reason we should respect the dignity of persons is because we are all rational beings. The exercise of that capacity for reason makes us worthy of dignity. Since it's the same capacity for reason, it is unqualified by the particulars of circumstance. It's the same Universal capacity for reason that delivers the moral law. So, to act autonomously, is to act according to a moral law we give ourselves, exercising our Reason. Not the particular reasons we have because of circumstance, but the reason that legislates A Priori, regardless of empirical ends.
Con
Terms

including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception
(Merriam Webster)

Burden of Proof

On Pro. Pro is the one who made this topic statement, and to fully justify why the term is true in a logical plane. Con, especially in an environment like DArt, would only be subject to prove that Pro's argument is insufficient, since there is no specification that the BoP is shared for every debate and there is definitely no specifications posed by Pro. Nevertheless, Con could still win by proving the inverse of Pro's topic statement as true, a valid tactic used when the BoP is automatically shared.

Argument: Hume's Guillotine


This source explains Hume's guillotine. In reality, all moral statements can be transcribed as an "ought" statement, just like "Abortion is wrong" is the same as "One ought to not abort". However, no objective statement can lead to a conclusion like that, even if we consider everything we consider facts objective. Here is an example of Hume's guillotine.
  • It is true that abortion causes pain of the mother
  • Thus one ought to not abort
The problem arises here: What is my hidden goal? Was it not to cause pain for the mother? What if I specifically want women to suffer? How do we know that is wrong, or we ought to not intentionally cause pain of the women? That is something else we cannot prove. The goals, in the end, are subjective, as it is us who want the woman to suffer or not suffer. We do not know which one is objectively true. If anything, we consider the one matching our personal moral standards true, subjectively.

In the end, we cannot consider moral statements true or justified fully and rationally just by facts. The "counterexamples" given in the source would be easy to defeat, as we cannot prove to have a moral obligation to keep promises or get good grades in school. It can be pointed out that "ought" statements can have a goal(For example, I ought to do homework if I want to get good grades in school), but even that,  the "ought" is not derived from any "is" but is also from another subjective goal, which is, in the example given, that I ought to get good grades in school. In the end, no possible "ought" statement can be derived by "is" statements, and no "ought" statement is objectively true even if we consider the ones supporting the "ought" statements objectively true.

So, there is nothing preventing me from becoming a psychopath and automatically value human suffering positively and value human happiness negatively. I am not like that, though it is completely possible for someone like that to emerge within society. Let's inspect Pro's example of an objective/universal moral law.


 Always treat persons as ends in themselves, and never solely as a means.
Which is equivalent to:
One ought to treat persons as ends in themselves, and not (them) solely as a means.
Now, what facts derives this moral statement?
  Finally, by virtue of being rational, persons are morally responsible, and have dignity. By respecting this dignity, we can, with the framework laid out above, derive a Universal Moral Law. 
Yep, it is this. Though it is accepted by many that having dignity and respect our moral responsibilities are things one ought to do, It cannot be objectively true. To a person that seeks goal from disobeying moral responsibilities and trashing dignity, this is not a moral law to him that he would obey. There is nothing suggesting that one ought to be rational either: As I could just act erratically out of nowhere and seek happiness from it.

For such a strange person, a part of their morals would look more like this:
  • It is proven that treating others as ends in themselves(and not solely as a means) is beneficial
  • I want to bring as much suffering as possible to people, and not happiness
  • Thus, I ought to not treat others as ends in themselves, but solely as a means.
Unless Pro proves that this type of person cannot exist, or that this kind of person, that obeys the inverse to Pro's statement as a moral statement, still obeys Pro's statement for some reason, Pro's stance would fail, because it is ultimately possible for such an individual to emerge and make the moral law, even if accepted by much, not apply to all individuals, or "universal". Pro's assumption of this being universally true is ultimately an illusion of that all people would consider something that Pro considers correct as correct, such as that respecting others is "good" or that evil is bad. Pro only illustrates law-abiding citizens as his example, but never psychopath criminals or hypothetical monsters that can be exceptions to obeying this rule due to a peculiar case of personal morals being the opposite of what the "normal" law-abiding citizen would desire or consider as "correct". There is nothing making those law-abiding citizens having more "correct" than psychopath criminals objectively, maybe only subjectively due to that you follow a set of morals with closer resemblance to an average law-abiding citizen, unless populism is automatically correct, in which, what the majority believes is correct. There is no proof of that.

We could even argue that the celestial bodies, sofas, and fire trucks do not obey this moral statement or ANY statement at all, but are still a part of the universe as a whole, thus making the statement false.

What is worse, is that Pro illustrates not our hidden goals of why we ought to always do one thing, and never do another thing. If we seek goal from acting in an erratic way and not being understood by society ever, as well as making everyone suffer, there is no reason to follow that statement.

In order for a moral statement to be true for someone, someone must consider acting in accordance to the moral statement correct, which is not objective. There is nothing preventing me from considering what you consider a "right thing to do" for me a "wrong thing to do", and there is nothing preventing me in believing that it is right to maximize suffering and minimize happiness. What matters is the subjective goals behind those statements(which is possible to be completely different), which cannot be derived from facts and would make such statements non-universal.

The "universal" moral law, cannot be proven to apply to every single individual, thus making it not universal at all. Vote CON.

Round 2
Pro
Thank you for your response. 

  The "is-ought" distinction is not a problem for the morality I proposed, since moral truths are reasoned A Priori. No state of affairs is necessary to describe moral obligation in the model I've presented. Rational beings ought to be treated as such, as ends in themselves, because that is what we are considering when we do ethics at all: How ought rational beings act?

  The moral law that I've presented, is of course only applicable to morally responsible individuals. A sofa or a celestial body are not rational beings, and thus have no more responsibility. 

  My opponent acts like moral statements can be true for one individual and not true for another. While this may apply to moral rules of thumb, In the case of the universal moral law I am defending, I argue that it is binding to all rational beings in all places, regardless of their personal beliefs or particular circumstances. If someone does not agree that this law applies to them, then they are wrong.

"Though it is accepted by many that having dignity and respect our moral responsibilities are things one ought to do, It cannot be objectively true."
  The moral law can be considered objective in so far as it's intersubjective. However it is still universal, because it's legislated by our universal capacity for reason, A Priori.

"What if I specifically want women to suffer? How do we know that is wrong, or we ought to not intentionally cause pain of the women?"
  One may have an inclination to cause others to suffer. But that individual would be acting morally only if he recognized his duty and respected the dignity of persons as ends in themselves, rather than as a mere means to his arbitrary desire to cause pain.

"In the end, we cannot consider moral statements true or justified fully and rationally just by facts."
  I argue that the spheres of facts and duties are metaphysically separate, and irreducible to eachother. 

  We don't need empirical facts to acquire morals A Priori. We are deriving morals from pure theoretical reason.

"Pro's assumption of this being universally true is ultimately an illusion of that all people would consider something that Pro considers correct as correct..."
  It's not an assumption, I've justified it. just because some people think that the world is flat, doesn't mean that it being a sphere isn't true, and just because some people are blind, doesn't mean that the sun doesn't exist. 

  In conclusion, the Universal Moral Law I have presented indeed applies to all rational beings. The is-ought distinction is not a problem for my proposed moral law, because it derives the imperative, A Priori, from theoretical deduction, without appealing to statements of empirical facts.
Con
Also thank you for your response.

Rebuttals

Requiring practical experience

Pro said this in his R2 argument:
The "is-ought" distinction is not a problem for the morality I proposed, since moral truths are reasoned A Priori. No state of affairs is necessary to describe moral obligation in the model I've presented. Rational beings ought to be treated as such, as ends in themselves, because that is what we are considering when we do ethics at all: How ought rational beings act?
A priori means[1]:
A priori knowledge is that which is independent from experience. Examples include mathematics, tautologies, and deduction from pure reason.(Wikipedia)
Are we sentient beings that are capable of rational thinking and moral decisions? Let's assume that. Even then, there is no proof that rational beings ought to treat others as ends in themselves instead of using them solely as a means, without experience, of course(Pro's proof is by experience, for example, treating others as ends in themselves is better than solely as a means in the society that we know today). It is perfectly possible that somewhere else in this universe, sentient beings treat others solely as a means and not as ends in themselves(Pro cannot disprove this!).

In the end, the statement, in order to be proven true in any extent, requires something else other than "A priori". It requires experience. "We are rational beings" cannot derive "We should treat others as ends in themselves" in of itself, or a priori. In order to even attempt to prove this, variables from this society or morals coming from oneself must be added to the equation to connect the two. If it isn't a priori, then how does the "is-ought" problem not apply? 

Plus, Pro's proof is that why treating others as ends in themselves is desirable or "respectable" from how I interpret Pro's argument. The problem is that creating a desirable society and/or respecting others are not ideals universally held, even when excluding inanimate objects like trumpets and sofas. There will always be psychopathic criminals and extremist radicals who would rather everyone else burn in hell to provide their warmness, and everyone suffer to provide their gratification. They do exist[2]! Even if they "don't", it is within this society, within my knowledge or Pro's, and it is still impossible to disprove that somewhere in this galaxy, in a planet unknown to us, some alien creature really want everyone(including themself) to suffer. We aren't thinking exactly the same and we can't prove that we should treat others like rational beings, a priori and without external information.

If we want to watch the world burn and we absolutely do not want to treat others like rational beings, then this "moral law" does not apply. Easy as that. Pro put zero effort disproving why this kind of people exist, or proving they are practicing the moral law regardless. In fact, we cannot prove that respecting others or treating others as ends in themselves is objectively right, because these people think that both of these are clearly wrong. It is only interpersonally right to a limited extent, and not universally right.

Pro is attempting to dismantle the "is-ought" structure by simply treating the statement as an objectively-true statement, but it isn't. Saying those sadists like [2] are "wrong" isn't something objective either: From their point, all of us are wrong and they are correct. In the end, it still doesn't apply to all rational beings, or cannot be proven to apply to all of them.

And Finally, in order to consider the statement presented by Pro true, one must first assume that treating other people like rational beings is a desirable thing or right thing. Pro has no right to say that universally, respecting others and treating others as ends in themselves is morally right because there is probably someone who thinks that they aren't morally right[2]. Thinking that other people should not be treated as rational beings, but solely as their own means, is a state of mind that Pro cannot prove and did not prove to be nonexistent.

Inanimate objects

The moral law that I've presented, is of course only applicable to morally responsible individuals. A sofa or a celestial body are not rational beings, and thus have no moral responsibility.
Let us recite the definition of "Universal". Source already given last round.
including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception
(Merriam Webster)
Since inanimate objects exist within our realm, but are not capable of following any moral law, Pro basically conceded by excluding inanimate objects. The exclusion of inanimate objects would mean that this moral law applies to the whole of our collectivity, which means that the moral law cannot be universal.

Others

I argue that the spheres of facts and duties are metaphysically separate, and irreducible to eachother. 
Exactly. "Is" and "ought" statements aren't automatically connected and Pro's counterproof to why the is-ought system doesn't apply is unsound. Also, Pro failed to disprove why the "is-ought" system is wrong.

We don't need empirical facts to acquire morals A Priori. We are deriving morals from pure theoretical reason.
Except that this moral "fact" requires subjective goals, for example, that we ought to treat others as rational beings. From pure theoretical reason, one cannot derive "We should treat others as ends in themselves" solely from "We ought to treat others as rational beings. Some other condition must come in order to prove this. Pure theoretical reason does not work here.

It's not an assumption, I've justified it. just because some people think that the world is flat, doesn't mean that it being a sphere isn't true, and just because some people are blind, doesn't mean that the sun doesn't exist.
If one says the world is flat, the sphere doesn't exist according to them. If someone is blind, then according to them the sun isn't observable(by eye). Using Pro's logic, just because Pro thinks murder is wrong or that treating other people as inanimate objects is wrong, doesn't mean they are ACTUALLY wrong.

Conclusion
  • Pro agrees that this moral law does not apply to inanimate objects, which means that there is something in the "whole" of our realm, that does not follow the moral law, which means it isn't universal.
  • Just because Pro thinks something is wrong doesn't mean that universally, it is wrong. To the people that disagrees with Pro, Pro is the wrong one here.
  • The is-ought structure applies as this moral law cannot be purely derived by logic according to what Pro has given us. Pro has used things considered a posteriori to prove his point and Pro did not even attempt to prove that my argument about the is-ought structure is flawed.
  • If my goal is simply to not treat others as rational beings, then this moral statement does not apply to me, and no, this is an existing state of mind. According to those who do that, this moral statement is wrong. One cannot say that universally, the statement is correct because these people think it is wrong.
  • In the end, the universal moral law isn't universal. It may be interpersonal, or apply to many people, but definitely not all.
Sources

Round 3
Pro
  Thank you for your response. 

  My opponent is stuck on this argument that if one person does not accept the proposed moral law, then it isn't Universal. This argument misunderstands what it means for a moral law to be universal. The universality of a moral principle is necessitated by moral epistemology. Like the veil of ignorance, where we must consider moral agents behind a veil where we do not know where in society they and we will be placed. Furthermore, a universal moral law must necessarily be reasoned A Priori, because theoretical deduction is the only way to conclude such a law, since the problem of induction would not allow the kind of certainty that a universal moral law would require, and appeals to empirical facts are inadequate for making moral judgments. The moral law presented, is binding universally to all rational beings, regardless of if they accept it as a true law, It still applies to them.

  We ought to treat rational beings as ends in themselves because that's what they are. Rational Being = end in itself, that's the link my opponent demands.

  Knowledge can be acquired A Priori. Take a look at my opponent's definition of A Priori:

A priori knowledge is that which is independent from experience. Examples include mathematics, tautologies, and deduction from pure reason.(Wikipedia
   We are deducting from pure reason. This knowledge will always be an impure A Priori, because we can know that "all bachelor's are unmarried," but we have to have some experience of what a bachelor is, and the concept of marriage to have that knowledge. But we don't have to meet every bachelor to know A Priori, that all bachelors are unmarried. We can know without reference to experience, that the moral law applies to all rational beings.

  The is-ought distinction is not a problem for my model, because the realm of facts and the realm of duties are metaphysically distinct. My proposed model does not appeal to a state of affairs, or try to wade through examples to extrapolate a moral principle. I've used theoretical deduction, from pure reason, to arrive at a true Universal moral law. So I may accept my opponent's definition of universal, and it still applies, because we are talking about the realm of duties and morals, and not every individual has to accept the law in order to be bound by it. If someone who does not accept the moral law, does a morally reprehensible thing, they are acting immorally, even if they don't accept that.

STRAWMEN
"Plus, Pro's proof is that why treating others as ends in themselves is desirable or "respectable" from how I interpret Pro's argument."
"Pro is attempting to dismantle the "is-ought" structure by simply treating the statement as an objectively-true statement..."
"Using Pro's logic, just because Pro thinks murder is wrong or that treating other people as inanimate objects is wrong, doesn't mean they are ACTUALLY wrong."
  I wanted to group the straw men together. 

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, there is a universal moral law. My opponent has offered no real rebuttals and fundamentally misunderstands the language and methodology. The law applies to all rational beings, regardless of their socioeconomic standing, or desires. If I don't accept it or act against it, then I am acting amorally, or immorally. 
Con
Rebuttals

My opponent is stuck on this argument that if one person does not accept the proposed moral law, then it isn't Universal. This argument misunderstands what it means for a moral law to be universal. The universality of a moral principle is necessitated by moral epistemology. Like the veil of ignorance, where we must consider moral agents behind a veil where we do not know where in society they and we will be placed. Furthermore, a universal moral law must necessarily be reasoned A Priori, because theoretical deduction is the only way to conclude such a law, since the problem of induction would not allow the kind of certainty that a universal moral law would require, and appeals to empirical facts are inadequate for making moral judgments. The moral law presented, is binding universally to all rational beings, regardless of if they accept it as a true law, It still applies to them.
But how do you exactly know that this moral law applies to the person that has a subjectively moral system that outright rejects this moral law? What if there are entire societies who life by rules lacking this law, or maybe rejecting this law? How and why does a rule apply between two people who think it is BS?

To the person that doesn't consider himself/herself/themself a rational being nor does it consider anyone a rational being at all, how does this rule apply? I have listed several examples of such outliers and Pro has barely even tried to respond to those example. To possible whole societies that do not consider themselves rational beings or do not consider rational beings ends in themselves, this law obviously don't apply. Pro cannot disprove such society from existing, either.

There is a certain possibility where we are behind such "veil", and in front of a veil exists a role in said society that do not consider themselves rational beings, etc. In order for a "universal" moral law to be considered "universal" at all, it must be shown that it applies to EVERYTHING that exists. For a society that treats each other as only a means, Pro has neither disproved its possibility of existing nor proved how that the moral law still applies. Or we ought to sit here and just believe that a statement that sounds completely like a falsism to them just applies to them for some reason? This "moral law" applies only in accordance to several rules, or what is known as external conditions.

As for "theoretical deduction", what Pro gave is not of theoretical deduction.
  We ought to treat rational beings as ends in themselves because that's what they are. Rational Being = end in itself, that's the link my opponent demands.
Let's recall what Pro said in R1.
Finally, by virtue of being rational, persons are morally responsible, and have dignity. By respecting this dignity, we can, with the framework laid out above, derive a Universal Moral Law. 
This law is:
Always treat persons as ends in themselves, and never solely as a means.
Pro assumes that one ought to be morally responsible respect dignity, despite it never being proven to be reasoned purely by theoretical deduction. Now Pro is claiming that rational beings ARE ends in themselves, but Pro never proved that we ought to treat people as rational beings, or why we should act rationally. Those two, just like what was said about the "is-ought", requires at least one other condition. If we remove that "We should treat people as rational beings" and "We should act rationally", then the moral law stands on nothing. Which, I can easily treat other people like inanimate objects like sofas and fire alarms and act erratically, thus making the "moral law" a completely incorrect statement according to me if that is the case.

Looking back at R1, we can easily discover that the R1 argument is not about that the people ARE, in fact, ends in themselves, but that it is about it is desirable, or "right" to act in this way. It signifies that humans ought to act rationally, which requires an external condition. This is different from that people are ends in themselves, what Pro claims in R3. Non-sequitur, shall I call it?

That said, Pro STILL has not proven that the moral law applies to anything other than a rational being, which means that it was never proven that it is universal, since those inanimate objects do in fact exist.

We are deducting from pure reason. This knowledge will always be an impure A Priori, because we can know that "all bachelor's are unmarried," but we have to have some experience of what a bachelor is, and the concept of marriage to have that knowledge. But we don't have to meet every bachelor to know A Priori, that all bachelors are unmarried. We can know without reference to experience, that the moral law applies to all rational beings.
However, we do not know, A priori, rational beings are ends in themselves, and Pro's argument for that isn't based on objectivity. It is twisted on that it is motivating or "right" to treat people like ends in themselves, but that "motivating" is subjective(everyone has different motivations, and it is subjective!) and the "right" requires an external condition. Of course, knowledge is always an impure A priori, but moral statements are not. It concerns what is right and what is not right. "It is right to..." is equivalent to "One ought to...", and that structure undoubtedly requires an external statement, prescribed by the "is-ought" which my opponent does not disagree is a valid and existing structure. Something, even "impure a priori" are "facts", but in order to consider something right, or that one ought to do something, one must have a subjective motivation. What if my motivation is to treat people like inanimate objects?

Conclusions
  • Pro still has not proven that inanimate objects which exist are bound by this moral law. As a result, it is not universal.
  • Pro has not deducted this statement purely theoretically. In fact, all moral statements can be written in the form of "One ought to...", and you know the rest from the "is-ought" of Mr. Hume. Since one cannot prove with certainty that there is one motivation shared even by all rational beings, and that it requires one's motivation in order to establish a connection between the "is" and the "ought". As a moral statement needs to have a non-objective motivation in order to be true subjectively, and it needs to have a universally-held motivation in order to be true universally. Not only inanimate objects have no motivation, we cannot prove that there is any objective motivation out there.
  • Pro has never proven that people ought to be treated like rational beings and not like inanimate objects. Pro has never proven that we ought to act rationally. Both of these require subjective motivations, thus making this moral law not universal.
  • In the end, what Pro has given cannot be proven to be universal since it isn't deducted purely of reason and requires subjective motivation in order to be true for someone, which makes it not universal. For inanimate objects with no motivation, this moral law does not apply at all, thus making it not univesal.
  • VOTE CON.