Instigator
Virtuoso avatar
Points: 7

Morality Can Only Be Objective If God Exists

Voting

The participant who scores the most points is declared the winner

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Debate details
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Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
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Contender
MagicAintReal avatar
Points: 4
Description
I want to begin by thanking MagicAintReal for agreeing to debate this topic with me. In this debate I will be defending the following proposition:
1. If objective moral facts exist, then God exists
2. Objective moral facts exist [not in dispute]
3. Therefore God exists
Definitions
Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
Objective: moral facts are true independent of human opinion, evolution, religious tradition, or culture.
God: the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
For the purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined broadly as to include the general attributes (ie: omnipotence, omniscience) commonly associated with Judeo-Christian monotheism. That is to say, this debate is not about a specific religious tradition. I am not defending the Bible or the Qur'an.
Structure
1 - Opening arguments
2-3 Rebuttals
4. Conclusion
Rules
1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all undefined resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
10. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the description's set-up, merits a loss
As per my opponent's request Ethang5, Raltar, and Death23 cannot vote on the debate
Round 1
Published:
I want to begin by saying how delighted I am to be debating you once again. After the flop of my last debate, I certainly hope I can do better. Magic and I were discussing via PM the definitions provided and we decided to amend the definition of objective. Objective is now defined as "Objective: moral facts are true independent of human opinion." With that said, let's begin1

----

P1: If objective moral facts exist, then God exists.
P2: Objective moral facts exist (not in dispute) 
C: Therefore, God exists (from 1 and 2).

This is logically valid so if both premises are true the conclusion is inescapable. Premise 2 is not in dispute so therefore I only have to really prove P1.

1. Objective moral facts are infinite

By infinite I mean that they transcend time, culture, place, religious traditions, etc. These facts are always true whether or not we agree on it and no matter where we are in the universe. If we were to build a time machine and could travel back to the moment of the big bang, there will never be a time in which it would be morally permissible to torture babies for fun or to commit mass genocide. This means that evolution cannot account for ethics as it would necessarily imply that we can go back in time and find a point when x became morally permissible or when y became morally abhorrent.

2. Objective moral facts are commands

The statement "do not murder" is a command. These are duties that are incumbent on all of mankind to keep. Commands and communications must originate from an intelligent and competent mind In the words of Richard Taylor (1):

"A duty is something that is owed... But something can be owed only to some person or persons. There can be no such thing as a duty in isolation.... the concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone."
--Key question for con--
Who or what commanded us to not kill? 

3. Free will exists

A logical necessity to objective moral facts is the need to account for free will. If free will does not exist then we cannot be held accountable for our actions. If a bridge collapses and kills people we can't hold the bridge accountable because it did not choose to fall. This is the second problem with atheism - atheism cannot account for free will. Indeed as Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley properly pointed out (2)

The experience of intentionally willing an action, they suggested, is often nothing more than a post hoc causal inference that our thoughts caused some behavior. The feeling itself, however, plays no causal role in producing that behavior. This could sometimes lead us to think we made a choice when we actually didn’t or think we made a different choice than we actually did.
Matt Slick also notes (3):

If your brain is hardwired and constrained by the physical laws, then it cannot act outside of those laws or outside the limits of the hardwiring.  It is, in essence, caged in by the limits of physical properties and cannot break free of them.
--Key question for con--
How does atheism account for free will? If there is no free will, then you must claim that there are no objective moral facts, correct?

Conclusion: Objective moral facts must be rooted in natural law and consequently God

This is the logical conclusion of morality. Murder is wrong because we are created free and equal and created in the Image of God as Paul Copland points out (4):

We would not know goodness without God's endowing us with a moral constitution. We have rights, dignity, freedom, and responsibility because God has designed us this way. In this, we reflect God's moral goodness as His image-bearers.

Thus we conclude: 
  • Objective facts are infinite in nature;
  • They are commands which can only be made by a law-giver;
  • They necessitate free will
Con has a tall burden on him. He must provide an alternative framework in which objective moral facts can exist without a moral law-giver.. 


1. Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Pentice-Hall, 1985) 83 
4, Copan, Paul, and William Lane Craig. Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2007. 91 


Published:
Intro

Thanks again for the debate Pro, and the pleasure's all mine.
I have to admit though, I was disappointed in your "flop" as well, mainly because I know you're capable of much more.
So here's to remedying that.

Pro had mentioned that we agreed to the definition of objective being what Pro posted first round, and that is correct.
"Objective: moral facts are true independent of human opinion."

I'd also like to point out that we agreed to the definition of "morality" being:
Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior towards others
If we're not talking about behavior towards others and just isolated actions/behavior, we're not talking about morality, so this has to be accepted to continue.



*Resolution*

The resolution has Pro affirming that morality can only be objective if god exists, so if there are any other ways morality can be objective without requiring god's existence, then the resolution is negated.
As Con I need to show that behaviors towards others can be assessed and determined to be objectively morally right or wrong without the existence of god.
Let's do it.



*Morality*

The principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong ways in which one acts or conducts oneself towards others can be reduced to principles concerning the distinction between beneficial and detrimental actions with respects to humans' and to some extent other animals' homeostasis.
Any action that one could consider to be moral can be weighed by whether or not that action leads to the homeostasis of those towards whom we are acting.

Homeostasis is just an organism's maintenance of internal balance when dealing with external changes.

I'm trying to point out that we, those who behave towards others, are necessarily part of the "external changes" those others are dealing with in their attempt to maintain their homeostasis.



*Objectivity*

As long as the standard we use to judge morally right and wrong is independent of human opinion, it can be objective, and I will argue that moral values are facts independent of both human opinion and god's existence; these objective facts are the standard by which we determine right and wrong behavior towards others.



*Morality Can Be Objective*

I argue that right and wrong behavior is necessarily contingent on the homeostasis of the humans and conscious animals, especially those close to us, towards whom we behave.
I define conscious animals as those that contain the proper neuronal substrates for consciousness and intention.

Let's take, for example, health.
There may be upwards of a thousand different ways for people to be healthy or commit healthy actions, but the distinction between ingesting poison and ingesting nutrition is about the clearest distinction between healthy and unhealthy we can make; the distinction is objective because of the objective facts of health, chemistry, and the impacts on homeostasis.

Is there something objectively unhealthy about ingesting poison?
Who are we to say that someone who enjoys vomiting all of the time from ingesting poison has something nutritionally wrong with them?
It might be that someone enjoys chronically vomiting corrosive hydrochloric stomach acid from ingesting known poisons.
Is there something objectively unhealthy about that?
Is there something nutritionally wrong with that person?

I'm saying, yes, of course, and thanks to our understood body of facts about health and the maintenance of homeostasis, we can make this assessment of healthy and unhealthy objectively, nutritionally right and wrong, despite rare exceptions of those who may enjoy vomiting ingested poison chronically.

For example, if your child had been running around for hours, and, as a result, had become dehydrated, it would be a perfectly healthy behavior to administer water (H2O) to them, because this action would lead to their homeostasis. This would be objectively regarded as a healthy, or a nutritionally beneficial/good action.

Now imagine that instead of H2O, you decided to administer H2O2, the only difference between the two being one more little oxygen atom.
Well, since hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a known poison, this would objectively NOT be the healthiest/nutritionally good behavior to hydrate your child.

Why would we think that morality is somehow immune to this objectivity?
Any action that one could consider to be moral can be weighed by whether or not that action leads to or away from the homeostasis of those towards whom we are behaving.

We further determine "right" and "wrong" actions towards others with facts about the homeostasis of the others towards whom we are acting, like administering H2O is perfectly conducive to hydrating your child, while administering a seemingly similar compound, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), is not only detrimental, it flies in the face of objective, positive health/homeostatic maintenance BECAUSE of the facts of chemistry, nutrition, and health.



*Conclusion*

Homeostasis exists in opposition to suffering and maltreatment, things associated with actions of immorality, and is an objective way to measure whether or not an action is moral i.e. does it lead to homeostasis?

Therefore, objectively, the distinction between "right" and "wrong" behavior towards others is determined by facts of homeostasis, and these facts inform our values sans human opinion.
The actions that objectively lead toward the homeostasis of those towards whom we are behaving are MORE MORAL than the actions that lead away from the homeostasis of those towards whom we are behaving.

Round 2
Published:
Con's moral framework seems to be a mixture of the libertarian Non Aggression Principle (NAP hereafter) with his own stuff. His framework has quite a few holes in it. 

Understanding the NAP

The Mises Institute defines the NAP as "an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression" is defined as the "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance." (1)

This is basically what con is talking about in his theory of homeostasis. Con's principle of framework contains moral paradoxes, many of which are undesirable. 

Moral Paradoxes

1. Raping a comatose person 

Is it morally wrong to rape a comatose person if no physical or emotional harm is suffered and the person is unaware of what occurred? Under your framework, the answer will be no. It does not harm the person nor does it harm the homeostasis between the two people. 

2. Is driving immoral?

Driving is a huge source of air pollutions worldwide and this pollution and ultimately is leading to catastrophic global warming (2). Under the homeostasis theory, driving (and other activities like smoking) are a major source of harm and a major source of decreased homeostasis between humans and non-human beings. FURTHERMORE all forms of pollution from industrialization and farming become immoral. Thus we are committing hundreds of immoral acts each day when we drive to work, use public transportation, purchase goods made from industrialization, and 

3. Who's harm is it anyway? 

Imagine Jack wants to rape Jill. Jill would be harmed by being raped and Jack is being harmed (in some way or in his own mind) by not raping Jill. Who's homeostasis is more important? 

Con's Framework Applies to All Life

Because all forms of life experience homeostasis from the single-celled organisms to humans, this framework and criteria based on homeostasis must be appleid to all of life. Indeed con concedes, at least in part, to this point:

The principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong ways in which one acts or conducts oneself towards others can be reduced to principles concerning the distinction between beneficial and detrimental actions with respects to humans' and to some extent other animalshomeostasis.
Any action that one could consider to be moral can be weighed by whether or not that action leads to the homeostasis of those towards whom we are acting.
But why should it stop with humans and other animals? And to what extent does that stop? In such a framework eating a vegetable would reduce that plant's homeostasis and thus it would be immoral for me to eat that vegetable. That's absurd! 

Conclusion

Con's framework inherently leads to moral paradoxes which are undesirable. His framework also necessarily applies to all forms of life from the simple celled organism to the most complex organisms. His framework to judge objective moral facts is absurd and should be rejected. 

Sources
1. https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression
2. https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/vehicles-air-pollution-and-human-health#.W_S-aC2ZMUs


Published:
Rebuttals

Thanks for that Pro.
I'd also like to warn readers that I'm going to have to get a little dirty to respond to the questions posed by Pro.
Enjoy.



*Pro's Proposition*

Pro claims:
"P1: If objective moral facts exist, then God exists."
My response:
I reject P1 because objective moral facts are based on our assessments of the homeostasis of those towards whom we behave, and the universe wasn't created by god or otherwise, therefore there was no creator of a universe that wasn't created.
Creation is a temporal concept.
Time originated at the universe's origin.
A temporal process could not have occurred without time having originated.
No universe, no time, no temporal processes like creation.

creation - the process of bringing something into existence.

process - a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

series - a number of events of a related kind coming one after another.

after - in the time following an event.

There is no creator of a universe that wasn't created, yet homeostasis existing in opposition to suffering and maltreatment is an objective fact, so P1 is rejected.



Pro adds:
"Objective moral facts are infinite, I mean that they transcend time, culture, place, religious traditions"
My response:
I'll agree that objective moral facts transcend religious traditions, more accurately, exist in opposition to many religious traditions, but the idea of transcending time gets to a quantum mechanical realm not needed in this debate.
I argue moral facts are contingent on physical facts, and that these physical facts are necessarily spatio-temporal thus do not transcend spacetime and are not infinite.



Pro asks:
"Who or what commanded us to not kill?"
My response:
It's not a command, my authority-prone brother.
Striving for the net homeostasis of everyone leads to the conclusion to not kill and to let the society's homeostasis forever maintain.
No one commands it; organisms need it.



*NAP*

Pro reckons:
"Con's moral framework seems to be a mixture of the libertarian Non Aggression Principle (NAP hereafter) with his own stuff. His framework has quite a few holes in it."
My response:
Nope.
While it's nice to know how my framework "seems" to Pro, Pro's wrong.
I'm using something called the homeostatic principle not the NAP.
If anything, my homeostatic principle is likened to the harm principle not the NAP.

By Pro assuming I was advocating for a particular principle, he ended up refuting a straw man in the NAP.
The homeostatic principle allows for aggression when the net homeostasis of those attempting to maintain everyone's homeostasis is preserved by the aggression.
Also if aggression were to eliminate a potential detriment to the homeostasis of those attempting to maintain everyone's homeostasis, i.e. self defense, then aggression is fine.



Pro claims:
"Con's principle of framework contains moral paradoxes, many of which are undesirable."
My response:
Just to be clear, I'm not using the NAP, just my homeostatic principle, so if you thought the moral paradoxes of the NAP were associated with my homeostatic principle, you were mistaken; we should call it the NOPE hereafter.
But, Pro has some questions for me.



*Pro's Moral Questions*

Pro asks:
"Is it morally wrong to rape a comatose person if no physical or emotional harm is suffered and the person is unaware of what occurred? Under your framework, the answer will be no. It does not harm the person nor does it harm the homeostasis between the two people."
My response:
To be clear, Pro said "no physical harm is suffered."
A comatose person is not suffering any physical harm, because they're not enduring pain, so they're not suffering anything.
So this act could still cause physical trauma, without the comatose "suffering" physical harm.

Humans, on the most basic cellular level must maintain homeostasis, and our bodies do a wonderful job of regulating when there's temperature changes, danger stimulus, and minor trauma.

Sexual intercourse, consensual or not, actually creates minor trauma to the skin/muscles of the vagina, the skin/muscles of the penis, the inside of the anus, and the inside of the mouth.

When we're consenting to the sexual act, our bodies are pumping endorphins to regulate our pain from these behaviors, creating arousal fluids that serve as lubricants to reduce more trauma, and raising our blood pressure to make the minor trauma seem exciting and pleasurable.
This is our body trying to maintain homeostasis from minor sexual trauma.

But by committing sexual acts like the one Pro mentions on someone who is not consenting and is medically comatose, the physical trauma is necessarily magnified without any arousal fluids, the physical trauma fails to be experienced pleasurably without any endorphins, and this act necessarily bypasses the comatose person's ability to maintain their homeostasis during sex.
Since raping a comatose person doesn't afford them the ability to maintain their homeostasis from the sexual act, it is most certainly immoral, even if you imagine that "there's no physical harm suffered."
There's necessarily still minor trauma from sexual acts, consensual or not.

Also, the person committing the act, before going in to rape the comatose person, should consider the potential detriment to the homeostasis of the person toward whom they are acting.
Giving your child a diluted from of hydrogen peroxide to hydrate them might not noticeably hurt them, but choosing the hydrogen peroxide over the H2O before hydrating your child is certainly a potential detriment to the child's homeostasis, no?



Pro asks:
"Is driving immoral?"
My response:
So, you have to treat it like opportunity cost, only in this case opportunity homeostasis.
We all are using cars to ease our lives and daily stresses, making it easier for our bodies to maintain homeostasis given our daily routines and requirements.
The net detriment of not having cars to make our lives work and easily maintain our homeostasis far out weighs the detriment of diffused carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

Yes the earth is heating up because of it, and yes, this is a potential detriment to our homeostasis, but again, if my baby doesn't get to day care tomorrow, I don't go to work, my wife doesn't go to work, and we can't afford to feed our children or pay our mortgage because our jobs don't like us not showing up, then the detriment to my and my family's homeostasis becomes much more salient than a potential detriment from diffused carbon compounds.

So driving is not immoral, because of the homeostasis it helps to maintain.
It's also not a behavior towards others, so it's not really a moral or immoral action.



Pro continues:
"FURTHERMORE all forms of pollution from industrialization and farming become immoral."
My response:
Again, these are not actions toward others, but the net detriment to the homeostasis of lives without readily available food more immediately outweighs the net detriment to the homeostasis of the lives living with the progressive pollution and subsequent global climate impact of farming and industry as a whole.
There's pollution, but they're eating food every day, and this helps maintain homeostasis more than not having food readily available.



Pro asks about harm:
"Who's harm is it anyway?...
Imagine Jack wants to rape Jill. Jill would be harmed by being raped and Jack is being harmed (in some way or in his own mind) by not raping Jill. Who's homeostasis is more important?"
My response:
When you take biology, the first thing they teach you is that in order for a cellular organism to maintain homeostasis, it's gotta rape someone.
Wait how is Jack being harmed in this example?
This was a weird example, no?

Jack doesn't need to completely dominate, over power, and go against the consent of someone to maintain homeostasis, so he is not harmed at all in this case.
Ugh.
That was gross to think he was harmed by not getting to rape someone...ugh again.



Pro supposes:
"Con's framework applies to all life because all forms of life experience homeostasis from the single-celled organisms to humans...indeed con concedes, at least in part, to this point:...but why should it stop with humans and other animals?"
My response:
This speaks to the homeostatic principle's objectivity, as it is clearly independent of human opinion given that Con concedes it applies to all life.
Why should it stop with humans and other animals?
The way we weigh whether or not an animal's homeostasis should be considered actually has a lot to do with how that animal helps to maintain our own homeostasis.
Pets reduce our stress, many animals help the disabled, and many humans feel emotional, dopamine rushes with animals who can participate in the heights of consciousness reached by humans.
That is why in the homeostatic principle, humans and many non-human animals that contain the proper neuronal substrates for consciousness and intention are considered as a component in the net homeostasis of everyone.



Conclusion

1. The universe wasn't created, so there is no creator of the universe.
2. Objective moral facts exist by considering homeostasis, not the NAP.
3. All actions Pro would consider to be moral can be reduced to the homeostatic principle.

Pro?
Round 3
Published:
Thank you for your reply. I will begin by defending my arguments in this round and then defending my rebuttals.

=== My Case ===

Con begins by attacking P1 by arguing against God's existence. As this is really not a debate for that, I'm going to ignore the K. If I can successfully prove P1, then his arguments are rebutted as the conclusion necessarily follows.

(1) OMFs are Infinite

Con concedes my point that these facts transcends human boundaries and religious customs. When we say that something is transcendent we mean that they are not the product of any physical universe because if the physical universe were to disappear, these facts would still be true. If there were no physical universe, 2+2 will always be 4. If the universe did not exist, torturing babies for fun will still be an immoral act. A fact that is absolute or objective are always true everywhere and anywhere and thus not dependent on human minds. (1)

(2) OMFs are commands

The word command means "to direct authoritatively." (2) "Do not kill" and "do not torture babies for fun" certainly directs authoritatively. These commands must come from an intelligent mind.  Homeostasis cannot command us to not kill and to not torture babies for fun.

From an evolutionary point of view, the only thing that matters is me, myself, and I. Animals kill and fight each other over food and to pass on their genes to the next generation. Evolution and homeostasis is necessarily concerned with the individual versus the community. It's survival of the fittest.

(3) Free will exists

Second, con completely drops my point on free will. He necessarily concedes that free will exists. I gave several arguments why an atheistic world view cannot account for free will. Please extend across the board.

=== Con's Case ===

Con's framework is a hyper deontological framework and leaves no room for error. His response to the moral paradox reeks of moving the goalpost. His framework can be summarized as this:

P1: Any action that harms homeostasis is immoral.
P2: Action X harms homeostasis.
C: Therefore, action X is immoral.

Similarly

P1: Any action that harms homeostasis is immoral.
P2: Action X does not harm homeostasis
C: Therefore, action X is not immoral.

Let's begin by looking at my paradoxes.

(1) Raping a comatose person

Con's reply is essentially moving the goalpost! By his own reasoning, any form of sexual intercourse harms homeostasis and is thus immoral because it necessarily means that some physical trauma is given. But con ignores the hypothetical framework. In a hypothetical framework that I showed, there is no physical harm and thus no physical trauma.

Furthermore, if someone were to rape a comatose person by oral sex or molestation, there definitely is no physical trauma. So thus the syllogism is

P1: Any action that harms homeostasis is immoral.
P2: Raping a comatose patient does not harm homeostasis
C: Therefore, raping a comatose patient is not immoral.

(2) Driving and Pollution

By con's own admission when we judge homeostasis we necessarily have to consider both the current state of homeostasis and the long term state of homeostasis. Climate change is a significant problem and that's something both myself and my opponent agree upon. The statistics are quite alarming. NASA provides the following predictions for North America alone (3):

Northeast. Heat waves, heavy downpours and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. Many states and cities are beginning to incorporate climate change into their planning.
Northwest. Changes in the timing of streamflow reduce water supplies for competing demands. Sea level rise, erosion, inundation, risks to infrastructure and increasing ocean acidity pose major threats. Increasing wildfire, insect outbreaks and tree diseases are causing widespread tree die-off.
Southeast. Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to the region’s economy and environment. Extreme heat will affect health, energy, agriculture and more. Decreased water availability will have economic and environmental impacts.
Midwest. Extreme heat, heavy downpours and flooding will affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more. Climate change will also exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes.
Southwest. Increased heat, drought and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities due to heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas are additional concerns.

Furthermore Climate Change is a public health crisis as well. Daniel Aiham Ghazali et al note:

Climate change leads to an increased frequency of violent phenomena and natural disasters. This will result in the repeated management of crises with serious deaths and injuries. This will also lead to the emergence of epidemics and an increase in the flow of patients requiring emergency services. Moreover, climate change will be responsible for a change in the epidemiology of pathologies usually encountered in emergency health settings. It will also be responsible for the emergence of new diseases and the re-emergence of extinct diseases. Emergency departments should anticipate the increase in consultations because of climate changes and acute variations in temperature. Educational institutions and health and human service organizations must commit to increasing access to disaster simulation-based education and exercises, in an effort to enhance disaster preparedness of emergency caregivers.

Certainly the long term harms are outweighed by the short term benefits.

P1: Any action that harms homeostasis is immoral.
P2: Driving cars and polluting the environment harm homeostasis
C: Therefore, Driving cars and polluting is immoral.

(3) Who's harm

I didn't really explain this point well enough and it's a bit confusing so I will just drop this point.

Conclusions
1. Con continues to move the goalpost in his framework.
2. Con's framework is unworkable
3. Free will cannot exist in an atheistic worldview.

Sources
4. Ghazali, Daniel Aiham et al. “Climate Change Impacts on Disaster and Emergency Medicine Focusing on Mitigation Disruptive Effects: an International Perspective” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 15,7 1379. 1 Jul. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijerph15071379

Thank you. Please vote pro.
Published:
More Rebuttals

Thanks for that Pro.
I realize that this round and the round previous were designated for rebuttals and that the last round was designated for conclusions, but since I'm going to refute something I wanted Pro to respond to, I would not mind if Pro used a little of their last round to respond to my rebuttals and I request voters to not hit Pro with a conduct point for doing it.
It's up to Pro either way, but I figured I'd put that out there.



*Free Will*

After Pro provided sources that mention sometimes we think we've made a choice when we actually haven't and that our thoughts and actions are limited by physical laws inherent in our hard-wiring, Pro asks me a question:

Pro asks:
How does atheism account for free will? If there is no free will, then you must claim that there are no objective moral facts, correct?
My response:
I agree with your sources to the extent that our hard-wiring is limited by the laws of physics, the facts of physiology, and the functions of our neurology.
However, within these limits are a range of possible actions, choices, and intentions.

Yes, how I choose is bound by laws, but within the domain of those laws are a range of intentional possibilities, so what I choose is freely willed by me and my assessments of external stimuli.
I may have to use neurological substrates that all behave within the domain of physical laws (how), but recruiting and combining these substrates to express the intentions of my internal state to then choose to commit an action (what) within that domain of physical laws is inherently freely willed.

How do I know free will exists?
Because I freely choose to believe so.

But Pro had asked, how atheism accounts for free will.
I know that many prominent atheists claim free will does not exist...frankly I don't care what they think, but as someone who doesn't buy the god claim, I actually think there's enough evidence to indicate we have the neuro-anatomical wherewithal to freely express our internal states by intending our actions.

I would say that while there are essentially 4 elements for organic compounds Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, which necessarily limits the chemical fertility of organic compounds with respects to all of the other elements, the range of organic compounds that can be created are vast, extremely variant, randomized, and spontaneous.
These are the compounds that make up our neurons, and it is with our neurology we utilize our free will.

"Here we use an ultrasensitive optical microscopy technique to directly monitor the formation and dynamics of self-replicating supramolecular structures at the single-particle level."
So, since organic compounds, even on the molecular and particle level, can spontaneously, randomly, and with great variance self-replicate within such a limited set of elements and restrictive laws of chemistry and physics, humans and other conscious animals (defined 1st round) composed of these dynamic self-replicating compounds, though limited by their physiology and restricted by their hard-wiring, are neurological creatures that can still demonstrate self-generated intention, consciousness, and free will expressing their internal states, all well within their limited domain of physical and anatomical laws.

The limits of the laws of physics do not negate free will.


Pro adds:
"He necessarily concedes that free will exists. I gave several arguments why an atheistic world view cannot account for free will."
My response:
Yes free will exists, and being an atheist is irrelevant to coming to this conclusion.
Whether or not I buy the god claim doesn't indicate whether or not I can account for free will.



*God's Existence*

I had pointed out that the universe wasn't created, because it's not enough for me to show an objective moral framework like the homeostatic principle without showing how god is excluded from that.
Pro could easily have just said, "Ok, I agree that the homeostatic principle is objective morality, but god still exists behind it, so the resolution is still affirmed."
Me merely showing an objective morality wouldn't negate "Morality can only be objective if god exists," it would just show morality can be objective.

Pro mentions:
"Con begins by attacking P1 by arguing against God's existence."
My response:
Yeah, because if P1 is unsound, Pro's goose is cooked; that's the whole resolution.
I basically spent my early case affirming the "morality can be objective" part of the resolution, and I'm using the rebuttals to knock down the "only if god exists" part of the resolution.


Pro continues:
 "As this is really not a debate for that, I'm going to ignore the K."
My response:
I mean I'm challenging the existence of the defined god in a debate where I'm Con and have to negate god's exclusive existence with respects to an objective moral framework.
It's not enough to say, "god doesn't control homeostasis, vote Con."
I guess I'm challenging an assumption in the definitions, but not an assumption in the resolution, so I'm not sure where that falls on the Kritik scale.

Pro is intending to drop my argument about how the universe was not created, therefore a creator of the universe, god in this debate, does not exist.
I'm saying that this proves the objective homeostatic principle doesn't need god.



*OMF (Objective Moral Facts)*

Pro keeps bangin' the old "objective moral facts must be infinite" drum the whole debate, but nothing about the term objective, being independent of human opinion, mentions being infinite...nothing.

Pro supposes:
"If the universe did not exist, torturing babies for fun will still be an immoral act."
My response:
If the universe did not exist, there wouldn't be babies or others to commit the immoral act.


Pro also says:
"Homeostasis cannot command us to not kill and to not torture babies for fun. From an evolutionary point of view, the only thing that matters is me, myself, and I."
My response:
Homeostasis is a standard, not an authority, because it exists in opposition to suffering and maltreatment.
By striving for this standard we would not kill or torture babies because the clear detriment to those people's homeostasis.
Also, from an evolutionary point of view, being social mammals with a functioning, homeostatic society helped evolve the human species to better hunt, more quickly construct shelter, and increase the overall security of the self and the society.



*Raping a Comatose Person*

I pointed out that what makes sex an enjoyable, moral experience is that the minor sexual trauma received from sexual acts is mitigated and turned into pleasure via homeostasis, so committing sexual acts that were not consented to necessarily bypasses this homeostasis.

Pro says:
"By [Con's] own reasoning, any form of sexual intercourse harms homeostasis and is thus immoral because it necessarily means that some physical trauma is given. But con ignores the hypothetical framework. In a hypothetical framework that I showed, there is no physical harm and thus no physical trauma."
My response:
Consensual sex affords people arousal fluids to mitigate trauma and increase pleasure, so it's not immoral.
Even if there's not physical trauma, which anatomically seems impossible, there is still the bypassing of one's ability to maintain homeostasis during sexual acts.
Our human bodies regulate during sex, and someone deliberately bypassing that attempt to maintain homeostasis is immoral.


Pro adds:
"Furthermore, if someone were to rape a comatose person by oral sex or molestation, there definitely is no physical trauma."
My response:
Pro, you seem to know a lot about this...just kidding, but you're wrong.
The bacteria in your mouth can be left in genitalia, and any touching can lead to abrasions and infections on thin skin like that of the anus or genitalia.



*Pollution*

I had mentioned the immediate detriment to my and my family's homeostasis were we to ditch our cars and buses.

Pro responds:
"Certainly the long term harms are outweighed by the short term benefits."
My response:
Yes, I already agreed that carbon emissions are exacerbating the climate crisis and that's a huge deal, but it's in no way more immediately detrimental to homeostasis than say refusing to rush a person to the hospital in a gassed up ambulance, or removing the gas powered generators from homes in freezing temperatures, or, as I mentioned earlier, getting to my job so I can live and maintain my homeostasis.



*Homeostatic Principle*

Pro ends up falsely representing what I've stated about the homeostatic principle.

Pro strawmans my argument:
"Any action that harms homeostasis is immoral."
My response:
I had said that actions that lead toward the homeostasis of those towards whom we are acting are considered more moral than those actions that don't.
I never said ANY actions.
The rest of his pollution conclusion can be rejected, because P1 is not sound.



*Questions for Pro*

1. Can you name a moral action that's not reducible to the homeostasis of those towards whom the action is being done?
2. Why would we need god to determine someone's homeostasis?
Round 4
Published:
I want to thank con for a fantastic debate. This is honestly one of my favorite debates of all time.


I. On the Debate

The resolution states that morality can only be objective if God exists. For con to win, he had to provide a viable objective moral framework that can exist without God. For me to win, I had to show that objective moral facts are dependent on God. There are several important points that he has dropped or failed to adequately respond to.

First, if objective moral facts exist, the free will must exist. Objective moral facts exist. Therefore free will must exist. This is agreed upon by con, but he has failed to provide a framework in how atheism accounts for free will. Simply choosing to believe in free will is a non answer. If there is no free will, then one cannot simply choose whether or not to believe in free will! Con's answer is effectively a cop out. 

It has been shown in the moral paradox issues that con's framework leaves a lot to be desired. Con's framework has us committing hundreds of immoralities each day by heading to work and polluting the environment. There is always a short-term long-term evaluation in determining homeostasis. Con's answer is a cop out. The long term harms outweigh the short term benefits. This is something that con concedes to. However, raping a comatose person is perfectly moral in his worldview. Con has been consistently moving the goalpost on this important issue. On a cellular level, cells do not care if you are finding pleasure in an act that causes physical trauma. People enjoy being chocked during sex, but it certainly harms the cells and harms homeostasis regardless if it feels good. 

Con's hyper-deontological framework must apply towards all life because all life experiences homeostasis. Whenever we eat a vegetable or a fruit, their homeostasis is being harmed even for our benefit. A moral framework must allow for some exploitation of the environment for our overall benefit; however, con's framework doesn't allow for any exploitation of the environment because all pollution necessarily leads to long term homeostasis harms, a point he failed to rebut in the last round. 

So what are objective moral facts? In the God-centered framework, objective moral facts transcend human boundaries and necessarily transcend the homeostasis of the cells. 

Objective moral facts must come from a transcendent mind. This mind is called God. 

II. Conclusion

I thank con for this incredible debate. I urge a vote for pro. Thank you and good night. 





Published:
Conclusion

I would also like to extend a thanks to Pro for a wonderful debate, and I would also like to say how much I respect Pro as a debater and member of this site, because he is an honest person and active contributor.
Thanks again.



Resolution

Pro attempted to show that morality can only be objective if god exists, and well, there's a lot that Pro never addressed with respects to my rebuttals.
I showed not only that morality can be objective via the homeostatic principle, but also that there is no need for god's existence to work towards that standard of maintaining homeostasis.

Since god was agreed to be the creator and ruler of the universe, and this creator is what must exist for morality to be objective, then without Pro refuting that the homeostatic principle is an objective way to determine morality and without Pro refuting that the universe wasn't created therefore there was no creator, one must vote Con, because the resolution is directly negated.
Moral objectivity, yes.
God, no.



Clean Up

There were various items that were brought up and I feel they need to be addressed in a conclusive kind of way so as not to sway from the rules that this is designated as a conclusion round.


Morality is Reducible to Homeostasis

In round 1, I claimed that all moral actions can be reduced to homeostasis.
Nothin' from Pro.

In round 2, I concluded my round with a direct shot at Pro, "All actions Pro would consider to be moral can be reduced to the homeostatic principle."
Pro had NOT ONE example of a moral (not a series of immoral situations like comatose rape) action that wasn't reducible to homeostasis.
Search the debate for a moral action that Pro provided where Pro refuted that it could be reduced to homeostasis.

In round 3, I even asked Pro to use his conclusion round to respond to me and I directly asked:
"Can you name a moral action that's not reducible to the homeostasis of those towards whom the action is being done?"
Nothin' from Pro.

Morality is reducible to the homeostasis of those towards whom we act, because Pro dropped it.


The Homeostatic Principle Does Not Require God

Since Pro purposefully dropped the "no time, no creation, no creator" argument, one must accept that the universe was not created because of the temporal inadequacies of such an event.
Then one must also accept that, per the agreed to definitions of god in this debate, that a creator of a universe that wasn't created is not necessary for one to strive to maintain the homeostasis of those others toward whom one is acting.


Free Will

Look, we both agree with free will, even though some atheists find physics to restrictive to allow for free will.
I pointed out that, in the limited domain of the laws of physics and the facts of anatomy, there are a range of intentional actions that we can accurately use to express our internal states.

Also, I hope everyone liked my tongue-in-cheek joke last round:
"How do I know free will exists?...Because I freely choose to believe so."

I was trying to make a self-affirming point, in that, if I were to freely choose to believe in free will, that would alone prove that free will exists...
No?
Ok, Pro didn't seem to understand where I was going with that, but I wanted to make that clear.


Pro's Pollution

I had mentioned that driving cars and polluting the air isn't an action towards someone else.
It's more of a cumulative product of multiple, varying behaviors, not directed at anyone really.
To me, this is not related to morality because it is not an action toward others.
I pointed it out and Pro dropped it.



Salutations

Thanks again for the debate, Pro, may you and your loved ones maintain homeostasis while remembering that the universe wasn't created.
Vote Con.
MagicAintReal avatar
Added:
--> @Logical-Master
Can't say I agree, but excellent RFD
Contender
#11
Virtuoso avatar
Added:
--> @Logical-Master
Thanks for the RFD!
Instigator
#10
MagicAintReal avatar
Added:
--> @3RU7AL
For me:
1. any moral action is reducible to the homeostasis of those towards whom we are acting.
2. god is not needed for homeostasis to be an objective standard for morality.
3. the universe wasn't created, therefore the homeostatic principle doesn't need god to exist to be objectively moral.
Contender
#9
3RU7AL avatar
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal, @Virtuoso
I've tried your suggestion too many times before and had my efforts struck from the record for not meeting these criteria.
Only PRO and CON [[themselves]] can determine which particular excerpts can be properly considered their respective "Main Arguments".
#8
MagicAintReal avatar
Added:
--> @3RU7AL
You have to determine, from your reading of the debate, what the main arguments relevant to the resolution are, then justify awarding points for each.
Contender
#7
3RU7AL avatar
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal, @Virtuoso
Per https://www.debateart.com/rules
"This survey must be comprehensive, which is to say that it must survey all or most of the main arguments in the debate..."
So, for the record, can you both please point out to me what you consider to be your Main Arguments from this particular debate.
"The comprehensiveness requirement simply requires you analyze the "main" arguments, of which there are usually 2 to 5 in a debate."
https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/864?page=4&post_number=79
#6
3RU7AL avatar
Added:
PRO fails to give even a single example of some moral command (OMF) that might (necessarily) supposedly come from a god.
#5
ethang5 avatar
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal, @Virtuoso
It was a good debate. I'm still mulling over who I think did better. I expected it to be an easy ride for Pro, but Con made good points and held his own on rebuts. Wish more debates were like this.
#4
Virtuoso avatar
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal
Me to! In fact this is probably on of my favorite debates of all time.
Instigator
#3
MagicAintReal avatar
Added:
I'm loving this debate.
Contender
#2
MagicAintReal avatar
Added:
I think I wrote the word "homeostasis" 17 times in one round.
My fellow teachers would be proud.
Contender
#1
Logical-Master avatar
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
https://shrib.com/#MVisEVyqTjwcm6aFvH6l