Instigator / Pro
Points: 23

There is no objective morality

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 5 votes the winner is ...
GuitarSlinger
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 29
Description
No information
Round 1
Forfeited
Published:
Wrong.  There is objective morality.  Otherwise, you'd have no ground to stand on to accuse your opponent of being "wrong".  Without objective morality (right/wrong), you think what is right/wrong, and I think what is right/wrong....we make our morality.  You have no ground to accuse me of being wrong.  
 
The fact that you participate in a debate site, arguing your position against opposing positions , implies that you live your life as if there is objective morality.  Otherwise, you would have to believe that you are right, AND that your opponent is right, because, after all, if morality is not objective, that means it’s subjective, so the other person in their mind is right, too, regardless of what you believe (each person or group determines what is right/wrong).
 
Next time someone cuts in front of you in line at the movies, grocery store, Starbucks, whatever, how would you respond?  Would you respond “Oh, go right ahead….you are simply doing what you think is right.”  Or would you respond that it isn’t fair, essentially appealing to some standard  (dare I say, “objective) of right/wrong that is outside of you and the other person?
 
Next time your employer, refuses to pay you for your labor, go ahead and say “Yes, you can do that….you are now doing what you think/believe is right.” 

Round 2
Published:
There is objective morality.  Otherwise, you'd have no ground to stand on to accuse your opponent of being "wrong".
There is a difference between morally right and wrong and factually right and wrong. Morality is subjective, facts are not.

Next time someone cuts in front of you in line at the movies, grocery store, Starbucks, whatever, how would you respond?  Would you respond “Oh, go right ahead….you are simply doing what you think is right.”  Or would you respond that it isn’t fair, essentially appealing to some standard  (dare I say, “objective) of right/wrong that is outside of you and the other person?
I would murder them and rape their family. If you tell me that is wrong, then I would murder you and rape your family as well. Just because there is no objective morality doesn't mean I can't feel wronged by someone, and murdering people and raping their family is just as morally valid a response as any other. 
(I would not actually murder anyone or rape anyone, but you can't tell me it's objectively or inherently wrong. If you think you can then I invite you to scientifically prove it to me.)

Next time your employer, refuses to pay you for your labor, go ahead and say “Yes, you can do that….you are now doing what you think/believe is right.”  
There is a difference between a statement like "2+2=4" and a claim that something is morally right or wrong. Morality is a matter of opinion. Now excuse me while I eat my employers children as punishment for not paying me.
Published:
Fair enough.  However, "feeling wronged" by someone and actually "being wronged" by someone are two very different things.  Just because you think it’s wrong, doesn't mean it's wrong.  And just because you think something is right, doesn't mean it's right. 

To the person who cuts in front of you, they think it’s right.  So, the question remains—who is actually right and wrong?  Cuz here’s the rub, you both can’t be right.  That’s not logically possible.  You can’t have two contradicting things and have them both be true.

If you truly believed, in your heart of hearts, that morality was subjective, then you could not look the other person in the eye and sya that they are wrong-- because in a subjective world, the other person is right in their own mind.  

Clever to throw science in this.  I'm assuming you use "science" as your basis?  If so, then wouldn't it also be fair for me to counter to you "Prove scientifically that morality is subjective"?

Round 3
Published:
"feeling wronged" by someone and actually "being wronged" by someone are two very different things.
There is only "feeling wronged". In objective reality, when the cheeta bites the gazelle in the jugular it is because the cheeta is fast and hungry. In the subjective reality of morality, the cheeta and the gazelle would argue back and forth,
"but I have a right to life mr. cheeta" 
"but so do I and I am a carnivore who must eat you to live mr. gazelle"

Nature (i.e objective reality)  clearly doesn't give a shit about morality, the one who gets their way could just as easily be "good" or "evil" and the only consequences that inherently come with being "evil" are imposed by society.

If you truly believed, in your heart of hearts, that morality was subjective, then you could not look the other person in the eye and sya that they are wrong-- because in a subjective world, the other person is right in their own mind.  
That is not true. Even though morality is subjective, a person can still feel wronged and there still can be socially acceptable standards of behaviour based on preventing people from lying, cheating, and harming others. Even though morality is subjective, it is not logical or productive for society to let people go around doing things that harm others.

"Prove scientifically that morality is subjective"?
 Humans made it up to establish what is socially acceptable and what is not, nature does not care about morality, and ideas of what is moral vary widely from culture to culture and from person to person.
Published:
So then....instead of a gazelle and a cheetah, let's say it's Bill and you.

Bill wants to kill you.  He thinks it's ok.
You do not want to be killed.  You think it's not ok.

Is it right for Bill to kill you?

If you say "No", then I have to ask why.
            - If your answer is "Because I don't thnk it's right.", then I would say tough-- your idea of right/wrong doesn't agree with Bill's idea of right and wrong.  Bill is right in his own mind, so he should be allowed to do what he wants, correct?

            - If your answer is "Because we have laws that state you can't kill".  Then I would say "Nope-- you can't do that.  When you refer to a law, you are now using an objective standard to measure behavior against.   When morality is subjective, you can't use an objective standard like a law."




Added:
--> @RationalMadman
For the record, i don't care much for votes :-) Votes, after all are...dare I say it....subjective....lol. It's a matter of opinion.
This is fun though and it's good having lively debate and civil discussions. I do this to try and stay sharp. Iron sharpening iron, ya know.
I respect the fact that thus far no on has ventured into the realm of insults etc (which seems to run rampant on other sites).
Contender
#32
Added:
--> @TheRealNihilist
I use my sense to perceive my world. We all do. But that doesn't mean everything is subjective. I use my senses to observe that water is composed of 2 hydrogen atoms coupled with 1 oxygen atom. Does that mean the chemical makeup of H20 is purely subjective? Of course not. Facts/objectives abound and we use our senses to discover/uncover these facts.
Explain it? Didn't you accuse of constructing a straw man by bringing about the worst extent that logically follows (i.e someone thinking rape is good), and you called it unfair. My response to you was, the discussion of morality concerns human behavior.....you can't say morality is subjective and then change your tune because all of sudden the behavior is now deemed severe.
Yes. It wsa brought up in the debate arguments.
Contender
#31
Added:
--> @Type1
You won this, I'll vote soon.
#30
Added:
--> @Type1
If we were playing "Match Game" a giant RED X would appear after your response.
The moment you say it's against the law, you're being objective. Happens every time. Subjective means influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. The fact you say it's against the law, means it's objective (i.e. not dependent on a person's feelings, tastes, or opinions).
You realize that in a subjective morality, what you just said is just your opinion. YOU think that it brings psychological/physical harm, etc....but what if others disagree. What if they share your same feelings or opinions? In fact, what society as a whole deems "rape to be good". Something tells me you still wouldn't be ok with that.
You bring up a good point-- the notion of "harm". So what is harm. What you consider "harmful" others may not......so again, in a subjective morality it all becomes a matter of opinion. You have no basis to call sometihng good or bad, other than just your opinion. And your opinion is just one of millions.
Contender
#29
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"I guess that depends on who you ask. People use different objective standards all the time: some base the morality of their behavior on what their parents think....or what their spouse thinks....or what the government says....or what they believe God says."
More fundamental. What do you use to perceive the world?
"If you are going to say morality is subjective, you can't change your story based on the severity of the action."
I did not understand this.Can you say it in a different way?
"And for the record, I wasn't the one who introduced rape and murder into the discussion ;-)"
Who was it?
This was from you
"so say someone rapes someone.
Person A thinks rape is ok.
Person B thinks rape is not ok.
They are both right?"
Which was the first sighting I saw of rape in the comments section. Guess you are counting the debate as well.
#28
Added:
What the fuck is goin on with the votes in this debate? It looks like a mod changed the votes to give an unfair win to con.
Instigator
#27
Added:
--> @TheRealNihilist
"What are you using to measure outside youself?"
I guess that depends on who you ask. People use different objective standards all the time: some base the morality of their behavior on what their parents think....or what their spouse thinks....or what the government says....or what they believe God says.
It's not a strawman. I think it's very fair. Morality referencing behavior...actions..... Behavior is deemed either good or bad. If you are going to say morality is subjective, you can't change your story based on the severity of the action.
And for the record, I wasn't the one who introduced rape and murder into the discussion ;-)
Contender
#26
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
Yes, rape being wrong is a matter of perception and opinion. But there are still logical reasons not to rape or to allow rape. rape is psychologically and physically harmful and can result in unwanted pregnancies, therefor it is against basic human empathy, against the law, and against the good of society to allow people to rape.
Instigator
#25
Added:
--> @Type1
@Type1 "Objective means that something is a fact. Subjective means it depends on perception rather than reality itself."
Ok. I'm going to stick with the rape scenario.
Consider this statement: "Rape is wrong." Is that a fact. Or is it simply a matter of perception?
Are you willing to say that "rape is wrong" is simply a matter of opinion?
Contender
#24
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"You can't measure outside yourself?"
What are you using to measure outside yourself?
"So the person who thinks Rape is ok is in the right?"
So the person thinks believing in something without evidence is rational? I can play the same game don't strawman me I won't do it back to you. I am aware of showing the worst extent of someone else's logic but that was unfair. You did not fairly represent me.
"yes, I get it. We use our senses,"
Then how is anything objective?
"We use our senses even to explore scientific data-- but I'm willing to bet you would now say that science is objective...."
Science is a standard we apply to our subjective senses in order to find out fact in what we are constraint by (senses).
Everything else was basically fluff. I want it to be specific not story time with GuitarSlinger. I have to agree with you on the fundamentals before I go along with your hypotheticals or real-world examples.
#23
Added:
--> @TheRealNihilist
You can't measure outside yourself? Of course you can. I'm willing to bet you do it all the time. If you want to see how wide a table is, do you eyeball it and stick your arms and say "Hmmm, i think it's about 4 feet wide".....no, you get something else (measuring tape) to measure it. You are using an objective standard (the measuring tape) to measure the table.
When you travel from one town to another, you don't use your own idea or inkling or sense of direction. No. You use objective standards outside yourself to guide you, to give you direction. The sailors of yore did not use their own idea of North or South when the sailed the seas....they used objective standards, like the sun, the moon, the stars, a compass, an astrolabe to guide them. What would happen if they used their own sense of direction instead of objective standards? They'd get lost.
same thing happens with behavior. When we use our own idea of what is right or wrong as opposed to objective standards, we become lost.
It's not a strawman. It makes a point. So the person who thinks Rape is ok is in the right? If you say "No", i'd like to understand why you think it's wrong? What is your basis or reasing for it-- simply because you think it is? That's not a good enough answer .
yes, I get it. We use our senses, but that doesn't mean we are being subjective. We use our senses even to explore scientific data-- but I'm willing to bet you would now say that science is objective....
Contender
#22
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
Objective means that something is a fact. Subjective means it depends on perception rather than reality itself.
Instigator
#21
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"The moment you look outside yourself to measure against, you are now being objective."
You can't measure outside yourself. You are your senses.
"but as soon as you pose a scenario/question like rape, and say one guy thinks it's ok, the other guy thinks it's wrong, folks start acting like morality must now be objective."
Do you like strawmans? I made it clear what I said. If the person values rape then that person would consider it okay if the person does not value rape for him/her it is not okay.
"but the moment the individual looks beyond himself (i.e. looks toward society) to determine what's right or wrong, the individual is being objective.."
Looks beyond himself? You can't do that. Everything goes through your senses. Do tell me what doesn't.
"Society can very well make laws that are subjective, but when the individual looks to this law, the individual is being objective."
I don't know where you got society from but it still does not help your point. Looking is using subjective senses.
#20
Added:
--> @Type1, @TheRealNihilist
Guys, I think you missing the whole idea/understanding of what subjective/objective is.
When you look to yourself to determine if something is right or wrong, you are being subjective.
The moment you look outside yourself to measure against, you are now being objective.
So you can either look to yourself (subjective) to determine what is right or wrong, or you can look to something external, like a law, etc to determine what is right/wrong (objective)
Folks want to shout "SUBJECTIVE" when it comes to determining behavior, but as soon as you pose a scenario/question like rape, and say one guy thinks it's ok, the other guy thinks it's wrong, folks start acting like morality must now be objective.
Also, don't confuse the individual with society-- they are two distinct entities. Granted, the individual is a part of a society....but the moment the individual looks beyond himself (i.e. looks toward society) to determine what's right or wrong, the individual is being objective...
Society as an entity can also be subjective or objective. When the society looks inward to determine morality, society is being subjective. Society can very well make laws that are subjective, but when the individual looks to this law, the individual is being objective.
Contender
#19
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
The law is not objective except in the sense that humans objectively make up laws and there are objectively consequences for breaking them. If Bill wants to kill me then I will kill him instead and molest his wife and his grandmother.
Instigator
#18
#5
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con barely pulled this off for me. He defined his terms and definitions better and I think that his scenario comparisons were better as well.
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
It seems that con was having trouble with the concept of what's factually correct or incorrect, and what's morally correct or incorrect. Pro drove that point home in round two by stating "there is a difference between morally right and wrong and factually right and wrong. Morality is subjective, facts are not." Con did nothing to address this point. This was a crucial point that Pro made, and Con didn't even attempt to refute it.
Nobody used any sources, so I didn't award anybody with the sources point. There were only a few grammatical errors, and none of them were all that distracting. Pro made some egregious remarks regarding murder and rape. I wouldn't be to sad if Pro were kicked off the site for misconduct, but I'm not here to judge who should or shouldn't be allowed on this site, I'm only here to judge who had the better conduct in this debate, which goes to Con. Outside of the unwelcome comments by Pro, both sides were cordial, and didn't resort to character assassination, which I guess is held in a high standard on this site. Meh!!!
Good job by both participants.
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Reliable Sources: Neither used any sources so therefore it is a tie.
Spelling and Grammar: Both had relatively the same grammar. Overall between both sides, it was legible.
Conduct: Neither Forfeited and neither resorted to insults, therefore my vote is a tie.
Convincing Arguments: Both had aright arguments and I was flip flopping my position during the debate, however one statement that Con stated absolutely proves that morality has to be objective.
The quote in question was " Cuz here’s the rub, you both can’t be right. That’s not logically possible. You can’t have two contradicting things and have them both be true."
- This quote pretty much proves that morality has to be objective, otherwise morality would contradict itself. Pro's response to this fact was this,
" Even though morality is subjective, it is not logical or productive for society to let people go around doing things that harm others."
- This statement directly contradicts pro's entire argument. Right here Pro is literally stating that harming other people is objectively wrong. Which of course contradicts his entire argument based around subjective morality.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Conduct to Con because while Pro was more polite than his usual self, the forfeiting of Round 1 (that is the most significant Round where it does become slightly bad Conduct as you give your opponent less to work with, intentionally almost), the entire rape scenario and wording of his Round 2 'joke' was truly vile and not what formal debating should have in it.
Pro explains that not only does morality have no objective source possible but that even the rational-seeming subjective elements of morality like the law or the ‘truly right’ and ‘truly wrong’ that Con was trying to say exist beyond what you think is right or wrong, do not even exist. Con struggled because Con cannot win if Pro doesn’t severely misstep. Con tries to tell Pro ‘but the one cutting in front of you in the queue thinks it’s true’ to prove that an actually wrong thing can subjectively be right. Pro says that this is because it really is right in their subjective moral code and is entitled to be so in an objective sense of ‘entitled to be’. Pro explains that truly the rightness of the act is up to every person to ascertain for themselves based on emotions and rationalising around those emotional preferences.
Con loses.
#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:
Pros arguments revolve around two points:
- That morality and moral behaviour is simply a feeling and is not objective.
- Pro argues that the social and social norms constructs around morality exist to prevent harm to society.
Pro drops this Gem:
“Even though morality is subjective, a person can still feel wronged and there still can be socially acceptable standards”
Pro nails the response - by pointing out that a subjective morality that can be justified objectively through the law - is not subjective. That destroys pros primary defence for morality being subjective - his explanation of why we all seem to agree on most moral decisions.
Arguments to con.
Conduct to con for the forfeit.