Instigator / Con

Moral Codes Cannot Exist In and Of Themselves Without God


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With 3 votes and 6 points ahead, the winner is ...

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Publication date
Last update date
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Characters per argument
Required rating
Contender / Pro
~ 950 / 5,000

My position is that an intrinsic moral code that outlines and defines good as an objective standard, rather than a utilitarian standard or Kantian Maxim, cannot exist without a supreme and objective outside source defining an action or mode of action as good. Your position (pro) would argue against that hypothesis, and that a code of objective values CAN exist without God, OR, that a subjective system of ethical values could be as strong of a system. Additionally, the discussion of whether or not the adoption of a subjective system of ethical values, to serve a utilitarian or other function, would be interesting to make reference to, and I am completely open to switching my position if I am convinced by the argument. Additionally, this is not a religious argument, but a purely philosophical one, and should not include the invocation of, say, Biblical passages for the purpose of proving the "brutality" of the Judeo-Christian moral code.

Round 1
I thank my opponent for accepting the debate. My opening statement might mirror the description of the debate. It is of my opinion that no rational argument exists for the existence of an infallible moral system, with clear cut right and wrong (good and evil if you like) actions. I've heard new age philoposhers, such as Matt Dillahunty or Sam Hyde, put forward systems of ethics where an attainable goal is the desiredd outcome, for instance, the minimization of human suffering. Kantian Maxims have been used to give universal motive for such a system, including the idea that, for instance, you as an individual should not propagate actions which might lead to your own personal suffering, so it would be imprudent of you to participate in such actions against other people, thereby fostering a reality where should everyone act as such, you might become a victim of such actions, and therefore suffer. This argument, while logical, allows for the idea that should you know for a fact that you will not end up the victim of such suffering, classically considered immoral actions taken against someone by you would be patently acceptable, as the entire premise is built upon the mitigation of your own suffering. Can my opponent reconcile this fact, or, should my opponent disagree with the notions put forward, can my opponent introduce a system of ethics where good is inherently good, and bad is inherently bad? Additionally, can my opponent perhaps introduce a system of ethics not based upon the objective standards of a God, that would function just as strongly?

Con has taken the Pro stance on this debate. Con agrees with Pro completely so far.
Round 2
You didn't read the description of the debate obviously. I admire the sophistry, good debate.
I am green side, you are red. If you are a blind user of this website who reads the text on an audible means of taking them in, Please ask anyone you know who can see and that you trust to verify this.

In the following debates the Green side is Pro-resolution and red side is Con-resolution of the debate. The creator of this debate chose 'Con' and made a description of the debate that is inferior to the mechanical selection of Con. I accepted this not to be cruel to him but because I knew some other easy win-grabber would lap it up when they realised his error.

Actually ask the person who can see, to look at this debate if you are blind:

Ask your text-reader to read the debate title and sides and who created it.

Now ask the person who can see which side is green.
Round 3
My position is against (con) the POSITIVE (pro) assertion that systems of objective morality CAN (pro) exist. If you are a mentally impaired user of this site and need to be visually stimulated by colors in order to understand which position in a debate I am taking, please read this to your aide and ask them to explain to you what my position and what your position in this debate was, since you seem too confused by it. If in fact the issue is your comprehension of the English language, since you claim my description of the debate is "inferior" to the mechanical selection of con, when I doubt that is the word you intended to use, I suggest using Google Translate, as it has gotten far more accurate in the past few years.
The moderators (via omission in the rules as proof so in other words the proof is it isn't mentioned but also that they have explicitly stated it in the forums and debate comments) consider the description of a debate to be a fluid aspect. In other words, if a voter (including Ramshutu who is an assistant vote moderator) ever voted on a debate where the description said he could/should not, then this would not be moderated against. Similarly, if Ramshutu were to vote on a debate where he perhaps believed that the description was too crippling or troll-worthy, it would be moderated as an acceptable vote, so long as it explained why and then explored arguments (meaning the debater/s needn't even brush on it for the vote to stand). Conversely, any and all elements of debate and votes must hold concrete the physical elements of the debate as absolute; meaning who is on which side and what the resolution is. The only time this would be exempted is if both debaters inside the debate agreed to swap sides.

Let me reverse this situation and explain what you, "Con posing as Pro" would be entitled to do in this debate if you had wanted to. In Round 1 you could say you typoed in the description (and I have seen this happen before, a couple of times by the users K_Michael and Speedrace) and that you meant to say you are for the resolution and were describing your opponent's side or copy-pasting from a debate where you were on the opposite side and wanted to swap over for a change. Then, the opponent would become blackmailed to admit you really are on the Con side physically via colour and selection of that side and that the description was the error, not the debate-mechanics.

Thusly, it is undeniable at this stage given the verdict of moderators regarding what's a fundamental pillar that is rigid, as opposed to  the fluid elements such as debate description and debate conduct... Actually, I have one more proof of this:

Only if you physically, via the debate mechanics, forfeit each Round does it officially count as Forfeited. In fact, if the CoC were what it is today and the ethos of the debate vote moderators equal today to what it was back when the site began the following debate would never have allowed the tied votes:

^ This debate was from an era where debate moderators were fluid in many ways on the site, the rules were forming and things were murkier. I guarantee you, based on things I experimented with in Type1 FF debates etc, that there's no way to justify voting a tie in that debate under the rules and ethos of vote-moderators as they are today, you would have to vote Pro (who is the Green side and interestingly also is in the 'reverse way around to the default' as is present in this debate.

Mechanics of the website used to matter less than they do now. Now, physical elements of debating matter more. In other words, what's going to happen is that the voters can't justify voting for you and then using your arguments as anything other than supporting the side 'Pro' which they physically will vote for in the end as the words 'instigator' and 'contender' don't matter, the Con becomes the Red side in the end of the debate because it really stands for Contradicting side (something nearly no-one except me on DDO realised as it says Contender there and even swaps you around). The Instigator can't be 'Pro' in any concrete way, they simply instigated the debate and the word doesn't even break down to Pro. It's a coincidence that 'Contender' and 'Contradicting side' both cut down to Con.
Round 4
I fully understand that, and I additionally admit that upon first glance the linguistic aspect of an instigator choosing con might not seem logical. I was well aware of that when I chose to label myself as con. The reason for my choice is that my argument is a negative argument in nature, i.e. that something is not possible, and that the contender's argument would be a positive argument in nature, in that something is possible. If you look at the essence of the title in a logical or conceptual light, rather than in a linguistic light, it is not evident to me that the instigator of the debate must take the pro stance. I chose to phrase the title as a negative because my personal belief is a negative one, but in fact the concept of the title is, neutrally, "Can Morality Exist In and Of Itself Without God?" In response to that question, my position is no, negative, hence con. I agree that you can take the side one chooses in direct linguistic relation to the title of the debate itself, but when choosing what side to pick, and because negative natured titles of debates will always be cause for confusion in determining the role of each participant, I found that it made more logical sense to take a position regarding the larger concept at hand, not the semantic logos of the title. For therein lies the real problem, which is that while my position is clearly made in the description, and for as smart as you are I have a feeling you weren't confused at all, you chose to accept the debate and waste an argument on a semantic logos issue. Even if I am completely wrong in the way I proposed the debate, which I won't concede that I was, it is petty to do as you have, when anyone who reads the description will understand fully and unequivocally exactly what my position in the debate is.
For what it's worth, I genuinely do not care whether I win or lose this (but I do objectively conclude that I must be voted for and should win this as I'm still in character in debate).

If this is enabled, in that the description is held sovereign over the physical sides, no matter how brutal the trolling of it, I will that have precedent to make very creative trap debates and other things where the description is held sovereign in the future. As for this debate, I hold the stance that I should not be entitled to have such precedence to do such things and so I conclude that I'm the winner here as Pro-resolution.