Instigator / Con
Points: 18

Moral Codes Cannot Exist In and Of Themselves Without God


The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
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
Points: 12
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.
--> @SupaDudz
>Reported Vote: SupaDudz // Mod action: Removed
>Points Awarded: 1 point to Con for Conduct
>Reason for Decision: No debate was had, so I can not give any points
CONDUCT goes CON due to RM not even making an argument and going off topic to stir away the moral of the debate, which is a bad conduct and extremely rude
>Reason for Mod Action: Most of this RFD is borderline, and so we default to considering that portion of the RFD as sufficient. What is missing from this RFD that mandates its removal is that there is no explicit comparison between the conduct of both debaters. Simply saying: "Con's conduct was unproblematic," would likely be a sufficient enough addition for this vote to pass moderation review.
--> @Dr.Franklin
Vote Reported: Dr.Franklin // Mod Action: Removed
Points awarded: 3 points to pro for arguments
RFD: Con actually made a argument while RM went off topic
Reason for mod action: To award argument points, the voter must (1) survey the main arguments and counterarguments in the debate, (2) weigh those arguments and counterarguments against each other, and (3) explain, based on the weighing process, how they reached their decision.

The voter should review the COC here:
The voter should also review this:
--> @RationalMadman
Lol are you reporting votes to the admins
--> @Ragnar
Vote Reported: Ragnar // Mod Action: Not Removed
Reason for mod action: The vote was found to be sufficient per the site voting policy standards.

I think the word 'you' means multiple things, I didn't know that to you it has only one context and has to be the same in all sentences.
--> @Ragnar
WTF? I don't get it?
End of his R2's opening sentence confirms he's either talking to his opponent, or else insisting all readers have artificial red skin. By the context I choose to interpret that he was speaking to his opponent.
"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."
Added: This RFd completely lies about me and my case. I never mocked the blind or said anything about my opponent being blind, I was referring to a solution if the reader of the debate was blind to ascertain which side was red and green.
--> @Ragnar
I never said that he was blind I said if the reader was blind to ask someone they trust to determine which side is red and green, stop trolling your RFD's it's embarrassing for you.
--> @Ad_Infinitum
Welcome to the site! Sorry you got trolled like that on your first debate here... I recently had a debate on the same topic, which reading it may help you refine your arguments against my side (yup, I respectfully firmly disagree with you):
Or to be more succinct.
If your argument is that you didn’t read the description: I won’t overturn. That’s your fault not your opponents.
If your argument is that the rules and description can arbitrarily be ignored by either side: I won’t overturn. That’s not fair on your opponent.
I will only overturn if a reasonable interpretation of the title and description is unfair to one side.
As I said:
“In terms of the resolution, pro/con could go either way, the phrasing of the resolution could work either way.
“Moral Codes Cannot Exist In and Of Themselves Without God”
Con could mean “they cannot” or “that sentence is false” “
In this case, the title could possibly go both ways, the debate as a whole appears 100% absolutely and totally unambiguously clear as to what your position should be prior to your acceptance. This means you have to make a very good argument to convince me that you were “confused” into accepting the wrong side of the debate, or that cons failure to specify both sides unambiguously caused you to think you were accepting a different side.
Your argument wasn’t any of these things - but was instead demanding that I simply ignore the description of the debate and focus on an interpretation that was preferrential to you and detrimental to con - for no good apparent reason.
I’m not going to do that in a billion years because it is inherently unfair to one side that made no mistake or error. Overturning the description is solely about whether the description is unfair to one side and should be to redress the unfairness.
You appeared to argue that it should be overturned to MAKE it unfair to one side because you saw a perceived way of arguing that the setup was incorrect and wanted to capitalize on that to score a cheap win.
You don't think anyone could reasonably interpret the green side as Pro? It is irrefutably the absolute means of determining which side is which on this website.
So in that regard - he met the burden of proof in the description
By all means, share quotes matching the criteria below, I am interested in being fair and want to make sure that I have not missed where you have argued one of the key points.
In terms of the resolution, pro/con could go either way, the phrasing of the resolution could work either way.
“Moral Codes Cannot Exist In and Of Themselves Without God”
Con could mean “they cannot” or “that sentence is false”
Normally, the debate description clarified exactly - and I don’t think anyone could reasonably interpret your position as you did. And by all means if you argued that it’s not reasonable to interpretat it any other way, please quote it here.
If the resolution was “Moral codes depend on God”, and he was con arguing that moral codes depend on God, you would have a case.
In reality you give the impression that you looked at the debate, didn’t want to argue the topic at hand, but instead found some semantic way to argue against your opponent, despite it clearly not being a reasonable interpretation of what he meant.
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
RationalMadman by default wins this argument given the contender's description. The proposition over which they argue is "Moral Codes Cannot Exist In and Of Themselves Without God." So Con's responsibility is to argue its negation, which would be "Moral Codes Can Exist in and of Themselves Without God." While Con did acknowledge his folly, his arguments nonetheless informed Pro's position. And Pro wasn't shy to agree with Con's arguments immediately. I will award however conduct to Con because despite his mistake he remained calm and polite. Pro, while maintaining some decorum, took a few jabs (i.e. "Blind User") and admitted to the possibility of his trolling the subject. Spelling and Grammar was virtually the same for the both of them, as well as references to sources.
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
In brief: Looks like an attempted noob snipe, but it missed by a mile.
Arguments (AI):
Given that RM agreed to the terms of the debate outlined in the description (including a clarification on who was who), and proceeded to immediately concede the debate in R1, this goes to AI. The debate never goes back on topic after that, so RM has no points made for his side of the resolution; whereas AI’s points were left utterly uncontested.
The single argument is straight forward, morals are not infallible unless you exclusively obey divine command theory, which kind of says we should not try to understand morals… But again, uncontested, and at least on topic.
As for mechanical aspects of this site: It was off topic within this debate. Start a debate on it with a moderator if it’s such a problem.
Note on debate descriptions: Troll debates are not moderated, so it makes intuitive sense that votes ignoring a troll-strain in a description would not be punished. I as a voter do enforce descriptions, as it says when creating a debate “Detailed description which may contain any important information about the format, the rules and etc.” Granted I generally view violating rules there as a conduct only issue.
Conduct (AI):
R2, RM choose to repeatedly insinuate that AI blind, and further that it would be a bad thing about him or her were that the case. This was done as a tactic to not engage with the debate subject.
Comparatively, AI accused RM of not reading before accepting, which I doubt is true, but RM choose to present himself in a manner to imply the truth to that statement. This was done to try to get the debate back on topic.
AI did briefly fall to RMs level (a reverse paraphrase of RMs statements against the blind, in this case because RM said he needs an aid to read for him, he said the same about RM), but it does not hurt as bad because it was with the clear intent of getting the topic both of them agreed to debate to actually happen.
S&G (tied):
This leans slightly in favor of RM for catching the mistake, and for awkward formatting, but nothing was bad enough to interfere in understanding the debate.
For formatting I suggest only using the indent for larger chunks of text; such as quotations which go across multiple lines. And yes, of course be careful in regards to selecting pro and con before instigating a debate, and if accepting one make sure it's one you are actually interested in debating.
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
The description was, in my view, completely transparent and clear. While the debate title is sometimes used as the resolution: in this case not only did con clearly and specifically outline what his position was, and what pros position would be, he clearly framed the definitions and positions without ambiguity as to who is who.
Instead of arguing in good faith; pro instead attempts a semantic and nonsensical attack implying that the resolution “wasn’t clear”. While pro goes to great length to explain that debate rules and definitions added in the debate description are not enforced by moderation - pro offers no meaningful argument I can see about what aspect of these rules in this debate should be rejected as unfair or unreasonable, or why I as a voter should over turn the description in his favour.
Indeed pros entire position appears to be “despite the description being clear and fully transparent: I disagree with the allotment of pro and con”. Pro offers me no good reason for why I should reject the clear and concise description and as such pros engire argument is irrelevant.
As pro inherently appears to have the burden of proof, as outlined by the description, and implied in cons opening round - pros failure to engage in any debate on the topic means he offers no actual argument and thus I am forced to award arguments to con.
Pros strategy appears not to be to engage in an actual debate, but to launch a ridiculous semantic argument and frustrate his opponent into forfeiting the debate as a whole. Not only is this arguing in bad faith, it is a shity and antisocial tactic that is likely to drive users from the site. Why would anyone want to use this site, when they create a debate with the intention of debating a topic, only to have a user launch into a left field semantic attack? Con does well to politely sit back and let pro continue his tactic - without forfeiting, or being rude - and for that, I commend him.
Given that pro clearly argues in bad faith, that matching what appears to be a genuine attempt at an intellectual discussion with ridiculous semantics is massively disrespectful to his opponent, and given that such behaviour is clearly detrimental and antithetical to debate in general and the long term health of this site in particular, this constitutes extremely toxic behaviour from pro both within and without the debate : as a result I am awarding con the conduct point too.