On the Origin of Morality: The Sam Harris v Wm Lane Craig debate pt 2

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posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 


But if they had - if the audience had voted - who do you think would have won?




posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


That would depend on who is attending, their understanding of debate, and their ability to look at subjective presentations without including their personal bias.

Without more data, no conclusion can be made. And that is the difference between facts and debate. We could debate, as you are attempting, over who the audience "thinks" is the winner with no facts whatsoever pertaining to it. Or, we could say, factually, that without further data, and/or a voting of the audience, we really cant say what would happen.

Being torn between the two worlds is a difficult place to be.

That said, if debates turn into something like American Idol, I will summarily blame you.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 


Nice deflection, Serdg!


Have you watched this particular 'encounter'? If so, with whom do you - as a person, a thinking person -AGREE?
(The audience was composed of philosophy students as well as lay people - though I've no idea what the demographics were).
edit on 12/6/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Why, thank you!


I want to say I have watched this debate before, but cant particularly remember. Regardless, its two hours, and in that amount of time I could do programming, some experiments, or finalize some equations I am working on that may end up really helping a lot of people. So, and its certainly no offense to you, but I would rather use that time for something more meaningful, and based in fact. I am actually on ATS, right now, to try to clear my head because I am hitting a wall in my work.

That said, Craig is NOT to be taken lightly in a debate forum. He seems well aware that there is no truth to be found in what he is doing, and uses that to his advantage. He is an artist, of sorts. If the person he is going up against thinks they can win by including anything other than strong debate skills, they are completely mistaken.

As for the actual topic of debate, I believe that whether morality is subjective or objective, it could be sourced in a God regardless. So, including that as part of a stance isnt necessary.

But, the question is the origin, and as far as that goes, I think the exact origin would have been when the first being realized that pain inflicted on others, even if not personally felt, was still very real. But, I would readily admit that it seems to go deeper than that, so I would call that the first conscious observation of what we know as "morality." Its an interesting topic, to be sure, but there is no way to know for sure without actual scientific exploration. And even then, we may never figure it out.

I just wanted to pop in and mirror what ADJ was saying all along; Winning a debate has *nothing* to do with whether or not you are factually correct. It has *everything* to do with how you fight. If a participant focuses on what is factual and what is not, they will be torn to shreds by a seasoned debater, all the while the audience will sit in wonder at how someone could win while being factually incorrect.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



Someone who is on fire, starving, has multiple broken bones, or a debilitating disease such as Alzheimers or other chronic illnesses SUFFERS just like anyone else who has that condition imposed upon them.
PAIN is PAIN.

Not always.

Congenital insensitivity to pain

Different people suffer in different ways, and there is no objective thing called "worst possible misery", so it cannot be the basis for objective morality.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



The review I posted even mentioned that Harris's "style" was quite different from Craig's.

As I said yesterday, Craig is a debater, Harris is a lecturer. You can see that, plainly, in their approaches to the subject. It isn't a matter of style -- no seasoned debater would ever take Harris' approach, because unless your opponent is even more inept, that approach is destined to lose in judging.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Ok then. So we are down to "debate technicalities" and "styles" again.

The 'debates' that I have watched between theologians and/or atheists are all "lecture style".

Since this particular debate was presented in a style of "political debate" (simply an exchange of ideas meant to express differentiation from one's opponent), with no clear "rules" except time allowed, and no clear "decision" on who won or not, I have to say that we can't call these "formal debates" -

or at least we have to come up with a term to differentiate the two styles.

This "debate" was held in front of a large auditorium at a major University, in the philosophy department.

It wasn't in the "law" department. Do you see what I'm saying?

So - what style of debate was this? (Of the given 'styles' as delineated online elsewhere)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Craig is a debater, Harris is a lecturer. You can see that, plainly, in their approaches to the subject.

Right! Plain as day!

So....is this why debaters such as you and NuT (awol?) say "don't lecture me"?

Just as sort of an aside, but not really OT: This was billed as a debate; but it doesn't fit your parameters.
Perhaps there needs to be a way to label this style for purposes of our forum here?;
point/counterpoint? Maybe?
What would you call the style of "discourse" we have on this forum, for example? I think of it as "debate", but clearly you would not.

I don't know. All I know is that if I'd have been taken to that debate (the OP) as a guest, I would have said Harris won it.




posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Not always.

Congenital insensitivity to pain

Oh, c'mon man!! LOL

You know better than that!!
(yes, I am aware of the condition - doesn't preclude emotional pain, though)
That would be an interesting debate though: should we euthanize all people who are sensitive to pain? And via eugenics prohibit 'pain-feelers' from breeding?

*rubs chin*

OMG

edit on 12/6/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I'm not really sure what format I would say they were using, and it's kind of pointless, in my opinion, to not have it judged by a panel, but these are held more for entertainment and education than anything else.

I don't know that I've ever told you not to lecture me, my apologies if I have, but yes, I prefer a debate to a lecture. If you take note of my posts, I am generally responding to what others have put forth, I rarely throw out my position and ignore what people say about it, unless they are just absurd. It gets me into trouble with certain other posters, because long after I should have thrown in the towel with a "guess we have to agree to disagree," I'm still sticking up for my position.

But that's what a debater does, and that's what you see in this particular debate. Harris essentially reads a lecture, makes a couple of jabs in Craig's direction, but mostly seems of the opinion that his perspective is so strong that the undecideds in the audience will be swayed to his side, regardless of what Craig says. Craig, on the other hand, frames the argument, sets out his points, and in his rebuttals, he notes that his points were not countered by Harris, and tears apart Harris' points as best he can. That's what a debater does, they take control of the argument and then use every opportunity to show the judge that they have a better handle on the subject than their opponent does. So the undecideds in the audience can either choose between a guy reading a lecture and going off-topic, or they can side with the guy who clearly states his case, frames the argument, and repeatedly points out how the other guy is off-topic and either unable or unwilling to address the issues that he is raising.

You know, I'm a bit worried about NUT, because he's been off of ATS since September, and he had semi-admonished me for my year long absence from the site earlier. But he'd been posting less and less in the Religion forums over the prior months, so maybe he was just burned out. Hopefully he's okay, and will be back at some point.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



You know better than that!!

All I'm saying is that there are people who can't feel pain, so "worst possible misery" can't be related to pain, and that extends to anything you or Harris can offer. Starvation? There are teenagers intentionally starving themselves to death this very day. Dementia? Someone who suffered from PTSD might welcome losing their memories. I'd probably enjoy a day of thinking that my wife was still alive and just off on a business trip or something.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



All I'm saying is that there are people who can't feel pain, so "worst possible misery" can't be related to pain, and that extends to anything you or Harris can offer.

Yes.
There are people who can't feel "physical pain" - their hand is on fire, or lopped off, or are birthing a baby - they don't know/feel it.

There are also people who feel no "emotional pain" - their spouse cheats, and they don't care, even if they know it.

Then there are the people who INFLICT pain, intentionally, and don't care about how the other person feels about it. Since they are not suffering, then 'sall good'.


"Worst possible misery" is related to 'suffering pain'....whether physical or emotional is beside the point.


edit on 12/6/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:57 PM
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adjensen
reply to post by wildtimes
 



Someone who is on fire, starving, has multiple broken bones, or a debilitating disease such as Alzheimers or other chronic illnesses SUFFERS just like anyone else who has that condition imposed upon them.
PAIN is PAIN.

Not always.

Congenital insensitivity to pain

Different people suffer in different ways, and there is no objective thing called "worst possible misery", so it cannot be the basis for objective morality.


And this is true.

I have Multiple Sclerosis, cousin of Charcot-Tooth-Marie Disorder. I will tell you that even for me, I don't suffer because of it, even though I am disabled. It is something different for each person. But for some people, suffering arises not simply from pain, but a person's whole outlook on life and handling diseases or conditions.

I also know a young lady whose mother has ALS, Lou Gherig's Disease. The girl is barely holding on to hope and is very devastated by what is physically happening to her mother. It really comes down to whether or not you have the ability to deal with things. When hope is removed, then it is devastating.

That's how I know that even though pain may be universal, the dealing with it is what causes the suffering. But look at starving children in Africa, that's very devastating and now we have the problem here in the most wealthiest country on the planet. But children shouldn't have to live like that and should not have to wonder why they can't eat.

If you take into consideration about how circumstances are different for each person, that dictates the suffering levels, even for their loved ones. I told a girl one time that had a condition that caused brain swelling that I would rather go through this with God rather than lose all hope without God and suffer worse. I am not suffering because I have hope for every day.

If Harris and Craig use universal suffering as a basis for argument, then both miss out on the fundamental nature of suffering to begin with and where suffering arises from. That means that both of them have a subjective morality when it comes to the conditions that cause suffering.

I don't think that should be a basis of argument for either of them. And if they say there is objective morality, then they both should apply that to how it translates to the individual, which then is no longer objective. When they propose an objective morality, that if it arises from the individual, then Harris would be right only on the point of whether objective morality has no source, which is this, there is no objective morality at all, because it is all subjective morality. But that would also make him wrong, on that point. If he says there is no objective morality from God, by saying one does not need God to be moral, then he is wrong, because it is subjective.

Craig would be right only if the objective morality cannot be made subjective, but the moment he uses a subjective view about where morality rests, then it is not objective. If Harris would have said that one does not need God to be moral, then he lost simply because he made it subjective. That's the issue of the whole debate. Craig lost when he fell back onto the same argument of subjective morality.

When the question is posed "Does God give objective morality" then it could only be answered this way..."If God gives objective morality, then it would have to be completely objective in every way". That would make objective morality universal. If morality is universal, then yes, God gives objective morality. But the moment it is made subjective, then the question no longer applies.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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wildtimes
reply to post by gadfire
 


Thanks! I wondered if maybe it was a physical symptom of a malady. I appreciate you adding that info - I hand't gone so far as to look it up yet.




You're welcomed



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



"Worst possible misery" is related to 'suffering pain'....whether physical or emotional is beside the point.

But that isn't the problem. As usual, I'm failing to clearly articulate my point, sorry.

No matter what "worst possible misery" is related to, it remains subjective, because "worst" and "misery" are relative terms. One cannot base an objective truth on a subjective premise, therefore Harris' morality cannot be objective, and because he needs that for his arguments outside of this debate (such as his support of torture, or his belief that it is ethical to kill someone for their beliefs, outside of their actions,) he ignores the guy who asks "Isn't misery subjective" with a dismissive "You can say that about anything".



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 



If Harris and Craig use universal suffering as a basis for argument, then both miss out on the fundamental nature of suffering to begin with and where suffering arises from. That means that both of them have a subjective morality when it comes to the conditions that cause suffering.

Craig does not make this argument, he believes that objective morality is rooted in God. Since Harris is an atheist, and he is desperate to find a basis for objective morality (contrasted with most atheists, who say there is no such thing,) he's come up with this "worst possible misery" hypothesis, paired it with dualism, and, on the surface, viola! objective morality without God. However, as you so clearly demonstrate with your post, suffering is subjective, so he's not solved his problem.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 




Craig does not make this argument, he believes that objective morality is rooted in God. Since Harris is an atheist, and he is desperate to find a basis for objective morality (contrasted with most atheists, who say there is no such thing,) he's come up with this "worst possible misery" hypothesis, paired it with dualism, and, on the surface, viola! objective morality without God. However, as you so clearly demonstrate with your post, suffering is subjective, so he's not solved his problem.


Craig's argument falls into the subjective from the get go, when he makes the self stipulated claim that "God is good." "Good" is a dualist and subjective concept. Suffering is subjective, but so is joy, happiness and peace.

When Harris rejects this stipulation, and questions the truth of God's goodness, with biblical examples from the Old and New Testaments, Craig deliberately misconstrues and inflames what Harris actually said with feigned righteous indignation.


10. Any restatement or quotation of an opponent’s argument should be accurate. A speaker who misconstrues an argument unintentionally should not be penalized more than the time wasted. If it is intentional, the debater
should, in addition, forfeit the argument.


Craig further deflects Harris' objection to the truth of the assertion that "God is good", by telling him to read, and shamelessly plugs his colleagues books. Craig does not quote or introduce any new evidence from these books to contradict or convince us that what is in these books will prove his point or contradict Harris. This is NOT appropriate evidence or a winning debate tactic.


4. Appropriate evidence to support arguments should be presented.

5. The negative should attack both the values in the resolution and the affirmative’s interpretation and defense of the resolution.
6. The negative may present a different value or values to act as a criterion or criteria of judgment, showing how his/her value(s) go beyond those of the affirmative or are superior to those of the affirmative.


Craig's dismissive rebuttal argument includes a passive aggressive, backhanded insult, claiming that atheists can have no moral compass on which to make any claims. Basically, Craig is telling us that his debate opponent, Harris, is unworthy to debate this topic, and his arguments should be rejected based on his atheist status.


2. The attitudes of both the questioner and the witness should appear to be reasonable, cooperative, and eager to please. Neither one should practice unpalatable sarcasm, obvious “stalling,” or brow-beating of the opponent.

www.nysfl.org...

In another desperate attempt to deflect Harris' argument against biblical morality, Craig flippantly suggests one doesn't have to use the Bible, and that God's Divine Command can be found elsewhere, but provides no alternative source.

Craig is unable to prove or defend his subjective allegations that "God is good", which is the crux of his position, and therefore, in my opinion, forfeits the point. Without this proof, Craig loses the debate.




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