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Moral Non-Cognativism Moral Realism
Debate Score:3
Arguments:10
Total Votes:3
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 Moral Non-Cognativism (1)
 
 Moral Realism (2)

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IAmSparticus(1516) pic



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Challenge Debate: Moral Realism vs Moral Non-Cognativism

Moral Realism is generally considered to be the belief that moral facts exist on an objective level, while Moral Non-Cognitivism is generally considered to be the belief that there are no moral facts, and that statements of morality are expressions of non-cognitive thought.
IAmSparticus(1516)

Moral Non-Cognativism

Side Score: 1
VS.
luckin(176)

Moral Realism

Side Score: 2
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1 point

Things can be objectively wrong. If even one thing is objectively wrong then that proves that there is an unchanging moral authority. Mainly because only an unchanging moral authority can give out unchanging moral laws. If an unchanging moral law giver doesn't exist, then there is no moral law and everything subject to human opinion. Because of this, nothing is really just or unjust, good or evil, right or wrong, human rights wouldn't exist, and people like Hitler and Stalin would be no morally different than Mother Teresa

Side: Moral Realism
IAmSparticus(1516) Clarified
1 point

Things can be objectively wrong. If even one thing is objectively wrong then that proves that there is an unchanging moral authority.

The argument that "things can be objectively wrong" is epistemological in nature. One can argue that truth-values can lead to objective truths, but that does not mean the objective morality exists. There is no casual link between the two. Now if you mean "objectively wrong" in a moral sense, then you are saying that moral realism exists because moral realism exists. When trying to prove moral realism, declaring that it exists is not persuasive.

Mainly because only an unchanging moral authority can give out unchanging moral laws. If an unchanging moral law giver doesn't exist, then there is no moral law and everything subject to human opinion.

That isn't true. There are a number of philosophers who argue for Moral Realism from a non-theistic context. Erik Wielenberg has fairly recently made some interesting arguments in favor of a non-naturalist non-theistic Moral Realist philosophy, for example.

Because of this, nothing is really just or unjust, good or evil, right or wrong, human rights wouldn't exist, and people like Hitler and Stalin would be no morally different than Mother Teresa

Couple of problems. First, a lack of Moral Realism would not itself preclude the existance of humanity. If you mean "without god there wouldn't be humans", then I'd ask you to leave that bit out as I'm really not looking for this to divert to a debate on the origin of humanity.

Second, I do agree that without Moral Realism, there would be no objective "good or evil, right or wrong", and that from an objective standpoint, Stalin and Mother Theresa would have nothing to morally distinguish them.

However, that is not the only way to view morality. From a Non-Cognitivism standpoint, the distinction you are drawing between these two figures is based on your perception of their actions. You feel that Stalin is evil because of what he did, and you feel that Mother Theresa is good because of what she did. I also feel that Stalin is "bad" for what he did, though I definitely do not consider Mother Theresa to be a "good" person either (albeit still a lot better than Stalin, of course).

But our perceptions of their actions do not themselves create moral truths. Instead, they create a sort of quasi-realist state of expression, beyond cognitive statements of preference, which reflect our accumulated experiences and characteristics.

Side: Moral Non-Cognativism
luckin(176) Clarified
1 point

One can argue that truth-values can lead to objective truths, but that does not mean the objective morality exists. There is no casual link between the two.

Thats the thing though. If its objectively true that something is morally wrong, then that would be an objective moral truth. Objective truth can't just disappear when morality comes into the picture

Now if you mean "objectively wrong" in a moral sense, then you are saying that moral realism exists because moral realism exists.

I'm saying that if there is an objective wrong, then there is an objective standard to which I can measure whatever it is think is wrong to see how wrong it is

That isn't true. There are a number of philosophers who argue for Moral Realism from a non-theistic context. Erik Wielenberg has fairly recently made some interesting arguments in favor of a non-naturalist non-theistic Moral Realist philosophy, for example.

Here's the thing though. If there is no moral law giver, these non theists have no basis for their arguments. They don't have a standard to which they can justify why something is wrong. All they can do is talk about something being right or wrong

First, a lack of Moral Realism would not itself preclude the existance of humanity. If you mean "without god there wouldn't be humans", then I'd ask you to leave that bit out as I'm really not looking for this to divert to a debate on the origin of humanity.

I'm not trying to get there either. I want to keep it out as well. What I was getting at was that there would be no human rights if there was no one or nothing to give us those rights. It would be just a matter of opinion

Second, I do agree that without Moral Realism, there would be no objective "good or evil, right or wrong", and that from an objective standpoint, Stalin and Mother Theresa would have nothing to morally distinguish them.

Then my next question would be, how do you justify that they would have nothing to distinguish them morally if there was no moral standard that exists outside of us to which we can compare them?

You feel that Stalin is evil because of what he did, and you feel that Mother Theresa is good because of what she did. I also feel that Stalin is "bad" for what he did, though I definitely do not consider Mother Theresa to be a "good" person either (albeit still a lot better than Stalin, of course).

I think I'm starting to get confused when you start talking about this. Maybe you can clear this up. You stated earlier that you do think an objective standpoint exists, but then you start going into different perceptions. Having an objective standpoint implies that something is true or wrong regardless of your perception of it. How do you connect the two?

But our perceptions of their actions do not themselves create moral truths. Instead, they create a sort of quasi-realist state of expression, beyond cognitive statements of preference, which reflect our accumulated experiences and characteristics.

You're right when you say that our perceptions themselves don't create truth. However, it sounds like the rest of the sentence is saying that truth is subject to each individual person. If thats not what you're saying, would you be willing to clarify

Side: Moral Non-Cognativism
1 point

Also, the main problem with non-cognitivism is this. It says that moral knowledge is impossible. If thats true, how do you know that about morality? If you can't know something that isn't true, how do you know enough about this to say that this isn't true?

Side: Moral Realism
IAmSparticus(1516) Clarified
1 point

Also, the main problem with non-cognitivism is this. It says that moral knowledge is impossible.

No, it says that there are no objective moral truths. Those are two very different claims, epistomologically speaking.

If thats true, how do you know that about morality? If you can't know something that isn't true, how do you know enough about this to say that this isn't true?

Moral Non-Cognativism holds that morality doesn't have a truth value one way or another. That morality exists on what is generally held to be an expressivist plane of thought. So when you say "I know murder is wrong", you are really expressing the belief, based on a wide variety of different factors, that killing another person within a certain context is "bad". No truth value is attached to that, beyond whether or not you actually hold that opinion.

Side: Moral Non-Cognativism
luckin(176) Clarified
1 point

No, it says that there are no objective moral truths. Those are two very different claims, epistomologically speaking.

Fair point. However there is still a problem. Saying there is no objective moral truth implies that there is a framework outside of yourself that you can look at to determine whether or not something is true

Moral Non-Cognativism holds that morality doesn't have a truth value one way or another.

What do you mean by truth value?

So when you say "I know murder is wrong", you are really expressing the belief, based on a wide variety of different factors, that killing another person within a certain context is "bad".

While it is true that we take in several factors when considering whether or not something is considered moral, to stick with your example, how would we even know to call murder wrong unless there was some kind of objective moral standard outside of ourselves?

Side: Moral Non-Cognativism