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  • #16
    Although I believe in absolute morality, I don’t think it is possible to prove. However I thought the debate was interesting and thought provoking in some ways. I agree with Eireann for the most part. I do find it interesting that Knight seems unable to have a discussion without resorting to name calling if the discussion gets a little intense.

    From what I have read here, it appears that both Eireann and Becky may have some debate training. I would like to see the two of them debate this same topic.

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    • #17
      I agree with Eireann. While I agree with Knights position I can't say that the argument he presented was totally convincing. (Thought in his last post he presented extremely powerful images of events that one would be hard pressed to find any positive reasons for)

      By the same token I never felt that Zak made an air tight case. At the most Zakath proved that morals are relative to him, but not universally relative. (Hmmm, now that was an interesting statement wasn't it.)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Hank
        I do find it interesting that Knight seems unable to have a discussion without resorting to name calling if the discussion gets a little intense.
        c.
        Hank it's "Battle Royale"!!! Ya know, "Smack Down style", it's suppossed to be a tad provocative! We don't want boring, dry, same ol', same ol' debates.

        But thanks for the feedback none the less.
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        • #19
          Tell him about the folding chairs!

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          • #20
            I agree with Pa and Eir. It seems as if both accepted, at least at one point in time, the burden of proof. What happened is neither produced. Too bad there is not a "they both lose" part to the voting.

            I think Knight's closing was stronger than Zak's, and on that basis (since I had them tied going into the last round) I will vote for Knight.

            Good going Knight! I honestly did not think you would be able to "out-debate" Zak. Good for you for proving me wrong!
            For Greek conversion,

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Zakath
              Tell him about the folding chairs!
              LOL - by the way.... how is that lump on your head?
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              • #22
                Originally posted by Jaltus
                I agree with Pa and Eir. It seems as if both accepted, at least at one point in time, the burden of proof. What happened is neither produced. Too bad there is not a "they both lose" part to the voting.

                I think Knight's closing was stronger than Zak's, and on that basis (since I had them tied going into the last round) I will vote for Knight.

                Good going Knight! I honestly did not think you would be able to "out-debate" Zak. Good for you for proving me wrong!
                Thanks! It was actually a lot more work than I expected, it is also nerve racking, there is an element of excitement waiting for the next round!

                It was a blast!
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                • #23
                  <claps for both participants>
                  For Greek conversion,

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                  • #24
                    Knight Wins

                    As far as I see it, the only mistake Knight made was in his opening definition of absolute morality.
                    absolute morality a standard of right and wrong that supercedes – or is greater than - man's standard of right and wrong.
                    This definition left him open to Zakath’s attacks on the source of those absolutes. I don’t mean to say that I disagree with Knight’s definition, just that it allowed Zakath to muddy the water’s a bit with his demands for proof that such a source exists. Had Knight used a definition such as the following:
                    Absolute morality – a standard of right and wrong that is completely unequivocal and not capable of being viewed as partial or relative.
                    …he could have avoided Zakath’s repeated demands on this point. From this definition, Knight easily wins the debate. In fact, this is really the definition by which Knight destroyed Zakath, even though he never stated it as I did above.
                    Knight said, “In a discussion on the absolute morality of murder or rape, what is really at issue is viewing a specific example of an action that is clearly murder or rape, even by the most liberal definition of the terms and then determining if that specific action is absolutely wrong or if its only wrong relative to the given individual, society or government.”
                    By focusing on the definitions of these terms, Knight demonstrates, unequivocally, that absolute morality exists. All it took, as Knight challenged early in the battle, was “one example of a behavior or action that is absolutely wrong.” He then questioned Zakath through a scenario that fulfilled the definitions of the three actions in question: kidnapping, rape, and murder. By definition alone, these terms demonstrate absolute morality. Through Knight’s scenario, the issue becomes crystal clear. The actions of the man in Knight’s scenario could only be viewed as “relatively” wrong by those who deny the definitions of the words themselves. Zakath never denied the definitions of the words. He only attempted to demonstrate that these actions are not always wrong. There is a big difference between the two.

                    The only way that Zakath could have proved that absolute morality does not exist, would be to prove that kidnapping, rape, and murder are capable of being viewed as relative in every case. He was unable to do so and therefore, loses the debate.
                    For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
                    Galatians 5:13-15

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                    • #25
                      A question to the moral relativists…

                      What are your views on justice? If there are no moral absolutes, can such a thing as justice truly exist?
                      For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
                      Galatians 5:13-15

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                      • #26
                        Becky states...
                        As far as I see it, the only mistake Knight made was in his opening definition of absolute morality.
                        That is a good point. I agree that was a mistake on my part and left Zakath too much room for obfuscation.

                        Good feedback!
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                        • #27
                          Good job to both participants. Even though we as bystanders can assert that we would have argued our respective point better than so-and-so, or we would have done such-and-such differently, we were not there - in the heat of battle. Both participants have obviously been gifted with good minds and the ability to articulate an argument.

                          I am one of the biased voters who believed in absolute morality prior to the debate, and I have not been swayed from by belief. It was fun, though, and I appreciate the efforts of both participants.

                          kmarcus

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                          • #28
                            I agree with Eireann and PA.

                            Knight, appeal to emotion, for the record, does not make for good debate. Debates are ruled by logic and clearly defined definitions and the asserting person attempting to prove the case. I used to judge drama and debate tournaments. I did actually expect more from you. But it was standard Knight, nonetheless.

                            I vote for Zakath on the basis that he made a more solid case.
                            "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

                            --Ben Franklin

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Knight
                              LOL - by the way.... how is that lump on your head?
                              [Marty Feldman imitation]

                              Lump? What lump?

                              [/Marty Feldman imitation]

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                              • #30
                                Re: Knight Wins

                                Originally posted by Becky
                                ...The only way that Zakath could have proved that absolute morality does not exist, would be to prove that kidnapping, rape, and murder are capable of being viewed as relative in every case. He was unable to do so and therefore, loses the debate.
                                Knight accepted the burden of proof early on. That relieved me of having to prove anything. Your point of proof is valid only if you are starting from an affirmative viewpoint (as you admittedly are). If one starts the argument from a neutral viewpoint, then the burden of proof is on the affirmative side since it is virtually impossible to conclusively prove a negative.

                                Knight did not, IMO, demonstrate absolutes. He merely asserted they exist then supplied emotionally charged scenarios to try to bolster his point. I demonstrated (with a more outlandish scenario) that his "absolute" was not absolute at all, but dependent upon perpsective. The fact that he had to limit his claim for absolutism to a specific set of circumstances is similar to the argument a moral relativist uses. If something is absolutely right or wrong then it does not depend on circumstances, it is independent of circumstance (which is what my initial defintion was intended to mean).

                                Your proposed definition is closer to what I am describing than Knight's.

                                The fact that I demonstrated that (a fact to which Knight never responded), under certain (biblical) circumstances, any one of the three crimes Knight claimed as absolute were condoned by the biblical deity (thereby making them "right") shows that they were not absolute at all, but relativistic...

                                Since YHWH, according to Judeo-Christian theology, cannot do wrong, when he orders something done (even genocide, kidnapping, or rape), the biblical response is "to obey is better than sacrifice" and morality gets a pass, making it relativistic.
                                Last edited by Zakath; August 7th, 2002, 08:38 AM.

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