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POST GAME SHOW - Battle Royale II

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  • Eireann
    replied
    Originally posted by Hank
    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.
    I would be more than willing to debate Becky on this topic. If she's willing. We should probably wait until another debate has come and gone, though. No need to have two debates on absolute morality in a row.

    Regardless who I debate, I fully expect the vote to go against me, though. The masses have already demonstrated that they don't vote according to who successfully established their position (since neither combatant did), but according to whether they agree with the combatant's position. An absolutist will vote for the absolutism candidate whether that candidate is able to demonstrate their case or not, as has been effectively shown with the number of votes Knight got, though he never demonstrated absolute morals. However, to be fair, I must admit that I did the same thing. I voted for Zakath on the basis that I agree with his position. I did so before I posted my analysis that actually neither combatant won the debate. I had approached it from the standpoint that Zakath was trying to prove the existence of relative morals, which he did demonstrate, but I had momentarily forgotten that his official position was to disprove absolute morals in this debate, which he couldn't do (no one can prove or disprove absolute morals).
    Last edited by Eireann; August 7th, 2002, 10:46 AM.

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  • Eireann
    replied
    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.
    I don't know if you intentionally used that word or merely misprinted, but if we're assuming a definition of absolute that bars relativism, then the relativist need only show one instance of each that is capable of being viewed as relative to abolish the notion of absolutes. Therefore, your statement should read: "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 any case. If absolutism bars relativism, then even one demonstrable case of relativity will effectively bar absolutism. If someone can show even one instance where murder is not wrong, then "murder is wrong" is not absolute. It may be so nearly unanimously agreed-upon as to appear absolute, but it is not absolute, because the one case demolishes the absolute.

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  • Hank
    replied
    Hi Becky

    I’m not a moral relativist but I think most people can see that there is no justice here on earth except as happens by chance sometimes. If there is a personal God, then there will be justice in the end. If not, there is no justice.

    My question for you is, how do you think justice is related to or proves or disproves moral absolutes? Maybe you should make this a thread.

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  • Brother Vinny
    replied
    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.
    Wow, it's not enough just to not believe in a deity-- one must also slander Deity as well, huh Zak?

    I mean, I can see where God commanded what you'd call genocide (and, if allowed, I can even demonstrate where such a command was justified), but to accuse Him of commanding kidnapping and rape? That's a new low.

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  • MARANATHA2002
    replied
    I agree with Becky's assessment. I also believe one’s conscious has a significant determining factor on the topic. There exist a small percentage of persons whom have no moral desire to analyze a conscious decision, and the perception of right and wrong are not relevant in their mental process. These are the worst of our criminal element. They have no conscious controlled restraint, restraining their physical actions of destruction. There are some who may have these same thoughts, but their conscious will not allow them to physically act out their thoughts.

    There exist, in the majority of our individual state of minds, a perception of conscious morality. This mechanism controls our actions. I believe this control also demonstrates that absolute morality is a part of our being, though we may fail to be perfect in its use. Peace, but not yet.

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  • Zakath
    replied
    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, 07:38 AM.

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  • Zakath
    replied
    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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  • Projill
    replied
    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.

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  • kmarcus
    replied
    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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  • Knight
    replied
    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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  • Prisca
    replied
    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?

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  • Prisca
    replied
    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.

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  • Jaltus
    replied
    <claps for both participants>

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  • Knight
    replied
    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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  • Knight
    replied
    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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