Without having the information from the surveys compiled and the numbers crunched, we don’t yet know the opinions of all those attending the debate. So, in the interim, I thought I’d share a couple of my thoughts.
And, obviously, I hold the position argued by Greg that yes, moral truths do exist.
The first was primarily, I think, a communication issue. I found his arguments were hard to follow and, at different times, unclear and overly complicated. Those I spoke with, even who would agree with the Professor’s position, had similar observations. This is unfortunate because I think most of us would agree that debates are at their best when both sides are effectively and persuasively argued.
Second, I believe one of his main arguments contained a fatal flaw. He explained that morals were not objective, but were simply whatever rules a society comes up with to better the human predicament and to avoid causing unnecessary pain in others. Different societies would come up with different rules to meet these ultimate ends.
However he seemed to leave one critical aspect unanswered … why is it that all societies have rules intended to better the human predicament? By what imperative is it that societies work to avoid unnecessary pain in others?
To borrow a term from Greg, it would seem that the Professor was smuggling an objective moral truth into his argument. His argument assumed an objective moral truth exists that we ought to avoid causing pain to others.
As I said, this would appear to be a fatal flaw in his presentation.
What were your thoughts about the debate?