Objective Morality
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08-08-2013, 07:05 PM
Objective Morality
This is just me feeling good about myself so if you don't wanna read a thread about me feeling all clever I'd leave now. Smile

As I've mentioned before I recently completed an Alpha course. Many of the sessions involved me and the Vicar running it challenging each other on the subject of morality (not in a hostile way, he's a really great guy and we had interesting discussions). He contended that he couldn't understand the atheist stance on morality. He said that without a God no-one could legitimately claim their morality was superior to anyone else's, therefore, we had no grounds to tell the Nazi's their actions were "wrong". We could simply say that our subjective views were at odds with theirs. In a way I think he has a point. My view is that no, I cannot tell anyone that my views are objectively better (I think all morality is subjective) but my response to someone like Nazi's would be to say that I'm arrogant enough to believe that my views are superior and should be taken, and I'd act accordingly.

Through all the times we debated this point I was always on the back foot. He's a very clever man and a good debater, and I'm not a hugely good debater. I believed in my points but even I could see that, to an observer, he was wiping the floor with me. However, in the final session I finally managed to strike back and put him on the back-foot. I contended that if objective morality came from God, and that he was prepared to accept it without question, that if God appeared to him and told him become an axe murderer surely he would happily comply with no complaints. To even feel that it may be the wrong thing to do would betray that he was using his own, personal morality. He tried to counter that God would never do that but I kept at it. I said that in a hypothetical situation where God did do that (and told him to begin with murdering his wife) would he pick up the axe. He didn't answer that.

I know it's not a big thing but I was pretty pleased with myself.

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Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
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Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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08-08-2013, 09:37 PM
RE: Objective Morality
I have never understood why it is so hard to accept the fact that morality does not come from god. I understand the need for theists to believe it is, but not in the case of people who actually can think objectively about the subject and apply real world perspective to it.

Throughout history morality on all accounts has existed according to a cultures' beliefs and practices irregardless of what we now call moral behavior.

Case in point: cannibals. For the entirety of cannibalistic tribes' existence, it wasn't until an outside influence persuaded them to change their ways that cannibalism was not viewed as a morally acceptable practice by those who did it. All of that time, and never once did it occur to these people that what they were doing was morally wrong. God's objective moral code obviously wasn't printed on their hearts in a way that they understood that they should not eat each other, or members of other tribes or what have you (I'm not an expert on cannibals).

Furthermore, throughout all of the history of cannibalistic tribes existing, never once did god show up to let them know that it was fucked up behavior. They existed perfectly happy in their man eating ways for hundreds of years. In fact, in some remote places these tribes still exist, even after (albeit limited) exposure to outside cultures. So where is this objective morality that supposedly exists that we should possess due to the fact that Adam and Eve ate the stinkin apple?

In every culture in every land spanning the entirety of the human race, immoral (by our standards) practices have been happening and have been viewed by the practicing culture as perfectly moral. It's just a fact of life, yet theists insist that there is this all encompassing morality floating around out there dictated by god that we all should be aware of. Humanity is obviously not and never has been ruled by any such objective morality.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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08-08-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: Objective Morality
That humans by the nature of our humanity can't be objective in our morality. We are jealous we are petty, we are cruel, we if If we want something we find a way to get it. Some people find supposedly moral ways to get it and others simply take if they can't get it by the rules set down by the majority. We often make up lies about morals to do selfish and petty things to bend the majority to the way we want them to be. All I'm saying is another man's morals is another man's bullshit.
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08-08-2013, 09:56 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-08-2013 09:49 PM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  That humans by the nature of our humanity can't be objective in our morality. We are jealous we are petty, we are cruel, we if If we want something we find a way to get it. Some people find supposedly moral ways to get it and others simply take if they can't get it by the rules set down by the majority. We often make up lies about morals to do selfish and petty things to bend the majority to the way we want them to be. All I'm saying is another man's morals is another man's bullshit.

Funny that in the bible god seems to have the same take on morality as we do.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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08-08-2013, 09:59 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2013 10:13 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Objective Morality
It's Euthyphro's dilemma.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma
If a moral law is good because the god orders it, and what is good, is so, because the god orders it, then what is good exists independently in Reality apart from that god. A standard exists somewhere or somehow of "goodness", which the god can be judged *against*. That means there is (are) parts of Reality which exist "a priori" and the god is not the creator of (all of, or sum, or origin of "good") ) Reality.

The business about the Nazis is a false. Even Christian theology posits "natural law". It's another way of saying humans have an innate sense of what is "fair". Even apes have morality. It's about survival of the group, and social cohesion. A idiot can see how the Nazis violated that. http://www.livescience.com/24802-animals...-book.html

There is no law in the Bible that did not exist already in ancient Near Eastern cultures. None. Religion "sanctions" culture. Culture does not "sanction" religion.

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08-08-2013, 10:01 PM
RE: Objective Morality
Well,i would say that if we live in a society we have a better chance of survival than if we just life selfish from a biological viewpoint,and because of natural selection we now have developed morality(my definition of morality is acting in a way that causes the least harm in society). And hitler's actions are viewed immoral because the actions he did arent the ones that caused the least harm.

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08-08-2013, 10:10 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-08-2013 09:59 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's Euthyphro's dilemma.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma
If a moral law is good because the god orders it, and what is good, is so, because the god orders it, then what is good exists independently in Reality apart from that god. That means there is (are) parts of Reality which exist "a priori" and the god is not the creator of (all of, or sum, or origin of "good") ) Reality.

The business about the Nazis is a false. Even Christian theology posits "natural law". It's another way of saying humans have an innate sense of what is "fair". Even apes have morality. It's about survival of the group, and social cohesion. A idiot can see how the Nazis violated that. http://www.livescience.com/24802-animals...-book.html

There is no law in the Bible that did not exist already in ancient Near Eastern cultures. None. Religion "sanctions" culture. Culture does not "sanction" religion.

That's what I'm saying. You can do it all philosophically correct, or just take a good honest look at history. Either way the shit doesn't fly.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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09-08-2013, 06:43 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2013 06:46 AM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Objective Morality
(08-08-2013 07:05 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  This is just me feeling good about myself so if you don't wanna read a thread about me feeling all clever I'd leave now. Smile

As I've mentioned before I recently completed an Alpha course. Many of the sessions involved me and the Vicar running it challenging each other on the subject of morality (not in a hostile way, he's a really great guy and we had interesting discussions). He contended that he couldn't understand the atheist stance on morality. He said that without a God no-one could legitimately claim their morality was superior to anyone else's, therefore, we had no grounds to tell the Nazi's their actions were "wrong". We could simply say that our subjective views were at odds with theirs. In a way I think he has a point. My view is that no, I cannot tell anyone that my views are objectively better (I think all morality is subjective) but my response to someone like Nazi's would be to say that I'm arrogant enough to believe that my views are superior and should be taken, and I'd act accordingly.

Through all the times we debated this point I was always on the back foot. He's a very clever man and a good debater, and I'm not a hugely good debater. I believed in my points but even I could see that, to an observer, he was wiping the floor with me. However, in the final session I finally managed to strike back and put him on the back-foot. I contended that if objective morality came from God, and that he was prepared to accept it without question, that if God appeared to him and told him become an axe murderer surely he would happily comply with no complaints. To even feel that it may be the wrong thing to do would betray that he was using his own, personal morality. He tried to counter that God would never do that but I kept at it. I said that in a hypothetical situation where God did do that (and told him to begin with murdering his wife) would he pick up the axe. He didn't answer that.

I know it's not a big thing but I was pretty pleased with myself.

He fails to realize that morals are based upon objective evolutionary social interactions developed for the sole purpose of collective survival. That fact is demonstrable throughout any social species. Contesting one's morals with God is identical to formulating one's own personal moral code, since he clearly does not adhere to any specific religious text word-for-word. This individual selects what he wants to believe based on his own preconceived notions of fairness and empathy.

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09-08-2013, 06:50 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(09-08-2013 06:43 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(08-08-2013 07:05 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  This is just me feeling good about myself so if you don't wanna read a thread about me feeling all clever I'd leave now. Smile

As I've mentioned before I recently completed an Alpha course. Many of the sessions involved me and the Vicar running it challenging each other on the subject of morality (not in a hostile way, he's a really great guy and we had interesting discussions). He contended that he couldn't understand the atheist stance on morality. He said that without a God no-one could legitimately claim their morality was superior to anyone else's, therefore, we had no grounds to tell the Nazi's their actions were "wrong". We could simply say that our subjective views were at odds with theirs. In a way I think he has a point. My view is that no, I cannot tell anyone that my views are objectively better (I think all morality is subjective) but my response to someone like Nazi's would be to say that I'm arrogant enough to believe that my views are superior and should be taken, and I'd act accordingly.

Through all the times we debated this point I was always on the back foot. He's a very clever man and a good debater, and I'm not a hugely good debater. I believed in my points but even I could see that, to an observer, he was wiping the floor with me. However, in the final session I finally managed to strike back and put him on the back-foot. I contended that if objective morality came from God, and that he was prepared to accept it without question, that if God appeared to him and told him become an axe murderer surely he would happily comply with no complaints. To even feel that it may be the wrong thing to do would betray that he was using his own, personal morality. He tried to counter that God would never do that but I kept at it. I said that in a hypothetical situation where God did do that (and told him to begin with murdering his wife) would he pick up the axe. He didn't answer that.

I know it's not a big thing but I was pretty pleased with myself.

He fails to realize that morals are based upon objective evolutionary social interactions developed for the sole purpose of collective survival. That fact is demonstrable throughout any social species. Contesting one's morals with God is identical to formulating one's own personal moral code, since he clearly does not adhere to any specific religious text word-for-word. This individual selects what he wants to believe based on his own preconceived notions of fairness and empathy.

Some of which are innate, (as babies have a sense of "fairness"), and some are culturally learned. None of them come from the gods, and none are absolute. They are all situationally relative.

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Sent by Jebus to put the stud back in Bible Study.
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09-08-2013, 07:06 AM
RE: Objective Morality
My morality indicates that you're perfectly allowed to feel all clever. Thumbsup

The only value I can give to his assessment is, of course, my Gwynnies, as I find her "greater than myself." But the atheist in general places similar value on community, backed by, as Logica stated, evolutionary concerns. Subjective morality in such a manner is win, for when the individual believes in right, that individual is capable of any wrong. Where the theist fails is the assumed separation of god from self. No theist believes in an "evil" god.

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