Objective Morality
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29-03-2014, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2014 08:42 AM by IndianAtheist.)
RE: Objective Morality
(28-03-2014 06:33 PM)TheThinkingChristian Wrote:  Is Objective Morality A Reality?
What is "objective" here? morality? how does one determine that morality is objective?

If morality was really something objective then it wouldn't fluctuate like this from culture to culture and time to time..

Let's see examples of some "Objective moral values"

> Having multiple wives is allowed in some cultures and in some cultures it is a taboo
> Women are thought to be second class citizens in most 3rd world theocratic countries whereas in first world countries women are not considered a liability/property
> Underage marriage is sill considered "moral" In many illiterate backward societies i know that because i come from one

So how is this objective morality when they clearly contradict each other?

Who decides which morality is the "Right" one? your "infallible" bible? yeah rightFacepalm

If Objective morality was a reality then all humans would share the same moral values but clearly you can clearly see that Israelites don't share the same moral values as Palestinians and want to kill each other.

If all humans shared the same moral values then religious dogma would be obsolete,there would be no need for parents to teach what to do and what not to do because we would all inherit the objective moral values genetically but that clearly isn't the case here.
Quote:See here! The moral values of the Aztecs were completely different than those of our modern culture, but that is what was “right” for them
Err.. need i remind you of that Moses's Sabbath verse where a guy was STONED to death because he dared to work on sunday? that sounds pretty horrible too.. almost as brutal&heartless as aztecs.

Do you work on sunday? if so then you deserve to be stoned to death according to bibilical God's objective morality,remember by your own words God is NEVER CHANGING and his laws are ultimate.
Quote:moral values are not subject to individual perceptions but exist outside of subjective reality
Oh really? i would like you back up that statement with some evidence.
Quote: as is the case with the Christian reality that God is real
For that you'd have to first prove that only chrsitian God exists.

But in this case there is no God proven to exist in the first place so forget about it being christian buddy.
Quote:But this presents another problem because without God there exists neither objective reality nor objective morality and neither can there be

If there exists no objective morality and all moral values are subjective and depend upon the time, place, culture, heritage, religious beliefs, sex, age, and any other number of factors that would have to be taken into account to get an accurate recording of the data, then we could expect many things to change in the future
kudos to you sir! i don't even have to make my case here! you answered your own question! objective morality does not exist.

William fail's argument is a logical fallacy he infers that if God does not exist then objective moral values do not exist and then he goes on assuming that Objective values somehow exist even though he still hasn't proven that.

And what do you mean by "proponents of the evolution theory" ? evolution is SCIENTIFIC FACT and is universally accepted by the scientific community.

Remember any God is still just a "Hypothesis" and Evolution is a "Theory" there is a BIG difference between a hypothesis and a theory and that is EVIDENCE.
Quote:There is obviously, in the civilized nations at the very least, a certain standard of moral values that are set in place because of their universality
Nonsense! if it was "Universal" then it wouldn't be restricted to civilized countries!

Not to mention 100 or so years ago America allowed slavery and treated women like second class citizens.. so you're just doing a great job in proving that objective morality cannot possibly exist Thumbsup

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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29-03-2014, 08:43 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2014 09:14 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Objective Morality
(29-03-2014 07:46 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Here's morality's object:

[Image: 17slweh5kq6cljpg.jpg]

New research is suggesting that oxytocin plays a crucial part in enabling us to not just forge and strengthen our social relations, but in helping us to stave off a number of psychological and physiological problems as well. But more conceptually, oxytocin is proving to be a crucial ingredient to what makes us human.

After you get a clue, I would suggest an education.

Any suggestions about which Bible College we should recommend ? Smartass

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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29-03-2014, 09:24 AM
RE: Objective Morality
I have difficulty with this.
I'm not convinced that objective morality exists. Sure I can say a bunch of shit is wrong but that's just me saying it. Doesn't mean it's wrong. Everybody in the world can agree that a thing is wrong but that doesn't mean it's wrong.
If god exists, it could say a thing is wrong but that also doesn't make it wrong. With or without god there is no objective morality. There are only rules.
Words like morality, right and wrong, good and evil are just bullshit words that don't really mean anything. How's that thing go? There is no good and evil. There are just things we do. Who said that?
If I were to kill the young of my competitor you might say I'm immoral. But if an animal of a different species done it you might say it's just natural behaviour.
If I were to kill a person of my own tribe for food just so I could survive you might say I'm evil. But what would you say if my whole tribe killed another tribe for their resources so that we could survive? What would you say if it was some other animal instead of humans.
I understand that the concept of morality has helped with the survival of many species but the universe doesn't care about the survival of anyone.
There are things that are objectively right that helps with survival and wrong that may hinder survival and that may be where our sense of morality comes from and that's all I got right now....
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29-03-2014, 09:30 AM
RE: Objective Morality
If a god is needed for morality, then how come he gave animals morality, and they don't worship any god or gods? They don't even have any idea about what the concept of a god is. Animals live in their own communities, take care of their young, and don't go around on rampages slaughtering their own. Yet, we humans need to spend all of this time worshipping some invisible sky daddy to have morality and keep ourselves from suffering some life of eternal torture? Well, if that were the case, then we got screwed on that deal, and I'd take being an animal over a human any day.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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29-03-2014, 09:34 AM
RE: Objective Morality
Quote: If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

What kind of objective morality condones and endorses rape? If we cannot condone rape ourselves, is that morality still objective?

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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29-03-2014, 09:57 AM
RE: Objective Morality
A god based morality is not objective, as an objective morality would be independent of a god. Morality based on a god is subjective, because it's based on nature of that god. So 'divine objective morality' is an oxymoron, and is false on it's own terms. Drinking Beverage

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29-03-2014, 10:03 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2014 10:09 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Objective Morality
(28-03-2014 10:31 PM)TheThinkingChristian Wrote:  I simply said that if He isn't then there is not foundation for objective moral values and duties, and if He does exist then there is a great foundation for objective moral values and duties.

Complete and utter bullshit. Murder and rape are PAINFUL, non-productive and destructive, "objectively".
Your premise is bullshit.
Doesn't take a damn god (or a genius) to demonstrate why these things are "wrong".
Maybe you could buy a clue.

Premise 1. Paulianity (commonly known as Christianity) is 110 % non-Biblical, and nonsensical.
Premise 2. There is no coherent definition for a deity/god, much less any evidence for any gods
Premise 3. Moral systems are all LEARNED systems by human brains, and they ALL exist "out there" (*objectively*) nowhere EXCEPT in human brains, (except the parts that are retained in genetics and epigenetics in humans and other animals). There is NOTHING "absolute" about any of these systems. They are ALL "situationally dependent" on the "judgement" of the observer.
Ex: "It is immoral to take a life". Really ? Tell that to a soldier or a cop.

Conclusion : Someone who "claims" to be a "thinking Christian" cannot possibly be one.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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29-03-2014, 10:26 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(29-03-2014 09:57 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  A god based morality is not objective, as an objective morality would be independent of a god. Morality based on a god is subjective, because it's based on nature of that god. So 'divine objective morality' is an oxymoron, and is false on it's own terms. Drinking Beverage

Thank you! That is my point!

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29-03-2014, 10:30 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2014 01:55 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Objective Morality
Here's my "cold" response, ie, responding to the OP without reading the rest of the thread.

Why would we consider a God-held morality to be objective? How do we distinguish between that, versus a subjective morality that happens to be held by God? What is it that makes God's morality objective and everyone else's subjective?

In the example of the Aztecs, you provided no evidence that our morality decrying cannibalism is anything but subjective, nor that their morality is not the objective morality from which we deviate. If we are to assume that an objective morality exists from which many cultures deviate, we must look about and realize that most people don't conform to our morality exactly, that a high proportion of the world must be wrong on the subject, we must conclude that the odds are high that we are in error as well. Why would we assume that our moral code is the right one, that is not itself an erroneous subjective morality?

Why would the existence of God be necessary for anything objective? You assert this without evidence and then promptly declare it off-topic. Similarly, with Craig's argument, you accept this as a premise without support. Why could we not have, say, an elemental state similar to the Tao, something unthinking and thus which we would not characterize as a god, but would still provide an objective standard of right or wrong?

For that matter, Craig's second premise, the existence of objective morality and reality, is also unsupported. That we might perceive it exists does not automatically mean it exists. The Aztecs may well have also have claimed that objective morality exists... and promptly pointed to their own morality when challenged as to what it was. I think you and I would agree that this would be subjective morality being mistaken for objective morality. But then how do we know that we are not making the same mistake ourselves? What evidence distinguishing between us mistakenly holding a subjective, erroneous morality and us having discovered a true, objective morality can you offer, or even envision?

I'd also question how absolute an objective moral standard would be. Most conceptions of morality are relative to circumstances. If I point a gun and pull a trigger, is that absolutely moral or immoral? What if there is a clear shooting galley, and the only thing in that direction is a target and a solid backstop? What if unbeknownst to anyone else, a small child is hiding between the paper target and the backstop? What if instead of a shooting galley and paper target, there's a person standing there instead, is pulling the trigger immoral then? What if that person's about to shoot me? What if that person's a cop who's about to shoot me because I refuse to drop my gun? What if I'm an actor on stage, and I'm pointing the gun at a person, but I know that it's loaded only with stage blanks and it's all part of the play we've rehearsed a dozen times? What if I believed it was loaded with stage blanks, but I was negligent in my safety checks, and something similar to Brandon Lee's death transpires? What if I believe that it's been loaded with stage blanks, but some nefarious mastermind has tricked me into killing my fellow actor despite my safety checks? We can even generalize this into something like, say, the curling of an index finger, which could be used to trigger a gunshot to murder a person, or almost as easily be used to save a life. Is curling one's index finger absolutely moral, absolutely immoral, or possessing morality relative to context? Is relative morality possible in an objective system? Couldn't we also posit an objective, tiered morality similar to Asimov's 3 Laws, wherein stealing was prohibited EXCEPT when necessary to obey a higher mandate of not letting harm to come to another? I think these examples demonstrate that even under an objective morality, some acts (such as pointing a gun and pulling the trigger) have moral value relative to circumstances (whether it's pointed at a person, the context of that person's actions, the knowledge and honest beliefs of the person taking the action, etc) rather than a simple absolute of moral or not moral. In particular, the "honest beliefs" part is troublesome. If a person has honestly come to a belief, through the false teachings of his culture, that an act is virtuous, how wrong would he be to do it or not do it? How immoral is doing the best that one knows how?

If a modern doctor, with full access to modern medical knowledge, responded to a patient's fever by slitting her wrists, we would decry it as a moral abomination. But only two hundred years ago, bleeding was thought to be the best treatment available. How immoral were the doctors back then? Even under the same moral imperatives of trying to save the patient's life, must we not under objective morality proclaim those doctors to be heinous fiends who did great harm to those placed under their care? Should they not have prescribed Tylenol instead? Nevermind that Tylenol didn't exist back then... after all, objective morality is unchanging. (In that light, we should probably be prescribing some miracle drug that won't be invented for another thousand years, and modern doctors are fiends as well.) Or if there is a caveat in the objective morality, allowing some relativism for a person's best efforts, capabilities, knowledge, and resources, why would this not apply to the Aztecs, doing the best they could, limited as they were by their upbringing and the beliefs of their society?

Also, I see the typical, and highly dishonest, mischaracterization of evolutionary theory. If there was an objective morality, the morality that we act out (subjectively) would be the product, in part, of our instincts and brains, but that would not effect objective morality. This trait would be universal to the species, but not universal to the universe. Changes in our brains would speak to our ability to identify and act out objective morality, but not its existence. This is a false dichotomy. It is possible to have both evolving brains and an objective morality, and this would not be falsified by the two being out of synch. Also, evolutionary theory does NOT deny the existence of an original Creator. It makes no statement on the subject at all, though some narratives of creation (eg, creation as distinct species rather than from a common ancestry) are counterindicated. Quite a many theists identify evolution as a tool used by said Creator, rather than a necessary competitor. Another false dichotomy.

Okay, those were my reactions as I read. Now for my overall review.

No complaints on the basics. I saw no grammar or spelling errors, the read flowed well, et cetera. The structure was informal, which is fine for an informal piece. No citations, but again, reasonable for an informal piece.

The content is lacking. It's a recap of what I've seen before from objective-morality apologetics. A decent recap, mind you. The presentation isn't bad. But it suffers all the same holes of reasoning, all the same questions begged, the same alternatives ignored, the same mischaracterizations, and so on.

Particularly garish was your dismissal of the topic of epistemology. You would do well to treat this topic. Your work could definitely use more support from this corner, and many of the flaws I've pointed out could have been avoided by carefully considering how you came to the conclusions you did, and whether these are reliable ways of coming to truth.
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29-03-2014, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2014 11:31 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Objective Morality
(28-03-2014 06:59 PM)Charis Wrote:  Why do I keep trying to call you DLC? guess I'm getting old. I'm going to feel ancient when I hit 30. Tongue

Given that he just linked a thread and everything we read from him is downloaded content, DLC is appropriate. Also, you're not allowed to be old when you're younger than me. It's objective morality.

(28-03-2014 10:18 PM)TheThinkingChristian Wrote:  I believe that presmie 1 is true because without an eternal, objective, rational being, then there would be no good foundation for objective moral values and duties. I believe premise 2 is true because of things like this: murder is wrong, period. hatred is wrong, period.

Regarding murder, I'd say that it is DEFINITIONALLY wrong. That is, murder specifically is a subset of killing in general, and the distinguishing feature from the superset is that it is morally wrong. Arguments over whether an act of killing is actually murder are simply arguments over whether it was morally wrong, or which/whose system of morality to use to make this determination. (Specifically, the legal definition is the government's standard of whether a killing is wrong. We might belief this standard is in error, though.) This isn't an objective standard, any more than saying that the word "true" is an inherent truth. Similarly, theft is the wrongful taking of someone's property... and then we can start debating over the standards of what counts as whose property and whether it's wrongful to take it. Theft would be wrong by definition, and what's up for debate is whether this or that taking would be wrong and ergo theft. As for hatred? I regard that as usually subconsciously generated emotion rather than a conscious decision, and thus not subject to moral consideration. (Though I'll grant that it's sometimes possible to deliberately choose to work yourself into a state of hatred towards someone or something.) Choices BASED on hatred might be immoral, but hatred itself, not so much.

(28-03-2014 10:18 PM)TheThinkingChristian Wrote:  Forgive me on the evolution part. I didn't know much of evolution at the time and I was merely trying to add weight to my argument.. Total honesty here Smile If it's wrong then I apologize!

An understandable mistake, especially if you haven't given the subject a thorough read or only listened to one side. But in the end, bad support actually undermines your argument, by violating the reader's trust. If we know you've made some mistakes, we not only go looking for others, but we suspect that you might have made further mistakes even if we do not catch them. That's why it's important to vet these things carefully, rather than just recycling them from unvetted sources. Again, this is a matter of epistemology. (Also, I'd suggest that misrepresenting others in a publication meant to educate, even if it is the result of negligence rather than intent, might have moral implications. You've already apologized, and for my part I accept it, but you might want to keep it in mind for the future. And yes, I'd also direct that comment towards some of the atheists here who've jumped to conclusions about your own beliefs and thus mischaracterized you.)

(28-03-2014 10:26 PM)TheThinkingChristian Wrote:  No. I like that you tried though. I've explained twice though now that God's very nature is that of omnibenevolence and so He couldn't deem it okay to take innocent life ever, it's logically impossible. God can't say "murder is good so kill your wife" because it is objectively not good and it can't be any other way.

I'm trying to wrap my head around what you mean by this. Are you asserting that this is the DEFINITION of God? That God is defined solely as the objective morality, rather than simply associated with it from later arguments? If so, you might wish to abandon the term God. The word has too many definitions in use, and people are too likely to think of another one (say, the angry Old Testament figure prone to murderous tantrums) and not get what you're saying. Using a term that can mean fifty different things, only one of which is applicable and many of the others of which are not what you mean, can only lead to confusion.

If instead you wish to assert that there is a figure semantically defined in a different matter, and ALSO that said figure's nature is equivalent to objective morality.... well, I'd say that's something that would need a bit of support in order to swallow.
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