Monday, September 1, 2008

Objective Morality? Not so much.

I don't get it. Atheists talk as though objective morality exists:

God is bad
We shouldn't discriminate
Stealing is wrong

But they also claim that these are just societal constructs.

Is that normal?

3 comments:

Samuel Skinner said...

It will take some time to explain. Morality, like all other labeling systems, doesn't have a physcial existance. For example, the US exists, but not as actual lines on the map.

Morality is similar except more universal. Morality is based on people (though aliens and AIs will have to be added in- some think animals should to. Arguing where it extends usually ends up with "capacity to suffer", sentience, etc). Anyway, it is based on what individuals want, feel, etc.

This means that there is no rules that are hard an fast. For example, lying is permissable in certain situations- like hiding some Tutsi in your hotel. The exceptio is, of course murder, since the word murder means unlawful killing, implying there is lawful killing which is okay.

Now for the three examples...
1)God is bad. (note, as an atheist I don't believe God exists, but as a thought argument...)

Simple. God made the universe and is thus responsible for it and all the sentients in it. As such he is responsible for all the horrors and crimes that occur because he didn't bother to fix it.

Creating slaves to serve you and forcing them to suffer is inherently immoral and that is what Jevonah is supposed to have done.

2) We shouldn't discriminate.

False. We should discriminate... but only on things that actually determine people's actions. And we do. We discriminate based on age, education, backround, religion, ideology, etc. And these are acceptable. What is wrong is discrimination based on arbitrary fixed characteristics.

To do so is to unjustly deny people their rights for no reason other than you can, and THAT is immoral.

3) Simple. You have taken the item from another person. Now they cannot use it. They worked to make it or they worked for money to by it- you are stealing time they put into it.

Morality is not a societal construct. It is obvious for a very simple reason- society is NOT a cohesive whole.

Makarios said...

I'll get back to you on this. I'm just fantasically busy right now.

Makarios said...

"This means that there is no rules that are hard an fast."

Right. There are no absolutes except for the things that you believe are absolutes. Like the following:

God is bad.
"Simple. God made the universe and is thus responsible for it and all the sentients in it. As such he is responsible for all the horrors and crimes that occur because he didn't bother to fix it."

So this would be an exception to what you state with certainty.

"Creating slaves to serve you and forcing them to suffer is inherently immoral"

And this would be another exception to your stated belief system.

"What is wrong is discrimination based on arbitrary fixed characteristics."

And this would be another exception to your stated belief system.

"To do so is to unjustly deny people their rights for no reason other than you can, and THAT is immoral."

And this is another exception to your stated belief system

"Simple. You have taken the item from another person. Now they cannot use it. They worked to make it or they worked for money to by it- you are stealing time they put into it.

And this is almost your last stated exception but I doubt very much that there aren't dozens of other exception. You see you state that moralaty is relative to the situtation, or that it's based on survival but you live as though there are in fact objective morals, values and duties. It can't be both ways. Either there are objective moral values and duties or there arent'. How do you manage to live with this degree of contradiction in your life?

"Morality is not a societal construct."

Well most atheists would disagree with you but that’s fine. Tell me then, which of the Moral argument premises do you disagree with or do you disagree with both of them?

. If God does not exist, objective morals, values and duties do not exist

. But objective morals, values and duties DO exist.