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Author Topic: Can objective morality exist without God?  (Read 907 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dnarmist
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« on: January 22, 2011, 11:00:12 PM »

Is such a thing possible?
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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 11:16:34 PM »

A related thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32432.0.html
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sainthieu
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 12:55:17 AM »

No.

Secularists keep asserting that, yet if you look around, you can't see much of the objective morality in evidence in our secular society, can you? Under the most high-minded of pretenses, the Europeans are aborting their imperfect infants, and euthanizing their elderly and infirm because the cost of their healthcare to the taxpayer is too high. In the Netherlands, you can be euthanized for depression, and they believe they're doing you a great favor.

Mankind can talk itself into anything.

The thing about God-given morality is that is is impervious to the frailties of mankind: it is eternal, universal and applies to all, and at all times, regardless of fashions in thought, historical context, or who may happen to be in power. Man-made moralities depend very much on the personalities of those who invent them, and the events of the moment. How do you come to a consensus about what is objectively moral if everyone knows--as they do--that these ideas are another mere human's opinion?

In the 18th century, Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that he had come to a deeper understanding of the truth than his fellow man--to such an extent that he felt comfortable enforcing his will on them whether they agreed with him or not. In essence, he was a tyrant. His line of reasoning led to the French Revolution, the Terror, Marx, Lenin, Mao, and the slaughter of over 100 million people in the 20th century.

As a creation of God, on the other hand, our life is eternally sacred.

So my answer is unequivocally no.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 12:58:28 AM by sainthieu » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 06:58:43 AM »

It depends on how you define the word objective. If objective means something along the lines of: "based on reality, based on facts, free from bias," and so forth, then I think Godless morality can be as objective as supposedly God-inspired morality (though I wouldn't say that any morality can be 100% objective).
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 11:10:11 AM »

There are things which I think are morally wrong no matter what (eg, bayonetting babies), but I don't know how to go about "proving" this. But even so, I wouldn't say this was "objective" morality. In fact, I don't think "objective morality" can exist either with or without God. We can't say that any morality is "objective", nor can we say that all morality is "relative"- "When in Rome do as the Romans do" might be good travel advice, but it is hardly the basis for deciding what is morally right in all circumstances.
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 05:24:49 PM »

Well, "objective morals" is a loaded statement, mostly because it's based upon reason rather than revelation. Due to the faulty nature of our reasoning, we have to define what we mean by 'objective.' If we mean, "are there metaphysical truths that exist independent of human thoughts and interactions," then yes, these exist. if we mean, "there are truths independent of human thoughts and acts that all humans can epistemically discover with absolute precision," then no, this does not exist.

Rather, I would advocate using the term "virtue," so the question becomes, "do virtues exist without God?" The answer is emphatically "no." If there is no God, then everything is survival-based and not "justice based," "good based," "truth based," or what have you. The idea of virtue is that it gears us towards what is right for life, that is, the ultimate Truth for a good life. But natural selection doesn't allow for such a procedure; rather natural selection is concerned only with survival. Thus, without God something is only "moral" if it allows for a greater chance at increasing your species, otherwise it is merely amoral.
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 07:08:15 PM »

Might I suggest the term "absolute" as preferable to "objective" in this case?
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Dnarmist
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 07:19:05 PM »

Yes I guess "absolute" is a much better term. Is there such a thing as absolute morality?

So theo philosopher you point to that via natural selection we don't need God for morality? It will sort itself out naturally?
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 07:35:22 PM »

Yes I guess "absolute" is a much better term. Is there such a thing as absolute morality?

So theo philosopher you point to that via natural selection we don't need God for morality? It will sort itself out naturally?

Yes, absolute morality does exist and flows from the nature of God.

What I meant to say is that if God doesn't exist, then the only "morals" that exist are those that aid in survival. Thus, while rape might be bad on day, the next it is perfectly acceptable so long as it helps or at least doesn't hinder the survival of a species. Morals become completely relativized, so without God there can be no absolute morality.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2011, 07:39:06 PM »

What I meant to say is that if God doesn't exist, then the only "morals" that exist are those that aid in survival. Thus, while rape might be bad on day, the next it is perfectly acceptable so long as it helps or at least doesn't hinder the survival of a species. Morals become completely relativized, so without God there can be no absolute morality.

Evolution would seem to have proven your philosophical speculations incorrect Wink
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 07:59:18 PM »

What I meant to say is that if God doesn't exist, then the only "morals" that exist are those that aid in survival. Thus, while rape might be bad on day, the next it is perfectly acceptable so long as it helps or at least doesn't hinder the survival of a species. Morals become completely relativized, so without God there can be no absolute morality.

Evolution would seem to have proven your philosophical speculations incorrect Wink

And that would be begging the question. There's no link between morals and evolution - it's pure speculation. Smiley
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“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 08:01:38 PM »

What I meant to say is that if God doesn't exist, then the only "morals" that exist are those that aid in survival. Thus, while rape might be bad on day, the next it is perfectly acceptable so long as it helps or at least doesn't hinder the survival of a species. Morals become completely relativized, so without God there can be no absolute morality.

Evolution would seem to have proven your philosophical speculations incorrect Wink

And that would be begging the question. There's no link between morals and evolution - it's pure speculation. Smiley

On the contrary, the existence of love, altruism, etc. thanks to evolution is fact, not speculation.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2011, 08:05:39 PM »

What I meant to say is that if God doesn't exist, then the only "morals" that exist are those that aid in survival. Thus, while rape might be bad on day, the next it is perfectly acceptable so long as it helps or at least doesn't hinder the survival of a species. Morals become completely relativized, so without God there can be no absolute morality.

Evolution would seem to have proven your philosophical speculations incorrect Wink

And that would be begging the question. There's no link between morals and evolution - it's pure speculation. Smiley

On the contrary, the existence of love, altruism, etc. thanks to evolution is fact, not speculation.  Smiley

You can't simply say that evolution is the de facto cause. The fact is, there is literally no evidence that evolution caused love, morality, etc. One must dive into some Freudian fantasy in order to come close to proving such a statement; however, this is the realm of philosophy, not science. When people say, "Evolution caused x" and x is immaterial by nature, it is the realm of philosophy. However, that evolution is the cause of x is not only to be doubted, it can be disproven. The fact is, evolution isn't interested in things like love, morality, etc because they can often times hamper survivability of a species.

Were we to argue otherwise - that love is in existence for survival - then we cheapen love as a product of evolution and not a product of God. Regardless, were we to take the stance that love is the product of evolution we must supply evidence, of which there is none.
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“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 08:07:29 PM »

I was just having a bit of fun with you. Take a look at what/how I've been arguing, and then consider what/how you were arguing in your first post in this thread.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2011, 08:09:47 PM »

I was just having a bit of fun with you. Take a look at what/how I've been arguing, and then consider what/how you were arguing in your first post in this thread.

lol!

The philosopher has been undone by a modern-day Socrates!

Perhaps I should stay my fingers every-so-often. Smiley
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“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
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