Many liberals as well as Conservatives have asserted that Islamic countries mistreat their women and also that they enforce a style of justice that is barbaric. Conservatives believe in a god for the most part. Their god provides for them a basis from which they feel morally obligated to tell Islamic countries that they should not do what they do. Theirs is an objective morality.
Liberals have for the most part no such god, no such basis, and have subjective morality. Their morality is not absolute, and therefore can be classified as relative. Morality is based on the culture, or it cannot be relative. Therefore, liberals have no basis from which to argue that an Islamic regime, no matter what they do, is immoral. After all, the Islamic regime is operating from absolutes, from objective morality issued by their god.
There are those among the thoughtful, the freethinking society, that have considered there might indeed be some objective morals, non-relative, that should apply to all… not issued by any deity. I am among those who consider this. Of course there are those who deny this and say that everything that comes from the human mind is subjective. However, I think subjective is what applies to specific cultures, while objective applies to the entirety of our species.
Atheists have been repetitively condemned for having a relative subjective morality. They have been accused of being a lecherous lot, a community where everything goes. Stiff-lipped Christians have so proclaimed it.
Yet, murder is just as repugnant to atheists as it is to Christians. Beheading is just as barbaric to one as the other. Harming someone without cause just as objectionable to both. Stealing is looked down upon by believer and heathen alike. Might there be some morals more encompassing? Might there be wrongs that are wrong to everybody? Could these be the objective morals?
There are many definitions of objective. Ignoring the one that proclaims objective things exist outside the mind and embracing the definition where that objective thing is instead based on facts, not feelings or opinions, may we have leave to say we may have identified objective morality?
We can, I do say it, despite the ravings of the few that will object. Barbaric treatment is barbaric no matter where it happens. Even in those countries where it is exercised there are many that deplore it. Without objective morality you can but look on and clench your fist and grind your teeth… shut your mouth. Recognizing that there are indeed non-religion based objective morals gives one the platform from which to shout “Hey you, that’s wrong!” If you proclaim morality relative all you can do is hope the dentist bill is not too high as your teeth grind in your head. Of course you can shout anyway, but you have no foundation for your proclamations. The Imams can just turn to you and with a sneer shout back “You eat pig you infidel”.
What are these objective, non-religious based, objective morals? Well, not to harm others seems likely. Some say that “Whatever promotes human flourishing and survival is good. Whatever doesn’t promote human flourishing and survival is bad.” I don’t know about that, humans could reason that this group of people must die for humans overall to survive. You know, the old for the good of the many the few must go. Perhaps we might refine this somehow into asserting that at least one objective moral might be that of maximizing the well-being of a conscious creature. A sort of maximizing of empathy and compassion. Of course evil can then be said to be lack of same.
Eventually we must conclude, if all things go well and education of our children continues, god will soon be gone. If civilization is to continue then there must be an establishment of an objective morality. I have heard it said that our laws are objective. Yet, so many flout the laws. There has to be a seed planted to replace the deceptive seed of religion. Something that will stand just as well for the adult possessing skepticism as for the child. Repetitious teaching cannot, I think, be avoided for the child. I don’t think we need feel guilty for instilling sound morals in our youth despite the fact that they cannot yet grasp the need. What is important is that the morals stand firm when faced by reason, which religious morality cannot. Let’s just be sure that the morals programmed into youth are sound and reasoned rather than manipulative.