Objective Morality … April 13, 2015

Many liberals as well as Conservatives have asserted that Islamic countries burkamistreat 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, beheadingliberals 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 subjectiveStiff lip 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, smiling pigbut 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 gods gravestonechildren 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.

 

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3 Responses to Objective Morality … April 13, 2015

  1. jasonjshaw says:

    I think the idea that some must go for the good of the many is typically borne out of laziness, a quick fix rather than tackling the issues at the core of the problem, or a last minute act of desperation after ignoring the problems for far too long.

  2. drenn1077 says:

    I have heard the line throughout my life about the few being forsaken for the sake of the many, worded differently in many places, but with the same meaning. Logically, it is the correct vision. The survival of the species continues. Yet, is it human? Is the decision to forsake the few one of empathy and compassion? Here’s where the old train with the tracks comes into play. Push a switch and a car load of people are saved but one fat man on the side track buys it. What if there is no other choice?

  3. jasonjshaw says:

    That reminds me of something I heard about some animal that went extinct. Some sort of bird, I believe. Once the population had been driven down to a certain extent, the animals simply stopped breeding and were done. Maybe it was the passenger pigeon?

    The few being forsaken for the sake of the many, if it ever reaches such a point, should be a decision that is agreed upon by all parties involved if it is to be done with empathy, compassion, and humanity in mind. So in that way, I guess it could be implemented thoughtfully. Even if it comes down to drawing straws, as long as it is agreed upon and that it is necessary.

    For things to actually reach the point of reasonably considering that though, it should probably be a move made out of desperation. Anything sooner would likely be more a selfish act made out of convenience.

    I get the impression that it is an extreme and unlikely case to consider, at best.

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