@Aposteriori Unum recently opened a thread called "A brief attack on the moral argument", in which he asserts that objective moral values don't come from any god and he adds: "I would argue that objective moral values don't exist." It seems like every atheist who has replied agree with that idea.
Although I'm aware of gods being fictional and that there's a subjective (and changeable over time and place) component of moral values, I'd like to defend my interpretation of Sam Harris' ideas about the possibility of discerning objective moral values through Science, and that objective moral values already exist in a way. @AUnum is a guy who uses Harris' face in his profile, so I'll better roll my sleeves up.
These objective moral values come from a place of subjectivity (death is not always morally wrong in every society, depending on scenarios such as war or death penalty where it's legal) but we -as a species- are able to establish which values should be considered objective, and we have a tool called Science which can help.
This is the main idea in my own words about three months ago: "According to Harris, moral and immoral (good and bad) can be measured by these factors: The worst possible misery for everyone (that would be objectively "bad") and the moral (good) thing to do is to avoid the "worst possible misery for everyone" and look for the well-being for everyone.
Well-being comprehends several factors, that can be objectively measured, so we don't have to depend on different subjective opinions. In this sense, there would be then a scale in between, in terms of good-bad, in which the worst possible misery for a majority would be a little less bad, but still not completely good... etc. If your beliefs cause suffering to anyone, then they shouldn't be considered moral. And the more people suffer because of that, the more immoral they should be considered".
I also want to add that objective moral values already exist, since we have legal systems, which could be considered also achievements in terms of social well-being and that they are basically the development of moral codes, catalogs of wrong behavior in society and the specific punishment to those who misbehave. So I'm just talking about going one step farther (and always "one god further") so to extend the Human Rights Declaration (and that of the Animal Rights) based mainly on a scientifical basis.
If we want a better world, a world with as less suffering to beings as possible, and free of religious commandments, the pursuit of an objective morality -based on different moral criteria than those inherited from religion- is crucial.
Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.
Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.