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There is moral standards, we have developed and cultivated them over time.
None of which however, are god given.
To suggest so, leaves you back in the burden of proof issue, which theists never want to meet.
Morality is subjective.
If morals were objective, everyone would know what they were and no god would be needed. If morals come from a god, they are subjective, not objective.
My morals are subjective, and come from treating others how I want to be treated, and some of my morals come from my the laws of my society.
My morals come from mommy.
1. Don't thunk the hamster in the head.
2. Don't lock brother in the dryer.
3. Pee pee in the toilet, not in the bathtub.
4. Keep your finger out of your nose in public.
5. Don't get caught taking bikes or skateboards, from the neighbors.
6. Stay out of the neighbors houses when they are not home.
7. Don't sick the dog on the postman.
8. Don't tell the teachers at school about daddy's funny cigarettes.
9. Do not feed the beer in the refrigerator to the dog.
10. Don't sit on the front porch and yell "Fuck the Police" when the units pass by.
It seems that everyone is misinterpreting my argument. I believe there is a moral standard. I know this because people appeal to it all the time by saying they are the victim of someone else's actions. How in the world are they able to judge someone else's actions if moral relativism is real? You cant judge without a moral standard.
Every person/ culture understands the idea of right and wrong, but who is to decide who's definition is correct? There must be a standard outside of societal norms.
C.S. Lewis, a former atheist, explains this in great detail in "Mere Christianity" which I strongly suggest everyone reads.
"A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line"
Naw, it's just that we are tired of hearing it. Lots of theists (mostly Christians) have come here made more or less the same ridiculous statements.
I don't really know what to say, moral relativism is very real.
Instead of demanding that there must be an objective moral standard; why don't you just tell us this objective moral standard? And when you tell it to us, try to answer the following questions with it:
Is it morally OK to kill another human being?
Is it morally OK for a soldier to kill an enemy soldier?
Saying moral relativism is real is saying that there is no objective truth. The statement "there is no objective truth" is in itself a truth statement. By saying "there are no objective morals," you are saying that is the objective moral position. You can't escape the idea of moral superiority.
If you truly believe in moral relativism, surely you would have no problem with me robbing you of all your possessions, correct? I am simply executing my moral position to better myself, am I not? For who are you to judge my moral standard if morals are relative to the individual? By your REACTION to me robbing you of your possessions, you are appealing to a moral standard I should not break.
Moral relativism is a viewpoint; and people do hold that viewpoint. Clearly that viewpoint is real. Whether or not it is an accurate description of morality is another matter.
Please do not post fraudulent quotes.
Of course moral relativism is a viewpoint people believe in. I am arguing that it is not true because its saying there is no moral truth.
Moral relativism is the same thing as saying "there is no objective truth." Its the same concept. Saying "moral relativism" is the same thing as saying "there are no objective morals."
You've said the phase "moral relativism" several times. Accordingly, should we now assume that you have abandoned your endorsement of objective morals and are now endorsing: "there are no objective morals"?
You keep getting off topic here. Not once have I said there are no objective morals. By you saying moral relativism, you are also saying there are no objective morals - its the same thing.
Now, because you say morals are relative, you must be ok with me robbing you of your possessions, correct? For who are you to judge me for MY morals?
You seem to be in contradiction.
The only times I have used "moral relativism" is to explain why it is wrong. I have never agreed that moral relativism is true. You are the one arguing for moral relativity.
Moral relativism = no objective morals
I believe in objective morals, therefore I do not believe in moral relativity.
Once again, you would have no problem with me robbing you of your possessions because I am fulfilling my personal moral obligation, correct? You cannot judge my morals if morals are relative.
That is a lie; I made no such argument in this thread.
/e I believe this is the fourth time you have been caught lying about what another user said. That seems problematic.
You - "I don't really know what to say, moral relativism is very real."
I don't know how else to interpret this quote.
If moral relativity is real, surely you would not mind me robbing you of your possessions to fulfill my personal moral obligation? Who are you to judge my personal moral system? I hate to keep asking this but you have not provided an answer.
Your inability to understand my statement X, does not mean that I meant statement Y. Your telling us that it does makes you a liar. A pattern you seem to keep repeating.
/e Anyway, moral relativism is real, so are lots of other moral systems. It seems you want to argue that moral relativism isn't an accurate description of the morality that humans exhibit. OK great, we could have that discussion I guess. The viewpoint (moral relativism) might not be an accurate description of the morality of humans, but it is very real viewpoint.
/ee In the same vein, even though I think the religion of Christianity is not an accurate reflection of the world; I do believe it is very real; as there are people (Christians) who clearly hold that viewpoint.
Ugh I have already said that of course moral relativity is a real viewpoint! I have already explained this. However, just because it is a real viewpoint does not make it true. I am saying it is not "real" because nobody actually acts out moral relativity, despite if they believe the viewpoint.
That is why I keep asking you this question:
If moral relativity is actually "real" (you actually acting it out), you should not mind me robbing you of your possessions to fulfill my moral obligation, correct? You cannot judge my personal morals because they are relative.
Moral relativity is a real opinion, but it doesn't actually exist because nobody truly lives by it.
"Moral relativity is a real opinion, but it doesn't actually exist because nobody truly lives by it."
Have you ever heard of senicide? In some cultures, the very elderly allowed themselves to be abandoned in the wilderness to die. That may appear repugnant by today's modern standards, but for certain cultures and certain times, it was accepted, and considered appropriate moral conduct.
What about Seppuku? It is ritual suicide that was conducted in Japanese culture. Some cultures frown on suicide, while others actually embraced it.
What about having multiple wives?
What about human sacrifice by the Aztecs?
What about slavery?
What about prostitution?
What about smoking pot?
geez Josh, you stuck your foot into a deep pile of doo doo with that dumb and easily debunked comment.
That's a subjective opinion, so if what you're claiming is true then you are defeating your own argument.
Please list ten morally objective actions for us, with objective evidence of course.
Either we have the ability to differentiate between moral and immoral acts, or we don't. If we do then why do we need to be told what is moral, if we don't then being told what is moral doesn't help, as we'd be no better than amoral automatons blindly following the rules, "good" Nazis managed that much.
Why are violent crimes like murder and rape wrong, do you even know? Bear in mind the biblical deity encouraged its followesr to commit both relentlessly in the OT.
"If moral relativity is real, surely you would not mind me robbing you of your possessions to fulfill my personal moral obligation? Who are you to judge my personal moral system? I hate to keep asking this but you have not provided an answer."
This is not rocket science.
Since your decision to rob someone is a detriment to their well being, it is quite easy to judge that decision as immoral.
No gods needed to determine that.
@ Simon Moon
"Since your decision to rob someone is a detriment to their well being"
But HOW do you actually know that?? How in the world are you judging me on MY morals? My morals are telling me that robbing him benefits my well being, so I am correct according to my morals. Who is to decide whose morals are correct? You are appealing to a moral standard beyond yours or mine.
@Josh: My morals are telling me that robbing him benefits my well being, so I am correct according to my morals.
Ever heard of the Golden Rule? That idea was put forward independently by Confucius, Socrates, and the Buddha centuries before Jesus plagiarized it. I'd guess it's about as old as homo sapiens. Mothers everywhere scold spiteful children by asking them if they'd like to suffer the same cruelty that they've inflicted on another child or a pet.
Would you like to be robbed? For sane people, the answer is invariably "no", so it follows you shouldn't do it to others. It's innate. It's obvious, except apparently to theists.
I'm not saying its not obvious...I'm saying it is. There is a moral standard that everyone appeals to beyond cultural norms. A moral standard allows you to judge my actions and tell me that what I did was wrong. If you are saying I "ought" to believe something, you are automatically saying there is a standard not relative to people. How do you know I "ought" to believe that if I have my own standards?
@Josh: How do you know I "ought" to believe that if I have my own standards?
Do you live alone on an island, or in a human community? Were you raised by wolves like Mowgli, or in a human family?
"But HOW do you actually know that?? How in the world are you judging me on MY morals? My morals are telling me that robbing him benefits my well being, so I am correct according to my morals. Who is to decide whose morals are correct? You are appealing to a moral standard beyond yours or mine."
I am judging your morals, because the person you are robbing is having their well being harmed.
Do you want to be robbed, or would you find being robbed harmful to your well being? Morality is about the well being of everybody, not just the individual. It is the social contract we all sign when we choose to live in a society. If you, as an individual, do not want to part in that social contract, you don't have to.
If you don't care about well being being the goal of morality, you could live as a hermit, or find a bunch of other people who don't have a problem with having their stuff stolen, and go start a society with them.
The decision is made when comparing the actions of a moral agent, against the well being of others.
@ Simon Moon
My problem with morality defined as "well being" is that everyone has their own definition of "well being" if morals are in fact relative (which they are not). If they were relative to each individual, there is no way to determine whos definition of "well being" is correct. People appeal to a non-relative moral law all the time by saying "my well being is being taken from me."
@Joshb: RE: "I believe there is a moral standard."
No one is disagreeing. Everyone bases their morals on some kind of standard. This is called "Objective Morality." By what standard are people claiming to be victims? Generally a legal of social standard.
When did moral relativism enter the picture? Since you brought it up. Objectives are relative. People choose the objectives that are important to them and from their choices moral standards are created. You asserted that you believe in a moral standard. On what do you base this moral standard?
Judging? Everyone judges based on their own moral standard. Whatever this "moral standard" is that you have HAS NOT BEEN EXPLAINED. SO!!! No one else is using your moral standard. Explain yourself.
Every culture understands THEIR OWN VERSION of right and wrong. The people that decide whose version is correct are the people that survive.
There are millions of standards outside social norms. THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT. A bank robber can have a moral compass that allows him to point a gun at a stranger, possibly kill them, and still be a loving father to his wife and kids. His morality is every bit as objective as your morality once you understand his goals. Every action he takes can be measured against his goal. Did the behavior lead him towards or away from his goal. It is OBJECTIVE.
"A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line." Recognizing a straight line has nothing at all to do with morality. The bank robber may recognize that robbing a bank is not socially acceptable but he does it anyway. He may recognize it as wrong and he does it anyway. His morality is not your morality. We may know hurting other people is not a good thing and yet we line up for tickets to watch two men beat the shit out of each other in an MMA bout.
Please demonstrate this "Morality" which you have refused to name. I have told you already, you are not arguing for "Objective Morality." YOU DO NOT HAVE A FUCKING CLUE WHAT OBJECTIVE MORALITY IS. You are attempting to argue for "Absolute Morality." In either case, you must indicate ON WHAT DO YOU BASE THIS MORALITY.
"The people that decide whose version is correct are the people that survive"
I will ask you the same question I've been asking and nobody has answered:
Will you be perfectly ok with me robbing you of all your possessions to fulfill my personal moral objective?
I sure hope not. But, I am only robbing you so I can survive, which justifies my action by your definition. You cannot judge me for acting within MY moral standard. Your angry reaction in response to me committing this crime DEMONSTRATES the existence of a moral standard beyond either yours or mine. If morals are relative, you should not be angry at me committing this crime.
My moral law (everyone's moral law) is easily seen through people's REACTIONS and not their ACTIONS.
@Joshb: Will you be perfectly ok with me robbing you of all your possessions to fulfill my personal moral objective?
Because my personal objective morality demands that people not steal from me, I would beat you to a pulp if I caught you. If I did not catch you myself, I would turn to the legal system and hunt you down to seek retribution. All you have demonstrated with your question is conflicting moral systems. We are in complete agreement that objective moral systems can vary.
If you are robbing me to survive, and I know that to be a fact, and I have more than I need, I am likely not to worry about it. I have been on many trips to the Philippines. I have caught people trying to scam me or steal from me. I fully understand that they are poor. I understand that many are forced into doing things out of necessity. I will certainly weigh this when considering my response. Sometimes, survival necessitates justification.
Example: I once caught a girl robbing from me to pay for her baby to go to a doctor. The baby had dengue. The girl was crying when I told her I would call the police and gave me the explanation. I made her take me to her home. The baby was limp and barely breathing. I took it to the hospital and paid for three days in intensive care. It cost me about $200 dollars with medications.
I certainly can judge you for acting within your moral standards and when you overstep the social standards or legal standards I can have you arrested and thrown in jail. I can sue you and force you to pay me money. You have no idea at all what in the fuck you are talking about. The moral standard beyond yours or mine is once again LEGAL or SOCIAL standards. Beyond that I have PHILOSOPHICAL standards that allow me to help a person who is trying to survive. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE MY OBJECTIVE STANDARDS COME FROM. PLEASE DEMONSTRATE WHERE YOUR MORAL STANDARDS ARE COMING FROM. THERE IS NO (EVERYONE'S MORAL LAW.)
If my morals were Objective, I may or may not be angry at you for committing a crime. Like most people, I would not hold someone responsible for a simple crime of stealing bread from a bread shop to feed a starving child. When New Orleans was flooded the US Government abolished the looting laws as the people who were stealing food from the stores were doing so for their own survival.
Once again - YOU ARE NOT ARGUING FOR OBJECTIVE MORALITY. YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IN THE HELL YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO ARGUE FOR A POSITION OF ABSOLUTE MORALITY. AND THAT POSITION DOES NOT EXIST.
No one has misinterpreted anything. You do not know what you are talking about. You have been told over and over. You are arguing for "Absolute Morality" and not "Objective Morality." You do not understand your own position or morality.
@JoshB: There must be a standard outside of societal norms.
That would be nice. But where would such a standard come from? Christians seem to believe that god is the moral law-giver, yet the various Christian sects can't even agree among themselves about morality.
The only possible source of a moral standard for humanity is humanity. That's why we have institutions like the International Court of Justice to apply the lowest common denominators of human morality to the monsters among us.