Can atheist have objective morality ?

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Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

We all have subjective morality if you ask me, the variance bay be rather minor but we hall have it none the less.

I would doubt there are that many atheists who believe in some objective morality, but I guess those few that do would argue that the source for this stems from genetics or something. It would be interesting to see them try to explain it.

If by objective morality you mean orphan sandwich then yes, that accurately describes me >:D

I was always of the opinion that morality is subjective, in the sense that what is right and wrong is primarily based on the situation of a society at any given point in time with respect to what that society wants to achieve. That is, morality is a set of rules used to reach a goal that the majority of people agree should be reached together as a society.

BlazeRaider:
If by objective morality you mean orphan sandwich then yes, that accurately describes me >:D

I was always of the opinion that morality is subjective, in the sense that what is right and wrong is primarily based on the situation of a society at any given point in time with respect to what that society wants to achieve. That is, morality is a set of rules used to reach a goal that the majority of people agree should be reached together as a society.

Pretty much this even if there were "objective" morals we as humans would reject them if we did not agree with them anyways.

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

This is his argument:

I thank my opponent for the elaboration of his arguments.

But I just have to say this:

You say morals come from God and therefore have always been the same. Then how was it in medieval times a good moral to murder gays/jehova's/foreigners/people in general who are off from the average society? It was because it was the law then that it was acceptable. The law makes the morals. Morals can change. They will change over time. Of course not all morals, for example punching a baby will always be wrong, but morals like euthanasia and abortion will change over time. Just like abortion was acceptable and morally good back then.

Anarchy is not the change of morals, it's the abandonment of those. It's always wrong to mug a person, but when you're in desperation, it's hard to stay at the borders of morals and let your family die of poverty. Whether an atheist or a christian holds you at gunpoint, it doesn't matter what your religion is. Both ways it's a bad thing and both ways it's a desperate act.

You challenge me to answer the question: Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
Because every person deserves to have a decent life. Not because God says so, but because you would want a decent life too. So you allow another person too. And slavery would not be an option because many people would have a bad life. That's also the reason slavery is prohibited nowadays. It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was acceptable was christian.

Counter arguments:

1. Have you ever heard of the so called "Golden Rule"? It is basically the rule that you should treat another the way you'd like to be treated yourself. This is a rule all bases of religion and society agree it's the best (even religions with other gods). If we wouldn't apply this rule and would assume the god argument, we would only be moral because otherwise we'd burn in hell. So we would live in fear. This happened in medieval times, and that fear was exactly what the pope used to control masses of people.

2. As I said, it that were the case, God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name.

KlLLUMINATI:

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

This is his argument:

I thank my opponent for the elaboration of his arguments.

But I just have to say this:

You say morals come from God and therefore have always been the same. Then how was it in medieval times a good moral to murder gays/jehova's/foreigners/people in general who are off from the average society? It was because it was the law then that it was acceptable. The law makes the morals. Morals can change. They will change over time. Of course not all morals, for example punching a baby will always be wrong, but morals like euthanasia and abortion will change over time. Just like abortion was acceptable and morally good back then.

Anarchy is not the change of morals, it's the abandonment of those. It's always wrong to mug a person, but when you're in desperation, it's hard to stay at the borders of morals and let your family die of poverty. Whether an atheist or a christian holds you at gunpoint, it doesn't matter what your religion is. Both ways it's a bad thing and both ways it's a desperate act.

You challenge me to answer the question: Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
Because every person deserves to have a decent life. Not because God says so, but because you would want a decent life too. So you allow another person too. And slavery would not be an option because many people would have a bad life. That's also the reason slavery is prohibited nowadays. It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was acceptable was christian.

Counter arguments:

1. Have you ever heard of the so called "Golden Rule"? It is basically the rule that you should treat another the way you'd like to be treated yourself. This is a rule all bases of religion and society agree it's the best (even religions with other gods). If we wouldn't apply this rule and would assume the god argument, we would only be moral because otherwise we'd burn in hell. So we would live in fear. This happened in medieval times, and that fear was exactly what the pope used to control masses of people.

2. As I said, it that were the case, God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name.

Not really all that interested in this debate, but, uh...what the hell is a Jehova?

Wow, even the part about the orphan sandwich? Small world. But yeah, I would assume most atheists would have a more subjective mindset towards morality, I'd like to think it's because of a more open view of the world that disregards a "one size fits all" perspective of what can be right and wrong. Though the cynical part of me thinks a significant portion just want to distance themselves away from religion as much as possible.

I'm an atheist who believes in objective morality, so yes we do exist. I believe in objective morality because I think if you start with certain principles (e.g. happiness should be maximised) then there is one best route towards maximising those values. The catch is that no human (myself included) knows exactly what that route is, as you'd literally have to know everything to find it. Instead, I favour using science to find the best approximation for this theoretical moral code.

PrinceOfShapeir:

KlLLUMINATI:

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

This is his argument:

I thank my opponent for the elaboration of his arguments.

But I just have to say this:

You say morals come from God and therefore have always been the same. Then how was it in medieval times a good moral to murder gays/jehova's/foreigners/people in general who are off from the average society? It was because it was the law then that it was acceptable. The law makes the morals. Morals can change. They will change over time. Of course not all morals, for example punching a baby will always be wrong, but morals like euthanasia and abortion will change over time. Just like abortion was acceptable and morally good back then.

Anarchy is not the change of morals, it's the abandonment of those. It's always wrong to mug a person, but when you're in desperation, it's hard to stay at the borders of morals and let your family die of poverty. Whether an atheist or a christian holds you at gunpoint, it doesn't matter what your religion is. Both ways it's a bad thing and both ways it's a desperate act.

You challenge me to answer the question: Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
Because every person deserves to have a decent life. Not because God says so, but because you would want a decent life too. So you allow another person too. And slavery would not be an option because many people would have a bad life. That's also the reason slavery is prohibited nowadays. It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was acceptable was christian.

Counter arguments:

1. Have you ever heard of the so called "Golden Rule"? It is basically the rule that you should treat another the way you'd like to be treated yourself. This is a rule all bases of religion and society agree it's the best (even religions with other gods). If we wouldn't apply this rule and would assume the god argument, we would only be moral because otherwise we'd burn in hell. So we would live in fear. This happened in medieval times, and that fear was exactly what the pope used to control masses of people.

2. As I said, it that were the case, God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name.

Not really all that interested in this debate, but, uh...what the hell is a Jehova?

I assume he means Jehovah witness

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

'Morality' is just 'humans judging humans'. With 'objective morality' you probably mean 'humans judging humans while holding a Bible'.

Morality; humans decide what actions are good and what actions are bad.
Game-reviewing; humans decide what games are good and what games are bad.

Although some parts of game-reviewing can be semi-objective, there is no true 'objective review', whether you invoke God or not.

So...

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

Define objective morality, and explain to us why a religious person can have objective morality.

Danyal:

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

'Morality' is just 'humans judging humans'. With 'objective morality' you probably mean 'humans judging humans while holding a Bible'.

Morality; humans decide what actions are good and what actions are bad.
Game-reviewing; humans decide what games are good and what games are bad.

Although some parts of game-reviewing can be semi-objective, there is no true 'objective review', whether you invoke God or not.

So...

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

Define objective morality, and explain to us why a religious person can have objective morality.

If there is no God it is difficult to see how there could be any objective foundation, any universal standard for good and evil. How do you get ethics from only different arrangements of space, time, matter and energy? A purely materialistic universe would be morally indifferent. We would have only individual or cultural opinion, but no objectively binding moral obligations.

PrinceOfShapeir:

Not really all that interested in this debate, but, uh...what the hell is a Jehova?

Not sure, but what ever it was, there were fuckloads of witnesses to it, and they're not ones for keeping it quiet. Just ask em next time they bang on your door at 8am on a Sunday and I'm sure they'll be happy to come in and tell you for four hours :)

I imagine this will be hard to answer for many, as who here was born an athiest and had no religious upbringing at all? I imagine it's a minority, and most athiests threw off religion in their teens.

I'm probably not fully understanding the question, but I believe a lot of your morality comes from friends, family and wider society, and of course if religion is involved that can affect it also, but it's not necessary to be a moral person.

Also, simple experience teaches also, first time you get hurt, you realise that pain isn't a nice thing and it shouldn't be inflicted on others. First time time something is stolen from you, the loss teaches you how others would feel if you stole. After a while you don't need specifics, just an understanding that doing bad things hurts people.

I'm reading this back and thinking I'm working on a Sesame Street section. Still, simple doesn't mean bad, and why complicate things? :)

Of course they can, they can choose an objective standard to adhere to, just as the religious have chosen adherence to one or more of the many possible scriptures out there, and choose to continue to adhere to it/them every single day.

Atheist or Theist, it all ultimately hinges on one's more or less conscious choice of ethical axiom. Or lack thereof.

KlLLUMINATI:

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

This is his argument:

I thank my opponent for the elaboration of his arguments.

But I just have to say this:

You say morals come from God and therefore have always been the same. Then how was it in medieval times a good moral to murder gays/jehova's/foreigners/people in general who are off from the average society? It was because it was the law then that it was acceptable. The law makes the morals. Morals can change. They will change over time. Of course not all morals, for example punching a baby will always be wrong, but morals like euthanasia and abortion will change over time. Just like abortion was acceptable and morally good back then.

Anarchy is not the change of morals, it's the abandonment of those. It's always wrong to mug a person, but when you're in desperation, it's hard to stay at the borders of morals and let your family die of poverty. Whether an atheist or a christian holds you at gunpoint, it doesn't matter what your religion is. Both ways it's a bad thing and both ways it's a desperate act.

You challenge me to answer the question: Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
Because every person deserves to have a decent life. Not because God says so, but because you would want a decent life too. So you allow another person too. And slavery would not be an option because many people would have a bad life. That's also the reason slavery is prohibited nowadays. It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was acceptable was christian.

Counter arguments:

1. Have you ever heard of the so called "Golden Rule"? It is basically the rule that you should treat another the way you'd like to be treated yourself. This is a rule all bases of religion and society agree it's the best (even religions with other gods). If we wouldn't apply this rule and would assume the god argument, we would only be moral because otherwise we'd burn in hell. So we would live in fear. This happened in medieval times, and that fear was exactly what the pope used to control masses of people.

2. As I said, it that were the case, God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name.

I'm afraid I am inclined to agree with your opponent here as in order for you to claim that all morals came from your god and that they have therefore always been an absolute you would no only have to argue that atheists have no objective morality, but that all religions which do not follow your god have no objective morality. Most religions have the golden rule he brings up in some form or another so that breaks any logic that none of the other religions have objective morals, and most people in general adhere to said rule, meaning in general all people have at least one objective moral rule.

SenseOfTumour:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Not really all that interested in this debate, but, uh...what the hell is a Jehova?

Not sure, but what ever it was, there were fuckloads of witnesses to it, and they're not ones for keeping it quiet. Just ask em next time they bang on your door at 8am on a Sunday and I'm sure they'll be happy to come in and tell you for four hours :)

I imagine this will be hard to answer for many, as who here was born an athiest and had no religious upbringing at all? I imagine it's a minority, and most athiests threw off religion in their teens.

I'm probably not fully understanding the question, but I believe a lot of your morality comes from friends, family and wider society, and of course if religion is involved that can affect it also, but it's not necessary to be a moral person.

Also, simple experience teaches also, first time you get hurt, you realise that pain isn't a nice thing and it shouldn't be inflicted on others. First time time something is stolen from you, the loss teaches you how others would feel if you stole. After a while you don't need specifics, just an understanding that doing bad things hurts people.

I'm reading this back and thinking I'm working on a Sesame Street section. Still, simple doesn't mean bad, and why complicate things? :)

Danyal:

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

'Morality' is just 'humans judging humans'. With 'objective morality' you probably mean 'humans judging humans while holding a Bible'.

Morality; humans decide what actions are good and what actions are bad.
Game-reviewing; humans decide what games are good and what games are bad.

Although some parts of game-reviewing can be semi-objective, there is no true 'objective review', whether you invoke God or not.

So...

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

Define objective morality, and explain to us why a religious person can have objective morality.

What he is talking about is the idea of there being a clear definition of right and wrong that does not change. For example, the golden rule makes a clear cut definition of right and wrong (with no religious requirement making it a great counter point from his opponent) which states "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." the objectivity of it being that if you would not wish it upon yourself it is wrong and you should therefore not do it to others. However there is a case to make about the issue of how to define what you would not wish upon yourself as being objective, though a definition could be made to plug the holes made by individual cases a broad scope definition is much harder to come up with.

PS: sorry for double post.

KlLLUMINATI:

If there is no God it is difficult to see how there could be any objective foundation, any universal standard for good and evil. How do you get ethics from only different arrangements of space, time, matter and energy? A purely materialistic universe would be morally indifferent. We would have only individual or cultural opinion, but no objectively binding moral obligations.

Well, I guess by 'objective' you mean some form of morality independent of the individual: universal across time and place applying to all.

The closest basis you could imagine for objective morality is a biological imperative. If humans are 'designed' to achieve a certain function (i.e. pass their genes along, according to modern theory), you could maybe try to describe morality as anything that best achieves that aim.

However, an immediate problem is we can't be entirely sure this basis of what our function as living organisms really is. There's the difficulty in actually working out what should be done given such a vague start point. Some of the results might also be pretty unsatisfactory: does this for instance make it moral for men to rape women?

But easiest I think is to demolish the idea that a deity-based morality is objective. If you can't even prove your deity exists and its religion is a social construct, if you must subjectively choose to believe in it, can you really call it objective either?

KlLLUMINATI:
If there is no God it is difficult to see how there could be any objective foundation, any universal standard for good and evil.

Al Mualim: Before you go, I have a question for you.
Alta´r: Of course.
Al Mualim: What is the Truth?
Alta´r: We place faith in ourselves; we see the world the way it really is, and hope that, one day, all mankind might see the same.
Al Mualim: What is the world, then?
Alta´r: An illusion. One which we can either submit to; as most do, or transcend.
Al Mualim: What is it to transcend?
Alta´r: To recognize nothing is true, and everything is permitted. That laws arise, not from divinity, but reason. I understand now that our creed does not command us to be free; it commands us to be wise.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Assassin's_Creed

We are growing larger. More make their way to our fortresses every day. Men and women. Young and old. From different lands. Of different faiths. Each tells a similar story - of having discovered the first part of our creed: that nothing is true.
Too often, though, the revelation undoes them. They lose their morality, certainty, security. Many are driven mad. We must guide them. Help them to heal. Their minds must not be filled with more fairy tales, but with knowledge instead. Let them have answers - and let those answers be difficult and complex. Such is life.
http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Codex

KlLLUMINATI:
How do you get ethics from only different arrangements of space, time, matter and energy? A purely materialistic universe would be morally indifferent. We would have only individual or cultural opinion, but no objectively binding moral obligations.

But yes, the universe is indifferent. Maybe that is important. That no act in itself is sinful - masturbation, homosexuality, cannibalism, bestiality. That's why the law, why 'morality', should not be concerned with the activities of the individual; they should be concerned with protecting individuals from other individuals, from suffering and harm.

Maybe we could learn about a universal standard for good and evil from an omniscient being - but we lack a connection with those gods, and we can't properly decide what god tells us. Does he tell us that homosexuality is sinful - or is that merely bronze age ethics that pollute the actual word of god?

Trent Lynch:
What he is talking about is the idea of there being a clear definition of right and wrong that does not change. For example, the golden rule makes a clear cut definition of right and wrong (with no religious requirement making it a great counter point from his opponent) which states "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." the objectivity of it being that if you would not wish it upon yourself it is wrong and you should therefore not do it to others. However there is a case to make about the issue of how to define what you would not wish upon yourself as being objective, though a definition could be made to plug the holes made by individual cases a broad scope definition is much harder to come up with.

PS: sorry for double post.

But is the 'Golden Rule' religious? Is the Golden Rule created by God()s, and send to the Pagans, the Christians, the Muslims, the Hinduists, and did Secular Humanists drop it? He's asking whether atheists can have objective morality. I would say that ideologies like Secular Humanism and Liberalism have objective morality, using your definition; they have clear guidelines like 'protecting the freedom of the individual without infringing upon the freedom of others', while religious people only have the morality of This Book=True.

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

Isn't that rather a moot question, seeing as how you don't believe that atheists actually exist? That was the topic of one of your earlier threads, was it not?

Sometimes we don't need to philosophize or objectivise to be decent.

We just know it to be wrong or right and this isn't a privilege of any one branch of humanity or of any one dogma or religion but a decency thing.

I actually find it arrogant in the extreme that some dogmatists think they have more moral currency than others because of their religion or their political dogmas.

You see a person in pain or in need. You sympathise. You try to help. We don't need a religion or a philosophy for that. You just have to be a decent human being.

Sometimes a religion or a political philosophy helps to clarify things but it isn't necessary. I like to think that human empathy is the key.

There is a story I love about a guy on a beach saving jellyfish. In that part of Scotland jellyfish wash up every day in that season and dry up on the sand. There are thousands of them. But there is this guy with a shovel who is trying to save them.

And another dude is walking that beach that day and sees him. "Why are you doing this? They wash up this season in their thousands. What you are doing makes no difference at all".

The guy with a shovel picks up another jellyfish, puts it back in the sea and says, "I made a difference to that one".

That is just decent human behaviour. The jellyfish saviour is awesome and decent.

Regards

Nightspore

Elcarsh:

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

Isn't that rather a moot question, seeing as how you don't believe that atheists actually exist? That was the topic of one of your earlier threads, was it not?

Good point but I did not title the debate.

KlLLUMINATI:

KlLLUMINATI:
Can atheist have objective morality ?

I am in a debate on one the debate sites and this is the topics so I figured I would ask actual atheists.

This is his argument:

I thank my opponent for the elaboration of his arguments.

But I just have to say this:

You say morals come from God and therefore have always been the same. Then how was it in medieval times a good moral to murder gays/jehova's/foreigners/people in general who are off from the average society? It was because it was the law then that it was acceptable. The law makes the morals. Morals can change. They will change over time. Of course not all morals, for example punching a baby will always be wrong, but morals like euthanasia and abortion will change over time. Just like abortion was acceptable and morally good back then.

Anarchy is not the change of morals, it's the abandonment of those. It's always wrong to mug a person, but when you're in desperation, it's hard to stay at the borders of morals and let your family die of poverty. Whether an atheist or a christian holds you at gunpoint, it doesn't matter what your religion is. Both ways it's a bad thing and both ways it's a desperate act.

You challenge me to answer the question: Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
Because every person deserves to have a decent life. Not because God says so, but because you would want a decent life too. So you allow another person too. And slavery would not be an option because many people would have a bad life. That's also the reason slavery is prohibited nowadays. It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was acceptable was christian.

Counter arguments:

1. Have you ever heard of the so called "Golden Rule"? It is basically the rule that you should treat another the way you'd like to be treated yourself. This is a rule all bases of religion and society agree it's the best (even religions with other gods). If we wouldn't apply this rule and would assume the god argument, we would only be moral because otherwise we'd burn in hell. So we would live in fear. This happened in medieval times, and that fear was exactly what the pope used to control masses of people.

2. As I said, it that were the case, God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name.

My response:

In medieval times religion determined ideas about everything, including personal conduct, the law, morality, the behaviour appropriate to various roles, politics and economics, and the nature and functioning of society. In any domain you thought and behaved as the scriptures and the church said you should. The supremely important concern was salvation. All people had their function, contribution, role, and place, and with this went rights and duties. The church administered all this, ruled on disputes, interpreted, moralized, made judgments and punished. The social order was unalterable, to be accepted, not changed or improved.

You say it is always wrong to mug a person? Robin Hood the vast majority of historians and scholars agree; Robin Hood, whatever his real name may have been, was unlikely to have simply been myth. Earliest stories tell the story of a common man who took to the forest with a band of men to become altruistic bandits, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor and dispossessed. At the time that he lived people did not think he was doing a bad thing. So no it has not always been wrong to mug a person.

Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
You said "Because every person deserves to have a decent life." I am glad you feel that way. But the problem is that not everyone shares that belief which makes it subjective not objective.

It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was unacceptable were Christians. So your point is moot.

To answer your counter arguments:

1. You said the "Golden Rule" you should treat another the way YOU WOULD like to be treated yourself. YOU WOULD is the key which makes it subjective not objective. Not everyone would like to be treated like you.

2. You said if that were the case God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name. Once again who judges what is horrible ? Hitler was one of the worst people to ever exist but not to the german people which makes it subjective and not objective.

Without God and the laws of the Bible to live and die by life is subjective not objective.

My response:

In medieval times religion determined ideas about everything, including personal conduct, the law, morality, the behaviour appropriate to various roles, politics and economics, and the nature and functioning of society. In any domain you thought and behaved as the scriptures and the church said you should. The supremely important concern was salvation. All people had their function, contribution, role, and place, and with this went rights and duties. The church administered all this, ruled on disputes, interpreted, moralized, made judgments and punished. The social order was unalterable, to be accepted, not changed or improved.

You say it is always wrong to mug a person? Robin Hood the vast majority of historians and scholars agree; Robin Hood, whatever his real name may have been, was unlikely to have simply been myth. Earliest stories tell the story of a common man who took to the forest with a band of men to become altruistic bandits, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor and dispossessed. At the time that he lived people did not think he was doing a bad thing. So no it has not always been wrong to mug a person.

Why is it morally wrong to oppress a minority to benefit the society, in an atheist view?
You said "Because every person deserves to have a decent life." I am glad you feel that way. But the problem is that not everyone shares that belief which makes it subjective not objective.

It might also be interesting to know that in slavery times the majority of the people who decided it was unacceptable were Christians. So your point is moot.

To answer your counter arguments:

1. You said the "Golden Rule" you should treat another the way YOU WOULD like to be treated yourself. YOU WOULD is the key which makes it subjective not objective. Not everyone would like to be treated like you.

2. You said if that were the case God would be a horrible person since many people have killed in God's name. Once again who judges what is horrible ? Hitler was one of the worst people to ever exist but not to the german people which makes it subjective and not objective.

Without God and the laws of the Bible to live and die by life is subjective not objective.

Nightspore:
Sometimes we don't need to philosophize or objectivise to be decent.

We just know it to be wrong or right and this isn't a privilege of any one branch of humanity or of any one dogma or religion but a decency thing.

I actually find it arrogant in the extreme that some dogmatists think they have more moral currency than others because of their religion or their political dogmas.

You see a person in pain or in need. You sympathise. You try to help. We don't need a religion or a philosophy for that. You just have to be a decent human being.

Sometimes a religion or a political philosophy helps to clarify things but it isn't necessary. I like to think that human empathy is the key.

There is a story I love about a guy on a beach saving jellyfish. In that part of Scotland jellyfish wash up every day in that season and dry up on the sand. There are thousands of them. But there is this guy with a shovel who is trying to save them.

And another dude is walking that beach that day and sees him. "Why are you doing this? They wash up this season in their thousands. What you are doing makes no difference at all".

The guy with a shovel picks up another jellyfish, puts it back in the sea and says, "I made a difference to that one".

That is just decent human behaviour. The jellyfish saviour is awesome and decent.

Regards

Nightspore

That is good point as well.

The main thing I was aware of was the outrage caused by the 'athiest buses' when ads were taken out on buses, stating 'There's probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life'.

This was countered by a Christian ad saying 'There definately is a God,join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.'

Having looked it up, seems the athiest ads were a counter to a flurry of bus ads saying how terrible things were coming for unbelievers. As one of the people on the athiest side said "If I wanted to run a bus ad saying 'Beware, there is a giant lion from London Zoo on the loose!' I think I might be asked to show my working and back up my claims."

I don't think you can have complete objective morality, or you can, but you can't let it rule without criticism.

After all, it's been done to death, if you'll excuse the pun, but religions haven't really followed 'thou shalt not kill' to the letter. any more than athiests.

There's after all, reasons to kill people sometimes. Reasons to steal. If pushed into a ridiculous situation, if you were the last man alive and all the women refused to have sex, and there were no medical alternatives to aid in keeping the human race going, there might even be an argument for rape, in that one, stupid, highly selective situation. (and I feel very dodgy writing that.) It obviously wouldn't be moral or 'right', but should we let the human race's continued existence fall against the abhorrent act of rape?

Makes me wonder, have we not tried artificial insemination on the pandas? or is that the females are infertile rather than a lack of interest on the male's part? Is it moral to force pregnancy on animals who'd otherwise become extinct?

First off, what Christians see as objective morality is actually derived from the legal system of Rome, it was, like pretty much everything else christains claim to be theirs, simply co-opted by the the Catholic church after Rome fell and used the fact that they held a monopoly on the entrance to Heaven to ingrain it into the cultures which followed church doctrine. Thus, we have taken divine law or morality completely out of the argument, and all you're left with man and their laws and preconceptions of morality, most of which is the result of formulating ideas pertaining to how a person should behave in a society and the laws which govern said society. Therefore, it would be apt to say that no one, religious or otherwise, truly has objective morality, but rather subjective morality that is the result of the values that were instilled in one by the society in which they were raised, as well as the experiences that they have had throughout their life.

Do the religious have an objective morality? Just within the confines of Christianity, they disagree on just about the morality of everything. Should we seek self reliance like the amish? Do we need to do scaraments to get into heaven like the catholics? Can sins be repented or are you stuck with them for life? Is it belief in God, good works, or both that saves you? Is conmiting homosexual acts a sin, or is being homosexual itself a sin? Is thinking about sins as good as doing them?

None of these are universally agreed by the sects of Christianity, which doesn't seam to qualify as an "Objective" morality.

Seems like a lot of people here need to look up their Kantian and Hedonistic Philosophy. Objective morality can very well exist without the need for a god. I personally do not believe it does, but there are some interesting philosophical constructs out there.

Personally, I see morality as a mainly subjective thing, perhaps with some strong influences here and there from genetics and evolution (i.e. we naturally feel that harming a child is wrong, because it harms the next generation and the species' chance of survival, stuff like that). It's rare that I ever see anything I would call objective morality, be it from atheists or theists.

Captcha: Enjoy Life. Thanks Captcha!

All morality is subjective. A hypothetical moral code stemming from God is, in a sense, as arbitrary as the utilitarianism JoJo possibly refers to. Even God does not observe from an Archimedean Point if he's both the lawmaker and the judge.

There is no such thing as objective morality.

So the answer is no, but then neither does anyone else.

Danyal:

Trent Lynch:
What he is talking about is the idea of there being a clear definition of right and wrong that does not change. For example, the golden rule makes a clear cut definition of right and wrong (with no religious requirement making it a great counter point from his opponent) which states "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." the objectivity of it being that if you would not wish it upon yourself it is wrong and you should therefore not do it to others. However there is a case to make about the issue of how to define what you would not wish upon yourself as being objective, though a definition could be made to plug the holes made by individual cases a broad scope definition is much harder to come up with.

PS: sorry for double post.

But is the 'Golden Rule' religious? Is the Golden Rule created by God()s, and send to the Pagans, the Christians, the Muslims, the Hinduists, and did Secular Humanists drop it? He's asking whether atheists can have objective morality. I would say that ideologies like Secular Humanism and Liberalism have objective morality, using your definition; they have clear guidelines like 'protecting the freedom of the individual without infringing upon the freedom of others', while religious people only have the morality of This Book=True.

Maybe I should look up the bold code for clarification but I did put in parenthasis "with no religious requirement making it a great counter point from his opponent" so to answer your first question, no. As many religions have a rule of "don't follow the other religions too" it seems unlikely that those religions clearly could not have gotten a rule that most other religions got through divinity. Your last point again assumes that every religious person follows a doctrine, so I'll ignore it.

Eh, I haven't really made up my mind.
I don't think there can be an objective morality, but I believe you can form a nearly objective morality if you embrace certain axioms or postulates.
e.g. If you declare that the goal of any action should be to maximize human happiness.
Here's a very interesting talk on the subject:

Objective morality is inherently flawed because it cannot account for changes in attitude and perception. It is, however, independent of religion so there is absolutely no reason why an atheist wouldn't be able to have an objective moral view.

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