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What Is This Objective Morality Of Which You Speak?

By Edited Nov 29, 2016 2 14
God Exists
Credit: http://shoutitforlife.com/

Objective morality is a standard of right and wrong that is unchanging. This standard exists and persists throughout time regardless of outside or opposing factors such as culture or religion. The “what” of this question is actually quite easy to answer and so the more difficult question becomes the most important and it is this: Is objective morality a reality?

Is Objective Morality A Reality?

First, let’s look at the implications of this reality if indeed it is so. If there exists a universally objective moral standard then it follows that “right” is right regardless of personal beliefs. This means that objective morality is the same whether you are a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Agnostic or Atheist or any other religion or non-religion.

Many of the proponents of objective moral values are Christians and for good reason. In this case objective morality is not independent of religion or personal beliefs but is actually the cause of it. Christians believe that their moral values are objective because God has given these values and holds to them Himself and also that God is unchanging and the ultimate being. If God is the cause of objective morality then because He is the ultimate being and never changes then so too must His values be ultimate and unchanging. It is not hard for Christians to believe that stealing a penny is evil because of their objective and absolute moral values. And if God exists then Christians are totally right in this respect. This being true, let’s look at a culture that holds different moral and ethical values than that of Christians.

A People Very Different Than Us 

The Aztec culture was very different from our own. To the Aztecs, human sacrifice was just one of many ways to repay their gods for sacrificing themselves for them. Huitzilopochtli was one of the Aztecs primary gods. Human offerings to this god would be placed upon a sacrificial stone where the abdomen would be cut through with obsidian or flint blade. The still beating heart would be torn out and the priest would hold it high towards the sky in honor to Huitzilopochtli; they would carry the body away and it would be either cremated or given to the warrior responsible for the capture of the victim.

If the warrior received it, then he would be responsible cut it up for use in either ritualistic cannibalism or the pieces would be sent to people of importance as offerings. The warrior would then attain a higher status in the social class system of the Aztecs. This system rewarded the success of the warriors by doing this.

When comparing the Aztec culture to our own we can see the stark contrast in what was considered right and wrong. This is where many would say something along the lines of “See here! The moral values of the Aztecs were completely different than those of our modern culture, but that is what was “right” for them.” However, we should note that there is a big difference between what is right and wrong (or good and evil) and certain perceptions of the same. Our perceptions can and most likely do on many cases differ from the actual set standard.

For instance, let's use an example from the criminal justice system. There is a standard set by the Federal Government of the United States that says that using marijuana for any purpose is illegal. It is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it is considered highly addictive and having no medicinal value. Nonetheless there are multiple states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes and in Washington and Colorado marijuana usage is totally legal. It is obvious that in these states the most commonly held opinion is that marijuana should be legalized because otherwise it would not have been voted to be so by the residents of said states.

Still though the Federal Government holds the law that it is illegal for consumption, cultivation, possession or distribution and so as the higher authority holds, it is illegal and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has the legal right to arrest and charge anyone who consumes, grows, has or sells it for any reason and it will be backed by the Federal Government. I know that this example is subjective, as the federal law prohibiting use of marijuana may very well change in the future based on societal changes in opinion, but nevertheless it does do a good job of describing the issue of objective morality.

The higher standard (in this case the Federal Government) states that marijuana is illegal but the opinion (society’s perceptions) is in many cases that marijuana is good and should be legal. Such is the case with the Aztecs. The higher standard (objective morality) says that murder and cannibalism is wrong regardless of reasoning but the opinion (Aztec perceptions) was that it was good and pleasing to them and to their gods. And one would be hard pressed to give an argument that argues for the validity of murder and/or cannibalism as a good and healthy practice.

Aztec - Human Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli
Credit: http://www.reformation.org/new-world-giants.html

Perceptions And Reality

As you can clearly see, there is a difference between popular perception and what is actually right and wrong or good and evil. Just because the Aztec people thought a thing was right does not make it so and so it is with any other peoples or cultures. The point here is that if there are objective moral values then personal opinion doesn’t really matter because the moral values are not subject to individual perceptions but exist outside of subjective reality, as is the case with the Christian reality that God is real and that He does exist outside of this subjective reality and indeed is the cause of both objective moral values and objective/subjective reality.

But this presents another problem because without God there exists neither objective reality nor objective morality and neither can there be. But let’s keep this article in an ontological (studying if a thing exists) light rather than stray into the epistemological (studying how we know that a thing exists) although that in itself does frequently present itself as yet another obstacle.

Perception VS Reality
Credit: http://www.ideachampions.com/heart/archives/2012/09/perception_proj.shtml

The Argument From Morality

As Dr. William Lane Craig put it:  “In moral experience we apprehend a realm of moral values and duties that impose themselves upon us. There’s no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of the physical world.” Dr. Craig argues the following:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

This argument is logically valid, and is ontological in nature and so is in keeping with the theme of this article. The first premise of this argument is simply that the existence of God is necessary for objective moral values and duties to exist. Premise two is a claim that objective moral values and duties do exist, as is evident in every day life. And so these two premises draw the conclusion that (3) is indeed true and that God does exist.

Evolution and Objective Reality

And so, is there an objective moral standard that persists and exists in spite of the ever changing world? There are many proponents of the evolution theory that believe that the human brain is a product of evolution and change over millions of years and not the product of a Creator, and so if the human brain changed in this way then moral values were developed and changed in the same way and so they may be changed again if humanity continues to “evolve”. Objective morality could be a problem for evolutionists because there cannot be any objective truth unless there is an objective being or power behind it and according to the evolutionary theory there is no such being.

Of course this would only be a problem if God were scientifically proven to be a reality, in which case the theory would fall apart. But how can one subject an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being to mere humanity’s “scientific method”? How does one keep God in a controlled environment in which circumstances can be repeated and actions and effects be recorded over a lengthy period of time? I don’t really see how to be honest.

But let’s look at the implications on this side as well. If there exists no objective morality and all moral values are subjective and depend upon the time, place, culture, heritage, religious beliefs, sex, age, and any other number of factors that would have to be taken into account to get an accurate recording of the data, then we could expect many things to change in the future. But how soon in the future? How long exactly did it take humanity to evolve into what we are today? And how long will it take for the overwhelming population to be settled into a moral code that differs from our own today? If morality is subjective then it is good for the Aztecs to murder their victims in sacrifice to their gods then eat their mutilated bodies during rituals, but it is evil for an American citizen to do the same.

I understand that this example is on the extreme side and that many of you may be wondering about things that society deems less important in what they consider to be good and evil, so let’s look at that. Is it bad for a starving child to steal one small morsel of food to stop the hunger pangs? Is it wrong for a father to steal medicine for his child to ease their pain? Or does the end justify the means?

If there is objective morality, then yes, these actions are still wrong regardless of the reasons that they were committed. I cannot speak for individual perception on this kind of thing because there will be a widely ranging difference in opinion. If morals are subjective then it is right for the child and the father previously spoken of to act in that way because of the end matter, but it is only right for them. Subjectivity is in itself subjective. So it could be right for them, but not for the rest of society. But that is a non sequitur in this case because no matter what the cause for the thievery, it is of course just that.

I’ll go so far as to admit that there are many, many people who do this and they have good reasons. The world is not perfect and that means that not everyone gets what they need. However, the lack of human perfection and compassion in the world is a topic for another time. So, that child and that father above would of course be punished with a punishment fitting the crime if they were to be caught.

There is obviously, in the civilized nations at the very least, a certain standard of moral values that are set in place because of their universality. Does it then follow that this seemingly objective moral standard that we live by every day in civilized America comes from a higher objective truth? Or is it just a product of human evolution and societal norms? To believe the former, because of its inherent need to have a so far “scientifically unproven” higher power, requires the faith of the individual in said higher power as is the case with the Christian belief in God. The latter however requires no faith and is therefore much easier to be believed individually and corporately, and there is also evidence in favor of this view.

In conclusion, I would urge you to seek the answers and study this further. Proponents of both sides have much evidence to be dug through by the determined student, and the truth can be sought. Indeed, if God exists, as Christians believe, then the truth can be known in certainty and the topic of this article is a reality as well.

I hope that you do seek and find what you are looking for, if indeed this article did spark a desire in you for the truth. And so I’ll end with a verse from the Bible, even though I’m certain that some of you won’t like it, but it has spurred me forth in my quest for the truth and in truth I believe that I have found it. In the book of Luke chapter 11 and verse 9 it says this:

“So I say to you, ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.”

God bless America and the right to write!

Evolution(161215)
Credit: https://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Human_evolution.svg
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Comments

Dec 11, 2013 1:30pm
Cleptomanx
I didn't agree with the content of this article, but thought that it was interesting and well written. There were several details that I felt were validated that really had no justification, but I enjoyed the passion behind the writing. One example I could point out was the bit from Dr. William Lain Craig.
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

You stated that this argument was "logically valid," but in order for this argument to actually be logical, you have to start off by taking the first statement as being unassailable. "If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist." Why exactly does God need to exist for objective moral values and duties to exist? This statement is automatically disregarding the possibility that objective moral values can exist without a God. Since the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, then it stands to reason that the existence of objective morality can also not be proven or disproven in relation to said God, therefore this is a faulty premise and anything built from it would also be at fault, so the entire example really doesn't have a leg to stand on.

The difficulty when trying to support spiritual faith with logic is that the two concepts tend to be incompatible. Faith is a strong held belief in the absence of proof, which is in itself illogical. When you speak of seeking truth, it's difficult to do so when you're already working from a set conclusion. As stated in your article, you are a Christian and hold the belief in God. In that particular statement you have already skewed this article into a subjective realm, therefore you have no way of remaining objective because you have already disallowed the possibility that God does not exist.

When speaking of perceptions in relation to the Aztecs, you never seemed to be open to the idea that this culture's values may have been correct. Could it have been possible that the sacrifices made to the Aztec Gods did somehow cause benefits to that society? Were there times when a certain blood sacrifice pleased an Aztec God to the point that the people were bestowed upon with a boon of bumper crops, or beneficial rainfall, or mana from the heavens? I honestly don't know, but I really can't assume that such things didn't occur because there is no proof either way.

What I'm getting at is that, as thought-provoking and interesting as your article was, it's based on many premises that are wrongfully put for as factual to justify conclusions that are equally unable to hold up to scrutiny. But, that's okay, because you have faith. I would just ask you to be careful about trying to attempt to logically validate that faith because that's pretty much when it falls apart. Anyway, I look forward to future articles.
Dec 11, 2013 8:19pm
JonH7
The first thing that I 19d like to say is thank you for reading the article! I am honored. After seeing how great of a writer you are it is awesome to know that you enjoyed an article of mine and thought that it was well written.
Secondly I 19d like to justify my faith. Faith is not, as you said, illogical. It is true that I believe in the God of Christianity and I know that without having faith one cannot believe in any gods especially the God who says that it is impossible to please Him without faith. But isn 19t faith a logical thing? For instance, when you turn around to sit in a chair you have faith that the chair will still be there when you go to rest upon it, even though you aren 19t looking at it. You have faith that when you wake up in the morning, you will still be in your bed , in your room, in your house. Faith is a properly basic belief, or one that does not require the justification of other beliefs. Faith is a part of everyone 19s life everyday. It is not a product of the outside world and therefore can be called properly basic. You have faith in something as does everyone else, and therefore faith as a properl y basic belief cannot be called illogical because logic itself rests upon our individually held properly basic beliefs.
Faith isn 19t anything religion specific and is in fact a common practice in every-single-day life. We have faith in people and in things. Personally, I do not see any less logic in having faith in God than I do in having faith that my apartment is going to be in the same location when I return to it. Faith and logic go hand in hand if anything and are only made incompatible by those who refuse to think logically and instead believe 1Cbecause the Bible says so 1D. I don 19t know if this is coming across as I 19m intending it to, but I hope so.
Next, I believe that the first premise is concrete and is indeed unassailable. There simply cannot be objective reality or objective morality without an objective force behind it. The point simply is that without a God then morality and reality are subjective or relative. If objective morality were in existence without an objective cause, where would this unchanging standard of right and wrong come from? As is well known, a thing cannot go from disorder to order, but must go from order to disorder. If you were to bring all of the supplies needed to build a house to a property and leave it there, the house would not build itself but would instead remain in disorder. But if you were to observe a house that has been built, this house wouldn 19t stay in order, but it would decay over time and return to its disordly original state. Anything opposite this is completely unobservable and unprovable and therefore requires far more faith than does believing in God.
How about the argument that there is absolute truth. The argument against absolute truth is self-defeating because in order to claim that there is no absolute truth, you have to make that 1Cabsolute 1D statement that there are no absolutes. And if you say that there is only one absolute which is that there are no absolutes, then you are there again making an absolute statement and therefore have given me two absolutes. So we can see that denying the existence of absolutes is illogical because of the above given examples. If absolute or objective truth exists as seen here, then there must be an absolute or objective being behind it. Since absolutes or objectivity are proven, then it follows that God exists. As stated above, I believe in the God of Christianity for various evidence, logic and faith based reasons. Figuring out which 1Cgod 1D or 1Cgods 1D are really in existence is a matter for another debate however, as this one is on the 1Cif 1D and not the 1Cwhy 1D. For the reasons given above I believe that the first premise of the argument made by Dr. William Lane Craig is unassailable and so those following it are equally true.
As far as skewing this article into a subjective realm, how is that so? If, as discussed above, God exists, then it follows that He is objective and absolute, otherwise He wouldn 19t be God. So holding a belief in an objective being cannot subjectify an argument, but actually further strengthens it. If that is unacceptable to you, then let me go another route. Isn 19t every argument made by Theist and Atheist alike skewed? Theists make every argument from the belief that God exists, and Atheists make every argument from the belief that no God exists. I offer then that any argument made against the existense of objective morality is itself tinged with the color of disbelief and following your line of reasoning it is therefore a subjective argument and just doen 19t work. An Atheist 19s belief that there is no God has subjectified that argument just as, as you said, has my belief in God. Then I suppose that only an agnostics standpoint is valid because they are objective in that they do not know anything for certain. But that brings us full circle to the argument of the existence of absolutes. It is in effect 1Cbegging the question 1D.
As far as my relation of our society to that of the Aztecs, I argue that the Aztecs thought that human sacrifice and canibalism was good, but that doesn 19t mean that it actually was. The existence of an objective God (which if God exists He must be an objective being, otherwise He is not God) means that there is in fact an objective morality/reality. Also, you mentioned that I didn 19t take into account whether or not those acts were beneficial to them but that was because even if it were beneficial that doesn 19t make it good. Robbing a bank would be beneficial but that doesn 19t make it right. You 19re correct in that there is no proof that those acts weren 19t beneficial to them, but I don 19t see how that impacts the objective morality that I 19m speaking of. By definition, God is a being who is worthy of worship and anything that is not God is not worthy of worship (not adirmation or awe, but worship). Any being worthy of worship must be morally perfect or that being is not worthy or worship and is therefore not God. Not that I am saying that their 1Cgods 1D didn 19t give them stuff, I 19m simply saying here that if there were beings that provided them with benefits for their sacrifices that those beings were not God or gods because the sacrifices that they required speak to the fact that these beings were or are not morally perfect.
I do appreciate your feedback and in fact I must admit that I was hoping for feedback when I wrote it. I 19m not claiming to know everything, I 19m simply trying to make sense of the world around me as is the rest of the populace. I 19m not sure if this response came off exactly as I intended it to because there was a lot of thinking involved and sometimes my brain works faster than my fingers and sometimes it 19s the other way around. Anyway, looking forward to your response.
Dec 11, 2013 8:19pm
JonH7
I'm sorry that there are no spaces!! There were in the Word document! I hope it doesn't make it harder to read...
Dec 11, 2013 10:11pm
Cleptomanx
No worries, it was a bit rough getting through, but I got the gist. ;)
So, this is usually where I'd probably agree to disagree and move on, but since you'd like to carry on further, I'm game for a little more.

So, first off, let's talk about faith. It seems we have differing ideas on definitions of faith. You stated that you see no difference between faith in God and faith that a chair will still be present when you turn around to sit upon it, or faith that your home, car, or other items will still be present in the place that you left them the next day (and, other such examples as this). I, on the other hand, consider these to be different forms of faith which is why I used the term "spiritual faith" in my previous comment. You see, faith in objects existing in the physical world (such as a chair) is a belief based on evidence and experience. When I turn to sit down on a chair, I believe that it will still be there even if I'm not looking at it because experience has taught me this. This "faith" if you will is something that is learned, not taken for granted. This is called "object permanence" and is an understanding that is acquired during an early developmental stage (around 2 years old or so).

But, this faith is not the same as a spiritual faith because it is based on concrete understanding and logical calculation. I have faith that the Sun will rise tomorrow. Why? Because it has done so every day that I have lived, every day my parents have lived, and every day since before humanity had the ability to record history. If a day is cloudy and I cannot actually see the Sun, I can still have faith that it is there because of the scientific understanding of how our solar system works. There is evidence that dictates such faith making it impractical to question it under practical circumstances. But, this faith is based upon probability not anything absolute.

Could the chair disappear under unusual circumstances, thus having me end up on the floor? Sure, it's possible, just rather improbable under normal circumstances. This differs from "spiritual faith" because there is no evidence to validate the existence of God. Unlike the Sun rising every day or the chair not moving from beneath me when I go to sit down, I can't point to an example of when God showed up at my door and I invited him to sit in the living room for some coffee and a chat. I can't really think of anyone who has made such a claim that was not considered to be a "bit off." So, making the statement that "faith is a properly basic belief" doesn't really hold water with me since the faith you're speaking of is referring to your faith in God which, while I'll certainly agree is a very real thing to you, I can't concede it to be as real to me which in essence makes it "subjective" as opposed to "objective" thus it cannot be logically substantiated. Therefore, I would have to contend if something cannot logically be substantiated then by definition it would have to be considered illogical.

Moving on, "There simply cannot be objective reality or objective morality without an objective force behind it." I'll say that I don't really believe that there is an objective morality or an objective reality because morality is a human construct therefore it's always relative. What is morally sound in one generation becomes morally defunct for a different one. The subtlety of morality changes according to time, culture, and a number of other qualifiers and always has. This is easily viewed over the length of history as empires rise and fall. But, I'm getting off the subject now.

If I did believe in objective morality and objective reality and even in an "objective force behind it" why does it have to be the JudeoChristian God? Could the "prime mover" we're speaking of just as easily be some ancient alien race that geoformed the galaxy? Or maybe our planet and all the rest of the cosmos are simply small cells within the structure of an incalculably large organism that's currently scratching it's butt? The idea that this "objective force" has to be God in itself is a rather illogical conclusion as there is no evidence that would justify such an outcome. So, to say that this premise is "indeed unassailable" is a hard line to sell. Which pretty much topples all the "house building" metaphors and whatnot.

"The argument that there is absolute truth." Sure, why not? Maybe there is an absolute truth that exists apart from human understanding, but it's not like we could ever attain it because we are not "absolute" beings in any sense of the word. We can theorize about totalitarian concepts like "perfection" but we are not able to actually attain them. So, is there really a point to bringing up "absolute truth?" Does it have any relevance to this topic? You stated, "If absolute or objective truth exists as seen here, then there must be an absolute or objective being behind it."

I have to ask... Why? If absolute truth exists somewhere out there, WHY does that somehow correlate with the existence of an absolute or objective being? This would be like saying, "Miners can't find it, but there IS a Diamond somewhere out there that is PERFECT in every way, therefore there MUST exist a being out there made of remarkably dense coal that sits upon an ashen thrown with his Sunday paper and shat it out." Just because I'm not going to fight over the existence of some absolute truth doesn't mean I have to go along the extra mile with you and automatically believe that there's an ultimate being to boot. One really has nothing to do with the other and quite honestly, these are the kind of "leaps" you've been making through this entire discussion.

"I believe in the God of Christianity for various evidence, logic and faith based reasons."
That's cool with me. I've got a lot of friends and family who have had very real experiences that have made them believe in God. But, once again, these are personal experiences, because faith is a personal thing. Spiritual faith in God is a personal experience therefore it's subjective. There's just no "objective" about it. I couldn't imagine what "logical" reasons you have for your belief, but I would not care to even attempt to tear down your faith.

"As far as skewing this article into a subjective realm, how is that so? If, as discussed above, God exists, then it follows that He is objective and absolute, otherwise He wouldn't be God"

Umm... You see what you did there? "If, as discussed above, God exists." You started from a subjective point, therefore you didn't actually skew into a subjective realm, you were pretty much there from the start. You started with the existence of God as a conceded point, but this point was never objectively conceded, thus making it true to you, but not to me which means it's "subjective" by definition. Anything that came from this is tainted by the same subjectivity. See how that works?

"Theists make every argument from the belief that God exists, and Atheists make every argument from the belief that no God exists." Actually, this statement is only half correct. Atheists don't make every argument from the belief that no God exists, they only create an argument out of what does exist and logically move from there. Atheists only build upon what is verifiable, but that does not mean that they START from "no God" they only leave that aspect out because there's nothing to justify including it.

You are stating that theistic arguments are "God centric" while Atheistic arguments are "No God centric," but in actuality Atheistic arguments are world centric, or reality centric and the concept of God just doesn't come into it, therefore there is no God. While theists start from the premise of a God, atheists use logic and understanding to END at the conclusion that there is no God. So, as you can see an atheistic argument is objective, while a theistic argument is subjective.

You then went back to the example of the Aztecs. You argued that the "Aztecs believed that sacrifice and cannibalism are good, but that doesn't mean that it actually was." How exactly can you prove that sacrifice and cannibalism in the Aztec society was not good? How do we know that the Aztec society would have been devastated far sooner than it was without sacrifice and cannibalism? Personally, I find this to be rather unsavory and have no place in our contemporary society, but I really can't stand in judgement of the Aztecs and just assume I have the moral high ground because I felt these things to be wrong. That really wouldn't be very "objective" of me would it? If I were to sit in judgement of the Aztec society for their practices because of beliefs that I hold, then that would be "subjective" wouldn't it?

"Any being worthy of worship must be morally perfect or that being is not worthy of worship and is therefore not God."
I honestly don't know where to start with this statement. As far as I can tell, there have been MANY beings worshiped by many cultures throughout the existence of man. A few of these beings are considered Gods by their worshipers and more than a few are not considered "morally perfect." Is there some playbook where this statement came out of because it's quite dazzling in its sheer defiance of logic.

Anyway, you went on to say that if the Aztec Gods provided them with benefits from the sacrifices they made then that doesn't make them God. So, nobody in the Bible EVER sacrificed any living beings to God? No covenants sealed in blood maybe? No giving of one's son as a sacrifice, etc, etc? No communions of any kind with "body" or "blood" being mentioned anywhere?

It's been a long time since my years of humanities classes at Central Catholic High School, so I'm just posing the questions because my head's a bit foggy on all that jazz. ;)

I commend you on trying to make sense of the world. I feel that we all are, everyday, in our own ways. It should just be remembered that the revelations you discover may not apply every other person around you and that's okay. The things that make your world work may not necessarily be the things that make my world work, but that doesn't mean that something wonderful can't come from merging those worlds together from time to time. Good talk.
Dec 12, 2013 12:33am
JonH7
I am enjoying that you are willing to continue talking on the subject. And you make many good points. If you 19d allow me, I 19ll take a crack at your statements below.

I understand object permanence. I hope you remember that the entire theme of the article was an ontological one and not an epistemological one. The point was not trying to figure out how we know that objective moral values exists but rather it was to address whether or not objective moral values exist at all. I was intending to stay with that theme, but I may have strayed. But, this is why I said 1Cif God exists 1D. If God exists then my relation between faith in the physical and faith in the spiritual is logical.

I see what you 19re saying about how my faith is real for me but not for you. But if God exists then He is real for everyone regardless of whether or not a person believes that He is real or not. Just as my hypothetical disbelief in alternate universes doesn 19t actually mean that they aren 19t there. If they are there then they are real for everyone and that is not impacted by what I believe.

I can see that you haven 19t had any personal revelations for the existence of God. And so by me saying that I 19ve seen the sick healed before my eyes, feel the witness of the Holy Spirit and sense God 19s presence just as keenly as I sense the presence of my wife who is physically next to me it would sound subjective. But if God exists then those things are objective because they are for everyone and exist despite being individually experienced.

I 19m with you on one point at least, and that is that without God, there are no objective morals or reality. And I see your point in that what was considered right and wrong across history has changed, but if God exists then humanity's perceptions of good and evil do not change that fact that there is an objective morality. As in the example with the Aztecs, their perceptions were 1Cthis 1D, while reality was 1Cthat 1D. And with the marijuana example, the higher standard says one thing while society says something else.

I don 19t suppose it has to be the Christian God. That is the God that I believe in, but as stated in my last response, this isn 19t directed at figuring out which god or gods actually exist but is instead directed at if objective moral values exist and their dependence upon an objective force or God behind them. I am using the Christian God because He is the God that I believe in, and if God exists then this God is most logically the correct one. Christianity is in fact the most logic and evidence based religion on the face of the planet today. If God exists, then I want to be talking to Him and not to some lesser being or non-existent one, you see. My line of thinking has led me to the existence of God, and logic further leads me to the God of Christianity. I'm certain I haven't thought of everything, but who has? As far as the 1Chouse building 1D metaphors, the point here is that there has to be a cause of the order and that it doesn 19t happen on its own. I say that the premise is unassailable because absolutes do exist as is evidenced by my ability to say that there are absolutes. However, there cannot be absolutes (order) unless there is a cause for it.

Again, if God exists, then we can attain perfection and every other absolute. I bring this argument into play simply as a way to show that there are absolutes just as there is objective morality. No God = no absolutes or objective morals. God = absolutes and objective morals.

How is it a leap? I plainly make the point that disorder can 19t turn to order and that it must be order to disorder. There must be an order before there can be disorder. For there to be order there must be someone to 1Corganize 1D so to speak. That is the correlation. Organizer 13 order 13 disorder. Order = absolutes or objective morals. Disorder = relative or subjective morals. In order for there to be subjective moral values there must be something to base them off of (objective moral values). And in order for there to be objective moral values there must be a being that put them in place.

The fact that you believe your friends and family when they tell you about their experiences means that you must believe in God. How can you believe that God is real for me and not for you? If God is real then He is in no way, shape or form subjective and neither can He be. If one refuses to believe in God then one must also refute the claims of each person claiming the existence of God. I appreciate that you have respect for their faith and mine, as many people do not. I 19m no master apologist for sure, and in fact I haven 19t been studying for very long so I apologize if I have been unclear. I respect your position as well. I do not see how you can deny the logic of my arguments though.

I am not trying to prove God 19s existence to you or to anyone, but I am simply trying to say that if there is a God, then so too is there an objective morality. I did give some evidence for His existence but that was not my overall objective.

If God exists, then it follows that He is objective and absolute, otherwise He wouldn 19t be God; If God exists.

I didn 19t start with the existence of God as a conceded point, I simply said 1Cif God exists 1D. And again I say if God exists, then He exists regardless of perception. My entire argument is made from the statement 1Cif God exists 1D. I did try to offer evidence for His existence but I never said 1CGod is definitely real and so this is the way it is and I don 19t care what you say. 1D I am trying to make my points saying 1Cif 1D.

So, there is no God because He doesn 19t come up in your arguments? If Atheistic arguments are world centric, doesn 19t it them follow that you must take into account the world itself and particularly how it came to be? What of the first cause? What of the countless arguments for the existence of God? What of the Atheists like Lee Strobel or even Antony Flew turned Creationists?

Then I 19m sure you know of at least a couple of ex-religious who turned Atheist. I 19m certain that you know of some in depth Atheistic arguments against the existence of God. I guess this is all pointless really because neither of us, nor anyone else for that matter, can prove or disprove the existence or non-existence of God without having personal interactions with God or the lack thereof.

I said that beneficial and good are not the same thing and that 1Cif God exists 1D then He must be morally perfect. Since He must be morally perfect then so too must His law be morally perfect. That is the objective morality I speak of. If God exists. That is how I can say that what they did wasn 19t 1Cgood 1D.

Let me ask this: if God exists would you worship Him if He were morally imperfect? Any imperfect being cannot be worthy of worship and thereby cannot be God. Do you see that in order for God to be God then He must be morally perfect and therefore worthy of worship?

Just because these beings were worshiped does not mean that they were worthy of worship. What I mean is that most religions require blind faith and fear without real and logical explanations. These beings were worshiped out of fear and in the hope of getting goods like rain and other such blessings. Not because of their moral perfection.

When you talk about sacrifices in the Bible you are equating animal sacrifices with human. You cannot equate animal life with that of our own because they are obviously lower life forms. Killing a cow is nothing like killing a human.

Jesus volunteered for the cross and to die for humanity. Aztec victims did not volunteer. They were victims and therefore it was murder. Communion is a symbolization of Jesus 19 willing sacrifice of Himself. No one eats flesh or drinks blood; it is just a cracker and some cranberry juice instead of bread and wine. It is in remembrance of Jesus because His body was broken and so we break bread, and His blood was spilled and so we drink the juice. Just to remember because remembrance is very important.

You may be referring to Abraham in the Old Testament as well. He did not however actually sacrifice his son. God told Abraham to do so because it was a common practice at the time to sacrifice children to 1Cgods 1D, and so God wanted to test Abraham 19s loyalty. Once God saw his loyalty, He provided a ram as a sacrifice. God is not a murderer and does not accept murder.

At the end of this looooooooong response, I say thanks. Thanks for taking the time to offer your opinions. I don 19t know if I hit everything or if I missed some things. My basic point overall is this: If God exists then objective moral values exist and without Him there are no objective moral values. My arguments may not be articulated as well as they could be but I do hope that my writing was clearly put on screen. Anyway, I don't see where else this could go except deeper into my headache, so I guess that's it for me. Feel free to PM me though if you'd like to talk about this subject or any other!
Dec 12, 2013 12:33am
JonH7
This comment has been deleted.
Dec 12, 2013 5:45am
Cleptomanx
Yeah, I agree, I think we've both pretty much said our peace and it's probably time to move on. Interesting discussion indeed.
Jan 11, 2014 4:34am
dreamaker
Interesting? That my friend is the top subjective understatement I've read on this page.
Thanks for an inspirational mind provoking article. Well done.
Jan 11, 2014 1:26pm
JonH7
Thanks dreamaker! I'm glad that you like the article!! ^_^
Jan 12, 2014 8:25am
Moina-Arcee
It's good to see an article like this featured on IB. I also appreciate the civil conversation at the end. Well done by all. Thanks, Mark.
Jan 12, 2014 9:28pm
JonH7
Thanks Moina-Arcee I'm glad that you enjoyed the article :-)
Jan 12, 2014 11:53am
Marlando
Hi: Your article is thought provoking and smart. Yet, I disagree with the core of it so would love to have a fireside debate with you. Nevertheless, it is well written and for that I give you two thumbs up and yep...a rating.
Jan 12, 2014 9:32pm
JonH7
Marlando thanks! I'm glad that you liked it! Feel absolutely free to give your thoughts on the subject and I'll do my best to reply in kind :) I am much less active here on IB of late but I do try to make a point to check IB at least weekly. (It's because of bubblews lol). Either way I am glad that you liked it and I am honored that you thought it was well written!
Jan 20, 2014 2:40pm
Calisto789
wow nice article
Mar 28, 2014 4:05pm
JonH7
Thanks very much :)
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Bibliography

  1. "Human sacrifice in Aztec culture." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture#The_role_of_sacrifice_in_Mesoamerica. 02/12/2013 <Web >
  2. "Federal Marijuana Law." http://www.safeaccessnow.org/federal_marijuana_law. 02/12/2013 <Web >
  3. "Moral Argument." http://www.reasonablefaith.org/moral-argument. 10/12/2013 <Web >

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