Seanc

Objective morality

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure this has been discussed many times but the few active discussions I saw went off topic with evolution and such so I decided to start a new thread. 

I have been reading different apologetic books and pondering an answer from an atheist perspective(which I am not).

To start off I believe that C.S lewis explains best in that objective morality is not instinctual. His example goes like this: You see a man drowning, he's a stranger. Two instincts come up. The first being the "herd instinct" to save the man. The second is the "survival instinct" to keep yourself safe/alive. The second instinct is the stronger of the two but morality pushes you toward the weaker one. It tells you that you ought to save the man because it is "right".

The other point he makes is that its more than just a "social convention" that its more than just what is taught to you and that if you can judge two different peoples morals and say one is better and the other lesser then you are implying there is a Real morality or a Real right independent of what people think. 

So my question is and I'm basing this off a question I was posed with is would we only lean closer to what "you" were taught? Does it surpass my understanding and learning? Is it objective? 

Before I submit this I want to say that I believe in an objective morality but I need help to further understand it before i even try to explain it to someone else. Anyone got an answer?

Edited by Seanc
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2 hours ago, Seanc said:

. Anyone got an answer?

forget CS LEWIS-- a biblical response would be- Mankind has always know-- even though many outwardly deny it- that man is created in Gods image-- hence it is hardwired into our souls to watch out for each other--- unfortunately- we succumb to sin and favor ourselves first-- inside we know "love thy neighbor as thyself"- but we deny that to serve our sinful self

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5 hours ago, Seanc said:

I'm sure this has been discussed many times but the few active discussions I saw went off topic with evolution and such so I decided to start a new thread. 

I have been reading different apologetic books and pondering an answer from an atheist perspective(which I am not).

To start off I believe that C.S lewis explains best in that objective morality is not instinctual. His example goes like this: You see a man drowning, he's a stranger. Two instincts come up. The first being the "herd instinct" to save the man. The second is the "survival instinct" to keep yourself safe/alive. The second instinct is the stronger of the two but morality pushes you toward the weaker one. It tells you that you ought to save the man because it is "right".

The other point he makes is that its more than just a "social convention" that its more than just what is taught to you and that if you can judge two different peoples morals and say one is better and the other lesser then you are implying there is a Real morality or a Real right independent of what people think. 

So my question is and I'm basing this off a question I was posed with is would we only lean closer to what "you" were taught? Does it surpass my understanding and learning? Is it objective? 

Before I submit this I want to say that I believe in an objective morality but I need help to further understand it before i even try to explain it to someone else. Anyone got an answer?

What I have always been taught through other apologists is that if morality is objective then it is not something we can manufacture on a whim or based on a situation.    It is simply that exists as a self-evident truth.  

Atheists dont' like think of morality as objective, because if there is an objective moral code, if there is a set moral law, that leads to a discussion about a moral  law-giver.   And obviously then leads to a discussion about God.

Of course those who verbally oppose an objective morality don't live that way.   If someone broke into their house, they would want justice, they would demand it.   

The United Nations published a universal declaration on human rights.   But if morality isn't objective, who gets to decide for everyone else, what a "human right" is?   The same liberal mindset that opposes objective morality in some cases, argue for objective morality when it suits their agenda.   The social justice warriors I have met always oppose objective morality when opposing Christian values, but "social justice" is an objective moral position in their own minds, it is a position they can objectively define.

My point is that those who oppose objective morality are simply using that as a pretext for opposing biblical morality.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, woundeddog said:

forget CS LEWIS-- a biblical response would be- Mankind has always know-- even though many outwardly deny it- that man is created in Gods image-- hence it is hardwired into our souls to watch out for each other--- unfortunately- we succumb to sin and favor ourselves first-- inside we know "love thy neighbor as thyself"- but we deny that to serve our sinful self

Of course I agree with that but when talking with an atheist you can't always simply quote scripture. Sometimes I use other means to get the point across and then follow up with scripture to back it. 

 

I also agree with you Shiloh, that most who oppose objective morality use it and expect it in other parts of life as long as it doesn't have to do with God or Christianity.  I also like what you said about it being simply a self evident truth.

Any mor examples of objective morality so I can better explain it to a non believer?

Edited by Seanc
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10 minutes ago, Seanc said:

Of course I agree with that but when talking with an atheist you can't always simply quote scripture. Sometimes I use other means to get the point across and then follow up with scripture to back it. 

it's not out intellectual arguments that change the heart- its the word of God that changes hearts

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1 minute ago, woundeddog said:

it's not out intellectual arguments that change the heart- its the word of God that changes hearts

Once again I 100% agree with you which is why I said I always back it up with scripture, there is nothing wrong with discussing morality, logic, intentionality or anything else for that matter as a means to starting a discussion geared toward witnessing. Now since this forum is about apologetics let's get back on topic with any examples of objective morality.

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To me, morality is an interesting and complicated topic.  I wish I have spent more time studying and exploring  this topic in depth.  I don't know that I believe in an absolute objective morality.  I think if people can agree on what the goals are then an objective morality can begin to take shape and be measured.   It's worth noting that I believe in situational ethics, so things like "Don't steal" or "Don't lie" aren't always morally wrong.  

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6 minutes ago, Bonky said:

To me, morality is an interesting and complicated topic.  I wish I have spent more time studying and exploring  this topic in depth.  I don't know that I believe in an absolute objective morality.  I think if people can agree on what the goals are then an objective morality can begin to take shape and be measured.   It's worth noting that I believe in situational ethics, so things like "Don't steal" or "Don't lie" aren't always morally wrong.  

If objective morality could be arrived by majority consensus, it's not objective.

Who gets to decide when a situation arises when lying or stealing isn't morally wrong?   And if morality isn't objective, then when is anything ever wrong?   I mean, if there is no objective morality, why isn't murder no more or less immoral than eating a bag of peanuts?

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44 minutes ago, shiloh357 said:

If objective morality could be arrived by majority consensus, it's not objective.

Who gets to decide when a situation arises when lying or stealing isn't morally wrong?   And if morality isn't objective, then when is anything ever wrong?   I mean, if there is no objective morality, why isn't murder no more or less immoral than eating a bag of peanuts?

I clearly stated I don't believe there's an absolute objective morality.  I stated that a case for morality can be built and then measured or defending objectively.  Countries like America have built a social and moral fabric on the basis of equality, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.   Upon this foundation you can OBJECTIVELY declare murder wrong and eating peanuts ok.   If you're wanting a higher being to approve of this foundation then I don't believe that exists or if it does how would we demonstrate it?

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2 minutes ago, Bonky said:

I clearly stated I don't believe there's an absolute objective morality.

Yeah, I got that...  Hence, my response in my previous replay.

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 I stated that a case for morality can be built and then measured or defending objectively.  

Morality doesn't work that way. 

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Countries like America have built a social and moral fabric on the basis of equality, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.   Upon this foundation you can OBJECTIVELY declare murder wrong and eating peanuts ok.

No, you can't, because that is not objective.

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  If you're wanting a higher being to approve of this foundation then I don't believe that exists or if it does how would we demonstrate it?

It's not even that, it's the fact that morality is self-evident, even in under developed, primitive cultures.  They have laws against murder and other things we know to be wrong and they have nothing like the social moral fabric that we have in the US.

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