Is Morality possible without God


#41

Ah, but since there doesn’t seem to be a universal atheistic moral standard, could you please provide us with the definitive Divine moral standard, so that we can all judge by that.


#42

Maybe so, but it’s optional and subjective and prone to error.


#43

And how is one to determine what’s an error in one’s moral standard, and what isn’t?


#44

The Ten Commandments are a good start. Then there’s the two commandments in the New Testament. Then there’s plenty of moral guidance in the Catechism.


#45

So I’m to accept that this moral code is less prone to error than some other moral code, although this moral code seems to have evolved over time, and is open to interpretation depending upon the circumstances.


#46

Yes.
If there is any doubt you can always seek the guidance of a priest.

(Going offline now, apologies.)


#47

Modern atheists enjoy the benefit of living in societies that have been underpinned by religious Philosophy since history began. So it would be difficult to identify anywhere on the planet that has a moral ethos based solely on secularism.

As mentioned earlier when the Transcendent moral base like God disappears then morality becomes a questionable thing as to whether or not It even exists. For example why is theft wrong? that becomes an honest question as we see the mightier take from the weaker in the animal kingdom on a regular basis.


#48

No problem, been there…done that


#49

??? Did you read what I wrote???

How can you know what circumstances make it moral or immoral? Sounds like you need to reference something absolute or everything is permissible under any circumstances.


#50

Yes I did, but what you fail to understand, is that you left something out, or to be a bit more precise, you assumed something. You assumed that there’s a universal moral standard to which I assent. And to which I expect everyone else to assent to as well. But I assume no such thing. Therefore I can’t judge the morality of the circumstance that you describe until you give me the standard by which you want me to judge it.

Without that standard I can’t judge its morality.


#51

Ah so “give me the circumstances and I’ll tell you if it’s moral” isn’t something you actually mean. Alright. Bye.


#52

That’s true, unless rational people can agree to a moral standard absent an absolute one. Rational people should be able to do that…don’t you think. The question is, are we rational people? Or are we all just glorified wild animals?


#53

No, it was an honest request, but what you failed to realize was that the circumstances include the standard by which the moral judgment is to be made.

This is where theistic arguments often fail, they assume the existence of that which they’re trying to prove. You wanted me to make a moral judgment, and that would suggest a universal moral standard to which I assent. Thus my assenting to a moral standard would prove that there is a moral standard.

But alas, I’ve seen this argument before.


#54

Yes morality exists without a deity. You just need entities that have the ability to morally assess a situation. Whether or not they come to a correct response to the moral assessment is different than having the ability to assess it though.
If you are asking about absolutes for morality, depends on your subjective reference point of what good and bad are measured against. For example, take the goal of healthy life through the process of nutrition. Is it better to eat apples or oranges? Not really in reference to nutrition. But it is absolutely wrong to drink battery acid. And absolutely correct to eat fruits and vegetables. Same with the reference point of human well-being as the goal through moral assessment. Is it better to say thank you or shake someone’s hand in gratitude? Doesn’t really matter. But it is absolutely good go show gratitude. It is absolutely wrong to have patriarchy, racism, slavery, child abuse, fascism, anti-science, etc.


#55

Atheist and agnostic can be highly moral people. But I believe nothing would exist without God. The very nature of knowing right from wrong is from God weather or not the atheist or agnostic would know it or admit it.


#56

So you maintain that there are objective value truths about situations and things for moral judgments to be based on?


#57

Yes once you subjectively select a reference point of what good and bad are from that reference point. Just like a number line. We subjectively select zero as the reference point. But it still works if you use a different point on that number line. If you create a Venn Diagram about human moral reference points, the most overlapping reference point is human well-being it seems. But that’s still subjective to some people, but to others like me, its just the natural result. Like gravity. Humans are observable in reality and we can study and actually document what supports the this species to thrive. So based on the point of the human experience, what is moral? Moral is what we can understand to be moral since we have to understand the situation and make moral judgments. So we are the reference point of what is good or bad since we have to understand what is good or bad. It makes no sense to say X is good or bad if the person making the moral assessment of it can’t understand why. Its just a pronouncement to that person.
You can still be wrong about your moral assessment though since you don’t know everything or might not have the ability to.


#58

This is the New Atheist answer to the question, but its really just pseudo-religion since it’s not measurable or even objectively identifiable.

As some have pointed out previously, “Human well-being” sounds suspiciously similar to utilitarianism. Who isn’t aware of individual horrors that have been committed in the name of the greater good?

“Human well-being” is trading one sky-fairy for another.


#59

I haven’t read all the comments. I am responding directly to the OP.

Part of the answer has to revolve around the idea of natural law – absolutes of morality that should be obvious to a thinking person, without appeal to religion.
What happens, though, is that people are not looking for natural law, but looking for self-interest only.

People should realize that we are always governed by external laws, and even from an atheist point of view, there should and must be absolutes to govern laws and personal morality.

Inscribed on the Justice Department building in Washington DC is a quotation “Laws make us free.”
We need laws to protect the rights of all people.

Specifically, laws are a substitute for well-thought out conscience


#60

Faith is the requirement of morality which include many other virtues like charity, obedience, truthfulness, trustworthiness, righteousness, insight, fairness, rectitude, justice, kindness, compassion, discernment, forbearance, forgiveness, frugality; etc.

Greek virtues do not include Faith, but the Theological virtues of Catholics and Eastern virtues do require faith as the first priority. Atheist can not convince that morality is without God or Faith.

John 1:1 " In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.