If there is no God there is no objective morality, the Naturalist has to accept objectively they have no more or less value than the worm in the ground. The problem however throughout history however is that man in EVERY civilization recognizes that he does have value and that they are above all the animals of the earth in their value and that their intellect is wired to some transcendence whether it be Theism, Deism or polytheism . Atheism just don’t satisfy the soul because it puts the souls into error. The fact that man is wired towards objective moral values which in turn points to a transcendent creator makes absolute sense if we were created in the first place. If man could be satisfied solely by the material then it would give weight that all he is, is a material being yet mans happiness comes from the spiritual. I sympathize much with atheists who are unable to make this connection, as for most people throughout all of history including most of us who alive today this understanding of things is pretty natural
You’re gonna have to prove that one to me. There have been a lot of civilizations that put a pretty low value on human life. For some odd reason, our own comes to mind, could it be…oh…abortion.
True but such civilizations don’t last long, it always becomes their downfall. They rise because of their virtue and fall because of their vice and they had enough common sense in the end to understand to some extent the difference between the two, the secularist does not. I don’t need to prove to you that mans happiness is satisfied when he accepts the true value of his being compared to a man who does not. Surely you recognize this?
A good counter-clip is the following. A very good overview by a secular moral philosopher:
The question of this thread is whether morality is possible without God. It seems you assume that God exists and now have raised a second question: whether we can know his commandments. It also seems that you have indicated that we cannot know them, therefore one belief system is as good as any other. Do I understand your position correctly?
Any “morality” is possible without a faith in the Christian God. Here are a few examples of a “morality” that is possible without faith in the “existence of God”.
Sodom and Gommora
Pagan Roman Empire
Totalitarian government’s (that suppress and enslave peoples)
It is the Morality of the Christian God that civilized the human moral examples listed above.
An Atheist today has the freedom and liberty to practice a morality which they consider “good” at the expense of Christian believing Christians. An Atheist morality alone in a Islamic Moral society would not and could not survive.
Gott Mit Uns
In the beginning, there was Cain who practiced his own morality and killed his own brother Abel who practiced his morality in the service of God.
Why did Cain kill his brother Abel? and where is justice? The answer of Justice becomes relevant in the history of man and the covenant’s from the first Adam to the second Adam.
In the second Adam revealed in Jesus Christ, human history finds itself in a new and everlasting divine covenant. When the second Adam suffers and dies for all those past, present and future generations who sinned and suffered in justices. It is this new and everlasting Covenant in Jesus Christ which civilizes the evil and chaos in human history.
God the creator gives life and takes life. We will be surprised to find many in heaven, whom God has justified.
The opinion of ignorance exchanges a lie for a truth. Both the Jew who rejected God’s revelation and the Nazi who claimed to be a god suffered at their own judgement upon themselves.
Praise be Jesus Christ who resurrected from the dead and revealed in space and time that God indeed Lives and acts in human history.
I believe in God, because you who read this live today.
Some more biblical virtues:
GODLINESS [ Mt 6:33, 1 Ti 4:8 ]
Faith [ Mt 17:20, Ac 20:21, Heb 11:1 ], Hope [ Ro 15:13, Tit 1:1-2 ]
Thankfulness [ Eph 5:19-20 ]
LOVE [ Mt 22:37-40 ]
Compassion [ Col 3:12 ]
Generosity [ Ps 37:25-26, 2 Co 9:6 ]
Forgiveness [ Lk 6:37 ]
Peace [ Ro 12:18 ]
HOLINESS [ 2 Co 7:1 ]
Self-Control [ 1 Pe 1:13 ] Justice [ Mt 23:23 ] and Mercy [ Jas 2:12-13 ]
HUMILITY [ 1 Pe 5:5 ]
INTEGRITY [ 1 Ch 29:17, Pr 11:3, Tit 2:7-8 ]
Truthfulness [ Eph 4:25 ], Sincerity [ 1 Pe 1:22 ]
PERSEVERANCE [ Heb 12:1 ]
Endurance, patience [ Col 1:10-12 ]
COURAGE [ 1 Co 16:13, Heb 3:6 ]
INSIGHT [ Pr 4:7, Jas 1:5 ]
Knowledge [ Php 1:9-11
Understanding [ Pr 4:7 ]
God does not require many virtues.
I don’t speak for all religions and you probably don’t speak for all secular societies.
Racism is a form of hate period. It does not take a Psychology course for one to identify racism.
In my Catholic Christian faith, it is a mortal sin to have hate in your heart against a fellow brother (Man).
Do I fail at times at loving my neighbor as myself, or as God has divinely revealed for me to love my enemies? yes, but in recognizing my fault’s at times, God gives me the grace and forgiveness from God’s sacramental ministry of reconciliation. Which has much more to offer in my life than a Psychologist.
In secular societies racism is found in many forms from the selected individual morality that is practiced in selfishness and being closed to strangers in need. A secular morality rejects God’s gift of Love and Grace to all of humanity. From this secular morality who rejects God’s Love, begins the path of racism against another in different forms.
No. It isn’t. Original sin broke everything. And, we are incapable of good without God. (the root of the word “good” is God…it is kind of like, a hint.)
I am late to the discussion, but I would like to try to explain it to you.
Early on in the thread you posted:
“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.”
This line of thinking, it seems to me, is actually falling out of favor with many skeptics, but it was certainly common for a long time. It does however, make little sense if one looks at the empirical evidence. When you look across all of the human cultures, what is amazing is that not that there is so much difference in the moral norms, but that there are so much in common. If we look at vices: lying, stealing, killing, we find that all societies to some extent try to suppress them all through their moral norms. Indeed, skip past the first three ten commandments, and all of them are covered by almost every society. Even if we look at the 6th commandment, it is easy to say that there are cultures that are more “libertine” than orthodox Christianity, but to some extent every moral code attempts to regulate in some form marriage and sexual activity. Likewise, if we look at the virtures: prudence, courage, temperance, etc , in some form those are exalted in almost every human society. The commonalities of both accepted vices and virtues far outweigh the differences.
So to blindly say there is not a universal moral code is really to deny the evidence we see all around us.
But yes, you do find a lot of civilizations who put a low value on human life. First of all, it is always valued to some extent in all, murder is always prohibited to some extent by the laws and norms). So that low value of human life, can more easily be explained by equating to differences in other categories of morality. There are differences across societies, but the commonalities obviously outweigh the differences and the differences are in the details. How to explain this: the most logical is the fallen nature of man and due to that, societies become corrupted. But a common starting point seems quite obvious. Much more obvious than varied starting points and the different societies converged to such a level of commonality.
Yes, all moral systems seem to depend on the existence of empathy.
Yes they do, but my thesis is much more specific than that. Mine is that all moral systems have some level of respect for human property, have some level of respect for elders, have some level of regulation of sex and marriage, have some level of value placed on human life, have some level of respect for honesty, and all of them place a value on the virtues of courage, prudence, justice, temperance, etc.
The amount in common suggests there is a universal moral code, in my mind it almost proves the existence of such a code, of course we as Catholics would call it “natural law”.
Indeed, the existence of such a law, which seems obvious to me, is the best proof we have that God exists.
Yes, one can imagine the evolutionary advantage the development of such empathetic behaviours would give the human race.
But speaking of evidence all around us, can we find evidence in nature that undermines this idea of a universal moral code? I would argue that indeed we can.
A great many social animals seem to adhere to a moral code. Although unwritten, they seem to accept it none-the-less. They don’t kill members of their own group for example, and when they do they are quite often ostracized or punished for it. They seem to understand the concepts of sharing, and fair play, and empathy. Social groups often cooperate in the rearing and protecting of the young for example. Some even bond for life. Is this because they too have an innate sense of this universal moral code? If so, then why do some animals seem to lack this sense of a universal moral code? If they don’t have a sense of this moral code, then why do they act as if they do?
Either animals have an innate sense of a universal moral code, or they don’t. If they do, then why do some animals seem to lack it? If they don’t, then it would seem that there’s no need of a universal moral code for social animals to behave socially.
Rather, it would seem that humans simply have a sense of the same moral code that many social animals have. It’s just that we humans have the capacity to ask why. And the tendency to see things that aren’t there.
Which precisely illustrates my statement that most skeptical have abandoned the claim oo universal moral code. Now, the whole code is imagined as a product of evolution. I am not a denier of evolution, I find the modern “scientific” tendency to explain all things via evolution rather unconvincing.
You don’t think God could have chosen this way to instil a moral code in humanity?
Its a possibility. I certainly think God likely chose evolution as a means of creating humanity. But there is evidence of that. But creating natural law via evolution is just a possibility that we can imagine, I don’t see the evidence.