Sunday, January 28, 2018

Who's to say?

Actually this depends on your view of moral values. Some people think that moral values are objectively valid, that is, they hold regardless of what people say. Thus, if everyone in society says that people over 65 should be killed, it is still wrong objectively to kill them. Some people believe this because of a belief in God’s commandments. Others just think, like atheist philosopher Erik Wielenberg, that moral statements are just objectively true even without God. Others think that morals are determined by individuals or cultures. What that means is if a culture decides, for example, that it is obligatory for young girls to get female genital mutilation, then it is true for that culture, and no one has the right to say that is wrong. Though,, that’s not quite accurate, since if morals are relative to culture, and your culture says you should condemn and be intolerant of other cultures, then you should be intolerant of other cultures.

We could also ask, who is the state to tell a murderer that he has done the wrong thing?

3 comments:

Crude said...

I'll never get the "cultural" argument. That particular angle just seems like nihilism for nihilists who are afraid of their neighbors.

You may be able to make some pragmatic calls owing to culture and one's individual relation to it, but you're not going to ground much of anything in it.

Anonymous said...

Well, it isn’t even an argument, is it? It denies anything that qualifies as actual morality, and tries to distract you with some tedious story about some kind of replacement for morality. We just mean something objective when we use the word “moral” in this sense — if you don’t accept objective morality, then you are talking about something else from the start. And of course, you can locate (Aristotelianesque) morality in objective nature, but by a parallel to, or special case of, the argument from reason, it ends up needing to be grounded in a Creator.

Joe Hinman said...

I can understand the idea that morality is subjective and it's only cultural. I know what that means that has a currency from my generation, I can't understand a coherent concept for moral realism. What is objective about anything with no God in the world?

peacemaking of that here are premises 4-7 of y TS God argumemt