There is no good (or bad) without an absolute reference point (God).

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TheCitizenAct
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There is a crisis at the heart of political discourse. This crisis manifests daily on TSR and often results in righteous indignation at seemingly obvious moral standards - there's no such thing, objectively speaking - being undermined in the name of identity or progressive politics.

The crisis underpins every political issue of the day and is unlike any western civilisation has ever experienced.

Unfortunately, atheism provides none of the answers - if morality is just a human convention, then what incentive is there to act morally when it conflicts with our self-interest (and everything we do is orientated around fulfilling our own self-interest)?

How do we find answers to the moral questions of our time when everyone shares an alternate conceptualisation of what is right or wrong, or good or bad? How can we determine an objective morality in a world incapable of viewing morality objectively, our outside the confines of their own narrowly defined self-interest?

In the absence of religion, people derive self-righteousness or moral superiority not from being moral, but by being, or doing, what they deem to be moral.

The outcome of our lacking moral fibre is the proliferation of what the average person may deem the worst prejudices, the worst moralities, being deemed 'principled', or morally or socially acceptable (often by those who trade in tolerance, compassion and righteousness). The outcome is the prioritisation of the imagined group ('equality for women'), the identity, or the bias, ahead of the principle ('equality').

Racism ('white men should never hold elected position in British Universities again', by the Independent), misogyny (Labour Party events segregated along gender lines to appeal to Muslim voters), homophobia (we import homophobia on a systemic scale - whether it exists already is neither here nor there, we are importing more of it), rape (Rotherham) and even murder (need I bother?) can be justified if the context is correct, the motive is clear and moral accountability, or moral duty, is deemed nothing more than an afterthought.

To take even the first example ('white men should never hold elected position in British universities again'), it has frequently been disregarded as 'not causing noticeable harm', 'trolling' and 'you can't be racist towards white people.' The principle (racism is wrong) has been disregarded in its entirety as it conflicts with narrowly defined self-interest.

So, my question to you: can we ever be moral without a God? Who, or what, is the arbiter? Can civilisation endure without objective morality?

n.b. I haven't even touched upon rights, however I would deem all 'human rights' extend from what many philosophers deem a universal right: people should be an end in and of themselves, not a means to an end.

*Before the simpletons with a misplaced certainty in their own intellectual superiority plague this thread - yes, if you feel 'offended' this means I'm referring to you - with self-righteous proclamations or accusations of blasphemy, take note: I'm not religious (take note: this doesn't mean I'm an atheist).

**Take note: morality is not determined by what you feel. Objectively speaking, there is no right or wrong, or good or bad - in the absence of an absolute morality there's always an exception.

***'Take note: 'Rape is wrong' is not moral, objectively speaking - as was evidenced by public officials in Rotherham covering it up. Human beings will always be able to justify their actions, and often they'll be able to frame their actions as moral ('we're protecting our Islamic community', 'white men do bad things too!', or just through blatant omission of the crime from the narrative), even when, or if, an average person would deem it anything but.
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sleepysnooze
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(Original post by TheCitizenAct)
There is a crisis at the heart of political discourse. This crisis manifests daily on TSR and often results in righteous indignation at seemingly obvious moral standards - there's no such thing, objectively speaking - being undermined in the name of identity or progressive politics.

The crisis underpins every political issue of the day and is unlike any western civilisation has ever experienced.

Unfortunately, atheism provides none of the answers - if morality is just a human convention, then what incentive is there to act morally when it conflicts with our self-interest (and everything we do is orientated around fulfilling our own self-interest)?

How do we find answers to the moral questions of our time when everyone shares an alternate conceptualisation of what is right or wrong, or good or bad? How can we determine an objective morality in a world incapable of viewing morality objectively, our outside the confines of their own narrowly defined self-interest?

In the absence of religion, people derive self-righteousness or moral superiority not from being moral, but by being, or doing, what they deem to be moral.

The outcome of our lacking moral fibre is the proliferation of what the average person may deem the worst prejudices, the worst moralities, being deemed 'principled', or morally or socially acceptable (often by those who trade in tolerance, compassion and righteousness). The outcome is the prioritisation of the imagined group ('equality for women', the identity, or the bias, ahead of the principle ('equality'.

Racism ('white men should never hold elected position in British Universities again', by the Independent), misogyny (Labour Party events segregated along gender lines to appeal to Muslim voters), homophobia (we import homophobia on a systemic scale - whether it exists already is neither here nor there, we are importing more of it), rape (Rotherham) and even murder (need I bother?) can be justified if the context is correct, the motive is clear and moral accountability, or moral duty, is deemed nothing more than an afterthought.

To take even the first example ('white men should never hold elected position in British universities again', it has frequently been disregarded as 'not causing noticeable harm', 'trolling' and 'you can't be racist towards white people.' The principle (racism is wrong) has been disregarded in its entirety as it conflicts with narrowly defined self-interest.

So, my question to you: can we ever be moral without a God? Who, or what, is the arbiter? Can civilisation endure without objective morality?

n.b. I haven't even touched upon rights, however I would deem all 'human rights' extend from what many philosophers deem a universal right: people should be an end in and of themselves, not a means to an end.

*Before the simpletons with a misplaced certainty in their own intellectual superiority plague this thread - yes, if you feel 'offended' this means I'm referring to you - with self-righteous proclamations or accusations of blasphemy, take note: I'm not religious (take note: this doesn't mean I'm an atheist).

**Take note: morality is not determined by what you feel. Objectively speaking, there is no right or wrong, or good or bad - in the absence of an absolute morality there's always an exception.

***'Take note: 'Rape is wrong' is not moral, objectively speaking - as was evidenced by public officials in Rotherham covering it up. Human beings will always be able to justify their actions, and often they'll be able to frame their actions as moral ('we're protecting our Islamic community', 'white men do bad things too!', or just through blatant omission of the crime from the narrative), even when, or if, an average person would deem it anything but.
god = unproven therefore, not even an absolute reference point
also, where would this god get *his* morality from in a manner which differs from any given human being?
if it can be determined via his logical thoughts, then surely it is explainable because logic is a language humans understand

here are my own reference points for morality:
"happiness is good, but forcing people to do what I want is bad because we are equal in our value/worth"
"so I should get happiness through my own isolated efforts, or co-operation with others"

why do I think happiness is good? because it is the closest abstract feeling that I have to the concept of "good" that isn't merely conceptual like "equality", "fairness", etc
why do I think imposing my will on others is bad? because it isn't logically universal behaviour (as I don't want others forcing their will upon me) whereas everybody living for happiness *is*.
^there you go. a moral system, logically formulated, without needing a made-up god to provide a meaningless and pretend explanation.
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viddy9
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(Original post by TheCitizenAct)
So, my question to you: can we ever be moral without a God? Who, or what, is the arbiter? Can civilisation endure without objective morality?
This is a fairly popular question in moral philosophy, and has been discussed on these forums before.

Firstly, God doesn't result in the existence of objective moral values. As far as I'm concerned, Socrates demonstrated this in the Euthyphro Dilemma: is something wrong because God says it is wrong, or because God knows it is wrong? If the former is true, then morality is arbitrary - if God decided that torture was suddenly right, then it would be right. If the latter is true, then things must be moral independent of whether God says they are moral, in which case we can arrive at these moral truths independently of God.

Secondly, we can derive an objective moral system from reason. My derivation is fairly similar to sleepysnooze's, except I don't strive for happiness, but rather preference-satisfaction. Being happy is itself a preference, so I view preferences as more fundamental than happiness.

(Original post by sleepysnooze)
"happiness is good, but forcing people to do what I want is bad because we are equal in our value/worth"
"so I should get happiness through my own isolated efforts, or co-operation with others"
why do I think happiness is good? because it is the closest abstract feeling that I have to the concept of "good" that isn't merely conceptual like "equality", "fairness", etc
why do I think imposing my will on others is bad? because it isn't logically universal behaviour (as I don't want others forcing their will upon me) whereas everybody living for happiness *is*.
So, my reasoning is essentially the above, but with some slight tweaks:

Every sentient being aims to minimise its own suffering and maximise the satisfaction of its interests. However, there is no logical justification for anyone to assign more importance to their suffering, or their interests, than to anyone else's: their suffering is no less real when they experience it than when you do. Thus, if we are to aim to minimise our suffering, and maximise the satisfaction of our interests – which it is impossible not to – it logically follows that we are obligated to do the same for others. Hence, we come to an objective moral system, in the form of utilitarianism; specifically, preference utilitarianism. This moral system is also universal, given that there is not a sentient being out there which does not try to maximise the satisfaction of its interests, and minimise its suffering.

(Original post by sleepysnooze)
why do I think imposing my will on others is bad? .
To me, your moral system looks as if it disallows harmful actions being inflicted upon others, but stops short of saying that allowing harmful things to happen to others is wrong. Is this correct and, if so, would you not agree, though, that it's also morally wrong to, say, allow a child to drown in a lake when you could have saved him/her? Also, if, as you say, happiness is good, should you not be maximising happiness for all beings that are able to experience positive conscious experiences because, as you say, we are all equal in value/worth?
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username1921011
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morality is fundamentally self interested. "do not kill" exists because people don't themselves want to be killed and extrapolate this out via empathy to be a good general value. Most statements of morality are libertarian in they advocate freedom until you take someone else's freedom away and this is an entirely self interested view.

EDIT - As it was better phrased by a person smarter than myself, only introspection and expecting the worst can form a fundamental picture of what is best
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paul514
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I wouldn't be in favour of micro chipping people that's crazy!

I would be in favour of compulsory ID cards and withdrawing cash from the monetary system.

The ID card can make it impossible for illegal migrants to work, by not being able to pay someone for work without the card with new banking regulations.

You also wouldn't be able to open accounts for banking or any utilities without it either.

Withdrawing cash saves money, makes it far easier to track illegal activities and people.

Lastly it will bring in loads of tax revenues as you won't be able to accept cash payments.


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1420787
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I would suggests that I judge my own morality and that of others around me. I determine this by what I feel is right.
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