1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Morality

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by firedragon, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12,866
    Ratings:
    +3,361
    Religion:
    Islam
    Is there a thing called absolute morality? Or is it all subjective? Or do they coexist?

    Is morality a biological outcome. If as Darwin says, natural selection lays the morality, “If men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hivebees, there can hardly be a doubt that our un-married females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering." Thats to justify objective morality with a biological explanation to it, where if morals are contingent on changes in biology and subject to change based on it, which makes objective morality an impossibility.

    If this philosophy is true, and we were brought up under the same conditions as the nurse shark, we accept raping our partner is moral.

    It seems like many atheists seem to hold the position that morality is subjective in this forum. Morality seems to be thought as entirely subjective. Which means based on the biology, social pressure, or some factor, your morality changes and that's justified.

    Did this defiance to objective morality come out of adherence darwinian evolution, debunking the God idea, social moulding or actual weighing of philosophy, research and/or biology? What is the atheists epistemology?

    To be clear, subjectivism is not the general principle of atheists because philosophers have written a lot on objective morality. Yet what is strange is that many atheistic apologists and evangelists seem to reject objective morality with a vengeance. But doing so, some atheists also blame all the violence on religions or/and claim "religions are by nature violent" or at least pick one religion to be immoral. That is objective morality. Which means these people are contradicting themselves without realising it.

    Though the question is what is the atheists epistemology on this, the topic is the ontology of morals or moral ontology. The topic is, the foundation of morality.
     
  2. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    10,094
    Ratings:
    +8,182
    . I’m a theist (roughly speaking) and I reject absolute morality. Our moral values as a society have changed drastically over the years. We did as a society condone raping our partners. How long did it take for the law to recognise spousal rape as a bad thing again?
    We absolutely used to justify domestic violence at the same time proclaiming ourselves a Christian nation (the West in general.)
    We absolutely used to consider slavery a moral issue, one that made the slavers “masters and lords of their domain.”
    We have drastically changed our moral standing and no longer use morality to subjugate other people, be they people of colour or women. Or at least we can no longer get away with that with majority support.
    So tell me again just how moral we are as a species?
     
    • Winner Winner x 4
  3. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    9,516
    Ratings:
    +9,351
    Religion:
    Pluralist Hindu
    That which creates and maximes internal and external well being of all beings of an interconnected society is moral for that society.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  4. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12,866
    Ratings:
    +3,361
    Religion:
    Islam
    But is it moral?
     
  5. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    10,094
    Ratings:
    +8,182
    No but it was justified as such, at one time in our very own society.
    What does that say about us?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12,866
    Ratings:
    +3,361
    Religion:
    Islam
    How ever it was done, norm or right, you say it was not moral right? Thus, what is your moral epistemology? Or, do you say you adhere to a moral ontology?
     
  7. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12,866
    Ratings:
    +3,361
    Religion:
    Islam
    Was hitlers society moral? They fall into that category.
     
  8. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    10,094
    Ratings:
    +8,182
    Oh I’m an idiot I’m afraid, so such terminology flies over my pea brained head.
    I just know that we, as a “moral Christian society” excused spousal rape for literal years, claiming it was not immoral. So why would that be evidence for absolute morality? Clearly we had to correct ourselves over time. I believe in ethics, morality is merely justification for your own sins.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    2,270
    Ratings:
    +1,147
    We have many claims to absolute morality, but I personally don't think that any of them hold up.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Messages:
    6,645
    Ratings:
    +9,881
    Religion:
    Dharmic Dabbler
    Please explain how Nazism "maximizes well being of all in society?" When you murder 6 million people in society, that doesn't exactly maximize their well being.
     
    • Winner Winner x 5
  11. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    2,270
    Ratings:
    +1,147
    That's not actually true. People like Dawkins and Harris - whom I would like to call "Movement Atheists" to distinguish their Secular Humanism from other people with atheist beliefs who do not hold those positions - have written and talked extensively over what they think of as an objective morality informed by (what they believe to be) scientific claims, and many of these Movement Atheists explicitly and in no uncertain terms condemn moral relativism.

    I think you are doing your own inquiry a disservice by fixating on atheism as a consistent ideology or quasi-religion, a monolithic block with a single dogma and consistent set of belief, when nothing could be further from the truth.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    2,270
    Ratings:
    +1,147
  13. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,831
    Ratings:
    +1,639
    Well I kind of feel like this is going to circle back to what initially started this in the other thread. As I already told you I don't support objective morality, so what is the basis you use for suggesting that there is such thing as objective morality? Who is the author of these, I already pointed out some of these things in the last thread, where you told me, that you would attempt to demonstrate objective morality without the use of scriptures, which you still haven't done.

    But my reason for rejecting objective morality, is that I don't see who or what should be the authority of such standards, but rather that morality is something that evolves and changes over time depending on how we as human experience life and share these experience with each other. From these we can arrive at new moral ideas of what we believe to be right or wrong, but are in no way necessarily shared between all of humanity or animals.
     
  14. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    59,981
    Ratings:
    +28,321
    Religion:
    Love
    What makes the most sense to me was expressed by Hazrat Inayat Khan. He uses the word "principles" but to me the word "morality" also applies:

    With regard to principles, the Sufi has none, for sweetness may be beneficial to one and harmful to another. Thus it is with all principles, good and bad, kind and cruel. If we ask a soldier to be merciful during the battle, he will at once be defeated. This shows that everyone has his own principle for each action or situation. One person may believe in a certain principle, while another may hold quite a contrary opinion. What one person may call good another may call bad. One says a certain path is the right one, while another takes the opposite direction.

    The Sufi, instead of becoming centered in his likes and dislikes and limiting himself to a certain faith or belief, reasoning out right and wrong, focuses his view on that of another, and thus sees the reason why he believes and why he does not, why something is right to one and wrong to another. He also understands why that which is called good by some people may be called bad by others, and thus by keeping his point of view under control he arrives at the true height of wisdom.

    Poet Seers » The Sufi Message – By Hazrat Inayat Khan
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    21,312
    Ratings:
    +7,621
    Religion:
    Modern Animist
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Messages:
    776
    Ratings:
    +362
    Religion:
    None
    First of all, we are not nurse sharks or honey bees. The wide assortment of instinctual behaviors we human beings are pre-wired with are unique to us. Individual instincts may be similar to other species, but when you combine them all together, our base behavioral instructions are different from sharks, and sharks different from bees, and bees different from squirrels, etc.

    When looking at human behavior, we are the result of both nature and nurture. We have this wide set of instincts that vary in strength of expression from individual to individual, and we also have socialization and learned behaviors that mold our behavior to our particular group.

    One of the ways human beings have adapted to live in larger and larger groups, groups bigger than the family or small family groups or tribe, is by agreeing in some manner what the parameters of normative behavior are to be. It is these rules that have been intertwined with our religious myths that give us Morals.

    There is no external universal moral standard or code. One simply has to look to Anthropology to see how certain values can shift and change, based on size of group, the knowledge base of the group or society, what other groups (if any) are in competition with the subject group. All this and more help to inform the rules any one society develops to allow its members to function together in a group.

    The rules we live by are derived from human beings, evolving and increasing in complexity as our societies have increased in complexity. It is this simple.

    I find your characterization of Atheist in religious terms quite amusing. You seem to be making emotional arguments as opposed to reasoned arguments. :)

    A non-religious approach to Morals and Ethics is a superior one. It leaves society untethered from a more primitive state and historical time. It gives us the freedom to continually refine and improve the rules we use to regulate the behavior of individuals and the group as a whole, and to see that we should break from our instinctual small group mentality and see all of humanity as one group, one society, one humanity.
     
    #16 MikeF, Jun 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
    • Like Like x 7
  17. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    8,730
    Ratings:
    +5,361
    Religion:
    Skeptical
    It works this way ─ part of our morality is evolved and part of our morality is acquired.

    Our evolved moral tendencies suit us as gregarious primates, whose most powerful social tool is cooperation, and they are ─
    child nurture and protection
    dislike of the one who harms
    like of fairness and reciprocity
    respect for authority
    loyalty to the group
    a sense of self-worth through self-denial.

    We've also evolved to have a conscience and a capacity for empathy.

    The rest of our morality comes from our upbringing, culture, education and experience. This covers our social relationships, how to encounter people who are of your family, relatives, neighbors, strangers; people with authority, teacher, doctor, police officer, boss; the same and the opposite sex; people of higher or lower social status, &c. And the observance of life occasions such as coming of age, marriage, birth, death; sportsmanship; and so on. These can vary at different times of the one life, of course.
    I don't claim to speak for unbelievers generally. i simply report as above.

    Morality is always relative. "Good" is what benefits or pleases me and mine and causes I support, and "bad" is what is detrimental to those. If I were a smart dolphin, one way I could greatly benefit myself, my family and my species would be to wipe out humankind, an ultimate pest control.
    Can you please give me an example of an objectively true, hence absolute, moral rule? I've never seen one.
    That isn't my own view. It's true that I condemn the morality of groups such as QAnon, and the secrecy of the Exclusive Brethren, and the colossal failure of the churches to address child sexual abuse; but those are all under the heading "Dislike of the one who harms", I'd say (as I listed above as an evolved moral tendency of humans).
    Is it? What's objective about the morality involved?
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    20,657
    Ratings:
    +24,676
    Religion:
    Non-theist
    Well, we are social great apes, not nursing sharks, spiders, or honey bees. So our morality is going to correspond to some extent to our biology.

    Being social, we need to have rules for our societies: that is what morality provides. One of the jobs of morality is to say how we should interact with others with the goal of having a stable society over time that people are happy to be in.

    We have a sense of fairness, which we share with other primates. Partly for that reason, I prefer Rawls take on things: imagine you are designing a society. You will be a member of that society, but you won't know which role you will play. How do you design a society so that you would be OK no matter what role you play?

    Most people would not choose to live in a society where killing others arbitrarily is allowed. So 'murder' becomes immoral, as does genocide.

    So, I do think that being social great apes limits the possible rules for our societies: most people simply would not be happy in a society built like those of honey bees: our biology isn't fit for that system.

    To that extent, I think that there is an objective component to morality.

    BUT, I do NOT believe there is only one system that is able to be stable and provide for happiness in its members. Some rules are simply arbitrary, even if necessary to choose (which side of the road to drive on is an example, probably poor). Some rules only work in the context of many other rules.

    In that sense, I do not believe morality is completely objective. Large swaths are arbitrary.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Winner Winner x 2
  19. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Messages:
    3,132
    Ratings:
    +822
    Religion:
    Agnostic with a Theistic bent, toward some form of Dualism
    So in a recent lex fridman podcast with daniel schmachtenberger, he talks about how society has optimized itself toward comfort technology, as contrasting with, and departing from, the optimization of happiness, since the industrial revolution. This a key for me, because I think I now have a better understanding of perhaps the hunter-gatherer lifestyle argument, (look up interviews with the Hadza, for example) and why that argument still can be set into a cutting edge philosophical competition with the modern western argument. It has something to with the fact that comfort technology probably does not fit human physiology, or stimulate it. Like when I go to work, I suffer to fix the presses as a mechanic, and go home to the soft bed or sofa. The hunter gatherer, has a "sofa" in his "suffering," because his/her physiology enjoys the stress it experiences, while the human body works. It's the 'right' kind of privation. And that 'right of kind privation' is apparently more of a foundation for happiness than the sofa

    And arguably, I'd posit that you have to be more compelled, as an individual, to pursue the goals of modern society than you are in the hunter gatherer mode. Everything you see and perceive in our world, is property. Individual utility can quickly get abstract and blurry, but you can't get laid off in a hunter gatherer society, and 'meaning' might be so innate that you don't seek it at any point. You are minimally compelled to behave and serve, because resources aren't perceived as being scarce and finite, even if they are moreso
     
    #19 ideogenous_mover, Jun 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
    • Like Like x 4
  20. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Curious Kitty

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,423
    Ratings:
    +2,413
    Religion:
    Nontheist
    I have an interest in this topic but won’t have serious time to be concise until Monday. Just posting so my icon appears in the list so I can come back to it.
     
Loading...