Saturday, July 29, 2017

SOCIETAL THRIVING AND MORAL OBJECTIVISM





Can a society thrive for long without an objective basis for moral law? Not according to historians Will and Ariel Durant:

  • There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion. (The Lessons of History, 1968)

Why is this so? Because without a higher absolute moral Standard, moral relativism is the only alternative. As such, morality is humanly created and always evolving. Who then will take it seriously, and who will eagerly submit to it?

However, religions differ greatly. If their moral teachings contrast with the teachings that God has written upon our conscience - the laws of love - they cannot contribute to the well-being of society.

For instance, while many Eastern religions emphasize compassion, they might also deny that the objects of compassion are real by rejecting dualism in favor of monism (one reality). Meanwhile, other religions limit compassion to those of their own tribe.

4 comments:

  1. Religion isn't a requirement for objective morality, as you seem to imply with your first paragraph.

    There's plenty of non-theistic objective moral systems in the literature.

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    1. If it is non-theistic, then there is no basis for an objective standard. Instead, everyone has an equally authoritative set of values with no higher standard to mediate among them.

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  2. "As such, morality is humanly created and always evolving. Who then will take it seriously, and who will eagerly submit to it?"

    In practice, morality IS always evolving. It wasn't long ago that it was morally acceptable to own another human being. It wasn't long ago that women were treated as property. And in the face of these changes, we still tend to accept those changes.

    While this doesn't disprove objective morality, it does indicate, to me at least, that in practice we seem to deal quite well with the changing moral landscape that you seem to think would lead to chaos.

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    Replies
    1. While there are aspects of our moral judgments that are relative and changing, other aspects are unchanging - like it is wrong to torture babies.

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