Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Basis of Morality

It's a subject that's been gone over many times, but I think Steven Novella put up a good post.

I especially like the part where he points out something that I should have realized myself: Non-theistic morality is inherently more objective than divine command theory. Why?

First, moral philosophy is a transparent process where anyone can find out why some things are considered good or evil. There are first principles and rules that are derived from those principles. By having everyone asking questions about the process, you tend to reduce individual biases.

Second, because of all the conflicts between religions and even priests within a religion. There are countless interpretations of holy books. Even if there were some magic man giving out an objective morality, what would the basis of those decisions be? Divine command theory just strikes me as a morality without any basis whatsoever. As far as I'm concerned, it's objectively random morality before you add any subjective interpretation by humans.


Anonymous said...



MWchase said...

Huh. Mabus's ctrl-v finger seems to be worn out.

Michael Bains said...

Is it not Amazing how wonderful reason is? I'll still maintain, as a point of reference essentially, that morality is a fundamental force of our Universe. Positive. Negative. Neutral. Interpretations of which is which depend upon cause and effect types of observations.

And THAT's why religious monkeys so fear acknowledging the relativity of morality. A single "cause" will generally elicit multiple effects. The effect which works to our (their) greatest benefit is Always the "Good" one. :)

B-Dog! You're still doing this? Awesome, hombre! Glad to see you're writing very well. In both style and substance, sir. Very cool!

Bronze Dog said...

It's been a while, but yeah, I'm still at it, even if at a reduced pace.

I do have "Blog Something!" listed on my PDA's schedule today, so I'll try to get something else up.

Dark Jaguar said...

"Morality" as a fundamental force? Not sure I agree... If it was true, I'd probably try to rig up some sort of way to convert walking old people across the street into a renewable energy source.

Really though, thinking of ideas as "energy" or "vibrations" is the sort of thing I shy away from. It's information more than anything, all created in the construct of human beings being around to come up with them. That's enough for me though. The basis of my morality is whatever it is I think I have a right to, I've got no logical argument saying someone else doesn't have the right to it.