Skip to comments.Atheists/Materialists Are Closet Moral Objectivists
Posted on 01/17/2014 6:50:09 AM PST by Heartlander
1. If morality is subjective (by individual or group), as atheists/materialists claim, then what any individual/group ought to do is necessarily relative to that individual/group purpose. IOW, if my purpose is to make a frozen margarita, I ought put ice in the blender. If my purpose is to make fresh peanut butter, I ought not put ice in the blender. The ought-ness of any task can only be discerned by mapping it to the purpose for which the act is committed. Under moral subjectivism, acts in themselves are just brute facts with no objective moral value; they must be mapped to the subjective purpose to determine subjective moral value (oughtness).
2. The question “Is it moral to gratuitously torture children?” implies that whomever does such an act finds it personally gratifying in some way, and we are asking a third party if the act is moral or immoral. The only possible, logically consistent answer a subjective moralist (atheist/materialist) can give is that yes, it is moral, because the moral challenge is tautologically valid in the subjective morality model. If my purpose is to gratify myself, and torturing children gratifies me, there is a 1 to 1 mapping of act to purpose- I ought do so. It is moral by definition for anyone who is gratified by the act to do so for their own gratification.
3. If the moral subjectivist says that the act is immoral “to them”, they are committing a logical error. The acts of others can only be morally evaluated according to that particular person’s subjective purpose, not according to the subjective purposes of anyone else. That is the nature of subjective commodities and relationships. Whether or not it is something a third party “ought” do for their purposes is entirely irrelevant and is treating the third party’s purposes as if they are objectively valid and binding evaluations on the acts of others.
4. Would an atheist/materialist intervene if someone else was gratuitously torturing children? If they had the power to snap their fingers and eliminate this kind of activity from the world, would they do so? I suspect the answer to both would be: yes. Note how self-described moral subjectivists would treat their own personal preferences as if they were objectively valid and binding on others.
5. Only a sociopath can truly act as if morality is subjective. “Moral subjectivism” is a intellectual smokescreen. It is a self-deception or an oughtright lie. Its proponents cannot even act or respond to questions as if moral subjectivism is true. They betray themselves as closet moral objectivists in denial, hiding from the implications of a morality they must live and act as if objective.
If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.
- William J Murray
This philosopher has been laboring under an unexamined assumption, namely that there is such a thing as right and wrong. I now believe there isnt The long and short of it is that I became convinced that atheism implies amorality; and since I am an atheist, I must therefore embrace amorality I experienced my shocking epiphany that religious fundamentalists are correct; without God there is no morality. But they are incorrect, I still believe, about there being a God. Hence, I believe, there is no morality.
Marks then quite boldly and candidly addresses the implications of his newfound beliefs:
Even though words like sinful and evil come naturally to the tongue as say a description of child molesting. They do not describe any actual properties of anything. There are no literal sins in the world because there is no literal God nothing is literally right or wrong because there is no Morality yet we human beings can still discover plenty of completely naturally explainable resources for motivating certain preferences. Thus enough of us are sufficiently averse to the molestation of children and would likely continue to be ( An Amoral Manifesto Part I )
For the last 30 or so years, our public school systems have employed subjective morality to teach children how to think about everything.
The plan was to separate children from their parent's moral bearings and children have been set adrift to fend for themselves morally.
Then we wonder how a kid could go into a school and shoot to kill his classmates.
Public education is creating sociopaths and Bill Ayers crows about their success.
Although I agree with author up to this point, he is not necessarily correct on this point. The moral subjectivist here is not necessarily acting as if his ethic was objectinvly binding on others, rather, he is just imposing his will to achieve his subjective desires. He doesn't necessarily believe this will is "objectively valid and binding on others", he just feels no compunction in forcing others to do as he wishes becasuse that's what HE wants and he sees no reason not to. Objective ethics of "right" and "wrong" don't enter into it at all, just the personal desires of the actor - he's forcing others to act this way not because he thinks it's "right" but becasue it's what he wants. That's all subjective "morality" leaves, personal preference and social convention.
The truth endures and good Lord abides.
Morals are metaphysical. Ideas are metaphysical. Concepts are metaphysical. Words have meanings....& meanings are metaphysical. You can’t touch, taste, smell, see, or hear the meaning of a word or an idea. Basically, “materialism” is the idea that there are no such thing as ideas—which is a logically contradiction, similar as saying “It is true that there is no such thing as truth”. Things have “value”. VALUE also is metaphysical. That’s liberals’ biggest problem and why Al Gore screwed up his Biblical quote about the heart & what it treasures. And why Democrats think that the more valuable something is, the cheaper it should be for consumers to buy, ie trickle-down stupidity.
I understand but this does not necessarily become an either / or situation it can also be a both. IOW the atheist could both think it is right, and do it because that is what he wants.
No, because the whole concept of "right" the way you use it suggests an ethical norm and the initial assumption of a subjectivist leaves this out. Once he incorporates any concept of "rigiht" he is no longer a subjectivist but a hypocrite who assumes an objective ethic but cannot identify any foundation for the same. In that instance he is exactly what the author suggests. Thus, while what the author suggests in paragraph 4 is a possibility it is not the only conclusion, as my alternitive is equally possible.
Yes, 4 gives the atheist the benefit of the doubt that they are not a sociopath as stated in 5.
Paragraph 5 merely reveals that "moral subjectivist" is a contradiction in terms and violates the law of non-contradiction. Morality presupposes an objective standard. Subjectivist excludes such a standard. Both by definition. One cannot be both at the same time. A cannot equal not-A.
Materialism assumes that reality is defined by the empirical, yet there is no basis in logic or reason for such an assumption. This a major contradiction for a worldview which prides itself on its reliance on "reason" as the ultimate arbiter.
If your purpose is to make a Dead Baby Float, what ought you then to put in the blender?
Given two different Earths -
(a) an Earth on which morality was the result of cultural evolution, to the extent that all but two percent of humans had the same general concept of right and wrong, the remaining two percent being clinically sociopathic, and
(b) an Earth on which a God had instilled identical moral laws in all humans, but had also instilled the potential for rejecting those laws, and in which two percent of humans had taken advantage of that potential,
- how would an external observer tell the difference?
The answer to that is the title of an Alice Cooper song on the "Killer" album.
But that wouldn't be morality, rather, it would just be social convention.
Challenge every moral argument they make as being subjective to their point of view or reliant on Christian morals.
The standard of value is the goal
2. The question Is it moral to gratuitously torture children?
Not if the ultimate goal and standard of value is life and life proper to a rational being. Life is the ultimate goal of a rational ethics based on reason and reality.