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Morality without god

Updated on October 10, 2011

Subjective or Objective

I did the unthinkable recently and I sent a message to Eric Hovind. I did little more than rant at him about being intellectually dishonest. For that I apologize to Eric. While I didn't directly call him stupid, after looking back at my initial contact with him, it is basically what I accomplished. That is not my way, and it bugs me when other atheists take that route, but that's another topic.

Eventually our conversation evolved (nice right!) into morality. He made his standard claim that it is objective and that without the god of the bible we could not have morality. He went on to add that people could do whatever they wanted if we all got to choose our own morality. While I agree with him that diverse morality can cause chaos I did not agree that morality is governed by one source. In the end he didn't agree of course and i deleted my facebook account before we really concluded the conversation. With the intro over, let me tell you a little about morality.

Who keeps these Penguins moral?

Morality without question is subjective. Each as individuals we create our own morality based on the experiences in our lives. This can come from several different areas; society, family, friends, TV and yes even religion. This is not an end all list but you get the idea. We decide what we feel is morally right and what is morally wrong. If you need some evidence for this idea just look at your morality and that of your parents, or your siblings. Growing up in exactly the same environment and yet you have different stances on issues of morality. The standard retort goes something like this "is it always wrong to rape and murder a young girl". The answer is yes, according to my morality. In this instance I would take it a step further and say 99% of the world would agree it is morally wrong. But what of that 1% who think its OK or who go about committing an act like this? I argue that if someone feels it is morally right, well then for them it is morally OK and that is that. Their morality is their morality. Does that make it OK? No, and in a civil society we have laws and laws protect what is good for the collective and the individuals (like the young girl) within the society.

This is the moment when atheists and the religious make what I feel is a very bad mistake. The confuse law with morality. Morality is what we as individuals use to guide our judgement when it comes to right or wrong. Law, as I stated, is simply what governs the good of the collective. The two are not connected and need to be separated when making your judgements about the issue. I asked Eric to not use rape but something else and suggested abortion. Is abortion moral or immoral? The two of us were split on the topic and I pointed out to him that it is perfectly legal. This example was to first, illustrate the separation of morality and law and second, to show that morality cannot be objective when people have such vast views on what is moral and what is immoral. I then gave an example of stealing for desire vs. stealing food or letting your family starve and he basically dodged that example as well.

The town getting ready for an ol' fashioned stoning!
The town getting ready for an ol' fashioned stoning!

The final nail in the han... errr coffin

So with all of this being said, I am certain that I have accomplished nothing. Those who think morality is subjective and can exist without god will continue to do so and those who think otherwise will go on the same. Let me add this final thought however, in a last ditch effort to convince people Im right! Deuteronomy 21:18-21 loosely states, we should stone our disobedient children. If you as a follower of the god of the bible do not do this OR at least feel it is morally OK to do so, then even you have subjective morality. You claim it is objective with the center of your morality being god and his word, yet you subjectively pick and choose what is moral and immoral.

I am just getting into this debate online and hope I can contribute something to it. Follow my on twitter "jocylean" if you would like. I'm always throwing out little bits of information and thought and have debate with christian thinkers and atheist thinkers as well. I also have a YouTube account "idiotofthedayaward" I do not have any videos up yet but they are coming VERY soon. Please comment and let me know what you think or if you just want to give me some typical online insult im good with that too. Whatever makes you feel better at the end of the day. My next blog will be about absolute truth and whether or not it exists and that will come either Thursday or Friday.


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    • jocylean profile image

      jocylean 6 years ago from Southern Tier, NY

      @ Paul Nope never heard of her, ill check out your podcast. I actually have a skype account but im not really sure how to use it. Im not completely computer dumb, but im close! Im getting the hang of things slowly but surely.

    • profile image

      Paul Baird 6 years ago

      Have you ever spoken to Rosemary Lyndall-Wemm ? She's on Skype and knows lots about the naturalistic explanations for human morality.

      We did a podcast with her - it's at

    • profile image

      Maggie 6 years ago

      Well said