There is good and evil, right and wrong. KLH may object, as do many materialists.
God gave us a conscience to help guide us. It is one of the main things that make us human, that separates us from animals.
Every object in the universe, tangible or intangible, is recognized by its opposite. There would be no reason to call something itself unless the opposite of that thing existed. For example, joy is distinguished by sorrow, knowledge by ignorance, appearance by reality, and so on. Similarly, good or right are distinguished by evil or wrong. No matter how much anyone condemns evil, it will always exist, as long as good exists.
Here is an intricate concept. We all know it to be true that good is where our conscience leads us, it always will. Good can be found everywhere, in every part of the world. Sometimes, the situation is somewhat complicated and things seem to appear in the grey area. In some situations, lesser bad may need to be done for the greater good, which will be the "right" thing to do for the moment - otherwise, if we follow literal meanings of morality, doing lesser good at a moment may uproot greater bad eventually, which will ironically be "wrong".
Now, this is a very delicate subject and must be scrutinized with open heart and mind. All I want to say is, the final judgment is case-sensitive and some things cannot just be perceived with binary intention.
Thank you for sharing this.
..."We all know it to be true that good is where our conscience leads us, it always will."...
How do you account for that?
Generally speaking, the natural conscience is ingrained with the knowledge of good. Of course, it is not always easy to access the conscience, in some people, it becomes so twisted that it molds their complete thought patterns.
Otherwise, how do you assume the collective wisdom of people agree whether some "practice" or "action" is good or bad? Think of an extremely horrible action from someone. What made you evaluate that it was horrible?
I think people are naturally inclined toward love, and love leads to the good of things. However, the world is complex, and so are people. We can twist our own thoughts and make ourselves into believing bizarre things.
"Generally speaking, the natural conscience is ingrained with the knowledge of good." If that were true we would find morals pretty similar through time and area. We don't, and that's because what the conscience finds good or bad comes from the moral code, not the other way around. Just as you say, we can and do twist things into believe the truly bizarre...to us; others find OUR beliefs and codes "bizarre" and "wrong".
You have it backwards. There wouldn't even be a sense of right and wrong if there wasn't moral objectivity. That we even have a conscience proves this.
So how do you explain the in what’s considered to be moral over time? The difference of morality between cultures?
I could be wrong but I believe LTR is suggesting some underlying objective morality that is the source of conscience itself. Some objective moral pattern or matrix that exists outside a humans subjective use of conscience and morality. Maybe LTR can clarify.
Happy New Year btw. How was your Christmas? Coal?
Christmas was wonderful, my father survived.
Oh, I was being silly and teasing Aime. Sorry, for the misunderstanding. I am sorry to hear, or sounds like you had to go through some close family emergency around Christmas. Christmas is stressful enough, for me anyways, to also have very serious situations, to deal with. I hope you and your Father are doing well. Happy New Years to you and your family, too.
Happy new year to you as well!
Christmas was okay... not as much coal as I wanted but what can you do? Guess I’ll have to be even snarkier this year.
People choose to go against their conscience.
Which people? How do you know whose version of morality is the objectively right one?
I think I am getting your point. "...what the conscience finds good or bad comes from the moral code, not the other way around." If we are really evaluating everything around us based on the established moral code, knowingly or unknowingly, that would just raise more questions. Who established the moral code? How did they establish it if their own conscience followed a prior moral code, and who established that?
There must be a First Cause. The source of everything that enters into this world, good or evil, is one. The First Cause is divine/natural. The glimpse of this First Cause is ingrained in human beings; let's say it the Natural Conscience. All one can do is try to perceive it. How else can we explain the infinite innocence of children, what moral code is a newborn sent with?
People may develop different perspectives of good and bad with time, but love is found everywhere and at every age. There must be a naturally ingrained inclination in human beings. How people use/twist/abuse their conscience is another matter.
And sometimes we get fed up with the good wrong people do to us, thinking its bad.
That is a statement of your subjective belief -- unless you are the only perfect omniscient human being and the rest of human diversity is error.
I mean, we all think our beliefs are correct or we wouldn't have them, but claims of their universal and objective truth are veiled attempts to force others to follow them-- and we don't have the right to do that.
A more productive approach to to find widely agreed 'good' things, such as that suffering is bad, and people should be able to pursue their own goals-- and society should try to make those two things happen without overly trampling each other.
That is why I mentioned conscience, which we all possess.
I am not sure how that helps with trying to assert your beliefs are objective truth. But as a matter of inconvenient detail, not all people have conscience, and some animals do -- if you operationalize it as empathy and guilt (or pretty much anything objectively observable).
If morality is subjective, why is it that someone does not have the right to do that? Not saying that they do, but if morality is subjective then calling that good or bad is subjective as well.
If morality was objective it would be the same over time and all over the world. It is far from both, pretty much proving that morality is dependent on the people of the time and area. Subjective, in other words.
People choose evil over good all the time. Doesn't make it subjective at all.
And they also claim that what YOU call evil is actually good. Sometimes even good as ordained by God.
Which totally makes it subjective...unless you're claiming that only you know what is good and what is evil - that anyone that disagrees with you is wrong. Which once more makes it subjective, if it all has to come from one person.
Only God knows. We as humans can sort of figure it out.
If so, morals would not vary so widely. We wouldn't have people killing little girls for going to school. We wouldn't have people hating gays. We wouldn't have had slavery. The killing fields of China would not have existed. The Inquisition would never have happened, and neither would child abuse.
But they did and do. All done in God's name...because people define what God wants according to what they want. Because people everywhere define their own morals and they don't often match with what others define. The only (nearly) universal moral is the Golden Rule, and that is so often twisted and spun until whatever the person wants to do is "moral".
It's called being subjective.
If God has decided what’s moral then it’s not objective. It would be dependent on God’s subjectivity.
Morality is determined through God, but not determined by some process of random selection, but rather by the very standard of His character, His nature. God's character determining God's will. God’s holy and loving essence governing what He commands from His creation. Thus the values of morality are not based primarily upon what God has said, but upon who He is.
As humans created in this God's image, morality is part of our heritage. We have been purposely ingrained with a sensibility toward right and wrong; a conscience that finds its innate objectivity in Gods architecture of us. It is part of us. We are morally aware due to design; not evolution, not biological advantage; not even religion. Design.
God did not decide what was moral. He is perfect, so he would have perfect morals based on an objective standard, not something that he comes up with out of nowhere.
Then what does God have to do with morality at all? If it’s some other objective standard then that reduces God to nothing more than a messenger. And which God are we assuming displays perfect objective morals? How do you know that God represents the objective standard and not some other one?
It does not mean God is the messenger. It means that he himself is the message.
I am referring to the God of the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha, what you call the Bible.
Gee whiz, Wilderness, another area in which we agree. Lordy Mercy! But I don't see how anyone versed in history can disagree that morality is subjective. I've always said that sin, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Take dancing, for instance. How can anyone possibly say that beautiful ballerina is creating sin? Especially when some religions use dance as an instrument of worship.
How can anyone say that having a drink of alcohol is sinful when the Lord Jesus turned water into wine and probably consumed a couple of cups at that same wedding? Oh, how we love to judge.
Objective morality does not mean everyone would agree on the same thing just like everyone does not agree on everything else that is objective. Facts can be denied. And we have the choice to say something is wrong even if it is right.
That sounds like being subjective to me.
No, it just means some people have the wrong idea about it. If someone comes up with a scientific theory you would not call that subjective. You would test it to see if it is correct. Morality is the exact same way.
How do you test morality? A poll of earth's residents with the majority being right regardless of what others, or past people, believed?
You take every detail into context. What is happening? What will be the result? Who is involved? Why are they doing this? It is not always as simple as saying x is always right and y is always wrong. There are some things that I believe to be completely wrong such as murder or rape, but we have to look at things logically and see what the result would be in order to determine if it is good or bad.
Never heard it put that way, but good job. You're right. A free society is constantly evaluating morals and determining if they are good for the whole. Morality has evolved over the years in our society; in an attempt to ensure the ultimate goal is continuously fine tuned to be more inclusive of greater numbers of individuals. Thus the constant conflict. We have to prove, through action, how adjustments are 'good' or 'bad' within the framework we define as morally good. If a proposed change proves not universally beneficial then it eventually falls to the wayside. If, through implementation it proves 'good' in the minds of the majority it gets more time for thought and may eventually gain a permanent foothold.
So, the framework you start with is subjective but the implementation and evolution becomes objective.
KLH here. Yes. Morality is objective. It is based on the laws of nature. Morality is not based on the passing fancies and whims of the human mind. It is based on the reality and truth of existence.
What is basis of existence?
Is it something that randomly unfolded with the procession of
Rather, it is something that unfolded with the carefully-guided procession of evolution.
There has to be some very complex inherited genetic polygenic master program to explain blue eyes and a conscience, I want to believe.
Is it moral to wear low-cut revealing dresses, etc., as so many movie stars did in the Golden Globes tonight?
Especially in light of the # Me Too movement?
Define 'Good' and 'Evil' regardless of time and circumstance;Until then the terms are simply to nebulous for discussion .
"too nebulous for discussion." I disagree. We have to know What "Good" refers to. We have to define Why something is "Evil." Why it should not be done.
The concept of Good vs Evil is good for adults to discuss, but not children.
What are the benefits of morals as set forth by religion?
I would say they are good for self and others.
They are laws of decent behavior. We can't just act without reason for restraint.
We can act, and set good examples, as we wish children would for their own sake, individually, and for the sake of society as a whole.
The Ten Commandments are good. But following them does not make one good. It makes one wise.
It is good to be wise.
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