I agree it’s possible for athiests to live moral lives. However athiesm in itself gives no reason for why some “proclivities” within human beings are better than others.
For example, kindness and charity is something human beings are capable of and is considered morally good. In the same manner, things like murder, rape, pedophilia etc also originate from “internal proclivities”. If you are one of those people who choose to do explain everything with evolutionary “just so” stories, then all proclivities, whether good or bad have an evolutionary reason d’etre.
So rape is as good as taking care of orphans and if it leads to an improvement in reproductive fitness, then rape is better than taking care of orphans.
The problem is not that athiests cannot live moral lives, but that they have no reason to classify something as good and another thing as bad other than their personal subjective preferences. The way I see it, in the athiest scenario, a serial killer’s actions can be as “morally” good in his own perspective as an athiest version of mother Teresa’s action.
Athiesm inherently strip “goodness” and “evil” of any meaning other than what is given it in subjective terms. This is why something like abortion can be considered “good” and an excercise of someone’s rights by some people and viewed as murder by others.
You are aware of the HUGE literature on non-theistic (non-theistic in the sense that they don’t depend on God for their existence. They are compatible with Theism) moral realist positions right? Some prominent Christian scholars even hold to some of them.
I have written that’s its possible for such positions to exist. What i was pointing out was that there is no objective reason for any one position to superior to another.
For example, i could make an empirical case that patriarchal societies are more fit in evolutionary terms as evidenced by the better fertility rates as compared to more egalitarian societies.
Someone could counter this claim by pointing out that freedom leads to higher levels of happiness in populations.
There is no objective way to say which way of reasoning is intrinsically good in itself. This is left to subjective perception. (And usually whoever has more power imposes their sense of morality on the other party, pointing to a moral law that says “might is right”).
The existence of God provides a source for a moral standard outside human subjective opinions.
And I’m telling you there are tons of positions where objective moral facts exist and they aren’t grounded by God. Most of them have absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary theory. And let’s not pretend that Christian metaethics doesn’t have serious problems. DCT AND M-DCT have problems I don’t think can be resolved. That’s what why taking a position like that held by Swinburne is the most fruitful for the Christian.
How can “moral facts” exist? What makes it a fact?
I can easily say the same thing about theists. Or is it written in stone that you have to believe in a certain god with a particular moral code?
no one “has” to believe anything.
However, God as the un-created one who is the source of all things is also the source of what is right and wrong. This makes morality embedded in reality (of Gods nature) as opposed to subjective human perceptions.
Thus making an objective moral code possible.
Good place to start:
State it in your own words.
It doesn’t really matter if it really exists in this analysis. What’s forcing anyone to believe it exists?
It matters when one makes decisions in real life. If the only thing that matters is subjective criteria, then personal success, that of ones community etc holds a lot of importance.
Nothing is good in itself except apart from the subjective view of “reality” an individual holds to. In such cases, every instance where a moral code is enforced (such as when laws are used to incarcerate people for crimes) is an instance when the justifying factor for teh action is the personal power of the enforcing agency.
So, a person being arrested for theft is not about right and wrong. Its about a agroup of people agreeing on their subjective perception of morality and having the power to enforce it.
This makes a lot of difference imo.
How is that different than subjectively deciding to believe in a certain religion and applying its moral code?
In that the existence of God brings a particular moral code into reality. God exists, and thus the moral code exists in Him.
This makes morality something to be “discovered” as opposed to something that is decided by a consensus of the powerful.
Imo that makes a difference.
Or we can just believe that we should maintain a moral code, by applying the moral wisdom we have received from our family, society, etc., considering moral issues ourselves and in conjunction with others, and constantly working to do better. I don’t see where this “consensus of the powerful” is coming from.
From the fact that your family, community etc might think differently from mine.
In such a scenario, whose moral code gets maintained? The answer is that, the moral code of those with more political/Social power gets maintained.
You can see this struggle in most modern societies over the last few decades. This manifests in large scale political and legal battles with both sides entrenched in their views.
I am talking about what’s happening in your and my backyards in a “post truth” world. “Constantly working together to do better” becomes impossible because of radically different paradigms on some issues.
And your god might think differently than mine.
Doesnt make a difference. If God exists, the first moral imperative becomes to know him and move ahead from there.
People will always have varying opinions on morality. However, if there is no God, then there is no hope of there being objective truths on moral issues which we could discover together.
There is no real direction for humanity to progress together on moral issues. There will be change in moral issues and positions, but none of these changes can be categorized as progression or regression as we are not going anywhere with morality in the first place.
Hence, No God, No real Moral standards.
It’s not apparent to everyone that gods exist or incumbent upon anyone to believe in them.
That’s your opinion. However, i was explaining why theists connect God with objective moral standards.
The fact that human beings are convinced of their own existence as conscious beings and have a tendency to view things in a moral framework all point to God Imo.