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← Do we need objective morals?

ThoughtfulTheist's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by ThoughtfulTheist

Let me first say that I appreciate how this article has pointed out a flawed reasoning that I think many uneducated theists make. That is that humanity needs scriptures or revelations from gods in order to understand and know objective morals. This is simply not the case and is not something most well-reasoned (if you don't mind me using that word) theists would argue for. It is clear that what makes objective morals so "objective" is that they can be and are known universaly in humanity despite belief system. That's the great thing about them, that they can be known without reading Scriptures and can be discovered by all, which I believe we can rightly demonstrate has happened in human history.

That being said, I think this article misses the point behined the moral argument for God. The argument is not so much that we cannot come to know objective morals without God, but rather that the existence of objective moral values points to the existence of a God. As far as I can tell this article didn't try to make a case that objective morals didn't exist, but rather rightly discredited the claim that we need holy books to know these morals.

The real question then becomes how did these objective morals come to be? At least if we start with that question it leads in the right direction in understanding the moral argument. From there we can look at the evolutionary evidence for their existence, which I'm not opposed to at all, and strive through science to understand there existence. Though I'm fully a proponent of evolutionary biology, I personally think that its difficult to arrive at an explaination for pure objective values by mere appeal to evolution. I think our capacity to have morals and be moral is certainly a product of evolution, I just think its too reductionistic to explain objective morals in this way

Though I'm throughly a theist I'd recommend a great called Moral Minds by Marc D. Hauser. In it Hauser explores this question of why humanity seems to share basic moral principles and attempts to explain it in a purely naturalistic way.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 01:41:56 UTC | #950012