|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 2,481,999 members, 5,619,305 topics. Date: Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 02:35 PM
|Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 8:38pm On Sep 23, 2018|
I discovered that atheists are divided on whether morality is objective or subjective. I would like we atheists to discuss this. Is morality objective or subjective? Why?
NB: Christians are not allowed to participate in this discussion. It is meant for only atheists.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by sKeetz(m): 2:06am On Sep 24, 2018|
You guys never get tired of the same arguments. This section is now a shadow of itself cause there's nothing new to discuss.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 2:17am On Sep 24, 2018|
I could make a very basic breakdown on the nature of human morality for everyone
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 12:01pm On Sep 24, 2018|
johnydon22:please do I am waiting.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by festwiz(m): 12:26pm On Sep 24, 2018|
This has been talked about before.
I think the question was put forward by johnydon22.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 12:44pm On Sep 24, 2018|
festwiz:can you share the link on this thread?
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by festwiz(m): 3:51pm On Sep 24, 2018|
Martinez19:I'll look for it.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 4:46pm On Sep 26, 2018|
As promised, let me try and summarize human morality and its nature.
Your classification highlights, subjective and objective nature of things or ideas and while this is correct, there is a third option and this is intersubjectivity.
Subjectivity means something is a matter of individual belief
Objective means something is independent of belief
but Intersubjectivity means something is a matter of a large collection of individual beliefs.
Human morality as a concept is a social tool just like many other human ideas out there.
Humans are the only species on this planet that can effectively hold a large society and manage them.
I know you may bring up animals such as Ants, or bees, termites and some others; that will be a very valid question so i will address that. An ant, bee or termite is part of a social structure that is an inherent genetical implication, the social behaviors of these animals is a result of genetic codes in their gene, they simply have no choice, they are genetically wired (as an evolutionary mechanism) to be like this, the actions of these animals are rather intuitive reactions to impulses. Queens, soldiers, workers all carry out an inherent role or action as dictated by their genetical protocol, so their societies are not entirely societies in the sense of the human society.
A small puppy in America understands the rules of fall, chase, bite, fall and chase in dog plays simply because these are genetic, wolves mapping out territories or the scavenger nature of Hyenas.
Humans on the other hands are the dominant species in this planet, they straight out own the planet and almost certainly every other animal continues to exist out of the benevolence of humans (Don't argue, humans have the capacity of wiping out any specie they want, so many species has already fallen to this)
Most dominating species that once walked this planet like mammoths, sabertooth lions and other large animals or vegetation seems to have been thrown into extinction once humans are introduced into that given locality, even other human species like the Neanderthals also fell for this extinction basket.
Biologically neaderthals are stronger, bulkier and even more resistant to harsh weather than homo sapiens (us). Humans also lack the brute strength of elephants or lions or tigers, the thick furs or the large dentition or claws, so how so did humans become the most dominant species in this world.
simple; they were capable of controlling large amount individuals in a given society. Naturally, humans are not programmed like ants with an inherent societal dependency, we constructed the fabrics that held our social structure ourselves and this structure is called Social mythology.
Social mythologies include: Religious beliefs, nations, associations, laws, government, organizations, money, value, cooperations and, you guessed right Morality
Two humans who never met each other can automatically become friendly with each other when they share something in common. A christian can easily work with other christians he never knew, a man from Nigeria in a foreign country will easily become friendly with another man from Nigeria he never knew before, this is because they share similar myths.
Social myths are not subjective, it doesn't take the belief of one person to validate, it takes the belief of many people to be effective. If you stopped believing in money today, it doesn't change the value of money or affect the society in any way but if 99% of the people in the world stops believing in money or its value, money automatically becomes useless.
We obey laws because its a myth most of us agree with.
We call ourselves Nigerians because we believe in the myth of Nigeria or nations.
If the whole world stops believing in nations, automatically it disappears, social structures are social myths are thrive on the back of intersubjective beliefs.
Human morality like every other concept above is an intersubjective belief, a social myth that is only relevant because we believe in it. There is no inherent moral codec that comes prescribed with the universe, we created this myths and our belief in them keeps them active.
So, for the human society to work, there is need for shared belief, morality is one of these myths that holds the fabrics of the intricacies of human social interactions together.
it is not objective because that would imply that it is independent of belief neither is it subjective, one person out of 100million not believing in the constitution doesn't really matter.
it is rather intersubjective.
5 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 5:28pm On Sep 26, 2018|
I'm not done yet.
The essence of social myths is not just in the belief but in the sense that it has an apparent direct effect on our lives. You are Nigerian. Nigeria is not entirely an idea that came by default to the universe but this same myth of Nigeria affects you in every way, it affects your travels, your education and every other aspect of your social life, practically who you are is dependent on this myth Nigeria. But realistically, Nigeria does not really exist, it is an idea that exists only in the collective minds of everyone.
Today, some people in Eastern part of Nigeria wants Biafra, imagine if Nigeria is divided today and East becomes Biafra. What exactly changed that made east not to be Nigeria and become Biafra?
it is not like the topography suddenly changes, it is not like a physical or even social difference is observed, nothing really changes, the only thing that changes is that everyone stops believing that part is Nigeria but Biafra.
See the power of social myth?
Again using Nigeria as a case study, So many people from the East today no longer believe in Nigeria, they'd rather believe in Biafra but does this change anything? Does this imply they are no longer treated just like Nigerians? does this mean their identity is still not sorely dependent on Nigeria?
Because, intersubjectively, Nigeria is still there.
Few people not believing in Nigeria (subjectivity) does not really mean anything, it takes the collective belief of most to effect such change.
That you as an individual does not believe in good or bad doesn't really matter, most others do therefore the myth is still alive and your life is quantified and effected in every way as a consequence of this belief.
I may subjectively believe that killing isn't bad but once i kill, i will be arrested and condemned because the society believes otherwise and my subjective belief do not trump the intersubjective belief of everyone else.
If everyone on this earth stops believing in one thing, it goes away. Where is the Persian Empire, where is the roman empire, Akkad? There no longer exist even though the lands that once bore these names are still there.
so, human morality as a social tool is not dependent on what i think or what you think or what Seun thinks, it is dependent on what everyone within that locality think and this intersubjective belief is consequential to the lives of everyone whether you subjectively believe it or not.
4 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 5:35pm On Sep 26, 2018|
johnydon22:Nice write up. But what about empathy? Doesn't empathy play a role in how we choose to treat others?
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Seun(m): 5:45pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Martinez19:Can you describe what it means for morality to be objective or subjective? I feel that a clear and generally accepted definition of subjective and objective morality will quickly clear up our apparent disagreement.
johnydon22’s intersubjectivity idea is awesome, but I would use the word “collective” to describe it. But first let’s define the terms so we can be sure that we are talking about the same things.
3 Likes 5 Shares
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by BurningBlade: 5:55pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Martinez19:it's subjective. Pure and simple. No two ways about it.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 5:56pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Seun:When people say morality is subjective, they mean that an action or deed is moral if an individual deems it so ie. what is moral depends on what an individual deems moral and what's moral for one can be immoral for another.
When people say morality is objective, they mean that what is moral is not dependent on an individual's perspective. Saying morality is objective means what is good is good regardless of how people choose to see it.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 6:08pm On Sep 26, 2018|
BurningBlade:@ Seun and Burningblade what are your thoughts
Saying morality is subjective because moral norms have changed from time to time is like saying that truth is subjective because popular beliefs haved changed from time to time. The variation in moral perspective among different races is due to religious and cultural upbringings (both of which are usually combined in many races). Cultural norms and religion are man made that's why it must be taught but many people confuse a race's cultural norms/upbringing and religion with their innate morality. When people think homosexuality is wrong, where do you think got that idea from? When people claim premarital sex is wrong, where do you think they got that from?
Take away religious and cultural upbringings, people will, together, agree on what's moral. Reasoning and empathy govern morality and given that religion is different from place to place and it influences reasoning, hence the different views on morality.
Basically, I am simply saying that as long as the empathic and compassionate aspect of morality is concerned, morality is objective but the reasoning aspect tends to vary due to external influences like religion and culture. As example is the issue of virginity. I believe that if we subtract culture and religious programming from people, they will agree more on what's moral and even more after reasoning together.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by BurningBlade: 6:16pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Martinez19. I'll explain my point later. My hands are full at the moment.
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 6:17pm On Sep 26, 2018|
BurningBlade:Okay, I will be waiting.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 6:56pm On Sep 26, 2018|
BurningBlade:It really is not that simplistic. It's neither purely subjective nor objective
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 7:55pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Empathy is the act of putting yourself in the shoes of others.
Empathy may influence your actions like other factors do but to whether this action (empathic or not) is bad or good is dependent on the social myth in effect.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by budaatum: 10:52pm On Sep 26, 2018|
Johnydon22 was thorough in this regard.
2 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by tintingz(m): 11:24pm On Sep 26, 2018|
johnydon22:So what about a Muslim man from Saudi Arabia supporting gay right?
Is his morality influenced by social myth or his empathy?
And secondly, India just legalized homosexuals relationship, is it that the previous social myth(criminalizing gays) was good and suddenly it became bad, what could influence this changes/adjustment?
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Originakalokalo(m): 11:59pm On Sep 26, 2018|
When you dissociate yourself from the power that holds the universe in place and sets the physical laws
and due to feigned ignorance, you shut the door to your conscience even though you benefit from the air unseen, and eat from the endless supply of food from the ground,
You have pulled yourself apart. molecule by molecule until your existence becomes a mirage.
You are just a shadow. You have limited your existence only to what you feel, see and touch.
Yet the air, unseen, is so important to you that you can't survive without it in 3 minutes.
Just as the air is not seen and yet essential for your existence..
so is he essential in your wholeness.
Your soul, therefore becomes empty...because you have denied the source of your existence; The God Almighty.
No wonder you feel empty and confused.
A denial of him is a denial of the spiritual realm since He is the father and God of all spirits...
If there is a spiritual realm, someone governs it and holds it together...
Just as he holds the universe together with the laws he puts in place
What have you done to yourself?
You have put yourself in danger.. You contend with the source of your existence...
When you close your eyes in death. You will be transformed by his law into the spiritual.
As spirit, your understanding of things shall be full, complete and impartial.
..and then you will be banished from his presence forever...This in itself is worst than the punishment of hell..
..A complete separation from such a wonderful glory of the Ancient of days. Who lives in Majesty.
THEN YOU WILL WISH YOU NEVER EXISTED FOR SUCH AN ERROR.
The fact that you don't believe something does not make it false.
What if you are wrong as an atheist ?
What happens ?
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by tintingz(m): 8:50am On Sep 27, 2018|
Originakalokalo:Richard Dawkins answered the bolded perfectly in just 1mins.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Originakalokalo(m): 9:10am On Sep 27, 2018|
Richard's answer is not a safe haven for you and his response will not save you. He will be very busy on the day of reckoning...
You are responsible for your believe.
Your soul is on the line here and It's all man for himself.
Repent and be converted.
You have heard. You don't have an excuse.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by Martinez19(m): 9:58am On Sep 27, 2018|
tintingz:According to me, morality is govern by reason and empathy/compassion. Morality varies because of the influence of religious and cultural upbringings. Since religion and culture upbringings are different from place to place and they influence reason, morality will vary from place to place. Religious and cultural norms have to be taught because they are not innate but compassion cannot be taught because it's innate.
Take away religious and cultural upbringings, people will agree on what's moral on many more issues. The recent legalisation of homosexuality and homosexual marriage; abolishment of slavery despite what the holy books say etc. are due to "upgrade" in reasoning. Normally parents would take care of their children but JW parents would cut ties with their children if they(children) reject JW doctrines to the extent that they wouldn't want to see their grandchildren (not even on their birthdays) and these parents don't see anything wrong in that. Why is this? Because their reasoning are influenced by jehovah witness' doctrine. Take that jw brainwashing away and see them act like compassionate parents.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by tintingz(m): 10:09am On Sep 27, 2018|
Originakalokalo:Do you believe Allah will throw you inside hell?
Lets not divert the thread topic.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by tintingz(m): 10:22am On Sep 27, 2018|
Martinez19:You have a valid points.
I believe morality is influenced by many factors, Religion, culture, myths, empathy etc.
Society determines what's good and bad but to some extent.
Humans are now evolving in intellects just like you said, so also our empathy which is now playing a role in morality.
So I agree with you.
I also believe objective morality is also playing a role.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 10:55am On Sep 27, 2018|
Social myths work as a belief, a muslim man immediately converting to Christianity does not undermine the influence of Islam.
The new shift in social narrative of accepted behaviors around the world is a pointer the evolution of social myths.
1000 years back it was perfectly legal and moral to own a slave, today, that social myth has changed, most people now believe it is neither legal nor moral. See?
the more and more people that believe a social myth, the more effective it becomes because morality as well as every other social myth works as an intersubjective variable.
1000 thousand years back, would it be moral to suggest in India that a man should marry another?
these things are only possible now due to an apparent evolution in our social myth beliefs.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 11:05am On Sep 27, 2018|
This is not the premise of this thread, so i'd rather not address it. Go open your own thread on this premise and it may be considered.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by tintingz(m): 11:12am On Sep 27, 2018|
johnydon22:I'm not disputing the role of social myth beliefs.
By evolution you mean something innate?
I believe slavery was legal and moral in the past due to ignorance and lack of interaction with other race, tribe, the more slaves stay long with thier masters the more they started developing empathy, the more experience and knowledge they get the more morality changes, but that doesn't stop some group from sticking to ancient practice which is the social myth beliefs.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by johnydon22(m): 11:22am On Sep 27, 2018|
tintingz:Nope. ideological shift.
No. it is not ignorance. The Hammurabi code, probably the oldest moral codec written begins with a declaration of divine right to the King to lead the people fairly and justly.
He spelled out the classes of people; Elites, common people and slaves. This hierarchy comes with its weight on the civil treatment of individuals and the limits of their rights or the weight of their worth.
Slavery was legal and moral in the past because everyone believed in that myth. it is illegal and immoral now because everyone believes it is now.
The morality of the past is no less superior to the morality of today because if you argue that slavery in the past is wrong you are only using a benchmark of the present and if you argue that slavery intoto is wrong you are making an objective argument, i am sorry but there is no universal or natural inclination that supports your argument. Nature doesn't come with a prescription of good or bad.
Human rights is a modern social myth influenced by Christian philosophy (by proxy)
When we say "equality" what exactly do we mean? Naturally, there is no such thing.
These are concepts we derived to apply a form of brake to our social interactions and the belief in these similar myths holds the fabrics of human society together.
You could start by asking What makes owning another human wrong?
At the end you will realize that right or wrong is just a matter of collective belief (intersubjective)
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by budaatum: 11:23am On Sep 27, 2018|
Martinez19:Or a retrograde! Homosexuality is not new in India.
The British Raj criminalised anal sex and MouthAction (for both heterosexuals and homosexuals) under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which entered into force in 1861. This made it an offence for a person to voluntarily have "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." Wik
Also see LGBT themes in Hindu Epics
So it seems morality is taught so that reasoning can upgrade. That's what religion and the Law is designed to do, to teach and guide people into the desired morality by those who have upgraded already, the teachers and guides.
|Re: Discussion For Nairaland Atheists Only. by budaatum: 11:35am On Sep 27, 2018|
Consider the following:
The change in morality is an evolution due to the change in reasoning ability, which occurs because of an increase in consciousness.
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2020 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 285