Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins
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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » What is moral relativism ?

What is moral relativism ?

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1What is moral relativism ?  Empty What is moral relativism ? on Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:08 pm


What Is Moral Relativism?

First, morality has been viewed as a supremely authoritative guide to action, trumping considerations of preference, taste, custom, self-interest, or individual fancy. Moral questions are among the most important we can ask, holding the highest priority in life.

Second, morality includes a prescriptive code of conduct. It doesn't merely describe a state of affairs; it directs how things should be. Moral rules are action guides that carry with them a sense of obligation, defining how people ought to conduct themselves. These injunctions apply not just to actions but to attitudes and motives as well.

Third, morality is universal. Moral rules are not arbitrary and personal but are public, applying equally to all people in relevantly similar situations. If a specific act is wrong for one person, then it is equally wrong for another.

Eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume describes the universal nature of morality this way:

'The notion of morals implies some sentiment common to all mankind which recommends the same object to general approbation and makes every man or most men agree in the same opinion or same discussion concerning it. It also implies some sentiments so universal and comprehensive as to extend to all mankind.

No Real Difference

What's the difference between a relativist and a person who admits she has no morality at all? There seems to be none.
How does a relativist make a moral decision? He decides for himself whatever he thinks is best. How does someone with no morality know how to act? She decides for herself whatever she thinks is best.

What kind of moral champion does relativism produce? What is the best that relativism has to offer? What do we call those who most thoroughly apply the principles of relativism, caring nothing for others' ideas of right or wrong, those who are unmoved by others' notions of ethical standards and instead consistently follow the beat of their own moral drum?

Relativism simply is not a moral point of view. Its 'morality' is no different than having no morality at all,

Those who are relativists do whatever they want, and doing whatever one wants is not morality. Morality is doing what's right, not necessarily what's pleasant.

The moral argument for Gods existence

If you agree, that its wrong in any circumstances to rape, torture and kill little babies for fun,  then you agree that objective moral values exist. Since that is the case,  this takes you to really believe much more than you might think you do. This is a very big thing that you are admitting here. I don't think you realized how big. You are saying that you are confident -- you have a reasonable certainty -- that something exists somewhere in a realm which you can't see, taste, touch, smell or hear. You believe something exists that you can't prove empirically. Think for a moment about a moral absolute. Where did it come from?

 The implications of this fact  you believe that that rule applies to everyone, in other words, it is a moral absolute, then you have just affirmed a belief in something that is immaterial that you don't access by your five senses but you do access with some certainty by some other means. There is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. If a moral absolute exists, it's fair to ask the question, what kind of thing is it? It's not a physical thing. A moral thing is not physical. It doesn't extend into space, it doesn't weigh something, it has no physical qualities or characteristics. It is a non-physical thing that really exists. It's an immaterial thing, something that you know exists but you can't get at with any of your five senses. If it seems that the moral thing exists and has moralforce on our behavior, then it seems to me the most reasonable option is that Someone made that moral thing and so that moral rule is a rule of Somebody's, and it's not just a disembodied principle. When you break the moral rule, you offend the Person Who made the rule itself.

That's true for a lot of people who object to the idea of God because they can't find Him with their senses.   In other words, there are other ways to learn about things than just the five senses.   I think there is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. But in any event, you can be considered rational in believing that such a rule actually exists. Once you do that, it does a lot of work for you.

Well, when you say that a thing like an absolute moral rule exists, you've made an admission that has profound implications for many other beliefs. In other words, a whole bunch of other beliefs are bound up in that statement.

For example, when you say that some absolute moral laws exist, you're saying that immaterial things -- like moral laws which aren't made out of physical stuff -- certainly do exist. Therefore, materialism as a worldview is false. Instead, it is reasonable to believe in things you don't see and can't test with the five senses. Strict empiricism would be false, then. Now this is a big step, because in the case of many atheists one of their frequent  arguments against God is that He hasn't shown Himself to us. But by your own admission, it can be reasonable to believe in something you simply can't see. In other words, there are different ways to "show" things to people, ways that don't involve the senses.

Given that this moral rule is out there somewhere, where did it come from?

You have only a limited number of options.

1.  It could have just come into existence out of nowhere. It could have just "poofed" into existence.
2.  It could have self-created itself. Though if it did then one could ask how is it that an arbitrary thing like a moral rule could have any moral force?  If it is an accident, if it just comes from nowhere, why would it have any moral force on me? And part of our argument is that a moral rule does have moral force. Maybe it assembled itself by accident out of available immaterial stuff floating around in wherever that world is that morals float around in. Of course, if it happened by accident then you'd still have to answer the question, how does an accidental thing have moral force? Or,
3.  it could be that the moral law was made by Someone Who lives in that immaterial realm. Now, those are your options. I don't know how many other options there are, but it seems to me you are stuck with these three.

You see, you do not have the liberty of standing in a neutral place on this issue. You've got to believe something. If you refuse to believe God made moral laws, given that you admit that they are there, then you're opting for one of the other two alternatives. And if you say that they just popped into existence or that they assembled themselves by chance, you have new problems to solve. In other words, I don't think those are tenable alternatives.

My point is to look at what seems to be the obvious existence of moral absolutes and to then look and see where that observation leads us, and it seems to lead us to the existence of a God who makes those moral rules because moral rules are designed kinds of things that don't make themselves, it appears. And it seems that a very good explanation for their existence is that a God with moral character made a set of moral rules that express His character and those rules then become absolutes which are incumbent upon us

Apart from God, there is no ultimate reference point to distinguish between what is human and what is inhuman. There is no ontological human compass - certain actions may be held in contempt by society because those actions jeopardise the safety and flourishing of others, but there is no ultimate anchor in which to place those OPINIONS – no commandments from the Divine to endorse or condemn

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