Atheist Rebuttal to: “There is No Morality Without God” Argument

Image result for image of morality

Conservative Christian:  If Morality is subjective then there is no real basis for Right and Wrong.

Herald Newman, author of Truth Seeking Atheist blog :  Sure there is. Pleasure and pain are a fine basis for morality. We are a social species that depends on other humans for our survival. If I go around and start inflicting unnecessary pain on others, those others are very likely to stop working with me, which means that I’m very likely to not survive. The basis for right and wrong comes from our biology.

 

Conservative Christian:  [If atheists are correct] Morality instead is just based on people’s opinion, and since people’s opinion can often times be arbitrary, that ends up being a problem.

Herald:  Is it just your opinion that having your skin burned hurts? Is it just your opinion that getting punched in the face hurts? Is it just your opinion that having a loved one die sucks? These are all subjective experiences that are not at all arbitrary. Morality does not become arbitrary simply because it is subjective.

 

Conservative Christian:  If Morality is subjective, then who decides what is right and wrong?

Herald:  We do. We decide what is right and wrong, because our shared evolutionary heritage means that we all share the same kinds of experiences of pleasure and pain. Punching someone in the face is going to inflict pain on that person, and this is not arbitrary, and never will be for the reason that we can make an objective analysis of how harmful our actions are. Once we agree that we want to minimize pain, and maximize pleasure, we can make objective analysis of any action in a given context.

 

 

 

End of post.

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14 thoughts on “Atheist Rebuttal to: “There is No Morality Without God” Argument

  1. Yes, once we decide on our goal, then we can make an objective analysis as to whether any particular action, or a rule, serves to get us to that goal. The only subjective part is figuring out what the goals should be.. And since we’re all human, and that’s the only basis we have to work from to set those goals, human societies tend to come out with similar goals and similar sets of rules to get us there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Once we agree that we want to minimize pain, and maximize pleasure, we can make objective analysis of any action in a given context.”

    Dang, I thought Utilitarianism had gone out the door a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Utilitarianism: the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority; the doctrine that an action is right insofar as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.

      I would say that we should follow the principle of utilitarianism with one caveat: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      Whoever said that was a very smart man! 🙂

      In other words, to be moral, the majority must carefully and with empathy consider the rights and feelings of the minority.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Answer: To avoid pain and suffering; to increase your chances for pleasure.

          If I am nice to you, my neighbor, you are more likely to be nice to me. Thousands of years of human conflict have taught us this important lesson.

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          1. OK, so, if I’m really nice to you, well then, I’ll increase my chances that you’ll be nice to me.

            What do I need you to be nice to me for? Absolutely NONE of my own pleasure has any dependency whatsoever on what you do. In fact, if you treat me badly, you can figure I’ll likely kick your butt, and enjoy doing it. Interfere with me and/or my pleasure, and you’ll have a price to pay. But, don’t think for a minute that I have any need of you in order to have a pleasurable existence.

            What I’m doing, of course, is to play “devil’s advocate” here. And, your reason – your answer to my “why” question (“why on earth would I bother with the ‘do unto others’ thing”)- is not at all any particular motivation for me. I don’t need to be “nice” to anybody, and I don’t need them to be “nice” to me, as long as they understand that if they cross me in any way, their pleasure is going to turn to pain real fast.

            So, I’m just saying I’m not seeing much of a motivation in your answer.

            I figure, if history has taught us anything, it’s that this is a “dog eat dog” world, and “nice guys” are suckers… (says the Devil’s Advocate)

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            1. I don’t need to be “nice” to anybody, and I don’t need them to be “nice” to me, as long as they understand that if they cross me in any way, their pleasure is going to turn to pain real fast.

              After this little tirade, your “herd” decides to eliminate you for your belligerent, selfish, threatening behavior either by banning you from the herd or killing you. However, those members of the herd which follow the “Golden Rule” thrive, prosper, and pass on their DNA!

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              1. “And then your “herd” eliminates you for your belligerent, selfish behavior either by banning your from the herd or killing you”

                Ah, yes, all those “let’s all be nice to everybody who thinks like us” people. They’ll kill you for thinking differently.

                Sounds a lot like the average Liberal Democrat. Tolerant of everybody who thinks like they do. 🙂

                Funny thing, though, if everybody agreed “you don’t have to be nice to me, I don’t have to be nice to you, and you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on me – and vice-versa” — that, too, is a “morality”.

                BUT – here’s the deal: If I am of the mentality I described in my previous post, then what the heck do I care about the “herd”? What if I think the greatest immorality would be to live according to “group think”?

                If all there is to this “be nice” morality is “be nice, because if you’re not, we’ll drag you out and crucify you”, then, I don’t see it as “morality”. I see it as nothing but social control. And, in fact, I see it as exactly no different at all than the paradigm I suggested – except – my paradigm doesn’t require the pretense of “being nice”..

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                  1. Yeh, but, my ONLY POINT is that a “morality” – when it’s just a “group decision” – can be anything.

                    The guy you quote in your original post, who’s touting the old Utilitarianism stuff, thinks that pain and pleasure amount to some type of “objective standard”, and, in one sense, they do.

                    But, I’ve just shown you that if a society were to agree that the “principle” is that I can have whatever pleasure I want, and if you interfere, I’ll cause you pain”, then being “nice”, and “treating others as you’d like to be treated” is just something entirely optional.

                    Thing is, all of this is rubbish. The world is, and always has been full of societies that have sought out some type of “morality”, and there’s never, ever going to be any kind of consensus on exactly what that is, nor any agreement on it. There’s always some Hitler or some Stalin that’s just waiting to rise up and take advantage of the “sheep”…. And, they’ll say that they are the one’s who are truly “moral” while doing it.

                    Most everybody out there is “moral” in their own eyes….

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                    1. I do not disagree. Morality, as well as beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. But most mammalian herds, including human herds (societies), do not allow unfettered individual morality. Herds demand group morality, and group morality is usually based on what is best for the survival of the herd. That is why despotic dictators are eventually overthrown. They were only looking out for themselves. The majority got tired of it and threw him or her out.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Yeh, but, my ONLY POINT is that a “morality” – when it’s just a “group decision” – can be anything.

                      Not really. There are constraints, imposed by our biology, that puts restrictions on what we will see as “moral.”

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