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SphericalSphere June 9th, 2018 11:13pm

Is objective morality possible without god?

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commonsense America isnt racist
06/10/18 7:24 am

Yes. Anything is possible without god.
Morality came before the Bible was even conceived.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
06/10/18 7:17 am

Not with one, since the notion of god(s) is itself in no way objective or universal.

benseth 11,780 votes
06/10/18 6:34 am

I believe objective morality = objective truth = God. I think of it being the same thing really. Or maybe part of God. But no, I don’t believe it exists without God.

06/09/18 8:42 pm

God/religion is by definition faith, and thus not objective. The better question is can you have objective morality WITH God. But then, your entire question begs the bigger more difficult question. What is morality. what is objective and what is objective morality. Thought provoking question though ( tip of my hat to you).

WeightlessWings District of Columbia
06/09/18 7:09 pm

There's no such thing as objective morality, even within the same religions

TheMadScientist the mad laboratory
06/09/18 6:21 pm

Honestly, it’s more accessible than with God.

06/09/18 6:17 pm

No, not without a personal, absolute moral authority, which is a role only God can fill.

Rob Be Safe Be Smart
06/09/18 6:23 pm

Are you saying I’m incapable of being moral without someone telling me what is and is not moral?

06/09/18 7:00 pm

No, not at all. I’m saying their can’t be objective morality without a personal judge who has absolute moral authority.

Rob Be Safe Be Smart
06/09/18 7:18 pm

Ah, ok. I see what yer saying. Objective being the operative word there, but still, who’s to say that the personal judge’s sense of morality is objective?

06/09/18 7:52 pm

Oh yes, that is the key, isn’t it? Does God exist, and if God does exist, how does He derive His moral authority? Those are big theological questions, for sure.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:08 pm

Good: That which is conducive to the survival, security, and well-being of humans and human social groups.
Evil: That which is antithetical to the survival, security, and well-being of humans and human social groups.

No god involved there. Survival, security, and well-being are all objective and measurable. So pray tell, how is morality anything but objective under this framework?

06/11/18 12:09 pm

Talren, I don’t see how you can objectively judge ALL issues of morality under the values your mentioned: survival, security, and well being.

Think about Avengers Infinity War. Thanos watched his people die because they weren’t willing to randomly kill half the population, so he decided to kill half the population of the universe to save the remaining planets from the same fate.

He used your moral framework to justify an incredibly immoral act.

06/11/18 12:10 pm

immoral act.

Both the Nazis and Communists murdered millions, believing that they would provide the world with more security and well being, and we know full well that what they did was truly evil.

Rob Be Safe Be Smart
06/11/18 1:33 pm

I think the more important point here not to miss is that even Thanos would think Hitler was evil.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 2:08 pm

“He used your moral framework to justify an incredibly immoral act.”

He used my moral framework? He killed half the universe. That means half the universe didn’t survive, half the universe had their security fail them, and the other half of the universe had to grieve over the loss of their loves ones. Pretty antithetical to survival, security, and well-being, don’t you think?

A similar point applies to the communists and Nazis.

No, these people clearly had a different moral framework than me.


Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 2:12 pm

And how do you reason that such acts are wrong, anyway? Because we just “know in our hearts” that it is so? Because “God” arbitrarily decrees that it is so? I really don’t understand this notion that morality can only come from a deity.

06/11/18 3:54 pm

Rob, I agree that Thanos would probably think Hitler was evil. In the movie, Thanos made it clear that his culling would be arbitrary, effecting rich and poor alike, whereas Hitler targeted specific groups.

But, I also think that Hitler would have thought poorly of Thanos, because Hitler believed in specifically culling the weakest of the species, as he believed it would give the species the best chance at survival and prosperity.

06/11/18 3:58 pm

Talren, I think both Hitler and Thanos thought that they were actually helping to save people, and they believed what they were doing was morally justified.

With Thanos, he believed that people from other worlds would starve and die because of limited resources, and that by doing a random culling, the people who were left would thrive (as he wanted to do on his home planet, and as he did do on Gomorrah’s planet).

06/11/18 3:59 pm

With Hitler, he believed he was saving his people by killing off their enemies and taking their land.

06/11/18 4:00 pm

So I do think they used the moral framework of survivability as justification for their evil acts.

06/11/18 4:08 pm

And please keep in mind that with regards to the necessity of a Diety, we are specifically referring to objective morality, as you need a personal judge who is qualified to make absolute moral judgments to truly have objective morality.

And keep in mind that there are a lot of atheists who believe this, and they argue that if God does not exist, that there also cannot exist objective morality.

06/11/18 4:09 pm

So you can be an atheist, and actually agree on this issue with theists, that a deity is required for objective morality.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 5:11 pm

“With Thanos, he believed that people from other worlds would starve and die because of limited resources, and that by doing a random culling, the people who were left would thrive”

In the long term, maybe. But my moral framework doesn’t say anything about the long term. I admit what I said isn’t the be all, end all for morality — morality is a lot more complicated than that and to truly close the issue we’d need to add a whole bunch of different conditions regarding which actions one ought to take and which ones they ought not to. But it is a very good place to start, and its concision makes it simple and easy to understand.

All that is besides the point, however. The point is, defining morality in such a manner, by clearly laying out which sort of actions are generally beneficial to us, either individually or as a whole, is objective and meaningful. Every theistic definition of morality I’ve ever seen is an incoherent mess of nonsense. Morality not only CAN be secular; it MUST be.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 5:20 pm

“we are specifically referring to objective morality, as you need a personal judge who is qualified to make absolute moral judgments to truly have objective morality.”

A SUBJECT making arbitrary decrees about what is and isn’t moral is the very opposite of OBJECTive.

“And keep in mind that there are a lot of atheists who believe this, and they argue that if God does not exist, that there also cannot exist objective morality.”

Yeah, I am aware. A lot of atheists think morality is subjective. I used to be one of them, until I came to the realization that this line of reasoning really doesn’t make much sense at all.

Also, although a lot of atheists believe morality is subjective, you’d be hard pressed to find many that think this is because God doesn’t exist. Most think morality would still be subjective even if God existed.


06/11/18 5:33 pm

That’s a good point about subject vs. object, and what I would say would be the exception is when the subject is the author of morality, then that subject’s view is objective because he is the author and thus the authority.

06/11/18 5:35 pm

But I don’t believe that truly absolute moral judgment can be made outside of a person who has that authority, which is why I believe that absolute morality requires an absolute authority, which can only be God.

But I have enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for making me think through my arguments!

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 6:41 pm

The “author of morality” is human beings. It’s the result of self-motivated agents learning to cooperate with one another for mutual benefit.

And what about something like the earth revolving around the sun? That’s not objectively true because some authority decreed that it is so. It’s true because it actually describes the real world. Likewise, if we define “wrong” to mean “that which is antithetical to the survival, security, and well-being of humans and human social groups,” a statement like “murder is wrong” is objectively true because it describes the real world.


06/11/18 8:05 pm

I disagree. The author of morality can only be God. Moral law is not the same as natural law. Moral law requires a moral authority, and the only perfect moral authority is God.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/11/18 10:22 pm

That just leads to the Euthyphro Dilemma and turns morality into something arbitrary and meaningless.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 4:28 pm

Without God existing or without believing in God?
I think it’s absolutely possible to be moral without believing in God.
Now if God didn’t exist, I’m not sure if morality would even be a thing.
Good question.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:10 pm

Morality is the necessary consequence of self-motivated, intelligent agents learning how to cooperate with one another for mutual benefit. Of course it exists without god. God has literally nothing to do with it.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 10:22 pm

Except to those who believe in God. They’d say that nothing exists without him, so there can’t be morality in nothingness. Still others think that people can’t be moral unless they believe in God. I don’t agree with that, but I’m not sure there’s a cut and dry answer about the former.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:24 pm

Then those people are wrong, lol.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 10:25 pm

Lol not much of an argument, but alright. Have a good one.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:27 pm

I mean, you didn’t give me an argument either. You just told me stuff that people believe.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 10:34 pm

I answered the poll question. You replied to me, and implied I was somehow wrong. Then you just said that others were wrong.
If everyone is wrong, and you’re right, show me.
Again, I don’t think people have to believe in God to be moral. But if God didn’t exist? I don’t know. There’s people that believe in God and they can’t just be dismissed if you want to keep credibility.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:39 pm

I explained it to you already. Morality is just the result of intelligent, self-motivated agents working together for mutual benefit. That’s why it bears no connection to this “god” thing.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 10:43 pm

Except those agents may or may not exist if God didn’t exist. Not everyone believes that, but a lot do.
This conversation has gone complete circle and Im busy trying to bait people in the cnn is fake news poll. See you later.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:53 pm

And the people that believe that are wrong. I can dismiss such ideas so easily because you haven’t even attempted to back them up. You’ve just asserted that people believe them. If you don’t want this conversation to go in circles, then you should make an actual argument. I mean, just imagine if everyone had discussions like that.

“There are some people who are Democrats.”

“Oh yeah? Well there are some people who are Republicans.”

You see how useful and not at all annoying that is?


xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 10:56 pm

I didn’t think I had to source that religious people believe in God and consider creation His.
Ask @4jc . She’s more religious than I. Until then read a Bible to see what they think.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 10:59 pm

I didn’t ask you to demonstrate that people believe such things. I asked you to demonstrate that their beliefs are true. And if you don’t think their beliefs are true, then what was the point of bringing them up?

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 11:01 pm

Their beliefs being true isn’t relevant if they base morality on those beliefs.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 11:04 pm

Of course it’s relevant. We wouldn’t want them basing morality off of something that isn’t even true.

xxxceo Nationalist
06/09/18 11:07 pm

Yeah, not everyone is going to do what we want. It’s a tough life.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
06/09/18 11:09 pm

That’s entirely besides the point.