Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Deity-Free Moral Challenge
In an effort to avoid rehashing the claims of people far smarter than I, even though I came to said claims completely organically, I have two options. First, I could hang up my argumentative guns and ride into the sunset confident that I'm right while unwilling to engage the opposition--but I run a freakin' atheist blog, so obviously that's not going to happen. I'm left with option two. Much like Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru, I must alter the parameters of the argument. Instead of debating why we have morality, I'd like to debate why we share (or don't share) specific morals.
If you believe the only way to explain common morality is by appealing to a higher power, it must be that you can't think of natural, human reasons to be good. If you could, then those reasons should be all the explanation you need. To defend your position, I ask you to submit a moral situation for which only God can be the explanation for why a reasonable person would do the right thing. In return, I will offer an entirely human answer for the moral choice I, and likely many others, would make.
The moral situation should be fairly straight forward to best make your point, if, of course, you can stump me. An ambiguous moral situation is more likely to draw different choices from different people, and would only contribute to the idea of subjective morality. If you think your choice for the ambiguous moral situation is the objectively correct choice, that's only you elevating your opinion to the status of truth and there is likely no way to prove your moral high ground without referencing the Bible, which I don't accept. So, to sum up, I'll accept situations where one pushes an elderly convict into a child, thereby pushing the kid out of the way of an oncoming train and dooming the old fella, but...let's try to stick to scenarios both likely to happen and without too many moving parts.