This is an attempt to discuss the claim that without God, there are no objective moral values.
I’ve been told that atheists like me, are free to do anything we want — without a moral care in the world. I can secretly rape, kill, dismember a baby and eat it, and fear no consequence whatsoever — as long as my cultural conscience permits it.
This is labeled moral relativism.
Don’t laugh, I have been told that there are no objective moral values for me, and all moral concerns are subjective — since I do not see any evidence of the Abrahamic God.
Now, with what spices shall I cook that baby…
I will attempt to dismantle this idea that without God, the Biblical God that is, there is no reason to be moral.
Before I continue, let me say that I believe there are objective moral values that are universally accepted as such and to which I abide. I also contend that there is every reason in the world to believe that our moral fiber has evolved like the rest of our physical and conscious human condition. Our “moral conscience” is the product of this evolution.
So let’s start with some simple logic, shall we?
Here’s a proposed syllogism:
• If God is indeed the creator of Objective Moral Values, then those moral values are Perfect.
• If God is Perfect, he must then be the embodiment of those moral values to the ultimate Perfection.
• Therefore, if God does not conform to his own perfect Objective Moral Values, it follows that He is not Perfect — or — if God is Perfect but does not conform to his own Objective Moral Values, then it follows that these values are not objectively Perfect.
So what does the Bible say?
If the Bible is God’s Word, then upon examination the Creator has little trust in his own Objective Morals. It doesn’t take long to realize that God has no problem using deception and lies to further his personal goals.
Case in point, the example of Jacob’s trickery against his aged and blind father Isaac, in order to receive Esau’s birthright blessing. Read it and tell me this is not God looking the other way knowing full well in advance the lying and stealing committed there (read Genesis 27).
I’m pretty sure God could have simply made Jacob the firstborn without meddling with free will, as He should know everything in advance.
However, no less than three objective moral laws were abused:
1)— The Commandment to respect parents.
— One may argue that it wasn’t God who lied and cheated. Yes, and ordering a contract on someone is not murder per se either. Fact is, God used Jacob’s objectively immoral scheme to further His Divine Will. He could have done otherwise as he is all-powerful.
According to Bible legend, the whole Nation of Israel was born of a fraud and a lie.
That is a simple fact.
I could expound, and will if I must in the comments.
All we need is one example to make the point.
Jacob’s cheat is a good example of God not following his own Objective Morals, even if by proxy. In any case, God changed his Moral Values from the OT to the NT. Something to think about…
The Ten Commandments
If one thing should be objectively moral, it’s would be the 10 commandments.
Alas, nothing is less obvious (read along in Exodus 20).
— The first four commandments have nothing to do with moral values; it addresses God’s preferences; his wants.
— The fifth law seems to be a platitude rather than an objective moral law. First, not all parents deserve respect, as some are criminally abusive. Nor, according to Jesus, should a child that has accepted Jesus respect his parent’s when it comes to choosing between family and him (Matthew 10:37).
— The next four laws are finally moral values that we can all relate to.
— Last but not least, number ten: Thought crime.
Impossible to obey. Any hungry person looking into a restaurant knows that. This an egregious expectation imposed on imperfect humans. It’s a ruling of sure death, calling for humiliating begging for mercy.
Jesus added condemnation to almost all humans “looking at another” woman (or man) equating it to fornication already consumed.
* Notice child abuse, rape, or slavery is not even mentioned in the 10 commandments.
I can continue with the over 600 laws of the Mosaic Law, that far surpasses moral understanding, like forcing a raped girl to marry her rapist dependent on her father’s will. Or over-punishment like stoning to death a rebellious teen. Yes, You read well.
Read the Mosaic Law in Deuteronomy, then I dare you to look at me in the eyes and tell me this is the pinnacle of moral justice. Of course, the cop-out for most is to say that one cannot judge God… We can’t? Are we not supposed to choose to worship Him?
So then, where do Objective and subjective Moral Values Come From?
I have come to the conclusion that there are no objective values, just objective standards, or paradigms. As hinted above, I contend that our moral values are the fruit of our social evolution. In fact, slavery — the fact of “owning” another human — has only recently been objectively promoted to an immoral value. The Bible not only condones slavery, but God legislated it! See Exodus 21:20,21 for how sweet the law is…
Even more recently for example — today we would be appalled to see a parent smoke in the face of her or his child. Why? Because we are still evolving. We get things as we go. We adapt our thoughts to question what is wrong for our species. Science is the main factor in discovering what is toxic to us, or beneficial.
I have much more to say, but this is enough food for thought for now.
* Follow-up: Click here.