I have read a few blogs posts about morality lately and, as I often am since I’ve grown tired of jumping into the fray, have been a silent lurker in a few comment threads following the posts.
Fascinating discussions to be sure but also mind-numbingly futile given that both sides always argue from one of two unchanging and uncompromising presuppositions.
1. If one believes in God and that God is the ultimate law giver, objective morality is a no-brainer.
2. If one lacks a belief in God there can be no ultimate law giver, therefore objective morality cannot be possible.
Anyone who is familiar with this blog should know what I believe about objective morality without question so this post is not intended to make a case. So instead of taking this as support for a known quantity I urge readers, regardless of what they believe, to consider it as merely food for thought.
There have been reformers in the history of the human race whom we believe to have improved our understanding of what is right and wrong. An example would be Rosa Parks who rejected the principle that African-American people should acquiesce in being treated as inferiors and challenged the Montgomery bus system’s policy of requiring African-American riders to give up their seats
Because of her stand, and that of Martin Luther King and other leaders of the civil rights movements, laws were changed in such a way as to require equal treatment under the law. Now if you think that the laws of the state of Alabama are more just and moral today than they were when Parks refused to give up her seat, then you are applying an objective standard of justice/morality. If on the other hand, you maintain that morals are merely socially acceptable conventions, then Parks’ actions would have to be considered unjust or immoral, because they contravened the accepted social convention of the time.
*I pulled the Rosa Parks example out of an email I got some time ago. I am not sure where it originally came from but would like to credit the source if anyone knows it.