Morality: Of Absolutes and Relatives

Part of the dilemma facing American (and worldwide) society today is the basis and origin of their laws. Their Constitution is based on laws set down by the Founding Fathers, many of whom were practising traditional Christians. Therefore, you find many traditional Christian values guiding such laws as forbidding homosexuality, polygamy and forced adoption of religion.

According to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, these laws were not arbitrarily decided. They were laid down by our Creator God Himself. Their underlying moral basis is not open to debate – the morals are ABSOLUTE.

These laws are some of the ones being challenged as ‘biased’ and ‘bigoted’ and ‘old-fashioned fundamentalist discrimination’ by some today. They argue that such laws are no longer relevant or fair in today’s liberal, free, non-Christian dominated society.

These laws should change with the times, they say, depending solely on human society’s demands. Their underlying morals are dependant on our mood – the morals are RELATIVE.

But this line of reasoning naturally rejects divine inspiration for those said laws. By extension, this line of reasoning rejects morality itself as a having divine source.

They reject morality as having been defined by some Creator, because as atheists or agnostics or non-practisings, they don’t believe there is a Creator. Therefore, morality does not have an absolute definition.

If that is the case, then where did moral and ethical ideals come from? They must be human inventions or decisions. If they are not absolute (already set in place and defined), then they must be relative (chosen and moulded by ourselves).

Simply put, if there is no ultimate source of moral right and wrong, then we shall choose our OWN right and wrong! If human societal consensus is the basis of morality, then we are free to create or modify morals to suit our society.

When homosexuality is prevalent, then make it permissible to have gay marriage.

When men with many wives can prove that their families are fair, stable and nurturing, then allow lawful polygamy.

If a 6-year old boy thinks he can choose whether or not to have sexual relations, then by all means, introduce NAMBLA to the neighbourhood kindergarten!

Feeling kinky? Your dog feels kinky too? Then get on down and do it doggie-style! Yeah!

Oops! Were those last few ones a bit risque? Unacceptable to modern society? Well, maybe modern society isn’t enlightened enough yet. What argument can one make against paedophilia and bestiality, if one does not subscribe to any particular pre-set morals?

See the problem? Even the most liberal of us balk at the idea of sex with underage kids, or animals, or even underage animals. But what logic can they use? That it is immoral? Who chooses the morals? For us Bible-believers, God chose.

*Gasp*, is liberal society saying that they have SOME Christian values ingrained in them? That must be SO horrible for them to realize!

But this extends far, far further than just marriage conventions. If there is no absolute basis for morality, then EVERY MORAL is open to debate and re-definition. There is no appeal to a higher power – you cannot accuse me of being evil, since evil is merely what I choose to define it as. I can say that in my opinion, YOU are being evil in not tolerating my beliefs.

So if population numbers are becoming too great and babies are unwanted, then abort them and leave the corpses in the town dump.

When citizens are old, sick, disabled or otherwise unproductive in society, euthanize them for the greater good of civilization. Stop their resource drain and churn out some Soylent Green in the process.

Take it to the furthest extreme it has historically gone: When a large enough majority of society decides that a new moral code should be implemented, then kill the Jews. Massacre the Gypsies. Purge the nation of anyone who professes a religion or a different political viewpoint. It’s not morally wrong, because I say it isn’t!

This is the logical result of moral relativism, which says that morals are NOT based on an underlying, pre-set definition of right and wrong.

Incidentally, realize that the biggest perpatrators were atheist, Communist leaders – Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il.

Because there is no God in Communism, therefore there are no divinely-placed rules. Man is free to be his own god, to choose his own rules. And that is exactly what these Great Leaders did, they became cruel and oppressive gods over their people. Mao’s Little Red Book anyone?

In conclusion, let me just say that humanity, with our puny brains and mere millenia of collective experience, has NEVER known what is best for ourselves. We need something, someOne higher to trust in. Us children need a Father to lay down the rules, and to guide us by the hand every day of our lives.

So where do YOU get your definition of right and wrong?

21 Responses to “Morality: Of Absolutes and Relatives”

  1. fare Says:

    “So where do YOU get your definition of right and wrong?”

    I get it inside my heart. When doing something, when facing some challenge or doubt, if U want it, it’s really just that simple – you dedice do you want to do the right thing or not. And U can always see what the right thing is, it’s obvious, by the case itself. 😉

    Good post!

  2. Scott Thong Says:

    But fare, there is a problem with that way of deciding morals…

    You might be decent and sane person, who can decide what is right or wrong in a generally acceptable manner.

    But there are plenty of people with totally selfish hearts, skewed minds and massive egos.

    People who believe that the lives of lesser men are expendable in order to achieve a vision of a ‘greater good’.

    People whose heart really wants something so much, that they can make themselves believe it is right – even if none of their victims agree.

    People like the following:

    That is why relative morality, where everyone decides what is right or wrong by their own heart or head, simply does not work in real life.

  3. Joe the Plumber Says:

    The so-called founding fathers were no practicing Christians; at best they were deists or agnostics. So your opening argument is based on a fallacy.

    But I’ll agree with the premise that all morals codes are derived by man. It’s just that the moral codes derived by men steeped in religious superstition tend to be the least moral.

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    It’s just that the moral codes derived by men steeped in religious superstition tend to be the least moral.

    Then explain why when the ‘founding fathers’ of modern USSR, China, Cambodia and North Korea weren’t just agnostic but flat out atheists, it resulted in the worst, longest and most widespread horrors in all of human history.

  5. Joe the Plumber Says:

    None of the men from the countries you listed committed their atrocities under the flag of atheism. Their goal was to replace one form of political suppression with another.

  6. Scott Thong Says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot… Atheists are HUGE fans of random chance.

    Like, it’s just random chance that the universe exploded just so that life on earth can be supported.

    And it’s just random chance that inanimate matter collided just so to form self-replicating DNA.

    And it’s just random chance that DNA recombined just so to lead to the multitude of life forms found today.

    And it’s just random chance that virtually every atrocity-committing Commie despot of note happened to be a hardcore atheist… It’s just so.

    That wacky random chance! Man, those cosmic dice sure know how to get atheist dictators to outlaw, persecute and systematically destroy all traditional religions just so!!!

  7. Joe the Plumber Says:

    It really helps to stay on topic. I thought this one was about morality. Now you’re pulling it towards cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution (which have nothing to do with communism or morality).

  8. Scott Thong Says:

    Merely pointing out mockingly the other facets of the atheistic worship of the gods of probability.

    And I dare suggest that evolutionary theory played a major role in shaping communist bloc social engineering. Meanwhile, there is branch of evolutionary theory that posits ethics and morals (along with other psychological traits) were evolved on the genetic level.

    Ah… But that’s off topic, isn’t it?

  9. Joe the Plumber Says:

    Mockery is usually the only option available to those whose professed “absolute” moral standards derive from a fanciful belief in the dictates of a fictional entity.

    And judging solely by your comments, it appears your overall understanding of probability, communism, evolution, and morality is razor-thin.

    Stating that evolutionary theory played a ‘major role’ in shaping communist bloc social engineering shows a woeful ignorance of political history

  10. Simon Thong Says:

    And judging solely by your comments, it appears your overall understanding of probability, communism, evolution, and morality is razor-thin – Joe the Plumber.

    Nope…it’s razor-SHARP.

  11. Scott Thong Says:

    Stating that evolutionary theory played a ‘major role’ in shaping communist bloc social engineering shows a woeful ignorance of political history – Joe the Plumber

    I knew it, those rumours of Karl Marx readin’ and lovin’ Darwin must be falsehood spread by them lyin’ fundies!

  12. Zack T Says:

    It is clear that Joe is the one who is lacking in knowledge of ‘political history’…

  13. Simon Thong Says:

    Joe the plumber may not even know about plumbing coz he’s leaking ignorance.

  14. TJ Says:

    Firstly, wtf kind of name is Scott Thong. School must have been terrible for you! Anyway, your defense for the absoluteness of morals is pathetic and fails in many ways. Before you pull out your religion and start bible thumping again, I’d like to ask you what people did before Christianity existed? And that is not very long back in geological and evolutionary terms. Christianity did not exist before a few thousand years. So did all people go around killing each other? Did they all rape their kith and kin? Did they all go have sex with animals? No. So where on earth did they get their morals from? A strong case could be made on evolutionary adaptations and rational thought.

    Christians often conveniently forget the roots of their religion in the old testament. Polygamy was very much part of ancient Judaio-Abrahamic cultures. It still exists in the islamic culture till this day. So are you telling me that those people who practice it are committing an absolutely sin just because your new bible doesn’t agree with it? In fact many people even interpret the new testament in ways which would allow polygamy. Ah the wonders of the ever contradictory book which claims to have a strong hold on everything. And traditional christian values forbid forced adoption of religion? Did you ever read history? Forgot about the Pope attested Crusades? Proselytizing isn’t exactly forcing, but my these bible maniacs who come to my door often are annoying as heck.

    Now moving on, child marriage was very much a part of Indian history for a long time until it was abolished around a hundred years ago. So the people who indulged in it very much thought of it as being moral and acceptable, before rational debates changed opinion.

    Moving on to my biggest point of all. I love how you misconstrue relativism. Sure many people believe that morals are relative and not absolute. That does not imply that those people think of acts like murder, rape and other such ideas are acceptable. It is akin to asking a scientist if proof for gravity is absolute. Any reasonable scientist would answer saying no, as science says nothing about absoluteness. It only gives you the most likely answer based on evidence. But if you were to imply that statement as saying “scientists don’t believe in gravity”, well that is plain stupid and you are taking words out of context.

    Finally, I love how Christians spin the words in their own wise book. They pick some verse and say “Ahh there, the book condones a particular act.” But the bible has allowed many things which would be considered as atrocious by today’s standards, such as slavery, patriarchy, child abuse, stoning and other such heinous acts. Religion has only ever played catch up to existing secular morality. A good example would be today’s debate of homosexuality. Religion is only opening up its gates and slowly accepting people for who they are.

  15. Scott Thong Says:

    In brief response:

    1) The name doesn’t carry the same connotations as it does on teh Internets.

    2) I can’t say what happened before JudeoChristianity came along, but I know what happened in places it was taken away in the 20th-Century.

    3) Sin is basically defined as going against God’s will. God may have permitted some things due to the hardness of men’s hearts (as specifically stated in the Bible), but that doesn’t make it ideal.

    4) I have never seen arguments that the New Testament permits polygamy. Homosexuality sure, which I have debunked, but how about some citations or fleshing out your premise?

    5) Your point on child marriage is for what now? It reinforces my point about moral relativism.

    6) Did I make the case that atheists do not believe in morality? I simply argue that their morality is relative to the culture of the times.

    7) Actually, it is Bible bashers who cherry pick things out of context. To wit, what you cite is all from the Mosaic Code in the Old Testament’s law – but you neglect to mention the New Testament’s replacing it with grace.

    8.) Hah, great the way you look down on polygamy and child marriage, but laud homosexuality! How long before all the taboos that current atheists deride – incest, necrophilia, bestiality – become acceptable? After all, it is ‘accepting people for who they are’ as you say. NOW THAT IS MORAL RELATIVISM! Get it?

    9) In any case, I have previously been convinced by a commentor that whether or not religious morality is based on an absolute source, in practise it becomes relative due to needing to pass thru the filter of mere human interpretors.

  16. TJ Says:

    1) Again it is a ridiculous name, change it.

    2) Again MASSIVE failure of knowledge in history. The reasons as to why all those dictators killed are massively complex. Sure Stalin, Pot and others might have been non religious. But to claim that their lack of belief to be the primary cause for all those atrocities is just dishonest. Those dictators did what they did due to incredibly complex socio-economic reasons. It is quite like saying the United States waged a war in Iraq because George Bush was a christian. It is just pure idiocy.

    3) Again I don’t know where you are going with this sin argument. No 2 people can ever come up with the same list of sins. That in my opinion again stands as evidence of relativism based on personal sensibilities, or lack thereof.

    4) I am purely pasting a wikipedia article link. But knowing the sheer number of contradictions that I am aware of in the bible, I wouldn’t be surprised the bible crossed itself yet again.

    5) I merely pointed out that different cultures believe in different things. And just because of you interpretation of your arrogant religion might say so, that doesn’t mean they have no right to believe in different morals.

    6) No all through your senseless discourse you seem to put forth ideas which most atheists would probably disagree with. Yet you allege as though they believe in such ideas.

    7) I am sorry you are unaware of the very religion that you preach. There are many abhorrent ideas fronted in the new testament.

    8) “How long before all the taboos that current atheists deride – incest, necrophilia, bestiality – become acceptable?” Again, just because morality can be relative you seem to be under the assumption that suddenly people will start to commit atrocities? Did you not understand at all my analogies with science.

    9) Now what the **** does that even mean? You are refuting yourself. And why does that not surprise me?

    It is rather evident that you are too stuck in the fundamental nature of your religion. I would prefer that to leave things to rational argument than a figment of deluded imagination. You believe in a magical man in the sky who keeps score, and I see no evidence in the need to. End of.

  17. Scott Thong Says:

    1) If this ain’t ad hominem, I don’t know what is! Maybe I should change my name to something more acceptable, like something that reminds people of two of America’s worst enemies eh? Something like ‘Hussein Osama’ perhaps?

    2) Did I claim their lack of belief was the main cause? I definitely contend that their rejection of traditional religious mores was complicit to their ability to kill so freely. But answer me this: Why is it so coincidental/i> that all the major communist states were also de facto atheist and rabidly persecuted religion?

    3) What I’m getting at is exactly what you say – without some absolute guidelines that are above and beyond human authority, it is impossible for all people to agree on the same standards for morality. Hence, morality becomes purely relative.

    4) All three citations in the Wikipedia article are shallow and border on nonsensical. The first never mentions that the virgins marry the groom too. The second and third condemn polygamy! What kind of standard of argument are you putting forth here? And do cite your alleged contradictions. I have experience in debunking alleged contradictions. But do it by hand – no mass copy pasting – so I know you have actually read and understood each accusation.

    5) See point 3.

    6) If I am guilty of generalization, I apologize. But my point is, when there are atheists who object to such-and-such, what is their basis?

    7) What I am unaware of is what particular wrong notions you have about Christianity. Cite them and I will attempt to clear up your misunderstandings.

    8.) Such things are already being argued for! It’s no longer theoretical or rhetorical discussion. And what analogy with science? You mentioned science once, without explanation. Please elaborate.

    9) What I mean to say is, religious folk claim to have an absolute source of their morality – which I still maintain. But after much debate, a commenter persuaded me that when it comes to actual practice, even religiously-derived morality is relative in practice, by the mere fact that religious folk have to read their holy texts and each will have their own, relative interpretation of those texts. Btw, your use of the f-word got your comment held for moderation. Was it really necessary to use it? At least bowdlerize it with a star, as in f*ck.

    I conclude by noting that I have personal experential evidence of this ‘magical man’, that might not convince you, but certainly I cannot honestly dismiss. But feel free to unilaterally claim victory and disappear, it’s not like you’d be the first to do so.

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