It’s often argued that you must believe in God to have objective morals. This is incorrect.
The Euthyphro Dilemma written Plato asks, “Is something morally good because god commands it, or does god command it because it is morally good?” In this case, god commands these morals because they are good – they positively benefit the beings affected by them. As such, god is completely irrelevant as to whether these morals are right and wrong – they are either right or wrong independently of whether god exists or not.
If the other is true, then there are many points we can make. Would it still be good in another universe without God?
Does Islam or any other theistic religion solve this problem? Not really. At the very least, there are multiple interpretations of Islam. Who is to say which is right and objective? Is it objective to beat your wife, to marry multiple women (rotating 1 night per wife), to stone adulterers, and so on? Is it objective morality to allow child marriage? How about ISIS’s understanding of morality? Capturing and selling disbelievers as slaves, having sex with Yazidi women (because they are war booty). Is this right?
If you say “my Islam doesn’t allow this”, then who is to say which Islam is right and wrong? Who is to say that “your Islam” is objectively moral?
It makes much more sense to look for an independent standard of morality and well-being and use that, regardless of what your holy book tells you to do so.
Read more at A Case For Secular Morality – Objective Morality Without God
Also see How Morality Has the Objectivity that Matters—Without God on the Secular Humanism site:
At this point, the believer might protest, “But there has to be something more than that. Morality is not just a human institution.” Well, what is this something more? Why is it not enough to tell the wrongdoer that everyone condemns him because what he or she did violated our accepted norms, which are essential to our ability to live together in peace? Do we have to add, “Oh, by the way, God condemns you too?” Exactly what difference would that make?
What some believers (and, again, some secular ethicists) appear to want is some further fact, something that will make them more comfortable in claiming that moral norms are authoritative and binding. Somehow it is not sufficient that a norm prohibiting the gratuitous affliction of violence reduces pain and suffering and allows us to live together in peace, and has, therefore, been adopted by all human societies. No; for the believer there has to be something else. A moral norm must be grounded in something other than its beneficial effects for humans and human communities. The statement that “it was wrong for Kim to hit Stephanie” must pick out some mystical property that constitutes “wrongness.” For the believer, this further fact is usually identified as a command from God, but as we have already established, God’s commands cannot be regarded as imposing moral obligations unless we already possess a sense of right and wrong independent of his commands.
4 thoughts on “Objective Morality Without God”
produce the same effects without god, given the same set of axioms. The only logical reason why we would say any moral is right or wrong, would be in assessing the motives, principles and consequences behind them. To say god s commandments determine objective moral values reduces you into believing that might makes right , and that the actual morals themselves can be meaningless. Thus god s existence is not necessary to ground morality or to have objective morality. But since this is the most important distinction between theistic and atheistic disagreements on objective morality, let me expound a bit further. A common response to the Euthyphro Dilemma above by theists is to try to sneak in a third option and say that god
Thats not the point. Even if you ideology is to care for all people your morality corrupts without a universal law that is represented by a culture universally in that society. If a nation abides by a religious rule without the people permission the society is doomed to fail. If a nation abides by a secular rule with a people with religious ideology that nation is doomed to fail. This is repeated in all societies. And is a endless cycle. At the end of a society fall is where religious truth is not represented by a people in that society. And you will typically see hundreds of millions of people being killed. At the peak of religious truth the society flourishes under conservative values. Rome rose and became the greatest society known. After it became Christian. And even Japan, their religion thought restraint, control and it is embedded in their lives. I recommend you listen to Jordan Peterson says on the subject. It is not literal truth in the books, but morals developed over millions of years that are in us inherently, deviating from this brings nihilism and death. That is just a fact. Religious truth functional values that are good for the society in the generation, 100 years, thousands year. Whatever religion good or bad, that manages a people throughout millennia and creates a society holds functional religious truth. And deviating from this path leads to the collapse of empires and morality derails. And outside the society extremists form and rips the society apart. Just like what we see in Europe now. It is a universal truth and have been modeled mathematically, and many historians and economists says the same. Some even killed for saying it. It means we are not in control. And there is a cycle to everything. There are about 300-year cycles in religion and by the end of the cycle the society falls. Jordan Peterson, to Peter Turchin. I like what Jordan, said act as if god exist.
Read for more in Biohistory. Peter Turchin.