Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Craig vs Harris debate: Does Good Come From God

I listened to this debate between William Lane Craig and Sam Harris. Here is the first of 9 YouTube installments...

My thoughts...

Dr. Craig is a good debater. However, I disagree with most of what he said. For example, he said that the existence of God guarantees objective morals. That's not at all obvious to me. God could have simply decided that he wouldn't bother making objective morals. The Deist outlook, for example, is that God set the universe in motion (with physical laws, etc), and simply stands back to watch what happens.

Most of Dr. Craig's arguments seemed to be based on semantics.
God is intrinsically good.
Thus, good must come from God.

That's a simplified version, but captures the circular nature of the argument. I'm not buying it.

The real question is does the absence of God necessarily mean that there are no objective morals. Dr. Craig says "no". I agree with that.

And this is where Dr. Harris and I disagree. He claims that objective morals CAN come from natural causes. His book, The Moral Landscape, tries to make that argument. While I agree with almost everything that he says in the book, I don't agree that there is a universal, absolute way to define good and bad, or right and wrong. One of his arguments asks us to consider the universe with the worst possible misery for everyone. To him, this establishes a global anchoring point, and any move from that universe will result in less misery, and therefor be good. Though I haven't nailed it down yet, I feel that there is something wrong with this line of reasoning. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that -- no matter how bad the universe is -- I can always imagine a universe that's worse.

I cringe when I hear Dr. Harris authoritatively state things like female genital mutilation is objectively and universally wrong. It's not that I think genital mutilation is a good idea... I don't. But my reasoning is not motivated by a universal moral; it's based on my emotions. I would hate to see anyone subjected to that kind of torture, but that doesn't make it objectively wrong. It just feels subjectively wrong to me.

I routinely mutilate the bodies of other living organisms when I eat. Does that make me bad? Should I stop eating? And the rightness or wrongness of killing someone always seems to depend on the circumstances; were you defending yourself? These questions of morals always seem to hinge on your point of view. To me, that suggests that there are no objective morals.


  1. Interesting argument Jeff. I guess I always assumed, without thinking too deeply about it, that we could define an objective set of non-religious morals.

    I havn't watched the video clip, but I think the anchor, as you described it, that one of debators uses maybe far too crude. I think we can look at the human species and derive an anchor based on our needs as a species on this planet (or in this universe).

    There is a school of thought that believes that the reasons humans (and most ?all? other mammals) are sexual rather than asexual is because we've found the advantage of being in social groups. Being sexual means that we're closely tied to a partner and a family. Each member of the family looks out for the good of the family in it's own way.

    My gut feeling, again I havn't put much thought into this, is that we should be able to derive a set of common human morals from our needs as a social species. This may lead to morals that simply define what works for human society.

    Chris Brandt

  2. Hi Chris, thanks for your comment.

    That's pretty much what I think. We could try to come up with a set of morals that promotes us, as a species. Indeed, I expect that's largely where our morals come from. That's why we frown on those who murder other people ("Geez, that person you killed could have been useful, and society invested a lot in them... education, healthcare, etc.")

    As for the argument for sexual reproduction, I think the scientific consensus is that sexual reproduction allows for faster genetic evolution because it uses recombination in addition to mutations. There are nonsocial species that sexually reproduce... boinking is the only contact they have with their own kind.

  3. The problem with attempting to imagine a world with the worst possible misery is that it requires us to apply our pre-existing standards of what constitutes misery in order to conceive of such a world. In other words, it's still not an objective standard of morality, but one that's based on the standards we bring with us to the thought experiment. It's fine to posit an experiment of this type, but this "moral absolute zero" must be definable intrinsically in the hypothetical universe's terms, and not be a result of our perceptions.

  4. Very interesting discussion. I agree completely with you Jeff on your acknowledgment that no moral absolutes are possible without God.

    But I think there are two errors in your understanding.

    The existence of objective moral values is considered by most philosophers as self evident. This does not mean a person knows what is good or bad self evidently. That is the common error when understanding this argument. Rather, the claim is that everyone believes in the EXISTENCE of objective moral values. Not what they are or where they are from. To deny the existence of objective morals is somewhat like denying principle of contradiction (which is another self-evident concept). It goes against human experience of reality. There is simply no reason to do so.

    The presence of different morals in different societies do not give proof that objective moral values do not exist either. There are number of ways to explain this including the Christian view through original sin. So no one has really given reason to believe that ones apprehension of the existence of objective moral values is unreasonable.

    Btw, I am not sure of the degree of familiarity with the idea of this form of human experience. If you are much unfamiliar, your first guess might be 'why can't these sort of experience based truths of human experience be conditioned by evolution?'. This would be a classic example of the genetic fallacy. I refer you to this by Craig himself which gives a basic introduction to why such reasoning does not work.

    Now the other claim that God is good and therefore good must be from God is not circular or semantics. There is a detailed discussion here on this very idea of circular logic.

    -- Tobias

  5. @ Anonymous

    The existence of objective moral values is self-evident?!

    How, precisely, do you define "morals"?

  6. @Jeff,

    I think you are once again thinking along the lines of a specific moral value. You are in fact asking how do you define it.

    But that is not the claim here. The claim is that a person self-evidently knows that objective morality exists. It is the 'existence' that is self evident.

    To say a different way, a person knows self-evidently that there is good and bad. (Hence every person, even atheists, tries to do what they might subjectively believe is good and avoid what they subjectively believe to be bad).

    The claim was never about he/she knowing self-evidently "what" is good and what is not.


  7. @ Tobias (sorry for referring to you as "Anonymous" before)

    OK, that helps a little bit.

    But I have two counter-points.

    1) I really don't see any reason that objective morals should exist. The universe could just be the laws of physics, etc, with no notion of moral truth. Unless you define morals as something really abstract. That's why I asked how you define morals.

    Which brings me to my second point...

    2) Even if objective morals exists, what good is it to anyone if they don't know them or can't find them out?

  8. @Jeff,

    1) But this is contrary to human experience of reality, though. Humans do hold that there is an objective morality.

    If you confront many about child abuse for an example, when they say it is wrong, it won't be a matter of subjective belief. Similarly, there are different values for different people that they feel are objective (tolerance for some, murder, etc). So the idea once again is not that they all agree that value X is objective. But they all believe in the existence of objective values and that they are doing ''good''.

    Then the actual question becomes, "If my belief tells me that objective values exist, why would I believe otherwise?"

    To give you a very similar example to this where it might be more obvious, one can argue that all reality is just an illusion. One can imagine that laws of physics, logic is all just illusion under this view. Conclude furthermore that everyone other than me probably does not exist. Is it possible? Well yes. But the reason why no one considers this viable is because there is no reason to go against human experience of reality. To do so, requires valid reasons. Mere possibility is not enough.

    So similarly, if one wants to deny objective moral values, one needs to give a reason why they don't exist. As I said before, the common reason given, which is that different people hold different values, do not say whether there are no objective values or not. There could be any number of explanations why different people have different values.

    So unless we pre-suppose scientific naturalism, there is no reason to believe objective morals do not exist.

    Did that clarify somewhat?

    2) Well as pertaining to the Craig vs. Harris debate, if one accepts merely that objective morals exists (Premise 2), and accept premise 1 as you have done (no God means no moral values), then the conclusion logically follows that God exists.


  9. Just because people FEEL like there are objective morals, it doesn't mean that objective morals exist.

    Everyone used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth. It certainly FEELS that way. But careful observation eventually revealed that the earth revolves around the sun.

    We're starting to unravel how the brain works, and the degree to which we can be mislead is astounding.

  10. @Jeff

    Well this is another variation of the genetic fallacy though. You are assuming that if we could explain the human experience of an objective morality scientifically, then it proves that the feeling is false. But that does not logically follow (hence the genetic fallacy).

    To illustrate the point:- we can explain biologically how we perceive reality. This does not in anyway disprove the existence of reality.

    Another thing worth noting at this point is that you seem to be under the impression that whether objective morals exist/don't exist is a scientific truth. But this is not a scientific truth. This is what makes this different from the example of the revolution around the sun example.

    So science can unfortunately never answer the question of whether morals exists or don't. In fact, you even see this yourself because according to your original discussion, you seemed to have agreed that there is no foundation for objective morality given there is no God. This is also why I claimed in my previous reply that we should only reasonably abandon the notion of objective morals IF we PRE-SUPPOSE that Scientific Naturalism is TRUE. In that case, we would have already accepted that only scientific truths are TRUE. Now there are no clear reasons to believe that Scientific Naturalism is true and in-fact majority would argue that it is not a logically coherent position, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion. The point important here is that without sufficient reason to the opposite, one does not need to abandon ones human experience of reality. That is the only reasonable position.

    As I said previously, the view that 'all reality is an illusion and only I exist' is certainly a possibility (note here that even this is not a scientific truth). It could be that the brain is creating all these illusions. Maybe there is no such thing as a brain as well. But surely, you don't spend your days like those around you do not exist, right? So would you agree that it is unreasonable to doubt that?

    So similarly, with the human experience of objective morality, there is no reason to think it false unless sufficient reason can be provided. To deny human experience simply based on 'possibility' that it is false is rather problematic even for Science because its foundations rely on it as well.


  11. @ Tobias,

    You can't prove that fairies don't exist. Do you believe in fairies?

  12. @Jeff

    Aaah excellent question. I think this best illustrates the heart of the misunderstanding and we should be able to clear up an important point.

    The existence of fairies is not a self evident truth. We do not believe fairies exist like we believe in the existence of other minds, the existence of a reality, principle of contradiction, and of course, the existence of an objective morality which are self evident truths. So for all purposes, to believe in the existence of fairies is NOT reasonable (unless one has valid reasons of course).

    So in this case, the proposition 'fairies exists' is equivalent to 'objective morality does not exist'. Just as we do not believe that the proposition 'fairies exists' is true due to absence of valid reasons, we do not believe the proposition 'objective morality does not exist' due to absence of valid reasons.

    This also emphasizes the importance of another point I made to you i.e. Mere possibility is not enough. One can postulate the entity 'fairies' such that it is 'possible' they exist. But this does not make it reasonable for a person to believe in the existence of fairies. I think you do realize this as well but seem to find it problematic in the case of objective morality.

    What you have to realize is that the self evident truths from human experience are sort of like the default position for a human being. We don't believe that principle of contradiction is FALSE by default. We believe it is true. Could it be false? Possibly. We do not believe all of reality is an illusion by default. Could it be? Possibly. We do not believe in the existence of Unicorns/fairies by default. Is it possible? Yes. So similarly with the existence of objective morality, we do not believe it is false by default and in fact, hold it true by default.

    Even in your case, by reading your discussion, the reasons you choose to abandon the your human experience that objective morality exists is
    1) absence of universality of objective moral values -> But this is ok and it does not logically follow from here that objective moral values do not exist.
    2) because the 'feeling' of 'the existence of objective morality' might be explainable by Science -> But this is the genetic fallacy. Simply explaining how a belief originated does not falsify the belief it-self

    So the reasons you give are not valid reasons to believe objective morality does not exist. So in the absence of evidence, we have to stick with the default position of human experience.

    Did this clear up the confusion? Which part seems problematic?

    Just to add, maybe it is not fully evident yet, but to undermine human experience due to mere possibility of it being false, undermines even Science. For it is very possible that reality does not exist. The idea of convergence of scientific theorems to the empirical truths indeed might be an illusion. Now is it possible? Yes. Should we believe it? NO.

    Aside: Something I should have asked earlier, do you believe Scientific Naturalism is true? Because I sort of assumed in my last post that you didn't and might be aware of why its not valid. But if you do, I think that matter needs to be addressed.


  13. OK, nothing is theoretically provable (outside of mathematics). But that does not mean that all unfalsifiable claims are equally likely.

    Yes, I am a methodological naturalist, insofar as I think it's unfruitful to talk about things that are unfalsifiable (In that sense, I regret posting this blog article). In my view, the only things that really matter are those that can be repeatably demonstrated.

    And I disagree that fairies are in a different category than objective morality. What if I said that the existence of fairies is self-evident, while the existence of objective morality is not?

  14. @Jeff

    Ok, it appears that we are not on the same page here.

    Even mathematical truths would not have any certainty if we go by your measure of truth. Because even mathematics is based on self-evident truths such as the principle contradiction and other axioms. The principle of contradiction is unfalsifiable. Do you think that its probably false too?

    Now the problem here is that you have somehow categorized self-evident truths with truths such as fairies exists. You are very right in asserting that to do so is problematic. But in the same token your reasoning does not make any sense if you say that 'no self-evident truths exist'. If that were the case, then we are left with nothing that we can consider as true because everything, has at its foundation, a set of self-evident truths.

    Now let me address the problem with the methodological naturalism you subscribe to. Here, I assume the question pertains to scientific falsifiability but you should see how it applies to any variation of it.

    The irony in your position is that you want to subscribe to the following proposition

    A - All truths must be falsifiable/repeatably demonstrable for them to be of value

    The problem is that the above is self-defeating. The proposition A it-self is unfalsifiable/unverifiable and yet you hold it as the corner stone of your position. Do you see the problem?

    So I think it is good that you posted this article because it has given rise to a discussion that might help us address a slight error in your position.

    As for claiming 'existence of fairies is self-evident', my question to you is, do you consider that as self evident to you as the 'existence of this reality', or the 'principle of contradiction'?

    I also noticed you did not address the question on what this implies for Science itself to deny self-evident truths. Empirical validation would not be acceptable if self-evident truths were unacceptable. Science it-self would lack any meaning for there is no reason to believe we can even perceive reality. So how do you address this problem?

    You are quick to dismiss self evident truths for Science but it appears that you fail to realize that Science it-self does not exist anymore if we disregard self-evident truths. Do you realize this?


  15. You're right... we can't be certain about ANYTHING. And science admits that.

    In the absence of any certainty, the best we can hope to do is try to observe patterns. That's what methodological naturalism does. Based on careful observations, theories are proposed and continually tested.

    That's a far cry from positing that objective morals exist.

  16. @Jeff

    But I think you are missing the point yet again. EVEN methodological naturalism has no certainty if there are NO self-evident truths. So why follow it?

    Also, it does not matter what methodological naturalism is self refuting. I don't think its reasonable to follow something that is self-refuting, won't you agree? Or are you denying the principle of contradiction as well at this point? I hope not!
    So testing and proposing theories is meaningless if you deny self evident truths such as reality may be perceived.

    And you don't seem to be answering the questions I ask. What do we do about essential self evident truths like 'Principle of Contradiction'?

    You see, when you throw out self-evident truths, you have nothing left really. Observing patterns means nothing if reality is an illusion. It's like studying theology when God does not exist. Sure, its fascinating, but its really a meaningless exercise.

    I don't fully understand how you are comfortable with destroying all fields of knowledge and certainty for the sake of perhaps avoiding an inevitable conclusion in holding one of them. You state that "That's a far cry from positing that objective morals exist". But its a far outcry to deny they don't exist simply on possibility of them not existing.

    Do you realize the following Jeff?

    Without accepting self evident truths, Mathematics, Science, Ethics do not exist. They are meaningless.

    I for one would rather believe in self evident truths than undermine those things above that I hold dear.


  17. @Jeff

    By the way, just to point out a fallacy in your first line

    "we can't be certain about ANYTHING. And science admits that."

    How can you be so CERTAIN of the truth in the above if 'we can't be certain about ANYTHING'?

    Do you see how such ideas are self-refuting Jeff?


  18. I guess my problem with your argument is that I see no rhyme or reason for how you choose what truths are self evident, and which are not self evident. It seems to me you pick-and-choose the ones you like. Hardly objective.

    Regarding contradictions and other mathematical axioms, they are just that... axioms. Mathematics is the set of conclusions that derive from the axioms. They don't necessarily say anything about reality.

    Regarding "I for one would rather believe in self evident truths than undermine those things above that I hold dear."

    Well, I for one am not arrogant enough to suppose that truth should reflect what I want.

  19. @Jeff

    Well Jeff, lets be reasonable here (if you still believe that it means anything to be reasonable). The problem is not me trying to believe something. The problem lies in the incoherency of your position.

    Under your view, nothing can really be determined to be true or untrue. We cannot know if anything is true. We cannot even know whether I am arrogant or you are more arrogant because we can't even believe a reality exists and what you perceive is indeed true. We cannot even believe that we are conscious right now. For you to even tell me that my position makes no sense is a meaningless statement in your position. There is an internal contradiction in your position too, but since even the principle of contradiction is not acceptable, I guess that doesn't mean much either.

    As for which truths are self-evident, that should be self-evident to YOU. It's really not that complicated in that sense. You cannot doubt your experience of reality. To doubt it, you must be given reasons. Not mere possibilities. So lets take the self evident truth objective morality exists. If one can provide sufficient reason to believe that this human experience is logically false, then it must be abandoned. But as you can see, most of the reasons you have given in the discussion (which are very common objections by the way) do not logically lead to the conclusion that it is false.

    So self-evident truths do not mean 'I can choose to believe in anything I want'. It really has to be self-evident and if given sufficient reason to think otherwise, must be abandoned. In this sense you may even say that the self-evident truths have to be somewhat universally self-evident among humans. In the case of objective morality, many would agree that it is self-evident (please don't confuse this again with believing a certain moral X is universally held). Now as objections, you've provided possibilities. But possibilities are dime a dozen Jeff. One does not abandon or adopt positions based on possibilities. Therefore I think your charge of there being no 'rhyme or reason' is incorrect.

    Just ask yourself Jeff, if you cannot believe anything that your human experience tells you, what do you know? And please don't tell me that you are going to employ a method of scientific discovery because there is no reason to believe even Science is true in your view. You have to observe, measure, repeat experiments all of which rely on human experience. Since you don't trust it, well... what can you know from experiments? Think about the people you interact with. You can't even believe if they are real. It probably doesn't even matter for you to type a reply to me because I probably do not exist. So think about it honestly, is this what you really believe?

    Finally answer this, what makes you believe that self evident truths are false? Was that a self-evident truth to you? It must surely have been a self-evident thought because you couldn't have arrived at that conclusion using logic or Science which is based on self-evident truths, right? Do you see the problem Jeff?

    I hope you understand why I am finding it difficult to embrace your position. It's really not a matter of arrogance.


  20. It is self evident that the Qa'ran is the perfect word of the creator.

    Are we good with that? Great.

  21. @Jeff

    Come on now. How is that self-evident? This is again like your 'fairies exist' proposition.

    It appears to me that you are not paying attention to anything I say, or perhaps not retaining anything from post to post. Thus, you want to attack a straw man or go around in circles.

    I've already addressed why not every proposition is NOT a self-evident truth. But you keep attacking a straw position that it implies such a thing. So I think its best not to continue this discussion.

    It also appears that you have not really been exposed to these aspects of knowledge prior to our discussion. You seemed to have lived your life believing Scientific truth is the know all and end all of everything. It's kind of ironic that you believe in something that is self-refuting so religiously.

    But this means, it will take some time for you to think through these things and for them to sink in.

    So my advice, even though this discussion is over, think about what has been said here. Be honest with yourself and answer the questions I asked you in my last post in your own time. A quick read through the rest of your blog seems to indicate that you do have a prejudice against religion and its followers as being unreasonable (It is kind of ironic considering how much you have refused to see reason in the past couple of days in our discussions. In order to defend your position, you have even gone to the length of throwing away reason).

    In some cases, your thinking of religious is rightly so. But in others, its based on unsubstantiated ideas like the methodological naturalism.

    So it is my hope, that next time you even start a discussion on a religious topic or have a question, make sure you find someone capable of answering your questions in that respective religion. In some religions, you will find the underlying foundations are indeed problematic. But in some, you will find that they are actually well grounded in reason. There is no point in discussing with a Science student and winning an argument and then claiming Science is bogus and cannot explain things. You have to debate with the Scientist. Similarly, not all religious people would be able to defend their faith equally.

    These are just things to consider in the future Jeff.

    In any case, all the best Jeff and thanks for the opportunity for a great discussion!


  22. Thanks for imparting your wisdom. Clearly, I can't think as straight as you.

    I never realized that "self-evident" truths needed evidence, or could be refuted by a lack of evidence. I guess I just need to open my mind more.

    Thanks for the discussion. I'll do my best to avoid being ironic in the future.


  23. @Jeff

    That was a very distasteful way to end the discussion on your part.

    I don't appreciate your dishonesty.

    I never said 'self-evident' truths need evidence. My position was always that to NOT believe in self-evident truths, one needs REASON. Not mere possibilities. Might I remind you that you were the person who was holding the opposite position.

    To every logical argument I presented against your position and to explain mine, all you did was retort with questions attacking straw positions and using slippery slope arguments. So I think you might be spot on with not being able to think straight on this matter. Anyone who reads our little discussion would be able to see it.

    Maybe you should actually pay more attention to what other people say instead of trying ever religiously to defend your own position. It takes greater wisdom to know when you are wrong and admit it. That cannot unfortunately be imparted by me so you are on your own.


  24. OK, I was rude. I apologize for that. But my tone was not entirely in a vacuum.

    I was being curt in the interest of time. But if you want a full disclosure, here is the way I see it.

    Sure, there are certain logical paradoxes that seem insoluble. I must admit I was perplexed when you pointed out that even the logic I use to form my arguments is based on something that I cannot prove exists. Ultimately, we could be a figment of someone's imagination, or part of someone's dream. Maybe I'm in a giant game-show, and all the people I interact with are actors. Maybe I'm some sort of amoeboid alien who's sleeping, and this whole human life is a bizarre dream.

    All those things could be true, and there is no way for me to tell which I'm in (unless I wake up, etc.). Each of those hypotheses are unfalsifiable. Since there is nothing I can do to tell them apart, I might as well spend my time on other things. So what do I spend my time on? Trying to understand the world that I find myself in.

    I suppose that in order to make headway, I have to start with some very basic premises. Here is where I'm willing to tentatively accept some axioms. You might call them self-evident truths. I prefer to think of them as axioms. Assumptions upon which other knowledge can be built, though that knowledge is admittedly contingent on said axioms.

    Here are some basic premises, off the top of my head.

    1) logic
    2) observability: I only care about things that can be observed, directly or indirectly
    3) repeatability: I only care about phenomena that are repeatable, not one-off miracles

    That's about it. I would argue that science is built from that foundation. All the computers, satellites, medicine, etc. come from knowledge that we've acquired based on those simple principles. Granted, they might not be true. But if they're not, then we're really screwed. Because if things aren't repeatable, then we can't predict anything. And stuff like computers and aeroplanes are designed so that we predict they will compute and fly, respectively.

  25. So why don't I also accept objective morality as another self-evident truth? First of all, I can't prove that it's not. Again, we might be part of someone's dream, so the dreamer can make whatever rules they want. That's not interesting to me... it's unfalsifiable.

    Instead, let's look at the phenomenon from a naturalistic point of view. What else might give us the impression that there are morals that run deeper than just our lives? There are excellent answers to that question. Scientific ones that follow the 3 premises outlined above. You've heard some of them before; we evolved in social groups, so our behaviours are confounded by the balance between current wants, and future wants... planning.

    You dismissed this view as the genetic fallacy. But it's only a fallacy insofar as it doesn't prove that objective morals don't exist (I've already conceded that's unfalsifiable). It does, in my opinion, offer a much more satisfying origin or morals than simply asserting that "objective morals exist because they can, and I can't think of a good reason that they can't".

    My example of the Qa'ran was to challenge you by proclaiming a self-evident truth that I'm pretty sure you don't believe. Your logic of what makes a truth self-evident seems tortured. That's why I asked you early on to define what a self-evident truth was. So far as I can tell, you believe something is self-evident by its very nature, but you can dismiss it if fails to pass some sort of scrutiny. That does not make sense to me. Perhaps we have different ideas of what self-evident means. Hence, the request for a definition.

    The brain, and human psychology, is fascinating. Neuroscience and psychology have taught us that there are myriad ways to delude ourselves, and that our perception of what is true and false does not have to agree with what is REALLY true and false. For example, the Capgras delusion happens when someone sees someone they recognize (visually), but are convinced that the person is an impostor. You can tell them that the person that looks like their wife is, indeed, their wife. But they won't believe you. This strange phenomenon seems to be associated with the absence of a small bundle of fibres that run from the fusiform face area (FFA, in the medial occipitotemporal cortex) to the amygdala, an emotional centre in the brain. The face-recognition centre simply can't send the identity to the emotional centre, so the person doesn't FEEL that it's the person... it's an imposter.

    That is just one example of how our perception of the world is at the mercy of our brains. We really cannot trust our instincts. So taking a poll - asking people if they think objective morals exist - is uninformative because the answer you get will reflect their beliefs, not necessarily truth.

    Again, it doesn't prove that objective morals don't exist (unfalsifiable). But my outlook requires less special pleading. I don't have to posit the existence of a god, or some other phenomenon that could create objective morals.

    Think of it this way. Why would there be objective morals? We are, after all, just masses of atoms. And atoms follow physical laws. Are there different physical laws for atoms that happen to be part of human bodies? Or do these morals also pertain to all living things? What about aliens... do they also have the same objective morals?

    It seems patently obvious to me that morals are a social construct. A new alpha-mail happily kills his harem's youngest so that the females are ready to breed sooner. Is that good, or bad? Neither. It just IS. I certainly wouldn't want to be killed that way. But, all people alive today are likely the result of similar bloodshed in our ancient past.

    I hope that response is more satisfying to you.


  26. killing other beings is the basis of survival for every body . only plants can use co2 and water to make carbon skeletons which form carbs on whuch herbivores feed and in turn are fed upon by carnivores and omnivores including man . that is the basis of life . basis of killing i.e is murder is based on intent or malice aforethought . basis of life should not be confused with intent or malice aforethought . these are 2 diffent things. hence this cannot be used as a arguement . even a carnivore loves and remembers those who have been kind to it . it remembers a good deed . it can even be argued from this that a carnivore can have knowledge of good without having the knowledge of god . but it can always be said that god implanted this knowledge . however there is no proof of that .