Wow, an easy one, finally
yes! there is objective morality. some things do not require socratic dialectics to understand. every culture will tell you that killing is wrong. exceptions are always made, but they are hypocrytical ones: the vikings knew well enough that massacaring villagers along the english coast was a baddy. they did it anyway, forecfully justifying thungs for themselves, so did every killer in history.
theft is also pretty obvious. you make take from others, but then you need to make some construct to justify.
a lot of justifying was done in history, for sure.
but the very fact that you need to come up with an excuse, says you know something is wrong.
now for moral dilemmas:
1) steal a loaf of bread, cause your family is starving?
2) what do we do in cases we need to weigh the benefit of the many?
3) what if god told me to do it?
4) what if it is something a bit more gray, say stealing from a neighbor’s wife, instead of coveting her?
and so on.
again, results of these mental gymnastics may vary, by culture, conditions, the neighbor’s wife , etc.
but the very fact we struggle with it, rather than come up with a desicion immidietly, and later on feel regret for whatever we chose-all these indicate there truly is objective morality.
so the question is; how do we define what is right and wrong?
how do we deal with complex cases.
the problem is, this- any law or rule that is codified , even under the best of intentions and the purest of hearts will come smack against the hard granite that is reality. sooner or later, decisions we take and others have taken, would lead us in a certain unwanted tragectory. we can’t avoid bad choices, because they are not only dependant on us. laws and norms also fail on a more formalist level. people just can’t put in words all possible conditions and subsequant restrictions and allowances. there is much that is wrong that is not illegal, and there is much that is legal that is.
a few days ago, i was walking with my baby. and along the sidewalk we saw a dog turd that was covered by a piece of paper, rather than picked up so either the person that was doing this thought that his covering of the ‘fact’ was enough civic responsibility, or that he failed to complete the task because he was then chased by a tiger.
i’ll be frank and say, that i didn’t take this opportunity to show my girl what being an urban resident means, and did not pick the stuff up myself.
kill me, i deserve nothing less.
but here again, even in this low, pathetic moment we see that there is morality. both the soon-to-be-tiger-meal, and yours truly thought of the moral implications of inaction.
the fact that neither of us took the right step, does not deminish it being wrong.
collective, pervasive malpractice is not equal to immorality.
lets look at history again. yes, it is true that much that was murderous, vile and hateful was commited. beside gross obsenity, there are a lesser mode of crimes against easthetics (rod stewart) , disregard for the wellbeing of orhers (anyone who smokes, or plays music too loud), and the spreading of false values (oh...don’t get me started..)
these are all things that hapoened , and will regretably continue to occur.
but there is so much good that is done in this world. why aren’t we analyzing the motives of a hero, while we do so endlessly with those that we lable villans?
because one is good and one is not.
there. i just proved objective morality from a few angles.
i am still not sure what to do in this world.
but that, maybe, is the true test of morality:not finding a way, but looking for one.