When you hear about objective morality, you often end up thinking about God- a sovereign being or something like that. However, you do not need God to have an argument on objective morality. Most people go wrong when they think of objective morality in terms of religion and God.
The reason why this is so, is because it causes a biased conclusion before the argument even starts. Most people have already set their mind to either be religious or not. Therefore, trying to have a debate on morality will definitely drive them into the conclusion of a non existing God and subjective morality.
Here at themindcomplex.com I strive to face the facts as they are laid on the table and not as I think. I will tackle this question with the hopes of not being biased for even one second. So lets begin.
This Article Contains
What is morality in its simplest?
Morality is the knowledge of existentially good things or behaviors that yield goodness and the knowledge of existentially bad things that yield badness.
Morality may be defined as objective or subjective.
- Objective morality – is morality based on a universal application. A morality that applies to everybody, never fleets and is constant regardless of culture, environment and era. Objective morality is MAINLY found on the belief of a greater being that embodies goodness (God, Allah or Yahweh) from whom we can derive what is right and what is wrong. However, objective morality can also be found in the study of human psychology based on the similarities of human thinking and behaviors.
- Subjective morality – this is morality that us defined based on the subject (person or a people)involved. Which is to say that morality isn’t a constant but something that shifts depending on where you are and the people around you. This is a belief that is widely held by atheists and non religious people. It involves moral relativism, which is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.
The terrible influence of culture and society to morality
When it comes to morality, we have to forgo the aspect of societal influence, environment and culture. The reason is because we all come into this world similar. Same DNA makeup, development process and biological function. Since Morality is all about what is right and wrong to the human condition, we need to base it primarily on the psychological and biological functions of the human mind and body.
We should look at morality from that perspective. This is because we tend to confuse the influence of culture and traditions to the mind with the actual functioning of the mind.
The whole point of this article is to show you why objective morality is true regardless of your religious affiliation or beliefs. My main objection to the subjective morality viewpoint is based on the fact that it breeds chaos. Not that I want it gone because of order, no. I want it gone out of your minds because its not true or consistent with how your mind works.
There is order everywhere, if you are keen enough to look. You notice this by observing the principle of the butterfly effect – which states that whatever you do, no matter how minimal causes ripples of events that cascade into the universe causing tremendous changes and developments that would otherwise not have been predicted when you chose to do that small thing.
Remember this butterfly effect when we talk about evil and the reasons why it exists.
Not to say that things happen for a reason, no, this is to say that everything that happens has a cause. Wherever there is a cause there is a causality, and most causalities have people behind them or nature itself. This means that nothing can happen without being caused.
To show you there is objective morality, I’m going to use a few examples of what we may consider immoral.
Examples of why objective morality exists
Regardless of the culture, most people know that committing murder is immoral. Its immoral according to the law and its immoral regardless of the law. Ask yourself this, if you knew you would kill someone and get away with it without any consequences, would you so it?
If the answer is yes, would you live with it without any remorse or regret? If the answer is yes then you are lying to yourself. But then you will say, what about those killers who love killing people and never stop.
Well, according to the American Psychological Association, most of these individuals are influenced by their developmental psychology. Severe, pervasive, chronic trauma in early childhood is such a frontal assault on the basic processes of child development — attachment, emotional regulation and executive function.
Which is to say, your upbringing, environment and society as a whole can alter how your brain thinks. People who are affected by psychological problems and those of whom who love doing unspeakable things are not innately that way. The brain is in an interactive relationship with experience. If you change the experience you can change the brain.
If we are not build to do these things then why do some people just love chaos and murder to the point of not feeling remorse?
David Buss, professor of psychology at the University of Texas-Austin, surveyed 5,000 people for his book, The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill, and found that 91% of men and 84% of women had thought about killing someone, often with very specific hypothetical victims and methods in mind.
We are genetically predisposed to be violent so that we can survive. However, if we become violent often or entertain the idea for quite some time, we end up adapting to view it as a normalcy rather than an irregularity. This happens so often, especially when we find means to justify our violence and rage.
We can apply this same argument to cannibalism too. Simply to say, none of us is genetically predisposed to view death as a normal moral thing unless it happens by natural causes or accidents instead of a person’s action. This is highly rooted in the fact that we are made to protect the sovereignty of every life as precious and vital. Therefore, anything that differs from that is immoral to us genetically.
All attempts to justify slavery fail today. Many people in the past have come with a few reasons to make it sound moral but it isn’t. One example of this is the Nazis when the Holocaust took place. Justifying killings and slavery by means of ‘genetics’ didn’t go well because we found out we are all similar than we are dissimilar. And the ways that we are dissimilar don’t count for anything in terms of humanity, success, intellect and conscientiousness.
Another example is the ‘fact’ that the Bible supported slavery. It actually doesn’t by the way. The term slave and servant as used in the Bible often means a person who is actually working to serve his master whilst being compensated. However, regardless of him/her being compensated, the person was required to be submissive and all giving to the master according to the societies of that time. Not the Bible.
Slavery was also justified by the fact that it is legal. However, legality of anything doesn’t make it moral. Things can be legal and unethical at the same time. The reason why they may be legal is for necessity or so as to prevent a greater evil. This is an important distinction which should really make you think of why people love law breakers sometimes.
Slavery is innately wrong in the sense that we all need freedom. We come into this world free. Masters of none, slaves of none. We join a universe that works in unison to create something and therefore we join that evolving system. To be free and to add some value to that universal system that works all around us.
Everyone thinks of stealing, but everyone hates being stolen from.
An important distinction between morality and survival has to be made. Most often people misunderstand the difference between what is morally good and what we end up doing for survival. Just because something is done because of survival doesn’t make it morally right.
You may say that if self preservation and survival instincts are deeply rooted in us then we ought to act on them. Therefore, they can be moral. Wrong! Our survival instincts don’t control us for starters. They are automatic responses that kick in to help us find the easiest path to safety and survival. We can choose to not be driven by them.
Evolutionary psychology states that whatever is beneficial to the mind is set to stay forever, whilst what is not beneficial or acceptable to the mind is weeded out. All of our behaviors work like that. From the idea of Yin and Yang, you will find out that nothing is really set in stone until we choose to set it in stone.
Our survival instincts and emotions don’t speak to what is right or wrong. It just speaks to what the mind desires, hence, we can’t rely on these aspects to tell us what is moral or immoral.
The nature of consciousness
We are still far away from truly dissecting the entirety of our consciousness. We have a few glimpse at it, enough to let us know that we are driven by innately set conditions that very few of us strive to understand. Our actions are driven by neurochemistry that still baffles us to date.
Simply to say, we are creatures of order. And if order exists then our ideas of morality can’t be malleable. They have to be set in stone since we are all similar. What is moral in Africa should in some way correlate to what is moral in America. The cultures and societies may have different ways of addressing it but its still moral.
For example, in all cultures, rape is wrong. This is on top of women objectification and their nudity. Many cultures address this differently. In some, women are required to dress in a certain way so as to conceal their attractions and in others like Africa, women can walk around bare chested.
These two cultures may seem to be contradictory from the surface. However, if you look deep into the societies, you will find out that they both punish rape by death, just as an example, and also cherish the sanctity of marriage and the union of two individuals.
Simply put, traditions and cultures don’t shape morality, morality shapes cultures and traditions. It gives us some freedom of movement within it that we can input our own beliefs and values so as to create a unique system.
My point here is to tell people to open up their eyes and minds to see the similarities in human behavior without having to add cultural and societal influence on top of it.
We get stuck sometimes in this cycle of saying, “This wasn’t accepted then because of the society and culture of the time, but times have changed, so we should change with them.”
I find this statement half right. It neglects the major reason why we do things. It neglects the workings of the mind and the evolutionary psychology that is instilled in us. Our behaviors are clockwise, always being driven in a predictable path, this simply means our thinking has purpose and reason. If we ignore those purposes and reasons we may end up entering into the realm of “everything goes” – which is what subjective morality seems to be pushing forward.
We need to sit down with ourselves and understand why we do the things we do. Why we tell our kids to be respectful to us, not to kill, not to steal, not to be spoiled, not to accept quick easy money, to treat women with respect, never to cheat on their spouse, to be kind and loving to others and all those many good things that we consider moral.
Some may say that we teach these things to give them the best chance of survival and therefore has nothing to do with morality. However, as you can see, if morality of this nature can help the kids survive better in the society, shouldn’t we figure out more of the things that should be moral so that we can not only survive but live in peaceful freedom?
Morality drives survival, survival doesn’t drive morality. Objective morality is the best chance of anybody having the best life they could ever have, and therefore it should be a priority.