The moral high ground

morality

 

It is becoming more and more common for atheists and secular types to claim the moral high ground. So the prevalence of the type of graphic we see above is increasing somewhat. On the one hand I find it amusingly hypocritical of them. On the other I find it a concerning trend.

It is amusingly hypocritical because they are always asking for evidence of God. Well here I will ask of them where is your evidence, your rationale for establishing that any action in this uncaring unthinking universe is right while another action is wrong? What are morals? How do you measure them? What evidence do you have for them even existing? Do they only exist because you say they exist? If they are indeed only a human construct, then by what basis can you say that at some time in some society their actions were immoral when at that time they were not considered so? I am not saying of course that the atheist is somehow immoral or even a-moral. I am just questioning the basis for claiming the moral high ground.

My concern is that there are a lot of people out there who will simply uncritically adopt this type of mantra. And when one group is so obviously morally superior to another and has the power to do something about it, then generally they will.

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7 Comments

  1. Perhaps my musing on morality might offer some insight: http://amrestorative.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/the-tribe-of-the-collective-consciousness-musings-on-morality/

    Also, look at some of the comments, some interesting perspectives offered from both believers and non-believers..

    Reply
    • A central premise is of your post was of Zacharias’ illustration that “Attached to this assumption is a poisonous sentiment that is commonly shared by believers: you cannot be good without God; or you can be good, but it doesn’t matter.”

      This misses the point completely ….. it is not that the atheist cannot be good, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that an Atheist making an absolute claim about morality to question God’s existence has no foundation for that claim. The concept of a moral absolute is not a luxury the Atheist can afford. For the Atheist morals must have evolved. They are relative. Which leads me to ask, on what basis are these Atheists claiming the moral high ground.

      Reply
  2. “your rationale for establishing that any action in this uncaring unthinking universe is right while another action is wrong?”

    The universe has nothing to do with it.

    It has to do with humans and what we value. If we value the same things (and for the most part we as humans do, though there are some differences), then we can determine what actions are better at achieving or protecting those values and what actions are worse.

    “then by what basis can you say that at some time in some society their actions were immoral when at that time they were not considered so?”

    The people of some society in the past might have viewed their actions as moral.

    So what? We know more than people in the past.

    “And when one group is so obviously morally superior to another and has the power to do something about it, then generally they will.”

    What do you think we’re going to do?

    Reply
    • “The people of some society in the past might have viewed their actions as moral.

      So what? We know more than people in the past.”

      Is it your contention that better factual understanding leads to better morality?

      I feel that this is rather non sequitur.

      Reply
      • “Is it your contention that better factual understanding leads to better morality?”

        Certainly.

        For example, the understanding that different ethnicities are all biologically human with virtually no meaningful differences has gone strides towards eradicating racism.

        Racism still exists, of course. But we’re a much less racist world than we once were. Why? We’re more knowledgeable.

      • That is an interesting contention, but it cannot explain that why this is better or preferable (which I contend that it is BTW).

        Such understanding of human biology could also guide you to the belief that through education we can eradicate racism, thus anyone we deem racist needs “re-education” until they agree with us.

  3. For that to be true I’d have to be convinced that force is a good thing. As I have seen demonstrable evidence that such force causes harm, I would never see re-education as a good thing.

    Reply

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