Sources of secular moral laws predating the Abrahamic God? Philosophically, a source being older than another doesn't mean it's more accurate or truer than the younger source.
Objective moral values are kindness or love, why? How are they good independent of human belief? Because they don't result in humans killing each other? Why is that a 'good' quality? Why is human survival a good thing? What authority is that moral law/trait based on? How is a pesticide killing an ant colony morally different than human genocide?
I agree with your definition of morality, but not you behavioral interpretation into naturalism. If behavior is determined by nature and nurture, then humans are pre-hard wired to do what we do and the biochemistry in our brains combined with our experience completely determines our actions and thoughts. This means that our actions are not objectively wrong unless:1. We are in control of our actions regardless of our nature/nurtureand 2. How we ought to behave is fundamentally (of primary source) grounded in something outside of humanity's perception, conception, emotion, or personal bias. You lack both of those qualities, just as aleph_naught does. Your morality is firmly planted in mid air; grounded on nothing.
Mammal, I had that issue before. The below is a message from a mod:Quote from: Pathos on January 01, 2017, 12:38:37 amAs soon as you reach five approved posts you'll be set free to post at your leisure. Sorry for the inconvenience but this keeps spam and other issues off the forum. Kind regards, Pathos.
As soon as you reach five approved posts you'll be set free to post at your leisure. Sorry for the inconvenience but this keeps spam and other issues off the forum. Kind regards, Pathos.
Wow! I'm glad to see my post finally generated some interest. Thanks so much, Jeffery Jay Lowder, for getting the ball rolling and for making me think through this.
Hey, Aleph Naught - thanks very much for jumping in on this. My goal with my original post was to avoid all the philosophical tap dancing. And per both of our most recent posts, we have now boiled things down to the fundamental issue. Although debates about objective morality can quickly get bogged down in endless philosophical wrangling about various principles and trains of logic (etc., etc., etc.), objective morality must have some sort of stopping point, which is what I submitted in my original post. The endless back-and-forth of the Euthypro Dilemma leads us to that stopping point, until all three fundamental worldviews are under scrutiny at the most basic level possible (pertaining to objective morality):-Atheism: Objective morality is a fundamental property of the eternal impersonal physical cosmos, similar to a law of physics. Therefore objective morality's basis is impersonal in nature.-Pantheism: Objective morality is a fundamental property of the eternal impersonal spiritual cosmos, possibly a law of karma. Therefore objective morality's basis is impersonal in nature.-Theism: Objective morality is a fundamental property of the eternal personal Deity. Therefore objective morality's basis is personal in nature.
Once we are taking a stark look at all three fundamental worldviews, we must move beyond the Euthypro Dilemma and turn to other logical tools. You are an excellent thinker, and I completely respect that you find the atheistic explanation tenable, though clearly I do not. As I have stated multiple times previously in this thread, morality is, in its very essence, personal in nature. To argue that morality is impersonal is logically equivalent to arguing that "asteroid = love" and "septic tank = goodness". I firmly contend that something ultimately personal in nature must therefore have an ultimate personal stopping point. And that immediately eliminates atheism and pantheism, taking us straight to classical theism.
In addition to the foundational questions in this debate, I believe the moral problem for atheists, pantheists and non-Christian theists is further compounded by two of my other original posts:(a) Dividing Good from Evil: Not only must there be some sort of objective dividing line between good and evil, note that evil is subordinate to and parasitic upon goodness. It is not merely objective morality that must have an ultimate definition, but it is objective goodness that must have an ultimate definition. If atheism and pantheism are true, both good and evil are inherent parts of the eternal physical or spiritual cosmos and are equally valid. But if theism is true, then God alone is ultimate goodness, whereas evil only gains its existence by warping/attacking goodness. At most, evil only exists as a subordinate concept generated by goodness's necessary existence, just as falsehood only gains its definition as a contrast to truth. I elaborated on this more in If Good Is Good, What Is Evil?(b) The Problem of Justification: Outside of Christianity, all religions (including atheism and non-Christian theism) boil down to human self-justification. But how can humans become justified/good? Even if we assume that atheism or pantheism could viably generate some sort of objective moral law, this leads to other impossible-to-answer questions. For example, exactly what percentage of personal righteousness must I achieve in order to be a "good person" (whatever the heck that is)? Further, isn't self-righteousness downright morally nauseating? "I am such good person because I have done so many good things. Now let me list them for you so you can see how amazing I am..." I would argue that human self-righteousness and evil are one and the same, and Jesus alone provides a solution to this problem. I elaborated on this more in The Moral Argument for the Christian God Alone.
In the case of objective morality, it must be tied to the ultimate nature of existence (again, atheism, pantheism or theism). There must be some sort of ultimate paradigm of goodness that distinguishes it from evil, and an impersonal explanation simply doesn't cut it. Concepts like goodness, love and rationality are not merely related to personhood—they are inseparable from personhood, so I would argue that none of them could exist apart from personhood. In a cosmos devoid of personhood, there would be no rationality, love or goodness, as there would be no self-conscious (personal) mind of any kind capable of having such traits. There would only be mindless machinations (as many atheists have ironically admitted). However, I understand you disagree with me on that point.
Regarding why I said evil is parasitic upon goodness, I went into great deal about this in my post If God Is Good, What Is Evil? The short version is that, like falsehood, evil only gains its definition by warping or attacking goodness. For example, rape (evil) is just a perversion of sex (good). Murder (evil) is merely an attack on life (good). It's similar to how facts (truth) stand true on their own, while lies (falsehood) are only distortions of or contradictions to truth. The existence of truth opens up the possibility of falsehood, but only if something contradicts truth. Truth does not need falsehood, but falsehood does need truth. Goodness does not need evil, but evil does need goodness. The important point is that good and evil must be separate, and goodness must be entirely superior (necessary) to evil—yet only theism provides a valid basis for this. Under atheism or pantheism, everything is either part of the self-existent material cosmos or the self-existent spiritual cosmos, including good and evil—in which case good and evil are equally valid and necessary parts of a greater whole. But I firmly contend that the classic New Age assertion of "there is no good without evil" is 100% false. Again, I went into this issue more deeply in the other post, though I kept it separate from this thread, in order to attempt to keep things shorter.
In terms of what makes a good person, I delved more deeply into the question in my post The Moral Argument for the Christian God Alone. Again, it may be best to discuss the issue under that post. Or you could peruse my other two posts and raise objections in this thread (whatever works best for you). I find your definition of a "good person" to be insufficient, as there would most certainly be an amount of goodness needed! If no amount is needed, then the argument about a "habitually good person" disintegrates, since a person who habitually does 0% good deeds would still qualify as "good", and no habits are needed in the first place. "Habitually" must be quantified or defined somehow, and that inevitably leads to an amount—some sort of dividing line between a "good" and a "bad" person, possibly with "mediocre" people in between. On the other hand, if there is a percentage requirement, the question immediately arises: is it 21.2%, 98.9%, or 52.645902%? What exactly is the magic number? How good is good enough? Were Stalin and Zedong "good" people? If not ... how did they fail to objectively qualify as "good"? Also, since the method of justification, namely qualifying as a "good person", stems from the self (i.e. the level of habitual goodness or the number of good deeds or the percentage of righteousness or however it's captured), the logic is still firmly rooted in human self-righteousness. And as I explained in my post, even evil people actually think they are good. This is the joke evil plays on itself. Falsehood is really just bogus truth, and evil is really just bogus goodness. And out of all the religious and irreligious teachers in human history, Jesus alone challenges human self-righteousness (a.k.a. evil), which is why we all attempt to avoid Him and conjure our own raised-in-rivalry-to-God goodness (per the narrative in Genesis 3).