While the esoteric debate of objective vs. subjective morality can be interesting, at some point we need to look at the pragmatic side of the matter—how does it work? When we see how terribly skewed Christianity apply their claimed independent basis for morality, we see a system that is just as subjective, and often worse, than any secular humanist could devise.
It is like the child, who upon being formed by their mother to “Go ahead, take the medicine, it tastes good” asks their mother, “If it tastes so good—YOU try it.” The resulting grimace and hesitation is enough information. In spite of the argumentation, practice demonstrates that Mom can’t swallow her own medicine.
A group of humans (I will focus on the claims of Conservative Christians) has manufactured a list of morals. By alleging it came from a God, they attempt to elevate this list to supercede any list created by mere humans, and trumpet it as, therefore, superior. By defining the God as objective (albeit unable to verify this claim in any way) this list becomes an “objective” standard.
I understand that a Christian cannot know everything on the list. I understand that the Christian cannot comprehend some of the things on the list. For the moment, it is enough to know that we have such a list, providing us insight on do’s and don’ts.
But Christians themselves do not follow this list. In fact, they are astoundingly horrible at doing so.
They take their list and start circling certain items as being moral/immoral. Items that any human could come up with. Items that do not cost the Christian anything:
“Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not lie.” What is so remarkable about those circled items? Societies that never even heard of the Christian God developed these concepts. Any human, anywhere, can develop a set of morals such as these. Attributing them to a God is not remarkable. Billions of non-Christians subscribe to these tenets.
After having this list waved about as an extraordinary system of morals, it is high time I reviewed that list, and see just how “objective” the Christian is being. I can read the Bible too. Remember, this is a list from a God. The human is in no position to pick-and-choose which morals they like, and which ones they don’t. It is an all-or-nothing prospect. If the Christian cannot explain how God-caused atrocities such as Joshua’s genocide are on the list, they certainly have no authority to question the more minor restrictions.
Paul says that entire Law can be summed up as “Love your neighbor.” (Rm. 13:9) Jesus confirms that. (Mark 12:31, Matt. 22:36, Lk. 10:28) If this is number one (or two) on the list, and is emphasized into a place of importance, we must look at it more closely. What does it mean to “Love your neighbor”? Jesus broadly encompasses “Neighbor” to include enemies. (Matt. 5:34).
What moral, what law do we find on this list now? “If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:29-30. Wow! When is the last time we saw a Christian argue that should be the number one concern of Christians today? Remember, this is YOUR list, in which YOUR God put it at the very top.
You hold abortion as a sin. It is on the list. Circled. Because of the inability to convince society as a whole, you attempt to pass laws and mandate through the Judicial system by fiat what you cannot do by persuasion. Why are you skipping past the more important laws, as pointed out by your God? You want me to be convinced of your “objective morality”? Start applying it uniformly. Start petitioning just as hard for laws that cost you, not laws you can live with.
Where is the outcry for the reform of all theft laws to carve out an exception when a Christian is stolen from? It is right there on the list. It even precedes “Do not murder.” If your God thinks it is of the most important, why don’t you? You march against abortion clinics. Where are the Christian clinics where anyone who asks for assistance is given freely? Please READ Luke 6:27-36. These “Christian clinics” should so clog our cities and towns that people cannot get to the Abortion clinic without passing 5 or 6 of them. Dare I say, if you converted your Churches into places where people would freely receive food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and jobs without questions, without admonition, without sanctimonious disapproval you would be stunned at how we would start to look at your “objective morality.”
Want to take a stab at the very heart of atheism? Stop behaving like one. If you believed that these morals came from a God, you would act on it.
I am unimpressed with philosophical argument, when I see this. Want to make an impact in the world? Want to prevail on this argument easily? Stop picking and choosing your “objective morals” and start living them. Within your letter to you Congressperson about eliminating abortion, include a mandated Christian-help center.
A rich Christian should be a witticism like “plastic glass” or “jumbo shrimp.” Jesus says, if you want to be perfect, sell your possessions and give to the poor. (Matt. 19:21, Mark 10:21) Stop worrying about material possessions. (Matt. 6:25-34) Give everything you own. (Luke 21:2) I’ll help you out—Christian women can sell or give all their gold jewelry and pearls for the benefit of the poor. 1 Tim. 2:9.
You consider homosexuality a sin. I understand. You desire to pass laws to prohibit homosexual marriage. (Why you want to pass a law prohibiting “sinners” from marrying, since your own system would mandate the elimination of marriage, is beyond me, but so be it.) Fair enough. In looking at your list, I am looking forward to all the proposals on the ballot reducing the amount of Bank Savings, and stock portfolios, and real estate that professing Christians may own.
I am eagerly anticipating the reforms that all of Christendom will be propelling forward with exuberance to eliminate government-assisted aid to the elderly and those needing assistance, as it is clearly the responsibility of the Christians. (James. 1:27) With the elimination of their wealth, it would be easily done.
Come ON! Can anyone point me to a rally, to a petition, to a conference, a proposal, anything in which we see Christians claiming other Christians are not doing their part, and it is time to pass some laws enforcing it! Give me a break.
Our health system is long overdue for some much-needed assistance. Christians, in following their own “objective” morals will no longer require medicine, hospitals or Doctors for diseases. James 5:13-16. By even using such facilities, they are demonstrating a lack of faith, (Matt 17:20, Matt. 21:21) which I am sure will equally be a crime, once Christians have their way.
More importantly Christians should replace hospitals for sicknesses. (The Bible is never quite clear on injury-related problems.) As any believer is able to heal the sick. (Mark 16:15-19). Jesus even indicates that believers can do MORE than he ever did in the miracle department. (John 14:12)
Want a law that says doctors should be convicted of murder for performing an abortion? Great. I assume that the law will also indicate that any person that goes to a Christian for healing and dies will equally be a victim of Murder. If you can’t heal by your faith, as required by your “objective moral” then you can’t call yourself a Christian. At least that would get you out of giving up your Mutual Funds, wouldn’t it?
And what exactly ARE you doing, complaining about the laws in the country in which you live? If you are facing persecution, isn’t that to be considered a joy? Are you allowed to complain about it? Nope. (James 1:2, 1 Peter 2:13-25, Philippians 2:14). Funny, when I look at your list, I don’t see that one circled, do I?
As I start to inspect this list, and its circled items, a pattern emerges—the Christian only circled the items that do have a cost to the Christian. “Do not steal.” Most people do that anyway, that is an easy one to circle. “Give everything you have to the poor.” Now the Christian starts waving the list real fast, and spouting philosophical meta-arguments of the values of objective morality, hoping no one ever really looks at what the Christian is actually proposing.
Look, it is very simple. You want to impress the world with objective morality? Start with laws imposing Christian morals on Christians. Any group that is willing to do that type of self-sacrifice is worthy of notice.
In the meantime, I am less than impressed with your “objective morality.” If you don’t buy it, why should I?