Moral Argument (Part 4): Is Morality Subjective, Varying By Culture And Individual?

Angelina Jolie:
“There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike.”

MORAL RELATIVISM

“Moral relativism” is a type of atheism that says:
“Morals exist, but they’re entirely subjective (can vary by culture and by individual). No culture’s morality or individual’s morality is any better than another’s.”

According to surveys, most college students believe this. This view runs directly counter to premise 2 of the moral argument which says, “Objective moral values and duties exist.”

OUR RESPONSE TO MORAL RELATIVISM

• Are moral values just cultural or personal preferences?
• Are the values we live by just social conventions, like using a fork to eat your food or not burping at the dinner table? Is there a morality cafeteria where I can pick which values I want to follow?
• Are the moral standards in every culture morally equivalent?

First, the deepest thinkers on this matter of moral values are philosophers, and according to surveys an overwhelming majority of philosophers agree with Christians on premise 2 of the moral argument which says that there are objective morals.

Secondly, most of us trust our senses to discern the physical world around us. In that same manner, we should be able to trust our moral sense and experience enough to conclude that objective morals and duties actually do exist.

Regarding cultural relativism, in Indian Hindu cultures “suttee” is the practice of throwing a wife alive onto the funeral pyre of her dead husband. In China, there is a practice of binding some little girls’ feet like lotus blossoms in a manner that often cripples them for life. Can we actually say that those practices are morally equivalent to values in all other cultures?

The answer would be “no, objective moral values have to actually exist.” It can’t be true that every culture’s and every individual’s moral values are equivalent.

CONCLUSION

So there are objective moral values that supersede cultural and personal boundaries!

Therefore, moral relativism is incorrect and premise 2 of the moral argument is right: “Objective moral values and duties exist.”

THE MORAL ARGUMENT
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values and duties exist.
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

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