Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

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Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

Postby DjVortex » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:52 am

Many Christians have this (quite strange) argument that without God there are no objective morals.

One question I seldom see asked is: On what grounds are God's moral values objective? How do you define "objective" and why are God's commands such?

I'm assuming that many of such Christians would try to argue that they are "objective" because they are not dependent on a human mind. But then it's just a circular definition: "These morals are objective because I define them to be so." The very definition of "objective" is such that these alleged moral values are "objective" and human moral values aren't. But this doesn't really tell us anything. (Nor is it established why these "morals" would be good, even assuming that the claim that they are not dependent on human minds were true. What's the justification for them to be absolutely good?)

If the definition of "objective" is "does not depend on the situation", then the Bible itself contradicts the notion. (For example, "do not kill" applies only in certain situations, not all of them. God himself commands his people to kill. You can't argue "do not kill" to be objective if God himself demands it only in certain situations but not others. This is like the very definition of subjective.)
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Re: Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

Postby sepia » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:14 pm

Maybe its just a definition. But I have no sources.

This would mean, a creator, whos morals are not objective, can't be God.
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Re: Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

Postby dobbie » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:02 pm

I say that biblical objective moral values are almost always inferred. For example, "You will have no other gods before me" is a commandment and yet people pray to Mother Mary or saints. I supposed they do it on the grounds that Mother Mary and the saints aren't gods. But to me if I can pray to and get help from a supernatural being then that supernatural being is a god.

Or they will say that Mother Mary or the saints don't come before God Almighty in importance; so there's no offical infrigement of the commandment. In any case this practice is inferred (interpreted) as to whether it's objectively moral. Further, I say that that goes for many of the other obstensibly objective moral values in the Bible.
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Re: Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

Postby DjVortex » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:30 am

dobbie wrote:I say that biblical objective moral values are almost always inferred.


Moreover, a good chunk of "objective moral values" that Christians agree with are, in fact, not found in the bible (except perhaps through a rather elaborate interpretation of very generic or otherwise unrelated commands).

There's nothing in the bible forbidding a person owning another person as property, like a farm animal, yet most Christians would agree that this is something abhorrent, and would most probably agree that being against it is an "objective moral value".

The bible does not forbid having sex with your own child (IIRC there are prohibitions of all kinds of other incestual and non-incestual types, but a curious omission on having sex with your own child), yet most Christians would agree that this is also abhorrent, and being against it is an objective moral value. (Many Christians will argue that it's indirectly forbidden by the principle that you must not commit adultery. However, this does not explain why other forms of incest are explicitly forbidden but not this. If "do not commit adultery" were enough to forbid all of them, why are they explicitly stated separately?)

Related to that, there's nothing in the bible that forbids you from marrying your own child (which would bypass the "do not commit adultery" loophole) yet, once again, most Christians would consider it abhorrent.

The majority of Christians (but not all of them, especially in the US) would agree that death penalty is abhorrent, yet there's nothing in the bible that would forbid such a punishment.

Rape is not dealt with directly. There are only indirect passages and commandments dealing with specific cases of rape, but not a concrete and definitive stance on all form of rape.

There are tons and tons of things that most Christians agree are absolute morals, yet are not found in the bible.
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Re: Why exactly are God's morals "objective"?

Postby BahRayMew » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:20 pm

This argument has always annoyed me. It's that special breed of inarticulate stupidity.

God is a subject actor. Any code of conduct generated by a subject actor is by definition, subjective. Your hypothetical god being perfect or all-knowing has no fucking bearing on whether his morality is objective or not.

If we cheat and go to dictionary.com, here are some definitions of "objective":
5. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
6. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
7. being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject ( opposed to subjective).
8. of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.


If a god has an opinion about how humans out to behave and has rather strong feelings about how we ought to behave, you cannot say that it's objective. I don't care how perfect or wise this god supposedly is. Opinions can have merit by virtue of their being informed by infinite wisdom or whatever. But Christians are rarely content to stick to just that. No, no, that's not good enough. God's morality is objective. It's flatulently rude to pass off "objective morality" as a sensible phrase, because it's not. It's impolite as all hell and I'm sick of their expecting to be taken seriously for butchering good practice in communication because they're too hip.

The more sophisticated philosophical degenerates can make a good go at "7" and "8" being true of "God's morality," but if anything, they annoy me more. Philosophical idealism is dumb and reality doesn't bear them out. Morality is not observed be universal in humans, so you cannot argue that it's an objective property of all humans everywhere. And then these same theologians/philosophers shit themselves by turning around by saying God gave us free will to decide our actions, which means that nothing can be universally said of human morality.

You can argue that a god's opinions on morality has universal utility for all humans everywhere. This would be a more honest argument. But then you have to keep in mind that theists like to claim that a god's revelations are an indispensable part of becoming that special kind of moral. You cannot be moral on your own. So theists that make this claim basically forfeit any right to claim that they really know any fact about morality because it's the monopoly of some divine being. Ergo, they need to shut up and stop badgering people with this stupidity.
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