We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Thank you for for the link. I especially like the video about why America is so great. Very well done.
And I must say, despite what the media presents, many Germans would agree. We know that we would not be where we are now, as a country and as a people, without the greatness of the American people who made the sacrifices they did to save us from ourselves not so long ago.
Karl Horst (Germany)
I will show you that none of these can be the ultimate source of morality. Why not from evolution? Because any supposed morality that is evolving can change. If it can change for the good or the bad, there must be a standard above these changes to judge them as good or bad.
Of course it can change! That shows there is no objective standard. Moral standards can and do change. In one age, slavery was accepted practice. In another it is not. And it can certainly change back again. That's the very nature of subjectivity.
Bird Dog: Wrong. Cultural standards change, but ultimate standards do not.
Repeating the claim doesn't strengthen it. While abstracting moral notions is an effective means of communication, such abstraction doesn't reify morality, in fact. That human notions of morality can and do change, sometimes radically, shows that the notions are not objective. Even if humans share many such notions, they remain human notions. A sentient insect may consider eating her mate's head after copulation to be de rigueur.
When I came across information related to a physical aspect of animals that are a food source for predatory animals in Africa, it poses a question as to that, which is claimed to be, an ammoral dynamic of evolution. The prey, finding itself in the unmerciful claws and teeth of the predator, experiences mercy of a sorts when its body goes into shock and feels no pain as it is being eaten alive. What would be the evolutionary purpose for such a physical experience of apparent mercy?
While I believe morality comes from a higher source, I don't find this video very compelling. I wish it were more compelling.
The first argument supports evolution, it does not contradict it. While chattel slavery has mostly disappeared, support for enslavement has not. Most of the world believes that it is moral to use violence to take from those with ability and energy to give to those who lack these qualities. Chattel slavery disappeared because it was an inefficient means of wealth creation and transfer. So like evolution, something more effective replaced something less effective.
The reason argument has a bad and good example. "Criminals plan a murder without reason telling them that murder is wrong". Huh? Criminals admit knowing they are doing wrong, they just choose to do it anyway. Just like a 2 year old learn to lie when asked "Who ate all the cookies?". I agree that it was not reason that led gentiles to save Jews.
The argument using Himmler and conscience is like the criminal argument. There is no support for the conclusion that the Nazi's had no conscience, only that they acted in unconscionable ways. I have read a number of gut wrenching accounts from German citizens acknowledging the immorality of their actions. They chose torture and murder of others over their own torture and murder. Human weakness yes, but not an argument showing that conscience does not exist.
We do live in a world where human nature is given free reign. Punishment after the fact has not changed human nature. Human nature leads us to do both bad and good things. So to me just listing the bad doesn't isn't an argument against human nature as the source of morality.
The utilitarian argument about slavery doesn't describe reality. Slavery (governmental not chattel) is still morally acceptable to most folks so long as they believe they are net gainers, and to those who are not self reflective.
The conclusion that morality comes from above the physical world, just doesn't follow from these flawed arguments.
As I stated at the onset, I believe morality exists, I just wanted a more compelling presentation. I know that criticism is easy. If I had a concise, compelling argument as to the source of morality, I would present it. I will continue my search.