We are suffering from poor definitions here. We need agreed definitions on morals, relative, absolute, rules, and truth. I failed to make clear in my other response that morals are not a truth. Thanks, Terry, for that. All of Rex's words are in italics. The rest is mine.
Are morals relative or are they absolute? There are just two options.
Is it possible for there to be more than two options? If not, why not? If I come up with a single other option, there are more than two.
If you believe that some things are personal and some things are absolute, that puts you in an absolutist world view.
Why? Are you saying that if someone believes in any absolutes, they are necessarily absolute about everything? Or only that a partial absolutist is at least, in part, absolute.
So it's true to say that most of you hold to some absolute truths.
But remember, absolute truth is not the same as absolute morals.
Most of you said that there are some moral rules that exist outside of your own opinions.Though there may be some things that are individual moral calls, some things aren't, right? You have admitted that some moral absolutes (rules) exist. Yet you cannot see or touch this rule, nor will any of your five senses reveal it to you. What kind of thing is it? You believe something exists that you can't prove empirically. This is the very same argument against those who believe in God as a basis for saying "there is no proof of God".
Though we cannot see a moral construct, I maintain it exists as a result of our early training in language and stories. I say "Jack and the Beanstock" and you instantly recall that little morality play. In this way, people of a single culture and language have a similar set of mores. It is a huge leap, however, to determine that "Jack and the Beanstock" is an invisibile moral absolute.
You don't realize that you believe in a lot of things that you can't test in that way, that aren't evident to you. But just because you can't sense it by the five senses doesn't mean that it's unreasonable for you to believe that such a rule exists. In other words, there are other ways to learn about things than just the five senses.
Yes, through early childhood indoctrination. See above.
If you believe that it’s wrong to kill, steal or hurt others then that rule applies to everyone. This is a moral absolute!
By what means have you determined that this is a moral absolute? A single absolutist's belief does not make the morals. Can you provide a short list of absolute, global morals you believe that all mankind shares?Either way you can be considered rational in believing that such a rule actually exists.
By what means have you determined that such a belief is rational?Once you do that, it does a lot of work for you. You've made an admission that has profound implications for many other beliefs. For example, when you say that some absolute moral laws exist, you're saying that immaterial things, moral laws, certainly do exist. Therefore, materialism as a world view is false.
Apples are not bananas because bananas are yellow and apples are red. Lemons are yellow. Therefore lemons are bananas. Rex, you have not connected enough logical dots to make this assertion.Now, here are some more questions: Given that this moral rule is out there somewhere, where did it come from?
Who says there has to be an origin?Who made this rule up and why should it apply to everyone?
Why does there have to be a who?Where do our very mental processes come from and why should we even be alive, much less self-aware?
Now we're getting in to the whole creation argument, well-trodden. Does the creation argument fall apart if we find any other earthly creature other than man, that is self-aware?
You are faced with limited options and you don't have the liberty not to believe something.
When you are faced with just a limited number of choices, if you reject one choice you've got to opt for one of those that remains.
This is one of the fundamental flaws of your argument. You assume from the beginning that there are only two choices. I'm a prime example of why you are wrong. I am an existential Christian, holding all principles in abeyance until they've been tested against living. You say my foundation is shaky, I say it is tested and sure. Prove me otherwise.One could ask, "how is it that an arbitrary thing like a moral rule could have any moral force?"
By the force of the population that believes it. It is natural for a mother to protect her children, as she is biologically geared to it. As it is for a father to protect his family. In the larger sphere, communities protect themselves from threatening outside forces. You could say morality forms as soon as people gather in communities.
I've seen similar moral codes amongst birds. The local bird population caught an owl in daylight and harrassed him out of the neighbourhood. The birds had obviously ganged together and formed an opinion on owls, even without the assistance of a common language or a common bible.Now the third option is that it could be that the moral law was made by a God who lives in eternity. ...it seems to me the most reasonable option is that God made that moral rule and so that moral rule is a rule of God!
Now, this is a single opinion, not yet tested. Reasonable to you, but you have not yet shored up all the holes in your argument.When you break the moral rule, you offend the Creator Who made the rule!
What if you break it in ignorance? Is God still offended?
But something like the Christian idea of God has got to be true to account for morality.
Why?Hinduism (as an example) simply won't work, because in Hinduism there is no ultimate distinction between good and evil. The kind of morality that we've been talking about just doesn't fit in a Hindu world view, but it does fit into a Christian world view.
Are you saying that Hindus are immoral? Such ignorance! I can barely respond. Have you not heard that God created the whole earth, and elements of His truth reside in every culture? Even bare stones and sunsets speak of His glory. Hindu belief in reincarnation, for instance, makes them particularly sensitive in their treatment of every living thing, not just mankind.
All of the ideas of the 'age of enlightenment' have been tried and failed miserably.
ALL, ALL , ALL ? Unsupported. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_EnlightenmentEven representative democracy is a failure that bears the seeds of it's own destruction. It's lasted this long because of the moral fiber ingrained in the laws taken primarily from the Judeo-Christian world view.
Totally unsupported. The Indian democracy has also prospered, and it is not based on the Judeo-Christian world view.