Sunday, October 29, 2006

Defending Morality

Morality, at its base, is centered upon the happiness or suffering of sentient beings and the realization that some actions are more conducive to ones own and others happiness or suffering. Actions and behavior can be deemed either ethical or unethical due to the natural consequences which they necessarily produce.
Moral relativism is an absurd obfuscation of this reality not to mention absolutely hostile to a true moral calculus. Moral relativism is, essentially, the ideology that all forms of morality are the product of culture and of society, which they are, but further that there is no foundation for which to measure the justification thereof, hence all morality is equally viable. At the heart of this ideology is a rather obvious contradiction: the claim that all forms of morality are equally viable, that all forms of morality should be respected, this is not a relative but an absolute claim and one which certainly runs into trouble when a cultures morality consists of negating other forms of morality; for if all forms of morality are true and one form of morality claims that all other forms are untrue then a conundrum is created for the relativist. Furthermore moral relativism neglects the science of humanity, psychology, wherein we learn that there is a human nature characteristic of the human species. What I find most repulsive in moral relativism is the notion that because it is the custom of a specific culture to degrade and devalue their women and allow what is essentially rape that this is permissible because it is their agreed upon morality. These relativists are either ignorant of or hostile to the reality that all women, all human beings for that matter, respond to rape and degradation negatively, the effects of rape and degradation of human beings is equally nefarious across the human spectrum regardless of ones specific culture. Moral relativism is the product of a perverse philosophy, which, in many ways, compares to nihilism.
Worse than the moral relativist is the religious moral absolutist who has received a morality from an alleged supernatural source. With religion one usually finds morality stood on its head, one finds a false morality, immorality. What many religions do with morality is separate questions of morality from true questions of happiness or suffering, they present hysterically absurd falsifications of morality, many of which are utterly immoral. Within the bible, both old testament and new, it is a moral proposition, commanded by god, that homosexuality is an abomination and carries with it the penalty of death. This moral proposition is a clear falsification of morality, there is no discernable suffering, homosexuality does not harm other people, it does not cause others to suffer and despite what fundamentalists claim homosexuality does not destroy “natural” families. However this moral proposition does cause suffering, it causes and justifies the degradation of homosexuals, it goes even further, it calls for the mistreatment of homosexuals, it calls for immorality. Religious morality is replete with such falsifications, such immorality, within its set of moral propositions; what a euphemism, what a true blasphemy, it is to even use the term morality in such an instance.
Whenever you hear the name “god” mentioned within the same breath as morality rest assure it stands for either a vacuous and superfluous platitude or the name by which one justifies the perversion of a true moral calculus.


MomSquared said...

Very interesting, and just the topic that has been interesting me lately.

Thank you.

MomSquared said...

BTW are there any books/resources you recommend on the problem of morality?

JDHURF said...

An interesting topic indeed, I had meant to write about morality long ago but have only now gotten around to it.
As far as which books I would recommend I would certainly begin with Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the psychology of Ethics by Erich Fromm, I would also search the internet for anything by Peter Singer and John Stuart Mill regarding morality, especially utilitarianism. You could also gain much by looking up the psychology of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and their conception of ethics.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

elijeremiah said...

Once again, Jeremy, you've come up with a stunningly well-written essay that I wish everyone would read. I esp love how you expose moral relativism right along with absolutism. I HATE it when people espouse relativism for the pathetic reason that they think they HAVE to, because they're too intellectually stunted to think of any alternatives.

You're a great writer and thinker, and I always look forward to your insightful posts.

Stardust said...

"Whenever you hear the name “god” mentioned within the same breath as morality rest assure it stands for either a vacuous and superfluous platitude or the name by which one justifies the perversion of a true moral calculus."

This quote should go down in history.

JDHURF said...

Thank you for the kind words. I hold to a special aversion towards moral relativism because so many secularists and liberals irrationally embrace it, but, they are still not even competing with the religious moral absolutists.

Thank you very much for that response, I really enjoyed it!

Thank you both for stopping by and commenting.

Riker said...


Yesterday I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this little corner of the internet, and I was thoroughly impressed with your writings. Enough so that I (thanks to it being a very slow day at work) went though your archive and read all your posts and comments. I left a few comments here and there (scientific progress despite religion, legalization, and the logic essay, if memory serves) on the way through, but I wanted to drop you a line at your most recent post to tell you that this is a great blog.

In reading over your writings, I've found myself refining my philosophical outlook, inspired by new language and novel ideas that possess a refinement absent in most secular theses. I'm writing an entry about this experience in my blog right now... so thanks for the jumpstart!

JDHURF said...

I’m very glad to hear that you have taken such an interest in my blog. I’ll go through my old posts and find your new responses. Thank you very much for the kind words, I shall await your own post.

Thank you for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Secular humanism is a joke in and of itself. I got news for you and your bloggers.....there is no meaning in life other then your own selfish desires.
Saying "we" as a whole have any kind of moral obligation to anything or anyone but ourselves is a joke within the assumptions of neo-darwinism. To say your own manufactured morality is any more valid then another persons is nonsense.

JDHURF said...

Are you under the impression that you are vindicated by waging antagonistic and vacuous platitudes without abutment? Do you really believe that you can merely state a conclusion, without supporting it, and believe to be justified? If so the joke is on you.

Fabio said...

I think I spot a generalisation of Relativism. It is important to point out that Relativism doesn't necessarily mean absolute acceptance of any kind of moral tendency as right and worthy of existing, but rather the awareness that morality is largely depending upon environmental factors which have shaped it to evolve in a given way in a given context. I'm deeply convinced of the largely somatic nature of what we call somatic. Call it a genetic sense of morality. As such, it is subject to mutation just as much as our other somatic traits are, which explains the large variety of moral conceptions in the world, and the fact that we are still here arguing about it :) I am aware that different senses of morality exist, as they are a product of Evolution. But that does not prevent me from lucidly criticising, or even despising, some of them. I criticise and oppose the Judeo-Christian sense of morality, yet I am aware that it exists. In that, I'm a Relativist.