Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another approach at the source of morality

As I have commented in previous blog posts, I find the argument from morality (in other words, the typical "where do you get your morals from?") really strange. I find it really strange because the answer is so clear and simple, and there's nothing to it. We are a social, intelligent species that can deduce what's good and bad for the society as a whole and its individuals, and it's beneficial for everybody if they follow these principles. I really can't understand what's so difficult about this.

So I thought of a different approach at trying to explain to someone why there's no need for a "god" to explain morality.

Would you like it if a stranger came to you and punched you in the face and kicked your ribs, sending you to a hospital? No? Why not? Because it really hurts, it's dangerous and damaging (both physically and mentally), and there's no reason to do that.

Would you like it if someone robbed your home, leaving you with nothing? Of course not. It would damage your livelihood, cause lots of problems and stress, and affect you in many negative ways. It may even cause permanent damage to your wellbeing if you lose something important or valuable.

Likewise you wouldn't want for someone to deliberately burn your house down. You would lose your place to live and it would be a huge monetary loss, besides being very mentally damaging and stressful.

Would you like it if you were raped? Of course not. It's one of the worst possible ways to mentally damage someone, and physical damage is also possible. There's also the risk of an unwanted pregnancy from a stranger, which is not something to be taken lightly in the least.

Would you like it if someone murdered you? No. You want to live, like everyone else, and you should have the right to live, as everyone else.

And so on, and so forth.

Note that in none of these cases the answer was "because God forbids it." There's always a rational and justified reason why those things are considered bad and punishable. These are all practical moral values that benefit everybody. Where exactly does God enter in the picture? What exactly makes this alleged "god" the source of all this?

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