Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Challenge for Christian Moral Realists

Here's a quick challenge for all Christian moral realists out there who honestly find the moral argument for God's existence compelling. 
  1. Please name for me a single example of your favorite objective moral value or duty.
  2. Prove it.
Seriously.  Prove it.  You people love to spend hours upon hours bragging about your absolute moral foundations and the objectivity of good and evil, so in theory this should be trivially easy.  For example, perhaps you think that killing babies is objectively wrong.  Okay, fine.  Prove the truth of that proposition: "It is objectively wrong to kill babies."  What axioms and rules of inference do you exercise in order to arrive at that conclusion?  What truth assignment functions did you use and why?  Because honestly, I don't think any one of you have ever once tried to seriously apply a single instance of your own moral philosophy.  So put your money where your mouth is and actually demonstrate moral objectivity in action.  Don't just assert that objective morals exist - prove it.

Now before you even think about submitting a response, there are several pitfalls you need to be aware of.  Starting with...

Number 1:

Personal intuition and personal experiences are subjective.  In fact, that is literally the most subjective form of proof you could possibly offer.  Just because murdering babies "feels" really wrong to you, that does not make it objectively so.  What feels absolutely wrong to you could just as easily feel absolutely right to me, and vice versa.  So what exactly can you appeal to that extends beyond our personal, subjective preferences in order to settle any dispute?  Again, we're looking for a proof; not your naive gut reaction.   

Number 2: 

Human consensus is still subjective.  I don't care if a billion people around the world all unanimously agree that killing babies is wrong.  A billion subjective evaluations does not prove objectivity.  Five hundred years ago, societies from around the world all happily assumed that slavery was perfectly okay, even though today we all tend to think it's evil.  So for all we know, maybe killing babies is perfectly good, and everyone on Earth is simply mistaken to think it's evil.  Who exactly are you to claim otherwise?  What is your proof?  

Number 3:

Christian moral realism is antithetical to consequentialism.  You are therefore not allowed to make any appeal to the positive or negative consequences of our actions with respect to the health, happiness, or well-being of human social groups.  That's my moral philosophy, not yours.  You rejected that the moment you became a Christian moral realist.

Number 4:

Don't even think about mentioning the word "God" in your proof.  Ignoring the fact that God is literally a subjective agent, by definition, the whole point of the moral argument is to prove God's existence in the first place.  You therefore don't get to use God to prove the objectivity of any moral values because the existence of objective moral values is already supposed to serve as your proof of God.  So unless you want to reduce the moral argument to a vapid, circular joke, then this is not a form of argument you get to use.

There you have it, guys.  Show us what you got!  Prove the objectivity of just one moral value or duty.

Well?  I'm waiting...