Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Can man be moral without God? Certainly, just as I can follow the laws given by a president whom I dislike. Can morals be created without the appeal of a power higher than our own? Goldstein apparently thinks so, and I venture to guess she has determined there is no such thing as universal morality, as differing morals will be created by differing people. That’s all well and fine, except that one must wonder what legitimate place criticism of other moral codes stems from. What reason can you give for your traditionally western ideals of kindness, and humility being superior to ideals from other corners of the world which laud violence and winner-take-all attitudes, aside from the fact that YOU are partial to your own. “Well,” you might say, “My values help others, and if everyone followed them, there would be more harmony in this world.” Okay, well that is no argument to support morals, as it includes morals in itself. Who are you to say helping others is a desirable end? Why do you think harmony is to be sought after? The world in the book and film The Giver was harmonious, until that stupid, freethinking teenage hero came along and messed things up. Why is he the hero?
My point is, if you stipulate man constructs morals, then you unavoidably relinquish your right to criticize other codes of conduct. You won’t stop, of course, but your reasons are the things that will be truly arbitrary. I believe morals of love, mercy, and piety are correct due to their being ordained by a power higher than myself. The way they often appear counter-intuitive in a world where might makes right only lends them credence. Why would we create a code for ourselves that often tastes so bitter?