If you need God to tell you that is wrong to kill, rape or steal, I'm glad you're not an atheist. But most atheists get their moral values by considering that we live in a shared environment and the only way to survive is by mutual co-operation and respect of other individuals' fundamental rights (such as right to live, right to think freely, right to take up a profession of one's choice etc.).
Murder and rape would cause a tribe to thin out, thus making the capacity for murder and rape negative evolutionary traits.
Furthermore if God grants everyone morality, explain Psychopaths and Sociopaths who don't understand or listen to or empathize with any morality. Many psychopaths (like Peter Sutcliffe) believed in God but still murdered anyway.
Objective morality is based on logic and empathy, not some higher power. Humans naturally feel empathy due to the evolutionary need to sustain the species. Humans also are capable of logic and rational thought. By this we can deduce that if I don't like being stabbed, then all or most humans also probably don't like being stabbed. So unless there is a good reason for it, I probably should not stab someone. If you need a god to tell you not to kill your wife, and you do not just inherently know this, then I would say you are the one without morals.
Morals are a human invention needed to better the society. They come from empathy. Think about how you would be when treated a certain way. Treat others the way you want to be treated. That's the golden rule, and we don't need a book to explain it all.
Are you saying God is the only thing keeping you from murdering the masses?
Because human beings are mammals that have empathetic awareness, then yes, objective morality can exist without any kind of deity. Firstly, I would like to point out that our societal morals -- such as not committing murder, rape, theft, showing respect, etc. -- have existed long before Christianity was a gleam in anyone's eye. These morals can be traced back thousands and thousands of years. Hell, primitive man (H. Erectus, specifically) realized that murder was counter-productive to the most basic primal drive of his species: the will to survive. These morals appeared in ancient civilizations, like the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, who while having had deities, their Gods did not influence morality. The "creation" of morals is not divine in nature, it comes from empathy and complex thought, something out species has been capable of for thousands of years. Morals are also found in other species around the world, particularly mammalian species. Bonobos and chimpanzees (who are the closest to humans genetically) also operate on straight-forward, definitive moral codes. Other great apes have exhibited those same behaviors and lack the comprehension of divine forces at work. So, in summary, absolutely not. There is no need for a "God" when it comes to developing objective morality. To believe that is to undercut the full capacity of humankind.
"If there is no order to the universe, and therefore some being, some force that ordered it, then who determines what is right or wrong? There is nothing immoral if there’s nothing in charge," is the usual argument from those who argue that the existence of objective morality, not killing, raping, etc. Is proof of Gods existence. I would almost like a third argument, saying that objective morality is nonexistent, as raping, killing, etc. Still happens, in countenance to the above quote/argument. This is not to say there is no God, just to say that morality is not as objective as human nature would like it to be. Human evolution, on the other hand, is no proof either. It would be logical to assume that morality would evolve into a species, as the species would last longer if they didn't kill each other. This is also obviously not the case. My argument is that objective morality can not exist on any level beyond that of the individual (possibly god's doing, but doesn't explain those without morals) as there is no line built into everyone that can be sensed; all our personal limits of what's "over the line" are different. I have not really drawn any conclusions yet, so I would like to end by saying that the fact that morality is not a constant is not a case for-or-against God.
There are morals without god. God takes the morals away. Murder is wrong until its god or done in his name. Slavery is wrong---wait, according to god thats never wrong. Adultery is wrong until god sees fit to provide you with a wife and a dozen concubines. Nothing is wrong when done by god. It isn't a matter of morality its a matter of obedience. Obedience can clean you of any filth without the need to be held responsible.
God deteriorates morality it does not create it.
There are literally hundreds of philosophies on morality and ethics- and yes, this includes arguments for objective morality that are sound and don't involve any gods.
To quote Francois Tremblay's "short version" on this topic:
"The unit of ethics is values. Values are things that one must work to gain or keep (a simple example of that is nutrition). These values are short-handed ways of expressing moral principles (ex. “we need to eat because otherwise we die”), and moral principles are short-handed way of expressing scientific or social facts (such as the facts about metabolism).
The basis of ethics is causality: everything has consequences, and so do actions. Actions have consequences, and our role is to find those consequences and act accordingly.
By evaluating what values are being effected by a given action in its context, we can express a sound moral judgment on that action (this was a good thing to do, this was a bad thing to do). This is true regardless of your actual moral system – we all have values, implicitly or explicitly. The real argument is about those scientific and social facts and what values they entail. There cannot be any argument on whether there are objective moral principles: it’s a discussion about as ridiculous as asking whether the Earth exists. We all need to act to survive."
I know a man, he used to be a friend of mine. He's Christian, and he's in jail right now. For rape. I know another Christian who is in jail right now. For murder. So, I'm an atheist. I don't need a God to tell me what is right and what is wrong. I know what's right and what's wrong, I learned that when I was a young child. If you need God to tell you what to do and what not to do, go back to school. Be an adult.
Objective morality can be determined without the use of a religion through observing the damage done to others as a result of one's actions. For example - Theft results in the loss of property and worth of one person without their consent, thus it is wrong. The same can be done for other actions, such as lying, assault, murder, etc. As such, a religion or god is unnecessary for a sense of morality to develop.
For morality to be "created" it needs a creator. Without some sort of creator of morality then morals become a development of perception. Without a universal perceiver and creator there is no way to determine which perception is right. Therefore, yes, morality is purely subjective without the existence of God.
Objective moral values and duties exist. This must mean God must exist in order for them to be objective. If evolution is true then you and I have no moral obligation to fulfill as human beings. There would be no such thing as good or evil on the atheist worldview.
If there´s no god, this also means that there cannot be a universal truth at all?
Well, let´s see this thoroughly:
Before beginning my argumentations i must say that i talking here about "objective" as "absolute".
First there´s the question if god does exist or not, i will use my own worldview as my standard, that means, it is irrelevant, if there is a god, there is a 1 in X (X meaning all the gods ever) that will be a obscure god from an obscure tribe from a obscure place, there chances are the same for the existence of the christian "God", so i cannot use any as standard, there wasn´t a single religion to this day, capable proof its claims in absolute.
Then let´s continue from the basis that there is indeed, no god, even if it isn´t true, if the most honest standard we can have now., i cannot bias my analysis to one god or another.
Now that i taken the "white elephant" out of the room, i can continue; If there is no god,there is no "universal" category (using Aristotle´s term) to make assumptions on, not only in morality, but in every other thing, even truth itself, it can sound as nihilism, and it is in a certain aspect, i don´t think there is any meaning in our existence, there is no inherent "value" to any of our beliefs, but it does not mean that we cannot "build" our own truths, like we all do, we constructed a belief system based on the objective analysis of empirical evidence, we call it "science", we constructed the "Human Rights" because we feel that religions are insufficient to set a basic morality, so we build our beliefs based on our needs, reason and instincts.
So my anwser? No, if there isn´t a god to set our standards, there is no standard, there are "standards" on the plural, and even those are "constructed" by our intellect, so they hold no inherent value, only for us, it is important that i say this: i don´t think that everything is permitted if there is no universal standard, im saying that as human beings we must respect each other, nto because some god says so, but because we are intelligent enough to cooperate towards a better world and because just like Christ supposedly said: Don´t do with other people what you don´t want to be done with you; this is a quite nice phrase, meaning, if you don´t want to be murdered, don´t murder, because we all are human beings and can respect each other as such, not because of some supreme cosmic entity says so, but because we have the capacity to empathize with each other (excepting people with sociopaths disorders, but not because they want to, but because they are simply incapable to empathize by a dysfunction in their brain), let us construct our own truths and be happy with them! We can do it, im sure.
My first thought would be that yes, there can easily be an established objective concept of morality without God. Many of the "yes" responses echo the same idea that I have about morality.
But then I decided that there is no way to justify one objective moral code without a basis in some sort of hierarchical objective "presence". There will always be some way to refuse to recognize an "objective morality" as the only morality. And then I realized that the same can be said with or without religion. There are always going to be certain groups or individuals who refuse to recognize a religion's "code" as the correct one, or the only one. And there will be individuals OUTSIDE the religion who don't share that religion's beliefs, but still follow that code of morality because when it comes down to it, morality is morality.
And the final point I realized is that because morality is morality, there is really no need for objective morality. Individuals all have their own concept of "morality". They don't need to have the same idea of morality or the same incentive for morality- so long as general morality is maintained. Not exactly objective morality. And it becomes a fuzzy grey area. Like most philosophy.
For objective morality to exist there must be some sort of universal judge of actions. If there is no universal judge then morals cannot be universally applied. Good and bad are ideas, but when they become reality is when there's something that can universally apply those ideas. The way I see it only a god would be capable of imposing those standards, so if a god doesn't exist then morality is subjective.
Humans are the ones who came up with this idea of morality. It obviously exists, and not just in humans, but morals aren't objectively testable by an objective standard, which is usually what science is for. Therefore, the idea of having something that inherently subjective, being applied objectively, is pretty much a paradox.
On a side note, this doesn't mean that most people wouldn't be able to come up with certain morals that everyone agrees on (for example, murder might be seen as morally wrong by pretty much everyone). This just shows how evolution and natural selection have preferred certain traits to others, since it wouldn't be very beneficial to the species if we all wanted to kill each other for example
We are all hard wired to have some sort of judgement system. Whether we like to recognize it or not. There are lots of us who argue that morals are developed as children and influenced by parents. But those morals are developed from somewhere and they have not been “handed down” for the last hundreds of years. There is a piece of us that can detects what is good and what is bad, sometimes we can consciously displace these feelings because we want to justify something but deep down we still have a feeling about what is morally correct.
Who else would have created objective morality? It must be higher than all of the values of that morality, therefore would be a morally perfect entity, creator of morality, and therefore god. If it were not god, how would it be morally perfect? It would need to be better than everyone, the most pure being always. Thus, god.
If there is no God, then "goodness" is a man-made concept. Humans all decide what is "good" for themselves. Humans, by nature, will disagree about what is good. One person might say that removing half of the humans from the earth is good, and another might say that the more people are born, the better. Are they both right? How can you argue with them? Whatever standards you use to judge their definitions of "good" are only your own standards. If there is no God, no one can claim to know exactly what "good" is, because we all view it subjectively, and none of us have infinite knowledge. Therefore, if there is no God, there is no objective morality.
If there is an omniscient God, there is one who can claim to know exactly what "good" is. And he would be the only one who could make that claim, since he created everything and knows the purpose for everything. So if there is a God, there is only one definition of "good", and everyone who disagrees with it is wrong. Therefore, if there is a God, there is objective morality.
How can morality, or the same basic principals, be accepted worldwide among all people without someone or something instilling that principal? All people follow the same basic rules: murder is wrong, rape is wrong, selfishness is wrong, marriage is good (varying in polygamy or monogamy in different cultures, but nonetheless marriage). A transcendent law needs a law giver. Since the moral law is true for all cultures and therefore transcendent. The law giver needs to be transcendent and perfect just as the moral law. That law giver is God. Physical phenomena cannot account for a moral law because morality isn't physical.