There's a reason we consider sociopathy to be a mental illness. A normally functioning mind is a mind that perceives a difference between right and wrong. But if there is no real difference between right and wrong, then our minds are making us see something that isn't really there. Sociopaths who have no moral perceptions are seeing the world more accurately than we are. In that case we shouldn't consider it a mental illness. If a healthy mind is a mind that perceives a difference between right and wrong, then the difference must be real. Otherwise, we should stop calling sociopathy a mental illness.
If one were to do a study on the great civilastions of history, what will emerge is a common core of moral principles. While there will be disagreement on the periphery, in general all of them would recognise shared duties. Among the many things it does is it enables us to discuss things rationally instead of fighting like animals.
We see it all the time. If we were just animals with no moral values then we wouldn't even come to the conclusion that there could be such a thing as moral values. What the real question should be is how do we know if something is morally wrong or not.
They say a thin line exists between morality and ethics, I personally think they are about the same thing, for one thing it is human reflex for us to be disgusted of certain things (such as somewhere dirty or infested with feces), to be happy about certain things or when specific things happen in our daily lives (such as a gift, a hug etc.). As such goes to the way we deal with people, how we expect to be treated, whether good or bad, how things upset up, we learn based on how we react to things. When you see rape you may get upset, or if you beat your mother, you may see her cry, therefore you learn "bad" I think morality is instilled within each of us, we need only to listen.
I use the key word "believe" because it is essential that people on both sides of the argument to acknowledge the fact that regardless of which position they take, in the end belief is involved for there is no way to prove otherwise-- what iron clad evidence exists that proves definitively that universal and absolute morality exists or does not? Just because different cultures have different stances on death, killing, sex, and etc. does not automatically mean that there is no moral universal/absolute truth out there-- it just means that it is not readily apparent.
I think a better question may be "Is it reasonable to believe that morality is absolute or man-made." I believe that it is reasonable to believe that it is absolute for two main reasons. Firstly, given all of the order we see in nature (e.G. My cells keep reproducing, the sun keeps rising, etc.) then why would we jump to the conclusion that all of these instincts we have as a species regarding morality is baseless? That does not make sense to me.
Secondly, I think it is reasonable to believe positively because of the fact that everything we research in this world and understand (and I emphasize the word understand) looks to have an absolute basis. Take the computer for an example-- on the surface its functioning looks both fantastic and beyond explanation by the layman. However, the fact of the matter is, no matter how vague the operation of a computer may seem to the average Joe-- it is in fact a very absolute and precise mechanism. All of the functioning is pegged to the designation of 1s and 0s-- NO EXCEPTIONS! However, the result of these long and complicated lines of code result in something that most people really don't quite understand although they use it everyday.
I believe that it is quite possible that the nature of morality is the same. Although we do not quite understand HOW it is absolute-- it is. Just think about it-- everything in this world is like the 1s and 0s you see in computers. The ancient Chinese pegged it down with the yin and yang symbol-- one distinct positive energy and one distinct negative energy interacting with each other, but yet creating a coherent whole-- i.e. a result.
Why should we assume that all of the moral thinking of cultures combined means that there is no absolute morality? Just think of the yin and yang-- you've got some yin out there and you also have some yang out there-- perhaps it is only God who can truly know what the correct end result is-- which also requires belief. It is pointless to pretend that any of us can really prove anything on this subject-- the best which can be done is to present supporting arguments explaining the "reasonableness" of one's belief and for individuals to choose which arguments seem valid based on their own reason and good conscious.
I think that we all have a sense of right and wrong that is taught to us by our parents or carers, but our individual morals are developed through experience as we learn. We don't need a God to give us morals because then what would be the need to taught them throughout life. Therefore, we don't need the idea of god to exist for us to be good people.
To do otherwise would be to (a) throw our current legal framework into disarray as without an objective moral sense culpability in the eyes of the law would be philosophically suspect or (b) acknowledge that those acts that we hold as impermissible are established as such in an arbitrary fashion.
If my opinion of what is good contradicts another's, than who is to determine which is correct? Once again that decision would be subjective, and the chain of subjectivity continues. Thus there is no objective good or evil. The reason these things have been made to "exist" is that for human's to survive efficiently a society must be preformed, so to properly form that society a moral code must be formed. The only "good" is what society needs to function.
Almost every sexual reproducing organisms seems to respect a moral, "don't commit incest". It's wrong... Because the children turn out to be genetically weaker than average. The strongest will populate the most. You are stronger if your genes are better (most of the time); if you are not-inbred. So, for whatever reason, the parents-of-the-stronger children, must have chosen not to commit incest. There needs to be a motive specifically against that; we already have a motivation to reproduce (if our parents did, they reproduced more, and we are like our parents...). Having restrictions is a complication.
Random behavioral biases will squirm towards mutually agreed upon "moral behavior". But it IS random; something called the Westermark Effect means that people you grow up with won't be found to be sexually appealing; it affects to guard against incest, because you probably grew up with your siblings (and, uh, parents...). This was random, but it proved effective. The stronger children populated more, and in the end, there was more people who all thought that doin' it with your siblings was way off the mark.
"Unchallenged behavioral biases may be interpreted as moral endeavors".
The challenge usually comes from how our offspring will fair against others, in competition for resources (coming from a natural and long forgotten environment). All behaviors interpreted as moral endeavors THAT ARE CHALLENGED also affect produce stronger children, or improve our own survival chance, or that of the groups. Call this "Type 1 Morals".
This is a concrete, albeit umbrella, effect. This means that Type 1 Morals will have relatively little variety. Type 2 Morals, that exist without challenge (as defined above), are the most varied. Think of how we treat the dead; it varies so much you'd get whiplash just looking at it. The dead won't contribute to future genetic strength, and look at how different a classical Roman Catholic funeral is, compared to Mexico's City of the Dead, or the Apayo, who bury their dead under their kitchen, or the sky burials of Mongolia or Tibet, or the New Orleans jazz funerals. Consider also the approach to nudity; literally has no discernible difference, and indeed the concept body modesty among nations, cultures and, very much so, people, exists on every portion of the spectrum.
Now, think of something more complex, like sacrificing yourself, to save your people (for whatever reason, though it is usually considered to be a heroic act). Fact is, "your people" will likely have a lot of similar genes to your own, and genes exist in clusters, thanks to chromosomes. So, some dude just gave his life so that his tribe could survive; that tribe then goes on TO survive, and those same genes the hero had, still exist in the group as a whole.
This becomes more complicated when we think of recognition; we recognize our people, who are likely to be genetically close to us - but we could be adopted, or identify with another group (or, worse, mistake the need to sacrifice).
Natural facts exist whether anyone observes them, or correctly describes them, such as the Earth spinning on a access. Such a fact does not depend on people seeing and defining them.
But moral or immoral acts are only so with a judgmental observer. The only way morality can be real is if we allow for people to create what is real, and that is the opposite of the definition of facts.
Our concept of good and evil is completely subjective. Because humans have self awareness we assign value to things and people in our lives. The reality is that it is our own minds that is attaching value to these things. There is no objective universal declaration that something is "good" or "bad".
If you believe in scientific naturalism, then morality is just an aid to survival. It may make life more pleasant, and do all sorts of things for human civilization: But here's the thing: if morality is just an aid to survival, then it is only true BECAUSE we are doing the things that support OUR social groups. Imagine a world populated by solo predators. Would they come up with an ethical system supportive of others? Probably not: although they, like predators in the wild here on earth, might establish rules that are beneficial in some cases to their own kind.
Just because moral precepts benefit humanity doesn't make them right or valid, or true. There is no amount of logic which can compel a man to do good if he doesn't want to, and no "sin" or "crime " is committed. It's just another form of the universe doing its thing!
Morality, after you do some research on it, will start to seem quite abstract, and unstructured. Different cultures, abide by a different set of moral norms/laws. But why should there be a set of moral laws? What's causing this compulsion? My theory is that greed, which is a substantial part of the human nature, causes people, to crave power, and as intelligent, or stupid (your choice), creation, humans have found a way, to exert power, by means of morality. For example, saying that murder is wrong, thereby guilt-tripping the murderer. In conclusion, morality, is just a creation of human greed, nothing more. Also, from a Nietzschean point of view, you can argue that morality, is just a tool, used by the weaker man, in other words, he who tries to oppress those untainted by morality, to abide, by its laws, holding them back, from being truly human
What you see as moral may not be the same as what others see. For example, vegetarians and vegans see the slaughtering of animals as terrible as the murder of humans. We all see the world differently. Sociopaths cannot tell right from wrong, meaning that for that individual there is no such thing. Morality is completely relative. Animals do many things that if it were a human it would be locked up. However, we just say "it's natural". If we understand and accept that they don't behave the same way we do or feel the same feelings, why can't we see that same goes for some humans?
Suppose an actual objective morality exists, this means it must either be the same for everyone (traditional definition of 'objective') or we each live in our own 'objective' world that just happens to overlap in some ways to other peoples. The second approach is actually the same as the moral relativist point of view in which moral questions have no objective truth.
Concerning the idea that there is an objective truth, suppose that there is and that we can observe it in some way. Human beings are fallible, we make mistakes in our observations all the time and so we need other people to help validate our decisions. The more people involved the better our decisions will be. However, there is nothing to stop everybody from observing incorrectly at once (finite number of people involved = non-zero probability of getting it wrong). Now you may argue that the human race could survive forever and therefore there are an infinite number of people involved in the determination in which case we would eventually get it right and I concede this point, however this will only apply if we can aggregate the ruminations of every person living so far for one person to grasp, this would require ever longer lifespans and ever increasing amounts of storage making it effectively (if not metaphysically) impossible.
My point here is that the idea of an objective morality is not functional, it has no useful implications since we cannot know if we got it right. So we must always consider other alternatives. I cannot hope to explain an objective morality to you if you observe things differently from me but I can hope to explain a relative one and see if you agree or not, possibly altering and updating my own by incorporating those parts of yours that I find useful or aesthetically pleasing.
Ideas that men (OK yes and women) made up to sustain life. If life did not exist, there would be no morality. Even when life does exist, morality is purely subjective to that life. Human morality says basically that we must keep ourselves (or each other if you prefer) alive and happy. But keeping each other alive and happy is not necessarily "good" all the time.
Tell me an action void of subjectivity, and it is neither right or wrong.
All laws (morals) are created by men and women in the various cultures. They are based on the different values in those societies. Some people chose to call these laws morality. They were created for groups of people to live together in some form of harmony.
It is easy to prove that no absolute moral laws exist and that they are not universal.
E.G., killing a woman by stoning is allowed for adultery in Iran: "A woman who was to be stoned to death in Iran on an adultery conviction could be hanged instead."
Read more: http://www.Dailymail.Co.Uk/news/article-2078619/Woman-sentenced-death-stoning-adultery-hanged-international-outcry.Html#ixzz2Ut7Ga6ze
Most civilized countries would call that barbaric and murder. Most countries do not allow killing or murdering a woman for adultery.
The Amish believe that only God can judge; therefore taking anyone's life is against God’s word, so killing the enemy in a war or self-defense is immoral according to the Amish. But, most other religions and societal laws allow killing in self-defense and war; therefore, killing someone can’t be a universal moral code.
But, who decides a War is required and moral? You could have unjustified wars (at least by some people's morals); then killing anyone would not be justified; but, if the same leaders then had a war that was justified, then that War would be justified. So, it is a circle of meaningless.
Mankind makes the laws, and, if you want to call that morality, then of course morality is real. Religions make laws or rules that sometimes go beyond governmental laws; but, are not enforceable. If you want to call that morality; then it is real; but, it is not universal or absolute.
If you are trying to say that there are absolutes as regards universal laws or morality, you are delusional.
This subject of Universal Morality has been debated for millenniums by philosophers that believe in Metaphysics and Epistemology, both of which are just a play on words.