Ok so first off I would like to say I hate the position I'm about to take. I obviously think morality is real which I will cover
More in depth later, however, there is an aspect of our society that pins certain behavior as moral or immoral. Wether or not you believe in god is irrelevant here, but, for those who do, God implemented the Ten Commandments and instructed the inhabitants of this earth,at the time, that certain actions are unacceptable while others are. For example, murder has, since the beginning of time, has been one of these unacceptable deeds set in place by God. For those people that don't believe in God, history has shown that these bad deed such as murder have always been unacceptable. You might say that this supports how society imposed this, even early on, however this has been considered immoral because it is in our human nature to separate good and evil. It wasn't imposed on us, rather, part of this earth because it truly is a bad act (murder). However, today most deeds morality can be debated back and forth. For example, gay marriage. Please don't yell at me for this, I'm not saying this is wrong or right, this is just an example and I don't hope to offend any of you. Anyways, say 100 years ago, gay marriage was illegal, considered bad and immoral and there wasn't a second thought about that. However, as our society changes, this has become more accepted and many think there is nothing wrong with this. Society constantly changes what is considered right and wrong. This would be the point I agree with up on
I can't believe I actually had to confirm that fact. If we look at human history, and we look at every civilization that ever flourished, we may conclude that they all had something in common: a pro-family morality (and any other good morality, for that matter.) The ancient Aztecs in Central America practiced human sacrifice. They ripped out the hearts of people, regardless of age, and forced other victims to walk into fires. This civilization was brought down by Cortez.
Another example: The Soviet Union. It was ruled by brutal, ruthless men who wanted nothing but control. The entire state was an atheistic one, and did not believe in human dignity. It was also a utilitarian state as well. The SU fell apart in 1991.
North Korea is yet another example. Just LOOK at where communism has gotten them......Nowhere.
This proves that an absolute morality, given by an absolute Moral Law Giver does indeed help a society to prosper.
The caveat is that in order to be entirely objective, the moral code must have come from a being that is morally superior to human beings. Now, for those who believe in a religion, they can claim that their particular religious/ethic/moral code is supreme for the aforementioned reason. They will claim that their God(s) are, obviously, morally and ethically superior to humans, thus any code given to them by their God(s) is objectively moral and that anything that humans cook up that is contrary to this objective code is wrong.
Now, if you are not religious, then until we encounter aliens that are superior either in military might (to force their version of morality on us) or morally (so that we willingly accept their version of morality), then we will have an artificially induced objective morality (since it was not created by humans).
As it stand now though, our human societies will always generate subjective versions of morality, since our rules are made by humans for humans. We are not outside our own system (obviously) and thus cannot make objective decisions concerning our system.
It's a little more complicated than the question proposes. Altruism -- the practice and belief of selfless concern for others' well-being -- has been found to be genetically influenced, alongside being determined by societal expectation. Altruism is a major influence on one's moral compass. However, much like a variety of other inherited traits, altruism is affected by the expectations of society and is an ever-evolving trait humans endorse. We live in a society where, for example, boiling babies in wax is wrong. However, if our society never decided such an act was wrong, then it stands to reason that there would be no moral roadblock, and thus, we would have infant-scented candles in our living rooms. It's far more complicated, because through a complex equation of general inherited traits and social stigmas, our concept of morality is always changing. In this case, and through the wording of the question, both responses are actually acceptable when it comes to the reality of morality in the human species.
Morality deals with interactions between people and the ways in which one's actions affect the experience of others. Because we live in an objectively real world populated by physical beings whose actions have predictable consequences, we can say that some actions are objectively better than others by evaluating the consequences of those actions with respect to certain standards. While the axioms that give rise to these standards (life is valuable, pain is something to be avoided, etc.) are a matter of preference, we have rational, non-arbitrary reasons to prefer these axioms to others, and those reasons come back to the nature of human experience. Pain and death impact our experiences negatively, due to the objective laws of physics and chemistry; therefore, we are justified in saying that inflicting pain and death without sufficient reason on beings capable of experiencing such things is objectively wrong.
Something like boiling babies (the torture and murder of innocents) is evil. It just is, and nearly anyone, in any culture would agree about this universally. Some moral dilemmas are not so universal. These would include whether or not it is ever justified to steal, or an issue such as euthanasia.
Morality is just a word used to describe a concept. I am of the opinion that all morality is, is the ability to decipher good and evil, e.G., good and bad behavior, boiling babies, etc. As far as what makes a specific act good or evil, that is a completely different question.
Ok. Morality is real, yes. Boiling babies in was is wrong...Seriously, seriously wrong. However, society decides that they want to dictate what is right and wrong because it means that we can do what we want. I take this from a Christian view point so go ahead and ignore the Christian part if you aren't but in 100 years, maybe heterosexuality is considered wrong except for special cases for reproduction, etc.
Morality can be real and also subjective. For the first part of this question I say yes, but then the second half it's asking basically if morality is objective or not. I think morality is subjective. Even if everyone agrees on something, the morality is still subjective because the morality is decided upon by the viewer. There could be aliens out there who view things entirely differently. Things can be subjective to each race, each viewer.
The title includes an example I would like to address. Boiling babies in wax is considered wrong by humans ( and some other animals). However to say, a rock, our babies don't matter. The sun doesn't feel our emotions like grief and guilt. Trees don't care about our morals. For a good reason, they don't matter at all! Morals like the one stated above are created by humans to satisfy our emotions. We agree people shouldn't kill because it makes others grieve. We shouldn't steal because it makes other sad. Morals were never a law of the Universe that governed what we do, they were just meant to help our survival.
If we don't boil our babies in wax then they can grow up to have kids and continue the species.
I'm assuming the definition of "real" here is something like "universal and absolute" in which case it most definitely is not. Women who have a Muslim background generally think that wearing a large, heavy piece of cloth over their body is perfectly natural and not even that much of a burden. Women in the west think that this is demeaning and turns women into objects, enforces the patriarchy, blah blah blah, but the fact is that woman doesn't care, so she's just going to look at them and say "why aren't you wearing one?" It's all a matter of perspective. No one should decide what is right and wrong for anyone else. If a society think boiling babies in wax is ok (for whatever twisted reason) there's no reason we should stop them. If the mothers of those babies think that this is ok and it is their child, then so be it. It seems cold and heartless but it's worse to play the morality police, wiping out their traditions cuz we find them offensive.
Morality changes depending on the influences you grew up with, as well as your individual personality. While aspects of it stay the same throughout the human race due to things like science and instinct, it changes enormously from person to person. In the Middle East it's considered ethical to stone a woman to death because another man looked at her lustfully. In America that's considered barbaric. Who's right? Answer: No one. Its a case by case thing. You have to decide what you, individually, can live with and make a stand for it. This is also why nonviolence rocks- no one gets hurt due to morality issues with no actual right answer. However, that is my own opinion about the ethical stand point on it. It's not right, its not wrong, it just is. Don't get confused, morals are very real. You might as well say the world isn't real because different people and creatures perceive it differently, or that your like (or dislike) of chocolate is false because others really and truly have a different opinion that is not false. There are many truths and none of them are wrong. The world is only what you perceive it as, we are incapable of seeing the absolute truth. Therefore, this question is a bit broad. No, there is no solid, unchangeable morality. Yes, morality is very real for the person it applies to. Of course, the same argument can be made for the clinically insane. Are they crazy? Or do they see the world in a different but not false way? Or both? I hold to my morals, reason with them and decide things with them. I don't think they are universally valid. Did I hurt your head yet?