Do objective morals exists?


Agnostic, Independent (politically)
Staff member
Oct 1, 2020
Do objective morals exist?
My position is that we don't know if objective morals exists. No one has proven it. There are two or three reasons why I am uncertain about objective morality.

1. Different cultures have different morals.
If morality was meant to be objective, then why are there so many different moral standards. Such findings would point to morality being a product of sociocultural conditioning, since the nature of such conditioning is relative to a place, time, and people. Morality also seems to be dependent on our resources, options, and knowledge. In ancient time, if women had the same education and resources as men, then perhaps we could say that it was objectively moral to allow them to work and not just be housewives. But since those resources weren't in place back then as they are today, then how was a household with both parents working a moral issue, if the option and resources weren't there?

2. The purpose of morality.
If the purpose of morality is for survival or to ensure order, then why doesn't the rest of nature follow that? Why is it only humans and certain animals follow that? What's the point in saying we need to survive if the rest of the Universe at large behaves (figuratively speaking) in an amoral way? The good and bad can be wiped out by natural forces beyond our control. I can see why objective morality is very important concept, just as I see why free-will is as well, but that alone does not prove that either exist.

3. The knowability of morality.
I'm critical of notion of an objective morality because there doesn't seem to be any reliable way for us to determine or know what is moral and what's not. In a lot of cases, we'd all come up with different views based on different systems, and all that assumes that there is supposed to be a way that we should act to begin with.

Is there a way to study morals in a controlled environment? Sure, we can observe behavior and see that there is a sense of morality, but that doesn't explain if it should be this or that. It doesn't answer what factors or criteria should be involved in determining morality. Is the avoidance of harm the only criteria? How can we know that? Is there a large number of objective morals or just a few? How can we know that? At best, it seems that science can inform our thinking on objective morality to an extent, just as it can for political matters, but it is not enough to deal with issue entirely.

Given all of my reasoning above, I choose to act as if morality is something everyone should follow, and I do this to be practical. Otherwise, I don't see how society could get along.
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