More and more, people are accepting a subjective view of morality. This isn’t necessarily a trend that is confined to atheism or to new age ideas, but has also found it’s way into the world view of many Christians, reflected in statements like, “that’s obviously right for you, but it isn’t right for me,” that I often get from people when confronted with the fact that I’m a Sabbatarian.
For this discussion, I’ll ignore the fundamentalist Christian framework, and stick with an atheist/agnostic naturalistic framework. Please note that this isn’t an ad hominum attack on a naturalistic framework, I am fully aware that moral interpretations of things don’t necessarily speak for the fact value of those things.
Natural selection is defined by science as survival of the fittest. Who are the fittest? Since that is a very vague classification. I have worked with animals for most of my life, the ones who survive the best, are those who get the best food. The ones who are aggressive enough to enforce their right to eat the best food get the best food. Cattle and horses are great examples. Not all grasses are equal, and with there being limited really good grass, the most aggressive in the heard generally get to eat the good patches of grass by chasing any other animals away should they come near, thus they will have the best chance of survival, and be classified the fittest, such is the tautology.
So, if I want something, and someone else has it, I have every right, under natural law, to take it, and they have every right to defend what they have, even unto death. So, if morality is merely subjective, the most reasonable way to approach life is to show no regard for anybody else, for that will immediately increase your chance of survival. By this reasoning, that one percent we hear so much about actually have a greater right to survive than the starving kids in Somalia, because they are willing to take as much of the world’s resources as they can to ensure their, and their offspring’s, survival. While the kids in Somalia have parents who aren’t capable of feeding them, and are likely, should they defy the odds and survive, to continue the cycle of poverty. It could even be argued that it is in the best interests of the human race to allow for these people to die in order that they don’t use up resources so imperative to the survival of the members of the human race who are best at maintaining their dominance.
That’s basic natural law, but there’s a further problem. In a world where morality is subjective, there is no immorality. Adolf Hitler; the crusaders and Osama bin Laden are all great examples of people who had deluded themselves into believing their actions were fully justified, and morally sound. In a world where morality is subjective, these people are, by their own view of morality, perfectly vindicated. In fact, they are people with high moral standing, since they were willing to stick by their moral lifestyle regardless of pressure from the rest of the world.
In a society where morals are subjective, it can be seen, immorality essentially does not exist, for then it wouldn’t be subjective. If immorality doesn’t exist, how can it’s opposite exist? It’s really tough at this level of abstraction, but then I’m not sure people who believe morality is subjective, have really thought it through. It just seems to me that any paradigm that accepts a subjective morality essentially omits immorality, and so is an amoral paradigm, in which there are no real morals at all.
Either murder; rape and theft is wrong, or it isn’t, to make it subjective seems to embrace the ideals of people like Hitler as ok, because, after all, he was doing what he thought was right. In fact, Hitler’s racism was justified in Mein Kampf by his view of natural selection. We could justify the crusades; the inquisition or pretty much any violence perpetrated by people misguided enough to believe committing atrocities is morally sound. In fact, they would be morally right.