Is it possible to derive an objective standard of morality from completely secular bases?

Nov 2014
239
ph
#1
Can we arrive at an objective set of moral principles using reason alone without influence of emotions, or from secular means? I mean for example the Mongols used their reasoning to derive that it was OK to slaughter entire cities for refusing to surrender after a given time, which is unnaceptable to contemporary secular reasoning, and the Romans genocided entire tribes which annoyed them too much, and it was standard practice from ancient armies to rape and pillage the losing side, which is again unnaceptable to modern moral reasoning. And it seems that a lot of secular modern standards seem to come from seem to come from Abrahamic religious morality, such as showing mercy to the weak or the vanquished, and respecting the dignity of the individual person hood.
 
Mar 2018
521
UK
#2
As long as you have enough bases, sure, it doesn't matter if they are secular or not. However I don't think if you can call anything objective if it stands from a priori axioms (ie, killing is bad) unless you can somehow demonstrate that those are entirely universal.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,329
#3
It's impossible to do it on any other basis.

Religion is someone telling you what to believe. It's not mortality, it' s unseasoned brainwashing, hwy should acceptance of any particular religiousness faith dictate partciaulr moral behavior.,

could you not beleive in god but disavow his morality? How does the exitsisnce of god relevantto moral behaviour? Being "good:" so you don;t go to hell and we be rewarded by "heaven" is just self interest.

It's the general totalitarian nature of religion I object to,
 
Likes: Zanis
Nov 2014
239
ph
#4
Can we arrive at an objective set of moral principles using reason alone without influence of emotions, or from secular means? I mean for example the Mongols used their reasoning to derive that it was OK to slaughter entire cities for refusing to surrender after a given time, which is unnaceptable to contemporary secular reasoning, and the Romans genocided entire tribes which annoyed them too much, and it was standard practice from ancient armies to rape and pillage the losing side, which is again unnaceptable to modern moral reasoning. And it seems that a lot of secular modern standards seem to come from seem to come from Abrahamic religious morality, such as showing mercy to the weak or the vanquished, and respecting the dignity of the individual person hood.
8
It's impossible to do it on any other basis.

Religion is someone telling you what to believe. It's not mortality, it' s unseasoned brainwashing, hwy should acceptance of any particular religiousness faith dictate partciaulr moral behavior.,

could you not beleive in god but disavow his morality? How does the exitsisnce of god relevantto moral behaviour? Being "good:" so you don;t go to hell and we be rewarded by "heaven" is just self interest.

It's the general totalitarian nature of religion I object to,
How can you arrive on an objective secular reasoning of do not kill that you can all cultures to agree on, isn't all reasoning based on emotion, and then we rationalize those emotions as objective truth?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,781
#5
8

How can you arrive on an objective secular reasoning of do not kill that you can all cultures to agree on, isn't all reasoning based on emotion, and then we rationalize those emotions as objective truth?
Its been done..... that is why most cultures have a "do not kill" rule....

"Morality" is a set of rules that comes from observation.... For example over time most cultures have observed that killing leads to problems... If you kill someone from your tribe his family is likely to come after you and this has the potential of snowballing (you bring your friends , they bring theirs etc...) to the point where the whole tribe's survival is endangered..... If you kill someone from another tribe, its more complicated, but there is the risk that his tribe will come to destroy your tribe... Not good obviously.... hence the do not kill rules... which aim to prevent/minimize such problems and risks...

Religion provided a framework to enforce these rules in a time where police and justice where .... minimal... faced with the weakness of law enforcement, the invention of all seeing entity who would punish murderers in this life (aka the Cain and Abel story) or the next was a handy way to keep many from breaking the rules
 
Likes: Zanis

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,329
#7
8

How can you arrive on an objective secular reasoning of do not kill that you can all cultures to agree on, isn't all reasoning based on emotion, and then we rationalize those emotions as objective truth?
reasoning is not based on emotion thats why it's called reason. It's based on logic, by definition it means without emotion..

if all cultures agree on something, it kinda pionts that it's get nothing to do with religuon,.
 
Oct 2013
13,217
Europix
#8
Can we arrive at an objective set of moral principles using reason alone without influence of emotions, or from secular means?
What have "objectiveness" to do with moral and, moreover, what would be "objective" be?

Frau van Beethoven's doctor should have pushed/forced her to abort, as it would have been better from an objective moral POV: her future son Ludwig had every chances to be a retarded, if not a plain unviable offspring.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,358
Athens, Greece
#9
Can we arrive at an objective set of moral principles using reason alone without influence of emotions, or from secular means? I mean for example the Mongols used their reasoning to derive that it was OK to slaughter entire cities for refusing to surrender after a given time, which is unnaceptable to contemporary secular reasoning, and the Romans genocided entire tribes which annoyed them too much, and it was standard practice from ancient armies to rape and pillage the losing side, which is again unnaceptable to modern moral reasoning. And it seems that a lot of secular modern standards seem to come from seem to come from Abrahamic religious morality, such as showing mercy to the weak or the vanquished, and respecting the dignity of the individual person hood.
A lot of secular modern standards come from the Enlightenment, do not underestimate the impact its thinkers have had on the modern (western) world. Christianity did not prevent torturing from being a widespread practice before the age of Humanities, nor did it prevent discrimination against non-Christians; "all men are created equal" is a message of the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, not a message that the Christian church carried, albeit it is a message deeply embed in the religion itself.

However, morality standards, derived from either religion/reason/emotion or whatever combination of them, cannot be "objective", meaning having panhuman acceptance, because there have been a multitude of religious moral standards, a multitude of philosophical worldviews, and a multitude of cultures with their own distinct moral values. "Objectivity" is attained within the sphere of influence of certain cultural/philosophical/religious sets. To answer your question directly, yes, it is possible to derive an objective standard of morality from completely secular bases, but "objective" is limited to the group accepting a specific prevalent way of reasoning.
 

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