Objective Morality? You Can Have Mine.

Objective morality?

Many religious people like to claim there can be no “objective morality” — whatever that is — without a god. If by objective morality they mean universal or unchanging morality, well, very few of them want that any more than I do. They just think they do. More accurately, they don’t think about it. Stoning for picking up sticks on the Sabbath Day? (Saturday, by the way. Sunday has never been the Sabbath.)

Stoning non-virgin brides? Or for unruly children? Slavery? Forced marriage to their attackers for rape victims? Slaughter of every individual — old men, women, children, tiny babies, and even the livestock and pets — in the country of your enemy when you win a war?

This is objective morality.

This is the “objective morality” of the Old Testament. It isn’t good now, and it wasn’t good then. It was horrible! It’s the kind of “objective morality” you get from the Christians’ god. From some other gods, it’s even worse!

We’ve improved our morality considerably in the last 3,000 years, because it’s not eternal. It’s not “objective.” We’re able to change it as we better learn what’s good for people and societies. We still have a long way to go, but we’re gradually getting there.

Let’s hear it for a better, more flexible morality.

I’m glad we have a morality that can mature and improve as we learn and think. Who cares whether it’s “objective” or not?

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