Ethics & Morality

Pontius Pilate's "What is Truth?" - stylized inscription at entrance to Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Família (Barcelona).

Pontius Pilate’s “What is Truth?” – stylized inscription at entrance to Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Família (Barcelona).

Below is a collection of my thinking on the grounding and justification of moral truth. I am warming up for something.

Divine Essentialism

God wills it (right) because He is good — essentialism. 1/4/08 (Not mine. Precursor.)

The Sword and the Sacrifice Philosophy (c. 2008) (In progress.)

Are you an essentialist or a voluntarist? 5/26/09

Poll: What grounds objective moral truth? 12/31/12

The Euthyphro Dilemma

Good 101: Is there a solution to the Euthyphro dilemma? 12/24/09

At Coffee with the Euthyphro Dilemma 4/9/10

Plato’s Justified True Belief

Justified true belief and knowledge of moral truth 7/30/10

The is-ought fallacy and knowledge as justified true belief 11/12/10

Norris, Gettier, Euthyphro, Hume and Plato: Is knowledge justified true belief? 1/5/11

Answering Gettier 1/8/11

Hume’s Is-Ought Distinction

God (is) the Golden Rule (ought) without offending Hume 4/10/11

Where I am at with Hume’s is-ought distinction 7/1/11

The Golden Rule

Dialogue with Tristan Vick on the Golden Rule 10/22/12

Defining the good: The Golden Rule 8/15/13 (old version)

The Golden Rule in every major culture in history 2/13/14

The Golden Rule in Nina Rosenstand’s “The Moral of the Story” 2/13/14

Neighboring: The Golden Rule (or Royal Law) in the Bible 2/21/15

Putting It All Together

Hume’s is-ought, Plato’s true-justified, Euthyphro’s dilemma and Gettier’s problem 2/23/11

Natural law, divine command and Euthyphro’s dilemma resolved 3/27/11

Answering Jerry Coyne and Jason Thibodeau on the Euthyphro Dilemma 10/29/11

Is-ought discussion with WLC 1/7/12

What being is described by a without-God good? 1/9/12

The Humean-Platonic tripartite (Ought-Is-Belief) theory of (moral) knowledge 5/10/12

Dear Euthyphro meme 9/29/12

Dialogue on Euthyphro’s Dilemma with Tristan Vick and Mike D 10/11/12

The Moral Argument

RFG 9: The Knowledge of God 1/20/09

Groothuis’ “Christian Apologetics” ch.15: The Moral Argument 11/13/12

The Moral Argument 1/30/13

Leibnizian Moral Argument? 6/29/14

Does the Moral Argument Reify Subjective Morality? 10/7/14

Extra

What is ‘moral’ truth and what is ‘immoral’ truth? 11/6/09

Norman Geisler (various)

My first Wikipedia article: Graded absolutism July 21, 2011 (heavy emphasis on Geisler)

Just love March 23, 2011 (addressing disagreement between White and Geisler)

Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape and debate with WLC

Why does Sam Harris’ “Moral Landscape” have the word “moral” in it? July 1, 2011

Why Sam Harris’ “objective moral truth” hovers over an abyss… May 20, 2011

Craig v Harris debate post mortem, audio and video May 3, 2011

Open letter to William Lane Craig regarding upcoming debate with Sam Harris March 31, 2011

Review: Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape” October 11, 2010

Sam Harris claims we are not free to choose objective moral truth April 8, 2010

Sam Harris’ forthcoming Moral Landscape ‘decides’ objective morality March 31, 2010

Dawkins changes mind for Harris’ objective moral truth March 27, 2010

Harris versus Dawkins, modern day Euthyphro dilemma March 23, 2010

Human Rights

Moral realism and our rights and liberties, part 3 November 1, 2009

Moral realism and our rights and liberties, part 2 October 25th, 2009

Moral realism and our rights and liberties, part 1 October 22nd, 2009

Future: Should have something recent on evil being a privation–and new work on the moral law.

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About Maryann

Maryann Spikes is the past President of the Christian Apologetics Alliance. She blogs at Ichthus77, and loves apologetics and philosophy. In particular she loves to study all things Euthyphro Dilemma and Golden Rule. A para-educator (autism) for five years, she holds a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, an AA in Humanities via Modesto Junior College, and moonlights as a freelancer. You can follow her on Twitter @Ichthus77, connect with the Ichthus77 community on Facebook, or look her up on Google+.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Divine Essentialism, Euthyphro Dilemma, Gettier Problem, Golden Rule, Groothuis' 'Christian Apologetics', Is-Ought Fallacy, Justified True Belief, Keller's Reason for God, Moral Argument, Natural Law and Divine Command, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, William Lane Craig. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ethics & Morality

  1. Drexus says:

    Morality is an inherent function of any species of advanced sociality. Without a clear understanding of Universal Rights, subjective interpretation within a social construct will wander aimlessly — not unlike defining the construction of a musical instrument as never seen, hearing only the sounds it makes.

    • Hi Drexus. Thanks for replying. I agree that morality is a sort of song sung by humanity, and that we can be in harmony with objective morality, or we can sin(g) out of tune with it. We need to be on the same sheet of music that describes the (Golden Rule) Music that is God (demonstrated in switching perspectives with us on the cross).

      • Drexus says:

        Maryann. The morality supported by Universal Rights is as untenable to social constructs as Universal Rights are to any abstract social concept. As noted, Universal Rights are biological, not social. As a result, objective (social) morality is inherently subjective from the outset — contingent on nothing in support of a species of sociality — purely abstract.

        Genetic morality is however supported by Universal Rights, as it’s engrained in how our species functions — inescapable. Because of this, morality as commonly identified in modern society, misses the bus completely — sighting the abstract variant as an echo of the core (genetic) morality built into us all.

        Here lies the crux of the issue: Social constructs (intrinsically subjective) spawn only abstract concepts — as much out of reach of Universal Rights as would in passing a law forbidding water to boil at 100˚C. You can’t draw a straight line using a french curve, no more than you can define a human right without sourcing Universal Rights and call it sustainable.

        Subjective definitions of social morality as spawned by social constructs will forever miss the target until Universal Rights are observed. TGIF, Happy Hour, Long weekends, Healthcare benefits, School zones, Life insurance, Movie night, and Quiet time — all social constructs, existing only because a society says they do — hence, all are subjective. If a society reasons out a set of rules known as “human rights”, there’s absolutely no connection to anything sustainable until those rules follow Universal Rights.

        Universal Rights has been and will always be an unmovable constant. No social construct can deny or denounce it any more than gravity itself. Mammals need water to survive, hence, mammals have the Universal Right to drink water. No social construct can change this, it’s a natural function.

        The same “sheet of music” would be Universal Rights, for only under this can true morality support a species exhibiting sociality.

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