Is Morality Subjective or Objective? Essay examples

3589 Words15 Pages
Is Morality Subjective or Objective? Morality must be objectively derived because (1) the concepts of good and morality exist; (2) cultures differ regarding certain moral actions, thus there is the need to discover which is right but cultures are similar regarding the existence of and need for morality; (3) relativism is not logical and does not work, (4) for moral principles to be legitimate and consistent, they must be derived external to human societies. Otherwise morality is merely one person's choice or feeling, not an understanding of truth; and (5) the existence of religion. People recognize a moral aspect to the worship of deity; even if the deity does not exist, we still perceive a need for morality to be decreed by Someone…show more content…
One culture may value theft, as in some of the American Indian tribes of the plains, particularly against enemies. Such action showed bravery and skill in battle. Another culture might abhor the idea that one person should be allowed to steal from another, and the value here is the sanctity of private property, as in the Western industrial countries. When differences occur, the question arises as to what moral idea produces the right action. Somewhere in the history of human cultural interaction, these two values will collide. They can not both be right. What is the truly moral idea? Hence there is a need for an objective criterion, again one that transcends either culture, rather than simply be a preference of one culture over another. Human cultures do tend to agree about some moral ideas, such as murder of one's own people, cruelty (except against enemies), rape, and other violent actions which force one person's will upon another. The fact that there is agreement seems to indicate a common source of moral conscience, a standard to which all humans attempt to adhere. C.S. Lewis called this idea the "Moral Law" or a natural law of morality [1], an idea similar to Immanuel Kant's "Law of Nature" idea. Kant grounds his concept in an a priori purely practical human reason, which Lewis identifies in the imago Dei within human nature. Kant's categorical imperative insists that morality is based on valid impersonal principles, in the intrinsic worth of right itself, upon
Open Document