The other day I posted my thoughts on SOPA, Shampoo, and the greater good. A commenter responded to it by posting the video above. However, this video is the exact denial of reality that some atheists hold which I was originally alluding to. To be perfectly clear, let me take what I believe is the only logical position that can be taken by a naturalist, that is, somebody who believes that there is nothing that can exist outside of nature.
1) No action nature takes can be either good or bad.
2) People are nature.
3) Therfore, actions people take cannot be good or bad.
You see, the fundamental problem is that if we are simply nature, nothing we can do is either good or bad. The video above, like Sam Harris, tries to short circuit this fundamental problem by jumping to the conclusion that “good” is whatever allows human life to flourish and be happier, more peaceful, and more productive. However, in nature alone, we’re taught that things are neither good nor bad. We’re merely random molecules that happened to end up as people. We wouldn’t fault a lion for attacking and eating a gazelle, nor would we fault a lion for attacking and killing another lion to assert its dominance in a pride. Likewise, by this naturalistic perspective, how can we fault Hitler for doing what he thinks is good?
If we don’t like what nature like Hitler is doing we can try to stop him because we don’t prefer his way of thinking, but that is just one group’s sense of good vs another’s. It isn’t objective morals, it is relative morals. Such a way of thinking just leads to the most popular view becoming the “good” view. The video above states that power and majority can’t determine morals, but without some foundation of morals outside of nature, that is exactly all that is left on which to base “morality”, and so the entire idea that objective morality can exist in nature is unreasonable and self-defeating.
All people have a built-in aversion to admitting that humans are only as equally important as other natural animals, at the same time some people have a volitional aversion to admitting that “good” and “evil” are concepts that must necessarily come from outside nature (ie supernatural). This leaves them no choice but to define good and evil relatively, as it relates to themselves, based on nothing more than their own opinions. Coincidentally, this is also what necessarily follows when you try to base your morality on the wrong thing outside nature that doesn’t exist.
Some people might say that a good and loving God could not be the God of the Bible. This God called Yahweh is only a God of suffering. To that I say, you haven’t really tried to understand the narrative or context of the Biblical record. To help you to that end, I refer you to Paul Copan’s book “Is God A Moral Monster“. In exchange you may refer me to any source of your own.
I for one, am glad that the universe I believe I live in, necessarily and objectively dictates that my children, and your children, are more special than your average mollusc…whether you’ll admit it or not.