If there's no God, then human beings are just the byproduct of a mindless process and have no inherent aims or goals. This would mean that what we should or shouldn't do is completely undefined. That means that what's morally right or wrong would wholly depend on human opinions
If it's morally wrong to rape an infant regardless of human opinions, God must exist.
Not quite. If there is no such thing as morality then we shouldn't talk about things begin morally good or morally bad. That is to say that child rapists are not 'bad' and non-rapists are not 'good' - how could they be if there is no such thing as 'good' and 'bad'?
So it is not morality (which does not exist) that decrees that children should not be raped. The fiction of morality is replaced by a battle of wills between those who would rape children and those who would not. Obviously (I hope it obvious) I am on the side of the non-rapers; but for my will to prevail the child-rapists have to be defeated by me and people like me because there is no 'moral force' in the universe protecting children.
That could be easily proven by not entering into such battles. The old adage is 'for evil to succeed it is only necessary for good men to do nothing'.
People created morality in order to peacefully coexist with one another in a civilized society. Individuals want to be able to live without fearing the actions of someone who has no regard for the well being of others. People created laws to declare and enforce proper moral conduct. God was not necessary to do that, the need to peacefully coexist with others did that.
But why is it more rational to believe that our moral perceptions are purporting something illusory rather than something true? We have basic moral intuitions that nearly everyone share.
I will grant your hypothetical.If there's no God, then human beings are just the byproduct of a mindless process and have no inherent aims or goals. This would mean that what we should or shouldn't do is completely undefined. That means that what's morally right or wrong would wholly depend on human opinions
Some sort of god exists, but how in the name of all that is holy do we know which one?
All hail the great Nanabozho, or Vishnu, or Marduk, or Ahura Mazda(?) I mean, you wouldn't want to go off and start worshiping the wrong one right?
Our moral perceptions are concerned with something real, not an illusion. What we perceive is an estimate of the balance between costs and benefits, which are real. The illusion is that morality is a thing-in-itself; ie we are not perceiving how much morality (or how much immorality) is present in some act (ie morality does not exist, again!) but what the likely costs and benfits of the act will be.But why is it more rational to believe that our moral perceptions are purporting something illusory rather than something true? We have basic moral intuitions that nearly everyone share.
The illusion is describing something in terms of "moral wrongness" when in reality we're describing it in terms of something else.
The illusion is that morality is a thing-in-itself.
Are you a moral nihilist?
My views is that statements like "stealing from people is wrong" are true, not based on any emotions associated with it, but that it expresses a true proposition.
"Stealing" is axiomatically "wrong" in the exact same way that "murder" is axiomatically "wrong" and "molestation" is axiomatically wrong.
Taking something from another person is not always "stealing".
Killing another human being is not always "murder".
Touching another person is not always "molestation".
Axioms are different than definitions. An axiom is something that is widely accepted or self-evidently true. A definition describes the meaning of something. I think you meant to say that stealing, murder, and molestation are wrong by definition. There's a difference between "legally wrong" and "morally wrong." I dont see anywhere where any of these terms are morally wrong by defintion.
I'm not a 'moral nihilist' in the sense of 'amoralist'. I've recently moved away from moral realism (which is what people often mean when they say 'objective morality') towards moral anti-realism, particularly 'error theory'. I'm a moral nihilist in that I believe morality per se does not exist (ie morality is nothing) but not in the sense that 'everything goes'.
I recommend you look at section 4 on error theory.
Morality is completely subjective but if we can agree on a shared standard upon which to base morality we can make objective statements about morality based on that standard. If for example we agree that it is immoral to harm other human beings then we can say that infant rape (by virtue of being harmful to infants) is immoral.
But if a child rapist disagrees, neither of you have the moral highground.
- It doesn't matter if one of us has any moral high ground. We will both be held accountable for our actions by our fellow humans. The rapist will be punished in most scenarios. I am not saying that it is right or wrong to punish him but I am saying that it will happen. Most humans agree that harming humans is immoral since we benefit from the widespread belief that harming humans is wrong and as irrational primates we seem to feel the need to punish those who cause harm. As for the punishment itself it is also neither right or wrong in its own right but it can have utility if we have a goal in mind ( like preventing rape for example) and it has the net effect of accomplishing that goal (say by deterring would be rapists with the threat of punishment).
Seems irrational to say "it doesn't matter" whether there's any moral highground on whether children should or should not be raped, regardless of whether there's punishment for the rapist involved.
From a human perspective it is quite rational to want humans protected from harm. There is a vested interest involved. I have a vested interest in protecting humans from being raped and so it is rational for me to see rapists punished in a way that discourages rape. Nothing about that makes this anything other than a subjective opinion.
Your thread title says that if rape is morally wrong regardless of human opinions then god exists. I'm not sure if that line of reasoning holds up to rational scrutiny but it doesn't matter because rape is not morally wrong regardless of human opinions it is wrong because of human opinions.
Yes we do want to be protected from harm. It can be true that we want to protected from harm and that something like this is also morally wrong. What evidences your claim that "raping infants is morally wrong" is an opinion-based truth in the same sense that "chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla" rather than being a fact-based truth like "2 + 2 = 4"? The status quo, at least among moral philosophers, is moral realism by a 2:1 margin. I'm also assuming that most people who don't delve into philosophy too much would say that such a thing is truly evil, which would fall under a moral realist position as well. I mention this because you would need some overriding evidence to show that prevailing prima facie intuitions about it being truly evil are false.
The only way that something could be morally wrong independent of our opinions is if humanity was brought into being for a purpose. Things we should or should not do would be relative to that purpose.
Not only that we naturally wish to protect others that we empathize with. One of the natural consequences of evolution is that it can give rise to organisms that promote survival of the species over survival of the individual. There is no reason to think this behavior will be universal but in social animals it tends to be consistent enough to aide in survival of the species.Yes we do want to be protected from harm.
Evolution does not have goals but one of the logical consequences of evolution is that it did give rise to organisms which have goals. Survival is one of those goals and as social animals we need one another to stay mentally healthy.
What evidences your claim that "raping infants is morally wrong" is an opinion-based truth in the same sense that "chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla" rather than being a fact-based truth like "2 + 2 = 4"?
"That is moral" represent a qualified statement you cannot measure morality objectively with math. Quanta are subjective meanings we impose on the real universe. They are meaningful but ultimately only as real as our subjective experience.
2+2=4 is a quantifiable objective fact. Facts are cold data and as such without meaning. Take 2+2=4. Sure but what is 2? 2 is just a placeholder for saying something twice. I have an apple and I have another apple is cumbersome. I have two apples is more efficient and it only becomes more pronounced when groupings of objects become larger. I have two hundred apples would hardly be worth typing. The number 2 however is meaningless without two objects to associate it with.
That is how they are different.
The status quo, at least among moral philosophers, is moral realism by a 2:1 margin
The argument from popularity. This is a classic logical fallacy and does not add weight to your argument.
I'm also assuming that most people who don't delve into philosophy too much would say that such a thing is truly evil, which would fall under a moral realist position as well.
Yes most people are of the subjective opinion that rape is morally reprehensible. Even evil though I don't have much use for the word evil myself feeling that it is a purely subjective term and that moral and immoral cover the concept quite nicely.
I mention this because you would need some overriding evidence to show that prevailing prima facie intuitions about it being truly evil are false.
I don't see why that would be the case as you admit that people can have differences of opinion about what is moral. You have chosen a rather extreme example but some rapists may not necessarily feel that they are doing anything wrong. This argument can be applied to anything that a group of people feel is right or wrong. I may consider something moral that you feel should be a punishable offense. That is a subjective opinion by definition.
The only way that something could be morally wrong independent of our opinions is if humanity was brought into being for a purpose.
This does not logically follow. If something were morally wrong independent of our opinions it would remain wrong whether humanity was brought into being for a purpose or if we had not or if even if we evolved naturally and were not brought into being at all. Something being objectively morally wrong has nothing to do with the origins of life in general or humanity in particular.
Identifying common motives for our behavior doesn't give weight to moral non-realism.
Reality can only be experienced inter-subjectively. "Only as real as our subjective experience" refers to reality itself.
Math and morality are different but both have an abstract, objective framework that we can rationally discover. This is how humanity has morally progressed over the years.
My point with the moral philosophers and views of everyday people was to establish that the status quo favors moral realism for setting the default burden of proof.
Disagreement does not show that there is no fact of the matter.
"Should or should not" cannot be determined without first having a purpose as to what one should or should not do. Humanity having an inherent purpose as to what they should or should not do is the only way something can be morally wrong independent of our views.
I can agree with almost everything in the above post (#20).
The main reason I recently moved away from moral realism is "Humanity having an inherent purpose as to what they should or should not do is the only way something can be morally wrong independent of our views" but I failed to identify an inherent purpose.
Ok let's assume for a moment that there is some objective morality. If person A thinks that rape is not immoral but that homosexuality is and person B thinks that both rape and homosexuality are immoral and person C thinks that rape is immoral but homosexuality is not then how do we determine which one is objectively right?
Also if some things are objectively immoral they remain immoral whether humanity has a "purpose as to what they should do" or not.l so one does not logically follow the other.
Watching atheist say it's ok to rape kids never ceases to be hysterical.
Which poster said it's ok to rape kids? It doesn't strike me as hilarious - if such a post happened.
If person A thinks that rape is not immoral but that homosexuality is and person B thinks that both rape and homosexuality are immoral and person C thinks that rape is immoral but homosexuality is not then how do we determine which one is objectively right?
If we substitute rape with footballs, moral with spherical, homosexulity with dice and immoral wih cuboid we'd get
If person A thinks that footballs are not spherical but that dice are cuboid and person B thinks that both football and dice are spherical and person C thinks that footballs are cuboid immoral but dice is not cubiod then how do we determine which one is objectively right?
So "how do we determine which one is objectively right? "
Well, unless you discard any semblance that words mean anything you check who is saying footballs are spherical and dice are cuboid! The others must suffer from "faulty shape sensing disease"!
Disagreement is not a disproof of objective morality - disagreements might be because some people misjudge the actual morality of stuff. That is even if rape is objectively evil there's nothing to prevent X judging it to be morally good if his brain is wired up differenty to most people. That might explain psychpaths.