This is a response to a post by Randy on his blog, on my views on morality:
Thank you for your comments and questions.
It should be noted that I've published an update to my views on morality at this location. You might look over that and see if it changes anything in your response. The main revision is that I've conceded that my view of morality is in fact subjective, but then, by the same criteria I'm using, so's everyone's. This includes you; since you pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow and which ones to reject, your morality is no more objective than mine.
Followers of the Bible like to hold it up as an infallible moral guide for all humanity for all time, written by an all-knowing, all-powerful deity. However, if this were true, every follower of the Bible would have the same view of morality, which they clearly don't.
I can hear you now: It's because we're imperfect humans who, with our limited capacities, are unable to discern with complete precision what God expects from us. But if God were all-powerful, he could have made these expectations crystal-clear in such a way that even the most imperfect human could understand them. The fact that he didn't do that is a failing on the part of God (or would be, if he existed).
So until you get God's instructions right, your morality is no more objective than mine is. Let me know if there's anyone you think has it perfect, so we can examine their beliefs.
On the points you've made:
"Suffering is kind of the basic bad thing."
"Where did we get the idea that respect for private property is a moral principle? "
"Shiftless bums, fundamentalist Christians, NY Yankee fans, do we really care about all their suffering the same way?"
To all of these points, I say: You don't agree? Please explain how your view of morality differs.
"We hate sexual morality because it might cause somebody somewhere to suffer by denying themselves certain pleasures."
I should have been more clear that I meant inflicting suffering on others. If you want to suffer yourself, go for it; I have no problem with that.
"Is this really a moral dilemma? That would see to be a weakness of a moral system if that is really true. Defending your wife is clearly the moral thing to do."
Is it fair to say, then, that you believe pacifism is immoral? Doesn't that put you into conflict with Jesus's "turn the other cheek" teaching?
"Why isn't he asking whether legal pot or illegal pot causes less suffering?"
I have; it doesn't. Suffering hasn't increased in any area that's legalized it.
"If a majority feel something is so immoral it should be illegal then that is enough whether their opinion comes from the majority religion or not. I do feel respecting minority rights is important but there is a limit. Where that limit should be set is something that should be decided democratically."
I only agree to a point. I've heard democracy described as two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Part of the beauty of the American system is that the courts protect the rights of minorities.
Since I've taken the position that morality is subjective, I expect that you will probably come back with a defense of objective morality. If so, please establish that such a thing exists in the first place; then we'll have something to compare with the subjective morality I believe everyone has.