Some people may be shocked at the title of this blog entry, however I found it to be quite fitting.
When a Catholic is in a conversation with an atheist, the topic of morality often comes up. While the former argues for objective morality - not dependent on our personal liking - the latter argues against certain moral codes of Catholicism (often times those moral codes the atheist himself refuses to follow) and then goes on to argue against the notion of "objective morality".
"Morality", so some of them say, "is subjective".
I never cared so much about this topic, but in a debate last night with an atheist friend of mine, this issue was brought up.
We have to connect the whole argument for subjective morality with the atheist's claim to "reason and logic".
With the existence of subjective morality, logic dictates that no man can then condemn the morality of another as being inferior or even outright wrong and at the same time be objectively right. With that being said, I could then legitimately ask the question why e.g. murder would be morally wrong (in the objective sense)? Was it morally wrong for the Nazis to murder Jews, Christians, gypsies, the disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.?
I'm quite certain that most people would say yes. But such an answer would have no bearing whatsoever if morality is subjective. In fact, moral judgement would then be rendered meaningless. To the Nazis what they did was right and as there is then - according to the moral subjectivist - no objective morality by which we can objectively judge the morality of a certain action, we would have to refrain from judging the atrocities committed by the Nazis as "evil". That would be "intolerant" and "arrogant" as it would mean that we superimpose our own understanding of morality upon those who disagree with us - this is precisely what many atheists accuse theists of doing.
Subjective morality would also lead to the conclusion that our societies are intrinsically irrational.
We have laws prohibiting murder, incest, theft, etc.. But why? Why should a certain group of people be able to dictate what a person may or may not do if what they are doing cannot be argued as being "right" or "wrong"?
The idea of subjective morality leads to a moral code that is dependent upon the opinion of the majority; that is if we have a 'democratic system' (the majority rules). What the majority deems to be okay is "morally good" and what it does not approve of is then "morally evil".
Does majority-rule not remind us of "das Recht des Stärkeren" (the right of the stronger)? It is a worldview closely connected to Social Darwinism; an ideology employed rather well (no moral approval intended) by the Nazis. The majority - the stronger block - has the power over the weak(er) minority. Likewise, the majority can superimpose its collection of subjective morals upon the minority - whose "right to subjective morality" is then bypassed and de facto nullified.
Now, the final statement sounds pretty much like a "dictatorship of the majority" which many atheists would probably object to. However, this is how our system works. If then "subjective morality" is true, then the existence of Law would be highly unreasonable and illogal; but Law is necessary since it prevents a breakdown of order which in turn stops our societies from imploding. Furthermore, we would still not be able to judge such a "dictatorship of the majority" as being "evil" or "morally wrong" since we lack an objective moral code from which such a judgement could even follow.
So practically speaking, "subjective morality" would lead to nothing other but a rule of the majority which in turn superimposes its own opinions unto others as though they were objective and thus would create a situation of self-contradiction. And since such morality would depend on the majority of people through the ages, it would mean that morals would always be changing; that which was deemed to be "evil" and thus illegal, could be "good" and thus legal in the following age - and vice-versa. The Nazis thought it was "good" and even necessary to liquidate all the people they slaughtered. We obviously think otherwise.
As moral subjectivism leads to the de facto meaninglessness of morality itself, my conclusion is:
Subjective morality - obviously - is absurd.