First I am going to start out with the assumption that we believe there are morals out there. That people do believe that certain actions are wrong, and others are right. If you do not think that say torturing babies, or animals, or prisoners of war just for fun is wrong, or that to punish such people is right, well you have no moral compass and there is no point to talk with you. But if you are like most every other person in the world, namely that you believe in right and wrong namely that it is wrong if someone murdered your family, and stole your car, then we need to talk and figure out where you got this idea of morality. (Remember truth also includes moral truth, as well as natural truth, ect.)
For more thoughts on this subject go to Stand to Reason and read this article: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5539
So there is a right and wrong out there, but how did we humans discover it or come up with it? Some people say that individuals come up with it, but that’s just nonsense. I think its summed up nicely in the last article I linked, but I’ll give a short for it. What the individual relativist says is that: “There is no absolute truth, the only truth is what is true for me, but that might not be true for you because you have your own truth, so don’t force your truth on me, and I won’t force mine on you”. This person will then say that torturing babies for fun isn’t right for them, but it could be right for other people. Which is a disturbing concept if you think about it, what person could think that torturing babies for fun is ever OK?
However, their argument falls quickly apart. They say that the individual defines truth, but that there is no ultimate truth, however that statement itself is a claim to an ultimate truth, or universal truth, a truth that affects all people everywhere, namely that all truth is relative. However, if it is true that all truth is relative, than that truth isn’t relative it is universal, which would make the statement false. It’s a self refuting statement, if the statement is true, its false, if the statement is false, its false. In other words they are saying: “Every person everywhere defines truth for themselves (it isn’t universal), this is true for every truth and person. There is no truth (but this one) that affects every person, for every person makes up their own truth”. See the problem with that? For this statement to be true there must be at least 1 universal truth, namely that this statement is true, but if there is 1 then the statement that there are none is false, the claim fails at that point. Universal truth exists!
Well then some people say truth isn’t relative to an individual, but rather societies define it. First I ask, what is a society? And why do they get the right to define truth and morality? And how big of society gets to define morality and truth? Is it 100 people who get together, is it 1 million? And who decides how big of group of society gets to define it? The problem is that society argument falls apart just like the individual argument, because in stead of saying that all truth is relative to a person, they are just interchanging person with society and everything else is the same, but then it still falls victim to the same logical flaw that individual relativism falls to, namely that in its claim that there are no universal moral truths (or truth in general) but what society makes, but it claims to be a universal truth itself, thus it falsifies itself.
Also in this society says moralism we get to a point where one society (how big again?) cannot criticize another society, namely if a society like that Nazi’s want to kill Jews, who are other societies to complain about that? Or if another society wants to eat people, and they only eat their own people, who are we to complain about that? There are so many problems with this, another great article on this subject can also be found at Stand to Reason here: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5632
Now the problem with this society says relativism is that one cannot complain when a society (the same problem with the individual relativism too) start affecting other societies, because even if their truth hurts your people, you can say you don’t like it, but you cannot say its wrong. So to get away from this problem, people then claim that truth is global, that all humans get together and define truth, its not just societies, but global decision. Well then I have the same kind of questions here, who says? Why should we listen to them? Which global idea? There are many conflicting idea’s globally which one is true and which isn’t? What happens if a general consensus changes. If one year the global community agrees that torturing babies for fun is wrong, but another year believes its now ok, are you really ok with that change? This also is a ridiculous view, because it assumes that globally there can be some kind of agreement. It is more ridiculous than society says, or the individual says relativism. It is so close to saying that there is a universal moral truth that everyone should follow, that it might as well to get away from all the problems.
Morals cannot be defined nor do they come from individuals because moral truth must be universal affecting everyone equally, or else it doesn’t exist. It must either be wrong or right to torture babies for fun everywhere for everyone, or else there are no morals. However, almost every person will complain when someone steals their stuff, or murders their friends and family, or when an “innocent” person gets killed, or when babies are tortured for fun. Almost everyone will say such things are “wrong” not just for themselves but for everyone everywhere. But where did this “moral law” come from? Why does it seem to be universal? Why do people in every “society” seem to have similar laws regarding murder and theft? The only really acceptable answer to the question where do morals come from, is that there must be someone outside of us, some moral law giver that is above the human race, that gives us morals to follow. And if they have given us morals to follow there must be some reason to follow them or not, and their probably is some consequence to following or not.
So if morals exist, where do they come from if not a moral law giver above us? And do not say anything relativistic.
P.S don’t use “Do what comes naturally” argument see here: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6796