Belinda wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:07 am
There is no higher authority than man. Wishing for it won't make it so.
Wishing it will also not make it not-so. Wishing is not in the equation at all. So we can both dismiss that thought.
However, if man is the only authority, then Nazism, Wahabism, genocide, slavery, child rape, systemic poverty and political oppression are not "wrong." You will find them all approved by your own declared "highest authority." In fact, one thing we can safely say that mankind has approved throughout history, and even by vast majority today, is the subjugation and exploitation of women. You'd be hard-pressed to find any cultural practice so widespread and established as that.
But I will still say it's "wrong." From your perspective, from the culturally-dependent perspective, that is, or even from the species-dependent perspective, if you like, how will you say any such thing is "wrong." You have access to no such objective category.
You have faith in your culture which includes the Higher Authority, I have faith in mine. Our cultures share the same ethics.
That belief is the luxury of those who have not investigated. You'll find that there are vastly divergent "ethics" in different cultures. I'll warrant that your beliefs are not those of a traditional Hindu or a Wahabi Muslim. Even between yours and mine, you'll find some very significant differences. Just to name one, I regard the murdering of children in utero, as practiced routinely in the West, as a total moral abomination. Now, we needn't debate that issue for its own sake, because it's being done on another strand. But I must ask, do you share my ethical conclusion on that? If not, then I've just disproved your claim that "our cultures share the same ethics," haven't I?
I'm uncertain I prefer to trust to my own cultural values with all their uncertainties and historical errors.
But your culture is a statistical anomaly. Historically, our modern values have not existed. Presently, we're still in the world minority. What makes our ideas about human rights, equality, children's rights, prison reform, welfare and so forth "right," and those of the majority of human cultures "wrong"? All of those things are extreme-minority opinions.
Your belief in revelation would make you no wiser than a faulty computer that cannot fit a perfect Programmer's programme . Where does that leave your Free Will?
No, that's not so. You've misunderstood what "revelation" means. It's not a synonym for "software programming," nor is it in any way analogous to that. It's no more invasive than me offering you a contrary opinion to your own: that still leaves you completely free to choose your own opinions, doesn't it?
Human cultures are fluid.
This makes an additional problem for you view. If even your own culture is "fluid," how do you have any reason to decide that your culture's present values are the right ones, and the ones that your culture will have in a few days (which could easily include such things as resurgent racism, resuppression of women, or even more abundant child pornography) are not as good as today's values?
If that's true, you'd really be totally morally lost. You could have no trustworthy sense of where right and wrong are, if you are a cultural relativist. And there's no way for you to know whether your own culture's values are better or worse -- so your allegiance to them becomes nothing more than a personal prejudice in favour of your own society. Yikes. That hasn't gotten us good places in the past.