Saturday, July 13, 2013

Objective Moral Truth

We might wonder at the ultimate origin of all of existence but we can know our own for a certainty: we are born as infants, the children of humanity. At some point we become conscious individuals aware of our own and each others existence.

We find ourselves born together, entrusted to each other. We can pick up our arms and fight, or we can learn to get along. The question that we face is this:

Given the choice between life and death, which do we value the most?

Without regard to the origin of the universe, this question remains. The answer to this question becomes the objective basis for all moral rules that might follow.

If we choose to fight there will be one left standing, mortally wounded, soon to die. If death is our highest value, then we should fight. Otherwise, we should choose life. We then create rules by which we will live in peace with one another. We take our oaths and then we make the decision to trust each other.

Observing that we are born with no choice but to trust our caretakers to see to our welfare, and that without trusting each other we are doomed to fight and die, trust is exposed as the primary objective moral concept.

The ancient philosopher who wrote the book of Genesis observed this same truth. In the story of Cain and able, the fundamental question arose in its infant form: "Am I my brothers keeper?"

Therefore, we value life and further, we recognize that we must have equality among each other. We must all be free to pursue our own happiness while maintaining our oath of trust to protect the lives of each other. Therefore we create rules of freedom and such rules rightfully include restraint of individuals who have failed to uphold their oaths. We can get out of the punishment business and into the healing business. We can provide the opportunity for the restrained to work while restrained to make restitution and to earn our trust once again. For one who has killed, restitution seems to be impossible but the work to earn our trust should remain the goal, without regard to the number of years it might take even if ones entire life.

We protect each other. We are each others keepers. This is true in any universe where life evolves, and it is true in any universe where life is created. We have the power to live or die and to cause each other to live or die and we have the choice to make.

We have never needed a sacred book to see this simple moral truth. We have never needed a single word of any God that might exist. If such God exists, perhaps that is why God is silent. Any single word or phrase would be subject to fighting over its interpretation. This is born out in the atrocities committed by man over the centuries because of violent interpretation of words purported to be those of God.

In a created universe, the creation itself gives us the knowledge we need to create a world of peace. This is no different than a universe that is not created.

If one wishes to believe in God then it does seem pointless to believe in a God that is not wise. And as we can clearly see, a wise God would remain carefully silent, and if God exists, this is the God we see.

We can now begin to evolve together and create a world of peace. Created or evolved, atheist or theist, we all see the same objective moral truth.