I stumbled upon this question on a website and was stunned by the findings:
Q. What is the ultimate origin of moral value?
200 user(s) polled.
1. God 17.5%
2. Nature 23%
3. Culture 38%
4. Other 21.5%
The reason that I found this astounding is because the implications of this are so profound. The ultimate origin of moral value was seen by 38% of those polled to be culture. All cultures, regardless of their values, are equal. The cultures promoting peace are the same as those promoting imperialism. Slavery and abolition are theoretically of the same basic essence, since after all, moral value (albeit separate moral values and separate ends) were derived from their culture. Who am I to say that one is right and one is wrong? Who am I to say that a totalitarian form of government is inferior to a republican form of government? Both derived their own moral value from their respective cultures.
Secondly, all moral value could come from nature. That means the natural order of things (read, Darwinian evolutionary theory) comes from “progress” and domination. I look around and nature says that the strongest survive. Social Darwinism and Eugenics surely follow closely behind on the heels of this theory.
Thirdly, other is the origin of all moral value. What could ‘other’ mean? Perhaps it means from extraterrestrials? It could mean it is derived from the automobile? Seriously though, what other possibilities could there be? Other is just an out for people who are too timid to say what’s on their mind.
Finally, the ultimate origin of moral value could come from God. One of the reasons from my Top 10 list “Why I believe in God” would have to be that if there is no God, then there are no rights. Where would our rights to liberty come from? If they came from culture, then culture can change those original assumptions. As a theist, I firmly fall in this camp. There are absolutes in this world (besides, to say that there is no absolute laws in the world is itself absolute…). There is Truth in this world. There is a reason for living in this world. This came in the form of the Word becoming incarnate. Quite honestly, I don’t know how else moral values can come into this world except through that pathway.
I am still in complete shock by the winner of the poll. We are talking about the ultimate origin of all moral value coming from cultures, regardless of their stance. Even though it is humanity that creates culture, so in all reality moral value is of our own creation.
Yet, why should this outcome surprise me? I would rather make up my own rules than play by someone else’s rules.