I remember some time ago, briefly watching a critical thinking
lecture about critical thinking which can be found here:
during the lecture one of the audiences asked something about subjectivity and objectivity. The Lecturer who is also a philosophy teacher responded by saying she usually didn't like talking about things in regards to subjective and objectives until students were at least in the second or third year of their course. She then said that people can be subjective about objective things and they can also be objective about subjective things; I hadn't really thought about this that much before but I thought this response from her was brilliant. So, what has this got to do with morality? Well, read on.
was a time when I thought that it was a good argument that the only way objective morality can exist is with God. Then later I thought objective morality can't exist even with a God either. Now, I understand that to think of morality in terms of either objective or subjective is a reflection of dichotomous thinking; it can be both. To make a
generalization let's just say that you and I do some kind of action that is completely different than one another. Now, I may think what I am doing is moral, and what you're doing is immoral and this is completely subjective. However, one of our actions will lead to a greater objective moral good; we just don't know with complete certainty which, and that is the objective part of morality.
think we need to be more specific in what we're describing when
referencing morality. What I think most people are talking about when they mention morality revolves around what is right or wrong. Now, for some people what is right for them is wrong for others. We can also go further and talk about morality in terms of doing no harm. And hey, we
can even go back even further than that and say “Do to others as thou
wouldst they should do to thee, and do to none other but as thou wouldst
be done to” (Among the earliest appearances in English is Earl Rivers'
translation of a saying of Socrates (Dictes and Sayenges of the
. In short, morality is being defined here as the desire to want no harm to come to oneself and the desire to do no harm to others as well as the promotion of human wellbeing of oneself and others, and for humanity in general. And thus, there are just some things that are wrong for all of us. For example, I am sure we can all agree unless you have some mental dysfunction that cutting the legs of your kids is not the right way to raise them to be functional adults. Furthermore, I think it's important to note that emotions such as disgust are not good tools for moral wisdom. Our emotions can sometimes act without our reasoning.
think it also needs to be mentioned that objectivity here is being
defined as a position impartial, reasonable, unbiased, without prejudice, etc. And note that I am not talking about absolute morality which is something I think some people tend to conflate with objective morality. I actually think the idea of moral absolutism is absurd whether it denotes an idea of Theism or lack thereof.
morality isn't exactly all objective with Theism where a Theistic God is the authority on Morality either. An individual's idea of God is subjective and therefore in that particular sense this idea of morality
based on God is also subjective. With that being said, if there was a
God that exists God would be the authority on objective morality although his idea of morality would still be subjective as it is his own individual idea of morality.
summary, morality isn't either completely objective or completely subjective. It is more likely a complex mixture of subjectivity and objectivity entwined with one another.