kant vs. plato; is there a universal morality?
as far as we know civilizations on average, and as a whole, have all kept the same basic principles (or if i dare say) ‘morals’ in their society. though knowledge and information have excelled, and evolved, human nature has not. i believe we are born with these natural law’s intact, and have acknowledged them from the earliest cultures to the modern day world.
example of what i am referring to are extensive but here are a few:
do not murder
do not eat others of your own kind
do not run from battle
bravery is honorable, betrayal is not
protect yourself (self survival)
protect your family (survival of genetics)
(i understand that there are exceptions *cannibalism, etc. but even these are under certain rules and regulations established within the give community.)
on these principle’s can we concretely say that we have established as a human species a sense of right (a unilateral sense of truth) and wrong (false) based on these congenital natural standards? and can this be refuted by the modernized plato* theory that truth is relative?
example: if truth is not relative we can then freely judge other’s according to the action’s we perceive as good or evil. as an illustration if i see an adult severely beating a child, whether or not my governing body voted that to be illegal, i am going to defend that child and protect him/her from harm no matter if i was born in mongolia in 400 AD or australia 1983. even a thief feel’s wronged if he is stolen from, so where does this ‘instinct’ come from?
but what if the adults culturally said it was good or right to beat or kill children? do i still have the right to stop the violence? i believe so, and feel i can expect other’s to live up to this standard.
a real life problem of this right to judge good and evil is nazi germany in world war II. they felt that the jews were subhuman and deliberated to the extermination of the entire race. here is where the dilemma rest’s for those who believe that truth is relative. if truth is relative we CANNOT judge them for this genocide and instead must surrender to take no action against the murder of innocent human beings. this is because nazi germany truly believed that what they were doing was right, and condign. so how did we (as the rest of the world) feel that we had the right to judge them as ‘evil’ or not good, and stop the onslaught? i believe it is because we are born with a sense of right and wrong, or universal morality. we know in our heart whether our actions are just or arbitrary.
here is where i am going with all of this, and want the focal point of your opinion’s. could this thing commonly called a “conscience” (or by kant, ‘universal law’) be best explained by the deduction that there is a Higher Power?
can we deduct that there is a God because we desire inherently a harmony among our species? or is this intrinsic concept simply an evolutionary task for the survival of all species?
i of course believe the former but want to hear all sides of this ongoing argument.
forever searching, forever found,
*"The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you"
post script: reading the comment’s on the (il)legislation of morality i have deducted that i you are some of the most informed, enlightened, and intelligent people on the face of the earth.
amendment: while reading the post's so far i have noticed that all those who base their faith in a religion automatically subscribe that God placed this moral law inside us. i want to make sure that those of faith know that it is ok not to believe in a moral standard and still believe in a God. this also can be argued that their is a natural law but God had nothing to do with it.