Friday, April 26, 2013

The Last Moral

Meet Bob. he’s the last person on planet Earth. Due to a massive Goat Flu epidemic or a hydronuclear summer or a quantum-volcano eruption, the vast majority of the world’s population has expired. Bob, who was held up in an adamantium mine shaft or a bug-out bunker or an abandoned Blockbuster, managed to survive when no one else could. Good for Bob.

I pose this unlikely scenario to ask this question: is morality relevant to Bob moving forward? Christian apologists argue that morality is an objective truth that transcends human experience. If this is accurate then hypothetical Bob still has valid morals to follow. Granted, most Biblical laws don’t apply to Bob’s situation. He can’t very well kill, steal from, or covet his neighbor’s wife, for example; he has no neighbor. However, Bob can surely violate some religious rules. He could masturbate, he could make a false idol, he could have any number of impure thoughts, or he could attempt to make love to an irradiated buffalo corpse (which, incidentally, is a great way for him to speed up the inevitable extinction of humanity.)

According to secular definitions of morality, Bob can do no wrong in his lonely existence. Morality as the right way to interact with others, is meaningless without others. As the last living creature with the capacity to define morality, Bob can do whatever he damn well pleases.  It takes at least two minds for a code of conduct to be agreed upon or for morality to emerge. At least that's how I see it.

P.S. It’s worth noting that I declared “It takes at least two minds for morality to emerge” to an apologist during a standard “moral argument for God” debate--and he agreed with me! I was shocked until he counted God as one of the minds. Does that mean that we’ll have to agree to disagree to agree?

P.P.S. I imagine God’s Mind gets capitalized as with every divine trait. Maybe Divine should be capitalize as well, it’s unclear. I’m sure they’d go ahead a subscript words mocking God if they could.

2 comments:

  1. This is a point I come back to as well, although I've never rendered it as a post-apocalyptic hell-scape. ;-)

    I think the key that your apologist is missing is the other part of that statement: "for a code of conduct to be agreed upon"

    Good luck trying to get God to provide His input in that scenario!

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  2. I'm with TWF above, but take it a step farther..."Good luck with EVER trying to get God to provide His input..."It" never has...never will.

    That's the main reason there are so many religions...man keeps trying to decide what God dictates and no one can agree.

    Heck, even Moses couldn't adhere. He claims God said, "Thou shalt not kill!" Then old Moe comes down and slays about 10,000 who started partying with a golden calf they built to dance around, and Moses decided he could immediately break "God's" commandments.

    So, if Bob is the last guy on earth, I would think there could be no moral or immoral left, until he decided for himself what they might be...but why would he? What would it matter? Who would know?

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