Recently, StephenB wrote, RDFish is wrong; Barry Arrington is right: Materialism cannot be reconciled with objective morality:
In several previous posts, RDFish stumbled into a serious philosophical error that needs to be addressed. Barry Arrington had made the unassailable point that materialism (understood as physicalism) is incompatible with such concepts as good, evil, and objective morality. The reason is clear: Materialism reduces all choices to electro-chemical processes in the brain. With that model, all apparent moral decisions are really nothing more than chemcial-physical operations or functions.
Though RDF failed to refute the argument, confront the argument, or even define his own terms, he sought, nevertheless, to attack it through the back door, claiming that past atheist philosophers embraced both metaphysical materialism and objective morality.
I wonder if, for some readers, there may be a possible source of confusion: One can be a non-theist and still believe in objective morality. A non-theist may believe that the universe operates in a way that includes a moral component that it is not synonymous with a personal God (for example, the more austere forms of Buddhism). Then objective morality is part of objective reality.
Breaking that law is as likely as breaking the laws of nature, perhaps less so, and there are consequences. With materialism and physicalism, there is no such morality and no consequences by definition,. Which could be one reason that atheistic regimes in communist countries like China had such a high body count in the 20th century. – O’Leary for News
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