In a recent exchange in this post William J. Murray said to frequent commenter Bob O’H:
all you (and others) are doing is avoiding the point via wordplay. We all act and expect others to act as if these things are objective and universally binding, the ability to imagine alternate systems notwithstanding.
That is precisely correct, as illustrated by my exchange with goodusername in the same post. First, at comment 12 GUN professed to not even know what the word “right” means:
GUN: “What would it even mean to give a “right” answer to a morality question?”
I decided to test this:
Barry @ 13:
Suppose the following exchange:
GUN: Hey, Barry is is evil to torture an infant for personal pleasure?
Barry: Yes, GUN, it is.
Did I supply a “right” answer to a moral question?
GUN replied at 15: “Such a thing certainly shocks my sense of empathy, and so I would fight to stop such a thing, as would most others. So the answer is right in that sense.”
First GUN insisted he does not even know what “morally right” means. But when confronted with an undeniable self-evident moral truth he had to walk it back and admit he did in fact know what the right answer is. But, as WJM points out, he tried to obscure the obvious point with wordplay. So I called BS on him.
GUN’s antics are just the latest of hundreds I have seen over the years. It is amazing. They know that no sane person can live his life as if what they say were true. Yet they absolutely insist on saying it anyway. Why do they do that? Simple. Because they want to ignore the dictates of morality when it suits them. Atheist Aldous Huxley was very candid about this:
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . . The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves . . . For myself . . . the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust.
Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Ideals and Into the Methods Employed for Their Realization (1937), 272-73
Huxley wanted to reserve the option of sleeping with his neighbor’s wife. So, no objective morality.