HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Moral Fictionalism and God
 
Moral fictionalism says that morality is nonsense. Moral statements are fiction. Moral fictionalism is common in modern philosophy. It teaches that morality is incoherent logically but it is better to go along with it. "It's fictitious but stick with it," is the advice given. For example, they will say that the law: "Do the greatest good and the least evil" contradicts the law that you can't kill a person to get their organs that are needed to save five lives through transplants. They say a mother is not obligated to give her kidney to save her son from certain death. Then they say that you should kill two attackers to save your own life even though two lives are taken to save one. 
 
The supporters of morality can't say their rules are about preventing people from taking advantage of the rules. If the law is good that lets you kill to save five lives by providing transplants then it is good and can't be banned just because people abuse it. Knives are abused and you don't ban them. They are not concerned about people taking advantage when they make their rules and then make other ones that contradict them!
 
If moral fictionalism is true, then it is a pity it is. And it would make many people very dangerous. That is ugly enough. But people are making things worse if they begin bringing the moral laws of God and religion into the debate. If morality is fiction or myth, it is therefore immoral if you try to justify any moral code on the human level. (I know that is contradictory but moral fictionalism contradicts itself by saying its immoral to invent morality). It is even more immoral if you say God revealed the moral code and it is to be embraced for God never lies and never makes mistakes. Most people even religious ones don't worry about religious rules all the time. They just get on with life.
 
Fictionalism would justify the morality of secularism better than religion. For example, all want to believe that animals should not be gratuitously tortured to death. But in religion, there is disagreement about what we should do. Some want us to hold Sabbath on a Friday and others on a Saturday and others on a Sunday! And so on ad nauseum! Not all want to believe that.
 
If moral fictionalism is true, then to say morality is right for God gave it and enacted its laws is to make it even more fictitious not less. If you tell a lie, that is bad . But there is more badness added on if you make that lie worse by saying God told you it was the truth. To make morality more fictitious than it is is to work for its demolition.
 
Suppose I invent morality. I have invented it. If I invent the notion that God has invented it not me, that that is far more inventing. The fictitious morality is made more fictitious by appeals to divine authority.
 
If fictionalism is true, there is nothing belief in God or religion can do to make it untrue. The religions all claim they are able to make it untrue and they cannot all be right.
 
Christianity wants people to believe in objective morality and it in its craftiness it smuggles in God to try and infer that unless you believe in God you cannot really believe in objective morality. This also contradicts Christianity's ethic: nobody is to be forced to believe and love God. If you have to believe in God to believe in morality then there is no free will in that. We feel compelled to believe in morality and fear the consequences if people stop believing in it. Not only does the God idea fail to validate morality it makes any "morality" based on it incoherent and hypocritical.
 
Those who say there is no objective morality if there is no God are saying there cannot be a value system unless there is some justified authority, a person to sanction and validate and endorse it. But if morality is real it is real in the sense that a bird is a bird and not a stone. You don't need some authority to distinguish between a bird and a stone. They are different period. Also to say that there is no morality without an authority to approve it is an argument for authority not morality. Any morality based on such a notion is nonsense and fiction. Belief in God paradoxically implies that moral fictionalism is true. Moral fictionalism can pose as morality without contradicting itself for if morality is nonsense then it is not nonsense to say that morality is real. If morality is fiction then it is okay to pretend you take it seriously.
 
If God alone is what matters, and if he endorses moral fictionalism, then it is given more impetus than it would get if there is no God. God makes the problem worse not better! If we are to regret that morality is fiction then we have less reason to if God endorses the nonsense of morality.
 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch Publications, East Sussex, 1995
The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett, Robert B Stewart, SPCK, London , 2008
Ethics: The Fundamentals, Julia Driver, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2007