It has been clearly demonstrated throughout human history that without God, objective morality cannot exist. This is typically accepted by new Atheists, and often times they are comfortable believing not only in subjective morality, but in majority morality. There are two positions that can be attempted to espouse without God:
- Morality is innate.
- Morality is determined by society.
Many Christians have defended against these claims with great effectiveness. I would like to offer a point in regards to the second claim that I consider original.
If morality is subjectively determined by societies, then disobedience to the moral establishment, by nature, must be acceptable. In other words, disobedience must be objectively acceptable to all subjective societies. Allow me to elaborate.
If societies can determine morality, then that means societies can change morality. Here is the fundamental question:
How could any given society possibly identify the difference between moral disobedience and moral evolution?
Disobedience could be interpreted as rebellion or as revolution.
There was a glorious puritanical day in this land where many of the things our culture largely finds good would have been found repugnant. The question is, why is our society not still puritanical if the Puritans in their day got to establish societal norms? The Puritans determined the rules, why are we not obeying them? Somewhere along the line, someone disobeyed the Puritan’s rules. Today, more and more people are constantly disobeying those rules. That means, the people of the United States have “changed” the popular opinion. The point then is that we became a new culture through our disobedience. Morality has “changed.”
In order to believe that society can dictate morality, then society must be able to change it’s opinions. Thus, when someone disobeys they are simultaneously evolving. Morality then cannot “evolve” without disobedience, which means disobedience isn’t disobedience at all.
If morality is subject to society, there is no possible way it can be disobeyed. It can only evolve. No society can consistently punish anyone who would disobey the established morality since that principle will eventually be needed to change morality when circumstances change. You might claim someone is breaking the moral rules, when perhaps they are just ahead of the curb.
In order for a society to change morality, some people have to start disagreeing with the established rule. This is why the modern movement seeking to destroy all vestiges of Christianity are called “progressives.” Ignoring the fact that, without an objectively defined destination point, no movement can be called progress, the point I want to make here is that progressing never has to stop. Everything modern progressives believe to be good and moral are soon to be archaic beliefs for the next wave of progressives to make progress from (i.e. disobedience).
Anyone who disagrees with my assessment needs to answer why they are not still subjecting themselves to the Puritans who established a subjective, societal morality a long time ago.
Our culture is right now doing one of two things:
- Celebrating a breaking from an older societal moral code.
- Constantly disobeying the older established moral code.
Either way, if morality is subjective, there can be, of necessity, no consistent issue with breaking whatever is established. It has to change somehow, right?
To claim that disobedience cannot be considered immoral, is yet appealing to an objective moral principle still. Thus, even “subjective morality” is still borrowing from objective morality. Which means it’s self-refuting.
Morality is not subjective; that’s a logical impossibility, and no one actually lives that way.
2 thoughts on “The Necessity of Disobedience”
Reminds me of the virtue of acceptance. So quick for people to find contentment in the ideas that are widely accepted around them.
“Disobedience could be interpreted as rebellion or revolution”. Gold.
Interesting. While I'm a believer and believe morality is from God, I think it's hard to argue that culture and cultural context has NO influence on morality. The Bible gives clear instructions about being a good slave owner. I don't think anybody today agrees with human trafficking – even if one follows the Biblical instructions for slave ownership.
I've heard many people say that the Apostle Paul's strict instructions to women were “very respectful of women considering the time they in which they were written.”
I think it's possible to have absolute Truth as well as cultural context…..the more I read, learn, think, pray, etc the more I realize all of that gray area that exists.