Excellent article. Here’s a snippet from my own take on this topic written a few months back:

“A deity or other supposed top down “objective” source is not burdened with the need to have any reasons for the wrongness of slavery, let alone any experience with it. The same goes for genocide, murder, rape, child abuse, etc. These things are wrong, according to those insisting morality have such lofty origins, because the source itself decrees it, period. This source presumably could have decreed otherwise, in which case slavery and all the rest of it would be right, even if all the negative effects these acts had on the victims remained unchanged. The impact the wrong behavior has upon those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of it matters not at all to God, or whatever this mysterious source is, because if it mattered to Him, there would be a justification for the immorality of slavery, even if that justification came down to nothing more complicated than how watching others suffer needlessly made Him feel. There can be no reasons or feelings that are equal to or greater than the ultimate source itself because the moral command or prohibition having an ultimate source is what supposedly renders it an objective moral truth.

In the emergent, proximate, bottom-up case for morality the feelings of the beings involved and the thoughts these feelings give rise to are ultimately all that matters. It is precisely their experiences and the probable impacts these experiences will have on them that makes morality an inherent quality of any sophisticated social system. The effects produced by the infliction of suffering can be objectively verified even as the feelings, reactions, and interactions its infliction evokes in people are highly subjective. Not only is there no need for an absolutely objective standard of morality that is free from emotion or the personal values arising from our feelings about the human experience; such a standard isn’t even socially or biologically operable.”

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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