To what extent do you agree with the logic that when laws are too difficult or expensive to enforce, we should dispense with them? Provide at least one example or counter-example to demonstrate why you feel that way.
There is a tendency on the part of many theists to assume that the burden of proof is on the nontheist when it comes to the issue of morality. Thus, the individual who operates without a theological base is asked to justify his so doing — the assumption of the theist being that no morality is possible in the absence of some form of "higher" law.
In our culture, people are so accustomed to the idea of every law having a lawmaker, every rule having an enforcer, every institution having someone in authority, and so forth, that the thought of something being otherwise has the ring of chaos to it. As a result, when one lives one's life without reference to some ultimate authority in regard to morals, one's values and aspirations are thought to be arbitrary. Furthermore, it is often argued that, if everyone tried to live in such a fashion, no agreement on morals would be possible and there would be no way to adjudicate disputes between people, no defense of a particular moral stand being possible in the absence of some absolute point of reference.
But all of this is based on certain unchallenged assumptions of the theistic moralist — assumptions that are frequently the product of faulty analogies. It will be my purpose here to take a fresh look at these assumptions. I will try to show the actual source from which values are originally derived, provide a solid foundation for a human-based (humanistic) moral system, and then place the burden on the theist to justify any proposed departure.
Apr 21st, 2015
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