Essay on God, Me and the State: Who Sets the Standards for What Is Right?

Published: 2021-08-15 08:39:18
1972 words
8 pages
17 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
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It is undeniable that moral arguments are both critical as well as exciting. They are interesting because coming up with a sound case requires attention to practical thinking and paying attention to every philosophical issue approached with meta-ethics. On the other hand, they are essential because of their notoriety in apologetic arguments for moral stands. Take, for example; there are some books in the twentieth century that are apologetics and begin with the ethical discussion of Gods existence. Most ordinary people use religion as a way of providing a moral guideline. In some societies, people believe that the state is responsible for setting standards for doing what is right. There is an apparent connection between morality, religion and state laws. The distinction between theoretical moral arguments and logical arguments helps to establish the importance of the above elements when it comes to who should set a standard between right or wrong. Man is capable of setting the moral standards because their nature comprises a level of consciousness that guides his decision making.

Moral arguments that point that God as the driver of the moral compass digs more in-depth to explain the existence of God. For the believers of God, he is the supreme creator of the universe (Schoenfield, 2014). This fact tends to favor religious arguments for doing right or wrong as opposed to the moral arguments for religious belief. However, if someone believes that that morality is objective and that there should be an explanation for morality then the subject of Gods existence naturally comes to life. The thoughts about God imply that the alleged moral facts require God to explain those events. As such, he provides better premise that what other secular accounts can give (Schoenfield, 2014). The religious society begins with claims that the existence of a moral deed is only possible because of God. Conversely, others argue that practical moral arguments are only attainable if there was a supernatural force behind it. As such, to answer such concerns, practical cases should have a theoretical angle as well. The paper argues that human beings themselves (Me) set standards for what is right.

According to Engelke (2015), for the believers of God, doing what is right or wrong is possible because God exists. Therefore, it is safe to say that that the reason behind moral values, accountability and duties is secure. However, if we refute the presence of God, then set standards for what is right or wrong becomes just but a human convection. Therefore, people might act right, but without putting God into consideration, such actions will no longer be either good or evil. If God is the author of morality then it is agreeable that no one can indeed do well without. As such, if we believe that moral values and duties are purposeful, that provides a ground to say that God sets the standards when it comes to deciding on what is good or bad. According to Engelke (2015), because of the purpose behind moral values, people follow some guiding principles based on their belief. However, this does not prevent people from doing what they want independently according to their convictions. For instance, the Nazi anti-Semitism believed what they were doing was right even though most were against it. Therefore, the theist view of morality stems from believing in God. According to them, God is perfect and holy, and this enables him to supply the standards against wrong actions and for right actions (Ewing, 2016). According to Plato, Gods nature is correct and that he is the primary source of moral value (Ewing, 2016). His character is generous, just, loving, kind, faithful and such. Because of the belief that Gods nature reflects in the form of his divine commands, provides a compass for the believers when they are relating to others regarding moral duties and obligations. Apart from being voluntary, controls flow naturally from Gods moral nature to the people (Schoenfield, 2014). For instance, in the Christian tradition, the supreme command constitutes of two central laws: love your God with all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. By following this light then it is likely that one will do right based on their fear of God and his commands. Through this foundation, the objective of morality based on the existence of God is the one that shows people how to act.

Lastly, from a theist hypothesis, God is the sole driver of moral accountability (Schoenfield, 2014). Evil and wrong deeds end up in punishment and the just end up being vindicated. As such, God emerges as the winner over evil and makes it possible for people to believe that they exist in a moral universe (Schoenfield, 2014). According to believers of God, the scales of Gods justice balance despite the injustice in the world. Therefore, the ethical decisions that people make tend to infuse with eternal value. If people are consistent, they can make moral choices which do not align with personal interests. Sometimes, ethical obligations are acts of self-sacrifice. By living moral lives helps to give people an important significance. Therefore, theism provides a logical argument for the foundation of what is or right.

Arguments by Atheists

By contrast, the atheist hypothesis provides that God does not exist. So, the establishment of morality does not depend on the existence of God and d his standards. The main question is, if God does not exist, then what is the objective of human deeds? By removing God out of the equation, tends to raise concerns as to if humans are exceptional or if moral objectivity is true. If people who do not believe in God tend to have some moral obligation, then it would interest us to know who imposes ethical duties upon them. According to the philosopher of science, humans have a natural awareness of morality (Wilson, 2016). In other words, they have a conscious that acts as a guide when doing what is right. In science, peoples actions are like an adaptability which is no different from the way we learn how to use our hand hands or feet. As such, when someone says that they love their neighbors as they love themselves, believe that they are referring above and beyond. Nonetheless, such beliefs have no foundation. Morality is just a help in human survival and reproduction (Wilson, 2016). Giving any deeper meaning to human actions is only but an illusion.

In the bid to answer the question about who sets the standards for morality, it is safe to state that we humans have that power. As a result of biological pressures, humans find themselves in a position where they have limits as to how they should behave. According to atheists, there is no divine lawgiver, and that right modern people do not need someone to tell them what is right or wrong (Rai & Holyoak, 2013). People tend to declare things such as abortion as being morally wrong and attach significance to it. According to contemporary writers of ethics, they blithely provide a moral discourse without referring to religion. They weave their beliefs from their conscious and entirely dismissing any supernatural influence. It is crucial that we have a clear understanding of the concern before us. The question is not if we must believe in God to live moral lives. However, the main issue is to establish who sets the standards when it comes to doing what wrong right is. There is no reason to believe that atheists and theists may be living indecent lives. The belief that God is the answer to morality has flaws because one does not have to believe in God to know that killing is evil. As such, it is safe to state that we are in a position to judge right from wrong out of our convictions (Rai & Holyoak, 2013). Despite some people believing in God, there are some who have procured abortions. According to a humanists philosopher Paul Kurtz, the main concerns about ones moral and ethical principles are neither from God nor rooted in some transcendent ground. If there is no God, then the grounds for morality evolve as people grow. Science provides that people are a by-product of the revolution and that everything they do narrows to nature. Take, for example, incest is wrong, but in science, it has a biological influence. The moral principles that help shape human behavior stem from habit, custom and fashion (Schoenfield, 2014). As such, those who do not conform to the practices of the society may not be necessarily wrong, but just rebellious. Therefore, if the existence of God is necessary for one to do right, then it is agreeable that God is not the sole provider of standards for morality. However, we live in a society governed by laws and regulations that provide standards for what is wrong or right.

The State and the Law

Without thinking, people assume that the design of the universe is the same as the human societies. Humans create laws by establishing means of enforcement. As such, when people see the order in the world, they believe that it has a human-like structure. This anthropomorphic view stems from a natural human pride of wanting to put meaning into everything that they encounter (Ewing, 2016). Humans think that values that are higher than themselves must come from a similar source, only more significant. In other words, superhuman values must come from a superhuman. Such an anthropomorphic viewpoint is not merely an outgrowth of human self-esteem, but also shows that people lack imagination. For that reason, most modern societies have made laws that help to act as guiding principles towards what is wrong or right (Ewing, 2016). While the enforcement of statutes helps to maintain order by setting standards for doing right or wrong, every societys design is unique to their culture. The state can provide law in the bid to have people follow a systematic order, but that does not necessarily mean that the state laws are right. For instance, some states allow for polygamy, and in others, it is subject to imprisonment or other forms of punishment. To say that the state can provide standards for morality is wrong because the laws are made of human design. Because human is to err, the practicality of the state laws has flaws. Some people are ignorant about what the state requires of them. However, out of their conviction, they manage to stay away from trouble.

For those that advance the proposal of law as the leading player in decision making fail to understand that the authority has no control over what individuals decide to do. As such, to control the peoples actions, the authorities find it necessary to harangue and condition them to act in a particular manner. From that observation, the law does not decide on what is wrong or right but rather, mound people from an early age to accept certain norms (Wilson, 2016). Subjecting people to punishment help to steer the success of the laws because they fear. However, is it necessary for humans to have such sanctions for them to control their behavior? Not at all, for if such measures were paramount, they would also be used by right teachers. Presently, the arguments of moral conduct are mostly about being practical, and ones psychological well-being, the effective reaching of ones goals, wanting to have a good reputation and such (Wilson, 2016). The laws do little to appeal to natural human feelings if someone does not believe in them.

In conclusion, the fact that there are different gods and different laws makes it hard to put the responsibility of right or wrong into the hands of the State or God. For instance, suppose the theists were to stop such practices and humanists appeal and start basing every noble deed on Gods will. One disturbing point of consideration is that there are many gods. The laws do...

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