Written by olakunle Allison
Good or Bad? It’s all in your head.
I have had a tough time convincing some guys that morality cannot exist in a world where we came to exist without forethought, purpose or design. That is, we exist by sheer accident. We exist as accidents of nature.
Fortunately, the renowned English Poet and Playwright who died in the early 17th Century puts the point I’ve been trying to make to so-called graduates in the 21st Century as pointedly as possible. His name was Williams Shakespeare.
Shakespeare captures his argument succinctly (in his work “Hamlet”) thus:
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
In other words, morality (goodness and/or badness) doesn’t really exist in an objective manner. It’s all in your head! Now, let’s bring this moral thinking into real life situations.
That your mother or sister was raped is not really bad. It’s all in your head.
That your niece or nephew was killed in cold blooded murder is nothing bad. It’s all in your head.
That you were waylaid and robbed at gunpoint is not a bad thing. It’s all in your head.
That the 2 year old was defiled is not really bad. It’s all in your head.
That you had cancer and later AIDS is not bad. It’s all in your head.
That you had to bury your son/daughter is nothing bad. It’s all in your head. Etc.
Was Shakespeare right? Of course NOT! Perhaps it’s all in my head. Lol.
Think of anything we consider to be evil or bad today, it’s not really so. It’s only so in your head. In other words, your thinking is the problem. Your head is wrongly analyzing the situation.
This is what everything comes down to in a world without God. Morality is reduced to brain activity. And why not? If humans are nothing but bags of biochemicals with feelings and thoughts being controlled by brain cells, then how can we truly know that anything is wrong or right. It’s all brain activity.
It’s either this (aforementioned scenarios) is the case or Morality is founded and grounded in a Transcendental Standard which allows us to know for certain that some things are OBJECTIVELY right while others are OBJECTIVELY wrong. Murder, rape, robbery, pedophilia etc. are all OBJECTIVELY wrong because humans irrespective of territory, tribe and tongue see them for what they are. They are NOT wrong because my “thinking” says so. They are objectively wrong WHETHER MY BRAIN AGREES OR NOT.
This is my argument for grounding Objective Moral Values and Duties in God.
Williams Shakespeare said what he said perhaps because, according to one Philosopher Collins McGinn, Shakespeare’s moral thinking was “entirely secular”. Frankly speaking, if your worldview on morality is “entirely secular” like Shakespeare’s, you have no choice but to think that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are creations or illusions of thinking. It’s the reductio ad absurdum of secular thinking.
But if your worldview accepts that there is a Supreme Universal Moral Law Giver, then you’d expect certain morals to be objective. That is, COMMON TO ALL. Not relative. And this is exactly what we see in the world.
Once again, biblical Christianity makes sense of reality as it touches on morality.
It’s not in your head. It is objectively bad.
Good morning and remain blessed.