The Argument from Morality III

Christmas comes with its inevitable toll on my time, so I shall not deal fully with the question of “Nazi morality” in this post.  I shall just raise a question and I’ll come back to it in January.

Whenever the AfM comes up you are likely to hear the apologist say something like “If the Nazis had won the war, we’d all be taught that killing Jewish children was good.  If God didn’t exist, we would have no way to counter that, because morality would just be whatever society said was good.  Belief in God-based morality means that we have a basis for saying the holocaust would still be wrong even if we’d all been taught to believe it wasn’t.”

The argument goes wrong with the very first sentence.  What did Nazis actually teach about the holocaust? Very little. This what Himmler is recorded as saying:

“This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to  be written.”

There might perhaps have been strategic reasons why in 1943 Himmler felt that this “glorious” page could not be written.  But why was he so categorical in saying that it must never be written?  Why, if it was glorious, could there not come a time when the glorious deeds could be celebrated?

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One thought on “The Argument from Morality III

  1. I do hate the glib and manipulative use of the word “just” in any argument. But here, especially.
    Because if the apologist says, “morality would JUST be whatever society said was good.” then the atheist is perfectly entitled to say, “your morality is JUST what YOU claim YOUR god says is good.” And the debate is at a point of stalemate.
    If the apologist can demean a social structure by saying “just”, then the atheist can demean the apologist’s source of morality in the same way.
    How about this for a compromise: “Morality is what society says that its god says is good.”

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