I was reading one of Edward Feser’s blog posts and came across a comment posted by someone with the handle “UncommonDescent.” This commenter makes such a good point that I’m just going to reproduce it in full:
The atheistic materialist who opposes Putin has to put forward a credible explanation of why Putin is an objectively “evil” man when he throws bombs upon the innocent Ukrainian population. Since atheism/materialism is an offshoot of nominalism, and nominalists have abolished objectivity from the natural world, there is nothing inherently wrong with what Putin is doing. If people can choose their own “gender” and “sexual orientation”, then people have the right to choose their own “moral orientation” too.
Mr Putin has chosen as “moral” his plan to destroy Ukraine, and since there is non objective standard of morality against which to measure Putin’s actions (as there are no objective standards of “beauty” or objective “gender categories”, and specially since there is no objective truth), Mr. Putin has the right to “choose” as moral behaviour the annihilation of Ukraine for his own sake. And specially since according to the atheist materialist, Mr. Putin is nothing but an “evolved monkey” (so to speak), and monkeys are known to be very aggressive and territorial.
So, atheist materialists, you can cry us theists a river when you say that Putin is “evil” and “should be stopped”. Because what you deem “evil” is as subjective as what you deem “beautiful”. And since I do not care about what you deem “beautiful”, I do not care at all about what you deem “evil”. (Nor does Mr. Putin because he is claiming his own “moral” standards, and rightly so).
So atheistic materialists, you can not coherently judge Mr. Putin, and we theists can, because we have been told “thou shall not kill”; and He who issued that command is an eternal and unchangeable Truth, so killing an maiming innocent people is going to be objectively evil today, tomorrow, the next week, the next year and the next century and the next millennium and ALWAYS. And your side has nothing to offer (as it usually happens, because atheism is a nihilist endeavour, a civilizational dead-end and and false philosophy).
Morality is, of course, impossible without teleology. Without the notion of an end, there can be no notion of the good, because “goodness” is a matter of realizing an end and “badness” is a manner of failing to realize it. On this view, evil is simply a privation of good, and if there is no universal, objective standard of “good” then the atheist-materialist worldview logically self-destructs whenever it attempts to moralize.
Topics: epistemology theology