Moral Agency Ontology

Here’s a radical idea:

Without moral agency there is no moral existence at all. See, if all we are boils down to being “a very complex hammer,” then ALL we do is merely necessary. There simply is no moral meaning to a hammer hitting a nail–or your thumb! The hammer is not morally bad for hitting your thumb.

The hammer simply doesn’t exist as a moral agent! It is not something to act, it is just something to be acted upon. It’s not a morally bad hammer for hitting your thumb–it’s just a hammer, impelled by previous forces in a never-ending “turtles all the way down” infinite regress sort of pseudo-explanation.

In a similar fashion, if all WE do is merely metaphysically necessary, there is no moral meaning to our actions at all. I just do what I’m “programmed” by experience to do, and there is no moral aspect to it–no “right” or “wrong.”

So maybe I’m Pol Pot or Stalin or Hitler, but what those folks did is not morally bad, it is simply necessary–just like the hammer doesn’t “choose” where to strike, their actions were impelled by other, previous causes and thus not morally wrong at all. They are just a complex hammer. I may prefer or not prefer their actions (in au courant post-modern style), but there is no moral meaning attached!

That also precludes knowledge (except of the most banal and meaningless type), but I’m not going into that here. But it does.


Indeed, the

insurmountable problem for Evolutionary Theory is the beginning.

To steal a phrase, the theory can indeed explain the survival of the fittest. But it can’t explain the arrival of the fittest.

The process of evolution requires at least one atom of matter either to exist eternally, or somehow to come into existence, in order for the processes of macro and micro evolution to begin, but evolutionary theory has no explanation for the origin of that first atom.

That fact leads some down the path of some form of Theistic Evolution. That is,

they believe in the God of creation and that evolution is the tool He used to populate the Earth with a multiplicity of species.

But that runs head-on into some gnarly logical problems and is most often just a form of Deism. You know, God kicked the ball to get it rolling and then went off to make a sandwich or something…

But STILL it doesn’t give any scientific explanation for a beginning. No, a Deistic explanation just logically won’t work with the idea of ongoing revelation and intervention by God. An imminent God. If one prays, there is no logical reason to fall prey to Deism!


Funny, I was just

cogitating this morning about how if you are not a theist, the ONLY other logical option is to be an Existentialist/Nihilist (OK, I’m odd). Quite a coincidence to see someone else talking about it! But I’m pretty “up” on such things, and it seems very clear to me that those are the only options.

So go ahead, make your choice. But if you choose Nihilism, you really have no moral leg to stand on. There simply is no Truth. ALL is just preference and a will-to-power. There IS no Truth! There IS no right or wrong. There IS no moral existence at all! At best there is mere mechanism, but just as a hammer doesn’t choose to hit a nail (and therefore doesn’t exist as a moral entity), YOU are merely a mechanism. YOU don’t exist as a moral entity! Maybe you are more complex, but you are still every bit as much of a mechanism as a hammer or a dishwasher or a USB hub.

See, without God and without moral agency, there IS no moral existence!

If you’ve read The Stranger by Albert Camus, the argument is quite clear: Sure. I killed him on the beach, but that was because it was hot and the sun was beating down on me, and that is no more or less moral or meaningful than not killing him.

Even you punishing me for the killing is meaningless.

ALL is vanity!

Sure, Camus tried to salvage some form of morality by ultimately saying that though you are literally in the place of Sisyphus, it would not be noble to kill yourself.

Really, Albert? So you spend years making an argument that there is no transcendent morality, and then at the end, ground your argument in… transcendent morality in order to make it work and to avoid a conclusion you don’t like? Wow!