In this article i will be introducing a topic based on the book “The Divine Reality” by Hamza Tzortzis. Hamza is an experienced debator in the intellectual community having been in dialogues with a variety of intellectual backgrounds. I’ve reviewed this book in another article covering a general form of criticism without getting into detail.
In this branch of discussion however, I’d like to share what Hamza addresses and how it can be benefiical to the community to reflect upon and get involved within the discussion themselves. Hamza is very thorough in his and his opponent’s arguments which makes it an interesting topic to cover.
In this particular discussion we will be addressing the reality of morality, assessing its fundamentals, and source based on Hamza’s research and not to mention include the claims that have been made throughout history about the topic. It is quite an interesting area of discussion to provoke in the highly critical era we live in now.
Objective Morality Definition
In Chapter 9 of Hamza’s book called Know God, Knw Good, God and Objective Morality, he addresses the idea of an objective morality. He firstly defines what it means for morals to be considered objective. He defines it as referring or representing “facts without the influenced of personal feelings, or opinions”. So in essence it means something which does not need to be explained in order for it to be recognised.
Hamza exemplifies mathematical truths where 1+1 will always equal 2 regardless whether someone feels it shouldnt. You get the picture?. Hamza rcognises that for morality to be justified it needs a foundation on which it can stand. So here is where it gets interesting. Knowing that these objective moralities must not regard our personal influences then it must be outside of our control and what is right and wrong will always be, well, right and wrong. But then where did they come from?
Hamza, a believer of the divine, expectedly introduces why the existence of a God is necessary for which why we have objective morals. Now Hamza is not shy in interacting with the consequences of claiming this as he then goes on to refute many of the alternative responses from atheists. This would include Biological Evolution, Social Pressure, Moral Realism, and the denial of objective morality altogether. Hamza then responds to each of them and attempts to expose their faults.
Hamza assures us that this does not by any means deny the credibility of an atheist being morally justified. It does not mean that Atheist have to believe in God to be a good person nor if a person believes in God that they are the better human. However, Hamza only aims to tackle the claims that says otherwise about why we are moral beings and what consistently proves that rather than the proposed alternatives.
Hamza boldly states that putting God out of the picture renders morality to be only a product of social conventions. He gives an exmaple where murder of the innocent or defending the poor as again, social conventions and not jusitified in their own right. He quotes atheist philosophers for example J. L. Mackie to support his point of the consequences of adopting an atheistic world view: that since there is no God then there are no objective moralities.
God, being the only one that, should he exists, transcend human subjectivity. Because if God had to follow orders then is he really God? Now it should beg the bigger question that should not only occupy the reader’s mind but also philosophers of late antiquity up to today. Hamza then addresses this.
Are God’s command good because they are really good? or because He says they are good?
This is called the Euthyphro’s dilemma and if you have come across this in you mind then you’re not alone, actually you’re pretty late. Hamza quotes the Qur’an a verse that states “Indeed, God does not order immorality” and uses this as one of his many evidence for claims.
Now to address the issue, Hamza is careful and is aware of the implications of adopting either of these two claims. One where it proves that God is not All-powerful and follows orders, and the other that God abitrarily chooses what is good or bad. Hamza’s solution is arguably ingenious in somehow combining them. Heres how he does it.
Hamza admits that there is a moral standard that God consistently follows to choose what is good or bad however heres the kicker. This moral standard was also a manifestation from Him as His nature implying that we have the capability to recognise Good and Bad as a reflection from the moral standard that He has created (We are included in his creation). Now following that Hamza then points out that God’s command does not contradict His nature.
Whatever God commands is good because He is good
This is how Hamza solves Euthryphro’s dilemma cleverly and arguably its very convincing. Hamza indirectly exposes the arrogance of man that try to decide what is abritrary before considering what his definition of abritrary is. Hamza does’nt stop there he then looks on the other alternatives mentioned.
Alternatives to Objective Morality
Surely with the advances in science today it can explain the complexity of us humans and explain why we possess the mechanism to fictionally believe in believe in morality right? Lets find out.
Hamza shares what Charles Darwin says about what would happen if Biology would be the foundation for our sense of morality. Hamza shares charles darwin having compared the human race to hive-bees with their custom of killing their bee brothers and mothers killing fertile daughters and it would be considered sacred without any doubt or interference. How would it be if incorporated within our species and it being considered as carrying out moral justice?
Natural selection is also not left alone in this discussion. Philosophers like Phillip Kitcher is mentioned in this passage with the message that natural selection only offers a tool for which humans can arrive at moral rules, not making them.
- Social Pressure
This is where apparently where Hamza speaks a loud voice. On the basis of social pressure and consensus then how can that justify the history of the 1940 Nazi Germany? Very bold point. Furthermore, given that social conditions change it would not be suitable to the idea of an objective morality that needs no influence whether social, cultural, economic etc.
Though Hamza admits that there were also social groups that went against this there was no denying that a consensus was made to carry out this evil act.
- Moral Realism
Moral Realism according to Hamza is where it leaves no questioning to the objectivity of morals, meaning “they just are” or “its good or bad because it just is” without having to analyse the foundation whether it may be God or some other external force.
This is arguably one of the few places where Atheists may stand in the middle in this discussion but Hamza does not let that happen because of the false assertion he sees with moral realism. Firstly Hamza says that to simply label objectivity to morals does nothing to actually obilgate someone to do it. (imagine yourself, being a highly critical person living in the 21st century having force to do something simply because you just have to without any explanation, doesnt seem right correct?)
Having the explanation of why something is objective gives us the sense of duty and obligation says hamza.
Some may start to get confused here so it might take some reflection on this. Hamza recognises that in context is everything such as Killing a person in self-defence. However he makes the distinction between Absolute morality and Objective morality.
Absolute morality according to him refers to when for example, someone says killing is evil even if it means the person will kill your family first. Objective morality however considers the context of everything where killing is definitely wrong on the innocent whereas absolute morality means that killing will always be evil even if you’re defending the innocent.
no God no Good, Know God Know Good
This clever title was features in Hamza’s website and truly summarises his points. Hamza emphasises that this discussion is not talking about how we arrive at moral truths but figuring out where they come from (common misunderstanding between epistemology and ontology)
Considering everything addressed, Hamza then provides why the divine having the only power to define the objectivity of moral truths gives us the sense of obligation towards something greater than themselves that transcends Biology, Social pressure, and human arbritary objectivity.
Hamza truly has something worth noting here to be put up in discussion in the academic and social world. Just as an reiteration, Hamza exposes the line in which everyone of us must recognise where what is talked about in the social community about sciene, philosophy, religion etc. is not what the academic world talks about. This would hopefully force readers and intellectuals to fully assess their belief systems and evaluate the credibility of peaceful dialogue and understanding. If you would like to purchase this book for the better of you coffee table (which i highly reccomend) click here!
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