: :: Absolutely not. 'conscience,' like 'morality' is a social construct.
: Barry, in all honesty, don't you have to disprove the existence of God and therefore any moral standard He may have endowed us with to claim the above as an axiom?
Stuart, before you can even say the above, try providing any meaningful and verifiable justification of your statement.
Much as I may disagree with Barry on some points, he is entirely within his rights to make his statement; since he is starting from verifiable first principles; whereas you are not.
Thus, to make any vaguely substantial argument, you have to provide some empirical justification for believing that morality and conscience are universal.
: These statments, and others like them, made by you are predicated on belief, no? You believe there is no God - right?
: You certainly can't prove that.
Just as you can't prove the opposite; but you are basing your beliefs on something eternally unproveable, whereas he is basing his assertion on lack of evidence to the contrary.
As such, his belief is more reasonable than yours; it can never be proven to be correct or incorrect; but it explains the perceived phenomena better.
And if you disagree, perhaps you'd like to go and eat a pork chop in the centre of Mecca...?
After all, if you believe that your morality is the only correct one, you can't really suffer any blame for what happens to you...
: Morality is only a social construct if there is no higher ideal imposed upon us by a higher source.
And of course, yours is the only correct morality, Stuart...
: If man's perception of right and wrong is continually evolving, how can you or anyone else have any intellectual integrity when using the language of moral absolutes?
Oh-ho, it's the old 'intellectual integrity' accusation; something that Stuart rolls out when he doesn't understand or agree with his opponent's point of view.
(Given that Stuart is to philosophy and theology what Dan Quayle was to politics and diplomacy, this ain't exactly rare...)
: To attempt to emotionally persuade folks with moral absolutes is foolishness if you are merely a man with an opinion.
Except for you, of course; you have a hotline to The Almighty, don't you...?
To attempt to persuade folks with moral absolutes is a waste of time, since their faculties are so damaged by their obsession that they are unable to discard any obsolete article of faith.