The authors did not rely heavily on factual evidence to support their arguments. In fact, I found it difficult to locate two specific facts from either author. However, I do agree that the following statements are at least based on fact. “That US Courts today decide cases based on logical interpretations of human law apart from religion” (Yancey, 2000). I believe this statement is true; our judiciary system is based on interpreting the law and finding verdict accordingly. “There is no significant example of a society successfully having moral structures without reinforcement by religion” (Yancey).
I have to agree with this determination; I have not been able to produce any significant examples of morally successful societies without at least one strong religious entity. “The evil of an act lies in its consequences – not in who does it” (Matson, 2000). The author was making a point that no matter who commits an act that harms others, the act is essentially evil. “People cannot live together and do as they please” (Matson). This statement can be considered fact because any culture, large or small, cannot survive if members of that group acted on every whim. Human desire, when allowed to freely reign, can have very detrimental effects on the subjects of that desire. Rape, murder, torture, and covetous are all very real manifestations of the darker side of humanity. Two Opinions Presented by Each Side of the DebateA recurring opinion that Yancey made in his essay referred to the necessity of a higher authority. His belief that without God man cannot be moral, is the main argument throughout his work. “Unless people can locate a source of moral authority instead of human sentiment, we will always be subject to dangerous moral consensus” (Yancey). This statement was made in context to Hitler murdering the Jewish people in Germany and to Aristotle defending slavery. Another main theme that Yancey relied on was the proverbial “slippery slope. ” The essay was full of scenarios ranging from slavery to molestation of children to demonstrate that morality can only be within a religious framework. “Without a higher authority to rely on, moral outrage cannot exist” (Yancey).
Thus, stated repeatedly that morality cannot be manifest from human intellect and can only be determined by God. “The basic needs of all societies are quite similar inasmuch as the basic human needs are similar” (Matson). The author’s opinion and the essence of his argument are that humans are naturally moral and that societies all have basic ethical requirements. A sociological group will deteriorate if revenge, rape, and theft are not constrained by law. “Animal communities, each according to their particular needs, must also obey moral ‘laws’ and conventions in order to function efficiently” (Matson). This opinion cannot be deemed as fact because the assumption is made that animals comprehend morals. The actions of an animal caring for offspring or adhering to a group can also be considered as survival instinct. There are documented cases of patients reviving after an extensive coma who seem to react to stimuli but, in fact have irreversible damage to their cerebral hemispheres, which regulate consciousness, self-awareness, and personality. Hence, when an action appears as moral or ethical it is not necessarily so.