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Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong? February 21, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Communism, Deism, Liberalism, Other, Philosophy, Politics, Religion.

I’ve heard it a thousand times. “The world is not black and white. There are things that are true for some people that aren’t true for others.”

Please excuse this simple-minded individual, but a world where truth is relative, in my opinion, would be hell on earth. Think about it. If truth were relative to each person’s own personal perspective and morals, then how could we possibly say that murder is wrong? Sure it’s wrong to us; but it’s not wrong to a host of people such as Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ted Kennedy, etc.

So what makes it wrong? Who said that it was wrong, and who are they that their morals and opinions be placed above everyone else’s?

If you think that the majority should rule the day, then what about things like the Aztecs sacrificing people from other tribes to their gods? The majority of Aztecs supported the murder of thousands of people from other tribes. Does that mean the conquistadors were wrong to come in and put a stop to it with the help of the neighboring tribes?

What about Nazi Germany? The majority of Germans at the time thought that it was perfectly all right to murder Jews.

What about Communist countries like China where innocent people are tortured and murdered for things like having an opposing opinion or converting to an unapproved religion?

What about the fact that the majority of the world still views women as possessions or beneath men? Western countries are really the only countries in the world that recognize women as equals. Is that right? Is that just?

If the majority said that dogs had 5 legs, would they be right simply because they are in the majority?

Also, if the majority rules, then why do we bother with this system of government that ensures the minority gets a voice?

I want to know. What makes murder, stealing, racism, assualt, rape, embezzlement, white GOP males, hick Bible-thumping close-minded fundamentalist Christians, and Southern cowboy Presidents wrong? Who says so, and who made him king of the world?

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, go back and reread the last section until you get it because the significance of the hypocrisy I have satired is immeasurable. The fact of the matter is that, whether people like it or not, this is a black and white world. We can’t always find a pure white option; but there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils. One might say that that is proof that this world is gray; but think about it. Actually stop and think. How do we know which is the lesser of two evils? How do we know they contain any evil at all? We know because there is such a thing as black and white, good and evil. We just can’t get perfect good out of an imperfect world.

Just because gray-worlders insist upon closing their ears and their minds off to this truth, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Gray-worlders are simply people who are in the path of a tornado but close their minds, eyes, and ears off from the truth believing that they aren’t in it’s destructive path simply because they say they aren’t. As I like to say:

Truth never changes; opinions change.

Or, as President Abraham Lincoln so nicely puts it: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Now to elaborate on the hypocrisy of the gray-worlders.
Gray-worlders would like us to believe that this world is full of relativity because it prevents anyone from judging their actions and allows them to condemn us for judging them. But STOP right here. Go back. Think about what I just said.
GRAY . . . . WORLDERS . . . . ARE . . . . CONDEMNING . . . . PEOPLE . . . . AND, THUS, . . . . JUDGING . . . . PEOPLE.

Get it? Do you see the hypocrisy now? Do you understand what I am trying to point out?

Gray-worlders use black-and-white arguments to propel the theory of a gray world.

They tell us that we are wrong for judging them, that a black and white world is wrong. BUT HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY KNOW THAT AND, MOST CERTAINLY, PROCLAIM THAT?!! Truth is, supposedly, relative. A black and white world does exist because I think it exists. Since truth is relative to the person, the truth of a black and white world is true because it’s true to me. Can you see the hypocrisy? Can you see the chaos of such a ridiculous theory?

They tell us that we are closed-minded lunatics for saying that the world is completely black and white. They tell us that we are @#$&* for judging them, yet there they are judging us. There they are claiming with certainty that the world is gray when, if we truly are in a gray world, then there is no way that they could possibly claim that the world is gray because that right there is a black and white fact.

The only way you could claim that something is gray is if that means that it has pros and cons, qualities of good and evil, not relativism. Relativism does not exist.
When faced with this question, gray-worlders in the past have ignored me and reiterated their brainless arguments. Yes, I realize I am extremely sarcastic in this article. I have to admit (and I’m sure it’s obvious) that I am at the end of my rope with these brain-dead people who go round and round in a circle of the same argument without addressing mine. I guess I just need to remember: “Don’t cast pearls before swine.”


Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God’s Will Revealed?



1. Michael - June 6, 2006

You obviously don’t know the first thing about relativism. Relativism started out as way for professor to teach perspective to their students and ultimate the students were suppose to find that while values differ some are defiantly better. Other words they would adopt absolutism. However in the sixties people so taking a closer look at relativism never really came back it not because they were stupid it because the environment they lived in finally allowed them to see beyond the black and white values.

I will explain briefly.
First you claim truth is relative
“Truth is, supposedly, relative”
Truth is not relative. Opinions are relative.
2+2=4 truth
“God love us” relative

People of faith mistake dogma truth with real truth.

Murder is wrong. Truth
Murder is wrong by definition: “the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought”

Killing is wrong. Relative
To kill by definition: to deprive of life

Murder is wrong because we definite as such. Killing is relative because we have not defined it either way. You may ask you’re self what is the difference between killing and murder well that is relative.

Also, if the majority rules, then why do we bother with this system of government that ensures the minority gets a voice?

I want to know. What makes murder, stealing, racism, assault, rape, embezzlement, white GOP males, hick Bible-thumping close-minded fundamentalist Christians, and Southern cowboy Presidents wrong? Who says so, and who made him king of the world?

Have you ever heard of humanitarianism?
Pretty much the whole idea is we are all here on this earth together as living intelligent being for better or worse. So why not make it for the better. Let people be who there are live as they like so long as it doesn’t cross the agreed (Relative) upon human rights of others.

A lesson on Perspective and Values
We only care about life because we are relatively intelligent living things. It our consciousness to this living world that makes us care. It is natural for a living being to value its own life because that is the source of its consciousness. Without it we would be no more. Had they not valued there life they might just commit suicide.
Those of us that are still living most likely do value there lives so from that perspective killing should be considered murder because they do not want to be killed. If killing were not murder then what is to stop another from killing him for any such motive. The truth is nothing. Nobody’s playing goalie in this game but us we are hardly absolute on anything. So how can anything we value be an absolute truth?

Why would we would we want to live in a world with absolute right and wrongs. The answer is so we can feel safer. The fact is we determine what is right and wrong. That why in many countries in the modern world women are no longer treated as possession and why food and shelter are provided to every human. It the idea that we can make it a better world. Not because it is right it because we make it right.

I know my argument is fuzzy on conclusion I didn’t spend enough time to get right. I would like see your response. Back and forth discourse is much easier to see the hole in the arguments.

2. June - June 6, 2006

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to have a full discourse with you, as I am always limited on time. A topic like this would require much attention and time. I will respond to what I can when I can; but don't be surprised if I can't for good lengths of time or if I favor writing an article instead since this will be rather on-going.

What you are basically telling me is that I really do know what relativism is but that I do not know the purpose for it. What you fail to understand is what all relativists have socked me with.

As I have said, they have told me that I am wrong to believe in a black and white world, that this world is gray with so many nuances and differences of right and wrong. This is all said to shut me up about Christianity and conservatism being the right way.

In any case, it is impossible to discern a definite set of morals based upon our own judgments. As I said, different people have different opinions. What is wrong to you is right to someone else. I am assuming that you believe that murder is wrong. Many people do, as you said, to preserve themselves; but what is murder?

Hitler considered the intentional killing of white Germans to be murder but not the intentional killing of millions of Jews. The majority of Germans agreed with him.
Is he wrong? Why? Because you say he's wrong? Who are you? Why are your judgments the law?

The majority of the world still treats women as possessions. I am assuming that you are calling the West "the modern world". What makes the West modern? Is it just because we are more advanced technologically? Nazi Germany was technologically advanced. Is it because new ideas are taking root here? Well, Nazism is still pretty modern.
So the fact that something is modern does not mean that it is right. Besides, after a while, this modern idea will become a traditional idea. Does that now mean that it is wrong?

So the majority of the world is still backwards, as you say; but they look at you and say that you have things backwards.
Who is right? You? If I asked them, what would they say? Do you really think that they would say that you are right? So who is right? You have both looked at this and decided what is right. So who truly is right? You can't have both being right because there can only be one right.

As you said, one might argue humanitarism. But this humanitarism infringes on another person's right to treat this other person the way he wants. Besides, this other person really isn't a person. It's a lesser being on the ladder of evolution. I mean, we don't punish people for killing animals for food. We don't punish animals for killing other animals that are not a person's possession. So why punish this person for treating his possession the way he wants? Doesn't he have the right to deal with his possessions as he sees fit? Why are you infringing on this guy's right to private property?

Or why are you infringing on this woman's right to privacy? This growth on her is part of her body. It's not a person. It doesn't have a mind of its own. It's just a blob of tissue. Never mind the fact that it has entirely different DNA. Never mind the fact that, once a baby is out of the womb, that baby recognizes his mother's voice. Never mind the fact that you can take one woman's egg, fertilize it, implant it in another woman, kill off the first woman, and still have a live child with the first woman's genes in him. Never mind the cases where pregnant women have been mortally wounded and essentially killed except for some body functions that are kept going long enough for the baby inside of her to be delivered and to live. This is her possession. This is her body. This is her property.
Sound familiar? In all likelihood, this is what you believe; but I believe that it is murder to kill this precious child. Who is right?

Look, go back. Read my article more carefully. It is obvious to me that you have merely skimmed it. Stop to take this all in.

I know that you aren't exactly welcome to it because it challenges the very tenant of your belief in atheism; but I am asking you to open your mind. I'm asking you to carefully examine what I have said.

Whether you believe this or not is up to you. Your soul is your responsibility, not mine. I have tried. That is all I will do.

3. Tom - July 22, 2006

I think multi-coloured world is fairly accurate. I’m fairly liberal(centre-left) but not mindlessly so, and i hate it when you can’t even say you have two hands without someone piping up and saying “Ah. but your view of two hands might be different to mine, i might see it as three hands……” blah blah blah, you get the picture 🙂

To address something that was said here, something i have heard far too much :-

To to those who feel that they and others can do what they want, because they have the ability to do so, you would not object to someone kidnapping you and those you hold dear, then proceeding to torture and kill every one of you whilst the others are forced to watch, because that’s the kind of world you long for, and you’d have no probelm with that happening. Although i doubt you’d be around long enough to expierience much of it….

So, some people don’t think murder is wrong?
Go live in a moralless country (somewhere in Africa springs to mind) and piss off one of the extermination squads. Then when you’ve been battered, raped, your guts torn out, and your head is slowly coming away from your body, you will begging for mercy, wishing for civilisation and believing whole-heartedly that what is happening to you, is wrong.

Anyway, that’s me.


4. Randy the Atheist - May 2, 2007

Morals are rules generated by the consensus of like-minded individuals. They are not absolute rules that can reasoned into existence by looking at the stars and the trees. It is not based on the speed of light, nor is it based on the properties of a triangle or square. It does not exist in any ether of matter or any frame of spacetime. It must be taught to you by others who were taught in much the same ways.

Is murder absolutely wrong? No. It is subjectively wrong. Wrong by whom? Wrong by the consensus of the population. Depending on which side of the accusation you are on will decide your view of how wrong or right it is. And depending on which side of the story is more convincing will decide the population’s consensus. Why? Because morals are not universal laws. They are based on sentiment and emotion, which in turn, is based upon the culture and circumstance we were born in. Thus, our morals and beliefs, no matter how correct we believe them to be, are completely accidental – a function of time, geography and circumstance.

Had we been born in the first dynasties of China, we would be a completely different bag of behavior and beliefs.

5. Kevin - August 6, 2007

How do you know Morality isn’t a part of a Universal Law? Just because we haven’t pieced the entire puzzle together scientifically, doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that it won’t be pieced together at some point and we will see that Morality is part of a Universal Law?

Certainly, the fact that most religions, even those that developed completely separate from each other, have very similar moral structures, isn’t a coincidence…

6. Jose - November 7, 2007

“And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and
as they are to come;
-Doctrine & Convenants 93:24 (Written by Joseph Smith, dictated by


7. nik - November 11, 2007

whenever i read debates like this on forums, predominately populated by americans, a persons viewpoint is always defined by the opposition of another viewpoint – its quite bizarre

so much nonsense spouted as well – tom my friend – utter gibberish

to those that believe the world is black and white…

has the world always been black and white? if so, how have we evolved as a society? were the moral laws and socail fabrics of our not too distant ancestors black and white as well? apparently not

every age thinks it knows best and that its notion of morality leaves all previous ages looking a pale and barbarous complexion

the reality is the human history isnt that linear – in my country hangings were once deemed just and now we consider it totally barbaric – yet across the atlantic the would be bastion of modern morality is executing people left right and centre – im not saying this is wrong (although i think it is) theres an example of two would be civilised western nations both looking down each others noses at each others treatment of murderers

of course the world isnt black and white – how cna six billion people live to the same concepts of truth – its ludicrous

8. BeeJay - February 14, 2009

I believe that innately we are good. I do not believe in ‘original’ sin or Adam and Eve. I do not believe that GOD or the supreme force of creation allows anything. I believe that KARMA, RETRIBUTION, SOWING SEEDS of one’s nature is cause and effect of one’s life. We are here, I believe to experience soul. I believe that this is the testing ground for a higher purpose.
Everything else that happens in life is a valuable lesson. And if history keeps repeating itself, means that we have learned nothing.

9. olivia - April 3, 2009

i don’t know if you know this but, gray is a combination of black and white….. sorry to burst your bubble but every time you say gray-worlders are stupid you’re merely condemning your own oh so precious theory. unless i missed the last gray-worlders meeting and we all decided on denying the existence of any shade of gray other than equal parts of white and black? did you hear my sarcasm? did you?? did you?? DID YOU??

10. ale - March 13, 2010

there is no universal moral standard by which to judge others, but we don’t have to tolerate others wen it runs counter to our own standards. that is, there being no moral universal standard allows us not to tolerate others and allows us to at the same time. but choosing which is most logical depends on our situation and what we want. Should we punish those who murder through capital punishment? maybe, because it may deter crime. finally, is it wrong to murder? i can counter this question with another: are you a psychopath with an inherent urge to kill? ok, i can see how i might tolerate killing if i was a psychopath. However, i am not so i want that person in jail for my own sake. In order to understand that there is no maxim for morality, we must look at morality as a evolutionary system that is tested much like any gene or habit in nature. a system will cease to be used when it encounters an unmovable force. survival then, will be based on finding a better solution to that obstacle. that is not to say there are always better solutions, but different solutions that are better suited for certain situations much like a gene or habit. i conclude that there is no ultimate morality, but that morality is more like a habit with a fancy name.

ale - March 13, 2010

i would like to add that relativism doesn’t have to be tolerant but should merely acknowledge other’s modes of morality as making sense given certain conditions. while certain cultures may bewilder, they are not glitches in the system and will appear logical if it’s history is studied. As far as i can measure, there is no great power that objectifies therefore the world is an easel, with many cooks in the kitchen. The world is chaos, just ask anyone in a third world country.

11. Stefan - December 7, 2010

Then who gets to define what is wrong and what is not?

12. Randy the Atheist - March 10, 2011

Might Makes Right for it is always the victor who defines the new moral supremacy.

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