I don’t see why we have to put an external meaning on it. It’s exactly as meaningful as it is. But that’s not what I’m talking about, at all. Your cat is merely making a physical response to pain, yes. We do the same. I’m talking about much more than that. Imagine this situation. I’m on anesthetic in the hospital to have my ingrained toenail removed. Someone comes along and punches me in the face. I don’t feel it, and I suffer no damage or pain when I awake. Is it wrong? I say yes, and objectively so. Objectively speaking, that person’s action had the potential to cause me harm, and was wrong. I have the ability to make such an assessment, and I do not need to call on an objective truth to do so. I can make objective assessments based on criteria we agree on. I have no doubt this person caused me harm and was wrong. Do you disagree?
Look back at the argument, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me here. @fmiddel specifically pointed out several times that Lewis’s argument was for the existence of God. That’s the only reason I addressed the question so directly. I think it’s a far less interesting question than the existence of objective morality and our ability to access it if it does exist. Not to press this too hard, but I don’t have a need for such arguments, and I don’t think I’ve argued much in that vein at all in my time here. I’m not interested in doing so on this board. In fact, I often take care to point out that my arguments don’t negate the possibility of God’s existence–and I believe the same about my arguments in this thread.
I think I’ve laid out my case for why non-objective morality is valid, and can do so at more length, but instead let me ask you a question–a point which I made to fmiddel but didn’t receive a response to. If this objective morality exists, how can we access it so that we can judge other cultures for example? (really, I’m usually more concerned about individuals closer to home when it comes to morality, but it’ll do.) How does it inform our moral assessments?
I’m saying that harm is a physical reality which we are able to assess, and certainly one criterion of any moral system worth its salt. Even simpler mammals have a rudimentary sense of this–imagine a dog play biting and holding back in a way that avoids harm.
I don’t think it matters if it’s his ultimate intention. He has to demonstrate it for his argument to be sound. “Universal morality” seems to be a new term in this discussion, and I’m not exactly sure what you mean by it. Maybe I’ll look up the exact wording of his argument some time.