A quick thought on divine morality

The idea that our morality is bestowed upon us by God is one that, to me, has always suffered from a problem so obvious that it really shouldn't even need mentioning.

Nobody has direct, objective access to God. Now, some people will of course claim they have personal access to God, but these claims are not independently verifiable – which is pretty important when you're living in an social, cooperative and interdependent society. If someone tells you God spoke to them, how could you possibly substantiate – objectively – whether their claim was true? Revelatory claims, by definition, fall outside the realm of empirical knowledge. Are God's commands known from his Holy Book? Whose interpretation of which one? And again, how can those claims be independently verified?

So even if it were true that God's commands form the basis of our moral compass (and of course I don't think it is), it would pretty useless to us unless we all could independently verify exactly what God's commands are. But since that's not possible, the result is that all these believers who claim that the basis for their morality is 'objective' end up being on the exact same page as everyone else – they have to find reasons, motivated by rational self-interest, to value certain behaviors and condemn others.


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