Many theists think, and argue, that God must exist for objective morality to exist.
This claim can be interpreted more than one way. When arguing with theists, it is shrewd, for purposes of honesty, clarity, and strategy, to point this out. One reason is the following: Psychologically it seems that quite often people are committed to certain propositions more than they are committed to particular interpretations of those propositions. So, a given theist may be adamant about affirming that God is necessary for there to be objective morality but persuadable that some things that could be meant by that statement are not necessary. What ultimately matters to them to maintain, psychologically and theologically, in order to not feel like they are losing a key, identity-forming belief, is that something about morality requires God. Getting someone to abandon their belief in God is very difficult. Getting them to moderate their interpretation of their faith or to interpret an aspect of their faith they had not thought through yet in a more rational, rather than less rational, way is much easier by comparison. And this is a perfect topic to attempt to do that with. [Read more…]