Is God necessary or sufficient for objective morality?

Elizabeth asked:

Is God necessary for objective morality? Is he sufficient?

Answer by Peter Jones

By my calculations God would be neither necessary nor sufficient for this purpose. The ethical schemes of Schopenhauer and the Buddha, for two well-known examples of what you may mean by objective moral schemes, do not depend on God, and would fail if there were a God who could interfere with the operations of Nature. So He is not necessary for such a scheme.

And then, even if God told me that some action was right or wrong why should I believe Him? I might prefer my own ethical scheme. So neither is He sufficient. This is not flippancy or disrespect, it is the logic of the situation. You could try googling ‘Hobbes Leviathan’ for a long discussion.

For an ethical scheme that is truly objective, that can be derived directly from Nature, that would function inevitably according to the way the universe simply is, then try also Lao Tsu. For this view the laws of Heaven and Earth would follow ineluctably from Tao being what it is, and there would be no God to have any choice in the matter.

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