The relationship between a theistic God (considering there is one) and morality cannot be explained in simply a few sentences. One may immediately come to the conclusion that God decides what is moral and immoral. This is known as Divine Command Theory which says that morality is dependent on God’s commands. However, this gives rise to the other side that says an action is moral because God approves of it. This is known as the Autonomy thesis which says that morality is not dependent on God’s commands.
Free will means that God does not have any set destiny for us. If God were to create free agents that could only choose good, that would mean that God laid out a destiny of good for all agents. Even though God is omniscient, free will is still possible because while God may know the choices we are going to make, he is not the cause of them. Since God does not choose or cause our destiny, we still have free will. In response to the option in which God creates a world with free agents and no evil, a world with no evil would mean a world with no good, so it would be impossible for God to create a free agents that only choose good, since evil does not exist.
If evil did not taint the world, the world would lack good and freewill, too. God chose freewill for his people rather than a deficit of evil. To have the freedom to do anything outweighs the sum of the evil in the world. Evil can also be viewed as an alternative to a lack of goodness in the world. Without evil to counter good, good would not
He based his argument on the statement “Does God will something because it is good or is something good because it is willed by God?” There are two ‘horns’ to this argument which stem from the statement; these both critiques of the link between religion and morality. Horn one questions “Does God command x because it is good.” This argument suggests that God is inferior to good, or perhaps good could even be temporally prior to God. In addition both God’s omnipotence and omniscience are damaged; he cannot claim full responsibility for creating the world and therefore cannot possibly have full control as it is not his creation. He also may not have the knowledge of right and wrong if it is independent of him. An independent good takes away from religious motivation to do good, we can be good for the sake of being good as opposed to seeking eschatological reward, for example going to heaven in the afterlife.
Even in contemporary society, we tend to associate morality with some kind of divine will, but through the Euthyphro, Socrates seems to suggesting we think along another line altogether. Is something moral because God commands it? Does morality depend on religious belief? A common view among religious, and even some secular, philosophers is that just as conventional laws require lawmakers, morals also require some ultimate source. The Divine Command Theory is the view that moral actions are those that conform to God's will.
Just like a religious believer who states “god loves us” but can’t explain the contradiction of evil in the world, believers qualify their statements by explaining god’s love is not like humans love he calls this “death by a thousand qualifications”. Therefore religious language is meaningless. However religion has responded to the falsification principle. R.B Braithwaite argued that the falsification principle explains religious language as cognitive when it if in fact non cognitive and therefore cannot be falsified, religious language is therefore still meaningful. Hare also responds to the falsification principle, showing that religious statements are meaningful even though they cannot be falsified because they have a significant impact for the people using the statement.
Furthermore, if God had said the opposite to what He did say then the things that would have been good is now bad. This makes the moral codes seem subjective. For some philosophers, morality cannot depend on authority alone. However, there are also clear problems. If humans obey God’s moral commands simply because they fear punishment, they are acting in a moral fashion purely to serve God rather than morally.
To what extent is via negative the only way to talk about God? Via negative, or the apophatic way, is a theory that suggests it is only possible to talk about God in ‘negative’ terms, as opposed to talking about him in a positive light calling him things such as all loving or a good god, as talking about God in a positive way, statements can be misconstrued and misleading as to what we actually mean by a good God for example. To talk about God as a creator or a holy father and describing his good actions and love, only showcases our own ideas about what these things actually are, which can put the wrong idea across. It is better to try and get our limited human minds around the concept of a mysterious God, without characteristics as such, that may be inaccurate. Via negative features often in Buddhism’s religious language.
Thus, he believes there is no reason why should you live a moral life rather than for one's self. Fidley asks Seltzer one last question, “what motivation for adopting the moral point of view can you possibly offer without a belief in God and immorality?” which leads us to this quote, “When religion tells us that there is nothing more we can say about morality than that we can’t see the reasons for it, but do it if you know what’s good for you, then I do condemn it. We can do better than that. We can become moral grown-ups. And if there were a God, surely he would approve”.
Where the other two Christian systems talk about conflicting morals and doing the lesser of the evils, the unqualified absolutism ethical system supports the idea that God cannot have contradicting morals and that he does not differ from one day to the next in his laws. In theory, the unqualified absolutism ethical system is where my heart is pushing me, but in practice I do not know if my judgment would follow. The Calvary Chapel Bible College has a link to this subject that describes scenarios in an unqualified absolutism ethical system. One of the scenarios describes that you should never commit one sin to prevent another, even if the latter seems far worse. For example if you were to tell a lie to prevent a murder or rape, the text describes that you should not do so because God sees all sin as equal.