if morality has no objective source, then morality is arbitrary, i would think, and whatever each person decides is moral has no application beyond the reach of his own influence.
Which is precisely what is observed in practice. A deity has no impact on such a situation: The assignment of that deity to the role of a moral authority would be as subjective a preference as anything else.
if my morality says that it's okay for me to kill your children and eat them, and i can get away with it, then a third party has no moral authority to intervene. seems a bit anarchic, if i understand you correctly.
Ahh, but they do
have the moral authority to intervene. They have their own authority, combined with the authority of all whose morality objects to such an action, including mine. That ends up being lot of authority.
If you truly believed that, though, then what argument could I make to convince you otherwise? I could appeal to other competing values you hold, in the hope that they might outweigh your eating-my-child-is-right values. But failing that, deity or not, and regardless of the qualities of that deity if it exists - what can I possibly say to convince you that your baby-eating values are morally wrong?
i'm not sure i'm following you here. i'm not saying that i have the authority to judge god, so much as i am saying that i have no other means of determining right and wrong in any case.
Actually you did imply
that you have the authority to judge god. You implied it when you said that you'd decided on your own
that you had no right to. If you have the authority to decide that you don't have the right to do X, then you also
have the authority to decide that you do
have the right to do X. But this may be an artefact of the particular words you used, rather than something you actually thought.
if necessity restricts me to one path, then i think i have to take it, in the same way that i have to use my five senses as a pathway to perceive the world. whether i have a right to use my senses to perceive the world is a moot point-- i have no other means to do so, and perception in involuntary. in the same way, using my moral sense of what is right and wrong inevitably requires me to use it to measure god, whether i acknowledge god to be the source of both morality and a moral sense or not.
I get what you're saying, but one can still be forced into doing something that - according to whoever's standards - one has no right to do, in all sorts of contexts.
You've shed light on another issue, though. If the your god-given morals and your god's morals are not both assumed to be in sync, then we have an issue of two things being conflated: God being the source of morality, and god's morals being objectively true.
A god being the source of morality, in the sense of being the one who imprints it on our minds, can itself be either moral or not, according to its own standards or ours. Its own behaviour, beliefs, values, etc., are entirely open to judgment, and there is no reason to assume that they are "good" in any sense. This part also brings up the question of why different people are being handed down different god-given morals. Is it the god's intention that we have irreconcilable moral disagreements with each other? Does the god engage in prescience to examine the minds of parents and peers throughout someone's future, so as to give them morals that will mimic those they would have gotten from social/cultural inculation, and then give those morals to that person?
A god's morals being the "right" ones does not entail that god also being the source of our moral intuitions, at all. And this idea has the problem of (in)coherence, as it stands. What does it mean that the god's morals are the right ones? How can we tell? What would an evil god's morals look like, and against whose standard of "evil"? We can't automatically look to the god's own moral standards, because their priviledged position is exactly what's in question from the outset. It would be circular reasoning, and the same could be done with anyone else's morals, not just the god's. I've been down this path of reasoning/debate with theists, and it always ends up being their
decision - on their own authority - to assign their god the role of being "absolutely right". Curious, no?
does this address your point? my natures as a moral creature requires me to make judgements, and also requires me not to restrict the object of the judgements, else the morality is situational.
Yes, that addressed my point. Thanks.
It did bring up another can of worms, however - I hope we keep talking about those worms!