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This is another formulation of the question known as Euthyphro's Dilemma addressed here in more detail.

A simpler way to address it would be to consider the fact that we have external measurements for mass and charge and temperature etc. These are defined, unambiguous and universal. They are measurable. They are not subjective.

There's really no evidence for such properties for moral actions. Even those who claim they exist, cannot describe them or enumerate them.

But we do have game theory and other representations which precisely predict how certain behaviors yield a collective benefit. And these map closely onto what communities describe as moral. This is largely about actions which serve the common good.

So the best explanation is that our sense of right and wrong is the result of learning to comply with or defy the collective will of a specific community. This seems like a perfectly precise explanation of what we see. As a hypothesis, I can't think of any examples which would disprove it.

The invention of god(s), who "oversee and enforce" such rules also fits with this account. Although it can muddy the waters because the god hypothesis encourages the confusion between a genuine communal good. ("Helping protect the communities children") with a genuine harm ("Sacrificing a child to placate the god".)

For this reason, I'd say that certain types of god belief are actually an impediment to "common" morality although others can see its emergence (e.g., monotheistic gods advocated by Judaism, Christianity or Islam).


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