So, I've set myself a project. It's an ambitious project, I suspect, but I'm looking forward to it.
This project is to determine whether I consider morality to be an objective or subjective/relative thing. I lean toward it being objective in some sense, but I could be wrong. I've never truly looked at arguments for it being subjective, after all. In the process, I suspect that doing this will either confirm or disconfirm where morality "comes from." I've done a related study when I studied Dan Fincke's Empowerment Ethics, and provisionally accepted it. For this project I'll once again be looking at Dr. Fincke's work, since he has a number of posts on the subject, but I'll also be expanding beyond that and trying to find other arguments for or against objective morality (do you know of good sources, ideally free? let me know!). I'll be writing up some of what I find and attempting to give them all a fair hearing.
Right from the start though, let me just say that there is one theory I already know about, and won't bother considering: Divine Command Theory. Pretend there's a god. Divine Command Theory states whatever God commands, that is the morally correct thing to do (or not do). Some theologians have claimed that the reason this is so is that God, by his nature, is perfectly good, or virtuous. As such, anything he commands will be perfectly good, because a perfectly good being could not command otherwise. Other theologians have stated that God's commands are good simply because God commanded them. I have problems with both versions.
If God's commands are good simply because God commanded them, then that makes morality completely arbitrary, and up to the whims of God. One century it's ok for conquering soldiers to take the virgin women they find as their wives, the next it's not. In such a case, morality is not objective, but rather completely subjective. It's just that there's only one being that is the deciding subject.
If God's commands are good because God is perfectly good and can't command otherwise (or simply would never choose to; it amounts to the same thing), then that just pushes the problem back a step. In such a case, one is left with "where does God get his morality?" What reasoning does he use to arrive at perfectly good commands? See the issue?
By the way, this issue was addressed centuries ago in Plato's dialogue "Euthyphro."
So, I will not be considering Divine Command Theory as a basis for morality, and I suspect that I wouldn't give it serious weight even if I were a theist, given what I said above, unless I first eliminated the idea of objective morality.
Anyway, as I said at the start of this post, this is an ambitious project. Whether morality is objective or not has been argued about for millenia, so I don't expect that whatever solution I come to, whatever side of the debate I end up falling on, that everyone will agree with me. I encourage my readers to give me their arguments!