Do Our Values Come from God?

The Evidence Says No

Victor J. Stenger

Abstract

The religions of the world claim the right to tell the rest of us how to behave. They base this claim on the assumption that morality and value arise in the mind of God, to whom they have a special pipeline.

            A look at the evidence, the observation of how people actually do behave, and the comparison of that evidence with the scriptures and other revelations from which God supposedly makes his will known, fail to confirm this assertion. Believers and nonbelievers alike generally accept a universal set of absolute moral standards that has arisen from their common humanity.