Context: having noticed the difficult dialogue between Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris, I thought my input may ameliorate the situation.
Basic causal chain:
Fundamental existence i.e. “God” i.e. YHWH (“I am who I am” / “I will be who I will be”) => (Physical) Universe => Evolution => Human biology / physiology / psychology / reward system (“utility function” / “preferences” in Economics)
[A person’s identity can be said to be fundamentally dependent on his preferences. E.g. I am biologically wired to like chocolate; it is an unchangeable / definitive part of me.]
“Objective” morality can be derived rationally (without immediately resorting to “God”), to the extent that human beings’ (subjective) preferences overlap, so that everyone’s rationally derived optimal behaviour (“strategy” in Economics) i.e. what they should do to maximally please their reward system (maximise their utility function), can be described by a common set of rules / goals.
[Due to the great degree of similarity between human beings, this is fairly self-evident. I.e. “pain is real”, as Jordan Peterson cleverly expresses in layman’s terms, and pain is real to everyone in approximately the same way. (Everyone subjectively likes chocolate, so that we can agree on the “objective” moral principle that it is good for man to eat chocolate.)]
When a common (objective) set of goals is agreed upon on the basis of everyone’s overlapping (subjective) preferences, we then have a sort of universally true utility function, from which optimal strategies (“laws”) can be derived (e.g. via decision theory) to govern human behaviour. Everyone will want to “obey” these “laws” simply because it is in their own self-interest (“self-interest” can include the interests of those around you, thanks to this human feature called “empathy”).
Christianity, through its long continuous tradition, has managed to embody precisely the sort of “objective” morality that has resulted in the success of Western civilisation.
[Many people manage to see the beauty of the morality embedded within the bible, in spite of the irrational interpretations imposed upon it by the hordes of “Christian” teachers peddling their ignorant / wilful theological absurdities.]
With sufficient scientific advancement (especially in Economics / Psychology), people like Sam Harris might find themselves deriving via purely rational inquiry the same sort of morality already achieved through Christianity’s long history.
[Of course, this does not exclude the possibility that the pinnacle of moral enlightenment lies somewhere beyond what has been achieved via Christian tradition. (good ole intellectual humility)]
Analogous to how Engineers often find it more profitable to mimic the mechanisms that nature has developed through evolution, than to think up novel mechanisms from scratch.
So, as long as one retains rationalism / pragmatism as one’s guiding principle (epistemology / hermeneutic), then one may find that “God” and Science both in fact agree on the same kind of “objective” morality.
[“God” (religion) got there first, though one day Science might catch up and exceed “God”. Actually, that’s somewhat a false dichotomy …]
Bonus: One key feature I find in biblical morality has to do with the simple contrast between short-term good and long-term prosperity; the morally upright way being the one that optimises long-term wellbeing.
For now, I’ll leave the rest of the story to Jordan Peterson’s capable hands.