Here is an interesting thing to ponder when questioning whether or not religious people who believe in an absolute being that dictates right from wrong have a better grasp on ethics then those who do not believe...
The entire premise that to be ethical requires an absolute being rests on the idea that the answer to the euthyphro dilemma is that it is "right because God says so". This makes God an objective being- meaning that all he says is 100% truth and reality. If God were to say leprechauns exist, they would. In comparison, we are subjective beings. Reality is not bended to our will. If we believe that we see a leprechaun during an acid trip, it does not mean that leprechauns exist. It just means they exist in our mind. Our thoughts and opinions on reality are subjective and thus open to question.
To put it in simpler terms, think of God ( Objective ) as a game programmer and us ( Subjective ) as characters in his game ( Reality ). The programmer dictates reality and we have no choice but to go with it.
The thing about being a subjective being is that pretty much everything we experiance or think is subjective. For all we know, everything we hear, breath, touch, and know is an illusion via a system similar to "the matrix". We can "know" things for 99.9999 % but we can never reach 100%. Every piece of knowledge we come accross must first be comprehended by our subjective minds. Which explains why we humans have different opinions on what things mean - different ideals mean different things to two different subjective minds that have experienced reality through other perspectives. Ironically, this is why we even have different religions in the first place.
Now lets take it up a notch and look at the relationship between a subjective being and an objective being. If one of us was to talk to God and God was to tell us the meaning of life, would he then have objective knowledge regarding life's purpose ? Actually, he wouldn't. In order to understand the objective knowledge that is being transferred, the subjective being in question would go through a number of subjective walls.
First: acknowledge that they are talking to an objective being ( God ) - Subjective. How does the person know they are talking to God and not their own hallucination ? Even if He really was talking to God, it doesn't change the fact that his understanding of the situation is still subjective.
Second: Acknowledge and comprehend the wisdom that has been given to you by the objective being. Wake up ! You just got told the meaning of life. So now what do you do ? Simple, the first thing the subjective being would do is attempt to figure out what he has been told actually means to him. whether this is done subconsciously or consciously doesn't matter, if the subjective being has any hope of remembering what he has been told, he goes through this step.
This creates a problem: No matter what, a subjective being cannot gain access to objective wisdom even if it is told directly to you by the almighty one himself, because Just by comprehending what it is you have been told through a subjective mind, the objective wisdom you have gained becomes subjective to your own understanding and thus becomes subjective in the process.
Its the same as pouring water into orange juice, no matter how much watter is poured in their will still be some orange juice inside. its that barrier between 99.999999999999999% and 100% that we as subjective beings, by definition
cannot ever cross.
In other words, even if an absolute objective being exists that dictates the reality behind ethics...as far as we are concerned and as far as we can comprehend, it doesn't matter
. As subjective being's we will always find ourselves turning to our own reason at one time or another, because thats what we ultimately understand. Even if God were to give us Objective knowledge of morality we would still only be able to comprehend that objective knowledge through a subjective mind. Our ethical standards would still be subjective.
If God was to tell us that murder is in fact, morally good, how many of us would honestly just flat out stop thinking about what we feel is right or wrong and go kill everyone we know and love ? Except for the few extremely brainwashed individuals, most of us would try to protect our families from the inevitable onslaught to come. Personally, I would give God the finger. But thats just me.
In conclusion: absolute "Universal Laws" dictating what is right and wrong are as far as we're concerned
Just my 2 cents.
EDIT NOTE: I am not posting this in an attempt to stir up flamewars. I'm simply posting my personal view of objective vs subjective morality. Take it to mean as you will. There is obviously nothing to stop anyone from flaming me for it, but just be aware that I will ignore any response to this post that I feel would result in this thread getting locked if it was taken seriously. Of course, for those who have something constructive and non flammatory to say, I'm all ears.