The Political Importance of Fearing God by Amy Barath
The fear of God is the reason why I do not steal from a jewelry store even if nobody is looking. I must choose right over wrong because I am looking, and through me, God is looking.
The fear of God is the reason why we do not kick our neighbor's dog, whether our neighbor is a Buddhist or a Jew or his dog is a purebred or a mutt.
Fortunately, an overwhelming majority of them would simply pay lipservice (or, lie about their adherence) to this tenet. The rest of them are in prison with the rest of the deeply, consistently religious.
A brief moment of reason could stop a normal person from stealing, whether he is being watched or not. It's called "judgement," and Christians sin in this way all the time.
We fear God so that we may not fear men. This fear allows us to discern between what is right and what is wrong.
Amy, you either judge or you do not, and it doesn't matter if you call it "discernment." One way or another, you're going to have to judge whether or not to follow your scriptures, so you're trapped in a little paradox. You can't follow scripture at all. It must be really frustrating.
Thank reason--for moral realism.