Theological Voluntarism

Philip L. Quinn

Edited by David Copp

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195147797
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785841 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Theological Voluntarism

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This chapter defends a divine command theory consisting of two central claims. First, a kind of action is morally obligatory just in case God has commanded that actions of that kind be performed. Second, God’s commanding that a kind of action be performed is what makes it obligatory. God’s commands bring it about that the wrong actions are wrong, and the required actions are required. Moreover, God’s goodness ensures that His commands are not arbitrary. God is the standard of Goodness. Something is good just in case it resembles God in a relevant way. Since God resembles Himself, He is good, and His commands are suited to ground moral obligations. Deontic or duty-related properties depend on God’s commands, but axiological or evaluative properties, such as goodness, do not.

Keywords: deontic properties; axiological properties; divine commands; Euthyphro Objection; divine goodness

Chapter.  13623 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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