Chapter

Morality Under God

Richard Swinburne

in Responsibility and Atonement

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780198248491
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198248490.003.0009

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Morality Under God

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The second part of this book (Chs. 8–12) applies the results of its first part about moral responsibility to traditional Christian doctrines. I assume that there is a God of the traditional kind who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, was crucified and rose from the dead; and then ask what follows about our moral responsibility to God, and his to us. This chapter argues that the command or commendation of God can change the moral status of some but not all actions, making them good or obligatory, bad or wrong, when they would not otherwise be so. (Hence it takes a compromise position on the Euthyphro dilemma.) God does not issue commands that cover the whole of our lives, although he does make it supererogatorily good for us to use our lives in certain ways; and only those who do so use their lives will attain salvation. It is good to hope for one's own salvation.

Keywords: Aquinas; Augustine; divine command; Euthyphro dilemma; Luther; moral responsibility; salvation; supererogation

Chapter.  7489 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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