Knowing God's Will

David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls

in Good God

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751808
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894840 | DOI:
Knowing God's Will

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This chapter answers various epistemic challenges to divine command theory, and extends the moral argument by offering a few epistemic variants of it; in the process it also stresses that divine command theory is not primarily an epistemic theory so much as a metaphysical one. In fact, since the “way of being” is not the “way of knowing,” as the medievals put it, certain moral commitments stand with greater epistemic privilege than religious ones, but rather than this fact undermining the moral argument, it in fact is a requisite condition for a workable moral apologetic, since the moral premises must be at least as strong as the theistic conclusion—another reminder of the rational need for God's goodness to be analogically explicable and not so unrecognizable that it robs ascriptions of goodness to him of determinate content and implicates speakers in an egregious equivocation. This chapter also argues that theistic ethics, rightly understood, never involves a genuine conflict between what's morally required and what's rational to do.

Keywords: natural law; rationality; divine hiddenness; worldview; overriding reasons thesis; moral reasons; order of being; order of knowing

Chapter.  8869 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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