Divine voluntarism: moral obligation supervenes on God's antecedent will

by Nam, Mi Young

Abstract (Summary)
Divine voluntarism (Divine command theory) is a series of theories that claim that God is prior to moral obligation and that moral obligation is determined by God's will. Divine voluntarism has to be formulated in a way that it does not have undesirable implications, e.g., that moral obligation is arbitrary and that God's goodness is trivial. Also, while it avoids these undesirable implications, divine voluntarism must not imply that God is, in some way, restricted by moral obligation which exists independently of Him. Divine voluntarism can admit God's sovereignty over moral obligation and avoid making moral obligation arbitrary or God's goodness trivial by admitting various aspects of God's will. Moral obligation is relevant to both God's will for human moral obligation and God's will for human moral good. After all, God's will for human moral obligation is God's willing that His own will for human moral good constitute moral obligation for humans.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:McCann, Hugh J.; Boenig, Robert E.; Burch, Robert W.

School:Texas A&M University

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:divine command ethics philosophy of religion


Date of Publication:08/01/2004

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