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The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory$
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David Copp

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195147797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195147790.001.0001

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Theological Voluntarism

Theological Voluntarism

The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Philip L. Quinn

, David Copp
Oxford University Press

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

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