God and Moral Obligation

Paperback | May 8, 2014

byC. Stephen Evans

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Is there a connection between religion and morality? Ivan Karamazov, in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, famously declares that if God does not exist, then "everything is permitted." Most philosophers reject such a view and hold that moral truths do not depend on God. C.Stephen Evansargues that the truth lies somewhere between these two claims. It is not quite right to say that there would be nothing left of morality if God did not exist, but moral obligations do depend on God ontologically. Such obligations are best understood as God's commands or requirements, communicated tohumans in a variety of ways, including conscience. In God and Moral Obligation, Evans also argues that two views often thought to be rivals to a divine command morality, natural law ethics and virtue ethics, are not rivals at all but provide necessary complementary elements of a comprehensive morality. A number of objections to a divine commandaccount of moral obligations are posed and answered. In the concluding chapters Evans points out the advantages such an account has over secular rivals. The authority and objectivity of moral obligations are best explained by seeing them as divine commands.

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Is there a connection between religion and morality? Ivan Karamazov, in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, famously declares that if God does not exist, then "everything is permitted." Most philosophers reject such a view and hold that moral truths do not depend on God. C.Stephen Evansargues that the truth lies somewhere between thes...

C. Stephen Evans is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:210 pagesPublished:May 8, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198715374

ISBN - 13:9780198715375

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Table of Contents

1. God and Moral Obligations2. What Is a Divine Command Theory of Moral Obligation3. The Relation of Divine Command Theory to Natural Law and Virtue Ethics4. Objections to Divine Command Theory5. Alternatives to a Divine Command Theory6. Conclusions: The Inescapability of Moral Obligations

Editorial Reviews

"Evans has written a highly lucid and readable book." --Terence Cuneo, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews