God and Moral Obligation

God and Moral Obligation

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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 Evans argues 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 to humans 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 command account 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 210 pages
  • 142 x 216 x 12mm | 264g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198715374
  • 9780198715375
  • 1,097,029

Table of contents

1. God and Moral Obligations ; 2. What Is a Divine Command Theory of Moral Obligation ; 3. The Relation of Divine Command Theory to Natural Law and Virtue Ethics ; 4. Objections to Divine Command Theory ; 5. Alternatives to a Divine Command Theory ; 6. Conclusions: The Inescapability of Moral Obligations
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Review quote

This book is a painstaking analysis of the moral and philosophical arguments and counterarguments respecting the place of God in moral theory ... Recommended. * S.E. Forschler, CHOICE * Evans has written a highly lucid and readable book * Terence Cuneo, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * Stephen Evans's superbly lucid book God and Moral Obligation provides one of the best overviews of the current debate on this matter that one could hope for. * John Cottingham, The TLS * God and Moral Obligation is a success in a number of respects. Evans writes clearly, even brightly, avoiding technical philosophical jargon whenever possible. He is admirably capacious in his readiness to bring together positions often deemed at odds with one another at the same time as he offers a vigorous defense of divine command theory against its challengers. * William Werpehowski, First Things * Evans is to be commended for having produced a valuable introduction to the topic of DCTs that also makes a significant contribution to the ongoing debate. ... The book will thus have strong appeal for students, and for many thoughtful people who are not professional philosophers as well as for those who are. * Mikel Burley, The Philosophical Quarterly *
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About C. Stephen Evans

C. Stephen Evans is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University.
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Rating details

16 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 31% (5)
4 62% (10)
3 6% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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