The Morality System with and without God

van den Beld, Ton
December 2001
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Dec2001, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p383
Academic Journal
What I set out to do is to cast some doubt on the thesis that, in Bernard Williams's words, any appeal to God in morality "either adds nothing at all, or it adds the wrong sort of thing". A first conclusion is that a morality of real, inescapable and (sometimes) for the agent costly obligations, while being at home in a theistic metaphysic, does not sit easily with metaphysical, atheistic naturalism. The second conclusion is that Christine Korsgaard's impressive ethical project which is neutral towards theism and atheism fails in giving a satisfying account of such obligations. My final claim is that a theistic account in terms of a strong divine command theory might succeed where non- and atheistic accounts seem to founder.


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