Divine Command

In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell (2013)
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Abstract

Divine Command defends the thesis that what makes something morally obligatory is that God commands it, and what makes something morally forbidden is that God forbids it. John E. Hare successfully defends a version of divine command theory, but also shows that there is considerable overlap with some versions of natural law theory. Hare engages with a number of Christian theologians, most especially Karl Barth, and extends into a discussion of divine command within Judaism and Islam. The work concludes by examining recent work in evolutionary psychology, and argues that thinking of our moral obligations as produced by divine command offers us some help in seeing how a moral conscience could develop in a way that is evolutionarily stable

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