Authors
Matthew Shea
University of Scranton
Abstract
A serious challenge to religious believers in the Abrahamic traditions is that the God of the Old Testament seems to command immoral actions. Thomas Aquinas addresses this objection using the biblical story of God ordering the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, which threatens to create an inconsistency among four of Aquinas’s views: God did indeed command this action; God is perfectly good and cannot command any evil actions; the objective moral goodness or badness of actions is not based on arbitrary divine commands; and the prohibition of theft is an immutable principle of the natural moral law. I examine Aquinas’s views on metaethics, stealing, justice, property, and collective responsibility to show that there is not a genuine inconsistency in his position, and that his strategy provides a helpful model for responding to the objection from divinely-sanctioned evil.
Keywords Philosophy and Religion  History of Philosophy  Catholic Tradition
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Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq201831146
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Five Problems for the Moral Consensus About Sins.Mike Ashfield - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-33.

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