The Power to Make Others Worship

Religious Studies 48 (2):221 - 237 (2012)

Authors
Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College
Abstract
Can any being worthy of worship make others worship it? I think not. By way of an analogy to love, I argue that it is perfectly coherent to think that one could be made to worship. However, forcing someone to worship violates their autonomy, not because worship must be freely given, but because forced worship would be inauthentic—much like love earned through potions. For this reason, I argue that one cannot be made to worship properly; forced worship would be unfitting. My principal claim is that no being worthy of worship could exercise the power to make others worship it, since the act of making another worship would necessarily make one unworthy of worship.
Keywords worship  love  authenticity
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412511000175
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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