The Power to Make Others Worship

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

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Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College

Citations of this work

Worship and Veneration.Brandon Warmke & Craig Warmke - forthcoming - In Aaron Segal & Samuel Lebens (eds.), The Philosophy of Worship: Divine and Human Aspects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.

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