In a number of recent works, Nicholas Wolterstorff defends the claim that human rights inhere in the dignity of every human. He further contends that the explanation of this dignity cannot be found in the intrinsic features of humans; rather, the only plausible explanation for human dignity is that it is bestowed upon humans by God’s love. In this paper, I argue that Wolterstorff’s theory concerning the ground of human dignity falls prey to something quite similar to the classic Euthyphro dilemma: either God must love every existing human in a dignity-bestowing manner or he need not, and either option is problematic. If the former, then whatever it is about humans that ensures God’s love can reasonably be thought to be the independent source of human dignity and/or rights, thereby leaving us without cause to appeal to God’s love for the explanation of this dignity. If the latter, the implication is that moral statements which appear to be necessarily true are only contingently so. Wolterstorff’s theory will thus require substantial modification, or else abandonment
Keywords Rights  Dignity  God and morality  Wolterstorff
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-014-9460-7
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References found in this work BETA

Justice: Rights and Wrongs.Nicholas Wolterstorff - 2010 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Against Wolterstorff's Theistic Attempt to Ground Human Rights.David Redmond - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):127-134.

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