A Moral Argument Against Absolute Authority of the Torah

Sophia 60 (2):307-329 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this article, I will argue against the Orthodox Jewish view that the Torah should be treated as an absolute authority. I begin with an explanation of what it means to treat something as an absolute authority. I then review examples of norms in the Torah that seem clearly immoral. Next, I explore reasons that people may have for accepting a person, text, or tradition as an absolute authority in general. I argue that none of these reasons can justify absolute authority if the authority prescribes norms that we strongly judge to be immoral. I then respond to three objections to my argument. I end with a note explaining why, contrary to a popular trend, the narrative of the binding of Isaac is not a good place to start this discussion.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-10-16

Downloads
911 (#16,477)

6 months
158 (#22,588)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Dan Baras
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
.R. G. Swinburne - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 27 references / Add more references