Morality, Inescapable Rational Authority, and a God's Wishes

Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):454-474 (2015)
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It is a supposed conceptual truth about moral norms that we have reason to comply with them even if we desire not to. This combination of rational authority and inescapability is thought to be incompatible with instrumentalism about practical reason. This essay argues that there are ways in which norms with inescapable rational authority can exist alongside instrumentalism about practical reason. One way involves positing an afterlife and a powerful supernatural agency—so, a kind of god—who has total control over our welfare in that afterlife. I go on to argue that the attitudes of this god would also provide something answering to our impressions of moral desert



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Gerald K. Harrison
Massey University

Citations of this work

Moral Normativity: Naturalism vs. Theism.Ferhat Yöney - 2023 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 93 (1):3-23.

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References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
A defense of abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.

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