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Responsibility and Atonement$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 1989

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198248490.001.0001

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Morality Under God

Morality Under God

Chapter:
(p.121) 8 Morality Under God
Source:
Responsibility and Atonement
Author(s):

Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198248490.003.0009

The second part of this book (Chs. 8–12) applies the results of its first part about moral responsibility to traditional Christian doctrines. I assume that there is a God of the traditional kind who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, was crucified and rose from the dead; and then ask what follows about our moral responsibility to God, and his to us. This chapter argues that the command or commendation of God can change the moral status of some but not all actions, making them good or obligatory, bad or wrong, when they would not otherwise be so. (Hence it takes a compromise position on the Euthyphro dilemma.) God does not issue commands that cover the whole of our lives, although he does make it supererogatorily good for us to use our lives in certain ways; and only those who do so use their lives will attain salvation. It is good to hope for one's own salvation.

Keywords:   Aquinas, Augustine, divine command, Euthyphro dilemma, Luther, moral responsibility, salvation, supererogation

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