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Kierkegaard's Ethic of LoveDivine Commands and Moral Obligations$
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C. Stephen Evans

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199272174.001.0001

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Divine Commands as the Basis for Moral Obligation

Divine Commands as the Basis for Moral Obligation

Chapter:
(p.112) 5 Divine Commands as the Basis for Moral Obligation
Source:
Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love
Author(s):

C. Stephen Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199272174.003.0005

Divine command theory gives an account of obligation, specifically moral obligation. Any action God commands his human creatures to do is morally binding for them, and any action that is morally obligatory for humans has the status of being a moral obligation because God commands it. In Works of Love, Kierkegaard argues that our motivation to obey God is grounded in the special relationship we have with God – a relationship that begins with our birth and continues beyond our death. The grounds for God’s authority is not his power but his love, and God’s commands are not arbitrary but are rooted in God’s desire for human flourishing.

Keywords:   authority, divine commands, human flourishing, Kierkegaard, moral obligations, Works of Love

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