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The Coherence of TheismSecond Edition$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779698.001.0001

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Perfectly Good and a Source of Moral Obligation

Perfectly Good and a Source of Moral Obligation

(p.200) 11 Perfectly Good and a Source of Moral Obligation
The Coherence of Theism

Richard Swinburne

Oxford University Press

I understand moral goodness as overall goodness. Fundamental moral principles are logically necessary truths discoverable by reflective equilibrium, and do not depend on the will of God. God is perfectly good, since he knows all fundamental moral principles and is subject to no non-rational influences deterring him from conforming to them. One of those fundamental principles is that beneficiaries have obligations to fulfil any conditions under which they accepted a gift from a benefactor. In consequence God, who gave us life subject to the condition that we obey his commands, has the right to command us to do many actions; and his commands make those actions obligatory (and his commendations of actions make those actions supererogatorily good).

Keywords:   divine commands, Euthyphro dilemma, God, moral principles, perfect goodness, reflective equilibrium

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