Monday, July 18, 2011

In Light Of Recent Discussions Here At Fear And Loathing In Georgetown

...FLG found this article extremely fascinating.

Here are a couple of excerpts:
There can be no human dignity, no inviolable person, no end in herself, without the supposition of the human as sacred, and therefore as a godly creation.

There is no meaning to human rights under divine commandment. A deep acceptance of divine authority — and that is what true religion demands — entails a renunciation of human rights if God so wills.


Alpheus said...

I only skimmed the article, because I don't have much of an appetite for this kind of discussion. But the second excerpt seems to me to be misguided. If we literally dwell within God, as many Christian theologians have claimed, then our moral status depends more on the divine nature than on the divine will. The question is whether one sees God as capricious tyrant or transcendent principle.

FLG said...


I think William's take on it pretty much sums it up:
"Well, maybe we can't account for human rights as well as you religious folk can, but at least we can be fanatically and totally devoted to them!"

I just found it interesting given the back and forth between Andrew and Withywindle and, to a lesser extent, myself.

Actually, perhaps less interesting, than it seemed timely to me.

But there's some question of whether we have rights if we are compelled by some higher power to do this or that. Maybe that hinges upon the capricious tyrant question or maybe it doesn't.

Is the issue the master's benevolence or the mastery itself?

Andrew Stevens said...

My moral philosophy has an easier time accounting for human rights than Divine Command Theory. If we ground rights in God's nature rather than God's will, the two philosophies would be roughly equivalent. If you ground them in God's nature instead, it seems to me that it's roughly equivalent to my realism about moral values. If a theist who believed the God's nature theory wished to understand my philosophy (and only understood his own), I would probably describe it as "God's nature exists, but it is stripped of the superfluity of a personality" (and so isn't called God's nature any more, since a god without a personality isn't a god at all).

Andrew Stevens said...

By the by, I didn't care for the article.

I do want to point out that the author does not make the claim from your first excerpt. The next line is "There is, however, no philosophically robust reason to accept this claim." I don't know if you realized this or not, but the way you've dropped it in out of context makes it quite misleading.

FLG said...


I know it was misleading, but the juxtaposition created the illusion of conflict.

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