THE OBJECTIVITY OF OBLIGATIONS IN DIVINE MOTIVATION THEORY: On Imitation and Submission
Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
© 2012 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 504–517, September 2012
How to Cite
Johnson, D. M. (2012), THE OBJECTIVITY OF OBLIGATIONS IN DIVINE MOTIVATION THEORY: On Imitation and Submission. Journal of Religious Ethics, 40: 504–517. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2012.00533.x
- Issue published online: 23 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
- divine motivation theory;
- divine command theory;
- moral obligation
To support her divine motivation theory of the good, which seeks to ground ethics in motives and emphasize the attractiveness of morality over against the compulsion of morality, Linda Zagzebski has proposed an original account of obligations which grounds them in motives. I argue that her account renders obligations objectionably person-relative and that the most promising way to avoid my criticism is to embrace something quite close to a divine command theory of obligation. This requires her to combine her desired emphasis on the imitation of God with a contrasting emphasis on submission to God. I conclude that her divine motivation theory of the good, if it is to have an adequate account of obligation, is dependent on a divine will or divine command theory of obligation.