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Quaestiones Disputatae

Volume 5, Issue 1, Fall 2014

Selected Papers: Must Morality be Grounded in God?

Christopher Tollefsen
Pages 47-60

Morality and God

This paper has three parts; in the first, I look at the question, recently dis­cussed by Mark Murphy, of the role that God plays as an explainer of moral­ity. I argue for a form of explanation that is different from Murphy’s, though I wonder whether there is disagreement here, or simply difference of empha­sis. In the second part, I ask what difference Christianity—and specifically the idea that the Kingdom of heaven is our natural ultimate end—makes to us, as practical and moral agents. I will argue that it makes both a moti­vational and a substantive difference. In the third part I will ask about the way normativity is related to God’s communication of normative matters to us, and I will do this specifically by asking what kinds of speech acts God engages in in communicating normative matters to us. The standard view is that God communicates to us in commands; however, I will suggest some other possibilities.

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