Monday, September 25, 2006

Swinburne, Morality, and God

I know most of us will probably be too far away to attend this lecture. But I thought of posting it anyway for those interested in keeping up with Swinburne's apologetics.

Professor Richard Swinburne will be delivering a lecture this Thurs at Old College, University of Edinburgh, entitled, "Morality and God." Based at Oxford University, Swinburne is arguably one of the foremost modern Christian apologist, arguing in his many books and articles that the Christian faith is rational and coherent in a rigorously philosophical sense.

Here's the lecture abstract:

"The existence of God would make no difference to the fact that there are moral truths. It is obligatory to keep your promises and tell the truth; and good to feed the starving and educate the illiterate - even if there is no God. But the existence of God makes a great difference to what are the moral truths. Because he created us from nothing and keeps us in being with all the good things of life, God is our supreme benefactor. We have limited obligations to human benefactors; and so very great obligations to our supreme benefactor. Hence he can command us to do many actions which otherwise would not be obligatory; and his command will make them obligatory. He may also command us to do actions which are obligatory anyway, and his command will make doing those actions doubly obligatory. He may also inform us about what are the moral truths (e.g about euthanasia and abortion) which do not depend on his will, but which we are too biased or stupid to discover. Among his reasons for creating new moral obligations are to make us naturally inclined to do good actions (even when otherwise they would not be obligatory), and so to form a holy character."

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