Updated July 2019
“God is Necessary to be Good” by Douglas R McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
With Index to Footnote Themes
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Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies
August 2, 2018
God is Necessary to be Good!
This paper proposes that, although one best avoid invoking an anthropomorphic deity, belief in God is, nonetheless, a necessary assumption for the exercising of humanity’s moral capacity. This invokes the notion of the “good,” which will be parsed according to an amoral, a categorical, and a hypothetical good that grounds (or is necessary for) autonomous freedom’s ability to intentionally initiate sequences of events that, otherwise, nature on its own cannot accomplish, which, in turn, makes moral effort possible. Denial of this set of themes is, of course, conceivable, but methodological skepticism’s Copernican Turn points out that such scoffing amounts to misanthropy.