Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inferential Values

The theist must at some point simply define goodness in terms of God's will.

But, first, that breaks with all ordinary standards of meaning and morality, for there is no implicit reference to God in any ordinary use of moral terms.

And second, in this sense of goodness, obligation refers *only* to God's will. Therefore, spirituality is nothing more than the worship of infinite power.

Decent appeals to what creatures owe to God become covert statements of the brute facts of God's desire, along with perhaps some built-in expression of the speaker's prudent intention to stay in line, and suggestion that others would benefit from doing the same.

But what were thought to be expressions of grounded praise become mere repetition of similar facts. God being good means that God does whatever God wants to do.

--Heavily redacted. My version of Antony Flew, God: A Critical Inquiry, page 44-45, Section 2.46.