more from Richard Taylor

Single Idea 5066

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty]

Full Idea

Once people are declared to be images of God, just by virtue of minimal humanity, they have, therefore, no greater individual excellence to aspire to, and their purpose became one of obligation, that is, obedience to God's will.

Gist of Idea

If we are made in God's image, pursuit of excellence is replaced by duty to obey God


Richard Taylor (Virtue Ethics: an Introduction [2002], Ch.2)

Book Reference

Taylor,Richard: 'Virtue Ethics: an Introduction' [Prometheus 2002], p.8

A Reaction

An interesting and plausible historical analysis. There is a second motivation for the change, though, in Grotius's desire to develop a more legalistic morality, focusing on actions rather than character. Taylor's point is more interesting, though.