This blog’s Matthew Flannagan has had his paper “Divine Commands and Biblical Authority: The Problem of Gen 22” accepted for the National Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (“EPS”). The abstract for Matt’s paper is as follows:
“One perennial objection to divine command meta-ethics is the possibility that God might command something abhorrent. Divine command theorists have responded that God is essentially good, as such, it is impossible for him to issue an abhorrent command. One challenge to this response, for those divine command theorists who accept a robust view of biblical authority, is the story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22. In this story God is said to have commanded human sacrifice; given that human sacrifice is abhorrent, and it is impossible for God to command the abhorrent, Biblical authority seems incompatible with the acceptance of a divine command theory.
This paper responds to this challenge. First, I will argue that a careful reading of Genesis 22 in its literary context suggests God issued the command in a particular context. Second, drawing from discussions of the problem by Robert Adams Immanuel Kant, and Philip Quinn, I will discuss the circumstances under which a divine command theorist can rationally and coherently attribute a seemingly immoral command to an essentially loving and just God. I will argue that the context of God’s command in Genesis 22 is such that a divine command theorist can defensibly attribute it to an essentially good God without abandoning a robust view of biblical authority; the story of the binding of Isaac does not provide a divine command theorist with a defeater for belief in biblical authority.”
Matt has also had a paper accepted for the Evangelical Theological Society’s Annual Meeting which is also in Baltimore around the same time – see Matt to speak at the 2013 Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore on Feticide.
As with previous years we will be fundraising to raise the $2,500 NZD to get him there . Donations greatly appreciated.