is goodness a thing

by Andrea Elizabeth

Agatha Christie’s “Mystery of the Blue Jar” (pardon the over-enunciation in this recording) has an intriguing opinion by the self-professed “doctor of souls”. He doesn’t believe in ghosts or communicative spirits of the departed, but that blind justice gropes to find resolution.  This brings to mind, despite the twist in the ending, Divine Command Theory, which I just heard about on Facebook. According to my Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, DCT addresses whether there is ontological virtue, such as justice, or if goodness is solely based on obedience to God’s, what could be considered, arbitrary commands. Atheists claim to have a handle on virtue without listening to God, but Kierkegaard has an interesting take on it:

“Many Christians find divine command ethics attractive because the ethics of love advocated in the Gospels makes love the subject of a command. Matthew 22:37-40 records Jesus as saying that we are commanded to love God and the neighbor. According to Kierkegaard, there are two reasons to suppose that Christian love of neighbor must be an obligation imposed by divine command: first, only an obligatory love can be sufficiently extensive to embrace everyone, even one’s enemies; second, only an obligatory love can be invulnerable to changes in its objects, a love that alters not when it alteration finds.”