more from William of Ockham

Single Idea 8010

[catalogued under 28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality]

Full Idea

The most notable philosopher who makes God's commandment the basis of goodness, rather than God's goodness a reason for obeying him, is William of Occam.

Gist of Idea

William of Ockham is the main spokesman for God's commands being the source of morality


William of Ockham (works [1335]), quoted by Alasdair MacIntyre - A Short History of Ethics Ch.9

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'A Short History of Ethics' [Routledge 1967], p.119

A Reaction

Either view has problems. Why choose God to obey? Obey anyone who is powerful? But how do you decide that God is good? How do we know the nature of God's commands, or the nature of God's goodness? Etc.