more from Ralph Cudworth

Single Idea 6226

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

Full Idea

If it were not morally good and just in its own nature before any positive command of God, that God should be obeyed by his creatures, the bare will of God himself could not beget any obligation upon anyone.

Gist of Idea

The requirement that God must be obeyed must precede any authority of God's commands


Ralph Cudworth (On Eternal and Immutable Morality [1688], Ch.II.3)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.109

A Reaction

This strikes me as a self-evident truth, and a big problem for anyone who wants to make God the source of morality. You don't have to accept anyone's authority just because they are powerful or clever (though they do bestow a certain natural authority!).