Lecture Series on "Natural Law" – Natural Law and Divine Command Theory: A Synthesis



The Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy will hold a Public Lecture titled “ Natural Law and Divine Command Theory: A Synthesis” on the 10th June 2021.

Covid-19 impacts our life and world dramatically. Scientists claim, that this situation might have been caused – among other factors – by a wrong treatment of nature by humans. Did nature put its brakes on to correct human behavior? Can we humans discover in nature how to act correctly? Does nature help us to get to know what to do? Philosophically speaking, should actions follow our being (agere sequitur esse), and is ethics fundamentally hooked up with reality and ontology? (bonum et verum convertuntur). Does the “ought” follow from the “is”, and should human life and societies comply with how things are?

After overcoming the mechanistic reductionism of the “natural fallacy”, which denies “value judgments” originating from “is” or facts, this Lecture Series attempts to trace back question of “natural goodness” (Philippa Foot), morals and good actions “in accord with reason” (S. Thomas Aquinas, S.Th. I-II.21.1.; ST I-II, 90.1). The philosophical and catholic tradition calls this the morality of the “natural law”. The lectures shed light on development and relevance of Natural Law from different philosophical and theological angles.

About the Talk:

The minimal divine command thesis is roughly that our moral duties are grounded in God’s commands. Traditionally, divine command theory has been seen as a competitor to natural law theory. Natural Law theory is made up of the following two tenets: (1) Morality is objective and (2) Morality can be derived from human nature. In this lecture, I synthesize the two moral theories and argue that both theories have much to gain by being synthesized.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Tyler Dalton McNabb is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau. Dr. McNabb is the author of Religious Epistemology (CUP), Co-author of Plantingian Religious Epistemology and World Religions(Lexington), and co-editor and contributor of Debating Christian Religious Epistemology: Five Views on the Knowledge of God. Dr. McNabb has also authored/co-authored over a dozen articles that have been featured in journals such as Religious StudiesEuropean Journal of Philosophy of ReligionOpen TheologyHeythrop Journal, and Philosophia Christi.


Date: 10 June 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/99141333673?pwd=WlNGV3lkZDlRZzBmd2xYazd3ME5ndz09
Meeting ID: 991 4133 3673
Passcode: 094308

Organised by: Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Saint Joseph

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*This Public Lecture will be conducted in English