College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies (MA)
Divine command theory, Ethics, God, Theological Utilitarianism, Utilitarianism, Utility
Arts and Humanities | Ethics in Religion | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Lewis, Jimmy, "Divine Utilitarianism" (2017). Masters Theses. 457.
This work addresses the subject of God and ethics and aims to answer questions concerning why God does what he does and whether God is a utilitarian in his ethics. In order to answer these questions, God’s nature is explored through the lens of classical theists such as Anselm, Thomas of Aquin, and Augustine. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill’s conceptions of utilitarianism are also explicated so that there is no confusion regarding the definition of utility which is used in Divine Utilitarianism. Finally, Divine Utilitarianism is juxtaposed to Divine Command Theory and the explanatory power of each is considered. Ultimately, the thesis concludes that God is a utilitarian in his ethics in that he desires and acts to bring about the greatest good (relationship with himself) for as many human beings as possible.