Antique scriptures are supposed to contradict modern autonomy, but they are also used as a source for ethics. Is this a contradiction? I suggest to understand any scripture as an indirect source that becomes meaningful in the light of other resources of morality, only. The article proposes to understand the bible as one of the empirical proxies of such a resource – the belief in the absent God. First, I conceptualize ethics as an investigation of world-view that leads us to act. In relation to biblical texts we have to ask how moral options come alive. Ethics cannot use scriptures to give reasons for our action, but it will investigate how convictions about the truth determine the direction of moral thought. Provided that moral issues follow our world-view, the key point for theological ethics is the reconstruction of an image of God. While God the Almighty will endanger our autonomy, the man on the cross will not do so. Hence, biblical ethics need to share the antique testimony of the presence of God with the modern idea of his absence as a source for morality.
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