One response is to say that God is subject to moral principles in the same way that he is subject to logical principles, which nearly all agree does not compromise his sovereignty See The Omnipotence Objection below.
That is, rather than incurring obligations by our own speech acts, Divine Command Theory tells us that we incur obligations by the communicative acts of another, namely, God. The divine command makes obligatory an action that would have been wrong apart from that command.
Once God does command it, truth telling is not only morally good, but it also becomes morally obligatory, on Divine Command Theory. According to Kant, we must believe that God exists because the requirements of morality are too much for us to bear.
In response, some of the issues raised above regarding autonomy are relevant. Edited by William Lane Craig and J. Once he has done this, he cannot arbitrarily decide what is good or bad for us, what will help or hinder us from functioning properly. Consider the act of making a promise. One response to this offered by Quinn is to claim that since theft involves taking what is not due one, and God commanded the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, their plunder of the Egyptians does not count as theft.
Moreover, according to Donagan, Autonomy thesis divine command theory if we conceive of morality as Aristotle did, namely, as a matter of virtue, it is quite natural to think that each virtue has as its counterpart some moral rule or precept.
On theism, we are held accountable for our actions by God. Christian Theism and the Problems of Philosophy. The last seven of the Ten Commandments do not belong to the natural law in the strictest sense.
However, two new problems now arise. A strong version of Divine Command Theory includes the claim that moral statements x is obligatory are defined in terms of theological statements x is commanded by God. Pious acts are made morally right because the gods love and approve those acts.
The first horn of the dilemma posed by Socrates to Euthyphro is that if an act is morally right because God commands it, then morality becomes arbitrary. Adams does not propose that it would be logically impossible for God to command cruelty, rather that it would be unthinkable for him to do so because of his nature.
If S promises R to do a, is this sufficient for S incurring an obligation to do a? Hence, the last seven commandments do belong to the natural law, but not in the strictest sense, as they belong to the natural law by rectitude rather than by definition.
General form[ edit ] Various forms of divine command theory have been presented by philosophers including William of OckhamSt AugustineDuns Scotusand John Calvin. In this paper Ryan Stringer provides several examples of such absurdities and defends them against potential objections.
Routledge, Kegan, and Paul. Augustine begins with the notion that ethics is the pursuit of the supreme good, which provides the happiness that all humans seek. Religious moral teachings have deeply influenced every society and culture. Although some of these questions lie beyond the scope of ethics, the concept of the greatest being possible can help us with these questions.
On a law conception of ethics, conformity with the virtues requires obeying the divine law. This allows a person to determine if God is good in the sense that most people understand good.
Life is purposeless in the larger sense, but in this more restricted sense it is not, and so things matter to us, even if God does not exist. Alston concludes that Divine Command Theory survives the first horn of the dilemma.
God never wills or acts in ways that conflict with his essential nature. The means by which we initially form our knowledge of the moral standard need not appeal directly either to God or to religion.
Morality depends on natural goals and values, but these, in turn, ultimately depend upon God, the creator of those goals and values. Contemporary secular ethical theories likewise maintain that morality is independent of God. Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics  As an alternative to divine command theory, Linda Zagzebski has proposed divine motivation theory, which still fits into a monotheistic framework.
We ought to love one another because God commands us to do so. The Euthyphro Dilemma The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro is nearly omnipresent in philosophical discussions of the relationship between God and ethics.
Here we have a conflict between the religious and the ethical.a dependency thesis theory that maintains that morally right acts are simply those that God commands or wills for us to do Principle of autonomy the third version of Kant's categorical imperative, this principle states that every person is equally a creator of the universal moral law; that is, that each person makes the moral law for herself.
Divine command theory (also known as theological voluntarism) is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by God.
The theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that for a person to be moral is to follow his commands. Divine command theory is widely held to be refuted by an argument known as “the Euthyphro dilemma”.
This argument is named after Plato’s Euthyphro dialogue, which contains the inspiration for the argument, though not, as is sometimes thought, the argument itself. The Euthyphro dilemma rests on a modernised version of the question asked by Socrates in the Euthyphro: “Are morally good.
Divine Command Theory And The Foundations Of Ethics Mark lan Thomas Robson The author defends a version of the Divine command theory of ethics. He distinguishes two main areas of criticism that are brought against such a conception: 1. The Divine command ethics compromises the autonomy of the moral agent and\or the autonomy of morality.
2. I do not believe in the divine or supernatural, so the divine command theory is directly out. However, the autonomy of ethics theory, which divorces morality from religion, also tries to divorce ethics from other areas of life, like aesthetics, where values are not set in stone and are subject to taste.
More recently Mark C. Murphy () has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the supervenience .Download