Divine Command Theory

View mindmap
  • Divine Command Theory
    • Euthyphro Dilemma
      • Plato's dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro as he takes his father to court for murder... "Is the holy approved by God because it is holy, or is it holy because it is approved by God?"
    • The Divine Command Theory itself suggests that God establishes principles of morality.
      • Baggini- "God sets the moral rules and they apply to all"
    • Issues with DCT
      • If option A, God commands things BECAUSE they are good, then this implies an external standard of goodness. -How can God be the creator of everything if there is something beyond God's control? This suggests he lacks omnipotence which is supposedly a part of his character
    • Modified Divine Command Theory
      • Robert Adams: Argued that because morality is a part of the character of God (who is perfectly good) then his commands reflect this= good.
        • Morality cannot be arbitrary (based of God's random decisions) because it is linked to his omnibenevolent nature- so goodness CANNOT exist externally from God
  • Two options: 1) Things exist as 'good' independently from God and so God approves them              2) Things become good because God commands them to be- as a consequence of his approval
  • JAT Robinson- "They are commandments which God gives... They come directly from Heaven"
  • If something is good because God willed it to be, then can God will something to be good what we consider to be evil?
    • Baggini- "Christian texts seem to provide evidence that is precisely what God has done"
      • Relates to William of Ockham who argues that God can perform evil acts (according to common law) but "without involving any evil"
        • Eg. Drowned 20 million for being evil in Genesis 6:7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Philosophy resources:

See all Philosophy resources »See all Plato resources »