the divine command theory

  • Created by: EmilySh02
  • Created on: 07-02-19 09:20
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  • divine command theory
    • Plato wrote a dialogue called Euthyphro, in which Euthyphro is taking his father to court, charging him with murder
      • his father failed in care and attention and allowed a worker to die.
      • Socrates, a philosopher, is at the court awaiting his own trial, and so he engages Euthyphro in dialogue about moral goodness.
        • in the dialogue Socrates poses the question that has become known as the Euthyphro dilemma
          • 'is the holy approved by the gods because it's holy, or is it holy because it is approved?'
            • in other words, Socrates is asking whether god commands things because they are good in themselves, or are they good because god commands and approves them?
              • basically, does good exist independently, and separate from approval, or does good exist as a consequence of it being approved?
    • divine command theory proposes that god has established eternal, objective principles of morality
    • if god were to command things because they are good, then this implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of god.
      • this would mean that god is no longer the creator of everything
        • there would be a standard of values outside of his control and creativity.
    • the idea of a divine command theory is a requirement of god's omnipotence


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