Divine Command Theory


Divine Command Theory - Plato

Ethuphro - 'what's holy is whatever all hods approve of, and that its opposite, what all the god's disapprove of, is unholy' - Socrates - 'is the holy approve by the fods beacuase its holy or is it holy beacuse it's approves'- Socrates is asking whether whether God commands things because they are good in themselves or are things good because God commands and approves them

Divine command theory, also known as theological volunatrism, proposed that God has established eternal, objective principles of principle

'the standard of right and wrong is the will or law of God'

Right or wrong are objective truths based on God's will and command - if god were to command things because they are good, then this suggests there is a standard of goodness independent of God -

Divine command theory proposes that the ethical template for what is good orginates with god and cannot be external from God

'They are the commandments which God, gives, the laws which he lays down'

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Robert Adams' modified Divine Command Theory

Frankea - 'if God were to order the exact opposite of what we generally take him to ahve ordered or of what we take to be right, then, by the hypothesis in question, this would be what we ought to God'

Major issue with DCT is that it leads any ethical system to be abrittrary

Adams argued that because morality is grounded in the character of God, who is perfectly good, then God's comamnds were rooted in God's characters - the situation which Frenkea is suggesting would not be possible because God is too holy and too morally sound

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Challenges to DCT

Morality is abritrarry if it is down to the command of a divine being

If god decides upon what is good then does this suggest God does this becaues they are rigth and good indepdent of God

Baggini - 'this does not seem to worl, however, because the dilemma can just be restated'

Different religions and morality around the world - problems indentifying a unified ethical system within one religion

convertsial aspects fo conflict when a small minority group within a religion does something different - some christians still condemn homosexuality

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