Docstoc

Divine Command Theory of Moral Obligation

Document Sample
Divine Command Theory of Moral Obligation Powered By Docstoc
					               Divine Command Theory of Moral Obligation

Divine Command Theory (DCT): Whatever God permits, prohibits, or commands
                         is right, wrong, or obligatory respectively (p. 69)

   Which “God”?

          “God” is assumed to refer to the Judeo-Christian God, who is
          conceived as the Supreme Being who is Creator of the Universe.
          - Muslims attribute to Allah many of the same characteristics that
             Christians and Jews attribute to “God.”


Argument for the DCT—

   1. God is perfectly good.
   2. If God is perfectly good, then God would not permit, prohibit, command
      anything unless it were right, wrong, or obligatory respectively.
   3. Therefore, God would not permit, prohibit, or command anything unless it
      were right, wrong, or obligatory respectively.
   4. If God would not permit, prohibit, or command anything unless it were
      right, wrong, or obligatory respectively, then whatever God permits,
      prohibits, or commands is right, wrong, or obligatory respectively.
   Therefore, the DCT is true.

   Is this a convincing argument? What are possible objections?


Dilemma for Proponents of the DCT—

   Either
       1. God commands what is right because it is right
   Or
       2. What is right is right because God commands it. (p. 70)


Implications of 1:
    Right/wrong exist independently of God.
    Therefore, God is constrained by the moral law.
    Therefore, God’s power and/or perfection are limited.
    Therefore, God did not create the moral law and thus did not create
       everything.
Implications of 2:
    Anything could conceivably turn out to be right—e.g., torturing children.
    God is the creator of morality itself; therefore, God is not subject to the
       rules of morality.
    Since God is not subject to the rules of morality, God’s actions are neither
       right nor wrong.
    Since god’s actions are neither right nor wrong, it makes no sense to say
       that God is morally good.


Argument against the DCT—
   1. If the DCT is true, then either (1) God commands actions because they are
      right or (2) actions are right because God commands them.
   2. In either case—(1) or (2)—the implications are unacceptable.
   Therefore, the DCT is false.


Other Problems with the DCT—
    It is difficult to know what God’s commands are. (E.g., which
       religion/denomination is the true religion/denomination?)
    Some of God’s commands appear to conflict with each other—e.g., God’s
       commandment not to kill and God’s supporting certain groups of people in
       war (e.g., battle of Jericho)

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:23
posted:8/27/2010
language:English
pages:2
Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
About Some of Those documents come from internet for research purpose,if you have the copyrights of one of them,tell me by mail vixychina@gmail.com.Thank you!