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  1. Be a Good Person, Not That Theocratic Way.Pouya Lotfi Yazdi - manuscript
    In this article, first of all, I (Hereafter: the writer)1 will concur counterexampleobjection against divine command theory and present New Humanism as an example of it. In addition, the writer will argue if one imagines none of objections -for example the counterexample objection- does not work against divine command theory, and then, a theocratic government applies divine command theory, thus, the theocracy will struggle in a problem that the writer calls Inapplicability Problem Argument.
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  2. Maitzen’s Objection From God’s Goodness.Philipp Kremers - forthcoming - Sophia:1-18.
    Stephen Maitzen argues that divine command metaethics must be mistaken because it is committed to the implausible assumption that the sentence ‘God is (morally) good’ is a tautology. In this article, I show that a charitable interpretation of R. M. Adams’ version of divine command metaethics is not committed to accept this assumption. I conclude that Maitzen’s objection merely manages to refute a strawman version of divine command metaethics.
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  3. The Muʿtazila's Arguments Against Divine Command Theory.Hashem Morvarid - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    The Muʿtazilī theologians, particularly the later Imāmī ones, developed numerous interesting arguments against divine command theory. The arguments, however, have not received the attention they deserve. Some of the arguments have been discussed in passing, and some have not been dis-cussed at all. In this article, I aim to present and analyse the arguments. To that end, I first distinguish between different semantic, ontological, epistemological, and theological theses that were often conflated in the debate, and examine the logical relation among (...)
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  4. The Psychopath Objection to Divine Command Theory.Matthew Alexander Flannagan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (3).
    : Recently, Erik Wielenberg has developed a novel objection to divine command meta-ethics. The objection that DCM "has the implausible implication that psychopaths have no moral obligations and hence their evil acts, no matter how evil, are morally permissible". This article criticizes Wielenberg's argument. Section 1 will expound Wielenberg's new "psychopath" argument in the context of the recent debate over the Promulgation Objection. Section 2 will discuss two ambiguities in the argument; in particular, Wielenberg’s formulation is ambiguous between whether Wielenberg (...)
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  5. William of Ockham: Questions on Goodness, Virtue, and the Will.Eric W. Hagedorn (ed.) - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    In the twenty-seven questions translated in this volume, most never before published in English, William of Ockham considers a host of theological and philosophical issues, including the nature of virtue and vice, the relationship between the intellect and the will, the scope of human freedom, the possibility of God's creating a better world, the role of love and hatred in practical reasoning, whether God could command someone to do wrong, and more.
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  6. What If God Commanded Something Horrible? A Pragmatics-Based Defence of Divine Command Metaethics.Philipp Kremers - 2021 - Religious Studies 57 (4):597–617.
    The objection of horrible commands claims that divine command metaethics is doomed to failure because it is committed to the extremely counterintuitive assumption that torture of innocents, rape, and murder would be morally obligatory if God commanded these acts. Morriston, Wielenberg, and Sinnott-Armstrong have argued that formulating this objection in terms of counterpossibles is particularly forceful because it cannot be simply evaded by insisting on God’s necessary perfect moral goodness. I show that divine command metaethics can be defended even against (...)
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  7. Al-Ghazālī's Divine Command Theory.Shoaib Ahmed Malik - 2021 - Journal of Religious Ethics 49 (3):546-576.
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  8. The Tension Between Divine Command Theory and Utilitarianism in Mozi and George Berkeley: A Comparison.Michael Hemmingsen - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (3):740-756.
    Mozi and George Berkeley are philosophers who are not often put into conversation. However, I argue that comparing them can shed some light on the relationship between certain philosophical positions and their resulting moral philosophies. Specifically, I will draw attention to the way that their lack of interest in an appearance-reality distinction and in "essence" gives rise to a tension between consequentialism and divine command theory. These similarities exist despite the fact that Mozi and Berkeley otherwise have quite distinct views. (...)
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  9. The Prior Obligations Objection to Theological Stateism.Frederick Choo - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (3):372-384.
    Theological stateist theories, the most well-known of which is Divine Command Theory (DCT), ground our moral obligations directly in some state of God. The prior obligations objection poses a challenge to theological stateism. Is there a moral obligation to obey God’s commands? If no, it is hard to see how God’s commands can generate any moral obligations for us. If yes, then what grounds this prior obligation? To avoid circularity, the moral obligation must be grounded independent of God’s commands; and (...)
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  10. In Defence of the Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Theory.John Danaher - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):381-400.
    Divine command theories come in several different forms but at their core all of these theories claim that certain moral statuses exist in virtue of the fact that God has commanded them to exist. Several authors argue that this core version of the DCT is vulnerable to an epistemological objection. According to this objection, DCT is deficient because certain groups of moral agents lack epistemic access to God’s commands. But there is confusion as to the precise nature and significance of (...)
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  11. Fortifying the Petard.Adam Lloyd Johnson - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):357-363.
    Erik Wielenberg argued that William Lane Craig’s attack against nontheistic ethical models is detrimental to Craig’s Divine Command Theory as follows: Craig claims it is unacceptable for ethical models to include logically necessary connections without providing an explanation of why such connections hold. Yet Craig posits certain logically necessary connections without providing an explanation of them. Wielenberg concluded that “Craig is hoisted by his own petard.” In this paper I respond to Wielenberg’s criticism by clarifying, and elaborating on, the DCT. (...)
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  12. What Should Theists Say About Constructivist Positions in Metaethics?Christian Miller - 2018 - In Kevin Jung (ed.), Religious Ethics and Constructivism: A Metaethical Inquiry. New York: Routledge. pp. 82-103.
    Constructivist positions in meta-ethics are on the rise in recent years. Similarly, there has been a flurry of activity amongst theistic philosophers examining the relationship between God and normative facts. But so far as I am aware, these two literatures have almost never intersected with each other. Constructivists have said very little about God, and theists working on religious ethics have said very little about constructivist views in meta-ethics. In this paper, I draw some connections between the two literatures, and (...)
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  13. Aquinas on God-Sanctioned Stealing.Matthew Shea - 2018 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 92 (2):277-293.
    A serious challenge to religious believers in the Abrahamic traditions is that the God of the Old Testament seems to command immoral actions. Thomas Aquinas addresses this objection using the biblical story of God ordering the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, which threatens to create an inconsistency among four of Aquinas’s views: God did indeed command this action; God is perfectly good and cannot command any evil actions; the objective moral goodness or badness of actions is not based on arbitrary (...)
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  14. Divine Command Theory and Moral Supervenience.Blake McAllister - 2016 - Philosophia Christi 18 (1):65-78.
    Mark Murphy argues that the property identity version of divine command theory, coupled with the doctrine that God has freedom in commanding, violates the supervenience of the moral on the nonmoral. In other words, they permit two situations exactly alike in nonmoral facts to differ in moral facts. I give three arguments to show that a divine command theorist of this sort can consistently affirm moral supervenience. Each argument contends that there are always nonmoral differences between worlds with different divine (...)
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  15. In Defense of a Supernatural Foundation to Morality: Reply to Shermer.Christian Miller - 2016 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:91-96.
    In my original paper, I claimed that our moral obligations are real, objective, and grounded in the supernatural. In particular, I endorsed the claim that God's will is the basis or source of our moral obligations, where “God” is to be understood as the theistic being who is omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent, who created the universe, and who is still actively involved in the universe after creating it. In his critical article, Michael Shermer has raised a number of important challenges (...)
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  16. Morality is Real, Objective, and Supernatural.Christian Miller - 2016 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:74-82.
    This paper is part of a six paper exchange with Michael Shermer. Section one explains how “God” is meant to be understood. Section two then introduces the position that morality depends in some way upon God. Section three turns to some of the leading arguments for this view. Finally, we will conclude with the most powerful challenge to this approach, namely what has come to be called the Euthyphro Dilemma.
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  17. On Shermer On Morality.Christian Miller - 2016 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:63-68.
    This paper is part of a six paper exchange with Michael Shermer. This is my critical commentary on Michael Shermer's paper “Morality is real, objective, and natural.” Shermer and I agree that morality is both real and objective. Here I raise serious reservations about both Shermer's account of where morality comes from and his account of what morality tells us to do. His approach to the foundations of morality would allow some very disturbing behaviors to count as moral, and his (...)
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  18. The Moral Animal: Virtue, Vice, and Human Nature.Christian Miller, Berlin Heather & Shermer Michael - 2016 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:39-56.
    Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, moderated a discussion with philosopher Christian Miller, neuroscientist Heather Berlin, and historian of science Michael Shermer to examine our moral ecology and its influence on our underlying assumptions about human nature.
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  19. Counterpossibles and the ‘Terrible’ Divine Command Deity.Richard Brian Davis & W. Paul Franks - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (1):1-19.
    In a series of articles, Wes Morriston has launched what can only be considered a full-scale assault on the divine command theory (DCT) of morality. According to Morriston, proponents of this theory are committed to an alarming counterpossible: that if God did command an annual human sacrifice, it would be morally obligatory. Since only a ‘terrible’ deity would do such a ‘terrible’ thing, we should reject DCT. Indeed, if there were such a deity, the world would be a terrible place—certainly (...)
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  20. God and Moral Obligation. By C. Stephen Evans. [REVIEW]William M. Diem - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):170-173.
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  21. Accountability and Parenthood in Locke's Theological Ethics.Daniel Layman - 2014 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 31 (2):101-118.
    According to John Locke, the conditions of human happiness establish the content of natural law, but God’s commands make it morally binding. This raises two questions. First, why does moral obligation require an authority figure? Second, what gives God authority? I argue that, according to Locke, moral obligation requires an authority figure because to have an obligation is to be accountable to someone. I then argue that, according to Locke, God has a kind of parental authority inasmuch as he is (...)
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  22. Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism, and Divine Commands.Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (2):77-96.
    Over the last twenty-five years skeptical theism has become one of the leading contemporary responses to the atheological argument from evil. However, more recently, some critics of skeptical theism have argued that the skeptical theists are in fact unwittingly committed to a malignant form of moral skepticism. Several skeptical theists have responded to this critique by appealing to divine commands as a bulwark against the alleged threat of moral skepticism. In this paper we argue that the skeptical theists’ appeal to (...)
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  23. Is Ethical Naturalism More Plausible Than Supernaturalism? A Reply to Walter Sinnott-Armstrong.Matthew Flannagan - 2012 - Philo 15 (1):19-37.
    In many of his addresses and debates, William Lane Craig has defended a Divine Command Theory of moral obligation (DCT). In a recent article and subsequent monograph, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has criticized Craig’s position.1 Armstrong contended that a DCT is subject to several devastating objections and further contended that even if theism is true a particular form of ethical naturalism is a more plausible account of the nature of moral obligations than a DCT is. This paper critiques Armstrong’s argument. I will (...)
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  24. Can God’s Goodness Save the Divine Command Theory From Euthyphro?Jeremy Koons - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):177-195.
    Recent defenders of the divine command theory like Adams and Alston have confronted the Euthyphro dilemma by arguing that although God’s commands make right actions right, God is morally perfect and hence would never issue unjust or immoral commandments. On their view, God’s nature is the standard of moral goodness, and God’s commands are the source of all obligation. I argue that this view of divine goodness fails because it strips God’s nature of any features that would make His goodness (...)
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  25. Problems for Moral/Natural Supervenience: DAVID E. ALEXANDER.David E. Alexander - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (1):73-84.
    ???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...)
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  26. Problems for Moral/Natural Supervenience.David E. Alexander - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (1):73 - 84.
    'Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features' (Smith (1994), 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality (DCT) is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, (...)
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  27. On Good Advice: A Reply to McNaughton and Rawling.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):506-508.
  28. Islamic Ethics: Divine Command Theory in Arabo-Islamic Thought.Mariam Attar - 2010 - Routledge.
    This book explores philosophical ethics in Arabo-Islamic thought.
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  29. Richard Joyce's New Objections to the Divine Command Theory.Scott Hill - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):189-196.
    In a 2002 paper for this journal, Richard Joyce presents three new arguments against the Divine Command Theory. In this comment, I attempt to show that each of these arguments is either unpersuasive or uninteresting. Two of Joyce’s arguments are unpersuasive because they rely on an implausible principle or an implausible claim about what counts as a platitude governing use of the term “wrong.” Joyce’s other argument is uninteresting because it is persuasive only if Joyce’s formulation of the Euthyphro Problem (...)
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  30. A Consistency Challenge for Moral and Religious Beliefs.Scott Aikin - 2009 - Teaching Philosophy 32 (2):127-151.
    What should individuals do when their firmly held moral beliefs are prima facie inconsistent with their religious beliefs? In this article weoutline several ways of posing such consistency challenges and offer a detailed taxonomy of the various responses available to someone facing a consistency challenge of this sort. Throughout the paper, our concerns are primarily pedagogical: how best to pose consistency challenges in the classroom, how to stimulate discussion of the various responses to them, and how to relate such consistency (...)
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  31. Divine Command Theory and the Semantics of Quantified Modal Logic.David Efird - 2009 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 91.
    I offer a series of axiomatic formalizations of Divine Command Theory motivated by certain methodological considerations. Given these considerations, I present what I take to be the best axiomatization of Divine Command Theory, an axiomatization which requires a non-standardsemantics for quantified modal logic.
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  32. Theistic Ethics: Not as Bad as You Think.Matthew Carey Jordan - 2009 - Philo 12 (1):31-45.
    Critics of theological accounts of the nature of morality have argued that such accounts must be rejected, even by theists, because such accounts (i) have the unacceptable implication that nothing is morally wrong in possible worlds in which atheism is true, (ii) render the substantive content of morality arbitrary, and (iii) make it impossible or redundant to attribute moral properties to God or God’s actions. I argue that none of these criticisms constitute good reason for theists to abandon theological accounts (...)
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  33. Kierkegaard and Divine-Command Theory: Replies to Quinn and Evans.R. Zachary Manis - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (3):289-307.
    One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation (DCT) is to be found in "Works of Love". Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in "Works of Love", there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not the (...)
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  34. What If God Commanded Something Terrible? A Worry for Divine-Command Meta-Ethics: Wes Morriston.Wes Morriston - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (3):249-267.
    If God commanded something that was obviously evil, would we have a moral obligation to do it? I critically examine three radically different approaches divine-command theorists may take to the problem posed by this question: (1) reject the possibility of such a command by appealing to God's essential goodness; (2) avoid the implication that we should obey such a command by modifying the divine-command theory; and (3) accept the implication that we should obey such a command by appealing to divine (...)
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  35. Socrates, Piety, and Nominalism.George Rudebusch - 2009 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 20:216-221.
    The argument used by Socrates to refute the thesis that piety is what all the gods love is one of the most well known in the history of philosophy. Yet some fundamental points of interpretation have gone unnoticed. I will show that (i) the strategy of Socrates' argument refutes not only Euthyphro's theory of piety and such neighboring doctrines as cultural relativism and subjectivism, but nominalism in general; moreover, that (ii) the argument needs to assume much less than is generally (...)
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  36. God, Morality and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2008 - In Samantha Vice & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Moral Life: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 201-227.
    In this chapter, I critically explore John Cottingham's most powerful argument for the thesis that the existence of God is necessary for meaning in life. This is the argument that life would be meaningless without an invariant morality, which could come only from God. After demonstrating that Cottingham's God-based ethic can avoid not only many traditional Euthyphro meta-ethical concerns, but also objections at the normative level, I consider whether it can entail the unique respect in which morality is normative, and, (...)
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  37. Divine Simplicity and Divine Command Ethics.Susan Peppers-Bates - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (3):361-369.
    In this paper I will argue that a false assumption drives the attraction of philosophers to a divine command theory of morality. Specifically, I suggest the idea that anything not created by God is independent of God is a misconception. The idea misleads us into thinking that our only choice in offering a theistic ground for morality is between making God bow to a standard independent of his will or God creating morality in revealing his will. Yet what is God (...)
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  38. Divine Command Morality and the Autonomy of Ethics.Robert Audi - 2007 - Faith and Philosophy 24 (2):121-143.
    This paper formulates a kind of divine command ethical theory intended to comport with two major views: that basic moral principles are necessary truths and that necessary truths are not determined by divine will. The theory is based on the possibility that obligatoriness can be a theological property even if its grounds are such that the content of our obligations has a priori limits. As developed in the paper, the proposed divine command theory is compatible with the centrality of God (...)
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  39. Divine Command Theory.Michael W. Austin - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  40. The Divine Command Theory of Mozi.Yong Li - 2006 - Asian Philosophy 16 (3):237 – 245.
    In this study, I will examine the famous 'divine command theory' of Mozi. Through the discussion of several important chapters of Mozi, including Fayi (law), Tianzhi (the will of heaven), Minggui (knowing the spirits) and Jianai (universal love), I attempt to clarify the arguments of Mozi offered in support of his distinctive ideas of serving heaven, knowing the spirits and loving all. The analysis shows that there are serious problems with his assumptions, hence they fail to support his conclusions as (...)
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  41. Moral Realism and Arbitrariness.Jason Kawall - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):109-129.
    In this paper I argue (i) that choosing to abide by realist moral norms would be as arbitrary as choosing to abide by the mere preferences of a God (a difficulty akin to the Euthyphro dilemma raised for divine command theorists); in both cases we would lack reason to prefer these standards to alternative codes of conduct. I further develop this general line of thought by arguing in particular (ii) that we would lack any noncircular justification to concern ourselves with (...)
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  42. Necessity, Control, and the Divine Command Theory.Dale Tuggy - 2005 - Sophia 44 (1):53-75.
    The simplest Divine Command Theory is one which identifies rightness with being commanded or willed by God. Two clear and appealing arguments for this theory turn on the idea that laws require a lawgiver, and the idea that God is sovereign or omnipotent. Critical examination of these arguments reveals some fundamental principles at odds with the Divine Command Theory, and yields some more penetrating versions of traditional objections to that theory.
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  43. Supervenience and Property-Identical Divine-Command Theory.Michael J. Almeida - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (3):323-333.
    Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) 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 (...)
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  44. A Semantic Attack on Divine-Command Metaethics.Stephen Maitzen - 2004 - Sophia 43 (2):15-28.
    According to divine-command metaethics (DCM), whatever is morally good or right has that status because, and only because, it conforms to God’s will. I argue that DCM is false or vacuous: either DCM is false, or else there are no instantiated moral properties, and no moral truths, to which DCM can even apply. The sort of criticism I offer is familiar, but I develop it in what I believe is a novel way.
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  45. A Jewish Modified Divine Command Theory.Randi Rashkover Martin Kavka - 2004 - Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (2):387 - 414.
    We claim that divine command metaethicists have not thought through the nature of the expression of divine love with sufficient rigor. We argue, against prior divine command theories, that the radical difference between God and the natural world means that grounding divine command in divine love can only ground a formal claim of the divine on the human; recipients of revelation must construct particular commands out of this formal claim. While some metaethicists might respond to us by claiming that this (...)
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  46. Abraham's Dilemma.Robert Adams - 2003 - Finite and Infinite Goods.
    This chapter addresses the greatest fear about divine commands – that God may command something evil – focusing on a modernized version of Genesis 22, in which Abraham finds it difficult to reject any of the following jointly incompatible beliefs: whatever God commands is not morally wrong to do, God commands me to kill my son as a sacrifice, such human sacrifice is morally wrong. It argues that divine command theorists should not reject but that in any cultural and religious (...)
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  47. God's Creation of Morality.Tim Mawson - 2002 - Religious Studies 38 (1):1-25.
    In this paper, I argue that classical theists should think of God as having created morality. In form, my position largely resembles that defended by Richard Swinburne. However, it differs from his position in content in that it evacuates the category of necessary moral truth of all substance and, having effected this tactical withdrawal, Swinburne's battle lines need to be redrawn. In the first section, I introduce the Euthyphro dilemma. In the second, I argue that if necessary moral truths are (...)
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  48. A Trilemma for Divine Command Theory.Mark C. Murphy - 2002 - Faith and Philosophy 19 (1):22-31.
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  49. Two Recent Metaphysical Divine Command Theories of Ethics.Robert Westmoreland - 1996 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 39 (1):15 - 31.
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  50. Divine Commands and Arbitrariness.Paul Rooney - 1995 - Religious Studies 31 (2):149 - 165.
    According to the divine command theory of morality, what is right or wrong, good or bad, is entirely dependent on the will and command of God: what He commands is right and what He forbids is wrong just because He commands or forbids it. It is argued here that the principal religious objection to this theory -- that if it were true, moral precepts would be arbitrary -- is rendered ineffective when due consideration is given to the consequences of God's (...)
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