Skip to comments.Symposium--Divine Command Theory
Posted on 03/23/2011 12:22:15 PM PDT by EllisWashingtonReport
Socrates: We are gathered here today at this symposium to discuss the subject of ethics, specifically the divine command theory which posits this question: Is what is good, good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?
Without God, of course, the divine command theory immediately collapses, but even allowing that God does exist, there are still a number of serious problems threatening the theory. Probably the gravest of these is the so-called Euthyphro dilemma, first raised by Plato some 2,400 years ago.
Plato: In my dialogue Socrates engages a young man named Euthyphro in a discussion on the nature of piety (goodness).
Euthyphro: What is goodness?
Plato: Through the course of the dialogue they agree that goodness is whatever is loved by the gods, but then Socrates poses a crucial question: Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because they love it?
Socrates: In the minds of billions of people, morality is inseparably connected with religion: Ideas of right or wrong, reason, ethics are based on that God (or a god) has ordained that it should be so; good is good and bad is bad because God says so.
Moses: In each of the three religions of the book Judaism, Christianity and Islam the system of morality is based on divine command: It is for God to command, humans to obey. Since obedience is better than sacrifice, therefore, virtuous behavior requires obedience, while disobedience is sin.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
“Perhaps God and his guidebook for humanity, the Bible, was right all along? That God (not the gods) is identical with good(ness) and, therefore, His commandments in the Bible applied to law and society is the only good government.”
God is good. This is Gods character. To be good means to BE good. God IS goodness. That is, what he is is good. There is no sense in which goodness surpasses God or God surpasses goodness. As being is the essence of his nature, goodness is the essence of his character. Gods goodness means then that there is an absolute standard of righteousness (it is found in Gods character). Ethics is transcendent and is based on the character of God as good. Ethics is what we ought to do; morality is what we do.