The Divine Command Theories

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Register to read the introduction…Any given answer that can be given by the divine command theorist seems to suppose the existence of at least one norm outside of God 's commanded will. In the textbook, Darwall provides, and then refutes, the following possible answers. 1) We should do what God commands because God is omniscient and omnibenevolent and he is aware of what we should do given any particular situation. This answer, however, leads to the conclusion that the best thing to do in the particular situation already exists, independent of whether or not God commands us to do it, the fact that God commands us to do it simply makes it the case that God chooses to share this knowledge of the best thing to do in a situation with humans. This contradicts the assumption that God is the creator of all norms. (Based on Darwall 's Philosphical Ethics p. 42-44). 2) God created us, therefore we must follow his commands out of gratitude. Again, we face the problem that there appears to be a norm that exists independently from his command: that you should show gratitude, which seems inconsistent. (Darwall 's Philosophical Ethics p. 44). 3) God is superior to us, therefore we should follow God 's command. The problem with this answer is the same as that in the previous question, namely that the fact that we should follow the commands of our superiors appears to be a norm that exists outside of God 's command. (Darwall 's Philosophical Ethics p. 45). All these answers can be taken to have the genralized form “God is/has X, therefore we should follow his command”, where X is a particular quality, however, all these answers also lead to the conclusion that “We should follow the command of anything that is/has X”, which implies a norm that exists independent of God…show more content…
The theological voluntarist might answer this by saying norms can be known through religious texts such as the Bible, Quran, Torah, etc. This is problematic because these texts, although seeming to contain the same points upon first glance, contain fundamental contradictions. Examples of this can be seen in the Abrahamic religions where Islam forbids alcohol, while Judaism and Christianity don 't. Judaism and Islam forbid the consumption of pork, while Christianity does not. These contradictions only get worse as you move farther from the Semitic tradition. If the theological voluntarist claims that these norms can be sensed through our internal feelings about morality, he is forced to disregard the various disagreements regarding norms, which he simply can 't
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