Quinn Divine Command Theory

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In this paper I am going to explain what Divine Command Theory is. Then I will explain an objection to it called the Euthyphro Objection. Lastly I will explain Quinn’s response to the Euthyphro Objection and raise an objection to his treatment of the objection. Before I explain Divine Command Theory first I want to explain morality according to Quinn. Quinn states that morality is based on three concepts: rightness, wrongness, and obligation (515). Actions that are morally right are morally permissible or allowed and fine to do. Actions that are morally wrong then are only wrong since they are not morally right; these actions could be considered ones that morality forbids or prohibits (515). Each action is either be right or wrong, no action…show more content…
This story is about a man named Abraham who was commanded by God to kill his son Isaac. Quinn starts his explanation with the following three claims: If God commands me to do something, it is not morally wrong for me to do it (8A), God commands me to kill my son (8B), It is morally wrong for me to kill my son (8C). One of the claims from 8A-8C must be rejected by Abraham. Since Divine Command Theory states that God’s forbidding of actions makes them morally wrong then 8A cannot be rejected because God’s command of the action makes it obligatory, so either 8B or 8C must be rejected. A philosopher named Kant suggest that 8B should be rejected because Abraham could not know for a fact the voice commanding him to kill his son was God. Quinn’s response to this is that God could provide Abraham with a sign that would make him know for a fact that God commanded him to kill his son Isaac. For instance, God could rearrange the stars to say “Abraham kill Isaac” and Abraham could ask strangers those who do not even know english if they saw the same thing to make sure he was not crazy and this would confirm that God has in fact commanded him to kill Isaac. Then Abraham would reject 8C because God’s command makes the action obligatory and permissible. Thus, a divine command theorist such as Quinn could state that actions are obligatory because God command them and God’s commands could not be arbitrary because God is constrained by God’s goodness and God’s commands do not have to conform to what humans believe is goodness. If a monotheists believed that God should conform to what we perceive as goodness that would mean that our ideas rather than what they are a reflection of are an absolute or perfect and this would be wrong because it would be idolatry of our ideas and not
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