Total Posts:9|Showing Posts:1-9
Jump to topic:

Divine Command Theory and Objective Morality

NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2014 1:28:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"Divine command theory is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by God. The theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that to be moral is to follow his commands..."

I believe William Lane Craig, who adopts the DCT, is mistaken to call his morality "objective" as it grounds moral values in the attitudes or the nature of God. That is to say, it follows a God-based morality that depends on a subject that is theologically considered personal and one that could issue commands. A better term would be "universal" instead of "objective". It is true that such moral values do not depend on subjective values of human origin, but since they're based on a God who is not considered impersonal, but treated as a "subject" Himself, the DCT is fundamentally subjective in the sense that it is NOT independent of all subjects, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it seems to me that Dr. Craig also argues that "you can't have objective morality without God" when his own position doesn't warrant a fundamental objective morality to begin with.

There also seems to be different definitions of "objective" and "subjective" even in moral philosophy, so I'm not sure if Craig is using a different definition here. It could be that Craig means thats such moral values are higher than human attitudes or not affected by them, or that they are static in God's mind and that they never change, but since he is forced to place a higher subject which has such values, he is simply going for divine subjectivism(moral code for all which is static and defined by a divine agent) as opposed to cultural subjectivism (the culture developing its moral code inter-subjectively). But we didn't really reach something I would call pure objectivism or morality independent of subjects through theism, although that could be possible in a pantheistic, atheistic or deistic philosophy.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2014 6:46:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/25/2014 1:28:22 PM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
"Divine command theory is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by God. The theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that to be moral is to follow his commands..."

I believe William Lane Craig, who adopts the DCT, is mistaken to call his morality "objective" as it grounds moral values in the attitudes or the nature of God. That is to say, it follows a God-based morality that depends on a subject that is theologically considered personal and one that could issue commands. A better term would be "universal" instead of "objective". It is true that such moral values do not depend on subjective values of human origin, but since they're based on a God who is not considered impersonal, but treated as a "subject" Himself, the DCT is fundamentally subjective in the sense that it is NOT independent of all subjects, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it seems to me that Dr. Craig also argues that "you can't have objective morality without God" when his own position doesn't warrant a fundamental objective morality to begin with.

There also seems to be different definitions of "objective" and "subjective" even in moral philosophy, so I'm not sure if Craig is using a different definition here. It could be that Craig means thats such moral values are higher than human attitudes or not affected by them, or that they are static in God's mind and that they never change, but since he is forced to place a higher subject which has such values, he is simply going for divine subjectivism(moral code for all which is static and defined by a divine agent) as opposed to cultural subjectivism (the culture developing its moral code inter-subjectively). But we didn't really reach something I would call pure objectivism or morality independent of subjects through theism, although that could be possible in a pantheistic, atheistic or deistic philosophy.

Or maybe it's that moral codes are abstract conceptual things by nature, so they need an eternal mind to exist in... aka God. Which would mean they necessarily exist in God's necessary mind.

I dunno, I could be wrong. That's Augustine/Neo-Platonic view of forms and laws of logic though, and I've always understood moral commands to be similar.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2014 7:27:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/25/2014 6:46:04 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 3/25/2014 1:28:22 PM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
"Divine command theory is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by God. The theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that to be moral is to follow his commands..."

I believe William Lane Craig, who adopts the DCT, is mistaken to call his morality "objective" as it grounds moral values in the attitudes or the nature of God. That is to say, it follows a God-based morality that depends on a subject that is theologically considered personal and one that could issue commands. A better term would be "universal" instead of "objective". It is true that such moral values do not depend on subjective values of human origin, but since they're based on a God who is not considered impersonal, but treated as a "subject" Himself, the DCT is fundamentally subjective in the sense that it is NOT independent of all subjects, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it seems to me that Dr. Craig also argues that "you can't have objective morality without God" when his own position doesn't warrant a fundamental objective morality to begin with.

There also seems to be different definitions of "objective" and "subjective" even in moral philosophy, so I'm not sure if Craig is using a different definition here. It could be that Craig means thats such moral values are higher than human attitudes or not affected by them, or that they are static in God's mind and that they never change, but since he is forced to place a higher subject which has such values, he is simply going for divine subjectivism(moral code for all which is static and defined by a divine agent) as opposed to cultural subjectivism (the culture developing its moral code inter-subjectively). But we didn't really reach something I would call pure objectivism or morality independent of subjects through theism, although that could be possible in a pantheistic, atheistic or deistic philosophy.

Or maybe it's that moral codes are abstract conceptual things by nature, so they need an eternal mind to exist in... aka God. Which would mean they necessarily exist in God's necessary mind.

I dunno, I could be wrong. That's Augustine/Neo-Platonic view of forms and laws of logic though, and I've always understood moral commands to be similar.

"Conceptual" seems like another word for "subjective" as they reside in a subject's mind, no matter who that subject is.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/26/2014 3:52:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Where do we begin with DCT ?.............

WIth DCT it can be utterly psychopathic. Remember you can kill rape torture oppress lie manipulate etc etc............as long as God commanded it.

The thing is it's merely asserted............BY PEOPLE, what God has and has not commanded.

What do you say to the person who thinks that it is God command to torture, kill a person or entire group of people if you also adhere to DCT ? sure you make your assertions about what God wants they also make their assertions about God, I think we have seen this movie before.....
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/26/2014 4:19:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/25/2014 1:28:22 PM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
"Divine command theory is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by God. The theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that to be moral is to follow his commands..."

I believe William Lane Craig, who adopts the DCT, is mistaken to call his morality "objective" as it grounds moral values in the attitudes or the nature of God. That is to say, it follows a God-based morality that depends on a subject that is theologically considered personal and one that could issue commands. A better term would be "universal" instead of "objective". It is true that such moral values do not depend on subjective values of human origin, but since they're based on a God who is not considered impersonal, but treated as a "subject" Himself, the DCT is fundamentally subjective in the sense that it is NOT independent of all subjects, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it seems to me that Dr. Craig also argues that "you can't have objective morality without God" when his own position doesn't warrant a fundamental objective morality to begin with.

There also seems to be different definitions of "objective" and "subjective" even in moral philosophy, so I'm not sure if Craig is using a different definition here. It could be that Craig means thats such moral values are higher than human attitudes or not affected by them, or that they are static in God's mind and that they never change, but since he is forced to place a higher subject which has such values, he is simply going for divine subjectivism(moral code for all which is static and defined by a divine agent) as opposed to cultural subjectivism (the culture developing its moral code inter-subjectively). But we didn't really reach something I would call pure objectivism or morality independent of subjects through theism, although that could be possible in a pantheistic, atheistic or deistic philosophy.

I don't have a lot to add here, but wanted to say I really like this take on things. I suppose the response would be that an omni-brilliant god is a universal subject and therefore effectively subjective, but think this misses the inherent role in perspective in subjectivity, which still leaves your divine subjectivity criticism as valid.

Actually, now you've pointed it out, I'm mildly annoyed with myself for not having thought of it before. It has an elegant simplicity to it that smacks of insight.
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/26/2014 5:03:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm not really an advocate of divine command theory though I do believe God plays a role in establishing human morals and laws.

I subscribe to a subjective view of morality; that's not to say that morality is completely imaginary, as I don't interpret subject to mean "false" . . . rather I interpret to mean "personal", but dependent on physiological phenomena. I subscribe to the view of John Stuart, who believed that rightness is determined by actions ability to generate happiness or reduce pain in individuals and groups. I believe this is already at work inside of all people, even if they don't yet realize it. We're all motivated by beliefs that generate passions in us . . . passions that invoke happiness or unhappiness, and so I think John Stuart Mill's philosophy is a fact operating inside of all of us. He called this the Greatest-Happiness Principle and I think it's the only foundation for morality that can be applied to our world from a practical/rational perspective.
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/26/2014 5:08:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The last line should read:

"He called this the Greatest-Happiness Principle and I think it's the only foundation for morality that can be practically and rationally applied to our world, so as to genuinely benefit us.