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#N002: Divine Command Theory and Subjectivism

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4/23/2014 2:07:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Divine Command Theory is simply a theory that follows Divine Subjectivism, as it claims that morality is decided by the commands of a Divine Subject. However, the definition of subjectivism and objectivism differ in different contexts.

"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..."

The DCT 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.

There are also different definitions of "objective" and "subjective" even in moral philosophy. "Objective" can sometimes be used to say that 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 we are dealing with a higher subject which has such values, this is simply divine subjectivism in a different context(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).