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The Divine Command Theory

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by StocktontoMalone, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    Is something right because 'God' says so(the 'Because I said so' defense), or does 'God' say so because it is right?( right and wrong is INDEPENDENT of God's will)

    I love this one.
     
  2. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    If God is the creator, in my opinion it's both.
     
  3. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    In reality, it can't be both.

    If you pick the latter, you are admitting that there is a standard of right and wrong that is independent of God's will.

    If you pick the former, than God's commands are arbitrary.
     
  4. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    honestly I think it would be stupid that it was ever claimed that God could only obey what is good, rather than decide what is good, for any reason other than try to validate the content of their own consciences. Anything which can't make a universe where Pi equals 4 is just not very powerful.
     
  5. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    Pi may also be arbitrary, but a necessary fit in the world as it exists here. so too, God maybe could have picked to make pedophilia the road to heaven, but he preferred a world where that turns out to be a bad thing when considered with all the other things. Sure, god could have invented Golf where you win if you make a hole in exactly 5 shots, and a hole in one would disqualify you, but much of the human psyche would have to be different to make this a game which people would like, and so golf where the fewest shots wins is just the best choice consistent with all the other choices of design made, though we could well have been designed with sonar and gills and been playing deep water polo... of course it's arbitrary that we breath air instead of water, or that homos are sinners instead of saints (an almighty being could have made buttsex the way to reproducing, but he didn't), but what of it? so it was arbitrary that we do breath air, that breathing air is thus what is good for us, and to swim out to sea and drown ourselves would be a sin is bad for us, so what? does that mean we shouldn't do what is good for us? that we wont be rewarded for doing what is good for us? that we aren't meant to do what is good for us? would we throw out geometry just because pi may as well be 9, poke out our eyes because we may as well navigate by sonar or infrared? sure things didn't have to be the way they are, but they are, and the relations are established not independent and arbitrary of eachother (even though god could have made red blue violent green yellow the order of the colors in the rainbow) so what ground do we cover to realize god's omnipotence? is this just a bad way of acting like a teenager---"Well I don't like the world the way it is, I think evil exists for no purpose, therefore there is no God"?


    after that I should remind people I am a firm Atheist, I just hate really really shitty refutations of theism.
     
  6. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    That's just plain illogical. If God is the creator of good, and if God loves his creation, then it is perfectly logical for God to give commands which enable humanity to view the good he has created them for (i.e., to see the way of living that He has created them for). Therefore, God created "right"(1), so it is right if He says so; and God says things because they are the very "right"(2) that He himself created. This is a classic example of a false either/or.
     
  7. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    either things are right, and God has no choice and simply obeys that moral fact, or he himself decides what shall count as right.

    it's either
    god didn't create right and wrong, god is subordinate to right and wrong, not powerful enough to change the preexisting right and wrong.
    or
    God created right, what he says is right is right because before he himself decided there was no right, he could have made sodomy right if he wanted to because he is that powerful, whatever god says is right is merely that which is himself created to be right.

    the latter is what you said, and I'm not sure why you think you said both somehow.
     
  8. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    I'm atheist as well...but I don't think this is a shitty refutation of theism, as you claim....

    Suppose 'God' commanded us to be faithful to a spouse. And in this case, the reason we should be faithful is simply that 'God' required it. Apart from the divine command, being faithful is neither good nor bad. It is 'God's' command that makes fidelity right. And this leads to trouble, for it represents 'God's' commands as arbitrary. 'God' could have given different commands just as easily. He could have commanded that lying be right. And you could reply that 'God' would not command us to be liars. But why not? If he did endorse lying, he would not be commanding us to do wrong, because his command would make lying right! Honesty was not right before 'God' commanded it. Therefore he had no more reason to command it than the opposite. Therefore, his command is arbitrary.

    And in this light, the concept of the goodness of 'God' is reduced to nonsense. To the pious, it is important that 'God' is all-knowing, and all-powerful, but also that he is good. But if we accept the fact that the good and the bad are defined by the reference to 'God's' will, this notion is deprived of any meaning.

    Imagine this: What could it mean to say that 'God's' commands are good? If 'y is good' simply means 'y' is commanded by 'God', then 'God's' commands are good' would mean only that 'Gods commands are commanded by god', and this is an empty truism. I hope this helps.
     
  9. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    To put it quickly (but maybe not so simply): (1)God created right according to his will, and it is dependent on that will; and (2)God loves his creation, and says what is right because it is the right that he himself said was right in designing the creation.
     
  10. infoterror

    infoterror Member

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    Tautology, like the natural/unnatural paradox: if God is the world, or in command of the world, all in the world is right.

    Including evil.
     
  11. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    Actually, it is not a tautology. A tautology is a statement in which the conclusion is an equivalent to the premise.....this is not the case in my query.

    They are TWO seperate statements. Either something is right because God says so(God commands it is right from his sheer will), OR God says so because it is right( admitting there is a standard of right and wrong independent of God's will)
     
  12. infoterror

    infoterror Member

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    The answer is tautology: if God is the world, it is right because God says, because God is the world, so it is right because God says so, because God is the world (etc)
     
  13. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    I disagree. I'll wait to see what others have to say.
     
  14. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    What drives me to distraction about theism of any kind, is that none of this really has any contextual relevance outside the scriptural origins from which such notions are derived. God(s) "exist" in the minds of man because scripture, or oral tradition or what have you says he/she/it does - but for no other tangible reason per se. Thus what God can/cannot do or what have you can only be "measured" within the context of scripture/religion - which requires some acceptance of same in the first place, no?
    Did that make any sense whatever?:erk:
     
  15. StocktontoMalone

    StocktontoMalone The Cynical Realist

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    Hmmmmm....I'll get back to you on that....
     
  16. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    I don't think that's what this conversation has been about. Nobody has been saying that "God is the world". That's called pantheism, and it's certainly not what I'm arguing for nor what anybody has been discussing.
     
  17. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    Well once you do that, let me know.

    To OldScratch: Everything starts with presuppositions, so don't even pretend like that's an argument against Theism. If you argue that Christianity is false because it has presuppositions, you're really arguing against your own world view as well because I'm quite sure it has presuppositions, maybe because your..erm, human?

    I understand that it is difficult to dialogue because we are trying to dialogue about things that are foundational for the rest of our thinking, but that is no reason to say that the people that don't agree with your foundation are irrational.
     
  18. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    yea I hear ya man.
     
  19. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    yea that's what I said (without the wacky "says what is right because it is the right that he himself said was right" phrasing)
     
  20. JColtrane

    JColtrane Member

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    So then you agree it can be both? o_O
     

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