The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Create a topic and discuss! No subject is off limits, but moderators have the right to remove asshat posts. What's an asshat post? Selling stuff, trolling, harassing--the usual stuff you don't want to see either. Happy posting!
Post Reply
User avatar
SEG
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by SEG » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:42 am

Here is the argument from morality in the form of a logical argument (Og should love this):

Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

So what does god have to do with moral values? You could keep going down that track and have a similarly silly argument like this:

Premise 1: If 2+2=4, then gremlins exist.

Premise 2: 2+2=4

Conclusion: Therefore, gremlins exist.

So Christians, in Premise 1 why do ANY gods have anything to do with moral values, let alone your particular god?

In Premise 2, where is your evidence that objective moral values and duties exist?

The Divine Command Theory (DCT)
Richard Carrier has recently written a rebuttal to apologist Matthew Flannagan Here is part of it:
The first problem with any DCT is that we have no evidence that there even is the requisite God, much less which God’s commands are the commands of that God. There are hundreds of different ethical systems attributed to “God.” This is so even within the umbrella of Christian theism; all the more so when we consider other theisms. Indeed, even within the Bible there is a vast plethora of not only contradictory moral advice, but many moral commandments that we now all deem fundamentally immoral, such as commandments to make and keep slaves (Leviticus 25:44–46) or force women into marriage (Deuteronomy 21:10–12, 22:28–29; Numbers 31:15–18), or the commandments to execute apostates and blasphemers (Deuteronomy 12:1–13:16, Leviticus 24:11–16), as well as rape victims (Deuteronomy 22:23–30) and gay men (Leviticus 20:13; lesbians are okay).4 History demonstrates that morals change over time, and without special revelations from any god. That it is moral to let women vote and hold office (against the advice of the Bible: 1 Corinthians 14:34–35, 1 Timothy 2:11–15), or that it is immoral to keep slaves, are, for example, not morals we derive from the Bible, or any divine communication at all.
The Divine Command Theory supposedly directs that morality is determined by divine commands. The theory asserts that good actions are morally good as a result of their being commanded by God, even these mass killings are seen by most Christians as being "good" ;

1. The Flood (Genesis 6-8)
2. The cities of the plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19)
3. The Egyptian firstborn sons during the Passover (Exodus 11-12)
4. The Canaanites under Moses and Joshua (Numbers 21:2-3; Deuteronomy 20:17; Joshua 6:17, 21)
5. The Amalekites annihilated by Saul (1 Samuel 15)

Terrible biblical accounts like these have made Christian apologists to come up with logical reasons why seemingly immoral activities of the OT god are good and why they don't stop them genuflecting to him. William Lane Craig said this about the genocide of the Amalekites;
So even if Copan is right, I’m still willing to bite the bullet and tackle the tougher question of how an all-good, all-loving God could issue such horrendous commands. My argument in Question of the Week #16 is that God has the moral right to issue such commands and that He wronged no one in doing so. I want to challenge those who decry my answer to explain whom God wronged and why we should think so. As I explained, the most plausible candidate is, ironically, the soldiers themselves, but I think that morally sufficient reasons can be provided for giving them so gruesome a task.
Oh boo hoo for the soldiers, it must have been terrible for them to split the bellies of pregnant women!

On divine command theory, then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command.

Craig knows that murder, rape and torture are wrong independently of any divine command. But he says that they can be morally right if ordered by God as per Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma.

Craig was also quoted as saying this;
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.
...and this disgusting statement;
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
..but killing kids and babies is totally ok according to Craig;
By setting such strong, harsh dichotomies God taught Israel that any assimilation to pagan idolatry is intolerable. It was His way of preserving Israel’s spiritual health and posterity. God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. The killing of the Canaanite children not only served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively apart for God.
As if babies and children would have any idea of pagan doctrines and beliefs! If this story was anywhere true, young children and babies could be brought up to be educated in the Israeli traditions and would not have to be killed.

Thank God these stories were all BS anyway.
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by SEG » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:59 pm

I would like to know how any of today's Christians really feel about God's divine command regarding his slaughter of innocent Egyptian firstborn sons during the Passover and even the more innocent livestock. This is bringing him down to the level of the Pharaoh. Why not just kill him or stop "hardening his heart" for evil kicks?

Where is the "good" in any of this senseless brutality?
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.

Lich
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:10 am

Re: The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by Lich » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 pm

A very solid, and realistically irrefutable argument. I'm interested to see Christian responses. Bravo.
Delusion is denial of reality, and reality is truth. If the truth offends you, guess what you are.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by SEG » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Thanks Lich. That's why they stayed away from it like the plague. I don't blame them - much. This is all in Ogs ballpark, yet he doesn't want to play. I'm sort of sad that Moonward didn't comment, he does this sort of thing for a living and could benefit from the discussion. Claire is their only hope now.
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.

Lich
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:10 am

Re: The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by Lich » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:56 am

SEG wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm
Claire is their only hope now.
I nearly spit my soda out when I read that. :lol:
Delusion is denial of reality, and reality is truth. If the truth offends you, guess what you are.

User avatar
SEG
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:59 pm

Re: The Argument From Morality & The Divine Command Theory

Post by SEG » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:00 am

Lich wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:56 am
SEG wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm
Claire is their only hope now.
I nearly spit my soda out when I read that. :lol:
Hahahar!
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.

Post Reply