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Siblings:History/traditions: Divine Command Theories
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  1. Robert Adams, Abraham's Dilemma.
    A convincing defense of a divine command theory of the nature of obligation must address our darkest fear about God's commands--the fear that God may command something evil. Certainly some of the things that God has been thought to require have been evil. Rivers of blood have been shed in obedience to supposed divine commands. Can we accept a divine command theory without assuming a potential obligation to perform such horrible deeds?
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  2. Robert Merrihew Adams (1987). Divine Commands and the Social Nature of Obligation. Faith and Philosophy 4 (3):262-275.
    Divine command metaethics is one of those theories according to which the nature of obligation is grounded in personal or social relationships. In this paper I first try to show how facts about human relationships can fill some of the role that facts of obligation aresupposed to play, specifically with regard to moral motivation and guilt. Then I note certain problems that arise for social theories of obligation, and argue that they can be dealt with more adequately by an expansion (...)
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  3. Robert Merrihew Adams (1979). Divine Command Metaethics Modified Again. Journal of Religious Ethics 7 (1):66 - 79.
    This essay presents a version of divine command metaethics inspired by recent work of Donnellan, Kripke, and Putnam on the relation between necessity and conceptual analysis. What we can discover a priori, by conceptual analysis, about the nature of ethical wrongness is that wrongness is the property of actions that best fills a certain role. What property that is cannot be discovered by conceptual analysis. But I suggest that theists should claim it is the property of being contrary to the (...)
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  4. Michael J. Almeida (2004). Supervenience and Property-Identical Divine-Command Theory. Religious Studies 40 (3):323-333.
    Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the supervenience (...)
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  5. Mariam Attar (2010). Islamic Ethics: Divine Command Theory in Arabo-Islamic Thought. Routledge.
    This book explores philosophical ethics in Arabo-Islamic thought.
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  6. Robert Audi (2007). Divine Command Morality and the Autonomy of Ethics. Faith and Philosophy 24 (2):121-143.
    This paper formulates a kind of divine command ethical theory intended to comport with two major views: that basic moral principles are necessary truths and that necessary truths are not determined by divine will. The theory is based on the possibility that obligatoriness can be a theological property even if its grounds are such that the content of our obligations has a priori limits. As developed in the paper, the proposed divine command theory is compatible with the centrality of God (...)
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  7. Michael W. Austin, Divine Command Theory. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  8. Robert Burch (1980). Objective Values and the Divine Command Theory of Morality. New Scholasticism 54 (3):279-304.
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  9. David Efird (2009). Divine Command Theory and the Semantics of Quantified Modal Logic. In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave Macmillan. 91.
    I offer a series of axiomatic formalizations of Divine Command Theory motivated by certain methodological considerations. Given these considerations, I present what I take to be the best axiomatization of Divine Command Theory, an axiomatization which requires a non-standardsemantics for quantified modal logic.
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  10. Scott Hill (2010). Richard Joyce's New Objections to the Divine Command Theory. Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):189-196.
    In a 2002 paper for this journal, Richard Joyce presents three new arguments against the Divine Command Theory. In this comment, I attempt to show that each of these arguments is either unpersuasive or uninteresting. Two of Joyce’s arguments are unpersuasive because they rely on an implausible principle or an implausible claim about what counts as a platitude governing use of the term “wrong.” Joyce’s other argument is uninteresting because it is persuasive only if Joyce’s formulation of the Euthyphro Problem (...)
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  11. Jeffery L. Johnson (1994). Procedure, Substance, and the Divine Command Theory. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 35 (1):39 - 55.
    Natural theology is still practiced as though substantive theological conclusions can be derived by a quasi-deductive process. Perhaps relevant "evidence" may lead to interesting theological conclusions -- the fact of natural evil, or the cosmic fine-tuning we hear about in contemporary cosmology, both cry out for theological explanation. I remain a skeptic, however, about the value of "a priori" methods in natural theology. The case study in this short discussion is the well known attempt to establish the logical incoherence of (...)
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  12. Hardy Jones (1980). Concerning a New Version of the Divine Command Theory of Morality. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):195 - 205.
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  13. Matthew Carey Jordan (2009). Theistic Ethics: Not as Bad as You Think. Philo 12 (1):31-45.
    Critics of theological accounts of the nature of morality have argued that such accounts must be rejected, even by theists, because such accounts (i) have the unacceptable implication that nothing is morally wrong in possible worlds in which atheism is true, (ii) render the substantive content of morality arbitrary, and (iii) make it impossible or redundant to attribute moral properties to God or God’s actions. I argue that none of these criticisms constitute good reason for theists to abandon theological accounts (...)
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  14. Martin Kavka & Randi Rashkover (2004). A Jewish Modified Divine Command Theory. Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (2):387 - 414.
    We claim that divine command metaethicists have not thought through the nature of the expression of divine love with sufficient rigor. We argue, against prior divine command theories, that the radical difference between God and the natural world means that grounding divine command in divine love can only ground a formal claim of the divine on the human; recipients of revelation must construct particular commands out of this formal claim. While some metaethicists might respond to us by claiming that this (...)
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  15. Jason Kawall (2005). Moral Realism and Arbitrariness. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):109-129.
    In this paper I argue (i) that choosing to abide by realist moral norms would be as arbitrary as choosing to abide by the mere preferences of a God (a difficulty akin to the Euthyphro dilemma raised for divine command theorists); in both cases we would lack reason to prefer these standards to alternative codes of conduct. I further develop this general line of thought by arguing in particular (ii) that we would lack any noncircular justification to concern ourselves with (...)
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  16. Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star (2011). On Good Advice: A Reply to McNaughton and Rawling. Analysis 71 (3):506-508.
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  17. Yong Li (2006). The Divine Command Theory of Mozi. Asian Philosophy 16 (3):237 – 245.
    In this study, I will examine the famous 'divine command theory' of Mozi. Through the discussion of several important chapters of Mozi, including Fayi (law), Tianzhi (the will of heaven), Minggui (knowing the spirits) and Jianai (universal love), I attempt to clarify the arguments of Mozi offered in support of his distinctive ideas of serving heaven, knowing the spirits and loving all. The analysis shows that there are serious problems with his assumptions, hence they fail to support his conclusions as (...)
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  18. R. Zachary Manis (2009). Kierkegaard and Divine-Command Theory: Replies to Quinn and Evans. Religious Studies 45 (3):289-307.
    One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation (DCT) is to be found in "Works of Love". Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in "Works of Love", there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not the (...)
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  19. T. J. Mawson (2002). God's Creation of Morality. Religious Studies 38 (1):1-25.
    In this paper, I argue that classical theists should think of God as having created morality. In form, my position largely resembles that defended by Richard Swinburne. However, it differs from his position in content in that it evacuates the category of necessary moral truth of all substance and, having effected this tactical withdrawal, Swinburne's battle lines need to be redrawn. In the first section, I introduce the Euthyphro dilemma. In the second, I argue that if necessary moral truths are (...)
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  20. Thaddeus Metz (2008). God, Morality and the Meaning of Life. In Samantha Vice & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Moral Life. Palgrave Macmillan. 201--227.
    In this chapter, I critically explore John Cottingham's most powerful argument for the thesis that the existence of God is necessary for meaning in life. This is the argument that life would be meaningless without an invariant morality, which could come only from God. After demonstrating that Cottingham's God-based ethic can avoid not only many traditional Euthyphro meta-ethical concerns, but also objections at the normative level, I consider whether it can entail the unique respect in which morality is normative, and, (...)
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  21. Wes Morriston (2009). What If God Commanded Something Terrible? A Worry for Divine-Command Meta-Ethics. Religious Studies 45 (3):249-267.
    If God commanded something that was obviously evil, would we have a moral obligation to do it? I critically examine three radically different approaches divine-command theorists may take to the problem posed by this question: (1) reject the possibility of such a command by appealing to God's essential goodness; (2) avoid the implication that we should obey such a command by modifying the divine-command theory; and (3) accept the implication that we should obey such a command by appealing to divine (...)
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  22. Mark C. Murphy (2002). A Trilemma for Divine Command Theory. Faith and Philosophy 19 (1):22-31.
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  23. Matthew B. O'Brien (2012). The Second-Person Perspective in Aquinas's Ethics: Virtues and Gifts. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  24. Susan Peppers-Bates (2008). Divine Simplicity and Divine Command Ethics. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (3):361-369.
    In this paper I will argue that a false assumption drives the attraction of philosophers to a divine command theory of morality. Specifically, I suggest the idea thatanything not created by God is independent of God is a misconception. The idea misleads us into thinking that our only choice in offering a theistic ground for morality is between making God bow to a standard independent of his will or God creating morality in revealing his will. Yet what is God is (...)
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  25. Karl Pfeiffer (1992). Towards a Relocation of the Divine Command Theory. Cogito 6 (2):67-69.
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  26. Philip L. Quinn (1992). The Primacy of God's Will in Christian Ethics. Philosophical Perspectives 6:493-513.
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  27. Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2013). Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism, and Divine Commands. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (2):77-96.
  28. Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2009). A Consistency Challenge for Moral and Religious Beliefs. Teaching Philosophy 32 (2):127-151.
    What should individuals do when their firmly held moral beliefs are prima facie inconsistent with their religious beliefs? In this article we outline several ways of posing such consistency challenges and offer a detailed taxonomy of the various responses available to someone facing a consistency challenge of this sort. Throughout the paper, our concerns are primarily pedagogical: how best to pose consistency challenges in the classroom, how to stimulate discussion of the various responses to them, and how to relate such (...)
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  29. Paul Rooney (1995). Divine Commands and Arbitrariness. Religious Studies 31 (2):149 - 165.
    According to the divine command theory of morality, what is right or wrong, good or bad, is entirely dependent on the will and command of God: what He commands is right and what He forbids is wrong just because He commands or forbids it. It is argued here that the principal religious objection to this theory -- that if it were true, moral precepts would be arbitrary -- is rendered ineffective when due consideration is given to the consequences of God's (...)
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  30. Stephen J. Sullivan (1994). “Why Adams Needs to Modify His Divine-Command Theory One More Time”. Faith and Philosophy 11 (1):72-81.
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  31. Dale Tuggy (2005). Necessity, Control, and the Divine Command Theory. Sophia 44 (1):53-75.
    The simplest Divine Command Theory is one which identifies rightness with being commanded or willed by God. Two clear and appealing arguments for this theory turn on the idea that laws require a lawgiver, and the idea that God is sovereign or omnipotent. Critical examination of these arguments reveals some fundamental principles at odds with the Divine Command Theory, and yields some more penetrating versions of traditional objections to that theory.
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  32. Robert Westmoreland (1996). Two Recent Metaphysical Divine Command Theories of Ethics. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 39 (1):15 - 31.
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  33. Edward Wierenga (1983). A Defensible Divine Command Theory. Noûs 17 (3):387-407.
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