Divine Command Theory


my foot!

Here is WLC opening his mouth to exchange shoes on morality. He was asked what one were to do if the IS god is the one true god and it commanded rapine and murder if you hold DCT to be true. He starts by deflecting the issue by questioning the emotional status of the person asking the query.

I am going to lift a few of his quotes here and you can read the rest for yourself.

He writes, with emphasis by us

Most divine command theorists are non-voluntarists who hold that moral values are not grounded in God’s will but in His nature. Moral duties are grounded in His will or commands; but moral values are prior to His will, since God’s own nature is not something invented by God. Since His will is not independent of His nature but must express His nature, it is logically impossible for Him to issue certain sorts of commands. In order to do so, He would have to have a different nature, which is logically impossible.

And we must ask whether he admits that if his god exists, it cannot have free will. And in some sectors, theologians have said the nature of god is unknowable, me wonders how Craig has come to this knowledge and two is who invented god’s nature?

Craig the goes ahead to say

It is logically impossible that there be any other God. So if you were mistaken and believed in the wrong God, you would be a Muslim or a Hindu or a polytheist or what have you; but there wouldn’t be another God. Remember: on perfect being theology, God is a maximally great being, a being which is worthy of worship. Lesser beings are not “Gods” at all. In fact, in my debates with Muslim theologians, this is one of the arguments I use against the Islamic conception of God: that Allah cannot be the greatest conceivable being because he is not all-loving and therefore cannot be God.

And we must ask why is it logically impossible that there be any other god? What criteria does Craig use to arrive at the conclusion that the christian god is the only one and the right one to boot. Please god, I want such powers of cognition as Craig does! Amen. While still on this matter, JZ asked if being worshiped is to be seen as a virtue or vice. And how is YHWH all loving when we hear there are two paths, one to damnation and the other to the pearly gates? or are these lies to keep people in church?

And I think this

The idea is that moral values are based in God, but if your concept of God is inadequate, then your ethics are going to be messed up. The problem lies in a defective concept of God.

explains why those who are so steeped in belief and faith are not useful to the society. I am waiting to hear the one believer who will give a logically coherent definition of god. Am patient, I will wait.

In the end Craig brushes the problem away by making a claim that only his god is god, the rest are defective conceptions of god. I hope he will give us reasonable answers to how he comes to this conclusion without obfuscation and a wave of the hand.

Professor Coyne has written on this here.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

73 thoughts on “Divine Command Theory

  1. Ruth says:

    The idea is that moral values are based in God, but if your concept of God is inadequate, then your ethics are going to be messed up. The problem lies in a defective concept of God.

    Since we are all imperfect beings who lack perfect understanding how would it even be possible to have an adequate concept of God? If, then, it is impossible to have an adequate concept of God, and no one does, what good is basing one’s moral values in a God that anyone could conceive of? They would all be defective.

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  2. john zande says:

    You almost see a crack of light emerge in Craig’s thinking when he realises DCT is pure bunk… but alas, then the delusion kicks into overdrive and he saves himself from rational thought.

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  3. Reading WLC’s BS is like watching a hamster run in a wheel, believing it will somehow move the wheel forward, while masturbating with a Brillo pad. This dude redefines the meaning of pompous ass.

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  4. gipsika says:

    Mostly my understanding is lacking in why such a debate is necessary. The scientific training in me has taken over long since and concluded that therefore, such a god cannot 1) exist or conversely, 2) claim to be moral goodness in person; the whole thing falls apart on logical inconsistencies. Therefore, divine command theory is wrong. Q.E.D.

    Then again I guess what is a “theory” to one (as in, a postulation that needs to be tested and re-tested to stay accepted, and is thrown out with the first genuine inconsistency) is a “theory” (an artistic thought construct meant to fuel debates) to another.

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    • makagutu says:

      There should be no debate. It should be enough to point out that Craig is wrong in his claims and end it there. He keeps repeating it and someone may think it is valid.

      As to the usage of theory, Craig’s usage must be different from the common usage of the word.

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      • gipsika says:

        I think a lot of people use Craig’s definition of “theory”. Especially politicians and religious fanatics…

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        • makagutu says:

          The ones who say evolution is just a theory but do not say the same about gravity I guess

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          • gipsika says:

            Haha. “Theory of gravity.” Well I challenge them to put gravity to the test: Go stand on a high-rise building, jump off and see if gravity is just a theory.

            There is a truckload of evidence pro evolution by now, overwhelming, and it’s also clear (obviously) that Darwin had the principles right but didn’t have the whole picture (after all he was a scientist laying track, not a Messiah writing scripture). That’s how science grows.

            The exact details of human evolution vanish in the mists of time, and it’s scary to think how few fossil finds we have so far. But at this point evidence points to that we are probably the missing link 😉

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          • makagutu says:

            The idea that we are the missing link is a hilarious one.

            Craig should call his divine command hypothesis, he should then develop an abstract and methodology of testing his work. His literature review must cover more than just the bible.

            It is good to see you here mate

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          • gipsika says:

            😀 It’s good to find like-minded people! Have to say, the idea that we are the missing link isn’t even mine (scientists are such plagiarists!). It comes from Konrad Lorenz, who studied animal behaviour, and the way he put it was in the line of “there is still hope that we are indeed the intermediary phase between the primitive pre-human and the truly humane being.”

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          • makagutu says:

            ah I see. It is great to find like-minded people. It is a good thing they are not many, I would be worried then 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I nearly fell asleep reading Craig’s reply, not only is it illogical in the extreme, it is asinine,

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  6. Ron says:

    Amazing! He turned “I refuse to answer that question” into a 1687 word essay.

    “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” ― W.C. Fields.

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  7. That’s the awesomeness of the All that is. We are allowed to be All that is Not without any judgment. Except the judgment we put on ourselves. Free will is a beautiful thing.

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  8. aguywithoutboxers says:

    All that I can add, in my humble and inadequate understanding, is that I am still patiently waiting for a believable definition of a perfect deity. To date, no one has offered one for me.

    Great point and research, my Nairobi brother! Please enjoy your weekend and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done. Much love and naked hugs, friend! 🙂

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  9. Craig is wrong because it is I who knows the only true god. He came to me in the image of a cat… or was it a rat… … … bat?

    Oh well, it doesn’t matter. He still came to me on a mountaintop… or was it a hilltop… … … rooftop?

    In any case, his name is Rudy… or was it Judy… … … Trudy?

    He/she told me the Christian god was a myth… or was it a pith… … … Sith?

    So, there you have it! I’m gonna start my own religion. It couldn’t be any worse than the others.

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  10. Joseph Wahome says:

    Actually, the MAIN reason why Craig is wrong in all this is because I have this invisible friend called Hector. Now Hector specializes in biting off the heads of all Gods, and hence killing them instantly. It then follows that if Craig believes in a God, then he is mistaken, for Hector must have bitten off and swallowed that God’s head a long time ago.Craig is welcome to disprove the existence of Hector. I bet he can’t.

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  11. Sonel says:

    Some folks need to wake up and smell the roses Mak. Have a great weekend my friend. 😀

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  12. ladysighs says:

    I am so glad I just don’t have to worry about which god is which and why and how and where the real god does this and that. Would drive one crazy.
    Lots of crazies around as proof that that kind of thinking/worrying does just that.

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  13. shelldigger says:

    How is it that theologians manage to say so much without saying anything at all? It is apparently a honed skill.

    …all hail Hector! Though i wonder how well Hector will hold up to Mak’s scrutiny?

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  14. Actually a little reading of what Craig actually says and also of divine command theorist in general might clarify this for you a little.
    As Craig has noted, he is using the word God as a title not a proper name. Just as the title “Ceasar” designated whoever is Emperor of Rome, “God” is the title given to any person who is “the greatest possible being”, who is “worthy of worship”.

    And we must ask whether he admits that if his god exists, it cannot have free will. And in some sectors, theologians have said the nature of god is unknowable, me wonders how Craig has come to this knowledge and two is who invented god’s nature?

    As Craig and others who use this concept of God has pointed out, you can work out what God’s nature is by asking what nature a being would have to have in order to be worthy of worship or the greatest possible being. The idea that a person who was evil or creul and wasn’t just and loving for example would not be worthy of worship.

    And we must ask why is it logically impossible that there be any other god? What criteria does Craig use to arrive at the conclusion that the christian god is the only one and the right one to boot. Please god, I want such powers of cognition as Craig does! Amen.

    Actually if you read the quote you just cited from you’ll see he answers the question, seeing he is using the term God as a title, for a being who is worthy of worshipis impossible for God to not be essentially good, in the same way it is impossible for Caesar to not be the Emperor of Rome. A person might claim there is another person who currently holds this title, and one might dispute as to who at a particular point in time in fact did – rejecting that Nero is Ceasar as opposed to Claudius let’s say – but one cannot claim that if someone is Ceasar that he is not the Emperor of Rome. Similarly, as Craig has defined his terms, it is impossible for anyone to be God and not be essentially good. One can deny that any existent being is God, and one can deny certain candidates such as Yahweh or Allah are God, but if a being is God then he is good.

    But then again he actually pointed this out in the quote, that’s why actually reading stuff and trying to understand it us usually a better method than simply making sarcastic quibs based on neither.

    I am waiting to hear the one believer who will give a logically coherent definition of god. Am patient, I will wait.

    Professor Coyne has written on this here.

    Actually I respond to Coyne here http://www.mandm.org.nz/2014/10/jerry-coyne-on-deception-and-the-omission-of-facts.html. Its interesting what you find when you actually read and investigate the articles being commented on, try it some time.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hello Matthew,
      You must jest, Craig in all his arguments makes reference to the Christian god for whom he is an apologist. The claim that he uses god as a tittle and not a proper name is simply farfetched.

      You must accept the claim that the argument that god is all good is one of special pleading. There is no basis to think he is except your emotions.

      Do you have a coherent definition of a god? Is that why you want me to read your blog? And are you suggesting I don’t read? What is with your advice that I try reading sometime?

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