Why is the divine command theory wrong

The definition of morality in the theory of divine command?

There is more than one theory known as the Divine Command Theory. I haven't seen the distinction that way in the literature, but there is an ontological divine command theory (hereinafter DCT) that we can relate to the medieval idea of ​​volunteer service (e.g. Ockham et al.), And there is one epistemological DCT recently offered by Robert Merrihew Adams and C. Stephen Evans. It might be best to think of these things as some sort of sequence.

In the ontological DCT, something is right or wrong because and only because God has declared it that way. Most readers find this position absurd, or at least somewhat disturbing, because it leads to worlds, or at least appears to lead to worlds in which God says that killing people is not only not wrong, but mandatory. So knowing morality means knowing what God says, what is arbitrary, and doing what He says.

The epistemological DCT shifts the purpose of divine commands in relation to human subjects. In epistemological versions of DCT, what happens is that we know right and wrong through God's commandments. In other words, when God commands something, we know that it is right; If God commands against it, we know it is wrong. But what we don't know directly from it is Why God commands this or, better formulated, what with the content could lead to God commanding it and thereby making it moral or immoral for us.

It turns out that most of the versions of DCT offered in the philosophical literature are more like the latter than the former. For these, it could be that God has argued that something is immoral on a number of bases (Kantian, utilitarian), or that God designed the order of the world so that some things might or might not fit.

So when we speak of DCT we need to think carefully about whether we are describing a theory that our moral knowledge depends on God's commandments or that moral reality depends on God's commandments. The latter faces a much larger number of objections than the former. In addition, both theories could partially Be declarations of morality. For example, the former may contain God's commandments as a source of moral knowledge rather than a source. Or the metaphysical version can say that some rules are arbitrary without declaring all of the rules arbitrary.

Why all this legwork? Partly because the full metaphysical variant has several serious problems (like the murder world above), but the image in which at least some of morality comes from divine commands seems endemic to monotheistic religions.