Volume 10, 2018
Three Counter-arguments against Divine Command Theory
The relation between morality and the existence of God is explicitly or implicitly presupposed not only in the ethical theories of different philosophers and thinkers but also in many politicians’ addresses to public, in the interviews of famous authors and columnists, in the sermons of priests or even in the most well-known masterpieces of world literature. We are often told by these social leaders that the idea of God and that of immortality are indispensable for morality, and that in an atheistic or naturalistic world there can be no ethics at all. What underlies this widespread conviction is actually the great debate on the foundation of morality, which has been a major issue in ethics for a long time. This paper aims first of all to examine the relation between morality and the existence of God within the framework of Divine Command Theory (contrary to the common confusion, not of belief in God); and then to criticize that claim based on William Craig’s arguments (Craig being one of the most influential Christian moralists). The arguments for the Divine Command Theory will be intentionally restricted to Craig’s ideas because, although he attacks humanism and naturalism in his debates with Kurtz, Nielsen, Harris and Taylor, he does not have to defend his position. This paper mostly targets his ideas based on religious terms, not philosophy.