Divine Fiat and Blind Obedience

By William Ferraiolo.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 28, 2015 $US5.00

Divine Command Theory may well be entirely wrong, either for lack of a Divine Commander or for other reasons entirely, but it is no more obviously wrong or inherently untenable than are any of its competitor theories. Contrary to the popular contention that the Socratic confutation of Divine Command Theory in the Euthyphro put to rest any serious or worthwhile debate about its viability, the Divine Command Theorist can, without shame or dissimulation, cleave to the doctrine that moral goodness is, fundamentally, a matter of naked obedience to divine authority. If God made everything, and if there are moral laws, then God made them as well. Divine fiat is no less defensible a foundation for morality than is the categorical imperative or the principle of utility. For moral skeptics (such as myself), the previous sentence constitutes something less than a ringing endorsement of Divine Command Theory, and something more than vague skepticism regarding alternatives.

Keywords: Philosophy, Theology, Ethics

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.15-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 28, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 291.590KB)).

Dr. William Ferraiolo

Philosophy Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences Division, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA, USA