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Matt on “Divine Commands and the Canaanite Massacre” at Windsor Park Baptist Church

April 11th, 2016 by Matt

Matt’s talk “Divine Commands and the Canaanite Massacre” at Windsor Park Baptist, is  now available online. Matt’s talk was part of a series of talks hosted by “Reasons for Faith” an apologetics group based at Windsor Park Baptist Church.

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  • I’ve read some people categorize DCT as a subjectivist meta-ethical approach since it holds rightness to be reducible and dependent on the attitudes of God.

    This categorization makes a lot of sense to me. The divide isn’t really so wide between DCT proponents and other subjectivist approaches at least in terms of what it is these properties are reducible and dependent on.

    Anyway, I want to get your thoughts on what I see as a very serious problem for DCT.

    I don’t believe in God because I think the evidential problem of evil is a sufficient countervailing reason (assuming the god in question is the classical conception). That is really my basic problem. There are other issues involving divine hiddenness and the problem of non-belief and all that but I think those involve tentacles of the basic problem of evil.

    Of course, the problem of evil isn’t a problem for DCT directly but it’s a problem for God’s existence which is in turn a problem for DCT.

    The real problem I want to discuss is a kind of euthyphro take on it. I am going to lift the argument from Michael Huemer’s book “Intuitionism.”

    The problem goes like this:

    1. If no characteristics of God grounds an obligation to obey God’s commands, then there is no obligation to obey God’s commands
    2. The morally neutral characteristics of God do not ground an
    obligation to obey God’s commands.
    3. If the morally significant characteristics of God ground an
    obligation to obey his commands, then some moral facts are
    independent of God’s commands and attitudes.
    4. If either (a) there is no obligation to obey God’s commands or (b)
    some moral facts are independent of God’s commands and
    attitudes, then the divine command theory is false.
    C. Therefore, DCT is false

    Thanks