Shafer-Landeau's Divine Command Theory

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The Divine Command Theory explains that actions are good if and only if God commands them, and actions are bad if and only if God forbids them. This makes the Divine Command Theory independent of human thought and feeling, it is God who determines what actions are moral. If we were to disobey God that would be an immoral thing to do and thus, we would be punished.
We are motivated to follow this theory because it is the only reason why we still follow moral laws. If we were to believe that God did not exist, then there would be no reason for people to do the right thing. “Without the belief in God, people are more likely to stray from the path of virtue. It will be harder for them to sacrifice self-interest when duty calls” (Shafer-Landau
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During the dialogue between Euthyphro and Socrates, a very important question is brought to light. Socrates asked, “Does God command us to do actions because they are morally right, or are actions morally right because God commands them?” (Shafer-Landau 67) There are numerous ways that philosophers have answered this question. Normally this question is divided into the subjective horn which is the first half of the question and the objective horn the rest of the question. In the subjective horn, goodness is believed to be objective because God can choose a wrong action to be good or bad, a good action to be bad or good. It all depends on his perspective on the matter, it seems as if God is creating morality by the flip of a coin (Shafer-Landau 68). This line of thinking contradicts our motivations to follow the moral laws, no one would follow an arbitrary and imperfect God. This ultimately leads us to believe that God has reasons for making certain actions good or bad, those reasons are what makes those actions good or bad and not God himself (Shafer-Landau 68). In the objective horn, goodness is believed to have existed before God. This contradicts the subjective horn and questions whether we depend on God. I believe that even if goodness was created before God, he is still there to act as our role model and spiritual guide. For instance, when you first hand a car to a teenager, you do not simply give them the keys and pretend like they will know what to do. You have to teach them and show them how to use the car properly. God is our teacher, he teaches us how to use goodness

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