My wife is taking a class where she has to prove that modern slavery is unethical by using one of various theories, among them the "divine command theory." This states that something is morally or ethically right or wrong solely depending on whether or not God commands it. Some see a dilemma within this theory, and ask, "Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?" I think this is a false dilemma that reveals the questioner's ignorance of God himself. It makes God out to be either an arrogant dictator or less than the Source of all things, including right and wrong. To illustrate, God commands us to love neither arbitrarily nor because it somehow stands apart from Him, but because He Himself is love. As for the truth, we are told to speak the truth in love similarly because, as Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life." So in both examples, God's command (which defines our morality or ethical behavior) is neither capriciously given nor borrowed from elsewhere (as if there were an elsewhere to God!) Do you agree that this is a false dilemma? And I could be wrong, but does not the the divine command theory address our morality but the dilemma point to God's morality? If so, then holding to this dilemma, this "tyranny of the ors," only reveals that the holder is doubtful of or critical toward God himself! -- Fred Ichinose
Yes, I think your analysis is right on! Well put.