Alexander Pruss’s Simple Argument against Divine Command Theories

Here is Pruss’s argument:

1.Even if God didn’t forbid it, torturing the innocent would be wrong.
2.(Premise) Necessarily, torturing the innocent is wrong.
3.(Premise) Possibly, God does not forbid torturing the innocent.
4.(Premise) If divine command theory is true, then it is the case that: necessarily, something is wrong if and only if it is forbidden by God.
5.Therefore, divine command theory is not true.


About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Bret L

    Wes Morriston has refuted DCT in terms that were much clearer to me than this. At least I think he did.
    He said something like, "Either God has good reasons for his commands or he does not. If God does have good reasons for his commands, then those reasons, (and not God's Commands) are the true base of Morality. If God doesn't have good reasons then his commands are arbitrary and should be disregarded."
    The typical apologist answer is that God cannot command contrary to his nature. Whatever that means, and if the Christian God is the subject the bible paints a confusing picture of God's "nature".
    I think I understand the argument Pruss makes here. But wouldn't the Theist deny Premise 3?