Digest of terms

divine command

belief that the voice of God is behind moral prescriptions found especially in Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures, e.g. in the Decalogue and Qur'anic commands, as also in the sensitivities of individual conscience. Critics dismiss this approach to ethics as heteronomous and against the grain of the kind of independent thinking which is a hallmark of mature autonomy. Some versions of religious ethics may indeed promote in this way a dangerously infantile dependence on 'being told what to do'. However, an alternative approach found in these same traditions emphasises the need for each individual, in developing their mature faith, to recognise that God-given reason should be used in responding to calls for obedience, whatever their source. (Euthyphro dilemma)

This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using the site, you agree to our use of cookies. For more information about how we use cookies click here.