Abhorrent Commands

David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls

in Good God

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751808
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894840 | DOI:
Abhorrent Commands

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This chapter answers arbitrariness and vacuity objections to divine command theory without shying away from the hard biblical passages like the binding of Isaac and the conquest narratives, nor opting for a nonliteral interpretation. The chapter rather attempts to show that, though these are undoubtedly difficult passages to understand, they are ultimately reconcilable with our most nonnegotiable moral intuitions. There are indeed recognizably abhorrent commands that God by his nature could never perform, but these Old Testament passages, though hard to make sense of morally, aren't impossible. What is needed is a principled line between the merely hard passages and actually impossible moral scenarios.

Keywords: binding of Isaac; conquest narratives; moral intuitions

Chapter.  8584 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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