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How Should Theists Interpret The Abraham And Isaac Story? Is This Story An Endorsement Of Divine Command Theory? Or Does It Undermine Divine Command Theory? Or Does It Neither Endorse Nor Undermine Divine Command Theory

2122 words - 8 pages

Jake Radowski
How should Theists interpret the Abraham and Isaac story? Is this story an endorsement of divine command Theory? OR does it undermine Divine Command theory? OR does it neither endorse nor undermine Divine Command TheoryThe biblical story of Abraham and Isaac presents an interesting analogy for those of the belief in Divine Command Theory (which I will refer to in shorthand of [DCT]) while also providing a jump off for which atheists and non Divine Command Theorists may use to their advantage to disprove DCT. I will first explain the story for those who may be unknowing of it and thus theists may interpret the Abraham and Isaac story in a few ways and I will discuss these in form of which the story may plague the belief of DCT as well as how the story may be used for defence of DCT. In order to see more clearly the interpretations stemming from the story I will turn to the Plato's dialogue, 'the Euthyphro' and the popularly known Euthyphro Dilemma. While the supposed 'false dilemma' argued by theists of the Euthyphro dilemma is a good one, it leaves me unsatisfied as answering the question entitled in this essay and thus I will come to the conclusion that the story neither endorses nor undermines Divine Command Theory.Philosophy of this age involves in the field of metaethics, thus, how we may position ethical terms as "good" and right". I feel it now necessary to properly describe and define Divine Command Theory for how it is popularly known for the reader in order to properly answer the question posed and as a reference point for the essay. The most traditional form of metaethical theory used by theists is that of Divine Command Theory, also referred to as "Supernaturalism" by Harry J. Gensler. DCT is most formally known to argue that God is the source of good and that moral judgements describe God's will , thus are constituted by the commands of an essentially just and loving god. But this presents confusion so it is important to determine whether it is in fact God's commands or God's will that is primary in shaping moral obligation.[I will address this issue further in a different light, while it does not address the Abraham and Isaac story directly it is essential to a proper discussion of DCT]. While this is how the theory may be officially considered I will look at Norman Kretzman in his article "Abraham, Isaac, and Euthyphro: God and the Basis of Morality" where he discusses this very relationship stated above between god and morality, asking "just what is involved in God's establishing of moral principles?Kretzman is useful for this question discussion as he refers to the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac as a useful portrait for this discussion of DCT.I will turn to the Abraham narrative first for those unknowing of it. The story may be summarised as that Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac, his only, and beloved son. Abraham obliges and goes atop a mountain offering to sacrifice Isaac and just before the...

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