God & Nature

What Place has Reason in Divine Commands?

Lesson Objectives

• Understand the relationship between God, covenant, and free will

• Appreciate how DCT claims objectivity and why this is important

• Understand why reasoning is not part of DCT

• Appreciate the inabliity of DCT to be a universal ethical framework

• Understand Euthyphro's Dilemma and its implications

• Appreciate the problems of discerning theological answers without reason

• Appreciate the advantages of Natural Law over DCT

• Understand Aquinas' Seven Basic Goods

• Appreciate the reasons why many modern folks don't agree with Natural Law

Key Terms


Free Will


Divine Command Theory



Natural Law Theory

Is/ought problem


God & Morality

The Abrahamic God

• There are many narratives of gods in history

• However, the God of Abraham is claimed to have revealed religion to the patriarch and other prophets (the list varies according to different religions)

• The 3 traditions that came from Abraham are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

• Those who follow the God of Abraham are "Theists"

• Observant Jews claim God revealed the Torah

• Christians claim God revealed the Old & New Testaments

• Some denominations of Christians (eg. Mormons) claim more scriptures

• Muslims claim God revealed the Quran as His final and corrected scripture

Free Will

• Adherents of the three Abrahamic traditions are understood to have freewill

     • Free will is the ability to choose between different moral actions

     • Free will is an essential component of the Abrahamic traditions

• In these traditions, obedience is generally not forced but is a free choice


• All three traditions claim a covenantal relationship with the God of Abraham

• A covenant is an ancient two-way agreement to which both parties are bound

• In this, adherents are compelled to obey God in order to recieve His blessing