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Divine Command Metaethics Modified Again
Robert Merrihew Adams
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring, 1979), pp. 66-79
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40018244
Page Count: 14
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This essay presents a version of divine command metaethics inspired by recent work of Donnellan, Kripke, and Putnam on the relation between necessity and conceptual analysis. What we can discover a priori, by conceptual analysis, about the nature of ethical wrongness is that wrongness is the property of actions that best fills a certain role. What property that is cannot be discovered by conceptual analysis. But I suggest that theists should claim it is the property of being contrary to the commands of a loving God. This claim, if true, is a necessary but not an a priori truth. It also is a claim, not about the way in which some believers use the word 'wrong,' but about the wrongness that virtually everyone talks about. This position is distinguished from the author's previous views, and from a holistic development of the latter proposed by Jeffrey Stout.
The Journal of Religious Ethics © 1979 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc