Title

AL-GHAZĀLĪ'S DIVINE COMMAND THEORY: Biting the Bullet

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Shoaib Ahmed Malik, Zayed University

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Journal of Religious Ethics

Publication Date

9-1-2021

Abstract

This article reviews al-Ghazālī's conception of Divine Command Theory (DCT) in light of contemporary philosophical developments. There are two well-known objections against DCT. These include the problem of arbitrariness (PoA), which states that God randomly chose our moral framework for no reason given His capability to choose any moral commands; and the problem of God's goodness (PoGG), which questions God's goodness if morality could be other than what it is. Modern defenders of DCT have attempted to counter these objections through various strategies. This article juxtaposes al-Ghazālī's interpretation of DCT with modern strategies to illustrate how these two issues are untroubling concerns in al-Ghazālī's framework. In doing so, it highlights where and how they differ in their approaches. Additionally, it critiques interpretations suggested by some contemporary thinkers who suggest that al-Ghazālī may not be a strict proponent of DCT.

ISSN

0384-9694

Publisher

Wiley

Volume

49

Issue

3

First Page

546

Last Page

576

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

al-Ghazālī, Ashʿarism, divine command theory, Islam, jurisprudence, maqāṣid al-sharīʿa, morality, natural law

Scopus ID

85113550663

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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