Divine command metaethics (DCM) says that
- the obligatory is defined as what God commands.
Option 1: "God" is a proper name of a particular individual. Then, DCM licenses the following surprising per impossibile counterfactual:
- If the cosmos were created by an essentially omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfectly good, loving, unique, infinite, and necessarily existing (I will abbreviate such a list as "omni-omni") creator other than God, then there would be no duty to obey this creator.
In other words, a DCM where "God" is a proper name is implausible.
Option 2: "God" is a definite description. Presumably, then, it is a description such that it is a conceptual truth that any omni-omni creator is God. (If not, just throw enough attributes into the "omni-omni" list to make that be true.) But if so, then the DCM claim is basically that the obligatory is what is commanded by a being who satisfies D, where D is some part of the "omni-omni creator" description. If so, then we have a problem identified in an excellent paper by MacIntyre: Exactly which attributes are a part of D? This problem is not unanswerable, perhaps, but it is very difficult.