Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Chris Heathwood

Second Advisor

Dominic Bailey

Third Advisor

Samuel Boyd


In Robert Adams’ famous book, “Finite and Infinite Goods,” he proposes a moral value theory that is divine-based and explains moral goodness in terms of resemblance to God. In this paper I argue against Adams’ position and propose an alternative theory that is non-divine based but should still be accepted by theists.

In the second half of this thesis I aim to show that divine command theory should not only be taken seriously as a metaethical stance, but that it is in fact the correct moral theory with regards to the nature of our moral duties. I present background information and explain the concept of moral duties and their distinctness from moral values. Then I show that of all the possible accounts of the reality of our moral duties, divine command theory is the only tenable option. I work through objections such as the Euthyphro dilemma and show how my theory holds up against such objections.