Russell's version is an attempt to show an internal flaw in the Christian's notion of God and goodness. Is a thing right simply because God declares it so, or does God say it is good because He recognizes a moral code superior even to Him?
This problem presents a dilemma because one is forced to choose between two options, both ultimately hostile to Christian theism. The believer is caught between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand, God reigns and His Law is supreme. As the ultimate Sovereign, He establishes the moral rules of the universe. His commands are absolute. We must obey.
Ethicist Scott Rae describes the view: "A divine command theory of ethics is one in which the ultimate foundation for morality is the revealed will of God, or the commands of God found in Scripture." This view is known as ethical voluntarism.
At first blush this seems correct, until we realize the liabilities. The content of morality would be arbitrary, dependent on God's whim. Though God has declared murder, theft, and debauchery wrong, it could have been otherwise had God willed it so. Any "immoral" act could suddenly become "moral" by simple fiat.
Further, it reduces God's goodness to His power. To say that God is good simply means that He is capable of