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The Divine Command Theory - Essay Example

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The Divine Command Theory says, roughly, "Given that God exists, an act is good only because God commands it" (Wheeler). In general, what is morally right depends on God's commands or God's will. The Divine Command Theory categorizes rightness or wrongness, some authors use "good" or "evil", accordingly, if an action falls within God's command then it is right or good, but it is wrong or evil if it does not.
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The Divine Command Theory
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Download file to see previous pages Too many words and arguments have been expended on this topic, but let me draw my reason from this simple passage to why this theory should be endorsed: " God is love." [1 John 4:8]. If we believe that God does not declare what is good, and simply commands us to do it, just because he is the stronger and he is therefore the authority, isn't it hard to obey The human nature is stubborn, that I believe. But if we are to think that there are these existing commandments, from an authority who knows our inmost being, Someone who provides our needs even before we ask for it, the One who loves us unconditionally (these I learned from Sunday schools), isn't it true that it will be easier to follow I deem that the same God I got to know on Sunday schools is the same God being talked about in the Divine Command Theory. Therefore, to endorse the theory will mean no harm; instead this will lead people to do good, embrace what is good, and to obey His commandments.
One main objection to the Divine Command theory is the so-called Euthyphro Dilemma, proposed by Plato. The dilemma goes like this: "are morally good acts good because God commands it, or God commands it because God Himself is good" From this, at least three problems for a Divine Command Theory arise: The problem of emptiness, whereby "God commands what is good"; the problem of independence, whereby God only commands things because they are already morally good, thus making God irrelevant to the moral rightness of action; and thirdly the problem of horrendous commands, whereby God could, if DCT is true, command acts that we find horrendous The independence problem: how can the notion of "goodness" be objectively separate from God How can one judge God to be good if God is the source of what we call goodness (Peoples). I chose to cite the implication that morality is arbitrary as another standard objection to the theory aside from the well famous Euthyphro Dilemma. It implies that if the theory is true, morality is based only on God's whim. Therefore if God commands cruelty then, it would be only right to obey him and commit cruelty as well. One reply to this objection denies that God, the familiar omnipotent, omniscience, and omnibenevolent theistic deity (Miller), would have commanded such things because, He necessarily does not command evil.
Whether God is red in tooth and claw (Kevin Kim), or whether He is the God of love I came to know on Sunday schools, it only means that all of us, from time to time, reflects on that Being to whom goodness emanates, may it be absolute or not depending on your beliefs.
Works Cited
Wheeler. http://www.philosophy.uconn.edu/department/wheeler/divine.pdf
Glenn Andrew Peoples http://www.berettaonline.com/articles/philosophy/echo.html
Miller, Christian. "Divine Theory and Obligation". New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Ed. Y.
Nagasawa and E. Wielenberg. Palgrave Macmillan, 105-124.. http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5230U.pdf
Kim, Kevin. http://bighominid.blogspot.com/2005/05/divine-command-theory.html
Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism is the philosophical principle which says that an individual's beliefs and activities is to be understood by his culture. It holds ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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