How is the divine command theory related to ethics and morality? The divine command theory is one of many philosophies of morality and moral behavior. It is a sub-category of moral absolutismwhich holds that humanity is subject to absolute standards that determine when acts are right or wrong. Moral absolutism, in turn, falls under the umbrella of deontological ethicswhich teaches that actions are moral or not based on their adherence to given rules.
General form[ edit ] Various forms of divine command theory have been presented by philosophers including William of OckhamSt AugustineDuns Scotusand John Calvin. The theory generally teaches that moral truth does not exist independently of God and that morality is determined by divine commands.
Stronger versions of the theory assert that God's command is the only reason that a good action is moral, while weaker variations cast divine command as a vital component within a greater reason.
It can be a plausible theory to Christians because the traditional conception of God as the creator of the universe supports the idea that he created moral truths. The theory is supported by the Christian view that God is all-powerful because this implies that God creates moral truths, rather than moral truths existing independently of him, which seems inconsistent with his omnipotence.
He argued that to achieve this happiness, humans must love objects that are worthy of human love in the correct manner; this requires humans to love God, which then allows them to correctly love that which is worthy of being loved.
Augustine's ethics proposed that the act of loving God enables humans to properly orient their loves, leading to human happiness and fulfilment.
However, unlike Plato, he believed that achieving a Self morality moral relativism and divine command soul had a higher purpose: His view of morality was thus heteronomous, as he believed in deference to a higher authority Godrather than acting autonomously.
This means that the commands of natural law do not depend on God's will, and thus form the first three commandments of the Ten Commandments. The last seven of the Ten Commandments do not belong to the natural law in the strictest sense. Scotus does note, however that the last seven commandments "are highly consonant with [the natural law], though they do not follow necessarily from first practical principles that are known in virtue of their terms and are necessarily known by any intellect [that understands their terms.
And it is certain that all the precepts of the second table belong to the natural law in this second way, since their rectitude is highly consonant with first practical principles that are known necessarily".
Divine Command Theory The view that morality is somehow dependent upon God, and that moral obligation consists in obedience to God's commands (includes the claim that morality is ultimately based on the commands or character of God, and that the morally . I will be arguing that divine command theory is a more veridical account of morality than moral relativism (which I take to mean, considering Pro's definitions, cultural relativism). Please state your opening argument(s). The divine command theory is one of many philosophies of morality and moral behavior. It is a sub-category of moral absolutism, which holds that humanity is subject to absolute standards that determine when acts are right or wrong.
Hence, the last seven commandments do belong to the natural law, but not in the strictest sense, as they belong to the natural law by rectitude rather than by definition. Thomas Aquinas[ edit ] Whilst Aquinas, as a natural law theorist, is generally seen as holding that morality is not willed by God,  Kelly James Clark and Anne Poortenga have presented a defence of divine command theory based on Aquinas' moral theory.
Aquinas proposed a theory of natural law which asserted that something is moral if it works towards the purpose of human existence, and so human nature can determine what is moral.
Clark and Poortenga argued that God created human nature and thus commanded a certain morality; hence he cannot arbitrarily change what is right or wrong for humans.
Philosopher and theologian John E. Hare challenges this view, arguing that Kantian ethics should be seen as compatible with divine command theory. It is wrong to do X. It is contrary to God's commands to do X.
Adams writes that his theory is an attempt to define what being ethically 'wrong' consists of and accepts that it is only useful to those within a Judeo-Christian context. In dealing with the criticism that a seemingly immoral act would be obligatory if God commanded it, he proposes that God does not command cruelty for its own sake.
Adams does not propose that it would be logically impossible for God to command cruelty, rather that it would be unthinkable for him to do so because of his nature. Adams emphasises the importance of faith in God, specifically faith in God's goodness, as well as his existence. If cruelty was commanded, he would not be loving; Adams argued that, in this instance, God's commands would not have to be obeyed and also that his theory of ethical wrongness would break down.
He proposed that divine command morality assumes that human concepts of right and wrong are met by God's commands and that the theory can only be applied if this is the case.
It attempts to challenge the claim that an external standard of morality prevents God from being sovereign by making him the source of morality and his character the moral law.
In ethical contexts, he believes that 'wrong' entails an emotional attitude against an action and that these two uses of wrongness usually correlate. If God commanded what a believer perceived as wrong, the believer would not say it is right or wrong to disobey him; rather their concept of morality would break down.
Thomas Aquinas argued that God's omnipotence should be understood as the ability to do all things that are possible: Austin contends that commanding cruelty for its own sake is not illogical, so is not covered by Aquinas' defence, although Aquinas had argued that sin is the falling short of a perfect action and thus not compatible with omnipotence.
The description of actions as right or wrong are therefore relevant to God; a person's sense of what is right or wrong corresponds to God's. We have rights, dignity, freedom, and responsibility because God has designed us this way. In this, we reflect God's moral goodness as His image-bearers.
Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics  As an alternative to divine command theory, Linda Zagzebski has proposed divine motivation theory, which still fits into a monotheistic framework. According to this theory, goodness is determined by God's motives, rather than by what he commands.
Divine motivation theory is similar to virtue ethics because it considers the character of an agent, and whether they are in accordance with God's, as the standard for moral value. God's attitude towards something is cast as a morally good attitude. He used the example of water not having an identical meaning to H2O to propose that "being commanded by God" does not have an identical meaning to "being obligatory".
This was not an objection to the truth of divine command theory, but Wainwright believed it demonstrated that the theory should not be used to formulate assertions about the meaning of obligation.
He suggested that, even if one accepts that being commanded by God and being morally right are the same, they may not be synonyms because they might be different in other possible worlds. He writes of the objection that a moral life should be sought because morality is valued, rather than to avoid punishment or receive a reward.The theories include; relativism, utilitarianism, divine command theory, deontology and virtue theory.
This paper will focus on the five ethic theories by describing them and major solely on one theory that supersedes the others and justifying the reasons why it is commonly considered. what is moral for each person or religion is relative to God; there are no universal moral principles binding all people; no morality apart from God's will cultural relativism, divine command, and ethical subjectivism are mutually exclusive.
The divine command theory is one of many philosophies of morality and moral behavior. It is a sub-category of moral absolutism, which holds that humanity is subject to absolute standards that determine when acts are right or wrong.
Divine command theory (also known as theological voluntarism) is a meta-ethical theory which proposes that an action's status as morally good is equivalent to whether it is commanded by timberdesignmag.com theory asserts that what is moral is determined by what God commands, and that for a person to be moral is to follow his commands.
what is moral for each person or religion is relative to God; there are no universal moral principles binding all people; no morality apart from God's will cultural relativism, divine command, and ethical subjectivism are mutually exclusive. Apr 30, · In this essay, we will evaluate and compare two competing moral theories: Divine Command Theory and Ethical Relativism.
Although each theory has its proponents and detractors, it is argued here that Ethical Relativism is the stronger theory.