James Rachel’s claim that right and wrong should not defined in terms of God’s will, and morality ought not be a matter of religious faith but rather reason and conscience is interesting. I take this quote to mean that, according to Rachel’s, morality (the extent to which an action is right or wrong) can exist without God. This claim is supported by the analysis of Divine Command Theory we had in class. According to Divine Command Theory, what is morally right or wrong is that way solely because God willed it or spoke it to be. This theory of morality is flawed in that it does not establish temporal precedence, meaning it does not distinguish what comes first: the moral rightness of an action or God’s command to perform it. This theory leaves room to question whether God commands people to do what is morally right or what is morally right is so because God commands it. The former option implies the rightness and/or wrongness of an act exists without God, which seems futile for those who subscribe to Divine Command Theory. In the case of the latter, morality has the potential to go against our “moral intuition”. Obviously, this lack of clarity is problematic for a moral theory. In fact it seems Divine Command Theory, along with its criticisms, does more to support Rachel’s claim than to refute it. The very existence of a “moral intuition” for some undercuts the need for religious faith and/or God in morality. Those who do not subscribe to a religious faith may ask, “If
In his work Euthyphro, Plato introduces a religiously based moral code. This code, the divine command theory, stresses the pleasing of god in one’s moral actions. Plato’s characters, Euthyphro and Socrates, take turns in a debate defending and criticizing this theory. Its flawed nature is uncovered and we as readers are able to notice its advantages and disadvantages. Using these criticisms, revisions to the divine command theory have been made. After analyzing the divine command theory and noting both its advantages and its critiques, I largely agree with the criticisms that are made about it. However, with certain revisions, it can be transformed into a reliable and successful philosophy.
The Divine Command theory of ethics is a theory that states that an act is right or wrong and good or bad based on whether or not God commands or prohibits us from doing it. This means that the only thing that makes an action morally wrong is because God says it is. There are two sides to this theory; the restricted and the unrestricted. The restricted theory basically says that an action is obligatory if and only if it is good and God commanded it; the unrestricted theory states that an act is only obligatory if it is commanded by God, it is not obligatory if it is prohibited by God and it is optional if and only if God has not commanded nor prohibited it.
The Divine Command theory states that” an act is morally required just because it is commanded by God, and immoral just because God forbids it.” (Lecture Notes pg. 42, slide #2.) This theory says that since God has said that it is something we must do to be good, that we must do it. Many religions believe and live by this saying that “it is the will of God or the Gods”. I truly believe that God has done his work and is still at work and since He did create us, He does know what good and evil is and does have authority to tell us what is good.
I believe that God commands it because it is already right or wrong. This could possibly mean that whether or not God exist, those right or wrong actions were already right or wrong instinctively. The only difference is that, some people believe that they need a creator or God to tell them what is morally correct or wrong to believe it is.
The divine command theory states that “An act is morally required just because it is commanded by God and immoral just because God forbids it” (Shafer-Landau, The Fundamentals of Ethics, p.67). In interviewing an Elder of a local Jehovah’s Witness congregation on the ethics involved in religion, he agreed that the divine command theory is correct, and that there are many commands and things that are forbidden in the bible that are considered to be God’s standards for the way we live our lives. But, when asked the modified version of the Euthyphro Question: is an action morally right because God commands it, or does God command an action because it is morally right, (Shafer-Landau, The Ethical Life, p.57) he picked the latter. Despite agreeing with the statement that the divine command theory makes, picking the latter is not uncommon even if the first affirms the theory. The statement that God commands an action because it is morally right, “implies that God did not invent morality, but rather recognized an existing moral law and then commanded us to obey it” (Shafer-Landau, The Fundamentals of Ethics, p.67-68). This does not make the Elder’s message wrong, in fact most theists don’t follow the divine command theory. This is based on the fact that if the theory were true, whatever God says is a command, and therefore morally right, but God could have said that rape, murder, and stealing is morally right if that was the line of thinking.
The Divine Command Theory states that morality is based on God’s commands and thus human actions should follow this law. I find it confusing when Rachels goes on to say that humans possess an understanding of right and wrong. If this is the case, then they do not need God to make those moral distinctions for them. This chapter seems very unclear to me about the role of God and humans. So, you make a good point about Rachels’ work being contradicting when he makes a point about humans are only concerned with their self-interest, but yet know the difference between right and wrong despite God’s command.
I agree. Aquinas explanation of the natural law theory actually supports the divine command theory by acknowledging God as the creator of the universe, nature, reason, and morality. Since it is God’s logic behind the natural law theory and an “action is right only if it in agreement with the natural law,” I fail to see how the theory could in any way discredit the divine command
The problem the unrestricted divine command theory runs into is dealing with two of the other characterizing tenets of God. These tenets are God’s divine rationality and God’s divine moral perfection. Divine rationality meaning God has a justification behind everything he does, and divine moral perfection meaning, God is fully perfect in every possible moral facet to the greatest order of magnitude. First, the belief that God possesses divine rationality comes into question when one accepts the unrestricted divine command theory. The sole reason actions are right or wrong are because God has commanded that certain actions are that way. Seeing that the morality of actions relies solely on the fact that God commanded certain actions are good and certain actions are bad leaves one with the ability to claim that God could have commanded anything to be good, and it would have to be that way. God did not have to base his commands on facts, nor did he have support his claims in any way because he created morality; however, this leaves one questioning God’s divine rationality. He had no justifications to the commands he made meaning he had no distinct rationale behind his commands. He simply stated what actions were right and wrong, and these orders were followed because God is the being that holds the power to create everything, including what is good and what is
Divine Command Theory is defined as “ethical principles are simple the commands of God” (Pojman p.356). Basically, this theory states that “morally right” means “commanded by God” and “morally wrong” means “forbidden by God” (Rachels p.53). The positive feature of the Divine Command Theory is that it solves the old problem about the objectivity of ethics by providing an answer as to why anyone should bother with morality (Rachels p.53). According to this theory, if nature of what is right and what is wrong depends on God’s command, then we have to wait until judgment day to deal with the consequences of our actions due to them begin immortal (Rachels p.53). But there is
According to A. W. Tozer, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” This aspect of my faith has become increasingly important to me as I have gone through this course. I entered this class with an interest in the study of God and the core beliefs of Christianity, yet not truly realizing how much I had to learn—how incomprehensible God truly is and how much information He has provided about Himself, that our human minds might be able to know Him pursue an intimate relationship with Him. This course has challenged me in ways that no other class has before by clearly presenting complicated information and allowing me to make judgements for myself.
In a deontological system, it is supposed that a person's ethics and decision making is affected mostly by virtue or moral absolutes and guiding principles. This is very pronounced in Christian ethics. Thus, decision making in governed by the deontological system is whether an action is inherently right or wrong (Rae, 2000, p. 17). Furthermore, deontological systems are then based on divine command theory, natural law and ethical rationalism.
First, I will explain what Divine Command Theory is in more detail, and why someone would believe this theory because of its claims to morality. Robert Mortimer is the creator of this theory and he makes many claims as to why God is the sole reason that morality exists. First, it must be known that people reject the idea
The three commonplace ways of knowing that was talked about in the article were logic, revelation and authority. Logic is one of the more useful ways of knowing because it deals with true or false. However, logic can be very misleading. The article gave the example of empirical logic that said,” All cows are brown. Bossy is not brown. Therefore Bossy is not a cow.” like the article says this is not logical because cows can be different colors. When it comes to me though, I believe that logic is the best way of knowing for quick thinking because making a logical choice is often the correct one in everyday life. Another way of knowing the article talks about revelation. The article defines this as a statement that comes from a source that is unquestionable. I think that a lot of people in America use this way of knowing to try and understand government. Like when the supreme court decided that black people freed or enslaved could not be U.S. citizens in the Dred Scott v. Stanford, some of the country thought this to be the way it is because the statement came from the Supreme Court that is what some think an unquestionable source. The next way of thinking that the article talks about is authority. The authority way of thinking has to do with authority figures really. I guess my last example would work here too because the people see the Supreme Court as an established authority, but I didn’t want use it here because people fight supreme court cases. The Civil War was fought
Is the churches moral teaching of value only to Catholics or to everyone, and either way, why?