Plato 's The Divine Command Theory

1768 Words8 Pages
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 is composed of two maxims. First, it is right for an agent to do x. Second, God commands the agent to do x. Thus, God commands what is right for the agent to do. These statements are logically equivalent, as they together can only be either true or false. The second statement must also precede the first in order for the overall theory to make sense. For example, if God commands a man to love his neighbor as himself, then it is right for that man to do so. He cannot act on a command that is morally right if that command is not given to him. This idea of the divine command theory is presented by Plato in his Euthyphro. One of the main characters, Euthyphro, is prosecuting his father for killing a servant. Socrates, his philosophical counterpart, observes this act
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