The Doctrine Of The Divine Command Theory

1488 Words6 Pages
Is the churches moral teaching of value only to Catholics or to everyone, and either way, why?

Christian morality is centered on assessing the ethical implications of us as people. Who we ought and be, and what actions we ought to take or avoid based on an understanding of the scripture and relevant human experiences. I do not subscribe to the divine command theory (DCT) of ethics, as I believe you can have ethics without God. The DCT proposes that what is morally right is what God has commanded (for example, love thy neighbor), and what is forbidden by God is morally wrong (i.e. murder), yet there are many who agree that murder is wrong without reading the bible to recognize this. As such, I argue that the churches moral teachings are of
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The DCT argues that the bible is the best source to understand God’s morality, however, which bible to follow is up for debate. Moreover, there are contradictions to the moral guidance provided in the bible and the bible is open to contradictory interpretations - even if the bible is the word of God, there are many readings and interpretations of God’s true meaning.
Furthermore, if you cannot have ethics without God, which one of God’s teachings should be following. Should the teachings in the old testament championing an “eye for an eye” be tossed aside in favour of the new testament teaching of us to “turn the other cheek”. If God’s will is good, then it is both morally right to exact revenge, as well as demonstrate forgiveness to an injustice. I argue that this argument challenges the premise that God is omniscient as in the old testament, God commands and permits one act, and in the new testament contradicts and supports an entirely different act. If we follow the DCT and assume that as God’s will is good then both commands are correct, then it is up to the individual to decide which moral action to take. If such freedom is possible in making moral decisions, then divine command may not always be needed to satisfy our moral duties.
In addition, the words in the bible are far too contradictory to be the basis of morality. Theological ethics purports that there is an objective criterion for ethics based on divine intentionality. However, the words
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