The Doctrine Of The Divine Command Theory

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In the beginning of mankind, religion was the centerpiece that cultures revolved their lives around. Such an important aspect in the development of mankind has caused much chaos and turmoil, as well as some of the most thought provoking theories and ideas from some of the greatest philosophers. One of those theories is the Divine Command theory. The Divine Command theory tries to explain the relation between God and what is morally correct and there have been many philosophers who have taken very opposing views on the theory in order to determine of society should accept this theory. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Divine Command theory is “the view that morality is somehow dependent upon God, and the moral obligation…show more content…
In other words, the reason why we should do X is the sheer fact that God commanded us to do X. The reason why principle P is a valid moral standard is that God has commanded P.” (103) This is everything the theory stands for. God commands that killing people is immoral. Therefore, because God commanded it, no one should kill anyone because it would be wrong. Another claim in the defense of the Divine Command theory, that differs slightly, comes from St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas Aquinas was a philosopher and theologian. He would often combine theological principles of faith and apply it to principles of reason, making him one of the most influential thinkers. He was also one of the defenders of the Divine Command theory. (http://www.biography.com/people/st-thomas-aquinas-9187231) His theory, which The Dimensions of Ethics: An Introduction to Ethical Theory refers to as the Divine Index version, still says that what God commands is morally correct but “his commanding us to do X is not what makes X the morally right thing to do” (103). Meaning, that when God commands that killing others is the morally wrong thing to do, it is because it is actually the wrong thing to do. He knows the “true standards of morality” because he is “a supremely perfect being, with unlimited knowledge and benevolence”. (103) Unlike in the Moral Ground version of Divine Command Theory God’s command does not establish what is right and wrong. His
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