Essay on The Divine Command Theory Of An Ideal Code Of Conduct

Essay on The Divine Command Theory Of An Ideal Code Of Conduct

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The divine command theory is rooted in the idea that morality was created by God. This means that an action is considered moral simply because God commanded it, and immoral simply because God forbade it. This theory argues that since no one person can be considered perfect, it is up to a higher power to create a moral code suitable for humanity. By stating what is right and wrong, God has absolute power in creating an ideal code of conduct. Additionally, the divine command theory offers an incentive to keep its followers steered toward righteous living. A person who lives a pure, conscientious, and ethical life (in the eyes of God) is rewarded with an afterlife filled with pleasure while a person who lives a wicked life is doomed to everlasting suffering. According to many theists who accept the divine command theory, these motivations are what will keep society from moral decline. For instance, if laws did not exist, a godless society would act solely in their own self interest with no regard for the well-being of others. The lack of fear of consequences would lead an atheist to violate many ethical rules in pursuit of his own selfish goals. Meanwhile, a religious society would continue to function morally due to the fear of God and the consequences that come with breaking his moral code.
Although many religious folks might be attracted to the divine command theory, most philosophers take issue with the idea. One source that philosophers often cite to disprove the theory comes from one of Plato 's dialogues in which Socrates asks, Is an action wrong because God forbids it, or does God forbid an action because he sees it as being wrong? If one agrees with the former statement, he must also agree that if God no longer forbade murd...


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... moral advice provided by many religions simply lacks compatibility with today 's society. They often promote the oppression of homosexuals, atheists and women. Contemporary society would, for the most part, find this violation of basic human rights shameful. One of the most important downfalls of basing morality on sacred text is that modern controversial issues are not mentioned. In the Bible, God never specifies whether abortion or cloning are ethically justified, leaving humanity with a moral grey area. As time passes, more ethical dilemmas will begin sprouting up with no moral guide to tell humans what is right and what is wrong. All of these aforementioned reasons expose the futility of basing morality on a sacred text. Given this logic, it would seem best to decline the moral advice provided by the Bible or the Koran and instead seek ethical guidance elsewhere.

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