Exposition and Critique of Divine Command Theory

688 Words3 Pages
This essay will explain and critique divine command theory. First, divine command theory will be defined. Second, two key arguments for divine command theory will be described. Third, criticisms will be raised against cultural relativism. Last, a final assessment of divine command theory will be given. To fully understand the overview of divine command theory six key categories outline the basic principles of this ethical theory. The six key categories are source, selection, definition of good, scope, objective or subjective, and principle of right action. The source of core morality for divine command theory is God's commands. The selection of this moral principle can be done by consulting a religious text, religious leaders, or through prayer. Goodness under this given theory is what God orients us towards through his commands because God represents goodness. The scope, or the range to which divine command theory applies, is objective because those who believe in this theory believe that it is objectively correct. An action under divine command theory is right if and only if the action is consistent with what God commands. Consider the claim 'It is good to respect your mother and father'. According to divine command theory this claim is objective: on this view, everyone should respect their mother and father because God says that everyone should respect their mother and father. God's commands are what creates morality. The approval of respecting your mother and father is universal in scope because it is morally binding to everyone even if they do not believe in the given theory. So the claim 'It is good to respect your mother and father' is wrong if God commands that it is not good to respect your mother and father, if ... ... middle of paper ... ...ea of divine command theory is that right and wrong is determined by God's commands. An argument defending divine command theory claims that it gives people free will and easy access to sources of morality. Objections of divine command theory question the legitimecy of the written sources and if the source of goodness is in the commands of God before he gives them or if only commands he gives are good. I think that divine command theory is somewhat correct because although I do think it is confusing to know what God in what source is the most reliable I think that God exists and I believe he loves everyone. I do think that God commands actions because they are good and he is also good. But if God asked me to kill my own child, like he commanded Abraham according to the text, I would not see the action as good and I would be terribly afraid and not follow the command.

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