The Divine Command Theory: Right Or Morally Wrong

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How is something known as morally right or morally wrong? People generally know the difference between right and wrong. However, what is it that makes it so? According to some it is the Divine Command Theory. The divine command theory is a meta-ethical theory of rightness and wrongness. For example, A is morally right because God commands or approves of it and A is morally wrong because God forbids and disapproves of it. The argument that will be put forth is that divine command theory is false because issues that are considered morally wrong can be considered right if God commands it and since there is no correct religion then divine command theory cannot be true. In a dialogue, by Plato, titled “Euthyphro’s Dilemma”, it showcases philosopher…show more content…
The only thing that makes an act morally wrong is if God prohibits it, following this, it would mean that the only reason torture is wrong is because God prohibits it. That begs the question: Is torture wrong because God prohibits it or does God prohibit torture because it is already wrong? Divine command theory follows the route that torture is wrong because of God but if you take a look at Euthyphro’s dilemma he states that if God prohibits torture he does so because torture is intrinsically wrong, not merely because he declares torture is wrong already. So if torture is intrinsically wrong, then it is wrong regardless of whether or not God exists. If divine command theory was true then instead of saying “torture is wrong” we would be saying “God prohibits torture.” Going with the notion that divine command theory is false, if God were to command torture, then people wouldn’t do it because it is intrinsically wrong to torture others. If divine command theory was true then if some day God commanded torture was right then everyone would be torturing…show more content…
If there was a God who did wrong instead of right then all these wrongs would be considered right. Divine command theory means that people should not question God and that He does not need to justify His commands to anyone. This can be drawn towards culture and each culture’s religion. In our world today there are so many cultures with different religions that you probably couldn’t name them all. So since there are so many religions how does divine command theory fit? There is no way of knowing which religious tradition is correct. What is seen as right in one culture is seen as wrong in another. An example of this is that the Greeks believed it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right to eat the dead. Therefore, eating the dead is neither objectively right nor objectively wrong. It is merely a matter of opinion which varies from culture to culture. (Rachels, 749) The God or Gods that the Callatians believe in could say that it is okay to eat the dead whereas the God or Gods that the Greeks believe in could say that it is wrong to eat the dead. Both cultures have completely different beliefs about one subject. Both firmly believe that what they are doing is right and would see each other as doing something wrong. If we don’t know which religion and which God is correct then how can divine command theory
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