Philosophy exam 1 essays

Philosophy exam 1 essays - ESSAY#1 DIVINE COMMAND THEORY...

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ESSAY #1 DIVINE COMMAND THEORY The Divine Command Theory is the theory that an action is right if and only if God approves of it, and conversely, an action is wrong if and only if God disapproves of it. This theory is based on the idea that God decides what is right or wrong and that his decisions are irreversible and unquestionable. However, this theory brings up one major dilemma. Do Divine Command Theorists think that what is right is right because God approves of it? Or do they think that God approves of it because it is right? These two seemingly similar paths of the Divine Command Theory have very different logical and moral tendencies. Both ways of interpreting the Divine Command Theory come with their own problems. In examining the first interpretation, we can see some of the undermining issues that it poses. This interpretation seems to make God’s commands arbitrary. Because an act is right only because God approves of it, there are no moral grounds for God to command one thing over another. For example, instead of making killing wrong, God could just as easily have made killing right, and killing would therefore being right. The obvious ethical implications of this seem to show that this interpretation has serious flaws. In addition to displaying the arbitrary nature of God, this option seems to make talk of God’s goodness trivial. If good is commanded by God, and God’s commands are good, then God’s commands are commanded by God. This is an example of a circular argument that invalidates any claims as to the goodness of God. The second interpretation of the Divine Command Theory seems more plausible, but it still has one fundamental problem. This second interpretation eliminates God’s arbitrary nature; He is commanding what commands for good reasons. It also makes the goodness of God valid; God is good for issuing commands that are good. The fundamental problem with this interpretation is that it does nothing to answer the most important moral question- What makes an act right or wrong? This interpretation implies that right and wrong existed before God and apart from God, that there is something else out there that makes an act right or wrong. Because of this, The Divine Command Theory, while a popular belief in today’s culture, is generally not thought of by philosophists to provide an answer to the most important moral question. ESSAY #2 MORAL RELATIVISM
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Moral Relativism is the theory that there are no moral standards held universally by all societies. This is apparent when through the obvious cultural differences present in the world, such as the accepted Eskimo practice of abandoning the old to freeze to death in order to preserve more children for the young and healthy. This theory also says that the moral standards that apply to any one person are the ones that are accepted in that person’s society. In this previous example, it is acceptable for an Eskimo family to
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  • Spring '08
  • Winters
  • Psychology, Moral relativism

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