philosophy104- divine command theory

philosophy104- divine command theory - If god commanded a...

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Rachel W. Smith 09/17/06 Philosophy 104 Divine Command Theory When looking for the foundation of morality and ethics one must turn to religion, as that is where it started. The divine command theory (DCT) argues that what god wills is correct. An action x is right if and only if god says to do x. If god says x is wrong, it is by definition wrong. This theory is highly debated; the most common argument against it is known as the Euthyphro dilemma. This questions whether moral acts are willed by god because they’re moral, or if they are moral because god wills them. This brings up two fundamental problems. The first question implies the act was moral and therefore god willed it, which makes morality independent of god’s will. The second question, on the other hand, gives god the responsibility of deciding morality. This brings up the question of whether that is arbitrary.
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Unformatted text preview: If god commanded a harmful act it would be moral, whatever his choice is becomes the foundation of our morality. Another commonly asked question is, how does one know what god wants? Does one just depend on the scriptures or is it possible they don’t apply in some cases to our changing world. It becomes more difficult to judge morality when it comes to more complicated matters which involve technology, medicine, and science. Many people, however, argue for DCT. God is, if you take this point of view, the creator of all things, which includes morality. He is omniscient so he wouldn’t do anything that’s not for a good reason. One just has to trust him. God gives the practical definitions of good and bad, after that one has to decide for oneself which category their decision fits into, and act accordingly....
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