Argument Regarding The Divine Command Theory Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1045 words (3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The divine command theory is an ethical theory relating to God and how his commandments should guide the morality of humankind. Objections to this theory include objections to the nature or existence of God or to the nature of his character or commands. For the purposes of this paper, I will present the divine command theory, introduce a serious objection evident in Genesis 22, propose and explain an alternative to the divine command theory that is the divine will theory, explain why this theory avoids the objection, and critique and respond from the perspective of a divine will theorist.
Broadly, the divine command theory is a religious moral code in which God’s commands determine what human beings should or should not do. As such, it is expected for theists to subscribe to the divine command theory of morality. The deontological interpretation of the divine command theory separates actions into one of the following categories: mandatory for human beings to perform, prohibited for human beings to perform, or optional for human beings to perform. Those actions that are mandatory to perform are ones which have been expressly commanded by God. Failing to commit a mandatory action would be defying God’s commands, and thus, according to the divine command theory of morality, immoral. Actions that are prohibited are ones that God expressly commands human beings do not perform. Consequently, to perform a prohibited action would be immoral. Finally, those actions that God does not expressly command that human beings should perform or should avoid performing are optional; there are no moral implications to performing or not performing such acts. The rightness or wrongness of an action is inherently and wholly dependent upon th...

... middle of paper ...

...eradicating the element of fear. It would always be reasonable to maintain the typical conception of an omnibenevolent God who would never intend for moral wrongs to be done.
The divine command theorist’s presumed critique of the divine will theory is twofold: first, what would happen in an instance in which the command and the will of God are not expressing the same thing? If God’s commands are his only way of communicating intent, but his commands are not perfect reflections of his intention, then how can human beings possibly know what actions are morally mandatory or prohibited? Second, in such an instance, what is the point of a command if not to communicate God’s will? The divine command theorist would charge that the point of a command under the divine will theory becomes arbitrary, and theists altogether reject the notion that God ever acts arbitrarily.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on The Meaning of The Divine Command Theory - ... God telling us to do such things is obviously for a perfectly good reason for our own good; he would not want to grant bad for us since he does love us. The Objection being made for the Divine Command Theory is saying that if God would have permitted the torture of innocent children in the world, it would be making it morally right which makes no sense what so ever. For God to grant innocent children bad things would not ever happen since God made us and would never command such torture to us and especially children....   [tags: god permits or forbids, torture] 808 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
On Euthyphro's Dilemma and Divine Command Essay examples - ... Bertrand Russell argues If you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are then in this situation: Is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not. If it is due to God's fiat, then for God Himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God's fiat, because God's fiats are good and not good independently of the mere fact that he made them (12).Zellner 4 Russell brings up a valid point; To say that God is good, as was presupposed earlier, would be...   [tags: Plato, Socrates, philosophy]
:: 5 Works Cited
1747 words
(5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Divine Command Theory Essay - In order to understand divine command theory we must first understand the nature of God and Morality. So we will start by taking a look at what makes an action moral. Once we understand what makes an action moral, we can then try to understand the author's’ viewpoint on the divine command theory of ethics. Understanding the viewpoint will allow us to dissect the author’s viewpoints and come up with counter-arguments that the author must then contend with. Divine command ethics is a theory that states, that an action's moral content is equivalent to if it was commanded by God....   [tags: morality, ontological, god] 523 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Natural Ethics and the Ethics of Divine Command Essay - The tension between eudaimonist or otherwise natural ethics and the ethics of divine command goes back to Plato’s Euthyphro, where we ask whether right is right because the God says so, or if God says so because it is right (philosophers sometimes call this the Euthyphro dilemma). Divine command theory, which affirms the former, featured in work by Ockham, Kierkegaard and Barth, and even appears in Locke and Berkeley [Honderich, 2005, “Divine command ethics”]. Nonetheless, even today Christian scholars can attest to the historical dominance of natural ethical thought in the West: Indeed, St....   [tags: plato´s euthyphro, god] 3144 words
(9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Magistrates of Morality: How the Euthyphro Dilemma Cripples Divine Command Theory - Throughout human history, the topic of theology has been a central aspect of everyday life. A common denominator of all modern-day religions is that they provide a set of rules which one is to follow in order to live as a good, moral being. When a deity (or a group of deities) commands followers to abide by specific moral standards though a vehicle such as prophets, religious texts or otherwise, this is called Divine Command Theory (DCT). Those who accept this theory believe that moral action coincides with what has been ordered by the deities, and immoral action would occur when one deviates from these orders....   [tags: Euthyphro, DCT, theology]
:: 3 Works Cited
1663 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Military Cyber: An Evolution In Command Relationships Essay - Future conflicts will not have to start with a bang. An Air Force C-17 carries a special payload, and somewhere over the Indian Ocean the cargo is released. This cargo consists of the latest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology: swarms of mini UAVs with the appearance and perceived characteristics of locusts. The objective of this swarm is to disrupt and not destroy key electrical nodes in a target nation, allowing USSOCOM troops to enter the country undetected. Simultaneously, US cyber forces are disrupting the backup generator systems to ensure radar systems stay down....   [tags: United States Military, Cyber Command]
:: 7 Works Cited
1382 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Military Cyber: An Evolution In Command Relationships Essay - United States Cyber Command is less than four years old. The merger and stand down of the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare (JFCC-NW) and the Joint task Force for Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) formed the bulk of the new organization. 9 This new construct integrated offensive and defensive cyber capabilities in one organization resulting in efficient and effective planning and execution of cyberspace operations. United States Cyber Command is tasked with operations to defend DOD information networks and to conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations across all domains....   [tags: United States, Cyber Command]
:: 4 Works Cited
1417 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Argumentr Regardingf The Decriminalization Of Cannabis Essay - The Argument Over the Decriminalization of Cannabis The majority of Americans choose the same issues as the most threatening to the nation. Invariably among these one will see “drugs” as a major concern of most Americans. There is speculation that this is due to a perceived association between drugs and crime (Inciardi 1). A good deal of the argument over government policy towards drugs centers on the least unhealthy and most socially accepted of the illegal drugs, marijuana. Marijuana, scientifically known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, belongs to its own group among other legal and illegal drugs....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 3 Works Cited
1692 words
(4.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Wages of Sin Revealed in The Divine Comedy - Wages of Sin Revealed in The Divine Comedy      In his poem The Divine Comedy. The Inferno, Dante Alighieri gives his audience a clear vivid presentation of what he as a follower of the Christian religion perceives to be hell. Dante shows that human sin is punishable in various degrees of severity and that this is dependent on the nature of one's sinful actions. He sets forth what could very well be the most fully developed Christian understanding of justice on earth, and that is; that what we do as human beings will determine what happens to us in the event of death based on God's judgment....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays] 788 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Moral Argument for Existence of God Essay - All moral arguments for the existence of God work on the principle that we all have a shared sense of morality. Despite cultural differences, broadly speaking, humans worldwide have a vague idea of what is right and what is wrong; a moral argument for the existence of God would say that this mutual understanding is proof of God's existence. Immanuel Kant put forward this argument (although, not a moral argument); God as the source of objective morality. Firstly, he addressed the categorical imperative; our own sense of duty, and that being moral was case of following this principle, for example, paying your debts....   [tags: Religion Argument Analysis] 1604 words
(4.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]