Religion has had a strong influence over molding and shaping our culture and attitudes for centuries. For example, elephants don't mate for life but penguins do. John Calvin said God's commands provide instruction for 'inward spiritual righteousness' and 'outward decency'. The difficulty here is not about whether a Christian woman can divorce an abusive husband who hasn't had an affair (this is a very real problem for some women of faith, but it is not the issue here). Divine command theory - Wikipedia. DCT does not say God created unchanging rules. Ethics is about whether an action is right or wrong. We must believe that there is a God who will help us satisfy the demands of the moral law. He believes, as Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism teach, that God is omni-benevolent (all loving). First, God’s commands set forth universal moral rules. Some Muslims claim that the structure of the Qur'an is so perfcet that it is clearly from Allah. Supporting resource for the new A/AS Religious Studies Component 3 - Religion and Ethics. However, Adams doesn't believe in such a God. This unit focuses on ethical theories such as the divine command theory. Plato wrote a dialogue in which Socrates challenged the idea that morality comes from God. This means that we can mean well but do a bad thing. A further issue is the need to interpret God's commands. This means that morality exists because of God, and if he hadn't given us commands, there would be no right or wrong. [25] June 2018, (b) 'Divine Command Theory is a better approach to ethics than Ethical Egoism'. Most Christians will happily eat pork despite it being very clearly forbidden in the Bible because God's commandments changed after Jesus came. And of course, since we cannot prove God's existence, we cannot claim that he is the source of morality. It makes sense to follow the commands of an all-loving God. William of Ockham said "God cannot be obligated to act. © Copyright Get Revising 2020 all rights reserved. The rules can be applied to anyone, at all times and places. », Essay, critically assess the view that Natural Law has no serious weakness », Edexcel A-level Religious Studies: Paper 2, Ethics - 11th June 2019 », Objective: If God is the source of morality then we are not responsible for determining a moral decision, but simply making it according to God's teachings, If God is the source of morality, then his teachings will inevitably be moral, God is non-physical and greater than the human mind can understand, just as morals are, so it is logical to say that they share this relationship, Plato's Euphyphro Dilemma: questions whether God IS the source of morality, or whether he just COMMANDS what is moral, If God doesn't exist, then he cannot be the source of morality, Theory excludes atheists; if everyone does not believe in God, they will not live according to his morals- not Universafiable, It is difficult to interpret God's teachings, and hence his morals also. Jesus appears to be against divorce, although he seems to give two different commands. However, a vegetarian might not eat meat because they believe it is morally wrong to do so. [25] - SAMS, (a) Explain the challenges to Divine Command Theory. The Divine Command Theory: An Overview Of Deontological Ethics . The pack consists of starter/plenary activities along with printable resources, discussion ideas and revision exercises. Saying it's a 'meta-ethical' theory is saying it's a theory about where morality comes from. In his Critique of Practical Reason, Immanuel Kant, who has traditionally not been seen as an advocate of Divine Command Theory (for an opposing view see Nuyen, 1998), claims that morality requires faith in God and an afterlife. The Greeks wanted to know everything, and what they found out about the physical world was impressive, but they wanted to go beyond physics to the true nature of reality. With such a belief, we have the hope that we will be able to live moral lives. If DCT is correct, religious texts such as this are the source of morality, and it is a problem if they are unclear and require interpretation. However, it is a challenge to find a reason why they would be objecitvely true rather than something we made up and agreed. Most people believe statements like 'It is wrong to abuse children' are objective facts. Even if there was a way to be certain that Jesus was God incarnate and his commands are 'gospel', Christians can't agree what Jesus meant when he said that "anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." DCT answers this by saying that if morality comes from the creator of the universe, from an all-powerful, all-knowing God's commands, this provides a metaphysical basis for morality. Ethics is about whether an action is right or wrong. This means that morality exists because of God, and if he hadn't given us com… Another issue could be its disregard for reason. This means that the rules can change. His commands are completely o… However, it excludes atheists, and for that reason, is not universafiable yet if God is the source of morality, then surely the morals would have to be universal. If God had not said 'Do not commit adultery', DCT says it would not be morally wrong. When you read the many things Christians say about this, they try to put this into context by explaining how Moses' teaching allowed divorce in some circumstances and what Jesus was intending for his Jewish audience. The Divine Command Theory In Three Abrahamic Religions Robert Adams' modified DCT appears to overcome this challenge. Divine Command Theorists say this can only be because God has commanded us to stay faithful. You could be asked to compare DCT with Virtue Theory or Egoism. I have heard Christians argue that the Bible is definitely the word of God because it says so in the Bible - this is circular. When men were in short supply, God allowed Muslims to marry up to 4 wives (according to the Qur'an). They think God has to be omnipotent, so they accept the first horn (Divine Command Theory) even though it seems to make morality arbitrary and possibly cruel. Get Revising is one of the trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd. Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. Meta-ethics asks what we mean by 'right' or 'good'. So Divine Command Theory doesn't tell us whether God allows abortion. Surely there is no better source for deciding what is right and wrong than God's unchanging law; God knows us best: God is objective, as well as our creator. ". However, when a human has an affair, some people describe this as morally wrong. Even if we accept Adams' MDCT, it isn't clear what a loving God commands. Second, God’s commands don’t depend on what others think are right or wrong. For example, is abortion a good thing? Even within Christianity there are different Bibles and additional texts. Here is a brief summary of the key points: To get a top grade, you should include quotations: The summary below is from the excellent RS Review and was made available for teachers on the Eduqas website: (a) Explain how, according to the Divine Command Theory, morality originates from God. [25] - SAMS, (b)‘The Euthyphro dilemma shows that Divine Command Theory does not work.’ Evaluate this view. Islam allows up to 4 wives, Judaism allows only one but divorce is possible. You may be asked whether morality is doing what God commands. Also, there are many other religious texts that claim to have commands from God. Some people think we can't go beyond science, and some scientists claim that there are no objective moral truths - if one culture bans homosexuality and another embraces it, what grounds could we have for saying one culture is right and another is wrong? We have internalized values from religion such as telling the truth, respecting our parents, respecting property, mores of propriety, chastity and so on. DCT says God is the originator of morality. 806 8067 22 806 8067 22, Registered office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE, IB Philosophy of Ethics: Situation Ethics, Normative Ethics Revision - Duty-based, Consequentialist, Virtue Ethics, IB Metaethics revision of Ethical Naturalism (Universalism), Moral Relativism, and Emotivism (non-cognitivism), Philosophy- Core- Free Will vs. Determinism, b) “Deontological ethics is inflexible’. So Divine Command Theory doesn't tell us whether God allows abortion. Metaphysical and objective: God is the origin and regulator of morality. However, there are many different commands in the Bible that seem to contradict one another. There are two horns to the dilemma (horns like on a bull, so that either side will impale you): The second horn is too much for many religious believers. Advantages. Get Revising is one of the trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd. Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. Instead, it tells us that abortion is acceptable if God allows it, and is wrong if he forbids it. Moral goodness means being obedient to God. In fact, DCT would argue that there can be no other basis for objective morality than the commands of God. Furthermore, even those who agree on a text cannot agree what it means.