Divine Command Theory Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Divine Command Theory?
Divine Command Theory is a moral theory that suggests morality is derived from the commands of God. This means that any action or behaviour is considered morally right solely because it was commanded by God. According to Divine Command Theory, if an action or behaviour is not commanded by God, then it is wrong and immoral. The origin of the Divine Command Theory can be traced back to Plato and Socrates, who believed that the highest good was something given to us by a divine being. However, it was not until the 11th century AD when Augustine developed his own version of this theory that it became more widely known and accepted. He wrote extensively on how our faith in God should guide all our ethical decisions and argued that there can be no morality without obedience to God’s commands. In modern times, many philosophers have explored various aspects of Divine Command Theory. Some argue that since God’s nature is perfect and immutable, his commands must also be perfect and unchanging, making them an ideal source for determining what is right or wrong in all situations. Others argue for a less absolute interpretation of Divine Command Theory which allows for some flexibility in moral decision-making based on individual circumstances or contexts. Ultimately, those who follow Divine Command Theory believe that morality cannot exist without reference to a higher being such as God; therefore only actions or behaviours which are consistent with his will can be considered morally correct or righteous.