Does Morality Depend God? Essay

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Does morality depend on God? The aim of this essay is to discuss the ethical issue of whether God commands what is good or if something if good because God commands it. First, I will clarify the difference between these two statements and then go on further to explore whether one or neither statement is true. The first statement, what God commands is good, implies that there is a source of goodness independent of God and that he simply abides by what is good and is the greatest example of good but not the ultimate source of moral goodness. If we are talking about a Christian view of God as omnibenevolant then He always does what is good but this does not detract from the fact that the source of good is independent of Him. The other, more provocative statement that something is good because God commands it indicates that God is the ground of morality and whatever He commands is the morally good thing to do. However, this causes a number of problems, mainly that if He were to command rape or genocide, these actions would become morally good and the right thing to do. As the more debatable statement, I will discuss the latter statement in more detail. Many, if not most, Christians would argue that they believe the second statement and that morality depends entirely on God as he is omnipotent and omnibenevolant and so is the source of goodness. One reason why atheists would argue that Christians cannot follow any other statement is because if morality was grounded if something other than God, it means that atheists could do morally good actions consciously, without requiring religious faith, and could perhaps be more morally good than a Christian, making belief in or obedience to God pointless. Therefore, theists need to claim that morality can only be understood through God because what He commands is good, to set them apart from and above the rest of society in
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