The Divine Command Theory

901 Words4 Pages
“Right and wrong cannot be defined in terms of God’s will” Examine and comment on this view. I agree with the statement that ‘right and wrong cannot be defined in terms of God’s will’ – it does not make sense to turn to God to find out what is right or wrong. The Divine Command Theory states that religion should be the basis of morality. However, I believe that religion does not necessarily lead people to be moral. Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma shows that the Divine Command Theory has several problems. If something is good simply because God commands it, then God arbitrary – He could have given different commands just as easily. According to Leibniz, this would be destroying all of God’s love and glory – “for why praise him for what he has done if he would be equally praiseworthy in doing exactly the contrary?” On the other hand, if God commands something because it is good, then that would mean good is independent of God. Therefore, we should not follow a God who is arbitrary, but rather, think about it separately. James Rachels states that we should be autonomous, and think about what is right and wrong for ourselves. Rachels believes it is better to be autonomous because it would be more meaningful. For example, if someone is donating to charity because they want to help others, it would arguably be more moral than donating to charity simply because a priest told them to. If this is the case, then God is making us do something less moral, and would therefore not be worth worshipping. Some may argue that the outcome of the action is still the same, so there is no difference. Some say that there is a middle ground between being autonomous and obeying God – one could agree with God and do it. However, it is clearly much more meaningful to take an action out of love rather than simply obeying God. Dawkins states that our sense of morality does not come from religion,
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