• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Right Ethical Act Is One Approved By God. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


A Right Ethical Act Is One Approved By God? (25 Marks) Divine command theory of ethics says that an act is either moral or immoral solely because God either commands us to do it or prohibits us from doing it. The only thing that makes an act morally wrong is that God prohibits doing it, and all that it means to say for example is that killing is wrong because God forbids murder. Within Devine command theory we find that it is wildly far-fetched for reasons best illustrated by the Euthyphro dilemma, which is based on a discussion of what it means for an act to be holy in Plato's Euthyphro. ...read more.


do not require justification in terms of any external principles. Devine command theory is therefore a kind of moral relativism by saying what's right or wrong is what one's God (like one's self or one's society) says is right or wrong - and there are no moral standards apart from this. Yet if God said that 2+2=100, 2+2=100 would however be false because 2+2=4 is true regardless of what God says. The same point holds for moral propositions like "inflicting unnecessary suffering solely for fun is wrong." If that proposition is true, then it is true regardless of whether God commands or prohibits inflicting such suffering. If there is no standard of ?being morally right? apart from God?s commands, then God could literally command us to do anything and it would be right for us to do it by definition. ...read more.


There is the belief that goodness flows from God's nature, this merely changes the form of the dilemma and raises the question ?Is compassion good because it is a part of God's nature, or is compassion a part of God's nature because it is already good?? The first option produces problems parallel to those for Devine command theory. If malice were a part of God's nature, for instance, it is doubtful that malice would automatically be good. So if there were any objective and absolute moral standards that already stood independent of whatever God had to say, then a God can be either good or evil, and the assessment of a god's character, whether good or evil, would then depend upon criteria independent of any god's commands. In further detail ? If God commands an action because it is good; then what is it that makes God good? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. "It is impossible to reconcile any kind of determinism with the concept of freewill." ...

    When someone is criticised for looking sloppy, or making an offensive remark, he may try to excuse himself with an "I could not help it" remark. But if he is a normal person mentally, then he could have helped it; he could have acted differently.

  2. Discuss critically the belief that conscience is the voice of God.

    If he is brought up to regard certain legitimate pleasures as "worldly" and reprehensible he will similarly suffer pangs of conscience if he seeks the forbidden springs of recreation. The voice may sound like the voice of God, but it is only the voice of the early upbringing which has conditioned his moral sense.

  1. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    with sexuality through "twin fission," cloning or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union. The freezing of embryos, even when carried out in order to preserve the life of an

  2. “Without real freedom there would be no ethical decisions to make,” Discuss.

    We can define these types of restrictions as internal and external. Internal freedom is that which allows us to think, analyse and decide the way in which we want, and think it appropriate, to act. Our external freedoms, offered by society, law and any factors other than that of our

  1. If ethics are an individual's belief about what is right or wrong or good ...

    The next step is to establish codes of ethics. A code of ethics is a formal statement of an organisation's primary values and the ethical rules it expects its employees to follow (Robbins et al., 2003). A code of ethics can be a practical guide for employees - one that identifies key ethical standards and helps to clarify what organizations mean by ethical behavior.

  2. Outline the general ethical responsibilities on helping relationships and discuss them with examples from ...

    They are only considered to be one or the other, when they act as means to an end (Tschudin, 1993). For example, issues of being truthful and honest are not valuable in themselves unless these issues are likely to lead to states of affairs that one might consider to be valuable.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work