The Divine Command Theory In Three Abrahamic Religions

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A large demographic study by Pew Research Centre in 2010 found that 55% of the world 's population identified with one of the three Abrahamic religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, or Islam (Pew Research Center, 2012). The significance of these religions is due to the fact that they are the most popular monotheistic religions - religions who worship one god as the supreme creator or prime-mover. Among these 3.8 billion people there will of course be degrees of conviction with some believing that God is all that really matters, while others will lean more towards secular humanist views. Those that hold God above all else generally believe that God is their only guide to morality. In this essay I will discuss the main moral theories that deal with God 's influence on what is right and what is wrong. These theories are the Theory of Natural Law, and the Divine Command Theory. Since both of these theories start with the premise that God exists, I will immediately state that this essay in …show more content…
James Rachels 's critique of the Divine Command Theory in "The Elements of Moral Theory" rests on three points. Rachels 's first point is that the idea of God "making" something right is a mysterious and therefore not useful assertion. Another point raised by Rachels is the problem that God could easily have given us different commands, making the existing ones arbitrary. If God is the source of the reasons for what is right, then if God had commanded "Thou shalt kill", then killing would be the morally right thing to do instead of refraining from it - a clearly morally repugnant assertion. The final point raised is the simple fact that God 's will is not the basis of people 's reasoning in determining what is right and wrong. For instance, if God definitively didn 't exist, rape wouldn 't immediately be regarded as right. People 's sense of reason would let them see that rape is brutal and ruins lives, and from those points they decide not to

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