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Ethical Theories

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1. Research and write a paper which explains the full concept of the following ethical theory: Divine Command Theory.

2. A background discussion of the leading advocates of the Divine Command Theory.

3. Indicate what portions of the theory you agree with and those aspects on which you disagree.

Solution Preview

One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to address each section from various sources, which you can then draw on for your final copy. This is the approach this response takes. I also attached an extra resource of articles and perspectives on this theory, some of which this response is drawn, as well as extra links at the end of the resource for further consideration.


1. Explain The Divine Command Theory.

"Is an action right because God commands it, or does God command it because it is right?" The Divine Command Theory takes the first position. (, attached for convenience).

Specifically, the Divine Command Theory argues "that God is not subject to any law outside himself, that God creates the moral /aw by issuing commands. If an act is morally wrong, it is wrong only because God has forbidden it, and if it is morally obligatory, we are obliged to do it only because God has commanded it. If there were no God, or if God did not issue any commands, then there would be no such thing as moral right or wrong." (

Also see the attached resource.


This theory has its roots in Natural Law. It was questioned as early as Socrates, as discussed below. Theists and early proponents include two early Christians, Augustine and Aquinas. For Augustine:

? The end of human life is happiness.
? True happiness is achieved through the love of God.
? One has a duty to love one's self and others for the love of God.
? For the Love of God one has a ...

Solution Summary

Explains the Divine Command Theory, as well as a background discussion of the leading advocates of the Divine Command Theory, and what portions of the theory that one might either agree and/or disagree with. References and an article on the Divine Command theory are also provided.