Julia Driver's Divine Command Theory

974 Words4 Pages
Haley Salava
9 February 2016
Dr. Pamental
Paper 1
Divine Command Theory
When it comes to defining morality and establishing the difference between right and wrong, there are several different approaches. One might ask who is responsible for distinguishing between right and wrong and ultimately what is moral and immoral. Is this concept different between individuals? Is it different between cultures? In Julia Driver’s 2007 piece, “God and Human Nature”, theories are discussed in order to convey a better understanding of morality and how it is determined. The theory to be discussed is the “Divine Command Theory” and Driver discusses the role of God in assessing morality.
The Divine Command Theory is an example of a system that is used to define what is right or wrong, moral or immoral. Essentially, according to this theory, what is right and wrong is “completely a matter of God’s will” (Driver 2007, 23). This means that whatever God actions that He determines are right are therefore considered right. For example, it is commonly thought that killing someone is wrong and immoral, but under this theory, if God were to say that it is okay to kill someone, than an individual
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Ultimately, Driver seems to believe in all the premises of the defined Divine Command Theory. She portrays her opinion in a way that accepts claims such as how within religion, God has the ability to determine what is right and what is wrong. However, she brings to light the inconsistencies and gaps of this theory. She says that there may be reason to believe that there are outside influences of why God thinks certain things are right. She also states that God cannot make something right, such as killing a person or torturing kittens, but he does have the ability to give reason as to why other aspects of morality may be accepted. Driver comes to the conclusion that what God believes cannot change facts or make something true or moral, but He can usually provide the best guidance of morality in
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