Introduction to Ethics
Handout 6 - Religious Approaches to Ethics
The Ten Commandments
10C: an act is morally right if and only if it does not violate any of the Ten Commandments.
(see here for the Ten Commandments)
The Abe-the-Abuser Argument against 10C
1. If 10C is true, then Abe's act of beating up his kids is not morally wrong.
2. But Abe's act of beating up his kids is morally wrong.
3. Therefore, 10C is not true.
The Divine Command Theory
DCT: an act is morally right if and only if it is not prohibited by God.
God - the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good creator of the universe.
The Euthyphro Problem for DCT
Socrates’s Dilemma for DCT:
(1) right actions are right OR (2) God commands them
because God commands them because they are right.
(a) God’s commands (a) morality is no longer
are arbitrary; morality is ultimately based on God’s
(b) God’s goodness is
Natural Law Theory
NLT: an act is morally right if and only if it does not violate any law of nature.
A law of nature is a statement that describes the purpose of something in nature.
To violate a law of nature is to use a thing for something other than the purpose indicated in the laws of nature.
The Naturalistic Fallacy
To commit the Naturalistic Fallacy is to infer from the fact that p is the case to the claim that p ought to be the case.