Introduction to Ethics
Handout 5 - 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:
(a) right actions are right OR (b) God commands them
because God commands them because they are right.
(i) God’s commands (a) morality is no longer
are arbitrary ultimately based on God’s
(ii) morality is contingent commands.
(iii) God’s goodness is trivial