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Religion and ethics are seen to be somehow inseparable in ourculture Religious leaders are usually appealed to in some capacity whendealing with various moral and political problems Their opinions aregiven great weight because they are thought to be in some kind of specialrelationship with God that the common person does not haveThe view that God creates the moral law is often called theDivine Command Theory According to this view what makes an actionright is that God desires it to be done The divine command theory is theidea that moral actions are those which correspond to Gods will Thesimplest and most common form of the Divine Command Theory states that thephrase morally right actually means commanded by God Similarlymorally wrong means forbidden by God Accepted this explanation ofDivine Command Theory does not consume all possible expressions but it isthe simple is used to introduce the theory and it is its common form Aslightly more sophisticated form of the Divine Command Theory would bethat something is right if and only if God commands it and this formHowever if goodness is not an essential property of God thenthere is no guarantee that what he wills will be good Even if God isall-powerful and all knowing it does not follow that he is all-good Onecan be powerful and intelligent without being good Thus the DivineCommand Theory faces a dilemma if goodness is a defining attribute ofGod the theory is circular but if it is not a defining distinction thetheory is false In either case the Divine Command Theory cannot beconsidered a potential theory of moralityThe preceding considerations indicate that it is unreasonable to believethat an action is right because God wills it to be done One can probablybelieve that God wills an action to be done because it is right but tobelieve this is to believe that the rightness of an action is independentof God In any event the view that the moral law requires religion isunsound
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