Divine Command Theories of Ethics - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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The general perspective on ethics known as theological voluntarism usually appears in philosophical discussions in the specific form of divine command theories. As its title suggests, theological voluntarism is the view that ethics depends, at least in part, on God's will. In divine command theories the dependency is spelled out in terms of commands by God that express the divine will. The Hebrew Bible portrays God as establishing norms for human conduct by giving commands. Though some of them pertain exclusively to the regulation of religious rituals, others such as the prohibitions of murder and theft clearly have ethical content. Since the Hebrew Bible counts as authoritative scripture for all three of the major monotheistic religions, divine command theories are a live option within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.

As the historical research of Janine M. Idziak (1979) shows, many Christian...

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This section contains 1,315 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Divine Command Theories of Ethics Encyclopedia Article
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Divine Command Theories of Ethics from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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