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Paper Topic:

Divine Command Theory. And the Theory of Natural Law

Divine Command Theory versus Theory of Natural Law


Laws and commands both exist to serve as guide and pattern for actions and behavior . Both represent either power or influence . According to John Austin , . law is a mechanism for social control (1984 ,

.37 The same thing may be implied to the concept of command . At any rate both impose particular standard or criterion for human actions

Other notions on law and command arise in the discussions of different characters of laws or commands . Legality , morality , and naturalism are seemingly

overlapping concepts concerning the concept of law . Eternal law or the Divine law is a set of commands that are believed to be commanded by God or gods . It is more of a supernatural and mystical explanation ' of law (Zagzebski , 2004 ,

.23 . Natural law , on the contrary , is not commanded by a deity but is governed by a natural process or a natural such that one cannot go against it (Porter 2004 ,

. 46 ' or the natural or process would be destroyed Lastly , Human law is a set of rules that is established and implemented by human beings (Austin Brown , 1984 ,

.12 . Many philosophers and scholars believe that such human law is somehow based on either the Divine law or the Natural law

As mentioned above , the human law is either founded on the commandments of God or on the natural . This makes a very significant dilemma which puts morality and human actions into a big scrutiny . How do moral acts become moral ? Is it because God wills it ? Or it is what the natural suggests ? This is the object of this

This is divided into four major parts . The first part discusses the Divine Command Theory and other issues about it . On the other hand the second part shows the tenets and the underlying principles of the Theory of Natural Law . The analysis and the extrapolation of arguments are included in the analysis of each theory . The last part gives the conclusion of this

Divine Command Theory

This theory states that moral standards are derived from the commandments of God or gods . This implies that human actions are caused and willed by a Supreme Being or Divine Entity . All actions and even the criteria of these actions are all predetermined by God (Zagzebski 2004 ,


To elaborate more , the Divine Command Theory contains the assertion that morality is eventually founded on the commands or character of a supernatural being - that is God , and that the ethically right action is the one that God requires (Zagzebski , 2004 . The explicit substance of these divine commands diverges according to the fastidious religion (such as Christianity and Protestantism ) and the exact beliefs of the individual divine command theorist , but all translations of the theory embrace in common the argument that morality and moral duties ultimately derived from God

Many philosophers both from the past and present have wanted to support theories of...

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