1) Suppose God commands us to do what is right. Then either a) the right actions are
right because he commands them or b) he commands them because they are right
2) If we take option a), then Gods commands are, from a moral point of view
arbitrary; moreover, the doctrine of the goodness of God is rendered meaningless.
3) If we take option b), then we have admitted there is a standard of right and wrong
that is independent of Gods will.
4) Therefore, we must either regard Gods commands as arbitrary, and give up the
doctrine of the goodness of God, or admit that there is a standard of right and wrong that
is independent of his will, and give up the theological definitions or right and wrong
5) From a religious point of view, it is undesirable to regard Gods commands as
arbitrary or to give up the doctrine of the goodness of God.
6) Therefore, even from a religious point of view, a standard of right and wrong that
is independent of Gods will must be accepted.
Note: Many religious people have rejected this theory, and developed moral
views that do not depend upon God's will.
Theory of virtue
would have several components
Should explain what a
Should be a list specifying
which character traits are virtues
Explanation of what these
virtues consist in
Explanation of why these
qualities are good ones for a person to have
Are the virtues the same
for all people or do they differ from person to person or from culture to culture?
Some advantages of Virtue
person qualities such as friendship, love, and loyalty
up doubts about the ideal of impartiality
says every persons interests are equal
- This seems to
go against our natural feelings towards family, friends, ourselves
impartiality such an important feature of moral life after all?
Incompleteness of the
1) Does this
theory always tell us what to do?
Other theories may have
missed talk about character and virtue, but now we seem to be left with situations where
our moral theory will not always tell us how we should behave.
We have reversed our
2) Is there a
virtue that matches every morally good reason for doing something?
How many virtues are there
3) Can this
theory handle situations where there is moral conflict, conflict among competing important