Divine Command Theory

Divine Command Theory is the philosophical idea that morality comes directly from God. It is the basis from which most religious people in the world operate. However it presents some very interesting problems to deal with. For example, which book was written by God? Which rules are you supposed to follow in said book? What happens if the rules contradict each other?  Are some of the laws and rules outdated? And are you supposed to follow all of the rules to word for word?

In regards to terrorism people have been using religious texts to justify their brutality against other human beings for years. Colossians 3:22 in the bible states that “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord”. This was used to justify slavery throughout the ages. Which begs the question if God said slavery is alright is God alright? How could a divine being justify us owning and enslaving another human being? If this divine being actually did instruct the men who wrote the bible to include this excerpt in his text to me this obviously rules out his justness. As it is obviously unjust to own another person more so how can he instruct the slaves to obey their masters. It seems all a bit fishy to me.

Let take another example. In Abraham’s ten commandments, number five is plain and simple: thou shall not kill. Unless I’m misinterpreting that commandment it clearly means that killing is strictly prohibited yet and still Christians and Muslims alike both still and do kill each other indiscriminately. As far back as the crusades goes both groups even killed in the name of God which is blasphemy by definition. More recently we have groups such as the Ku Klux Klan which claims to be a christian organization lynching black people in the south like it’s their day job. Then we have muslim groups in the middle east bombing school building because they don’t believe that girls should be educated. However I don’t believe either one of these examples can completely rule out divine command theory because they’re both extremist groups. Extremist groups tend to make any party they attach themselves to look bad.

On the less radical side of things the book of Deuteronomy chapter two verse eleven states that people must refrain from wearing fabrics made of two seperate fabrics. However most if not all christians today flat out ignore this rule when they wear their favorite under armour t-shirt. Leviticus 19:28 prohibits followers from cutting or tattooing their bodies. Leviticus 19:16 strictly prohibits Christians from gossiping and slandering their brothers and sisters. These all seem to be ignored by the general population who claim to be christian despite the masses insisting upon divine command theory.  This leads me to believe that they don’t really believe in what they say they believe or don’t care.

The biggest flaw in Divine Command Theory seems to be that it’s too complicated for the average joe to follow. If it were simpler maybe people would be able to keep up with the rules. Maybe we need to have a come to Jesus meeting with the world about what is actually supposed to be followed in the texts we hold so high. Personally I believe in a lot of the philosophy the bible espouses especially Leviticus 19:16. However like I stated previously, people seem to have a hard time comprehending the text in total. Also in closing the fact that the bible has been edited so much over the course of the years leads to me believe in the Machiavellian idea that maybe just maybe the texts were crafted with the intent to confuse and control the masses.


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