Ethics and God Essay

Submitted By lonniehawk
Words: 654
Pages: 3

I am only here to get research for my paper. I don't have a paper to submit right now. When I have one to submit and I think it is good enough to help other students I will be glad to submit one on the website. I don't have much time and need to get this now, cause I left my stinking paper on my table at home and do not have time to go home and get it. If you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are then in this situation: Is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not? If it is due to God's fiat, then for God Himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God's fiat, because God's fiats are good and not good independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God.[3]
Russell's version is an attempt to show an internal flaw in the Christian's notion of God and goodness. Is a thing right simply because God declares it so, or does God say it is good because He recognizes a moral code superior even to Him?

This problem presents a dilemma because one is forced to choose between two options, both ultimately hostile to Christian theism. The believer is caught between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, God reigns and His Law is supreme. As the ultimate Sovereign, He establishes the moral rules of the universe. His commands are absolute. We must obey.

Ethicist Scott Rae describes the view: "A divine command theory of ethics is one in which the ultimate foundation for morality is the revealed will of God, or the commands of God found in Scripture."[4] This view is known as ethical voluntarism.

At first blush this seems correct, until we realize the liabilities. The content of morality would be arbitrary, dependent on God's whim. Though God has declared murder, theft, and debauchery wrong, it could have been otherwise had God willed it so. Any "immoral" act could suddenly become "moral" by simple fiat.

Further, it reduces God's goodness to His power. To say that God is good simply means that He is capable of