Psychological Egoism/Rachels

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In the Euthyphro, Socrates asks an important question concerning the nature of piety. Socrates is skeptical and asks, "Is conduct right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?" This question is very significant and has become one of the most famous questions in philosophy. Antony Flew, the British philosopher, thinks that whether a person can grasp and force the point of this proposed question, is a good determiner of their aptitude for philosophy. The significance is this: if we accept the theological conception of right and wrong- we're caught in a major dilemma. Socrates' question requires us to clarify what we mean.

The name "divine command theory" can be used to refer to any one of a family of related ethical theories. What these theories have in common is that they take God's will to be the foundation of ethics. According to divine command theory, things are morally good or bad, or morally obligatory, permissible, or prohibited, solely because of God's will or commands. Alternatively, in the history of Christian thought, the dominant theory of ethics is not the Divine Command Theory, but rather the Theory of Natural Law. A central conception of this theory is that everything in nature has a purpose. Aristotle said that in order to understand anything, we must ask ourselves four questions: What is it? What is it made of? How did it come to exist? And what is it for? According to Aristotle, everything has a purpose. Another idea in this view, says that some ways of behaving are "natural" and some are "unnatural"; and unnatural acts are said to be morally wrong. Furthermore, the Theory of Natural Law endorses the familiar idea that the right thing to do is whatever course of conduct has the best reasons on its side.

Rachel thinks that the common flaw in citing scripture to support a moral argument is that is often difficult to find specific moral guidance in the Scriptures because our problems are not the same...
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