Divine command theory and applications of religious tests: Homosexuality; abortion; absolute poverty and effective altruism


Reading: Because God Says So: On Divine Command Theory by Spencer Case, at 1000-Word Philosophy

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Ethics and the Bible: moral arguments from the Bible often involve these (usually unstated) premises:

if the Bible says doing something is wrong, then it’s wrong;

if the Bible says doing something is not wrong, then it’s not wrong;

If the Bible says something is a moral obligation, then it’s a moral obligation.

Are these premises true or not? Think about that in light of this article on Ethics in the Bible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_in_the_Bible


Watch: John Corvino on homosexuality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iXA_0MED98 ; Other videos by him: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIfaK23JF8w-x7LBEtuX0eg

Argument worksheet: http://sites.google.com/site/nobisphilosophy/homosexuality-arguments.pdf


Nobis and Kristina Grob’s “Defining “Abortion” https://www.abortionarguments.com/p/full-text.html#defining and their

Bad Arguments: “Question-Begging” Arguments & “Everyday” Arguments

Nobis’s “The Ethics of Abortion,” at 1000-Word Philosophy; also videos by Nathan Nobis that give an overview of all this on abortion, beginning at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNJ77lL4LHc

Global Poverty and effective altruism: watch the videos here, at least: https://www.nathannobis.com/2013/11/effective-altruism.html

*****Discussion questions THAT MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE PAPER!!!!*****

What is the Divine command theory? Is it true? Should even religious believers accept it?

If someone appeals to the Bible in arguing for a moral view (“The Bible says this is wrong, so it’s wrong”), how will we state their argument in logically valid form? In other words, what premise(s) will their argument assume? And are such arguments sound?

What are some of the most argument John Corvino gives on the topic of homosexuality, for the conclusion that homosexuality is wrong and that homosexuality is permissible? Are these arguments sound or not? State them in logically valid form (review the earlier video on moral syllogisms) and explain whether the arguments are sound or not.

How should “abortion” be defined? What’s the best definition? Why? What are some common question-begging arguments on abortion? Why are they bad?

What are some of the most important “everyday” or philosophical arguments about abortion? State them carefully, in valid form, and evaluate them as sound or not.

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