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Christianity, consultation, divine command theory, ethical theories, ethics, natural law ethics
Christians sometimes adopt a relativist theory of ethics called divine command theory (DCT). This ethical theory holds that ethical principles depend entirely on God’s revealed commands and that these commands can be broken so long as God commands it. A Christian realist alternative to DCT is natural law ethics (NLE). NLE claims that ethical principles are apparent through nature and logical because God is the creator and all humans share in the divine image. This paper looks at the theological basis for both theories and recommends that the latter has more support from the Bible, Christian history, secular and inter-faith sources, and science. Natural law ethics allows Christians and non-Christians to identify common values even when the philosophical ground of those values varies. Using consultation and working collaboratively with “one another” allows us to find consensus on complex ethical problems.
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