Divine Command Theory

In the land of Cabonia, all adults must take annual competency tests, on their birthdays, and when a person fails for two years in a row, families must arrange immediately to end that person’s life within the shortest possible time, by any means they prefer. Even though a practice similar to this one might appear so odd in the ordinary sense, there are so many reasons as to why the Carbonians indulge in them. Even though we hardly understand why Carbonians are ethical by examining their practices, it is most apparent that these ethical behaviors must have developed as a result of gradual social transformations within Carbonia. All those beneficial practices and customs that survive and flourish in the said society over a period of time, because of their usefulness to all, constitute ethical practices of the Carbonia. The Carbonians therefore hold onto these ethical practices because they safeguard the interest of all in the entire society without any element of bias.

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The Carbonians’ practices are morally ethical despite their awful nature that many would mistakenly consider unethical.  Based on the principles of Philosophical Relativism, the most important aspect is not what one believes, but being aware own feelings, beliefs, and values systems. The principle of value clarification considers alternative models of acting and thinking.  When (Carbonia) makes its own choices as a society, the Carbonians develop their own values. Values, in this context, refer to what the society would want to do. Thus the principle of philosophical relativism puts more emphasis on feelings or what the society want to do rather than what it should do. Consequently, this moral philosophy qualifies mentioned ethical practices of the Carbonians as highly ethical though it would lead to unreasonable loss of human life on a regular basis.

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In addition, the utilitarianism theory of ethics states that an ethical act is that which produces general good to the best interest of everyone concerned.  In this perspective, if the act of the Carbonians promote common good for every member of society as portrayed in the text, then its practices are deemed ethical without much ado.

The cultural relativist would equally concur with my position that the practices of the Carbonians are ethical based on the common understanding that there are no ethical or moral absoluteness in their world view. Everything is relative for the cultural relativists. For this reason, what is wrong or right/ ethical or immoral depends on the values and common view of the society and its members who practices it.

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In the case of Tracy Lynn Latimer (4), the teenage girls who had suffered severe cerebral palsy and could not live on her own, her health conditions continuously made her life extremely difficult and miserable until her father Robert intoxicated her with carbon monoxide to death. Prior to her death, Tracy never led a happy life because series of surgeries conducted to insert external support on her back caused her untold pain and suffering. Therefore, Robert’s (her caring father) decision to terminate her life was meant to relieve her daughter of long term pain and suffering. I am in total agreement that life imprisonment of Robert for an alleged murder is not ethical at all since his action was driven by his inherent motive to relieve Tracy of the agonizing pain. From the Kant’s moral philosophy, the action of Robert meets the requirement of the universal law of nature (also called the first maxim). The motive of his action is not selfish gains but burning desire to relieve his daughter Tracy of the untold pain she went through in life.

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