The Christian Ethics section contains material on natural law theory, divine command theory, moral relativism (with a detailed piece on cultural relativism), and just war theory.

Natural Law Theory

The material on natural law theory briefly outlines this approach to ethics, contrasting classical natural law theory with its Thomist development.

Divine Command Theory

The divine command theory section includes a discussion of the most common objection to divine command theory, namely the Euthyphro dilemma, and a summary of Plato’s dialogue, the Euthyphro, in which this argument has its origin. The various specific objections to divine command theory that are raised by the Euthyphro dilemma—the independence problem, the arbitrariness problem, the emptiness problem, and the problem of abhorrent commands—each receive individual attention.

Moral Relativism

The section on moral relativism begins with an explanation of the view that morality is relative, that there are no absolute ethical truths. Two forms of relativism are distinguished: ethical subjectivism and cultural relativism. These are then contrasted with the view, sometimes mistaken for relativism but actually consistent with moral objectivism, that different people have different duties depending on their circumstances.

Also available is a more detailed look at cultural relativism, the theory that moral truths only hold relative to specific cultural contexts. This consists of an overview of this theory, and some comments about its strengths and weaknesses.

Just War Theory

Just war theory concerns when it is legitimate to go to war. Based on Thomas Aquinas‘s account, it identifies various conditions that must be met; for instance, war can only justly be waged with right intentions, and when there is some probability of success.