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 dilemmaâ€”the independence problem, the arbitrariness problem, the emptiness problem, and the problem of abhorrent commandsâ€”each receive individual attention.
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.