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Morality and Religion
Does morality depend on
religion?
Two Religiously Dependent
Positions
Divine Command Theory
Natural Law Theory
Divine Command Theory
Moral = "that which God commands"
2 Problems for Divine Command
Theory
Diversity: different religions, sects of the
same religion, interpretations, atheists,
agnostics.
Implications of what follows from the idea
itself.
Assume that the statement "Moral is that
which God commands" is TRUE.
What questions does this raise about the
nature of morality?
Two Questions
Is something moral because God commands
it?
Or. . .
Does God command something because it
is moral?
Implication of the First Question
God commands
God could have commanded otherwise
God's commands are arbitrary
Implications of the Second Question
God only commands good things
Gods commands are thus constrained by morality.
There is a source of morality independent of God.
Therefore, God is not the source of morality...why do
we need God?
Religious morality is ultimately
based on faith and not reason.
(Problematic if we want a morality that is justified to all
people)
Natural Law Theory
3 Main Components
The world has a rational order with values
and purposes built into it.
Laws of nature not only describe the way
things are but the way things ought to be.
Right and wrong are derived from reason.
Problems with Natural Law Theory
Theory is at odds with current scientific
theories of the nature of the universe.
Hume: You can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'.
Believers are not in any privileged moral
position relative to non-believers.