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  • 1. Chapter Ten: Religion and Ethics
    • Religion has profoundly affected human conscious life and moral behavior for over two thousand years.
    • For Western Civilization, Morality has been identified with adherence to religion.
  • 2. For Western Civilization:
    • To act immorally is essentially to disobey God.
    • Religion has dominated the moral landscape to appear to be indistinguishable from morality.
    • Most people identify morality with religion.
  • 3. Exceptions:
    • Confucianism: Essentially a secular system of ethics
    • Non-theist Buddhism: Also, a secular system of ethics.
    • Greek Philosophers: Contemplated morality independently of religion
  • 4. Divine Command Theory
    • Ethical principles are simply the commands of God.
    • They derive their validity from God commanding them.
    • Without God there would be no universally valid morality.
  • 5. Autonomy Thesis
    • Opposed to the Divine Command Theory
    • Denies the thesis of the Divine Command Theory
    • Claims that morality does not originate with God
    • Rightness and Wrongness are not dependent on God’s Will
    • There are independent ways to act
  • 6. Religious and Secular Ethics
    • Kant claimed that both humans and God must obey the same rational principles
    • Being moral is our duty to God
    • We ought to be moral, which means we can be moral and therefore, we are able to reach moral perfection, but being imperfect beings, it will not occur in this lifetime.
  • 7. Religion and Secular Ethics
    • Some claim that morality based in religion is an inferior brand of morality and prevents true moral development.
    • Some say that morality based in religion is not deeply rooted and is superficial.
    • Some say that morality based in religion requires that a person give up his or her rational autonomy.
  • 8. Does Religion Enhance Moral Life?
    • If there is a God, good will win out over evil.
    • If God exists, then cosmic justice reigns in the universe.
    • If Theism is true, moral reasons always override nonmoral reasons.
  • 9. Does Religion Enhance Moral Life?
    • If there is a God who created us in his image, all persons are of equal worth.
    • If God exists, we have a compelling solution to the posterity problem.
    • However, Religions have done harm to humanity throughout history and doubt still exists about theories of God.