§) (©$!©¥§  ©§¥£¡  
                     '% #                     ¦ ¨¦¤ ¢
                                         $4 $20
...
#£ ¢  ¨¦¤¢ 
                                  !   ©   © § ¥ £ ¡
                               B@@8¤% 7¤0 ' 4 1¦¤) (% $
  ...
#£ ¢  ¨¦¤¢ 
                                   !   ©   © § ¥ £ ¡
                                6442¤§ 1¤£  ) ¦¤¡ %§ $
  ...
#£ ¢  ¨¦¤¢ 
                                  !   ©   © § ¥ £ ¡
                               6442¤§ 1¤£  ) ¦¤¡ %§ $
    ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Moral Argument

2,433

Published on

The Moral Argument for the existence of God revision notes.

Published in: Education, Spiritual
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
2,433
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
28
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Moral Argument

  1. 1. §) (©$!©¥§ ©§¥£¡   '% # ¦ ¨¦¤ ¢ $4 $20 5 3 1 DSR2I H©2E DB@¥£6 U T 8 Q P C GF C A 9 8 7 ¥BurX¥Di§h 2f@d¥caDXV v W t s W dq p d` g e b` Y W For many, Thomas Aquinas' Fourth Way leads to the Moral Argument, though Aquinas himself referred to what is true, noble and good, rather than morality itself. Aquinas' We experience things that are noble, true and good. These things Fourth must take their reality from things that are more noble, true and Way good. To avoid an infinite regression, we must conclude that there is And the something that is the most noble, true and good. This is what we call Moral God. Argument Aquinas meant that what was true, noble and good was valuable in itself, rather than a means to some other good thing. Everything is striving towards its goal or purpose - see notes on Aristotle. This final goal must actually exist, and is what we call God. Can morality be a key to understanding the existence of God? Some philosophers have tried to argue that the source of morality is God. 1. Morality may be God's commands. While this may be true, it adds nothing to a discussion of God's existence! (e.g. The Ten Commandments, which are given by God to the Hebrew people). 2. Morality may come from an objective examination of the social systems and structures that people construct and develop to order and regulate their environment. These rules may be absolute, in the sense that they apply to everyone everywhere. (e.g. The sense of justice that seems to pervade all human societies). However, the moral systems may be from God, or they may not be! 3. Morality may come from a particular situation in Human Society. Although they come from social systems, they arise out of a specific event or context. (e.g. In some societies, capital punishment is considered acceptable). Morality can either be objective, and held to apply to each and every situation, or subjective, applicable to specific situations only. In this second situation, morality becomes fluid. Cultural Each society develops its own moral system - any similarity Relativism between systems and civilisations is co-incidental. What is right and wrong is handed down from generation to generation. Morality is a product of Human Culture and feelings of guilt arise out of conditioning.
  2. 2. #£ ¢ ¨¦¤¢  ! © © § ¥ £ ¡ B@@8¤% 7¤0 ' 4 1¦¤) (% $ A % 9 06 5 3 2 0 ' Emotivism Morality becomes an expression of a person's feelings about particular situations. Morality becomes subject to personal approval. Evolution Morality becomes subject to the processes of evolution - systems that are just and fair become more likely to survive because they promote the survival of the species. If morality is expressed in these terms, then morality need not have a divine source. Kant's Moral Argument The achievement of the Highest Good in the world is the necessary object of a will determined by the moral law… [which]… commands us to make the highest possible good in a world the final object of all our conduct. Kant, I. Critique of Practical Reason Kant does not mean that to will the Highest Good is to conform to a moral code. He means that we must aspire to what is best. Further, doing what is right should lead ultimately to happiness. However, doing what is the highest good rarely seems to bring with it those rewards. Kant looked for another answer. He started with the fact that people do have a sense of moral obligation - a feeling of that is right no matter what the outcome might be. This obligation was what Kant called the categorical imperative. Obeying the moral law owed nothing to Religion, but rather was doing duty for duty's sake. Achieving this good (the ought) is possible (can). This moral law gives rise to three truths, which he called the postulates of practical reason: D Freedom - A person is free to act D Immortality - Happiness will (eventually) reward the good act D God - For all this to be possible, there must be an overriding and regulating principle that will reward virtue with happiness. This does not prove the existence of God, but it argues that morality is ordered in a moral way. Summary D The world is subject to a moral order. D We are free to choose between what is good, or what is not. D If we choose the good, we will receive the just reward for virtue. C
  3. 3. #£ ¢ ¨¦¤¢  ! © © § ¥ £ ¡ 6442¤§ 1¤£ ) ¦¤¡ %§ $ 5 § 3 £0 ! ( ' £ © 8 This reward, and the system that regulates the moral code, is from God. But… 8 Kant argues that ought implies can. But does it? Kant argues that it should is not a logical contradiction. However, it does not mean that something can in actual fact. John ought to learn French, but it does not necessarily follow that he can. (Davies, B. An introduction to the Philosophy of Religion p.176). 8 It need not be God who brings about the Highest Good - it could equally be a pantheon of very clever, Kantian minded angels (Davies, B. op cit), not an omniscient and omnipresent being. 8 Why should virtue be rewarded? 8 A sense of duty can be explained away in terms of social conditioning. 8 Kant argues that there is a moral law, but this is far from conclusive (see above - Cultural Relativism c.). If there is no moral law, there is no summem bonem. Kant's argument collapses. A Pro-Kantian Response In response to these criticisms, James Richmond argues that the Argument has proved persuasive to believers. This is because it taps in to Man's capacity for Transcendence, to see in his surroundings the trappings of the Divine, and to aim for Spiritual significance. In this context, the Argument forms an invitation to have faith that there is an ultimate goal for the strivings of Mankind. The alternative is bleak and purposeless. The apparent promise of a final purpose, discerned in the created order, proves empty and hollow. In response to the criticism of Kant's proposed Objective Moral Law, and that Moral Order is more due to Cultural and Social conditioning that to a Divine Agent, a Kantian might propose that while this might account for variations in the content of moral codes, it does not account for the fact that there appears to be a basic, underlying moral sense. The Illative Sense John Henry Newman argued that the Conscience is the Voice of the Lawgiver (i.e. God). In An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870 he talks of the illative sense of moral judgment to explain feelings of guilt and responsibility. As then we have our initial knowledge of the universe through sense, so do we in the first instance begin to learn about its Lord and God from conscience; and, as from particular acts of that instinct, which makes experiences, mere images (as they ultimately are) upon the retina, the means of our perceiving something real beyond them, we go on to draw the general conclusion that there is a vast external world, so from the recurring instances in which conscience acts, forcing upon us importunately the mandate of a Superior, we have fresh and fresh evidence of the existence of a Sovereign Ruler, from whom those particular 7
  4. 4. #£ ¢ ¨¦¤¢  ! © © § ¥ £ ¡ 6442¤§ 1¤£ ) ¦¤¡ %§ $ 5 § 3 £0 ! ( ' £ © dictates which we experience proceed; so that, with limitations which cannot here be made without digressing from my main subject, we may, by means of that induction from particular experiences of conscience, have as good a warrant for concluding the Ubiquitous Presence of One Supreme Master, as we have, from parallel experience of sense, for assenting to the fact of a multiform and vast world, material and mental. Newman, J.H. Essay Towards a Grammar of Assent http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2125/newman_grammar/ Newman is arguing that just as we can assume that there is a multiform and vast world from the evidence of our senses, so we can assume that there is One Supreme Master from the evidence of our conscience. It is impossible to think of a command without….a commander (Owen, H.P. The Moral Argument for Christian Theism p49). Critics would argue that this is very much in the eye of the beholder, and that where one person might see an objective God behind Conscience, someone else might see Cultural Relativism at work. Owen argued (in response to this argument) that either morality is a product of chance, or it is from a personal source which we might call God. Morality has to do with the personal in life (c.f. Martin Buber's suggestion of I-Thou rather than I-it relationships). 7

×