Phil21 wk7 religion & morality

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Phil21 wk7 religion & morality

  1. 1. RELIGION ANDMORALITY
  2. 2. THE ARGUMENT FROM MORAL NORMS (FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD)P1. Moral norms exist and have authority.P2. If they have authority, there must be areliable motive for human beings to be moral.P3. No such motive could exist, unless therewas an omniscient, omnipresent, wholly justagent to attach sanctions to behavior undermoral norms.C1. Therefore God exists
  3. 3. IS MORALITY POSSIBLE WITHOUT RELIGION?"If there is no order to the universe, andtherefore some being, some force thatordered it, then who determines what isright or wrong? There is nothing immoral iftheres nothing in charge.” - Reverend Al Sharpton Does anyone truly believe that our ancestors lacked social norms before they had religion? Did they never assist others in need or complain about an unfair deal? - Frans de Waal
  4. 4. IS MORALITY POSSIBLE WITHOUT GOD? SEVERAL DISTINCT QUESTIONSIt’s important here to separate:• Moral sentiments - empathy, compassion, altruism, love, shame• Moral judgments of good/bad right/wrong• Moral motivation - the motivation to do what is good or right1. Are atheists actually less, more, or equally as moral as theists?2. What can serve as the source of moral value? (God’s word? Social norms? Instincts? Empathy? Rationality?)3. Is religion conceptually or socially better placed to encourage moral behavior than non-religion?4. What counts as a proper motivation for performing a moral action? (Because you want to? Because you recognize that you have to? Because it’s in your interests - e.g. you want heavenly rewards?)
  5. 5. THE EUTHYPHRO DILEMMAIs what is pious loved by commanded by Godis pious, or is morally "Is the morally good the gods because it because itgood, or is itbecause it is loved by the gods?” is it pious morally good because it is commanded by God? - Plato, “Euthyphro”, 10AOPTION 1: OPTION 2:God commands what is morally God’s commandment is what makesgood because it is morally good something morally goodFATAL FLAW: FATAL FLAW:God has nothing to do with whether Goodness is an arbitrary product ofsomething is or is not good. God is God’s will. God is not the basis ofnot the basis of morality. morality.
  6. 6. MORALITY AND EVOLUTIONGenuine altruism and morality in other species?• chimpanzees and bonobos will voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to food, even if they lose part of it in the process.• dominant monkeys (those who have least to fear) are the most generous.• when Peony’s (an old Chimpanzee) arthritis is flaring up, she has trouble walking and climbing, but other females help her out• chimpanzees commonly console distressed parties, hugging and kissing them• primates will happily perform a task for cucumber slices until they see others getting grapes, which taste so much better. - Frans de Waal
  7. 7. MORALITY AND MORAL EMOTIONS - Frans de Waal• Our moral sentiments and intuitions come to us from our evolutionary background as social animals.• Morality starts from these sentiments, but strives beyond them for logical coherence and principled explanations.
  8. 8. HOW DOES RELIGION FIT INTO THIS? - Frans de WaalReligion gives us a supporting narrative for morality – it’s an attempt to explain,justify, and motivate us to do and be good. E x a m p l e o f a l t e r n a t iveExample of religious application philosophical applicationQ: How do we know stealing is Q: How do we know stealing iswrong? (explanation) wrong? (explanation)A: God, who knows everything, reveals A: We have good arguments that justifythis to us. our belief that this is so.Q: Why should we not steal? Q: Why should we not steal?(motivation) (motivation)A: God watches us and judges us on A: It would make us hypocrites, sinceour actions. If we steal, we will suffer. we do not want others to steal from us.If we refrain, we will be rewarded. And we don’t want to be hypocrites

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