Moral Argument (OCR exam board)


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  • In my opinion, the best argument to prove the existence of God! In the easy to understand format. As a real fact, there are moral and ethical laws of behaviour among people. Firstly these laws are absolute and objective. And secondly: these laws are laws of behaviour which show us (people) how to behave, so these are laws of behaviour for rational creatures. The fact that these laws are rules of behaviour for rational creatures and that they address to our mind means that they are established by a rational Creature, Individual. The fact that these laws are objective and absolute for all people means that these are laws of nature, laws of universe arrangement. But then who could invent such laws of behaviour that are objective and absolute and that are the part of universe arrangement? – Only the Highest Rational Being, a certain All-powerful Creature who invented the whole world, the Universe and all people. To say in other words – the God Creator!
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Moral Argument (OCR exam board)

  1. 1. Moral Argument
  2. 2. • ‘A posteriori’ argument • Kant criticised Teleological, Cosmological, Ontological arguments because these cannot be proofs of God’s existence because we don't understand God. • = Human reason is limited – God is unlimited. God is beyond our understanding • It is however possible to ‘infer’ him through ‘practical reason’ Kant proposes 3 postulates of practical reason: we are immortal, God exists and we are free beings. E.g God is a ‘postulate’ of pure reason (A ‘postulate’ means something which is put forward (postulated) as a way of solving a problem)
  3. 3. 1. Kant emphasizes the autonomy of morality All moral actions must be freely chosen. This means that Kant rejects the idea of God as Divine Lawgiver who orders to follow his rules out of fear of punishment. 2. If we are autonomous what is morally right? • Do your duty Universal basis for morality which are the self imposed moral duties. 3. How do you work out what you duty is? Worked out through reason. It is the truly right thing to do. This can be done by thinking if it can be applied universally. The only intrinsically good reason for moral action = goodwill
  4. 4. • Act according to good will An action is good to do not because of the consequences. An action in accordance with ‘good will’ will achieve the summon bonum. This can be seen in the ‘categorical imperative.’ Categorical = something that you have to do Imperative = command = It is your duty to follow the categorical imperative in line with good will to achieve the summon bonum. 4. What is meant by summon bonum? Achievement of moral goodness and happiness together.
  5. 5. • Moral action is about doing one’s duty • The reason to do one’s duty is to achieve the Summon Bonum (highest good) • However sometimes in this world you can follow duty and not achieve the summon bonum because of the wickedness in world. • The highest good must be achievable • Therefore we can postulate God's existence
  6. 6. Everyone seeks the Summon Bonum Summon Bonum cannot be achieved in this life Whatever can be sought must be achievable because universe is fair Must postulate (assume) an afterlife where the summon bonum can be achieved Therefore necessary to postulate that God exists in order to guarantee that the universe if fair so that the summon bonum is achieved In other words:
  7. 7. • Kant is not trying to prove God’s existence but is merely arguing that morality is ordered in a moral way. • That IF the universe is fair • And IF the summon bonum can be achieved • Then God and after life are necessary postulates. • Do you think the universe if fair? • Do you think there is a Highest Good?
  8. 8. Impossible to prove Evolution: behave morally because want others to behave morally towards us. Peter Cole: Why should virtue be rewarded with happiness? Assumes that the universe is fair but is it? Why should virtue be rewarded at all, not a means to an end. If you don't believe in God this argument will not help someone be moral, only helps the believers Kant argues that only God can bring about the Summon Bonum. But why God? Brian Davies: “why not a pantheon of angels?”
  9. 9. Deep deep down at the bottom of unconscious mind – son’s love of mother. Conscience: based upon guilt of disappointing parents.Must conform to societies behavioural expectations. Morality comes from human conscience not GOD.
  10. 10. • Famous Psychologist • Founder of psychoanalysis • Religion is an ‘obsessional neurosis’ • A neuroses describes problems experienced in life e.g. traumas that are repressed in the mind and develop into obsessive neurosis in adulthood e.g. repetitive behaviour • Thus, belief in God, an afterlife or happiness are just obsessional neurosis that religion satisfies. • Therefore, against Kant, disproves the need for summon bonum, afterlife or postulate of God.
  11. 11. The mind has three parts: 1. The Id: human instincts, desires and appetites 2. The ego: shaped by external influences – traumas, education, upbringing 3. The superego: part of ego, human reason, make decisions. Parenting values and influence mould superego. Superego is where the conscience is found.
  12. 12. • Moral values are the result of our experiences through upbringing and interaction with the subconscious mind. • Parents = influence through education, values, morals • Therefore morals are not objective, universal, rational or absolute as Kant implied but society and upbringingQuickly research: Primal Horde and Totem/ Taboo
  13. 13. Strengths • Founder of psychoanalysis • Fundamental in the development of dreams, mind (Id, Ego, and superego) and conscious, sub conscious, unconscious (iceberg) ideas • Clear that parents/ environment affect our morals and ethical ideas • Explains why all our morals are so different: over time/ culture/s society because of the influence of parents on the individual. Weakness • Unethical/ unscientific case studies done: Little Hans • What about children from single parent families or modern families - Freud implies they are immoral = illogical • What happens if parents are immoral? – implies little freewill over morals if inbuilt by parents • Does this mean parents can be held responsible if their children are immoral/ break the law?
  14. 14. If you would like further information please follow the link below to my blog: