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