In the article Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Laws, Arthur A. Leff took an agnostic approach when determining what morality should be comprised of. He suggested that humans struggle with desiring to follow a predetermined and unchallengeable set of moral rules, while at the same time wanting the autonomy to create those rules.
The question of what constitutes morality is often asked by philosophers. One might wonder why morality is so important, or why many of us trouble ourselves over determining which actions are moral actions. Mill has given an account of the driving force behind our questionings of morality. He calls this driving force “Conscience,” and from this “mass of feeling which must be broken through in order to do what violates our standard of right,” we have derived our concept of morality (Mill 496). Some people may practice moral thought more often than others, and some people may give no thought to morality at all. However, morality is nevertheless a possibility of human nature, and a
The way Nagel uses the words "unvarnished facts of human existence" (606) leads to another attractive element to atheism and to his work--Nagel appeals to the earthly life, and only the earthly life, in describing how atheists think. Instead of reaching out to another world or deity that does not even certainly exist, atheists "often take as their ideal the intellectual methods employed in the contemporaneous empirical sciences" (607). Because atheists use empirical evidence obtained through science, i.e. use evidence that certainly exists and can be sensed, all of the thinking they do is based solely on what clearly and distinctly exists in reality. To atheists, says Nagel, "controlled sensory observation is the court of final appeal in issues concerning matters of fact" (608). Not all of theist thinking is based on something that is proved to exist, since God has not been absolutely proved to be, so the essential base of the theist thought is composed of supposition and theory. Atheists simply ground their logic in what is certainly known, and no assumptions found their reasoning. Even in matters of human morals, atheists think practically:
2. Atheistic Naturalism provides no hope for human life, whereas Christianity of founded on hope and redemption.
When thinking about morality, it is necessary to consider how aspects from both nature and nurture, along with free will, may form ones moral beliefs and dictate ones moral actions. To understand how moral beliefs as well as actions formulate and operate within individuals and societies, it is imperative that a general definition of morality is laid out. Morality, then, can be defined as ones principles regarding what is right and wrong, good or bad. Although an individual may hold moral beliefs, it is not always the case that moral actions follow. Therefore, in this essay I aim to provide an explanation that clarifies the two and in doing so I also hope to further the notion that one’s moral framework is a product of all three factors; nature, nurture, and free will. The first part of this essay will flush out what exactly morality it and how it manifests similarly across individuals and differently across individuals. Contrariwise, I will then explain how morality manifests similarly across societies and differently across societies. Alongside presenting the information in this order, I will trace morality back to primordial times to showcase how morality has evolved and developed since then, not only from a nature-based standpoint, but also from a
The belief that morality requires God remains a widely held moral maxim. In particular, it serves as the basic assumption of the Christian fundamentalist's social theory. Fundamentalists claim that all of society's troubles - everything from AIDS to out-of-wedlock pregnancies - are the result of a breakdown in morality and that this breakdown is due to a decline in the belief of God. This paper will look at different examples of how a god could be a bad thing and show that humans can create rules and morals all on their own. It will also touch upon the fact that doing good for the wrong reasons can also be a bad thing for the person.
It is widely accepted by both believers and atheists that humans have a moral obligation to do good and avoid evil. These moral obligations are objective facts and are based on duties that arise from the way things are and not from desires of a person. The moral obligation is viewed differently by both atheists and believers (Jeff, 2013). Since atheists do not believe in the existence of God and believe that the universe came into form through chance, the question always presented to them is on what grounds are the moral obligations developed? On the other hand, the religious view sees that moral obligation is grounded in the Creator, and it is further rooted in the fact that humans were created with a purpose. The religious view is more compatible than that of atheists. It is more acceptable to state that moral conscience is God?s voice within the soul as moral values exist in a person?s mind and will. The idea of moral principles somehow floating on their own apart from any person sounds impossible. The compatibility of moral obligation to the creator of the universe is easily acceptable than that of materialism and belief in objective values (Peter & Ronald, 1994). Therefore, the moral argument provides evidence for the existence of God as it states that the moral obligation of human can not originate from a random collision of particles but rather from the creator of the
If morality is so significant that one could justify breaking the law we must consider the importance of being moral in the first
HP Owen and Cardinal Newman put forward another moral argument, morality as derived from God (via conscience and objective laws or rules). For
A more potent and convincing argument which attempts to fasten God to the helm of morality, is the one previously postulated by religious scholar, William Lane Craig. The premise of his argument is that without God or religion, man would have no objective standard of morality. He points to the fact that since such a standard exists, there must be a God.
In layman’s terms, this passage, which has come to be known as the Euthyphro Argument, can be interpreted as asking, “is an action right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?” (Week 9, Lecture 1, Slide 10). For the purposes of this essay, I will refer to the first half of this simplified query as proposition A, and the second as proposition B. The Euthyphro Argument is mystifying because there is no simple answer. It must be that either an action is good because the gods command it, or that they command an action because it is good. The answer has to be one or the other, not both nor neither. As you will see throughout this essay, coming to a precise conclusion on which horn holds true is not feasible. However, this quandary has posed catastrophic problems for all subscribers to DCT, and has opened the door to deep philosophical inquiry on the matter.
Morality only exists if we believe in God; therefore if God doesn’t exist there is no morality. There have been so many evil acts committed in the name of God that it is difficult to maintain that a belief in God equates to morality. There are situations that happen every day where decisions are made based off of human rights that contradict the word of God. Morality comes from within, it is an understanding of right versus wrong and the ability to choose what is right. Knowing all this a belief in God is not a requirement for a person to be moral. (Mosser, 2011)
When conflicts such as moral contradictions and inconsistencies arise, conversations including ethics and moral reasoning is the only way to solve these inconsistencies. Those who are genuine devotees of a certain religion may question if their religion’s moral instructions make sense according to one another. In these distinct cases, intelligent resolution of the claims can only be sorted out by putting in place an unbiased standard that can classify the competing viewpoints. This is where ethics comes in as the neutrality in the form of critical thinking, proficient arguments, and careful analysis.
While atheists do not believe in God, it does not mean that they do not serve a god and religion. Capitalism, at least in America, is everyone’s religion. It is served each and every day as millions make the pilgrimage to work, to gain the capacities to tithe into the economy by following the ever present sermon of buy, buy, buy. The sermon is far greater than any religion of God, for it is sought out daily by various means such as the television, radio, and advertisements on clothes that society themselves perpetuate. Martin Luther once stated that “one’s religion is whatever one is willing to sacrifice his children for is his religion and God”. Millions are being sacrificed by their economies today; workers are working 12 hour days for less than 2 dollars. Governments are doing all in their powers to keep unions from forming all in the name of capitalism. Therefore if Harris’ argument is that only morality can be accomplished by atheism, and there is no true form of Atheism, then there can be no true form of morality(religion of the market 67-70).
In every setting, be it cultural or social, there are the fundamental principles that guide the lives of the people in the area. The guidelines express the desirable actions from the undesirable ones. The society brings up the young ones in the community using the helpful principles as a way of ensuring they lead respectful lives avoiding evil practices. In philosophy, morality is the distinction of the things that are right from those that are not right by the virtue of the principles that guide the particular setting. Many places use religion as the guiding principle in the definition of morality. The primary function of this paper is to consider the relation between religion and morality and the perception of morality from different faiths.