Essay on Morality and Relgion - Irish Murdoch

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Iris Murdoch-“Morality and Religion”: Notes pg. 733, para 1: Murdoch’s purpose is to question the relationship of morality to religion, and look at their differences as well as the definition of religion.
-She claims this essay is moral philosophy and feels she must clarify whether her philosophy is religious or not.
-She discusses how some believe religion really must be “breathed in” during childhood (taught to children by their parents); otherwise, adults may feel they are just faking it—but, Murdoch notes, those who are religious when younger will have a hard time giving it up as adults. pg. 733, para 2: Virtue (doing right) is the most obvious connection between morality and religion. -Seeking virtue has lost popularity, and
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-But Murdoch admits that religious people experience a heightened consciousness, which resonates with literary critic Matthew Arnold’s claim that religion is “morality touched by emotion.” -Murdoch explains the great intensity and assuredness that religion provides: it is deep, holy, absolute, engages one’s imagination, and engages the whole person at every moment of his/her life, and every moment matters.
-Murdoch concludes that a high level of morality without religion doesn’t have any foundation.
-With religion, Christians have points of reference to give their morality foundation, like the image of Christ, and Murdoch suggests that Christians adjust their attitudes to resonate with the image of Christ in order to make their beliefs true. [So these images Christians create become for them the truth even though they’re man made.]

-Since images of Christ change over time, Christianity is a continuous adjustment to its images throughout history. [suggesting a perpetuation of a fantasy or that religion changes as historical periods change] pg. 737, para 5: Murdoch uses the example of a simple Welsh traveling pastor’s (Francis
Kilvert’s) journal entries to demonstrate how religious reverence can make someone sound comfortably dumb, naïve, simple, humble. Kilvert is so secure in his faith that he is like a child. pg. 738, para 5 (con’t): Wittgenstein (Murdoch’s teacher) described why believers like

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