The Good Life - Philosophy 112

1001 Words Jul 10th, 2013 5 Pages
PHI-112, Summer 2013 The Good Life, Late-Modern vs. Post-Modern
Hart, M. J. June 16, 2013

Most of the late-modern philosophers took a completely different view of ethics and a moral society as their predecessors. Aside from Kierkegaard’s deeply religious views, their ideas were to get away from religion being necessary to achieve a good life. The emphasis was one in which people should not think in order to be ethical one must be religious. This seemed as if they were all of a sudden coming out and saying the earlier philosophers were wrong in tying ethics and religion. The post-modern philosophers pursued this line of thinking further, going back to the basics from the beginning of recorded
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Elizabeth Anscombe’s statement, “Moral goodness and moral duty have no meaning in this day and age because they have lost the context in which they made sense, specifically the divine law view of ethics.” (Story of Ethics, Clark & Poortenga, chapter 5, pg 117) Her views further reinforce the overarching theme of the 20th century of analyzing how philosophy evolved over the centuries, and the belief that one can live a moral and ethical life without insisting on having a religious backing. Her statement, “And I should be inclined to congratulate the present-day moral philosophers on depriving ‘morally ought’ of its now delusive appearance of content..” (Story of Ethics, Clark & Poortenga, chapter 5, pg 118) shows her understanding of this.
My last example is from John Rawls’ description of how a society should form from the beginning with his deontological view of “justice as fairness.” (Story of Ethics, Clark & Poortenga, chapter 5, pg 120). He described a view of making a society with basic rights and liberties for all without insisting one must adhere to any religious doctrine in order to do this. This seems to coincide with the overall view that certain acts can be determined to be either good or evil, without insisting on a referral to theology.
Given my interpretation of the writings of different philosophers in the 19th and 20th
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