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Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION REL 2000 OCTOBER 30, 2009 VALERIE J. JOHNSEN Introduction to Religion."— Presentation transcript:


2 Values and Morals  Values Values are the rules by which we make decisions about what is good and bad. Principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable They tell us which are more or less important, which is useful when we have to trade off meeting one value over another.  Morals principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.

3 What is Ethics?  1. a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.  2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.  3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.  4.that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

4 Philosophical Ethics – 3 Principal Traditions  Deontological Ethics  Necessary, obligatory, and unconditional, irrespective of conditions or consequences.  Teleological Ethics  Focuses on the consequences of actions for the greatest good for the greatest number.  The foundation of the philosophy of Utilitarianism.  Utilitarian ethics calls for moral behavior by individuals and communities that contribute most effectively to the greatest overall happiness for the greatest number of persons  Virtue Ethics  Considers what makes up a virtuous life  Based on virtues such as generosity, truthfulness, and justice. Virtuous actions derive from virtuous motives.  Based in the individual, they are important for the community as well  Looks to emulate the kind of person who is considered good

5 ACTIVITY  The recession has spiraled into a full-blown depression. 45% of the population is unemployed – including you. The value of our currency is falling rapidly. Inflation is at an all-time high. All social services have broken down.  You are the sole provider for 3 small children. Your stores of food are nearly depleted. The children are hungry all the time and you do not know how to feed them – bread is $12 per loaf.  You are walking down the street one day and see a merchant with a cart load of bread he is taking into his store. He has stopped to argue with a customer. He and the customer have their backs turned from the cart. It seems that no one would notice one loaf missing – What do you do and Why?

6 Religious Ethics V. Secular Ethics  Secular Ethics  Religious Ethics

7 Sources for Sacred Authority  Cosmic or Natural Law ( Dharma, Tao )  Moral Exemplar or Prophet ( Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed )  Divine Command

8 Ethical Implications of Divine Command  The regulations, obligations, and actions dictated by this sacred authority may require outward or inward response  Failure to fulfill the obligations carry a variety of consequences  Kierkegaard's response to Abraham's sacrifice

9 Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development  Level 1 (Pre-Conventional)  1. Obedience and punishment orientation (How can I avoid punishment?)  2. Self-interest orientation (What's in it for me?)  Level 2 (Conventional)  3. Interpersonal accord and conformity (Social norms) (The good boy/good girl attitude)  4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation (Law and order morality)  Level 3 (Post-Conventional)  5. Social contract orientation  6. Universal ethical principles (Principled conscience)

10 Types of Religious Communities  Natural Religious Communities  Based on Kinship, Race, Nationality, and/or Geography  Two examples Nationalistic religions The secret society

11 Types of Religious Communities  Voluntary Religious Communities  Founded Religions  Denominations  Sect type  Cult

12 Protest and Reform  Protest and reform from within  Protest leading to secession

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