Presentation on theme: "Does Morality depends on Religion?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Does Morality depends on Religion? Summary of Elements of Moral Philosophy (Rachels), Chapter 4Course: Technology, Research and EthicsGroup 3: Benny, Tao, Ruth
2 4.1 The presumed connection between Morality and Religion (Tao) Inseparable:Commonly, people believe that morality can be understood only in the context of religionthe nonreligious: The universe seems to be a old,meaningless place,devoid of value and purposethe religious :The world was created by a loving all-powerful God to provide a home for us. In turn, we were created in his image, to be his children. Thus the world is not devoid of meaning and purpose.
3 4.2 The Divine Command Theory (Tao) This theory says that morally right means commandes by God and morally wrong means forbidden by God.Dilemma: Is conduct right because gods command it, or do gods command it because it is right?1 Regarding God’s commands as arbitrary2 a standard of right and wrong that is independent of god’s will and command.
4 4.3 The Theory of Natural Law (Benny) The world is a rational orderMoral laws derived from natural orderConfusion of is and oughtMoral knowledge independent of religion1. This way of thinking dates back to Aristotle 350BC, everything has a natural purpose, this applies to artefacts as well to parts of the body, ex. teeth so we can chew. Not only does it apply to particular beings, it applies to the large scale, i.e. it rains so that the plants can grow. And in all this Man is at the centre.Christian thinkers have adopted this, however with the natural order set down by god instead.2. The theory of natural law, not only tells us how it is, it tells us how it ought to be. In the sense that if something does not or can not fulfil its purpose something has gone wrong. For example the duty of beneficiance (natural for us), someone who does not care is seen as deranged. This is true because we were created by God (specific human nature). Religious thinkers have adopted this reasoning when condemning "deviant" sexual practises. However silly examples show that it is "wrong".3. Hume, pointed out "what is the case and what ought to be the case" are logically different notions and no conclusion about on follows from the other. Sex produces babies but this does not imply that it ought to.4. The divine command theory tells us that what is right is commanded by god, however natural order tells us something else. God has made us rational beings that can understand the natural order. To quote St. Thomas Aquinas "To disparage the dictate of reason is equivalent to condemning the command of God"Essentially this means that believers and non-believers alike share the same moral universe.
5 4.4 Religion and Particular Moral Issues (Ruth) Moral views not derived from religions commitmentsAbortion: The Scriptures ‘unclear’Abortion: Church Traditions ‘changing views’Reinterpretation by every generation to support it’s favored moral viewsMorality and religion are differentThey are actually making up their minds about the moral issues first and then interpreting the scriptures or church traditions in such a way as to support the moral conclusion they have already reached. Example given of ‘if it is right to be rich’ New Testament condemns being rich, but Old Testament account of Jabez contradicts this concept.Another example discussed is that of abortion, the fetus right to life, rights of a woman. The author claim the Bible does not speak plainly on the matter, again quoting parts of scriptureswhile the contemporary church’s stance is strong antiabortion but traditionally it was not regarded as a serious moral issueThe conclusion is that both the Scriptures and Church traditions are reinterpreted by every generation to support it’s favored moral viewsRight and wrong are not to be defined in terms of God’s will, morality is a matter or reason and conscience, not religious faith, and in any case, religions considerations do not provide definitive solutions to the specific moral problems that confront us. Morality and religion are, in a word, different. Morality remains an independent matter.