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Does Morality Come From God?. Phil 2525 Lecture 6. Christ was not teaching a new religion He was calling the people back to their roots He lived Jewish and he died Jewish. St. Paul. Christianity adopted Roman political organization…. Pontifex Maximus 1650 Innocent X

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Does Morality Come From God?

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Does morality come from god l.jpg

Does Morality Come From God?

Phil 2525 Lecture 6


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  • Christ was not teaching a new religion

  • He was calling the people back to their roots

  • He lived Jewish and he died Jewish


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St. Paul


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Christianity adopted Roman political organization…

  • PontifexMaximus1650 Innocent X

    TiberiusAD 14John-Paul II 1990


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The secular mind gave way to the theological mind…

  • Secular -- relating to worldly things

  • Theological – relating to godly things

    (Theology is the study of religions or religious systems)


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  • In ancient Greece,

    reason is the highest value

  • In Christendom,

    faithis the highest value


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Definitions of believers (or non….)

  • Theist

  • Agnostic

  • Atheist

  • Deist


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Ethics and morality give us the rules by which we live with other people

  • they set limits to our desires and actions

  • they tell us what is permitted and what is not

  • they give us guiding principles for making decisions

  • they tell us what we "ought" and "ought not" to do

    But where do they come from?


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A tablet of virtues hangs over every people


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The Ten Commandments


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Bertrand Russell: page 53

  • Man is here by accident

  • We cannot defy or deny or outlive the grave

  • The extinction of the solar system will take us all down


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A little warmth...in a cold world


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5000 years ago…


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Divine Command Theory

Make it so...


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Question that Plato put into the mouth of Socrates

Did the gods discover or invent the moral order?

  • Is conduct right because the gods command it?

  • Or do the gods command it because it’s right?


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Prometheus


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Problems for the Divine Command Theory...

  • makes morality mysterious.

  • makes God’s commands arbitrary.

  • provides the wrong reasons for morality.

  • “Right conduct is right because God commands it...”


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Problems for the Divine Command Theory...

We could not call God ‘good’, because there would be no

standard by which to judge.

God as the ultimate moral subjectivist....

  • “Right conduct is right because God commands it...”


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Problems for the Divine Command Theory...

  • suggests that ‘rightness’ exists outside of or prior to God.

  • breaks the connection between God and morality.

    God is merely a messenger...

  • “God commands it because it is right...”


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The Theory of Natural Law

  • Based on the ancient Greek theory that everything has a place and a purpose.

  • The world is orderly and rational.

  • Man has the means to understand the order.


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The Theory of Natural Law

  • St. Thomas Aquinas’ precepts....

  • Primary:

    self preservation

  • Subsidiary:

  • procreation

  • education of children

  • living in society

  • worshipping God


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Where do the values come from?

  • The scientists offer descriptions -- not prescriptions


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  • The Divine CommandTheorysays we should look to God’s instruction.

  • The Natural LawTheorysays that reason will lead us to God’s instruction.


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The Ten Commandments


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Take a piece of paper.

List some of the worst problems that our society faces today…


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Take a piece of paper.

List some of the worst problems that our society faces today…

Check mark the ones addressed by the Ten Commandments.


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Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honour thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet.

The 10 Commandments


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Graven images?


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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce

Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt


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The Golden Rule

  • Ancient Sumer (over 5,000 years ago):

    If you take the neighbour’s field. The neighbour will come and take yours.

  • Rabbi Hillel (at the time of Christ):

    What is hateful to yourself do not unto your fellow.

  • Confucius (at the time of Socrates):

    Treat others the way you want to be treated.


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Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments :

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. 3. Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed. 4. When you meet with opposition... endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory. 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found. 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you. 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every "opinion" now accepted was once eccentric. 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the later. 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient when you try to conceal it. 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.


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Humanist Ten Commandments...

Proclaim the natural dignity and equality of all human beings

Respect life and property

Show tolerance and open mindedness towards others

Share with the less fortunate and those in need

Do not dominate and exploit others through lies, or through temporal or spiritual power

Rely on reason and logic and avoid superstitions

Conserve and improve the earth's natural environment

Do not resort to violence or to wars

Adopt political and economic democracy

Develop one’s intelligence and talents through education and effort


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Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

-Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)


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The Year of Living Biblically is about my quest to live the ultimate biblical life. To follow every single rule in the Bible – as literally as possible.

http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/yolb.asp


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The Jewish Atheist

A resource, meeting place and forum for those who want to live humanistic lives without God

http://thejewishatheist.com/?p=71


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Lazarus Long...

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.


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Attendance question...

An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.

......Spanish proverb


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