Religion and morality
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Religion and Morality. Many people believe that morality ultimately depends upon an appeal to the dictates of a higher being. Obvious problems with this position: Atheist Scriptural Interpretation Different religious traditions Additional difficulties are highlighted in Plato’s Euthyphro.

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Religion and Morality

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Religion and morality

Religion and Morality

  • Many people believe that morality ultimately depends upon an appeal to the dictates of a higher being.

  • Obvious problems with this position:

    • Atheist

    • Scriptural Interpretation

    • Different religious traditions

  • Additional difficulties are highlighted in Plato’s Euthyphro.


Plato s euthyphro

Plato’s Euthyphro

  • As Plato noted around 400BC, there are two main problems for those who adhere to the divine command theory of morality.

    1.Is something moral because God commands it? Or

    2. Does God command something because it is moral?


Problem 1

Problem #1

  • Assume that (1) is the case (something is moral because God commands it) this seems to entail the following:

    1. Morality is arbitrary

    2. God’s presumed goodness is reduced to nonsense.


Problem 2

Problem #2

  • Assume that (2) is the case (God commands something because it is right) seems to entail the following:

    1. God is not the ultimate source of right and wrong.


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