And the same is true for an authoritative book. More ‘n more, yes. So either the god’s command are without reason, and therefore arbitrary, or they are with reason, and thus are commanded according to some standard. The invisible church is universal; it applies equally to everyone. The most interesting chapter of James Rachels ‘ The Elements of Moral Philosophy deals with the connection between morality and religion, specifically Christianity. There must be a reason for this and if there is not, then the book is simply wrong. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Social Institutions and what it means. John Messerly. And which institution? Clergy and those considered pious are thus regarded as moral experts who will give sound moral advice. Religion has its own problem of epistemology which never really gets mentioned but which I think is the true problem of evil: how do you know the source of any commandments is from the good guy and not the bad guy? On the other hand, if the gods command things because they are right, then there are reasons for their commands. Rachels thinks morality depends on reason, not religion; He thinks they are conceptually separate/independent; Although one can link them by seeing reason as a God-given power that allows us to understand what is right and wrong. Many think religion and morality are connected They think morality is part of religions Church gives out moral rules Learn morality … Obviously, there are enormous philosophical difficulties with basing ethics on religion. We must also realize that a total change of heart is necessary to become morally good. To answer the question of whether morality can be based on a god we would have to know things like: 1) if there are gods; 2) if the god we believe in is good; 3) if the gods issue commands; 4) how to know the gods’ commands; 5) if we found the commands—say in a book—how would we know the commands are good ones; 6) if they were good commands how would we understand or interpret them; 7) if the came from a book which translation of the book; 8) how could you know if the translation is accurate; 9) can any translation be accurate; and 10) even if the translation was accurate how would you interpret the words you read. a the seems a cold, meaningless value and his essay “A … In order to be good, we must consciously develop a virtuous disposition and also combat our tendency to engage in evil. They get a special message. But if this is the case, if we really can’t know anything about the gods’ reasons, if the ways of the gods “are mysterious to humans,” then what’s the point of religion? Its members freely accept the moral law rather than having it forced upon them. Section 3 Religion and Morality as Identical (NOTE: You must read only those linked materials that are preceded by the capitalized word READ.) Furthermore, humans can determine that moral law by relying on their own instincts. “Does Morality Depend on Religion? I was recently asked this question, “Can a person have a morality without a religion?” It is indeed possible for an atheist or agnostic person to have a moral code that they follow without the guidance of any religion. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing Which revelation? More than 2,000 years ago Plato answered this question in the negative. Learn how your comment data is processed. Kant also believes that religious practices often conflict with or undermine moral principles. We use general rules called maxims to make decisions; all actions not based on maxims are simply responses to impulses and desires. There are many religions, all of them influenced by their historical period, but according to Kant there is one universal moral law. Why trust the voices or authorities? morality and religion are inseparable: People commonly believe that morality can be understood only in the context of religion. Why should I be moral? Ethical laws are private and impossible to enforce, but the ideal society would promote them. Again, even if one could overcome all the practical difficulties involved in philosophically justifying religion, it seems that either a) the god’s commands are arbitrary and there is thus no reason to follow them; or b) the god’s commands are not arbitrary and there are reasons for them. Morality does not necessarily depend upon religion, though for some, this is "an almost automatic assumption." Even if the tendency to evil can never be eradicated completely, our commitment to the moral law must be sincere and wholehearted. Common-sense objections to morality being dependent on religion Take a second to support Dr John Messerly on Patreon! The gods command things because they see or recognize that certain commands are really good for us. Posted Apr 30, 2012 SHARE TWEET EMAIL 24 COMMENTS 1. and in that case, you should just be a skeptic. Of course one could argue that even if the gods are petty tyrants who command us without reason—except for say their own amusement—we should still follow the commands so as not to suffer—since the gods are possibly powerful and mean enough to do so.

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