2 - Moral Objectivism Relativism is loaded with...

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Moral Objectivism Relativism is loaded with liabilities. But do moral principles have objective validity, independent of cultural acceptance? What kind of explanation can be offered? • to appeal to a divine law (religious justification is necessary to establish the validity of moral principles?) • to appeal to the doctrine of natural law (morality is a function of human nature: reason can discover valid moral principles by looking at the nature of humanity and society)
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An important distinction Moral absolutism ≠ Moral objectivism Absolutism: there are nonoverridable moral principles that one ought never violate. The moral norms are exceptionless . (Kant) Objectivism: moral principles have universal validity but are not necessarily exceptionless. Although moral principles override all other considerations, no moral duty has absolute weight or strict priority; each moral principle must be weighed against other moral principles.
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Natural Law The Stoics (1 st century B.C .): • human beings have within them a divine spark (“the rational seed”) that enables them to discover eternal laws for individual happiness and social harmony • the whole universe is governed by laws that exhibit rationality • humans obey these laws because they can perceive the laws’ inner reasonableness • there is a universal standard of righteousness
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Natural Law: Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): • Combined the sense of cosmic natural law with
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2011 for the course PHIL 111 taught by Professor Kain during the Spring '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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2 - Moral Objectivism Relativism is loaded with...

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