09-23-08[1] - Authority o The four types of moral realism...

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Authority o The four types of moral realism we looked at last week all view the authority of morality as independent of God o Some religious people think that if there were no God, then there would be no moral truth, or morality could not be authoritative. They think that for the atheist, anything goes . Some atheists agree, thinking that ethics is not objective. o There seem to be three reason people think the authority of morality must rest on the authority of religion: 1. If people believe there is no God, then they will not be afraid of the consequences of breaking moral rules 2. Morality involves commands, and where there are commands there needs to be someone who is commanding us. 3. Without religion, we wouldn’t be able to work out what is right and wrong, or come to know moral truths 1. The Fear of Authority If people believe there is no God, then they will not be afraid of the consequences of breaking moral rules A religious person can aim to be rewarded with entry into heaven or punished by banishment to hell. A non-religious person has no incentives. Problem : to be motivated by thoughts of benefits or costs to oneself is quite different from being motivated by morality. If I am morally motivated to help someone in need, for instance, I take the person’s need as a reason to do something to help, independently of any benefits to myself. 2. The Source of Authority Morality Involves commands, and where there are commands there needs to be someone who is commanding us.
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course PHIL 1305 taught by Professor Gordon during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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09-23-08[1] - Authority o The four types of moral realism...

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