Does Morality Depend on Religion?
Divine Command Theory
Morally right = commanded by God
Morally wrong = forbidden by God
Objective because its based on what God Commands/Forbids
Euthyphro Dilemma (Socrates questions Morality)
o Right conduct
Morality should be understood as the solution to a practical problem that
arises for self-interested human beings.
We all want to live as well as possible; but in order to flourish, we need a
peaceful, cooperative social order.
And we can
o 2 Types of Motion
Vital (Involuntary - heartbeat, breathing, etc.)
Animal (Voluntary - things we choose to do, like walking,
"And because going motion." (pg.217)
o State of Nature
Things we like and want are good.
Teleological - Dictated by Consequences
Deontological - Dictated by means
people are capable of great happiness and great pain
Main Discussion Points
What is our moral faculty?
Criticisms of other ethical theories
What kind of proof can w
Everyone pursues self-interest (not ought)
Everything you do is because you want to
Fails because it doesn't take into account reasons other than elf-interest
o self-interest can be a reason, but it may not be the primary reason
The Argument that Abortion is Wrong Because the Fetus is a Person
P1: Every person has a right to life (RTL)
o P1.5: Fetus is a person
P2: The fetus has a RTL
P3: The mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body
P4: A person's RTL is
Cultural Relativism (CR) - Norms of a cultural reign supreme within the bounds of
the culture itself.
Challenges belief in objectivity and universality of Moral Truth.
One culture is not better than another. (no universal values to judge
"We are discussing no small matter but how we ought to live." - Socrates
(triangle dots = conclusion)
Ability to Reason sets humans apart
o Baby Theresa (encephelitic baby; without brain)
Should the doctors be allowed to harvest her organs to
Ethical Subjectivism - idea that our moral opinions are based on our feelings and
o When a person says that something is morally good or bad, this
means that he/she approves/disapproves of that thing and nothing
Other Objections to Utilitarianism
It's too hard
o If doing the right thing all the time is hard, then you're saying that
morality itself is hard
problem of extent of consideration
makes men cold and unfeeling
o You only think this way because you aren't