Moral Argument

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  • Moral Argument
    • Kant
      • Regardless of culture or time, there is an objective moral law within us that everyone is aware about
      • CATEGORICAL IMPERITIVE = making a moral decision from a sense of duty
        • Duty is doing a good thing for no other reason than duty [virtuous action]
      • Virtuous actions should be rewarded with happiness BUT this is not always the case
        • This leads us to believe if virtue is not rewarded in this life there must be an afterlife
          • This is what Kant calls the 'summum bonum' [highest good]
      • 3 postulates of morality = FREEDOM [an action is moral if we are free to do it], IMMORTALITY [actions arent always rewarded in happiness so must be fulfilled in afterlife], GOD [if there is an afterlife, there must be a God to reward us
    • Freud [criticism]
      • This conscience described by Kant is the result of the SUPER-EGO for Freud
        • SUPER-EGO = subconscious set of moral controls given to us by outside influences
      • EGO = the conscious self, the personality that everyone sees
      • ID = primitive mind that creates all wants and feelings
      • Moral values are not objective but come from the super-ego = kants argument would fail
      • The conscience is a psychological development that results from the oediplus complex [desires for parent]
    • It is important to realise that Kant never put his argument as a free-standing argument, as God could only be proved through faith
  • This conscience described by Kant is the result of the SUPER-EGO for Freud
    • SUPER-EGO = subconscious set of moral controls given to us by outside influences

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