The Moral Argument

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  • Moral Argument - Immanuel Kant
    • to do the right thing we must use our reason
    • we should do a good action bc it's our duty
    • have a duty to carry out good (virtuous) actions
    • logically these actions should lead to happiness
    • Summum Bonum (highest good)
      • virtue + happiness = Summum Bonum
      • Summum Bonum rarely achieved in one lifetime
        • logically must be afterlife in which to achieve it
    • The Three Postulates
      • Freedom
        • people need to be free to carry out virtuous actions
      • Immortality
        • need to achieve Summum Bonum in this life or afterlife to have morality
      • God
        • God exists to provide afterlife
    • Weaknesses
      • is the Summum Bonum achievable?
      • moral argument = probability not certainty
      • only convincing if you already believe in God.
        • doesn't persuade you to believe in God
    • Sigmund Freud
      • accepted we have a conscience but disagreed it came from God
      • said our conscience is a product of our unconscious called our superego
      • people make up God bc they want a father figures in their life
    • Freud's model of the mind
      • The ID
        • human instinct e.g. appetite
      • Ego
        • self-awareness and personal identity
      • Superego
        • humans reason and make decisions
    • Freud's view of religion and moral awareness
      • claimed religion is an obsessional neurosis
        • people have faith in God because it answers their desires e.g. life after death
      • religion is a way for people to satisfy their desires
      • answers religion provide are appealing
    • Criticism of Freud
      • hasn't explained where superego comes from


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