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RELIGION AND MORALITY ARE
LINKED
· Moral codes are deprived from moral opinion e.g. Murder is wrong
therefore murder is illegal
· Religious leaders are expected to have high standards of morality
· Religious figures/groups campaigning for change
· The conscience is believed to come from God
· St Thomas Aquinas and Divine Command Ethics
· The Ten commandments provide the basic for modern law
· Fear of punishment encourages moral behaviour
Braithwaite: `To be religious and to make religious claims is to be committed
to a set or moral values'
Dostoevsky: Though of God as the lynchpin of society, without God
`everything is permitted'…read more

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RELIGION AND MORALITY ARE NOT
LINKED
· Atheists can be moral
· The second half of the Euthyphro dilemma suggests that acts many
be good independent of God
· Religion may not be the source of moral guidance
· Society only looks to religion in times of crisis
Russell: `I love the things I think are good. I hate the things I think are bad, I
don't say so because they participate in a divine goodness'
Macintyre: There must be a secular reason for being moral
A.J.Ayer: `no morality can be founded on authority even if that authority
were divine'…read more

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RELIGION AND MORALITY AND
NEGATIVELY LINKED
· Religion can promote intolerance
· Faith is used as an excuse for terror and warfare
· Theists can experience extreme forms of guilt
· Biblical examples of Jepthan, Job, Abraham & Isaac
Russell: `it is possible than mankind in on the threshold of a golden age, but if
so it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this
dragon is religion'
Hume: `generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous, those in
philosophy only ridiculous'
Lucretius: `such evil deeds could religion provoke'…read more

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DIVINE COMMAND ETHICS:
AQUINAS
`The good consists in always doing what God wills at any particular moment'
- Emil Brunner
· God alone decides what is right and wrong
· He is the most reliable source of moral guidance; as long as
humans can work out what his moral will is
· We must look to sacred texts to provide moral standards
· What God commands is automatically good
· Since God in unchanging so is morality
A.C.Grayling: The story of The Garden of Eden, offers a compelling
reason to be obedient…read more

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PROBLEMS
· Plato & the Euthyphro Dilemma
· Where do atheists look for moral standards?
· Biblical examples show God going against His own commands
· People may be acting out of self-preservation or fear of
punishment rather than being genuinely moral
· If there is no God, then nothing is forbidden is a difficult argument
to sustain
A.J.Ayer: `no morality can be founded on authority even if that authority
were divine'…read more

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