The Moral Argument for AS Philosophy and Ethics

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The Moral Argument
Argument based on subject human experience. The argument does not set out to prove God's
existence, but to prove that morality does not make sense without God.
Morality as Derived from God
H.P. Owen
"It is impossible to think of a command without also thinking of a commander"
H.P. Owen argued that the existence of objective moral law implies that there is a lawgiver from
which these laws came. He said that as commands and laws do not write themselves either these
laws must be simply brute fact, or put there by God. For Owen, since the existence of these laws
DOES require an explanation (and are therefore not brute fact) they must be from God.
Cardinal Newman
Newman infers the existence in God from presence of conscience. He argues that, as we have a
conscience within us which produces feelings of shame and guilt, it is clear to see that God exists
seeing as this can be seen as `the voice of God' within us ­ the point where human meets the
supernatural in everyday life.
Morality as Objectively Pointing to God
Dom Trethowen's Argument
Trethowen rejects the use of logic to prove God's existence. Rather, he refers to moral decision
making as a form of religious experience. Trethowen argues that the sense of duty we feel to take
the `right' course of action implies intrinsic value within human beings, which implies that something
has instilled value within human beings ­ Trethowen takes this to be God. The sense of obligation we
feel is explained by value instilled in us by God, so whenever we make a moral decision we have an
indirect experience of God.
Immanuel Kant
Kant decided that as in this world immediate happiness does not come from morality, there must be
something else that motivates us to act morally ­ an objective sense of obligation. Kant went on to
say that with this sense of obligation came three assumptions; freedom (the freedom to fulfil an
obligation), immortality and God. Kant called these the three postulates.
Main argument:
1. We feel an obligation to aim for the highest good ­ for Kant the goal of morality is `the
highest good'. His theory also stressed a sense of duty to do what is right. If it is our

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We cannot attain the highest good without God to assist us, as he is the cause of the world
and nature itself. We do not have the power to ensure that morality naturally leads to
happiness, and we can see it does not always in this empirical world, so Kant reasoned that
God is logically necessary to bring this about.
3.…read more


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