- Aquinas (Fourth Way)
- Kant (source of morality is God)
- Freud’s Criticism (source of morality is guilt)
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- Not an actual argument. It aims to prove God – it implies God.
- This argument seeks to show that in the existence of God we find the best explanation for our experience of moral consciousness.
- In the moral behaviour of people is the proof of God’s existence.
- We are good because God tells us to be.
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- Fourth of Aquinas’ Five Ways to prove the existence of God
- This is an entry into the moral argument
- Based on Plato’s eternal forms. The contingent realities of which the human mind is aware are merely pale copes of a greater, unseen reality which is eternal. the goodness found in humans and the world is a reflection of the perfect goodness of God. God is perfect in his very being
- Does not suggest how good can be defined. All we know is that God is a supreme source of it and it is his very essence to be perfectly good
- Does not specifically refer to morality itself but truth, nobility, goodness and value.
- We have a concept of what these things are so these ideas must come from somewhere
- There must be something that is most true, more valuable, the most noble and the most good. For Christian theologians, this is God
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- There is a moral law which cannot fulfil its goal unless God exists. God is required for morality. God’s existence is implied by human moral experience
- Everybody has to seek the summon bonum
- The duty to promote the highest good is called the categorical imperative. Following this principle means acting morally
- Necessity of an after-life in which the achievement of the summum bonum could be accomplished
- Moral behaviour is not invalid without God but if the goal of morality is to be achieved then God is demanded to bring it about.
- Weaknesses of Kant:
- Logical? Kant argues ought implies can yet he states that humans ought to bring about the summum bonum however they are unable to.
- summum bonum cannot be proven.
- He states that virtue must be rewarded but claims that a moral action is performed independently of any reward or goal.
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- Superego – subconscious set off moral controls. Influenced by our parents and society.
- Ego – the conscious self: most obvious personality.
- Id – unconscious self: basic drives and repressed memories.
- Sexual impulses cause mental illnesses. We repress sexual impulses because they disgusting us, sending them to our unconscious, e.g. Oedipus and Electra complex.
- Religion is an illusion based on human wishes. It meets certain psychological needs.
- It can govern and regulate human behaviour. Based on what we want to be true as opposed to what is true – ‘wish fulfilment’. It is a neurosis that stops people thinking as adults and taking responsibility for their own lives.
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- Questions Kant’s conclusion of God.
- Challenges the notion of an absolute moral law.
- Moral awareness comes from sources other than God, e.g. a willingness to please (esp. opposite sex parent).
- Conscience is developed during infancy and merely helps humans live together.
- Undermines any claim that there is a connection between God and human conscience. Morality can be explained without reference to God.
- Dismissed any relationship between morality, conscience and God. Morality is linked to human guilt.
- Morality is passed on by parents through childhood.
- Conscience, morality or duty are little more than the inherited traditions of one’s family and community.
- Kant = source of morality is God.
- Freud =source of morality is guilt.
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