Moral Argument

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  • Created by: cjearey
  • Created on: 07-03-15 11:05

Moral Argument

  • Unusual arg becasue doesn't try prove God exists -> only poits to the probability that God exists
  • Kant did not think it was possible for human intellect to prove the existence of something beyond what we have experienced
  • Instead turned to the 'moral law within us' for evidence
  • Categorical Imperative - involves making a moral decsion from a sense of duty  without any consideration for the outcome
  • Summon Bonum - state of ultimate good when virtue and happiness come togerther
  • Postulate - something which is an assumption - it is probable but not provable
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Kant - Duty

  • Kant said there is universal agreement that some actions are right and others are wrong. It doesn't matter what culture, circumstances etc are involved. Actions like murder and **** are alway bad -> This shows the existence of an objective moral law that everybody is aware of
  • Not only are we aware of it but we feel an obligation to obey it because it is the rational thing to do. To discover the right action we must apply moral reason -> reveal moral law and gives us the categorical imperative which we should obey
  • Duty is doing a good action for no other reasin than we know it is our duty. Duty is not a response to threats or rewards. Virtue can only de duty for duty's sake
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Kant - Summum Bonum

  • Humans are obliged to carry out virtuous actions form a sense of duty, not because they expect a reward. Expereince tells us that if  we carry out a virtuous action there is no guarentee it will always lead to happiness but logical to think it will lead to hapiness eventually
  • This state, when virtue and happiness do come together, is called the Summum Bonum. Kant reasoned that our gooad actions are not always rewarded in this lifetime so the we must achieve the Summum Bonum in the afterlife
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Kant - postulates

  • Kant considered his argument had three necessary parts which he called three postulate

1) Freedom/Autonomy - Kant said an action is only a matter of morality if this action is one that has been freely chosen. An action is a moral one if you choose to do it

2) Immortality - Experience tells us that virtuous actions are not always rewarded by happiness. They may attract criticism or pain. Since perefect virtue ought to result in perefect happiness, then it must exist. Because it doesn't happen in this life, it follows that God must provide it in the next life

3) God - For Kant it follows logically that if there is another life in which humans can achieve immortality, then this means God is the necessary connection between virtue and happiness whcih is implied by the SB

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  • introduced idea that our behaviout is influenced by psychological causes and not by any divine intervention
  • The id is the part of the mind in whcih human instinctxs such as desirre and appetite are based. These desires are often supressed by our conscious mind, but they can surface through dreams
  • As a baby develops, it gradually gains a sense of self-awareness and its own identity, whcih Freud called our ego. The ego is the concious self, the personality that the outside world sees
  • Freud accepted that we have a conscience but disagreed it came from God.Our conscience is a product of our unconscience mind, whcih he called our super-ego .We use the superego to reason and make decsions. Parental influence and values mould the superego and leave their mark on it.
  • Whilst Freud recognises what influences the supereco - he doesn't explain where the superego comes from
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