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Flashcards in Morality and Religion Deck (18):

How does Newman suggest morality to be connected with religion?

He says that because we have a conscience and feel guilt before something than merely a community that does not/ cannot know, we must feel guilt before God. God gave us this conscience.


How does Kant argue for morality to prove God?

He says that the universe is fair, and we desire both happiness and to be moral and súmmum bonum, the highest good, is the combination of these things. Súmmum bonum must be achievable because the universe is fair, however it is not achievable in this life, so it is necessary to postulate a life after death or súmmum bonum and it is necessary to postulate god to guarantee fairness.


How does Russell prove morality to disprove God?

He states that if there is a moral law it either stems from God or it does not. If it comes from God it is arbitrary as our standard of goodness is merely the whim of god. If it does not come from God then God is subject to it. Neither of these options make him worth worshipping or they show that he doesn’t exist.


How does Nietzsche perceive religion and morality?

He believes that ‘god is dead’ and with the idea of God goes all claims to absolute value. We make our own meaning.


What is the natural moral law?

It is a moral code that exists within the purpose of nature, as directed by God. People should live as their purpose dictates to glorify God.


How does aquinas propose that we make moral decisions?

By using divine reason


What does Aquinas suggest sin to be?

Falling short of God’s intentions for human nature, committing apparent goods instead of real goods


What does Aquinas explain interior and exterior acts to be?

Interior is the reason and exterior is the act. Both should be good.


What are Aquinas’ primary precepts?

- self preservation
- preservation of innocent
- continuation of species
- educate children
- live in ordered society
- worship god


What is the divine command theory?

The idea that the foundation for morality is God


What are the benefits of the divine command theory?

It addresses many relevant ideas of right and wrong within one reliable foundation


What are problems with the divine command theory?

- how do we know what God Commands?

- ideas in the bible are contradictory

- Should we and how can we pick and choose?

- many ideas seem arbitrary or outdated

- the euthyphro problem


what is the euthyphro problem?

A dialogue between Socrates and euthyphro whereby Socrates discusses the implications of the divide command theory.

He questions whether:

Right actions are right because God commands them


Right actions are commanded by God because they are right


What are implications of the Euthyphro problem?

It means that either anything God commands is right, and therefore any whim of God would be right and therefore morality would be arbitrary. Can morality depend on authority alone? And would this God be worth worshipping?


God himself is subjected to morality as it is independent of him. It also means that God himself is not omnipotent as there are things that he cannot command. Therefore, can we not just go straight to this source rather than to God, who acts merely as a messenger.


What does A.J Ayer day about the Euthyphro problem?

‘No morality can be founded on authority, even if the authority were divine’


What is Emil Brunner’s response to the Euthyphro problem?

‘The food consists in always doing what God wills at any particular moment’


What is Gottfried Leibniz’ response to the Euthyphro problem?

“It destroys...all the love of God and all his glory. Why praise him if for what he has done if he would be equally praiseworthy in doing exactly the contrary.”


What is the conclusion of the Euthyphro problem?

God cannot exist or morality does not link with religion