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1. A) Morality is derived from religion and its teachings

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1. A) Morality is derived from religion and its teachings B) Morality is independent of religion and its teachings Discuss these two claims (40 marks) Before exploring either of these two claims, it is important to primarily, identify what exactly 'morality' is. The dictionary definition is "conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct." Meaning that to possess morality a person must be in accord with standards of ethically good behaviour. However there is much question as to where exactly morality derives from. It has since been, an ongoing debate as to whether morality is derived from religious roots, or separate from religion altogether. Many believe that morality is derived purely from religion and its teachings; this term is known as Heteronomy. Consequently, a heteronomist would agree with statement A. Heteronomy trusts that morals are traced from religious authority, depending on the particular religion a believer is from. A Christian heteronomist would explain that their morals firstly come from the Bible, New Testament, 10 commandments and Holy Scriptures. And secondly from the voice of God - in the context of the Pope and their own conscience and reason. ...read more.


Key supporters of Theonomy include Hastings Rashdall and Iris Murdoch. Rashdall would argue statement A, by believing that without God our morals would have no value. He argues that morality must have firmer foundation than human thoughts and wishes! Rashdall would say that a life filled with belief in God is definitely more likely to be a happier and more fulfilled life complete with moral goodness. Correspondingly Iris Murdoch acknowledged that human inclination for morality exists, but that it is God-given. Murdoch argues that everyone has an awareness for right and wrong and that it comes from God. In great contrast to either heteronomy or theonomy, a great amount of people believe that morality is derived independently of religion and its teachings. This term is known as Autonomy, and is in accordance with statement B. An autonomist would instead believe that our morals are derived from secular authority; such as law and governments and initially the influences of school and parents (upbringings). In his 'Euthyphro Dilemma', Plato sustains this argument of autonomy. Plato presents the dilemma of morality and God through his characters Euthyphro and Socrates. The characters debate the on-going issue of "Are things good because God commands them? ...read more.


Taking into consideration each of the claims respectively, I have decided that autonomy provides the strongest claim to morality, for me alone. I feel that theonomy is the weakest claim to the source of morality, as it depends solely on a "God" or supernatural being; which for me poses many problems. I believe that theonomy can be taken very seriously as a good claim to morality, as the links between religion and early morality are undeniable. For example moral language is derived from religion evidently pointing to religion for ethical authority . However I feel autonomy is the strongest claim as secular authority plays two key roles in our rapidly varying society. Secular authority holds great influence on us through media, advertising and technological advances. For example the large majority of teenagers, today, will have very differing morals to that of their grandparents due to television and other such publicity; which has shaped their morals (for the worst?) Also secular authority is present in the upkeep of our country; through laws being enforced and the increase of government control, proving a source of morality- that cannot and must not be ignored. ?? ?? ?? ?? Paris Fisher-Aziz ...read more.

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