Analyse the Key Features of Virtue Ethics

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Examine two critiques of the relationship between religion and morality. It has long been common thought that there is a distinct link between Religion and the fundamental moral laws upon which we base our lives upon. These heteronomous moral codes were used as the basic principles of everyday life. From this viewpoint then, it is hard to imagine a world without the concept of religion, as sure anarchy and suffering would ensure across the Globe. However, if this link between religion and morality is criticised, then there are sufficient grounds for secularist and atheistic ways of life. Why is religion needed when it is not the source of moral guidance? Two famous critiques of the link between religion and morality are the Euthyphro dilemma and the many critiques od Richard Dawkins against religion. Both essentially come to the same conclusion; that we do not need God to be good. The basic concept of religion and morality, especially divine command theory, is very simple: what God commands is good, therefore only do that. However, things begin to complicate when we begin to answer questions, such as ‘why are Gods commands intrinsically good?’. The Euthyphro dilemma outlines the problems with asserting the goodness of God. In the great philosopher Plato’s text, ‘The Last Days of Socrates’, Socrates questions Euthyphro over the piety of the Gods. Which follows on from which? Do the Gods make piety, or fit in with it? Euthyphro states “Is what is pious loved by the Gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved?” Essentially what Euthyphro is saying is ‘Does God command what is good because it is good, or is the good “good” because commanded it?’ This dilemma leaves us with an argument based upon circular logic, and no matter how we seem to go about answering it we are left with the same predicament. We could side with the latter half of this

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