Situation Ethics is the teleological theory which aims to bring the greater good, it’s similar to the idea of utilitarianism which was also aiming for the greater good for the most amount of people. Situation Ethics looks at the intentions instead of the outcome. This is the opposite of the deontological ethics which focuses on the intrinsic rightness or wrongness of actions. The theory would also acknowledge the consequences of the actions, not the actions themselves, therefore it suggests that the action would be ‘good’ if it brings out a good consequence. Situation Ethics runs on the idea of agapeistic love which is the Christian concept of unconditional love, which is how the greater good works.
The third one is that religion is needed for moral guidance. Though, all three of these assumptions associated with religion and morality come with many criticisms, we will focus on the second assumption. Religious people commonly hold the belief that God or a higher being is the creator of what is morally right versus what is morally wrong. This view is called the Divine Command Theory, which basically entails that an action is morally right if God commands it and an action is morally wrong if God forbids it. In Euthyphro, a short dialogue by Plato, the character of Euthryphro suggests that a person or action is pious or morally right if the Gods agree with it and love it.
James speaks against these in his teaching. He exhorts them to remain true to the teachings and practices of the faith. James’ teachings are often compared to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which would be logical due to him being brought up in the same environment as Jesus. The book of James is a protest against hypocrisy. Some have criticized James in that they thought he was teaching that salvation was by works alone, but in reality he is complementing Paul’s teaching of salvation by faith.
This may also be a problem for Christian thinkers as, if the conscience is not the voice of God it gives moral authority to something outside of God. The existence of a conscience outside of God also strongly contradicts God’s omnipotence, although a Christian thinker may argue against this criticism with the idea that God’s omnipotence may have created a moral guide within ourselves which is no longer ‘God’s voice’ but leads us into making moral decisions. An argument may also be had about the existence of a ‘conscience’, however for the purpose of this essay, the conscience exists as a moral guide. Several philosophers have discussed conscience at great length, including; Newman, Butler and Aquinas. These men all have very different views about the origin of the conscience, however they also have some prominent similarities, for example Newman’s illative sense and Aquinas’ ideas on Synderesis, Conscientia and Phronesis.
Religious language discusses religious and spiritual concepts. It is cognitive and conveys knowledge of what is really there. Religious language offers a correspondence theory of truth if it is thought of as being able to point to the reality that it is trying to convey. It is the language of worship – it is performative and prescriptive. Some philosophers such as Aquinas believe that it is possible to talk meaningfully, truthfully and factually about God whereas others like Ayer believe this to be impossible.
It’s important to address this danger, and although faith can certainly create the benefits described in How God Changes Your Brain, it’s irresponsible to ignore that faith, being a psychological tool, can be used for both positive and negative means. A good part of How God Changes Your Brain is the author’s respect for people who do not share their beliefs. The book is more an explanation for why people like religion, rather than an argument for religion’s existence. Changes Your Brain doesn’t use literary prowess to emphasize a strong tone, but rather keeps a level and clear voice throughout the book, it has the opposite the tone of a preacher. I wish that the book addressed why some people firmly reject or accept faith, on a psychological basis.
I personally think people should be allowed to have their own opinions and views on religion. I do not think people should have been imprisoned by not living by Calvinism. I also personally do not believe God has already chosen who will be saved from sin. Ignatius of Loyola believed through self-discipline and good actions people would be saved. Loyola created the religion belief known as Society of Jesus.
Epicurus was a rational egoistic hedonist. Although egoistic hedonists think that one’s own pleasure is the ultimate good, Epicurus concluded that Ataraxia, or peace of mind, is as well. He believed more in the avoidance of pain rather than the pursuit of pleasure, and the only way one can attain an absence of pain is if one rationally pursues long-term, less intense, intellectual pleasures. All hedonists are consequentialists, and therefore base their decisions on possible outcomes. The difference between an uncritical egoistic hedonist and Epicurus is what outcome is being sought after.
The Falsification Principle is a similar principle to the verification principle as both states that statements are only meaningful if it can be proven true or false, verified or falsified. The falsification principle however if more focused on the idea of falsifying statements, as the name would suggest, and says that religious statements are meaningless because people(believers) will let nothing count against them no matter what the evidence. For example believers may have the belief that 'God is loving' and no matter how strong or how much evidence I could provide to show the opposite the believers would still have reasons why, in spite of everything, God continues to be loving. This was the point Anthony Flew was trying to make when he applied the falsification principle to religious statements and concluded that they were meaningless as he deemed it they died a 'death by a thousand qualifications'. There will never be anything believers will accept that could challenge what they believe because they will always come up with other ways of qualifying it.
"Conscience is the most reliable guide to ethical decision making.” Discuss It is debateable as to whether or not the conscience is the most reliable form of decision making or not. However there are many different opinions on conscience when it comes to decision making. The idea of the conscience has developed from early christian views, however it has now developed through the psychological views of it being linked or part of the mind. The idea of the conscience was also later developed by Freud who suggested that the conscience could be explained best by using scientific knowledge instead of using religious views and opinions on the conscience. St Paul believed the conscience was a moral guide, which is within and doesn’t need any rules or theories to be followed.