Functionalist say that society is like a living organism and all the social institutions perform specific functions in order to help society function effectively. The sociologist Durkheim says that a key feature of religion is not a belief in Gods, spirits or the supernatural, but a fundamental distinction between the scared and the profane. The sacred are things set apart and forbidden which inspire feelings of awe and wonder. By contrast, the profane are things that have no special significance, things that are ordinary and mundane. Durkheim believed that the essence of all religion could be found by studying it’s simplest form, in the simplest type of society.
Rand says “Reality, the external world, exists independent of man’s consciousness, independent of any observer’s knowledge, beliefs, feelings, desires or fears…” (qtd. The Ayn Rand Institute 1). Consciousness, therefore, is to distinguish reality, not to fashion or form it around a personal belief. Consequently, Objectivists reject all forms of a supernatural or any beliefs unfounded in fact. In the quote below Rand explains why she rejects religion outright, and she believes man himself deserves the attention: Just as religion has preempted the field of ethics, turning morality against man, so it has usurped the highest moral concepts of our language, placing them outside this earth and beyond man’s reach.
An independent good takes away from religious motivation to do good, we can be good for the sake of being good as opposed to seeking eschatological reward, for example going to heaven in the afterlife. Iris Murdock supports the first horn of the Euthyphro Dilemma in critiquing the link between religion and morality; she argued that there is an objective standard of goodness which is independent of God. She argues that human life is “self-contained” meaning that humans are “simply here” and therefore suggesting that God did not create or had no influence over our lives or decisions. Murdoch follows human moral development and places freedom with
Just like a religious believer who states “god loves us” but can’t explain the contradiction of evil in the world, believers qualify their statements by explaining god’s love is not like humans love he calls this “death by a thousand qualifications”. Therefore religious language is meaningless. However religion has responded to the falsification principle. R.B Braithwaite argued that the falsification principle explains religious language as cognitive when it if in fact non cognitive and therefore cannot be falsified, religious language is therefore still meaningful. Hare also responds to the falsification principle, showing that religious statements are meaningful even though they cannot be falsified because they have a significant impact for the people using the statement.
Social scientist use psychology, sociology, anthropology and history to back up their beliefs. Comte, a philosopher, expressed that religion is a story of human development. Comte describes this “human development” as a mythological stage. Religion according to him is a creation of human spirit and is completely man made. Like Comte, social scientists believe that religion is not an essential quality for taking place in this world and is not
Kant devised two different types of imperatives which allow us to make our decisions, hypothetical imperatives are the rules that we follow to attain a personal outcome or a selfish wish whereas categorical imperatives are intrinsically right. His first categorical imperative was meant to establish that humans should only act according to a law that can be universalised. ‘’Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law’’ – (Kant the moral order). The second of the imperatives is that we as humans should never use another human as a means to an end, treat them all with value. ‘’Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end’’.
Although, Merton obviously understands the importance of forgiveness and cherishes this concept, because he has been quoted saying that “We do not really know how to forgive until we know what it is to be forgiven. Therefore we should be glad that we can be forgiven by our brothers. It is our forgiveness of on another that makes the love of Jesus manifest in our lives, for in forgiving we act towards one another as God as acted towards us.” It is for these reasons why I believe that Merton would have disagreed with Wiesenthal’s course of action, and will agree to the fact that it was his duty as a Christian to show mercy towards someone who had been suffering and who had asked for
Deontology versus Utilitarianism There are many ethological theories that have helped shape the thinking of today. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was one of the best well-known German philosophers who basically created the theory known as Deontology. His theory is based on rules (maxims) and is also known as categorical imperative. Kant’s theory about the rational individual who is the forefront for moral law has been defined and interpreted in many different ways by many different philosophers (Bourke, 1951). Oddly enough, with this theory, it is prohibited to tell lies or commit suicide because that is morally wrong within itself and does not support the universal good of a rational decision, but if people acted in line with their duty to the universal law of their society, the results were of no consequence (Butts & Rich, 2008, Chapter 1).
Since every ethical system should evaluate itself as the best and only moral system, and every other system is flawed and immoral, it is assumed that moral judgements about ethical systems are meaningless. Moral Relativism rests on the belief that values are subjective. It is holds the belief that there is no objective morality, that there is no such thing as right or wrong, good or evil. Only that, moral systems are just made up and supported by the circumstances of the action. Moral Relativism cannot and does not accept the idea that an objective moral system exists.
The main point that Jung makes in relation to communism by actually getting people to literally having self-knowledge, connecting this to religious experience that becomes the only counter-balance to a human being and society, it is the unconscious areas of ourselves that we have absolutely no knowledge about whatsoever, as our only conception for gaining the experience. Jung is stating these kinds of experiences can’t be found plainly, an individual must self-explore create his own weltanschauung. A human being knows and understands his distinction from animals and wild beasts by anatomical and physiological differences, but as an aware and conscious being, lacks all the requirement for his own self-judgement. Humanity does not have another self-aware being to compare to, therefore consciousness will remain an unsolvable puzzle. Without consciousness there would be no world, because we wouldn’t be aware of it “for the world exists for [all of] us in so far a it is consciously reflected by a psyche “Consciousness is a precondition of