Foundation for a Natural Morality

Author: Edmund Wall

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781498503013

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 171

This book examines the foundations of morality and criticizes various philosophical justifications that have been offered for basic moral principles or values throughout the years. This book introduces and defends what is designed to be a sure justification for a natural morality and its basic moral principles.
Foundation for a Natural Morality

Author: Edmund Wall

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 1498503004

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 892

This book examines the foundations of morality and criticizes various philosophical justifications that have been offered for basic moral principles or values throughout the years. This book introduces and defends what is designed to be a sure justification for a natural morality and its basic moral principles.
The Foundations of Natural Morality

Author: S. Adam Seagrave

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226123578

Category: Philosophy

Page: 184

View: 395

Recent years have seen a renaissance of interest in the relationship between natural law and natural rights. During this time, the concept of natural rights has served as a conceptual lightning rod, either strengthening or severing the bond between traditional natural law and contemporary human rights. Does the concept of natural rights have the natural law as its foundation or are the two ideas, as Leo Strauss argued, profoundly incompatible? With The Foundations of Natural Morality, S. Adam Seagrave addresses this controversy, offering an entirely new account of natural morality that compellingly unites the concepts of natural law and natural rights. Seagrave agrees with Strauss that the idea of natural rights is distinctly modern and does not derive from traditional natural law. Despite their historical distinctness, however, he argues that the two ideas are profoundly compatible and that the thought of John Locke and Thomas Aquinas provides the key to reconciling the two sides of this long-standing debate. In doing so, he lays out a coherent concept of natural morality that brings together thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to Hobbes and Locke, revealing the insights contained within these disparate accounts as well as their incompleteness when considered in isolation. Finally, he turns to an examination of contemporary issues, including health care, same-sex marriage, and the death penalty, showing how this new account of morality can open up a more fruitful debate.

Author: Propfessor Yusuf Turaki

Publisher: Otakada Inc


Category: Philosophy

Page: 301

View: 925

Normativity and the Lawfulness of the Universe There are laws governing the existence of creation. Life itself is governed by principles that are instructions which the Creator has put in place to enable the creatures appreciate and enjoy life. But when these laws are flaunted creation begins to groan and creatures start to suffer. According to the laws of creation when a manufacturer creates, he invents or produces a manual to guide the user of such products on the best way to maximize the benefits of the product. As the chief Creator of the earth, God has also given us a manual on how best to utilize the potentials and benefits of the earth. It is the neglect of these laws and instructions in the Creator’s manual (The Bible) that has brought deformation to our society and has impoverished nations bringing untold hardship to people (Pastor Sunday Adelaja, Nation Builder, A Journal of the AiMP Network Ltd/Gte, Volume 1 Number 1, 2008). This book is about the universal moral laws described by Pastor Sunday Adelaja above, as well as their roots or foundations, scope and impact upon all moral agents and the whole universe. The universe or creation exists as an ordered system instituted by its Creator. It has laws that govern its existence, and these laws are universal in scope. The entire universe is immersed, subsumed and governed by these universal laws. Hence the necessity of examining the normativity and lawfulness (van der Walt 2008:128) of the universe. We must also examine the meaning and purpose of the universe, creation and human life itself. This quest has been addressed historically by many scholars, philosophers, scientists, theologians and the religious people. Our approach is not to seek answers and meanings in their arguments or wisdom, but to show how they have in one way or the other not given us adequate and satisfactory answers to the ultimate source of anchoring meaning and purpose of life, law and order. In classical studies, some scholars have approached this subject through metaphysics/philosophy, some through science, and some through religion/theology. Our intention is not to undertake a study of intellectual history of each category, especially of Western, oriental or African traditions, in order to prove their success or failure in addressing the main subject of this book, the universal moral laws. Speculative philosophies, theologies, naturalism, scienticism and historicism of these traditions abound but have not in any way provided adequate solutions to the questions of normativity or lawfulness of the universe or creation. It is the weak and confused human response to this universal normativity and lawfulness of the universe that has revealed the weaknesses and inadequacies of some of these classical approaches and methodologies. Langdon Gilkey identified three basic approaches to the question of universal normativity and lawfulness of the universe (Gilkey 1959:4-25). I have modified his sets of questions to suit our approach and understanding. Some scholars seek answers to this question through science by raising scientific questions about the universe. But science is a limited form of knowledge. Science deals with mainly causal relationships of created orders or things (Gilkey 1959:7-9). According to science, there is no knowing outside of this created spectrum of the laws of cause and effect. Reducing all the questions of normativity, lawfulness, morality and ethics and origins to finding scientific causal relationships is a serious fallacy—a scientific fallacy. A scientific fallacy seeks to answer the questions of origins, normativity or lawfulness without God the Creator. This study refutes anchoring the ultimate source of origins and universal moral laws on the scientific principles of cause and effect. There is a proper place and role of science as it is the study of parts of God’s creation, that is, the creational or universal physical laws. We exceed the limits of science, however, whenever it is used as foundations of beliefs, morality and ethics and the ultimate source of meaning, purpose and origins. We cannot absolutise science as the only valid source of knowledge. The second set of questionings is referred to by Gilkey as metaphysical or philosophical (Gilkey 1959:9-10). Metaphysical or philosophical questions are different from the scientific questions. A metaphysician or philosopher looks at the entire universe and seeks to decipher its ultimate meaning or purpose and sometimes, just like in science, may even venture to postulate some answers to the questions of origins. What meaning or purpose lies behind the physical and observable universe? Since the goal of metaphysics or philosophy, is to find the ultimate meaning or purpose, this meaning or purpose could be anything, a personal or a non-personal being or a thing. In speculative philosophy, the logic of finding an ultimate source of meaning or purpose may not be based upon a person, or Creator, but on an abstract idea. An idea could be God or God could be an idea. A metaphysical or philosophical fallacy attributes origins, meaning or purpose of the universe and life to an abstract idea and not necessarily God the Creator. Blaise Paschal contrasted the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob from the god of philosophers and scholars (Paschal 1989:41). This study refutes anchoring the ultimate source of origins, meaning and purpose, and universal moral laws on metaphysical or philosophical principles that are derived from speculative or abstract ideas and not ultimately upon God the Creator. Human speculative reason in metaphysics or philosophy is also limited in scope. It only gives partial knowledge. We exceed the limits of metaphysics or philosophy whenever it is used as the only valid source of knowledge. Human speculative reason is a false place to start seeking answers to the ultimate questions of creation and life. The third set of questioning is referred to by Gilkey as theological or religious (Gilkey 1959:19-25). These are not scientific questions of causal relationships, or metaphysical/philosophical questions of meaning and purpose, but ultimate questions of existence, the reason of creation by the Creator and finding the will of God the Creator. Such questions about the ground of our contingent being, about a transcendent purpose for our short life, and about the Lords of our destiny, are a part of the life of us all. Here we ask why we exist, and on what power that existence depends (Gilkey 1959:20). Theological or religious questions grip our souls. We ask ultimate questions about our existence and being, not dispassionately as in the case of science or in philosophy about things in general that may not necessarily affect our lives ultimately. Theology/religion asserts that the ultimate answers to the reality of our being and existence are rooted ultimately in God the Creator. This God is a Living Being and Creator, not the god of philosophers and scholars. Scientists and philosophers have overly relied on reason and senses as the source of knowledge. Philosophy depends upon human reason, while science depends upon the human senses. There is a proper use of both human reason and human senses, but they cannot be elevated to displace God altogether. On these two human faculties, Blaise Paschal has this to say: Man is so fashioned that he has no reliable guide of truth, but instead has many to guide him falsely. But the most intriguing source of his errors is the struggle between the senses and reason…the two so-called principles of truth—reason and senses—are not only not genuine but are engaged in mutual deception. Through false appearances the senses deceive reason. And just as they trick the soul, they are in turn tricked by it…the senses are influenced by the passions, which produce false impressions (Paschal 1989:58).
God and the Grounding of Morality

Author: Kai Nielsen

Publisher: University of Ottawa Press

ISBN: 9780776616032

Category: Religion

Page: 230

View: 535

These essays make a single central claim: that human beings can still make sense of their lives and still have a humane morality, even if their worldview is utterly secular and even if they have lost the last vestige of belief in God. "Even in a self-consciously Godless world life can be fully meaningful," Nielsen contends.