Philosophical Perspectives on Religion, Ethical and Moral Values (5)

Philosophical Perspectives of Ethical Values

The practical thing about ethics in decision-making is that most people view things from two significant perspectives. The first perspective is called ontological, and the second is called deontological. Ontological perspectives emphasize the consequences of an action rather than the nature, form, and process by which the action is performed. The deontological perspective believes that people should adhere to their obligations and duties while decision-making.

Clifford (1974) and Peterson et al. (2014,103) argue that “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” This argument is valid. If humankind acts on poorly supported beliefs, they are likely to harm either themselves or someone. But fundamentally, by habitually accepting beliefs that are not supported by evidence, one can make oneself and other people gullible. According to the evidence, Clifford (1974) says that there is a moral duty to believe. The duty applies to belief itself, not only to action; it applies to everyone, not only to the educated; it is wrong to believe without good evidence, even if someone’s belief turns out to be true.

Aquinas (ca.1224-1274) argues that as the result of being created in God’s image, human beings possess the rational capacities to comprehend those aspects of God’s ethical standard that have been revealed in nature. He maintains that one can deduce how human beings are to act and be treated, which does not place genuine reason above divine revelation. He summarizes by saying that humankind’s reflection on the nature of things can discover a lot about God’s basic ethical standards and their application to their daily lives.

Theists contend that a world without God has at least two undesirable characteristics: life can have no meaning, and all moral values are relative. According (to Blackham, 1961), Sartre (ca.1905-1980) acknowledges that a world without God is different. In a godless world, there are no absolute values without overlaid on humanity. Humankind creates their values.

Nonetheless, humankind’s actions have significant consequences for others and a pity that no one knows beforehand the outcome of their actions. Conversely (Blackham, 1961), Sartre denies that humankind can find no personal meaning in the world without God. He challenges the contention that creating personal values would enable humankind to justify arbitrary and capricious behavior by pointing out that such behavior would not be compatible with a proper understanding that humankind’s actions always have significant consequences for others.

***Series 6 tomorrow, Sunday 29 May 2022.

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