• Research Paper on:
    Can There Be Morality Without God?

    Number of Pages: 8

     

    Summary of the research paper:

    An 8 page argumentative essay that draws on Plato's Euthyphro and Nielsen's article "God and the Good" to consider the question in the title. The writes argues that "yes" morality is possible without consideration of God's will, or in Plato's case, the will of the gods. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_khmorwog.rtf

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    Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
    in the early chapters of The Brothers Karamazov; however, interestingly, Cortesi notes that Dostoevsky never actually wrote this phrase. What it is, however, is an accurate distillation of the philosophy  of Ivan Karamazov, who concludes, "or pretends to conclude," that there is no God, no divine authority, so, in consequence, "everything is lawful" (Cortesi, 2000). Examination of this statement brings  up the question as to whether or not morality is contingent on religiosity. Nielsen points out that there are innumerable influential Christian and Jewish theologians (Brunner, Buber, Barth, etc.)  who state that the only genuine basis morality lies in religion. Furthermore, they stipulate that this is not true of every religion, but that it must be a religion that  acknowledges the "absolute sovereignty of the Lord," which is found in prophetic religions (Nielsen, n/d). While these theologians admit that many non-religious individuals have it within their power to behave  morally, they nevertheless maintain that a "belief in God and his Law" is a necessary factor in providing grounds or a rationale for being moral (Nielsen, n/d). In other words,  "Without God there can be no objective foundation for our moral beliefs" (Nielsen, n/d). Citing Brunner, Nielsen expresses the common theological belief that "The Good consists in always doing what  God wills at any particular moment." To this proposition, Nielsen poses three questions: 1. Is being willed by God the, or even a, fundamental criterion for that which is so  will being morally good or for its being something ought to be done? 2. Is being willed by God the only criterion for that which is so willed being  morally good or for its being something that ought to be done? 3. Is being willed by God the only adequate criterion for that which is so will being 

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