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Title: The relationship of morality and religion : an investigation of the issue in modern Anglophone philosophy
Author: Widdows, Heather
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between religion and morality. Traditionally in the West the reality of moral values has been upheld by religion and moral codes legitimised by the belief that they are commanded by God. However, in the present secularised and multi-cultural context, such suppositions are no longer assumed to be true. As a result the nature and status of moral value have been brought into question. In the contemporary situation there are many different views about the nature of moral values, and about how, or even, if, moral values relate to religion. This thesis is written in response to this uncertainty. The aim is to explore and elucidate the nature of moral value and to unravel its connection to religion. The hope is that this thesis will provide some answers concerning the nature of moral values and go some way to prescribing how the relationship between morality and religion should be conceived. This will be done over the course of six chapters. The first chapter examines the contemporary debate between realists and anti-realists. Realists assert that moral values are real and certain and can be discovered, while anti-realists contend that values are invented, either individually or collectively. In this chapter the key arguments and points of conflict are discussed and conclusions about the state of the present philosophical debate drawn. This chapter sets the framework and provides the terminology and constructs of the rest of the thesis. Chapter Two moves to the relationship between morality and religion. This chapter outlines and analyses received views of the connection between religion and moral value. In the course of this chapter divine command theories and other views which assert that moral value is dependent upon religion are assessed. As are opposing claims that moral values are independent of religion. In addition, this chapter introduces and evaluates other ways in which moral value and religion relate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available