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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion$
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William J. Wainwright

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138092

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195138090.001.0001

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Morality and Religion

Morality and Religion

Chapter:
(p.344) 14 MORALITY AND RELIGION
Source:
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion
Author(s):

Linda Zagzebski (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195138090.003.0015

Almost all religions contain a code of morality, and in spite of the factthat there are moral codes and philosophies that do not rely upon anyreligion, it has been traditionally argued that there are at least threeimportant ways in which morality needs religion: (1) the goal of the morallife is unreachable without religious practice, (2) religion is necessary toprovide moral motivation, and (3) religion provides morality with itsfoundation and justification. These three ways in which morality may needreligion are independent, but I argue that there are conceptual connectionsamong the standard arguments for them. I identify reasons for resistance tothe idea that morality needs religion and then turn to arguments for each ofthe three ways in which morality may need religion. All three are related toclassic forms of the moral argument for the existence of God. I conclude bycomparing classic Divine Command Theory with my Divine Motivation Theory andargue that the latter has advantages over the former in the way it providesa theological foundation for ethics.

Keywords:   Divine Command theory, Divine Motivation theory, moral arguments for the existence of God, moral motivation, morality, morality and religion, theological foundations for ethics

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