These two poems were passed down orally over many generations. Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilleus and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians, Botticelli Aphrodite, the goddess of love, sits with the war god, Ares in this painting by the Renaissance artist Botticelli. Aphrodite is one of several Greek goddesses, and is often referred to by her Roman name, Venus.
Many Greek myths explained the mysteries of nature. The myth of Apollo, for example, describes how the sun moves across the sky to rise and set each day. The Greeks created gods in the image of humans; that is, their gods had many human qualities even though they were gods. The gods constantly fought among themselves, behaved irrationally and unfairly, and were often jealous of each other. Zeus, the king of the gods, was rarely faithful to his wife Hera. Hera plotted against Zeus and punished his mistresses.
The Greek gods were highly emotional and behaved inconsistently and sometimes immorally. Greek religion did not have a standard set of morals, there were no Judaic Ten Commandments. The gods, heroes, and humans of Greek mythology were flawed. In addition to Zeus and Hera, there were many other major and minor gods in the Greek religion. At her birth, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, sprang directly from the head of Zeus. Hermes, who had winged feet, was the messenger of the gods and could fly anywhere with great speed.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was the most beautiful being in the universe. Her brother, Ares, the god of war, was sinister, mean, and disliked. Poseidon, ruled the sea from his underwater place and Apollo rode his chariot across the sky, bringing the sun with him. Hades was in charge of the dead in the underworld. Almost all people went to Hades after they died whether they were good or bad.
To get there, the dead had to cross the river Styx. Charon was the name of the boatman who ferried the souls of the dead across the river Styx to Hades. Typically, the gods punished those who were bad. For example, Tantalus who killed his own son and served him to the gods for dinner was sent to Hades and made forever thirsty and hungry. Although there was a pool of clear, fresh drinking water at his feet, whenever Tantalus bent down to drink, the pool would dry up and disappear.
5c. Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes
Likewise, over his head hung the most delicious fruit. However, whenever Tantalus reached for them, a wind would blow them just out of his reach. The English word "tantalize" derives from the name Tantalus. Myths helped explain how the world came to be the way it was. In one myth, Zeus created an incredibly beautiful and nearly perfect woman named Pandora. Her one flaw was that she was very curious and suspicious.
Hermes, Zeus's messenger, gave Pandora a golden box. He warned her never to open it because terrible things would occur if she did. But Pandora could hardly contain her curiosity and eventually broke down and opened the special box. Worship of the gods of Egypt evolved over time as large cults developed on a local and then on a national scale The following list of the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt is derived from numerous works on the subject which follow below in the bibliography.
Every attempt has been made to create a comprehensive listing but minor regional deities have been omitted if their role seems uncertain or they were transformed into major gods. When a major god evolved from an earlier minor deity, it is noted. Included also are concepts, such as The Field of Reeds or Lily Lake, which were regions in the afterlife associated with the gods. The definitions of the god's characteristics and the roles they played are synthesized for clarity but it should be noted that not every deity listed was understood in the same way throughout Egypt's long history.
Osiris, for example, was most likely a fertility god in the Predynastic Period of Egypt c. Although these developments are sometimes noted below, the gods are generally described in the roles they were best known for at the peak of their popularity. A'ah - An early moon god who evolved into Iah also known as Yah and, eventually, Khonsu.
Aken - Custodian of the boat which ferried souls across Lily Lake to the Field of Reeds in the afterlife. He slept until he was needed by Hraf-Hef, the surly Divine Ferryman. His name only appears in the Book of the Dead. Aker - The deified horizon, guardian of the eastern and western horizons of the afterlife.
He protected the sun barge of Ra as it entered and left the underworld at dusk and dawn. Am-Heh - A god in the underworld, "devourer of millions" and "eater of eternity" who lived in a lake of fire. She lived in a tree near the gates of the underworld.
Daughter of Hathor and Horus. She sat beneath the scales of justice in the Hall of Truth in the afterlife and devoured the hearts of those souls which were not justified by Osiris. Amun Amun-Ra - God of the sun and air. One of the most powerful and popular gods of ancient Egypt, patron of the city of Thebes , where he was worshipped as part of the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Supreme king of the gods in some periods, though originally a minor fertility god. By the time of the New Kingdom he was considered the most powerful god in Egypt and his worship bordered on monotheism.
Other gods were even considered mere aspects of Amun at this time. His priesthood was the most powerful in Egypt and the position of God's Wife of Amun, given to royal women, almost on par with that of the pharaoh. Along with Hardedef and Imhotep , one of the few human beings deified by the Egyptians. He was considered so wise that, after death , he became deified. He had a major temple in western Thebes and a healing center at Deir el-Bahri.
Anat - Goddess of fertility, sexuality, love, and war. She was originally from Syria or Canaan. In some texts she is referred to as the Mother of the Gods while in others she is a virgin and, in still others, sensuous and erotic, described as the most beautiful goddess. In one version of The Contendings of Horus and Set, she is given as a consort to Set at the suggestion of the goddess Neith. Andjety - Early god of fertility associated with the city of Busiris Andjet. His name means "He who is from Andjet" associated with the djed symbol.
He eventually was absorbed by Osiris and his name became associated with that deity. God of war and patron of the Egyptian army. See Onuris. Anubis - God of the dead associated with embalming. Son of Nephthys and Osiris, father of Qebhet. Anubis is depicted as a man with the head of a dog or jackal carrying a staff. He guided the souls of the dead to the Hall of Truth and was part of the ritual of the Weighing of the Heart of the Soul in the afterlife.
He was probably the original God of the Dead before that role was given to Osiris, at which time he was made Osiris' son. Anuke - A war goddess originally and one of the oldest deities of Egypt, sometimes consort of Anhur, god of war. She came to be associated with Nephthys and, to a lesser degree, Isis and is referred to in some texts as their younger sister. Early depictions show her in battle dress with bow and arrow but she was transformed into a Mother Goddess and nurturing figure. The Greeks associated her with Hestia. Gods and the justified dead would help Ra fend the serprent off.
The ritual known as Overthrowing of Apophis was performed in temples to help the gods and departed souls protect the barge and ensure the coming of day. One of the earliest gods of ancient Egypt depicted on the Narmer Palette c. The Apis Cult was one of the most important and long-lived in the history of Egyptian culture. Arensnuphis - Companion to the goddess Isis and worshipped primarily at her sacred site at Philae. He was depicted as a lion or a man with a feathered headdress.
Originally from Nubia. Ash As - God of the Libyan desert, a kindly deity who provided the oasis for travelers. In Egyptian mythology , she is given as a consort to Set, along with Anat, by the goddess Neith. Aten - The sun disk, originally a sun deity who was elevated by pharaoh Akhenaten BCE to the position of sole god, creator of the universe. Atum Ra is the first divine being who stands on the primordial mound in the midst of chaos and draws on the magical forces of Heka to create all the other gods, human beings, and life on earth.
Ba'al - Storm god originally from Phoenicia. Ba'alat Gebal - Phoenician goddess of the city of Byblos , a protector deity, incorporated into Egyptian worship through her association with papyrus, which came from Byblos. Ba- Pef - God of terror, specifically spiritual terror. His name translates as "that soul". He lived in the House of Woe in the afterlife and was known to afflict the king of Egypt. He was never worshipped with a temple but a Cult of Ba-Pef existed to help appease the god and protect the king.
She was the daughter of Ra and closely associated with Hathor. Bastet was one of the most popular deities of ancient Egypt. Men and women revered her equally and carried talismans of her cult. She was so universally adored that, in BCE, the Persians used the Egyptian devotion to Bastet to their advantage in winning the Battle of Pelusium. They painted images of Bastet on their shields and drove animals in front of their army knowing the Egyptians would rather surrender than offend their goddess.
She is depicted as a cat or a woman with a cat's head, and her major cult center was at Bubastis. Bat - An early cow goddess associated with fertility and success. She is one of the oldest Egyptian goddesses dating from the early Predynastic Period c. Bat is depicted as a cow or a woman with cow ears and horns and is most probably the image at the top of the Narmer Palette c. She blessed people with success owing to her ability to see both past and future. Eventually, she was absorbed by Hathor who took on her characteristics. Bennu - An avian deity better known as the Bennu Bird, the divine bird of creation and inspiration for the Greek Phoenix.
It was present at the dawn of creation as an aspect of Atum Ra which flew over the primordial waters and woke creation with its cry. Afterwards, it determined what would and would not be included in creation. It was associated with Osiris through the imagery of rebirth as the bird was closely connected to the sun which died each night and rose again the next morning. He is one of the most popular gods in Egyptian history who protected women and children, fended off evil, and fought for divine order and justice.
He is often represented as more of a spirit a 'demon', though not at all in the modern-day understanding of that word than a deity but was worshipped as a god and featured on a number of everyday items in the homes of the Egyptians such as furniture, mirrors, and knife handles. His consort was Taweret, the hippopotamus goddess of childbirth and fertility. Bes is depicted as a bearded dwarf with large ears, prominent genitals, bow-legged, and shaking a rattle.
He is always shown in a front-facing position of protection watching over his charges. Beset - The female aspect of Bes invoked in ceremonial magic. As a protective god, Bes also fended off dark magic, ghosts, spirits, and demons. His feminine aspect was called on to combat these forces. Depicted as a bull running.
Cavern Deities - A group of nameless gods who lived in caverns in the underworld and punished the wicked and helped the souls of the justified dead. They are mentioned in Spell of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and are represented as serpents or serpent-like.
Exodus, Book of - New World Encyclopedia
The spell is popularly known as 'Spell of the Twelve Caves' and makes mention of offerings which should be left for them. The people of Egypt would leave bowls of offerings by caves for them. Hraf-haf was rude and unpleasant, and the soul had to find some way to be courteous in response in order to reach paradise. Hraf-haf is depicted as a man in a boat with his head facing behind him. Dedun - A protector god of resources, specifically of goods coming from Nubia. Originally a Nubian deity. Denwen - A serpent deity in the form of a dragon surrounded by flames. He held power over fire and was strong enough to destroy the gods.
In the Pyramid Texts, he attempts to kill all the gods with his breath of fire but is overpowered by the spirit of the dead king who saves creation.
Duamutef - One of the Four Sons of Horus, a protector god of the canopic jar containing the stomach. He presided over the east, had the form of a jackal, and was watched over by the goddess Neith. They were known as The Great Ennead. There was also a Little Ennead venerated at Heliopolis of minor deities.
Fetket - The butler of the sun god Ra who served him his drinks, patron god of bartenders. Field of Offerings - A region of the afterlife devoted to Osiris, located to the west. In some inscriptions it is synonymous with the Field of Reeds. Field of Reeds - The Egyptian paradise in the afterlife which the soul was admitted to after passing successfully through judgment and being justified by Osiris.
It was a direct reflection of one's life on earth where one continued to enjoy everything as before but without sickness, disappointment, or the threat of death. Once the soul had made the Negative Confessions Declaration of Innocence the Forty-Two Judges advised Osiris on whether the confession should be accepted. Four Sons of Horus - Four deities, Duamutef, Hapy, Imset, and Qebehsenuef, who watched over the viscera or the dead in the four canopic jars placed in the tomb. Each had his own cardinal point to guard, his own internal organ to protect, and was watched over by a specific goddess.
Geb - God of the earth and growing things. Geb is the son of Shu and Tefnut, husband of Nut, the sky. Gengen Wer - The celestial goose whose name means "Great Honker". He was present at the dawn of creation and guarded or laid the celestial egg containing the life force. He is a protector god who was worshipped very early in Egypt's history. Followers of Gengen Wer identified themselves with his protective attributes and wore talismans reminding them to respect life and honor the earth. He was god of the desert to the west of Egypt, son of the god Iaaw who was probably also a desert god.
Ha provided protection from the Libyans and opened oases for travelers in the desert. Depicted as a strong young man with the sign of the desert over his head. Hapi - A fertility god, god of the Nile silt and associated with the inundation which caused the river to overflow its banks and deposit the rich earth which the farmers relied on for their crops.
Hapi was a very ancient god whose name may have originally been derived from the river and who was a personification of the river at flood. He is depicted as a man with large breasts and belly signifying fertility and success. He presided over the north, had the form of a baboon, and was watched over by Nephthys. The work was so brilliant it was considered the work of a god and he was deified after death.
Haroeris - The Greek name for the sky aspect of Horus the Elder also known as Horus the Great who appeared in the earthly realm as a falcon. Depicted as a young winged boy with his finger to his lips. He was venerated in Greece as the god of secrets, silence, and confidentiality. Hathor - One of the best known, most popular, and most important deities of ancient Egypt.
She was the daughter of Ra and, in some stories, wife of Horus the Elder. A very ancient goddess, she was sent by Ra to destroy humanity for their sins. The other gods implored Ra to stop her destruction before no humans were left to benefit from the lesson. Ra then had a vat of beer dyed red, to resemble blood, and placed at Dendera which Hathor, in her blood lust, drank.
She fell asleep and woke as the benevolent goddess who was a friend to all. She was the patron goddess of joy, inspiration, celebration, love, women, women's health, childbirth, and drunkenness. One of her names is "The Lady of Drunkenness". She was thought to live in sycamore trees and so was also known as 'The Lady of the Sycamore. She is further associated with gratitude and a thankful heart. The Greeks associated her with Aphrodite.
She is depicted as a cow or a woman with a cow's head and evolved from the earlier goddess Bat. Her characteristics were later largely absorbed by Isis. She represented the hand, the active part, of the supreme god Atum Ra. Her name means "Foremost of the Fish". She arose from the totemic symbol of the nome province of the region around Mendes, which was a fish. Haurun - A protector god associated with the Great Sphinx of Giza. He was originally a Canaanite god associated with destruction who planted a tree of death.
When he was brought to Egypt by Canaanite and Syrian workers and merchants, he was transformed into a god of healing. His association with the Sphinx of Giza comes from these foreign workers who believed the Sphinx represented Haurun and built a shrine to their god in front of the statue. He is known as "The Victorious Herdsman" for a popular spell recited in his name for protection before going hunting. Hedetet - Goddess of scorpions and protectress against their venom, an early version of Serket.
Heh and Hauhet - God and goddess of infinity and eternity. Heh was depicted as a frog and Hauhet as a serpent. Their names mean "endlessness" and they were among the original gods of the Ogdoad. Heqet Heket - Goddess of fertility and childbirth, depicted as a frog or a woman with the head of a frog. She was worshipped during the period of the Old Kingdom c. Her nurturing qualities were later absorbed by Isis. Heka - One of the oldest and most important gods in ancient Egypt. He was the patron god of magic and medicine but was also the primordial source of power in the universe.
He existed before the gods and was present in the act of creation although, in later myths, he is seen as the son of Menhet and Khnum and part of the triad of Latopolis. He is depicted as a man carrying a staff and knife, and physicians were known as Priests of Heka. Magic was an integral part of medical practice in ancient Egypt, and so Heka became an important deity for doctors. He was said to have killed two serpents and entwined them on a staff as a symbol of his power; this image borrowed from the Sumerians , actually was passed on to the Greeks who associated it with their god Hermes and called it the caduceus.
In the modern day, the caduceus is frequently confused with the Rod of Asclepius in iconography related to the medical profession. Heryshaf - A fertility god depicted as a man with the head of a ram. He is an ancient god going back to the Early Dynastic Period c. He was later associated with Atum Ra and Osiris who absorbed his qualities. Heset - Goddess of food and drink associated with beer and enjoyment.
She was an early goddess of Egypt depicted as a cow with a tray of food on her horns and milk flowing freely from her udders. Beer was referred to as "the milk of Heset". She was later absorbed into Hathor. She was part of the Triad of Heliopolis along with Mnevis and Anubis. Hetepes-Sekhus - A personification of the Eye or Ra who appears as a cobra goddess in the afterlife and destroys the enemies of Osiris.
She is depicted in the company of crocodiles. Horus - An early avian god who became one of the most important deities in ancient Egypt. Associated with the sun, sky, and power, Horus became linked with the king of Egypt as early as the First Dynasty c. Although the name 'Horus' might refer to a number of avian deities it principally designates two: Horus the Elder, one of the first five gods born at the beginning of creation, and Horus the Younger who was the son of Osiris and Isis. Following the rise in popularity of the Osiris Myth, Horus the Younger became one of the most important gods in Egypt.
In the story, after Osiris is murdered by his brother Set, Horus is raised by his mother in the Delta swamps. When he comes of age he battles his uncle for the kingdom and wins, restoring order to the land. The kings of Egypt, with some exceptions, all linked themselves with Horus in life and with Osiris in death. The king was thought to be the living incarnation of Horus and, through him, the god gave all good things to his people.
He is usually depicted as a man with the head of a hawk but is represented by many different images. His symbols are the Eye of Horus and the hawk. Hu - God of the spoken word, personification of the first word spoken by Atum Ra at the dawn of creation which brought all into being. Linked with Sia and Heka. Sia represented the heart, Hu the tongue, and Heka their underlying force which gave them their power.
Hu is often seen as a representation of the power of Heka or Atum and is depicted in funerary texts guiding the soul to the afterlife. In the story of the creation of the world, Atum is angered by the intimate relationship between Geb earth and Nut sky and so separates them, declaring that Nut may not give birth to her children on any day of the year. The god Thoth appeared and gambled with Iah for five days worth of moonlight.
He won and divided the moonlight hours into days which, because they were not part of the days of the year decreed by Atum, Nut could give birth in. The Egyptians regulated their calendar with these five magical days. Iah was eventually absorbed into the god Khonsu.
Heidegger's position is somewhat compromised, moreover, by his initial embrace of the Nazi party. In his later work he moved increasingly towards a kind of quasi-religious mysticism. He denied like Scotus that the moral law could be deduced from human nature, but this was because unlike Scotus he thought that we give ourselves our own essences by the choices we make. On this view there are no outside commands to appeal to for legitimation, and we are condemned to our own freedom. Sartre thought of human beings as trying to be God on a Hegelian account of what God is , even though there is no God.
Moreover, we inevitably desire to choose not just for ourselves, but for the world. Therefore, I am responsible for myself and for everyone else. I am creating a certain image of man of my own choosing. One form of bad faith is to pretend that there is a God who is giving us our tasks. To live authentically is to realize both that we create these tasks for ourselves, and that they are futile.
The twentieth century also saw, within Roman Catholicism, forms of Christian Existentialism and new adaptations of the system of Thomas Aquinas. Gabriel Marcel — , like Heidegger, was concerned with the nature of Being as it appears to human being, but he tried to show that there are experiences of love, joy, hope and faith which, as understood from within , give us reason to believe in an inexhaustible Presence, which is God. Jacques Maritain — developed a form of Thomism that retained the natural law, but regarded ethical judgment as not purely cognitive but guided by pre-conceptual affective inclinations.
He gave more place to history than traditional Thomism did, allowing for development in the human knowledge of natural law, and he defended democracy as the appropriate way for human persons to attain freedom and dignity. Natural law theory has been taken up and modified more recently by three philosophers who write in a style closer to the analytic tradition, John Finnis, Alastair MacIntyre and Jean Porter. Finnis holds that our knowledge of the fundamental moral truths is self-evident, and so is not deduced from human nature.
His Natural Law and Natural Rights was a landmark in integrating the modern vocabulary and grammar of rights into the tradition of Natural Law. MacIntyre, who has been on a long journey back from Marxism to Thomism, holds that we can know what kind of life we ought to live on the basis of knowing our natural end, which he now identifies in theological terms. In After Virtue he is still influenced by a Hegelian historicism, and holds that the only way to settle rival knowledge claims is to see how successfully each can account for the shape taken by its rivals.
A different account of natural law is found in Porter, who in Nature as Reason retains the view that our final motivation is our own happiness and perfection, but rejects the view that we can deduce absolute action-guiding moral principles from human nature. They are not Roman Catholic but they are strongly influenced by Aristotle and Aquinas. They emphasize the notion of virtue which belongs to human nature just as bees have stings.
Hursthouse ends her book by saying that we have to hold onto the hope that we can live together, not at each other's expense, a hope which she says used to be called belief in God's Providence On Virtue Ethics , One final contribution to be mentioned here is Linda Zagzebski's Divine Motivation Theory which proposes, as an alternative to divine command theory, that we can understand all moral normatively in terms of the notion of a good emotion, and that God's emotions are the best exemplar.
We will return to the rebirth of divine command theory at the end of this entry. Foucault criticized Christian conventions that tend to take morality as a juristic and often universal code of laws, and to ignore the creative practice of self-making. Even if Christian and post-Christian moralists turn their attention to self-expression, he thought they tend to focus on the confession of truth about oneself, a mode of expression which is historically linked to the church and the modern psycho-sciences.
He did not, however, tell us much more about what these new forms would be like. I and II. By analyzing the structure of communication using speech-act theory developed in analytic philosophy he lays out a procedure that will rationally justify norms, though he does not claim to know what norms a society will adopt by using this procedure. The two ideas behind this procedure are that norms are valid if they receive the consent of all the affected parties in unconstrained practical communication, and if the consequences of the general observance of the norms in terms of how each person's interests are affected are acceptable to all.
Habermas thinks he fulfills in this way Hegel's aim of reconciling the individual and society, because the communication process extends individuals beyond their private perspectives in the process of reaching agreement. Religious convictions need to be left behind when entering the public square, on this scheme, because they are not communicable in the way the procedure requires.
In recent work he has modified this position, by recognizing that certain religious forms require their adherents to speak in an explicitly religious way when advancing their prescriptions for public life, and it is discriminatory to try to prevent their doing so. Within contemporary Jewish ethics mention should be made of Martin Buber — and Emmanuel Levinas — Buber's form of existentialism emphasized the I-You relationship, which exists not only between human beings but out of that between human beings and God.
When we reject I-You relationship, we return to I-It relations, governed by our impositions of our own conceptualizations on objects. Buber said these two relations are exhaustive. Levinas studied under Husserl, and knew Heidegger, whose work he first embraced and then rejected. To meet the Other is to have the idea of Infinity Ethics and Infinity , 90—1. This term is problematic in various ways. As used within architectural theory in the 's and 's it had a relatively clear sense. There was a recognizable style that either borrowed bits and pieces from styles of the past, or mocked the very idea in modernist architecture of essential functionality.
In philosophy, the term is less clearly definable. The effect on philosophical thinking about the relation between morality and religion is two-fold.
Who Belongs to a “Tribe of Israel” or to the “House of Israel”?
On the one hand, the modernist rejection of religion on the basis of a foundationalist empiricism is itself rejected. This makes the current climate more hospitable to religious language than it was for most of the twentieth century. But on the other hand, the distaste for over-arching theory means that religious meta-narratives are suspect to the same degree as any other, and the hospitality is more likely to be towards bits and pieces of traditional theology than to any theological system as a whole. Mention should be made of some movements that are not philosophical in a professional sense, but are important in understanding the relation between morality and religion.
The civil rights movement drawing heavily on Exodus , feminist ethics, animal liberation, environmental ethics, and the gay rights and children's rights movements have shown special sensitivity to the moral status of some particular oppressed class. The leadership of some of these movements has been religiously committed, while the leadership of others has not.
At the same time, the notion of human rights, or justified claims by every human being, has grown in global reach, partly through the various instrumentalities of the United Nations. There has, however, been less consensus on the question of how to justify human rights. There are theological justifications, deriving from the image of God in every human being, or the command to love the neighbor, or the covenant between God and humanity see Wolterstorff, Justice : Rights and Wrongs , chapter Whether there is a non-theological justification is not yet clear.
Finally, there has also been a burst of activity in professional ethics, such as medical ethics, engineering ethics, and business ethics. This has not been associated with any one school of philosophy rather than another. The connection of religion with these developments has been variable. In some cases e.
The origin of analytic philosophy can be associated with G. His Principia Ethica can be regarded as the first major ethical document of the school. He was strongly influenced by Sidgwick at Cambridge, but rejected Sidgwick's negative views about intuitionism. He thought that intrinsic goodness was a real property of things, even though like the number two it does not exist in time and is not the object of sense experience.
For example, they proposed that goodness is pleasure, or what produces pleasure. But whatever non-evaluative property we try to say goodness is identical to, we will find that it remains an open question whether that property is in fact good. For example, it makes sense to ask whether pleasure or the production of pleasure is good. This is true also if we propose a supernatural property to identify with goodness, for example the property of being commanded by God. It still makes sense to ask whether what God commands is good. Moore thought that if these questions are different, then the two properties, goodness and being commanded by God, cannot be the same, and to say by way of a definition that they are the same is to commit the fallacy.
Intrinsic goodness, Moore said, is a simple non-natural property i. By this he meant that the access was not based on inference or argument, but was self-evident though we could still get it wrong, just as we can with sense-perception. He thought the way to determine what things had positive value intrinsically was to consider what things were such that, if they existed by themselves in isolation, we would yet judge their existence to be good.
Russell was not primarily a moral philosopher, but he expressed radically different views at different times about ethics. In he agreed with Moore that goodness like roundness is a quality that belongs to objects independently of our opinions, and that when two people differ about whether a thing is good, only one of them can be right. Then by he had dropped also the claim about meaning, holding that value judgments are expressions of desire or wish, and not assertions at all.
Wittgenstein's views on ethics are enigmatic and subject to wildly different interpretations. Ethics is transcendental. Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same. Perhaps he means that the world we occupy is good or bad and happy or unhappy as a whole, and not piece-by-piece. Wittgenstein like Nietzsche was strongly influenced by Schopenhauer's notion of will, and by his disdain for ethical theories that purport to be able to tell one what to do and what not to do.
Ayer — The emotivist theory of ethics had its most articulate treatment in Ethics and Language by Charles Stevenson — Stevenson was a positivist, but also the heir of John Dewey — and the American pragmatist tradition. Dewey had rejected the idea of fixed ends for human beings, and stressed that moral deliberation occurs in the context of competition within a person between different ends, none of which can be assumed permanent. He criticized theories that tried to derive moral principles from self-certifying reason, or intuition, or cosmic forms, or divine commands, both because he thought there are no self-certifying faculties or self-evident norms, and because the alleged derivation disguises the actual function of the principles as devices for social action.
Stevenson applied this emphasis to the competition between people with different ends, and stressed the role of moral language as a social instrument for persuasion Ethics and Language , Ch. On his account, normative judgments express attitudes and invite others to share these attitudes, but they are not strictly speaking true or false. Wittgenstein did not publish any book after the Tractatus , but he wrote and taught; and after his death Philosophical Investigations was published in The later thought of Wittgenstein bears a similar relation to the Tractatus as Heidegger bears to Husserl.
In both cases the quest for a kind of scientific certainty was replaced by the recognition that science is itself just one language, and not in many cases prior by right. In Oxford there was a parallel though distinct development centering round the work of John Austin — Austin did not suppose that ordinary language was infallible, but he did think that it preserved a great deal of wisdom that had passed the test of centuries of experience, and that traditional philosophical discussion had ignored this primary material.
First, it is prescriptive, which is to say that moral judgments express the will in a way analogous to commands. This preserves the emotivist insight that moral judgment is different from assertion, but does not deny the role of rationality in such judgment. Second, moral judgment is universalizable. This is similar to the formula of Kant's categorical imperative that requires that we be able to will the maxims of our actions as universal laws. Third, moral judgment is overriding. This means that moral prescriptions legitimately take precedence over any other normative prescriptions.
In Moral Thinking Hare claimed to demonstrate that utilitarianism followed from these three features of morality, though he excluded ideals in the sense of preferences for how the world should be independently of the agent's concurrent desires or experience from the scope of this argument. God enters in two ways into this picture. Hare acknowledge that since archangels e. Second, we have to be able to believe as Kant argued that the universe sustains morality in the sense that it is worthwhile trying to be morally good. The most important opponent of utilitarianism in the twentieth century was John Rawls — In his Theory of Justice he gave, like Hare, an account of ethics heavily indebted to Kant.
Rawls thought it important that substantive conceptions of the good life were left behind in moving to the Original Position, because he was attempting to provide an account of justice that people with competing visions of the good could agree to in a pluralist society.
Like early Habermas he included religions under this prohibition. In Political Liberalism he conceded that the procedure of the Original Position is itself ideologically constrained, and he moved to the idea of an overlapping consensus: Kantians can accept the idea of justice as fairness which the procedure describes because it realizes autonomy, utilitarians because it promotes overall utility, Christians because it is part of divine law, etc.
But even here Rawls wanted to insist that adherents of the competing visions of the good leave their particular conceptions behind in public discourse and justify the policies they endorse on grounds that are publicly accessible. He described this as the citizen's duty of civility Political Liberalism , iv. The section of this entry on the continental school discussed briefly the topic of postmodernism. Within analytic philosophy the term is less prevalent. But both schools live in the same increasingly global cultural context.
In this context we can reflect on the two main disqualifiers of the project of relating morality intimately to religion that seemed to emerge in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first disqualifier was the prestige of natural science, and the attempt to make it foundational for all human knowledge.
The various empiricist, verificationist, and reductionist forms of foundationalism have not yet succeeded, and even within modern philosophy there has been a continuous resistance to them. This is not to say they will not succeed in the future for example we may discover a foundation for ethics in the theory of evolution , but the confidence in their future success has waned. Moreover, the secularization hypothesis seems to have been false, as mentioned earlier.
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Certainly parts of Western Europe are less attached to traditional institutional forms of religion. But taking the world as a whole, religion seems to be increasing in influence rather than declining as the world's educational standards improve. The second main disqualifier was the liberal idea present in the narrative of this entry from the time of the religious wars in Europe that we need a moral discourse based on reason and not religion in order to avoid the hatred and bloodshed that religion seems to bring with it.
Here the response to Rawls has been telling. It is true that religious commitment can produce the deliberate targeting of civilians in a skyscraper. But the history of the twentieth century suggests that non-religious totalitarian regimes have at least as much blood on their hands. Perhaps the truth is, as Kant saw, that people under the Evil Maxim will use any available ideology for their purposes. This writer has done some of this discussion, and found the common ground surprisingly extensive, though sometime common language disguises significant differences. Progress seems more likely in this way than by trying to construct a neutral philosophical ground that very few people actually accept.
One recent development in analytic ethical theory has been a revival of divine command theory parallel to the revival of natural law theory that I have already described. Though we could stipulate such a definition, it would make it obscure how theists and non-theists could have genuine moral discussion, as they certainly seem to do. Robert M. Adams, in a series of articles and then in Finite and Infinite Goods , first separates off the good which he analyzes Platonically in terms of imitating the ultimate good, which is God and the right.
He then defends a divine command theory of the right by arguing that obligation is always obligation to someone, and God is the most appropriate person, given human limitations. John Hare, In God and Morality and Divine Command , defends a version of the theory that derives from God's sovereignty and defends the theory against the objection that obedience to divine command itself requires justification.
He also compares Christian, Jewish and Muslim accounts of divine command. Thomas L. Carson's Value and the Good Life argues that normative theory needs to be based on an account of rationality, and then proposes that a divine-preference account of rationality is superior to all the available alternatives. An objection to divine command theory is mounted by Mark Murphy's An Essay on Divine Authority and God and Moral Law on the grounds that divine command only has authority over those persons that have submitted themselves to divine authority, but moral obligation has authority more broadly.
William Wainwright's Religion and Morality defends the claim that divine command theory provides a more convincing account of moral obligation than any virtue-based theory, including Zagzebski's divine motivation theory, discussed earlier. Finally, C. Stephen Evans, in Kierkegaard's Ethics of Love : Divine Commands and Moral Obligations and God and Moral Obligation articulates both in Kierkegaard and in its own right a divine command theory that is argued to be superior to all the main alternative non-theist accounts of the nature and basis of moral obligation.
To conclude this entry, the revival of interest in divine command theory, when combined with the revival of natural law theory I already discussed, shows evidence that the attempt to connect morality closely to religion is undergoing a robust recovery within professional philosophy. Ancient Greek Philosophy 2. The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament 3. The Middle Ages 4. Modern Philosophy 5.
Ancient Greek Philosophy We can start with the Greeks, and this means starting with Homer, a body of texts transmitted first orally and then written down in the seventh century BCE. The Middle Ages The rest of the history to be described in this entry is a cross-fertilization of these two traditions or lines of thought. Modern Philosophy Europe experienced a second Renaissance when scholars fled Constantinople after its capture by the Muslims in , and brought with them Greek manuscripts that were previously inaccessible.
Bibliography Adams, R. Anselm, S. Aquinas, T. New York: Christian Classics, Al-Ash'ari, The Theology of al-Ash'ari , trans. Richard J. McCarthy, Beyrouth: Imprimerie Catholique, Austin, J. Ayer, A. Bourke, V. Buber, Martin, I and Thou , trans. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Scribner's, McNeill ed. Carson, T. Coplestone, F. Schneewind ed.
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Feuerbach, L. Finnis, J. Habermas, J. Hare, J. Hare, R. Hegel, G. Miller trans. Friedrich ed. Heidegger, M. Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan , Richard Tuck ed. Selby-Biggie ed. Selby-Bigges ed. Hutcheson, F. Garrett ed. Irwin, T. Wood eds. Wood and George di Giovanni eds. Kierkegaard, S. Drachmann, J. Heiberg and H. Lange eds. Leibniz, G. Levinas, E. Richard A. Cohen, Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. Ramsey ed.