The paper addresses whether or not philosophical ethics can adequately answer the question of why an individual should be moral. Current thought within moral philosophy is that religion is not necessary for individual moral motivation. In fact, current moral philosophy is actually dismissive of religious ethics. Through an analysis of a hypothetical case, it will be shown that philosophical ethics fails to provide sufficient individual moral motivation. The paper will claim that it is only within a religious framework that individual moral motivation can take place. A religious framework is defined, in this paper, as the embedded religious norms and mores transferred to and residing in culture as opposed to a definition that would specify a particular dogma or religion. The radical ramification of this claim is that the answer to why one should be moral is actually the foundation upon which the social contract is built. Hence, the nature of religious freedom is a critical component of the future stability and cohesion of society.
|Keywords:||Moral, Philosophy, Religion, Social Contract, Subjectivism, God, Secularism|
Professor, Religion and Philosophy, Brigham Young University, Rexburg, ID, USA
Research Assistant, Department of Philosophy, Brigham Young University, Rexburg, ID, USA
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