Can Religion Negate the Validity of Morality?


Can Religion Negate the Validity of Morality?
Cheyenne Hamilton
Exit Requirement
Honors Thesis
Date of Award
15 June 2023
Honors Program Director
Gavin Keulks
Faculty Advisor
Ryan Hickerson
For this thesis I choose to look at moral motivation and how it can be tied to Christianity as a monotheistic religion. More specifically, I will analyze selected philosophical writings of Socrates, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant to determine whether or not (or to what extent) attributes in the Christine doctrine render the concept of moral decisions invalid. Does, for instance, the concept of an omnipotent and omnipresent God invalidate the idea of individuals being capable of “pure” morality – doing moral things for the sake of being moral versus to avoid possible divine punishment. This project will not be made up of specific hypothetical examples or situations; nor will I discuss specific types of people and the effect circumstance could have on the decision. Rather, the main focus will be whether, philosophically, the perceived threat of divine wrath is enough of a motivator to make a decision no longer moral in its own aspect according to the philosophical definitions of morality established by Socrates, Hume, and Kant.
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