Philosophy class has started! Each week for the next five or six, we will be discussing the interrelations of philosophy, faith, and the arts. We’ll proceed through the five major fields of philosophy: Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, and Political Philosophy. Others besides students are, of course, more than welcome to join the conversation. Today we begin with:
ETHICS: Is there any absolute right and wrong?
Dear Philosophy students: Please post a response to at least two of the following questions/discussions.
1. Is there any standard besides religious ones (God’s Word/the work of the Holy Spirit/the teaching of mature Christians) on which to base our decisions of what is right and wrong? What might that be? Suggest something that might be used as a measure of what’s right and wrong, and discuss whether all people could agree on it and how it could be enforced.
2. Are good and bad unchanging, or might rules of morality change in certain circumstances? First answer this question without referring to any Christian principles. Just try to answer it from logical reasoning or from experience/evidence. Then if you like, you may bring in Scripture after you’ve tried to establish an “objective” answer.
3. Do you personally believe that there can be any solid set of moral guidelines without religion? Explain why or why not. If you think not, then explain how Christianity offers a stable moral compass.
4. How do moral dilemmas function in art? Give an example of a song, movie, poem, play, or novel in which the entire plot or purpose of the work hinges on a significant moral dilemma. This could be either a personal decision a character has to make, or a larger discussion of the value or possibility of traditional morals, etc.
5. What have various philosophers thought about the Ethical Question throughout history? Describe the position taken by at least one major philosopher, and then tell if you agree with him and why or why not.
If you wish, you may bring up further questions for discussion or debate as well. You may bring into this conversation the ethical situations described on your handout this week. Thank you.