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5 - Morality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2021

Brian Davies
Affiliation:
Fordham University, New York
Michael Ruse
Affiliation:
University of Guelph, Ontario
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Summary

Morality is about right and wrong. There is the question of what we should do, substantive ethics, and the question of why we should do what we do, metaethics. There is little if any real difference between Ruse and Davies at the substantive level. At the metaethical level, Ruse takes a subjective view and Davies an objective view, but in important respects there is shared belief. Both ground morality in human nature. Right and wrong at the substantive level is a matter of who and what we are. Kindness to children is a good thing, because that is natural for humans. Hate of the disabled is wrong, because that is unnatural. But whereas Ruse grounds human nature in Darwinian evolutionary theory, and believes that there is no extra appeal to authority, and so is subjective, Davies grounds human nature in God’s loving creation, and hence in this sense is objective. An action is good is because God made us that way, and to do the right thing is to do the (God-created) natural thing.

Type
Chapter
Information
Taking God Seriously
Two Different Voices
, pp. 124 - 154
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Morality
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.006
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  • Morality
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Morality
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.006
Available formats
×