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Ethics and Religion


Part of Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society

  • Date Published: June 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107647169
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About the Authors
  • Many people question whether God is the source of morality. Under divine command theory, God's will creates the moral order, and therefore ethical truths are true because of God's will. Under natural law, on the other hand, some ethical truths do not depend on God's will, and yet perhaps they depend on his reason or creation. Ethics and Religion develops strong, defensible, and original versions of both divine command theory and natural law. The book also discusses ethics and atheism: how atheists object on ethical grounds to belief in God and how they view ethics. The book defends belief in God from criticisms and analyzes related concepts, such as practical reason, the golden rule, ethics and evolution, the problem of evil, and the fine-tuning argument.

    • Provides a new version of the modified divine command theory, so it will appeal to those who are attracted to the theory, but who aren't happy present versions
    • Is unusual in its sympathetic treatment of both major approaches to theistic ethics, so the book will appeal to many
    • With its clear and concise writing, the book and its arguments are easier to understand
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Harry J. Gensler has written an outstanding, critical and yet constructive work on the theological contribution to ethics. The book contains brilliant arguments that are developed with fairness, clarity, and precision. This is a must-read for anyone interested in ethical theory, value theory, or theology.' Charles Taliaferro, St Olaf College, Minnesota

    'Gensler has produced a novel and pragmatic piece of work on religion and ethics. He carefully combs though the various attempts that wed religion and ethics … for those who have commitments to Judeo-Christian ethics, other religious ethics, or to secular ethics, they will find Gensler's treatment of ethics a much-needed ecumenical primer.' Bernard Walker, Bethel University

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    Customer reviews

    25th Aug 2018 by Iuliu

    Without concluding in a very rigid way, he still offers a few final remarks, but also opens new topics of debate, by addressing, in a way that reminds about the old Catechisms, questions like: How does science connect to the big philosophical questions about ethics and religion? (p. 178), offering there his personal interpretations. It must also be said that, the rich final bibliographical list (p. 183-189), does not only show which were the sources that he used for documentation, but provides to a curious reader new documentary sources that can guide him to deepen some of the approached topics. Therefore, because of its interesting style, full of syllogisms and questions, but also of valuable information and answers, the investigated book constitutes not only an important contribution in the today's ethical investigation from the theological space, but also a work easy to read and useful for each kind of reader that wants to see a different perspective dedicated to the two important topics highlighted in the title. Extract from the book review of: Iuliu-Marius Morariu from Astra Salvensis, VI (2018), Special Issue, p. 1066-1068.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107647169
    • length: 205 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 153 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Ethics as God's Commands:
    2. Divine command theory
    3. Modified DCT
    Part II. Ethics as Natural Laws:
    4. Natural law: rationality
    5. Natural law: biology
    6. Natural law: spirituality
    Part III. Ethics and Atheism:
    7. Ethics without God
    8. God, evil, and cosmic purpose.

  • Author

    Harry J. Gensler, Loyola University, Chicago
    Harry J. Gensler, S.J., is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University, Chicago. His thirteen books include Ethics and the Golden Rule (2013), Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction (2011), Introduction to Logic (2010) and Anthology of Catholic Philosophy (2005).

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