Morality and Relgion - Irish Murdoch Essay

1683 Words Oct 9th, 2012 7 Pages
Iris Murdoch-“Morality and Religion”: Notes pg. 733, para 1: Murdoch’s purpose is to question the relationship of morality to religion, and look at their differences as well as the definition of religion.
-She claims this essay is moral philosophy and feels she must clarify whether her philosophy is religious or not.
-She discusses how some believe religion really must be “breathed in” during childhood (taught to children by their parents); otherwise, adults may feel they are just faking it—but, Murdoch notes, those who are religious when younger will have a hard time giving it up as adults. pg. 733, para 2: Virtue (doing right) is the most obvious connection between morality and religion. -Seeking virtue has lost popularity, and
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-Wittgenstein uses the example of a character from a play who holds a ball in his hand as an analogy for God looking down on tiny Earth and caring for his creation. The character feels safe from harm because God is so big in relation to him. Murdoch points out that this metaphor/model of the relationship between God and people also makes a believer completely dependent on God since people are depicted as being so small. pg. 738, para 6: Murdoch feels that Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) wouldn’t accept the idea of an interconnected relationship between religion and morality.
-Murdoch analyzes Kierkegaard’s categories for different kinds of people, and she concludes that the aesthetic man (lover of sensation, beauty, and emotion) and the religious man both share a private nature, which is a dangerous similarity because the two men/categories may be confused for one another.
-Murdoch addresses the topic of guilt, which Kierkegaard often wrote about, and writes that forgiveness and freedom from sin and guilt is a very attractive aspect of religion that keeps many people religious. pg. 739, para 6 (con’t): Because guilt is such a painful feeling that people want to be rid of, people believe that God must exist—they need relief so badly. Religion rescues people from guilt. -The Christian idea of being made a new person after being freed from sin and being given salvation is often connected to literal and spiritual places, like a church and

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