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Moral Anthropology and Realist Epistemology

by: Kirsten Notetaker

Moral Anthropology and Realist Epistemology

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Kirsten Notetaker
Lewis University

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Moral Anthropology and Realist Epistemology
Christian Ethics
Dr. Sever
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Notetaker on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to at Lewis University taught by Dr. Sever in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 10/03/16
Moral Anthropology and realist epistemology  Moral anthropology - a description about the human being, their place in the world, and the moral-ness of existence that is shared among other human beings Aristotle says the answer to this is happiness - seek a sense of wholeness   Happiness made possible by virtue, made possible by friendship, made possible by ethics I 7 - center of ethics is happiness (moral anthropology) II 6 - virtues are a way of assisting the quest for happiness IX. 9 & 12 - importance of friendship/acknowledgement of the basic sociality of human beings I 6 & 7 - acknowledging the specific nature of happiness is fulfillment, not amusement, happiness is not amusement of pleasure, it is a deep realization of who you are and who you are called to be, amusement and pleasure are temporary/happiness is the highest form of contemplative (thoughtful, reflective) life  What is Augustine trying to tell us? o One city believes in God, the other city believe in themselves and their own desires and needs o People in the other city become fools for worshiping men because they lose the ability of seeking a higher power o Aristotle follows the doctrine of Christian doctrine, does not agree with the term "theology" - relates it back to the Greeks o True fulfillment of the human being comes from faith in God o The human being's happiness rests in God o Happiness also depends on your attentiveness towards God in your life  Paul: life in the spirit vs. life in the flesh o Spirit - peace, kindness, joey, o Flesh - orgies, reckless, selfish -- living according to the rule and power of humanity (Similar thoughts to Saint Augustine) Definition  Basic capacity for human beings to understand reality Claims  The world is intelligible, we are capable of being understood  Human beings are capable of intelligence, we have the ability to understand  Moral obligations are imposed upon the thinker - doing something  Religion is not the only source of moral wisdom Ancient Greece  Natural law by nature  Emphasis on the order and unity of nature  Saw the world as a complex but interconnected series of events and processes  Thought it best to live in accordance with nature  If you didn't you would face hardships  Natural law o In accordance with realist epistemology o Greek o Relativism o Natural law that is according to nature, basic idea that there is an intelligible order to every thing in nature, there are important things to observe and live accordingly with o What are your obligations to live in accordance with nature? o Aristotle - there is a reason for everything's existence, when you live for your reason, there is a harmony in nature o Living contrary to nature = susceptible to misfortune o Example: having a baby from IVF is going against God's will (nature) - conception is supposed to be natural and God's will/work o Natural law according to reason  Natural law in Roman times o The idea from Greece comes to Rome o Differences in Roman interpretation o Cicero  Use laws for the sake of peace and order for the Roman civilians  We can use reason to form laws that will benefit the common good of the Roman civilians o Gaius  "jus gentium"  Roman Empire was vast in the lands and nations they were in charge of, different cultures, peoples  Roman civilians were only the ones entitled to certain things to ensure their common good  Gaius believed it would be beneficial to keep peace to extend some of these rights to their other subjugates in order to keep peace within the entire Roman Empire o Ulpian  Natural law is that which teaches all animals  Aquinas o Theologian and philosopher o "Summa Theological"  Three parts: prima pars, prima secunda & secunda secundae, tertia pars  Talks about existence and the ability to understand our existence o Enables Catholicism to adopt a realist epistemology o We have the ability to reason, and we can be of tradition in both faith and reason, they both work together hand in hand, balance each other out to keep you in line o Four kinds of law:  Eternal law The divine law for all things like God's providence   The Tao (C.S. Lewis)  God has a certain intentionality/groundwork for all things  What the divine plan is, is a mystery, we can never have total knowledge about God and His plans  There are aspects to human existence that the divine plan is made somewhat more apparent - like it is somehow communicated to us  Scripture/revelation - divine law  The Bible was created by virtue of God's grace that can give us an glimpse of the eternal law  Human law  The creation of law and policy for the common good  Natural law  Validates the Roman idea  Natural law is what makes a good human law possible  Human law is a participation in the natural law


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