Judeo-Christian Ethics in Philosophy: Essay Prompt. Over the course of the semester, we have learned about many philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Marx, Sartre, Feminist Philosophy, and the Judeo-Christian worldview. Pick one philosopher or philosophy we have covered that you feel best represents your personal philosophy. Write a 500-word essay explaining three reasons why you […]
In the book Thirteen Theories of Human Nature by Stevenson and Haberman, the authors explore different philosophical ideologies that have influenced western thought and ethics for decades. Among the most prevalent is the Judeo-Christian point of view. I will be expounding on why the philosophy that guides it is mutually exclusive and how the belief has helped me in understand human nature and interact with others.
In posing the question of who determines what is moral and what isn’t, we must look at the inherent nature of ethics. If, for example, we postulated that it is the government that determines the measure of morality in a society, what would be the measuring rod between two governments? Would we say that Hitler’s government was justified in committing atrocities against Jews in Germany? Why are murder, rape, cannibalism, and theft wrong? These vices are universally regarded as acts of immorality irrespective of culture or race; arguably, this may mean that morality is universal and inherent to every individual as opposed to its arbitrary standards. In this regard, the Bible gives an account of how man is made in the image of God, inheriting attributes that are an integral part of every human being and yet, divine (Stevenson & Witt, 2017). The relevance of the Judeo-Christian faith in referencing my life is that I use biblical morality as the yardstick that should govern my actions, and since this exceeds society’s expectations, it enables me to live harmoniously with people in my community.
Among the tenets of philosophical studies is that of Logic. These laws, especially modus ponens, are abstract, universal, immaterial, and invariant, which goes against the nature of a materialistic outlook upheld by most other philosophers who reject the possibility of the existence of god. The explanation for why the laws are universal to any culture or tribe, why they are immaterial and remain constant over time, cannot fit into a future that happened through chance. A very plausible explanation would be that their consistency stems from a singular source, the originator being God. In the Bible, it is asserted that God is omnipresent, omniscient, and possesses all knowledge. Since I understand the logic to be abstract, universal and never changing, I can confidently approach anyone regardless of colour or creed, knowing they possess the innate ability to be rational in their approach to life. Arguably, this has enabled me to look at people from different backgrounds as peers with different experiences and ideologies while also sharing a collective ability to reason and come to a viable conclusion.
According to Immanuel Kant, upholding moral values or not does guarantee that a person will reap its rewards or suffer its consequence in this life. His argument states that morality can only be rational when justice accompanies its lack of fulfilment. Since that does not usually occur in this life, it follows that there is a God who judges mortals in the ‘next life. It is arguably impossible for us to achieve moral perfection without God’s existence, evidenced by the story of humanity falling from grace and the need for God’s salvation (Stevenson & Witt, 2017).
Christianity has helped me understand that ethics can be attained through Judeo-Christian philosophical teachings. However, if a person refuses to live under the laws set by God, judgment will be decreed upon them; this has helped me stay vigilant in upholding said morals, as I believe there is a higher authority to answer to.
Stevenson, L., & Witt, C. (2017). Thirteen theories of human nature. Oxford University Press.
Customer's Feedback Review
Published On: 04-04-2016