Auction's End, Douglas Georgia, Library of Congress
Many persons have never looked at ethics from a philosophical point of view. Instead, they see ethical laws, commandments, and duties as a result of God's will for man. From a logical point of view, reason is placed prior to revelation. The philosopher argues that an action is not right simply because God commands it, instead God commands it because it is right.
In the readings concerting religion and duty ethics, we examine a spectrum of positions. Pascal believes the reasoning ability of human beings is too feeble to be of use for such issues of ultimate concern. We must take a "leap of faith." Ohiyesa presents a duty ethics which is of interest to us in a number of different ways. Does religion presuppose ethical absolutism? Are all cultures essentially somehow the same in fundamental values?
Kant argues for the good will as the basis of acting for the sake of duty. His categorical imperative is meant to provide a philosophic basis for a monotheistic absolutism. We conclude this part with Kierkegaard who believes religious truth as "an objective uncertainty held fast in an appropriation process of the most passionate innwardness" supercedes a duty ethics. In a sense, we end this section where we began—with a "leap of faith" beyond the reasonable and experiential.