Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 467: Contemporary Ethical theories

PHIL 467: Contemporary Ethical Theories

The Generic Catalog Description

The works of contemporary moral philosophers in the analytic or continental tradition are examine and compared.


PHIL 467: Contemporary Ethical Theories: God, Morality, and Evil

Thomas Carson

This class will focus on two of the central questions of philosophy. The first question is: "what difference does it make for morality if God exists or does not exist?" People hold very divergent views on this topic. Some think that God has everything to do with morality and hold that God's will or Gods' commands are the only possible basis for an objective morality. Others think that God is irrelevant to morality. Starting with Plato, the dominant view in Western philosophy is that basic moral standards are independent of God.  We will examine the divine command theory and other theories that attempt to based morality on God and God's will.  The second question concerns the problem of evil: "Is the existence of so much suffering and evil in the world consistent with the existence of a loving, morally good, and omnipotent God?"

Readings include  Plato's Euthyphro, selections from medieval philosophers, Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor, Robert and Marilyn Adams, The Problem of Evil, and Robert Adams's Finite and Infinite Goods.