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God and CosmosMoral Truth and Human Meaning$
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David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931194.001.0001

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Moral Rationality

Moral Rationality

Chapter:
(p.243) 8 Moral Rationality
Source:
God and Cosmos
Author(s):

David Baggett

Jerry L. Walls

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931194.003.0009

This chapter examines what is required to be fully rational in accepting the authority of moral obligation, in particular, whether such rationality requires a convergence between morality and self-interest. It considers similar but distinct claims by C. S. Lewis (in The Abolition of Man), Kant, and Sidgwick that morality is self-evident and does not require theistic foundations. Sidgwick, however, raises the problem of the “dualism of practical reason” which arises in those cases when it is rational to do our moral duty and to act for our self-interest, but we cannot do both, a problem for which he thought there was no solution. The chapter agrees with Kant’s solution that full moral rationality requires the existence of God and immortality, though it critiques Kant’s articulation at certain points.

Keywords:   Kant, Sidgwick, C. S. Lewis, moral rationality, self-interest, dualism practical reason

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