This interpretation of the conditions of the reception of the Decalogue in medieval Christianity and the Reformation period supports the hypothesis that the leading perspectives of ethics are formed by basic assumptions of the reality of human life. This hypothesis is contrary to G.E. Moore’s socalled ›naturalistic fallacy‹, because the ›natural law‹ as an important basic assumption implies a view of nature different from modern times. It is either founded in the eternal divine law or in a flexible conception close to history and change. The Melanchthonian conception, however, relies more or less on a nonhistoric view which implies the notion of human dignity combined with the construction of practical principles appealing to all human persons. In contrast to the Anglosaxon mainstream of ethical thought we find here first indicators of an ethics which combines a transcendental foundation and an examination of everyday’s norms. Thus the Decalogue inspires the search for the conceptions of reality in the background of norms.
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DOI 10.14315/zee-2010-0104
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