What is a Religious Ethic?

Journal of Religious Ethics 25 (3):157 - 181 (1997)
Abstract
One approach to the problem of differentiating a religious from a non- religious ethic would be to formulate a definition of religion that would clearly distinguish between religious and nonreligious traditions; however, a broad definition of religion would include some moral traditions, such as Marxism, commonly thought to be forms of secular humanism. A second approach would argue that some moral beliefs are independent, both in content and justification, of religious convictions; such a set of moral beliefs could be described as a secular version of natural law. This approach would be rejected by those who argue that religious convictions go "all the way down." While the first can be debated by appealing to the heuristic value of various definitions of religion, the second involves familiar issues of moral epistemology. The author explores the consequences of holding a broad definition of religion and an "all the way down" epistemology.
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