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Theological Anthropology - Essay Example

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Theological Anthropology

We shall thus consider that which is common to all faiths in terms of morality and then proceed to take this a step farther and liberating it from the traditional perspectives to encompass a broader view of humankind.
In seeking to understand the morality of any given actions, it is helpful to use some sort of compass in which to judge any action as purely moral or not. In order to not bias the discussion to any one faith, we will apply a method that virtually anyone will be able to accept yet does not invoke the singular nature of any one faith. The most general and acceptable rule of this nature that has ever been attempted is to be found in Kant's categorical imperative. The categorical imperative would denote a requirement that is absolute and unconditional and whose authority must exert itself in all circumstances. According to Kant, we can distill the categorical imperative into three basic precepts: 1) Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law; 2) Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means; and 3) Every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends. That is to say, any moral law that can be considered as a categorical imperative is one in which you can will it for everyone and is not limited to any person or group of people; what applies to the prince must also apply to the peasant and vice-versa. Next, we must focus on deontological ethics by necessity since to do otherwise would allow actions for expediency and outcome rather than the morality of the actions themselves. Each and every other person must be treated as an end and not a tool. in other words, there can be no inhuman use of human beings as tools to accomplish a goal. They themselves are the goal since the morality of an action cannot be separated from its application to every human being and in no way can this be interpreted as using one human being fore the benefit of the other. Lastly, this law must be considered as one in which all human beings, barring none, act as equals in enacting this law as a means of harmonizing the moral kingdom, thus bringing about a state of perfect moral equality among all humankind.

Critics of this approach tend to follow the consequentialist schools of thought, in which the ultimate goal is looked at and not necessarily the means to achieve it. This approach to morality is faulty in large part because it ignores a critical aspect that Kant himself did not make much use of, but which has increasingly important as we see people trying to follow a moral code and failing miserably. The categorical imperative seems admirable in theory, but unworkable in practice, so thus people often ignore the internal aspects of the requirements in favor of practical success. The missing element in consequentialist theories and the element that makes many people view the categorical imperative as unworkable in practice is, in fact the focus on the external world rather than recognizing ...Show more

Summary

The book of Genesis teaches that human beings, both male and female, were created in the image of God. This import and interpretation of this notion has been debated throughout church history. While the term "image" can be interpreted in a variety of ways, the most pertinent for us here today would be to consider the moral image of God as opposed to any other means of likeness, say sexuality or creation in total perfection (a position that we shall see is problematic in itself)…
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Theological Anthropology essay example
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