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Modes of Morals Made 

Modes of Morals Made
Modes of Morals Made
The Abraham Dilemma: A divine delusion

George Graham


The chapter defends two theses in ethics. One is that moral principles or norms are independent of divine commands. If there is a god who deserves to be called “God” and worshipped, that God would never command the killing of an innocent child. To believe otherwise is to misconceive the normative independence of ethics. The other thesis is that moral beliefs are not a type of empirical belief. As David Hume taught, moral judgments are not confirmed by empirical observations. “Is” fails to imply “morally ought.” The chapter argues that Abraham is a case of delusional misinterpretation of religious experience. Such cases pose a dilemma for psychiatry. The dilemma is dubbed The Abraham Dilemma. The dilemma concerns how to understand the connection between religious experience and its delusory misinterpretation.

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