Arquivo para May 13th, 2021

Ethics and religion.

13 May

Ethics and religion have always been related in history, modernity has separated them.

Hegel (1770-1831) despite the criticism of the Kantian model, in an attempt to build a teleological morality he created the “state morality”, which from his work ‘Principles of Philosophy of Law’ goes on to determine how the institutions that mediate it the life of the subjects referring to it as: a person in the abstract (the individual) as is typical of idealism; a moral subject and not a moral society as subjects including the moral state, and thus having an ethical citizen.

For this, Hegel describes a modern state that provides the full realization of the individual’s freedom. For him, each item of this triad (State, individual, Society) can be analyzed separately, but they are products of iterations, which are developed to arrive at the subsequent one.

In the beginning, in §4, Hegel tries to introduce free will as a starting point of law and as a motto for the development of the work, as it is in all idealistic culture about freedom:

 “The domain of law is the spirit in general; there, its own base, its starting point is in free will, in such a way that freedom constitutes its substance and its destiny and that the system of law is the empire of realized freedom, the world of the spirit produced as a second nature from itself. ” (Hegel, 1997)

What he calls “realized freedom” will be done through a state conceived by an abstract right, the morality and an ethic that refer to it.

Ethicity was defined by Hegel as: “… the idea of ​​freedom while living well, that in its consciousness it has its knowledge and its will and that, through the action of this conscience, it has its reality.” (Hegel, 1997), this is idealism is the conscience that determines reality.

As the individual has an institutionalized freedom, abstract law is the supposed freedom of free will that is determined in the face of things, classic idealistic division between subjects and objects, between objectivity and subjectivity, so to take possession, become owner, make contracts a knowing subject is created, aware of his rights, not admitting himself, but the ignorance of the current laws and thus of the conscience that each person has before objects, everything is established and guided by the state, by its ethics.

Here, there is a central aspect of our development, because it is in the State that the individual finds the possibilities of the common good to be realized, because in the particular will of each one desires the common good, it will be what makes the citizen a truly free being, that it is nothing but arbitrary interests enshrined by the State.

The moral crisis of institutions (and the state) is due to the construction of an abstract individual, of nations and not of peoples, they are not subjects, what happens is according to moral rules pre-established by interests, but whose ethics are questioned.

In a more recent time, based on studies by Husserl, after Heidegger, and recently by Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Lévinas, the ontological ethics is made from the Other.

Paul Ricoeur was influenced and maintained a dialogical attitude with Mounier, Marcel, and many others, maintaining a dialogical attitude with which he maintained a personal relationship.

Looking at aspects of the person (of the Other) of nature here, dialogue with religion is possible.


HEGEL, G. W. F. (1997) Princípios da Filosofia do Direito. Tradução: Orlando Vitorino. SP, Brazil: Martins Fontes. 1ª edição.