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Teaching Ethics


published on November 29, 2018

Jason D. Swartwood

A Skill-Based Framework for Teaching Morality and Religion

One important aim of moral philosophy courses is to help students build the skills necessary to make their own well-reasoned decisions about moral issues. This includes the skill of determining when a particular moral reason provides a good answer to a moral question or not. Helping students think critically about religious reasons like “because God says so” and “because scripture explicitly says so” can be challenging because such lessons can be misperceived as coercive or anti-religious. I describe a framework for teaching about religion and moral reasons that I have found overcomes these challenges while also building generalizable skill at analyzing and evaluating moral reasons.

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