Chapter

Ethical Scope Compared

Runar M. Thorsteinsson

in Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199578641
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722868 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578641.003.0011
Ethical Scope Compared

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This final chapter of the study discusses the ethical scope of the Christian and Stoic texts, that is, the question of whether the texts teach unqualified universal humanity or not. It is concluded that, contrary to common opinion, the Stoic texts teach precisely such universal humanity, while the Christian texts do not. The latter reserve the application of their primary virtue to fellow believers, and thus set an important condition in terms of religious adherence. This condition, in turn, reveals a fundamental distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in Christian moral teaching. Such a distinction is not found in Roman Stoic ethics, for which unconditional universal humanity is absolutely basic.

Keywords: christianity; stoicism; morality; ethics; scope; universal humanity; distinction; religion

Chapter.  8132 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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