Moral universe

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In literature, a moral universe is the moral nature of the universe as a whole in relation to human life, or a specific moral code.

A moral universe implies that we live in a basically spiritual universe that is somehow ordered by a higher power, by invisible feelings of good and bad, a 'cosmic order' reminiscent of the early Greeks [1] that underpins and motivates our actions. Or a 'moral force' that means our actions must have definite effects which we carry with us. In this respect its meaning comes close to the Hindu concept of Karma.

Those who reject this idea tend to believe that the universe is just physical, has no spiritual component at all, that events are random and have no deeper meaning or purpose, and that there can be no consequences of any kind to our actions and thus that we live in an amoral or nihilistic universe,[2] as in Nietzsche's "God is dead," aphorism.[3] Such might be the position of "anti-moral free spirits-nihilists."[4]


  • Tom Bentley, Daniel Stedman Jones, The Moral Universe, Demos, 2001
  • Joshua Cohen, The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010
  • George W. King, The Moral Universe, Eaton & Mains, 1901
  • Nancey C. Murphy, George Francis Rayner Ellis, On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics, Augsburg Fortress, 1996
  • Michael W. Pelczar, The Moral Universe, Amherst College, 1993
  • E. Plumridge & J. Chetwynd, The Moral Universe of Injecting Drug Users in the Era of AIDS: Sharing Injecting Equipment and the Protection of Moral Standing, AIDS Care, Volume 10, Issue 6, 1998, pages 723-733
  • Shalom H. Schwartz, Universalism Values and the Inclusiveness of Our Moral Universe, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, November 2007, vol. 38 no. 6, pp. 711–728
  • Fulton J. Sheen, The Moral Universe: A Preface to Christian Living, Kessinger Publishing, 2010
  • Yi-Fu Tuan, The City as a Moral Universe, Geographical Review, Vol. 78, No. 3 (Jul., 1988), pp. 316–324

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Allan, Divine Justice and Cosmic Order in Early Greek Epic, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 126, (2006), pp.1-35
  2. ^ J K Hyde, Concepts of Power in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, UK: Ashgate, 2010, p.11
  3. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Adrian Del Caro, Robert B. Pippin, Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p.5
  4. ^ David Davidson, From Virgin to Dynamo: The "Amoral Woman" in European Cinema, Cinema Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, Psychological Aspects (Autumn, 1981), pp.31-58