Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Religion  >      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 IGotRhythm2
Joined: 7/27/2006
Msg: 38
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?Page 2 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
I go with "Inclusive Fitness"...its all evolution at work.

Once you get past the first four...

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

...the rest seem like pretty good moral/social practices to keep you in the gene pool...
(Always get a kick out of lumping your neighbor's wife in with the donkey...)

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'
SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'
 ~DREAMS~
Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 40
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/17/2007 12:28:38 PM

ethical motive: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Morality is a system of principles and judgments based on cultural, religious, and philosophical concepts and beliefs, by which humans determine whether given actions are right or wrong. These concepts and beliefs are often generalized and codified by a culture or group, and thus serve to regulate the behaviour of its members. Conformity to such codification may also be called morality, and the group may depend on widespread conformity to such codes for its continued existence. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morals

ethics, the codes, values, principles, and customs of a person or society.
www.carm.net/atheism/terms.htm

Modes of conduct that are taught and accepted as embodying principles of right and good.
www.ethicsscoreboard.com/rb_definitions.html

The accepted standards of right and wrong that are usually applied to personal behavior.
highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072480823/student_view0/glossary.html


not sure if this post would follow with the question asked. Since basically all you have done is post "someone elses" opinions of morals and not your own ideas and thoughts on them.

Could be considered a new religion if someone was to follow the guidlines of what others have said IS what religion means to them. so what do we call this one?

googlisym? .....lol sorry
 UrbanX
Joined: 10/26/2006
Msg: 41
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/17/2007 5:34:40 PM

what do we call this one?


Basic definitions, which were lacking in the thread until that point.

Cheers,
Mike (and what did you contribute with your post?)
 K-lo
Joined: 7/31/2006
Msg: 42
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/17/2007 6:52:02 PM
I'm going to make a leap here, and just go with the presumption that, by "religion," I'm referring to some form of institutionalized religion, i.e. going to church and/or being formally schooled on the tenets of a religion. And, if someone did not have that in their life, I most definitely think they still have morals. What they DON'T have, is irrational guilt, each and every time they step off course or adjust their mindset due to new life experiences.

I wasn't brought up going to church. I remember questioning whether God existed when I was 5-years old. And then I remember talking about it with my sister, and we would say, "shshshsush, because if he DOES exist, he'll hear us talking about thinking he doesn't exist and he'll be upset." (Why did I have to grow up?) But, anyway, I tried reading the Bible myself when I was about 18, and got extremely bored when they started talking about all of the descendants. I couldn't even pronounce their names inside my own head. But, then when I was 30, I tried it again. And I found it very interesting that so many of the lessons, I had learned myself, in my own life experience, and felt those things in my heart before I was even exposed to them in the Bible (i.e. forgiveness - and how liberating it is to forgive, rather than hold grudges - - I love the story of Joseph).

It made me think about people who were "taught" what was right and wrong, through religion, and simply told, "don't do this, but do this," and expected to just follow those instructions blindly. So, it's almost as if they must just have faith in the God of their religion, and by being faithful, they will, by default, abide by the morals. But, do they really UNDERSTAND the morals? They just take them at face value. So, did they ever live the lesson that made them feel in their heart WHY it was right? I don't know. But, I have morals, and I didn't need religion to create them. Oh, and it's enough that I have to answer to myself and my own heart, not a higher power, to do the right thing.. . . and occasionaly I might still answer to my parents. Hee hee. BUT, if God does exist, I think he loves me.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 43
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/17/2007 7:09:13 PM
Religions don't necessarily provide a good moral compass.
Some examples of religious morality:

Creating hell and banishing people there for eternity for not returning your love.
Causing billions to suffer for eternity, and most of them for the following crime: never having been taught the "true" religion
Okay fine, I will make a heaven, but only if you torture and kill my only son first.
Slavery is acceptable
You should kill your child if he strikes you (Exod. 21:15).
If you work on the Sabbath, you should be put to death (Exod. 35:2-3).
If you curse, you should be stoned to death (Lev. 24:14-15).
Happiness is smashing children upon the rocks (Psalms 137:9).
Women should be subjugated by their husbands (1 Pet. 3:1-7).
Its okay to kill 42 children for making fun of your baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24)
Moses says its okay to kill every woman and child, but you may keep the virgins for yourselves (Numbers 31:17-18)
Moses also commands his people to kill their brothers, sons, and neighbors who worshipped improperly. (Exodus 32:27)

I could go on about claiming one's religion as the one true religion and all others are wrong (which is bigotry and hubris), prejudice against homosexuals and taking away their rights, trying to force one's beliefs into the school system, lying to the public in various ways (fraudulent claims like the paluxy footprints and NASA and the "missing day," pretending that Intelligent Design isn't religion-based, etc) etc.

In addition, deeply religious people typically have a strong ideological commitment. Such commitments can lead people into questionable morality if they think that it will support what they consider to be a higher cause. If one's entire world view is threatened by finding disconfirming evidence, they are very highly motivated not to see it. This is intellectualy dishonest, and therefore immoral.
Like most atheists, I welcome disconfirming evidence when it comes along and change my beliefs to support the evidence, not the other way around.

Most christians are great moral people, but I believe they are moral despite religion, not because of it.
 soul2soul13
Joined: 3/10/2007
Msg: 44
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/18/2007 5:53:30 AM
Religions were created to keep people moral. It instills fear on human followers to be a "good person". And what does fear turn into? Ummm Anger and hatred. So in the end there is war and those who call themselves religious are hypocrites. We all know that this line of thinking is not working. For people who are more evolved, spiritually, we do not need religion to be a moral person, as we believe in karma and that all of us are of one, so we could never hurt ourselves. We do good things, cause it feels good, and more good comes to us. We also do not judge others.
 MountainDrew
Joined: 6/14/2006
Msg: 45
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/18/2007 10:42:22 AM
Religions were created to keep people moral.


Sorry. Wrong.

Religions were created for people to be able to understand things that they did not have the knowledge to comprehend. e.g. He died because God needs him. How did we come to be? Oh, we were made by an omnipotent, omniscient being who will banish us to an eternity of pain and anguish, surrounded by fire and evil if we do not believe in him.

I do not do good or follow morals because of religion. I am entirely non-religious, yet still moral. However, not all of us who are non-religious beleive in Karma. You are speaking only of YOUR beliefs. I don't do good because of the whole concept of "what goes around comes around". I don't follow my morals because I am worried I will build up "bad karma" and have something horrible happen to me. I am moral because I believe in it philosophically, without basis in any spirituality.

I said before that I do not need a book to tell me right from wrong. I will add that nor do I need the threat of consequences to know what is right and wrong. I know because that is how I was raised (by a non-religious father and a C & E Christian mother who never MADE me go to church)
 IGotRhythm2
Joined: 7/27/2006
Msg: 46
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/19/2007 6:51:42 PM
Do people without religion have morals? Sure. If you have lived in a human society you have them. Beliefs are transmitted regardless of whether the receiving individual happens to be religious or not. A person is going to evaluate beliefs based on their own personal filters, which might be religious or might not be. I think the whole meme idea applys to morals, strong memes around murder=not good seem to replicate well regardless of a person's individual filter set. While I would not consider myself a religious person, I can certainly see a chain of beliefs passed on thru generations (many via religion) that I have bought into. So religion works well to replicate morals, but you need not be a religious individual to be "infected".
 BreeLand
Joined: 2/20/2007
Msg: 47
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/21/2007 10:53:19 AM
Dear Bright1Raziel: "Do people without a religion truly have no morals?" I would have to say this is an express issue of separation in Church/State. Of which, in this age of humanity, there is none.

I truly believe that those of "moral code" and carrying the inference of some kind of organized religion, i.e. Catholicism, Lutherans, etc. turn out to be some of the most corrupt and evil in our world today. Since I am very close with this issue, I've seen alot of people shit on every walk of life during the week, and then go to church to absolve themselves, and start a brand new string of infractions the very next week.

Hypocrisy rears it's ugly head with the assumption of non-religious people having no morals.... And those who are devoutly religious, for the most part, live their lives in denial..... So, with that said I leave you with William Shakespeare.... "To Thine Own Self Be True!"
 effinlunatic
Joined: 3/20/2007
Msg: 48
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/24/2007 1:15:57 AM
all your 'religion' is, is your belief system which has given you comfort in whichever form your mind works, it is how you look at your world - be it the religious, scientific, pagan, transcendental mystic or whatever, you perceieve things and subsequently interpret these same things based entirely upon what it is that you believe.....and any 'morals' are a subjective thing, for some things noble in some cultures are abhorrent in others, subsequently they are relatively transient & fleeting, these subjective definitions
 Suju
Joined: 11/8/2006
Msg: 49
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/26/2007 8:48:53 AM
Mountain drew quoted:
Religions were created to keep people moral.

Then wrote:
Sorry. Wrong.
_____________

Definition of religion from the Myrriam-Websters online dictionary:

Main Entry: re·li·gion
Pronunciation: ri-'li-j&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back -- more at RELY
1 a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

_________
Notice the etymology of the word

Etymology of the word religion: from Wikipedia

Etymology
The etymology of the word "religion" has been debated for centuries. The English word clearly derives from the Latin religio, "reverence (for the gods)" or "conscientiousness". The origins of religio, however, are obscure. Proposed etymological interpretations include:

From Relego
Re-reading–from Latin re (again) + lego (in the sense of "read"), referring to the repetition of scripture.
Treating carefully–from Latin re (again) + lego (in the sense of "choose"–this was the interpretation of Cicero) "go over again" or "consider carefully".

From Religare
Re-connection to the divine–from Latin re (again) + ligare (to connect, as in English ligament). This interpretation is favoured by modern scholars such as Tom Harpur, but was made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation of Lactantius.
To bind or return to bondage–an alternate interpretation of the "reconnection" etymology emphasizing a sense of servitude to God, this may have originated with Augustine. However, the interpretation, while popular with critics of religion, is often considered imprecise and possibly offensive to followers.

From Res + legere
Concerning a gathering — from Latin res (ablative re, with regard to) + legere (to gather), since organized religion revolves around a gathering of people.

Definition of religion
Religion has been defined in a wide variety of ways. Most definitions attempt to find a balance somewhere between overly sharp definition and meaningless generalities. Some sources have tried to use formalistic, doctrinal definitions while others have emphasized experiential, emotive, intuitive, valuational and ethical factors.

Sociologists and anthropologists tend to see religion as an abstract set of ideas, values, or experiences developed as part of a cultural matrix. For example, in Lindbeck's Nature of Doctrine, religion does not refer to belief in "God" or a transcendent Absolute. Instead, Lindbeck defines religion as, "a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought… it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.”[3] According to this definition, religion refers to one's primary worldview and how this dictates one's thoughts and actions.

Other religious scholars have put forward a definition of religion that avoids the reductionism of the various sociological and psychological disciplines that reduce religion to its component factors. Religion may be defined as the presence of a belief in the sacred or the holy. For example Rudolf Otto's "The Idea of the Holy," formulated in 1917, defines the essence of religious awareness as awe, a unique blend of fear and fascination before the divine. Friedrich Schleiermacher in the late 18th century defined religion as a "feeling of absolute dependence."

The Encyclopedia of Religion defines religion this way:[4]

In summary, it may be said that almost every known culture involves the religious in the above sense of a depth dimension in cultural experiences at all levels — a push, whether ill-defined or conscious, toward some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life. When more or less distinct patterns of behaviour are built around this depth dimension in a culture, this structure constitutes religion in its historically recognizable form. Religion is the organization of life around the depth dimensions of experience — varied in form, completeness, and clarity in accordance with the environing culture."

________
Thus religion does define for it's followers a mode of conduct, laws & rules, i.e. morals or morality

Defintion of moarality: wikipedia
Morality refers to the concept of human ethics which pertains to matters of right and wrong — also referred to as "good and evil" — used within three contexts: individual conscience; systems of principles and judgments — sometimes called moral values —shared within a cultural, religious, secular or philosophical community; and codes of behavior or conduct morality.

Definition of morality: Myrriam-Websters
Main Entry: mo·ral·i·ty
Pronunciation: m&-'ra-l&-tE, mo-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
1 a : a moral discourse, statement, or lesson b : a literary or other imaginative work teaching a moral lesson
2 a : a doctrine or system of moral conduct b plural : particular moral principles or rules of conduct
3 : conformity to ideals of right human conduct
4 : moral conduct : VIRTUE

_________
Thus religion is indeed a set of beliefs constructed by a set of given human beings who desire to group together under a defined set of conduct, rules & laws .
 Geneseo
Joined: 2/27/2007
Msg: 50
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/26/2007 9:54:38 AM

Thus religion is indeed a set of beliefs constructed by a set of given human beings who desire to group together under a defined set of conduct, rules & laws .


AND...to often impose those beliefs, and conducts on others who might not share their delusions, by forced education, intimidation, violence, threats of outcasting, torture, and death and destruction.

Ain't the peace loving herd of God grand?
 Suju
Joined: 11/8/2006
Msg: 51
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/26/2007 10:27:20 AM
Geneseo wrote:
[AND...to often impose those beliefs, and conducts on others who might not share their delusions, by forced education, intimidation, violence, threats of outcasting, torture, and death and destruction. ]

It is the sad truth as revealed throughout humanities history ... Would that the powers that be (be they religious or political), learn from past mistakes ... Alas, they have not evolved enough yet ... If they ever shall have the will to do so

P.S.: I've added politics and-or political parties to the equation for they too have sets of conducts, rules & laws, i.e., morals
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 52
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/28/2007 11:14:28 PM
Vampire bats have a pretty nasty reputation.
Yet, on nights when one vampire bat consumes a surplus of blood, it will often regurgitate some of this blood for another bat that failed to feed.

And when thinking about the lives that dogs save every day, it makes one think that morality is relatively inherent in a lot of (perhaps all) species.
 Simon1234
Joined: 9/18/2005
Msg: 53
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/30/2007 6:31:23 AM
Most of us bring our moral values to religion, rather than religion bringing our moral values to us. In other words, we interpret the holy texts of our religion based on our previous moral thinking.

Personally, I'm of the persuasion that God loves what is good because it is good, not, what is good is what God loves. I based my morality on reason and I hold to the social contract theory in a secular sense.

So no, Religion is not a necessary condition for morality.
 tarotreader
Joined: 3/20/2007
Msg: 54
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 3/30/2007 12:12:13 PM

If anything, life has taught me that the more religious a person is, the less they can be trusted.


This, sadly, is the case when it comes to my son's father and his "new family". Up until he got married he wasn't a perfect dad but he was pretty darned good. He always had time for our son, they spent a lot of time doing things together, and our son adored him. Unfortunately after he got married and they got very active in the church, he suddenly has no time for our son anymore. It got worse after they had a baby of their own. Our son started getting into trouble, I'm sure as a way to try and get his dad's attention. I finally asked his father if he would be willing to take him in to live with them, because I thought he needed to spend time with his dad? He said yes so I moved our son to his dad's house. He was there less than 3 months and got into trouble again, at which time I got a call from the new wife telling me to come pick him up, his dad didn't want him there anymore. That will have been 3 years ago this June. That was the last time my son has seen his dad. I have tried to arrange time for him to go visit his dad...during school breaks, holidays, etc...but I am always told no, they have plans and can't take him. The more they push him away, the more promises his dad makes and breaks, the more trouble our son gets into, the more trouble our son gets into the more they push him away. These people claim to be good, devout, christians, they go to church, donate 10% of their income, the wife sings in the church choir and attends all functions and, in their opinion, live by the highest moral standards. My question is, where are those high moral standards, that unconditional christian love and acceptance, when it comes to not only a troubled teen but HIS troubled teen...a teen who seems to be getting into trouble because suddenly he is no longer a part of his fathers life? His dad was a born again christian prior to this but it wasn't until he and his wife became active members of the church that he made such a complete change...almost like he's been brainwashed. Our son was in juvenile detention for an accidental shooting, he asked me to call his dad and ask him to come here to see him, he said, "Mom, I really need my dad right now." I called and his response was, "I'll see if I can make it?" Our son was in detention for over 2 weeks and he never showed up, never called to see how he was doing, nothing. That, more than anything else, hurt my son the most. After he got out his dad has promised to call him every weekend and hasn't called once. If the roles were reversed and our son was living at his dads and all this happened you wouldn't have been able to keep me away, I would have been camped out outside the jail, waiting for any chance to see my baby. Funny thing is, they claim it's my fault our son is in trouble because "I" don't go to church. Ummm...yeah.
 Tame Tigress
Joined: 11/16/2006
Msg: 55
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 4/13/2007 2:38:16 PM
Shocking Fact: Morality was discussed and conduct outlined in human society long before any of the religions that exist today were founded - that's right folks - human societies had morals before Jesus, before Mohammed, before Buddha, etc... In fact all of these religions "borrowed" moral beliefs from early philosophers (ie, Socrates, Plato, etc).

For example: the philosophy of sex centered around philosophical arguments regarding the basic characteristics of the human soul.

Some believed that the human soul was a permeable entity - meaning that it could be contaminated by outside elements - the early Judeo-Christians interpreted this to mean that it was necessary to protect the purity of one's soul. Now there's a bunch of complicated reasonings regarding orgasm and trancsendence that I won't get into here, but the bottom line was that only by limiting sexual contact could someone minimize the contamination of their soul - hence sex was limited to a single lifetime pairing and only for the purpose of procreation. (Betcha didn't know that! Ah , the benefits of higher education)

Others believed the human soul was impermeable - meaning that it could not be contaminated by outside elements - hence sex itself could in no way damage the purity of one's soul - these were the same beliefs that were "resurrected" (tongue in cheek) in the "free love 60's" in the USA & elsewhere. And of course many people continue to think this, but they don't realize that this topic was discussed thousands of years ago.

Still others believed that the human soul was permeable, again meaning that the soul could be contaminated - however this group believed that it would be beneficial to contaminate the soul to destruction in order to transcend this mortal existence. Many of these beliefs surface in some of the sexual fetish activities today ie BDSM.

So there ya go folks! Humans do not require religion for morality. Major Religion came after moral philosophy. Sexuality, Justice, Mercy, etc... all concepts developed and debated at length by PHILOSOPHERS prior to organized religion.
 Tame Tigress
Joined: 11/16/2006
Msg: 56
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 4/13/2007 2:39:06 PM
Drat!! Double Post!!
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 58
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 5:19:18 AM
Moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong

It is ludicrous to assume that someone who denies mainstream religion or has no religion at all does not have morals. One doesn't need religion to tell them that something is right or wrong.

Everyone has morals. The question is, how convicted are they to their morals? How easily swayed are they? And what did they base their morals on? Are they sheep who simply agree with others and can't form an ethical opinion on their own, or did they use logic and understanding to decide what is actually right/wrong, good/bad, just/unjust? And I would just like to point out that if one person's morals do not agree with another person's morals doesn't mean that they do not have morals.

I have more respect for someone who sticks to their morals and does the right thing because they feel it's the right thing to do than I do for someone who got their morals straight out of a book and only do the right thing in fear of going to hell. This is where integrity (another important characteristic) come into play. Integrity is one's adherence to morals. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It's practicing what you preach. Unfortunately, far too many "religious" people (most of them that I know) fall short in this department.
 bear45408
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 59
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 10:30:30 AM
Clearly people can be moral without religion. I'm a believer, and a moderately religious person, but I would have to admit that this is an insulting question to anyone who may not be relligious. Morality comes from the way we think, and how we understand what is right and wrong. It is internal, not external.

If you are only moral because your religion tells you what is right and wrong, and not because of what you know for yourself, what kind of person are you? And if your religion tells you to do what is wrong, as in the case of extremists, and you do it without questioning, are you moral? I say that you are not.

Despite claims to the contrary, I see morality and religion as quite separate things. Religion may be a way to teach morality. But it is not the only way. And sadly, religion may be a way to teach immorality or to excuse it. Thankfully these are the exceptions. (Almost said "Thank God", but I guess not. )
 taurus516
Joined: 11/3/2004
Msg: 60
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 10:40:29 AM
Religion does NOT give one any exclusivity on being moral and certainly, judging from how many ministers, priests and other church officials end up facing such things as child molestation charges, does being religious automatically makes one moral.

Morality is NOT a divine universal construct, but a device built into our genetic structure much the same way an animals' instincts are. It is used for the sake of sociatal operation as we are social creatures and subject to evolutionary changes as the species evolves.

What has this to do with whether or not someone is religious?
 gottalight
Joined: 12/15/2005
Msg: 61
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 11:50:37 AM
RSWindol,

Thank you for reviving this thread. I see it is an old one, so I will only address those who joined in, and will not be attempting to revive old discussions. The topic of the OP is clear in the title. Your questions are very good.

Everyone has morals. The question is, how convicted are they to their morals? How easily swayed are they? And what did they base their morals on?

I figure if this topic is addressed by many people, there will eventually be a conflict of meaning. I looked up the definition, and it appears that the proper context is an abstract derivation of an adjective, but defined generally as: " Rules or habits of conduct," but more specifically, the rules imply the knowledge of right and wrong.

Defining right and wrong are difficult enough. Most issues are usually defined within the structure of a society, and morals tend to be based on the rules of society when a religion is absent. Some individuals have values that would allow then to disagree with the imposed morality of both society and religion, and proceed to disregard imposed moralities. Most people are incable of forming the set of rules by themselves, but are able to perceive abstract values. Since religion is generally considered a passive enforcement, I would say that very few people actually have morals. Most people are not so well organized that they actually have a rule for conduct in far too many situations, so their set of rules is incomplete even if it exists.

I have a few simple and general rules, and they keep me on track. I don't always obey them. My religion is not defined, but is stated as a form of spirtuality. When I am in doubt, I usually consult with others, and I recall the words of some great philosophers. Mostly, I try to offer compassion to those who would not understand, and proceed to do what I believe is right. By definition, it would seem that I have no morals, because I cannot define what is right, and what is wrong.
 Friendlione
Joined: 6/23/2006
Msg: 62
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 12:57:48 PM
It's really interesting to ask. Many of the most vindictive people that I have ever known claim to be religious. Some of the kindest individuals are often atheists. I'm no atheist. However, I believe that men have morals regardless of a spiritual belief.

Only the ignorant or short-sighted require religion for the purpose of providing reasons to behave reationally. "If you copulate with that woman, it is adultery and you'll burn in hell for eternity." Hey, it works for the people that aren't able to figure out that regardless of hell, adultery is wrong and would hurt the wife, undermine credibility, and destroy honor. Even without a spirit realm these are not things that an intelligent man would want.

Is killing wrong because the gods say so? Or...would it be wrong anyway because of some other logical reaso, which leads the way for the development of morals?
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 63
view profile
History
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 3:08:29 PM

By definition, it would seem that I have no morals, because I cannot define what is right, and what is wrong.

I think it should be less about defining what is right and wrong, but more about being able to categorize actions in one of the two subjects. It is said that some serial killers live their lives in a complete gray zone instead a world of good and bad. They cannot distinguish the difference. I say FOOEY! I think they know the difference. They just have no remorse or concern for human life, and therefore just don't give a damn.

But who knows? I could be wrong.
 gottalight
Joined: 12/15/2005
Msg: 65
Morals without Religion?
Posted: 8/26/2008 3:25:57 PM

I think it should be less about defining what is right and wrong, but more about being able to categorize actions in one of the two subjects.


Actually I had been directing the post towards morality by consensus when I realized that the definition of "morals" was flawed in that it assumes a person can distinguish wrong from right. As far as the serial killer, he would realize that everybody dies, and if that death is "bad," then why would it be allowed? And of course, if there is afterlife, you might percieve that accelerating someones ascension might be good. So I really believe that it is a question of perception, and that good and bad don't have explicit definitions. Mostly, morality is a vague fiber that is used to hold together a community.

In today's society there are many views of morality, and some are sponsored by the state, and others are sponsored by religion. To address the specific question of this thread, it is clear that morality exists without religion, and is usually enforced more often by the state, but typically is more oppressive in religions. I happen to be a Libertine, and find the morality of both to be offensive.
Show ALL Forums  > Religion  >