EdEarl

You don't need religion to have morals.

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You don't need religion to have morals. If you cannot tell right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion. -- anonymous

I agree.

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I agree. I believe we are all born with a sense of morality. We don't always listen to it however. Perhaps religions sometimes help people to listen.

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And, sometimes religion is used to justify bad acts, such as the inquisition and Jonestown. But, this thread isn't about admiring or admonishing religion.

Edited by EdEarl

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Recent research has actually demonstrated that we are born with a kind of niave, instinctive code of morality, long before we come to grips with understanding any religious teachings.

You can see studies done by Bloom, Wynn, and Hamlin, as well studies of early life altruistic behavior by Warneken and Tomasello.

All of this research, taken together, supports a general picture of baby morality. It’s even possible, as a thought experiment, to ask what it would be like to see the world in the moral terms that a baby does. Babies probably have no conscious access to moral notions, no idea why certain acts are good or bad. They respond on a gut level. Indeed, if you watch the older babies during the experiments, they don’t act like impassive judges — they tend to smile and clap during good events and frown, shake their heads and look sad during the naughty events (remember the toddler who smacked the bad puppet). The babies’ experiences might be cognitively empty but emotionally intense, replete with strong feelings and strong desires. But this shouldn’t strike you as an altogether alien experience: while we adults possess the additional critical capacity of being able to consciously reason about morality, we’re not otherwise that different from babies — our moral feelings are often instinctive. In fact, one discovery of contemporary research in social psychology and social neuroscience is the powerful emotional underpinning of what we once thought of as cool, untroubled, mature moral deliberation.1

 


1 - Bloom, P. (5 May 2010). New York Times. Retreived from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 on 7 Jan 2014.

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You don't need religion to have morals. If you cannot tell right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.

- anonymous

 

I strongly agree with this statement because the society is fundamentally built upon laws, either written or unwritten (morals), and must not be categorized by its religion.

 

The thing is that people (from my point of view) need only a strong model of a moral code that they should follow; religion is just circle that unifies people under the same divine symbol, it shouldn't interfere with morality. Everyone can have morals, but not everyone must practice a religion.

 

This can be rephrased as: If you do good things because the religion tells you, then you have some serious problems.

 

Religion has the same principles as morality has, but adds some new concepts, as God, Heaven etc.

Edited by namespace

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Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

~ Steven Weinberg

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I agree.

 

What do you think they are trying to say and how are these morals being defined? Do you believe there are such things as objective morals or are you just talking about subjective morals?

 

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

~ Steven Weinberg

 

 

This doesn't make any sense to me, could you describe what the difference between a 'good' person and a 'evil' person is please?

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What do you think they are trying to say and how are these morals being defined? Do you believe there are such things as objective morals or are you just talking about subjective morals?

 

This doesn't make any sense to me, could you describe what the difference between a 'good' person and a 'evil' person is please?

 

In my opinion, we inherently know the difference "right or wrong behaviour" or "constructive or destructive behaviour" - we are born with it.

 

I certainly don't need someone suffering from schizophrenic delusions, (accompanied by visual and auditory hallucinations), to wander back down off a hill, clutching stone tablets, swearing he's had a personal conversation with the "one and only true G-d (sic)" to enlighten me to the fact that killing another human being is "not a good thing".

 

It is, however, entirely possible to take "a normal person" who is in touch with their internal moral compass, and through a process of religious training (sic again), and indoctrination, convince them to rush off and murder / maim / rape or burn down much of the collective history and knowledge of all mankind, all in the name of some invented deity.

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In my opinion, we inherently know the difference "right or wrong behaviour" or "constructive or destructive behaviour" - we are born with it.

 

I certainly don't need someone suffering from schizophrenic delusions, (accompanied by visual and auditory hallucinations), to wander back down off a hill, clutching stone tablets, swearing he's had a personal conversation with the "one and only true G-d (sic)" to enlighten me to the fact that killing another human being is "not a good thing".

 

It is, however, entirely possible to take "a normal person" who is in touch with their internal moral compass, and through a process of religious training (sic again), and indoctrination, convince them to rush off and murder / maim / rape or burn down much of the collective history and knowledge of all mankind, all in the name of some invented deity.

 

Right or wrong for who?

 

By what standard are you deciding what is and isn't "a good thing" and why should that standard be better than the complete opposite?

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Right or wrong for who?

 

By what standard are you deciding what is and isn't "a good thing" and why should that standard be better than the complete opposite?

 

I agree that "right or wrong" are difficult or problematic to define, which is why I added "constructive, or destructive" as an alternate simplification.

 

When we get to complex human situations, which involve more than simple individual self-interests - for example when we move into the realm of family, friends, community, national interrelationships etc. - things do get more complex, and, in agreement with your sentiment, right and wrong get more difficult to define or discern.

 

That being said, the usual religious morals are the ones relating to trivial issues - dare I use the word, infantile - and they also usually expressed in the most assertive language that imply that this particular judgement can be applied in every situation.

 

* Murder

* Adultery

* Theft

* etc.

 

We all know that life is a lot more complex than don't steal your neighbour's cellphone. When it comes to stealing a loaf of bread to feed a child ... moral clarity becomes a lot less well defined.

 

The basic gist of what I am saying is that religion adds nothing to our own internal moral compass.

 

Some of the "great books" ( sic again and again ) even give instruction on how one is obligated to wash and cleanse when one is on one's way to prayer following sexual relations with an animal ( usually a goat ). The instructions/obligations specify differentiated purification routines, dependent on whether only the tip of the male member has penetrated the animal, or whether the shaft of the member has also entered the beast.

 

I kid you not ( no pun intended ) - do some research and you'll find what I am referring to.

 

Now before I get lambasted for "picking on any one in particular of the fairy tale sects", I'll assure you that in in my opinion, they're all pretty much the same thing - a way of organising a tribe of people into a hierarchy that benefits a particular sector of the tribe, usually oriented around the male elders.

 

And if you doubt or dispute that, have you ever wondered why Mary, the "highest ranking female" in the Christian fairy story, is a sexual neuter ? A virgin ? A passive, whose only attributed power is one of role as intercessory to the higher ranking males ? ( Basically a secretary/receptionist when you come to think about it. )

 

So in summary, again in my religion has little of any use to say or offer in terms of anything - including in the area of morals.

 

The "best" decisions ( most moral, most good ) are made when brave people are prepared to listen to the voice of their inner conscience, and taking personal responsibility for their actions, make "the least bad decision they can" under the many and varied circumstances in which we find ourselves in this complex journey we label as human life.

 

Contrast that to a whole bunch of people, who when lined up against a whole bunch of other people against whom they are about to engage in violent battle, lower their heads, and say: "Let us pray."

Edited by TaoRich

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What do you think they are trying to say and how are these morals being defined? Do you believe there are such things as objective morals or are you just talking about subjective morals?

IMO morals are a mental artifact; thus, subjective. However, the article quoted was concerned with whether religion defined morals or whether they are a natural part of humanity regardless of religion, which means your question should be discussed in another thread.

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Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

~ Steven Weinberg

I think that Steven Weinberg displays something of a myopic perspective when he makes statements like this one. I'm currently reading "Inferno, The World at War 1939-1945" by Max Hastings. In this book the author details all manner of atrocities and mass killings that took place in all the theatres of that war whose motivating factors were in no way related to religious beliefs, but to more basic motivations like ethnic animosities, a desire for revenge, indifference to civilian causalities, etc.

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Well, the other side of the question then is whether you can have religion, without morals.

 

Let's say it is true that human babies know what is pleasant and what is horrid, know what is good behavior and what is bad. Babies grow up and engage each other and the world. Bunch of once babies get together and raise other babies, all with the same idea of what is good and what is evil. The lessons would not be ununderstandable to the new babies. Write the stuff down, and you have a good book. Get a bunch of people holding the same good book sacred, and you have a religion.

 

Earlier it was mentioned that it was not required that goodness be imposed from above, that it springs from within. Well even so it has to spring into action at some point, and had to have likewise sprung before, in earlier human interaction, throughout history. It has to be one of the reasons for religion in the first place.

 

That you can be good without religion is like saying you can be a brick without being a building.

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And somehow, you seem to end up with a "Good book" that says "You must hate and kill the following groups of people..." and

" You may take these people as slaves..." and so on.

 

It seems morality was doing OK until religion came along.

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I agree that "right or wrong" are difficult or problematic to define, which is why I added "constructive, or destructive" as an alternate simplification.

 

When we get to complex human situations, which involve more than simple individual self-interests - for example when we move into the realm of family, friends, community, national interrelationships etc. - things do get more complex, and, in agreement with your sentiment, right and wrong get more difficult to define or discern.

 

That being said, the usual religious morals are the ones relating to trivial issues - dare I use the word, infantile - and they also usually expressed in the most assertive language that imply that this particular judgement can be applied in every situation.

 

* Murder

* Adultery

* Theft

* etc.

 

We all know that life is a lot more complex than don't steal your neighbour's cellphone. When it comes to stealing a loaf of bread to feed a child ... moral clarity becomes a lot less well defined.

 

The basic gist of what I am saying is that religion adds nothing to our own internal moral compass.

 

Some of the "great books" ( sic again and again ) even give instruction on how one is obligated to wash and cleanse when one is on one's way to prayer following sexual relations with an animal ( usually a goat ). The instructions/obligations specify differentiated purification routines, dependent on whether only the tip of the male member has penetrated the animal, or whether the shaft of the member has also entered the beast.

 

I kid you not ( no pun intended ) - do some research and you'll find what I am referring to.

 

Now before I get lambasted for "picking on any one in particular of the fairy tale sects", I'll assure you that in in my opinion, they're all pretty much the same thing - a way of organising a tribe of people into a hierarchy that benefits a particular sector of the tribe, usually oriented around the male elders.

 

And if you doubt or dispute that, have you ever wondered why Mary, the "highest ranking female" in the Christian fairy story, is a sexual neuter ? A virgin ? A passive, whose only attributed power is one of role as intercessory to the higher ranking males ? ( Basically a secretary/receptionist when you come to think about it. )

 

So in summary, again in my religion has little of any use to say or offer in terms of anything - including in the area of morals.

 

The "best" decisions ( most moral, most good ) are made when brave people are prepared to listen to the voice of their inner conscience, and taking personal responsibility for their actions, make "the least bad decision they can" under the many and varied circumstances in which we find ourselves in this complex journey we label as human life.

 

Contrast that to a whole bunch of people, who when lined up against a whole bunch of other people against whom they are about to engage in violent battle, lower their heads, and say: "Let us pray."

 

I think first and foremost if you're going to comment on religion, don't generalise, secondly provide quotes to support your argument. I'm sure you can realise that a religion saying x doesn't mean that religion as a whole says x.

 

With regards to 'listening to your inner conscience', what makes you think that people who do 'evil' don't listen to their 'inner voice'? You still haven't defined what good or bad mean.

IMO morals are a mental artifact; thus, subjective. However, the article quoted was concerned with whether religion defined morals or whether they are a natural part of humanity regardless of religion, which means your question should be discussed in another thread.

 

You haven't linked any article.

 

This is a discussion forum and your post doesn't define what is to be discussed, so I think the question is completely valid. It is against the forum rules to post opinions without inviting discussion, as I'm sue you're aware of.

And somehow, you seem to end up with a "Good book" that says "You must hate and kill the following groups of people..." and

" You may take these people as slaves..." and so on.

 

It seems morality was doing OK until religion came along.

 

It's hard to take this seriously since both the Egyptians and Sumerians (earliest recorded history) had deities.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recorded_history

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Members;

 

Some thoughts to share and questions to consider.

 

You don't need religion to have morals. If you cannot tell right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion. -- anonymous

 

Although on a personal level, I can agree with this because morals are based on emotion, and empathy for others would seem to be the base for morality. But I still find the above quote to be very naive, as it dismisses the fact that morality is judged objectively.

 

What do you think they are trying to say and how are these morals being defined? Do you believe there are such things as objective morals or are you just talking about subjective morals?

 

Villain makes a very good point here, because humans have an immense capacity to corrupt themselves and to believe that this corruption is good and virtuous and moral -- history proves this. Now there are those who would like to say that this "corruption" is because of religion, but I would argue that religions are made up of people. It is the people, themselves, that must corrupt their emotions with immoral thoughts -- anger, hate, envy, greed, jealousy, etc., the very emotions that religions warn against.

 

If you go to a prison and talk to the inmates, do you honestly believe that they will all be totally lacking in empathy? Do they believe themselves to be immoral? Yet they are there because they have been judged immoral.

 

That being said, the usual religious morals are the ones relating to trivial issues - dare I use the word, infantile - and they also usually expressed in the most assertive language that imply that this particular judgement can be applied in every situation.

 

* Murder


 

So in summary, again in my [opinion] religion has little of any use to say or offer in terms of anything - including in the area of morals.

 

TaoRich;

 

I do not agree. I singled out "murder" because I already have the information to rebut your position on this issue. I don't know where you got your information, but it is my opinion that religion has contributed a great deal to our moral laws, and there is nothing "trivial" about it.

 

I studied law (I am not a lawyer) and can give you a brief rundown of the history of how our U.S. laws developed -- excluding Constitutional law and specialized areas of law. Before our nation started, Courts used the laws of England, so this is where our case law, and our Common Law, began -- except for Louisiana, as that state started with French case law and Common Law. Case law is easy to understand as that is simply a compilation of previously judged cases, but what is Common Law?

 

According to my Black's Law Dictionary, Common Law is;

 

"As distinguished from statutory law created by the enactment of Legislatures, the Common Law comprises the body of those principles and rules of action, relating to the government and security of persons and property, which derive their authority solely from usages and customs of immemorial antiquity, or from the judgments and decrees of the Courts recognizing, affirming, and enforcing such usages and customs, and in this sense, particularly the ancient unwritten law of England."

 

An easier way to describe it is that our Common Law is our moral law, and comprises the judgments concerning what is moral back to the time of antiquity. It is important to note that Common Law, or moral law, does make a huge difference in a case, which is why a thief can get ten years in prison for robbing your home -- because theft is immoral -- but a CEO will get a slap on the wrist for depriving thousands of people of their retirement savings -- because that is just a business mistake; not immoral.

 

So now that we have traced Common Law back to England, we have to take it back in time to the Feudal Period. The Christian Lords of the land were the Judges, and books were rare, so if they needed help deciding a judgment, what book do you think they reached for? What book of law was commonly available? Deuteronomy and Leviticus. So the roots of our moral (Common) law derive from the Bible.

 

Imagine my surprise while looking through the Bible after studying law, and finding the roots of all of our Common Law in the Bible. Such as the following, from Chapter 19 of Deuteronomy, which defines the difference between manslaughter (2 through 6) and murder (10 through 12), with the determining factor as "intent" just as it is on the books today. And the requirement of more than one witness (15 through 18).

 

2 Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.

3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.

4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;

5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

10 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.

11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:

12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;

17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;

 

This is not by any definition "trivial" or "infantile", and describes murder, manslaughter, and perjury in the same way that it is determined today -- thousands of years later. After I realized the connection of our Common Laws to the Bible, I learned that I am not the first to do so. I know that there is at least one book available, "Gifts of the Jews" that also notes these connections.

 

A question; if religion is not required in order to understand morality, then why is it that we can not determine the moral rightness of "right to die", abortion, the mentally handicapped, or even what to do when a baby is born so deformed that there is no hope for a life? These things are not addressed in the Books of Law.

 

G

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John Cuthber,

 

Well still, if you are trying to build a universal morality, from a baby's sense of right and wrong, you are going to run into some societal conflicts along the logical way. One baby is going to wind up with the good thing in their hand and the other baby is going to cry at the injustice.

 

If you can have morality without religion, would you also argue you can have justice without judges and a law to go by?

 

I know that the Mayan's where "duped" by their priests into thinking that human sacrifice would bring the rainy season. I know that the bible is skewed heavily toward male concerns. I know the secret of the vedas is constructed in such a way that people feel it is better to NOT do what feels good and right...to, in my estimation, set up a hierarcy of who it is that deserves the goodies. But so what, that injustice will raise its ulgy head anytime you have a winner, because it will create a loser or many losers, is not a reason to avoid establishing a code of behavior that creates a way to share the goodies amoungst us.

 

And if one set of codes, held by one group runs up against another set of codes held by another group, and a goodie is at stake, why there is liable to be a fight, and a winner, and a loser.

 

The Soviet Union more or less banned religion under the idea that communal laws would suffice. Well they did and they didn't. Everybody still knew the difference between right and wrong, but wound up waiting in line for toilet paper. And the Soviet Union grew into somewhat of an evil empire during the cold war.

 

Regards, TAR2

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IMO morals are a mental artifact; thus, subjective. However, the article quoted was concerned with whether religion defined morals or whether they are a natural part of humanity regardless of religion, which means your question should be discussed in another thread.

You haven't linked any article.

 

This is a discussion forum and your post doesn't define what is to be discussed, so I think the question is completely valid. It is against the forum rules to post opinions without inviting discussion, as I'm sue you're aware of.

 

There is no requirement to link to articles, when one states an opinion.

 

This is a discussion forum, which has rules, and one of the rules is to stay on topic. The topic of this thread is "You don't need religion to have morals." My post suggested that another thread be opened with another topic to discuss the issue of whether morals are subjective or objective. The moderators do sometimes split threads whenever discussions diverge from the original topic. I am not a moderator and cannot force a split, but I am allowed to steer the conversation back to the original topic, including this one, which is clearly off topic and should be discussed in another thread...except I will not continue this discussion, because I think the moderators set and enforce the rules, not me. If you want to continue this discussion, it will be with the moderators.

Edited by EdEarl

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There is no requirement to link to articles, when one states an opinion.

 

This is a discussion forum, which has rules, and one of the rules is to stay on topic. The topic of this thread is "You don't need religion to have morals." My post suggested that another thread be opened with another topic to discuss the issue of whether morals are subjective or objective. The moderators do sometimes split threads whenever discussions diverge from the original topic. I am not a moderator and cannot force a split, but I am allowed to steer the conversation back to the original topic, including this one, which is clearly off topic and should be discussed in another thread...except I will not continue this discussion, because I think the moderators set and enforce the rules, not me. If you want to continue this discussion, it will be with the moderators.

 

How exactly is discussing the nature of morals in a thread entitled 'You don't need religion to have morals' off topic? You haven't defined what you mean by morals, please do so.

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How exactly is discussing the nature of morals in a thread entitled 'You don't need religion to have morals' off topic? You haven't defined what you mean by morals, please do so.

You don't ask for much:) I'll provide a link to Morals in Wikipedia, which has more to say than I is reasonable for a response in this forum, plus Wikipedia lists 69 references to books and articles. In addition, here is one dictionary.reference.com definition: "of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes."

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John Cuthber, on 11 Feb 2014 - 06:42 AM, said:snapback.png

And somehow, you seem to end up with a "Good book" that says "You must hate and kill the following groups of people..." and

" You may take these people as slaves..." and so on.

 

It seems morality was doing OK until religion came along.

It's hard to take this seriously since both the Egyptians and Sumerians (earliest recorded history) had deities.

 

 

 


 

John Cuthber, on 11 Feb 2014 - 06:42 AM, said:snapback.png

And somehow, you seem to end up with a "Good book" that says "You must hate and kill the following groups of people..." and

" You may take these people as slaves..." and so on.

 

It seems morality was doing OK until religion came along.

 

 

It's hard to take this seriously since both the Egyptians and Sumerians (earliest recorded history) had deities.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recorded_history

And those deities "believed in" slavery and killing the "other guys"

Tar's comment was made concerning the origin of religion

" Write the stuff down, and you have a good book. Get a bunch of people holding the same good book sacred, and you have a religion."

 

All you have done is said that my comments refer to an older religion than, for example, Christianity or Judaism.

So what?

 

 

Tar, re

"One baby is going to wind up with the good thing in their hand and the other baby is going to cry at the injustice."

True, but once they are a little older, they learn to "trade" (in a very general sense).

It's when they get cheated in their trading that you really start getting moral conflict.

 

If I get killed by a lion, that's not a moral issue- lions don't know any "better".

If I get killed by a person, that's possibly a moral issue, depending on the circumstances.

 

Does our innate sense of "right and wrong" cover that distinction?

 

Re.

"If you can have morality without religion, would you also argue you can have justice without judges and a law to go by?"

Yes.

 

" Everybody still knew the difference between right and wrong, but wound up waiting in line for toilet paper. "

Non sequiteur. Everybody knew that a small number of people were stealing the wealth and lying and cheating to do it. That dishonesty led to things like shortages. The people at the top knew it too.

So?

 

"And the Soviet Union grew into somewhat of an evil empire during the cold war."

There are other secular governments who succeeded so it's not sensible to blame the failings of the Soviet Union on the lack of religion.

 

I don't think it's a strong argument, but some would say the USSR simply replaced other religions with "Communism" and replaced the clergy with "the Party".

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John Cuthber,

 

That secular governments have succeeded is not without a basis in religion. Sweden has a strong Lutheran background and underpinning. The U.S. has based its secular law on the freedom to choose whatever moral code you like the best, as long as it does not contradict the laws of the land, which primarily where based on Abrahamic laws, as Gees points out.

 

My argument is not that babies possess inborn morality enough to create a just society, but that just societies have been created, based on whatever judgements of right and wrong humans make, from baby on.

 

For this to be the case there must be both a basis to work from, and some many "agreements" made along the way, of what one is to do in this situation and that, that will judged "good" by one's fellows.

 

The OP suggests that morality can be had, without religion. My thought is that morality both causes religion in the first place, and defines it, in the second place. So with this dual role that religion plays, in regards to being both a product of morality, and a measuring stick of it, it is difficult to logically cut religion out of the mix. By my thinking here, if one were to determine the exact nature and rules of human "instinctual" morality, then this code could be written down, and then IT would be the good book, by which some would go...and IT would be the religion people would feel they could do without, and still be moral.

 

Earlier it was noted that religion causes or allows slavery and wars. This may well be the case, but the only solution is to have everybody following the same book, with the exactly right prescriptions regarding behavior and conflict resolutions, and if this book was written, and I found fault in it, I would be a disbeliever...and in error...and on the wrong path...and judged immoral by the rest of world (provided everybody else found no fault in it).

 

Regards, TAR2

 

What if John Lennon's "Imagine" was to come to pass, and there were no borders or nations or religions to divide us, and we all just loved one another...except for this one guy who refused to go along, and he kept making mischief and telling everybody they were slaves to the system and were ignorant of their true hateful, greedy, desiring selves and were just being stupid sheep. We would have to kill the immoral bastard.

And then there will always be some group, like John Lennon once noted, like "those daft Chinese". Who just don't "get it right".

Edited by tar

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"The OP suggests that morality can be had, without religion. My thought is that morality both causes religion in the first place, and defines it, in the second place. "

​OK, how come religion keeps getting morality utterly wrong (in the ways I have already pointed out)?

 

And, to clarify "Earlier it was noted that religion causes or allows slavery and wars. This may well be the case, but the only solution is to have everybody following the same book"

For a start, if doesn't just allow them, it encourages them.

People are innately disinclined to kill others, but will do so if the "other" is dehumanised or if they are told that "It is God's will and you will be punished if you do not".

Without religion (and a matching deity) you can't tell them that.

 

And the solution is not that they all follow the same book, (just for a start, many of those books oppress women, so, for half the population it's no solution at all).

It's that we need the right book.

Perhaps nobody has written that book, or perhaps it's just one line long

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".

 

" We would have to kill the immoral bastard."

No, it's borderline insane to say you need to kill someone for what he says.

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