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Morals/Ethics without Religion


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  #1  
July 15th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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I another thread the question of morality and religion came up. Can a person be a moral being and live by a decent ethical code without being religious (or even a believer in religion). Why or why not?

What about the question of a higher power? Can a person be a moral being and live by a decent ethical code without believing in a higher power or supreme being? Why or why not?
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  #2  
July 15th, 2006, 11:52 AM
greenjeans's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I thinks so. You don't need a supreme being for punishment to teach right and wrong. Teaching your children that it's not right to hit other people because it hurts them and hurts their feelings and that they don't like it when people hurt their feelings is teaching right from wrong without religion. Morality and ethics can be guided by religion but it's not necessarily so. Morality and ethics can also be guided with a societal bearing (stealing is wrong because it hurts other people). As for accountablility, someone who doesn't have religion doesn't need a supreme being to keep them in line, they are held accountable by the people around them who may be effected by their actions.
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  #4  
July 15th, 2006, 06:37 PM
Tanya G's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I would in no way consider myself an athiest, but I truly do question the existance of God. i was raised in a religious household and at the age of 14 I realised that I only believed in everything I believed in becusae I was TOLD to believe in these things.

I am a part of no religion. I have never been baptised(in my mothers religion they wait till you are a consenting adult). And yet, I have very strong morals. But perhaps to a religious Christian they would say I have no morals. I do not have "biblical morals". But I lead my life in a way to not hurt anyone. I hate hurting ppl, or doing "evil" things. I have a very strong conscience. I think an "ungodly" person can have VERY strong morals, I think the debate is more about the difference in what a religious person considers moral and what a non-religious person considers moral.
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  #5  
July 15th, 2006, 07:02 PM
GirLStaR's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
I another thread the question of morality and religion came up. Can a person be a moral being and live by a decent ethical code without being religious (or even a believer in religion). Why or why not?[/b]
I say yes. My family has never been too religious. My morals and the way I live are not bc I fear God or bc I grew up reading the Bible. It's bc my mom put it in my head that I had to be decent and have morals and now I am old enough to understand that is better to live this way. I do read the Bible now, but don't live my life totally by it.. I question a lot of things, so I take what sounds like it can benefit my life.
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  #6  
July 16th, 2006, 06:19 AM
Ashes78
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I don't understand how in the world someone can think that morals has anytihng to do with religion.
I can understand that some moral do come from religion but you can have morals without religion. I know that some people think that sex before marriage is wrong because of their religion but some people may think it is wrong for other reasons.
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  #7  
July 16th, 2006, 09:09 AM
cbrmommy's Avatar Veteran
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I dont think morals have anything to do with religion. Im not going to say anything beyond thids because I believe it will cause a bit of drama and I prefer not to do so.
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  #8  
July 16th, 2006, 09:25 AM
Sunflower_Mommy2003's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thinking belief in a higher power is required for moral/ethical living requires a few presumptions...

1.) That people only behave well and do good out of FEAR of divine punishment.

2.) If fear need be the motivating factor, that dishonesty or harming yourself or others couldn't result in significant enough consequences in THIS life.

3.) Negates the belief of many in things like karma...that your good or bad actions follow you through deaths and rebirths.

I think that books like the Bible or Aesop's Fables can certainly aid in teaching children about morality but I don't believe "religion" or diety worship is required.

Jen
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  #9  
July 16th, 2006, 10:35 AM
Mom2DavidandAaron's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
I another thread the question of morality and religion came up. Can a person be a moral being and live by a decent ethical code without being religious (or even a believer in religion). Why or why not?

What about the question of a higher power? Can a person be a moral being and live by a decent ethical code without believing in a higher power or supreme being? Why or why not?[/b]
I think so.
My morals and ethics are strongly tied to my religious beliefs, but that's me. I'm sure a person can lead a moral life without religion.

Sharon
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  #10  
July 16th, 2006, 01:20 PM
kadydid
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I think that books like the Bible or Aesop's Fables can certainly aid in teaching children about morality but I don't believe "religion" or diety worship is required.[/b]
Can you imagine what a nice world we would live in if worshiping something means you have good morals? If only it were that easy.
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  #11  
July 16th, 2006, 04:15 PM
mrobinson
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I don't understand how in the world someone can think that morals has anytihng to do with religion.
I can understand that some moral do come from religion but you can have morals without religion. I know that some people think that sex before marriage is wrong because of their religion but some people may think it is wrong for other reasons.[/b]
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  #12  
July 16th, 2006, 04:41 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think morals in themselves are debatable & pertain to the individual. There are group "sahred" morals...but there are those that think eating meat is immoral - KWIM?

I knwo a person can have amazing morals/ethics, etc & have no real spiritual belief. It describes my Dh to a T.
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  #14  
July 19th, 2006, 11:40 AM
mrobinson
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Intelligent Christians like C.S. Lewis have admitted for a long time that ethics and religion existed independently for a very long time before anyone thought of tying them together.

(I'm an atheist btw)[/b]


It's shocking to me that people can't see that as well.
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  #15  
July 21st, 2006, 05:36 AM
bright future's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would say there isn't much of a debate going on here

There are moral principles that seem to stem from religious principles; these are the ones that many religious people accept because they're written in scriptures even if they don't seem to be offensive i.e. sex before marriage, homosexuality, wifely submission etc. I'm probably not making my point very well because it's 5:30 am and I've already been up for an hour LOL!

I think you can be morally upstanding without adhering to religious principles. It's the same with legality. Just because something is legal doesn't make it moral; and just because it's moral, doesn't make it legal. The same holds true for morals and religious principles. Just because something is sin, doesn't actually make it immoral. We'd have to define immorality (which has been debated forever).

My personal definition of immorality is something that either affects oneself negatively, affects another human being negatively, or affects more people negatively than it affects positively. Now that is far too simplistic, and you could perhaps argue that premarital sex and other sexual sin does affect someone negatively (i.e. those involved) but that affect is only applicable to someone whose religious beliefs conflict with the behaviour.

Before I became a Christian I considered myself to be a very morally upstanding person. In fact, I still cannot lie to save my life; I stole once but was so guilt-ridden I threw away the item I stole; I lived with my boyfriend (now DH) before marriage and tried to be the best partner I could be; I'm a loving friend, respectful of my parents and my elders; the list goes on. There was no religion involved, but I believe my actions were morally just.
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