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Is Religion Necessary for Morality

bsh1
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10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.
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intellectuallyprimitive
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10/22/2014 12:17:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.

I have never been affiliated with religion, nor have I had any interest in pursuing religious affairs. I have established my own morals irrespective of religion. Noting that, religion induced no influence of my morals, therefore religion was redundant for my experience with morality.
bsh1
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10/22/2014 12:20:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
My thoughts on the OP:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
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Benshapiro
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10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Moral relativism is compatible with naturalism.

I don't think religion has a lot to do with it.
bsh1
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10/22/2014 12:28:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Also this: http://www.debate.org...
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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Mirza
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10/22/2014 12:54:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Morality can exist, but would not be deemed objective. I cannot see how, from an atheistic perspective, objective morality somehow exists for beings that were fashioned by chaotic means and without any objective purpose or value.
ThinkFirst
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10/22/2014 12:57:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.

I actually find that religion corrupts morality, and introduces into its framework many things that are not even moral considerations, outside of "holy" or "sacred" manuscripts. I find that religious morality is further adhered to less by those that claim that religion is its source than those that oppose religion, altogether. Morality exists as a social framework. There is no "objective" morality, and those that claim that there is cannot even define what that "objective" morality might be. No religious claimant of "objective" morality can actually even come close to codifying such a moral structure, without crossing rational boundaries, and consulting ancient manuscripts that are both hypocritical and outdated, in most repsects.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
bsh1
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10/22/2014 12:58:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:54:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
Morality can exist, but would not be deemed objective. I cannot see how, from an atheistic perspective, objective morality somehow exists for beings that were fashioned by chaotic means and without any objective purpose or value.

I don't think naturalistic views of morality presuppose a God.

But again, the question in the OP isn't about whether morality can exist without god, but whether morality can exist without religion.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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ThinkFirst
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10/22/2014 1:00:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.


Which deity? Whose deity? As defined by which denomination? Please explain how this "grounded" and "objective" morality can be taught, when it can't even be enumerated, let alone codified.

Moral relativism is compatible with naturalism.

Few things are further from the truth, and repeating the assertion will never make the assertion any closer to true.

I don't think religion has a lot to do with it.

Religion has NOTHING to do with morality, outside of its assertion of being the exclusive arbiter of such.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Mirza
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10/22/2014 1:05:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:58:58 AM, bsh1 wrote:
But again, the question in the OP isn't about whether morality can exist without god, but whether morality can exist without religion.
I must have misread. [Excuse me, 8 am here.] Morality can exist without religion, because its existence is independent of a religious system.
bsh1
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10/22/2014 1:07:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:05:07 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:58:58 AM, bsh1 wrote:
But again, the question in the OP isn't about whether morality can exist without god, but whether morality can exist without religion.
I must have misread. [Excuse me, 8 am here.] Morality can exist without religion, because its existence is independent of a religious system.

That's fine. I still think there's a good discussion to be had re: objective morality and god.

I agree with what you've said here.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Mirza
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10/22/2014 1:11:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:07:12 AM, bsh1 wrote:
That's fine. I still think there's a good discussion to be had re: objective morality and god.
There surely can. I am more often, however, interested in people's perspective on this, for it seems that many have drastically different ways of defining morality, or even what constitutes as an objectively true metaphysical system.
bsh1
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10/22/2014 1:13:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:11:05 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:07:12 AM, bsh1 wrote:
That's fine. I still think there's a good discussion to be had re: objective morality and god.
There surely can. I am more often, however, interested in people's perspective on this, for it seems that many have drastically different ways of defining morality, or even what constitutes as an objectively true metaphysical system.

Lol...well, now I have an idea of a thread to post tomorrow! Thanks :)
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Benshapiro
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10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.
Mirza
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10/22/2014 1:18:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:13:17 AM, bsh1 wrote:
Lol...well, now I have an idea of a thread to post tomorrow! Thanks :)
Looking forward to it.
bsh1
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10/22/2014 1:23:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:18:31 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:13:17 AM, bsh1 wrote:
Lol...well, now I have an idea of a thread to post tomorrow! Thanks :)
Looking forward to it.

Thanks :)
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Aithlin
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10/22/2014 1:27:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.

I don't agree with that definition of objective morality. "Objective" refers to not being influenced by feelings, opinions etc. However, your definition of objective morality is referring to universal belief.
The fact that a moral claim is universally believed doesn't necessarily have any bearing on it's truth value.
Beastt
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10/22/2014 1:36:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Religion is not necessary for morality, and actually tends to degrade morality in a number of cases. U.S. prison populations show that Christians are at least 35-times more likely to commit serious criminal offense than Christians.

It makes sense when you think about it; people who believe anything wrong they may do has already been answered for, and who follow a book which claims that rape, infanticide, genocide and slavery are all moral practices, are bound to lean more toward selfishness and barbarity than those who apply compassionate reason to making determinations of morality.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Benshapiro
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10/22/2014 1:43:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:27:45 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.

I don't agree with that definition of objective morality. "Objective" refers to not being influenced by feelings, opinions etc. However, your definition of objective morality is referring to universal belief.
The fact that a moral claim is universally believed doesn't necessarily have any bearing on it's truth value.

You're right - and I didn't mean to infer that the objectivity of something depends on consensus because that isn't true. Universally shared in the sense that this perception exists ingrained in human consciousnesses.
Aithlin
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10/22/2014 1:47:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:43:32 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:27:45 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.

I don't agree with that definition of objective morality. "Objective" refers to not being influenced by feelings, opinions etc. However, your definition of objective morality is referring to universal belief.
The fact that a moral claim is universally believed doesn't necessarily have any bearing on it's truth value.

You're right - and I didn't mean to infer that the objectivity of something depends on consensus because that isn't true. Universally shared in the sense that this perception exists ingrained in human consciousnesses.

Okay, how does one distinguish between a perception ingrained in human conciousness and an universal belief?

Even so, I still don't see how the fact that a moral claim is ingrained in human conciousness has any bearing on it's truth
Benshapiro
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10/22/2014 1:55:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:47:25 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:43:32 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:27:45 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.

I don't agree with that definition of objective morality. "Objective" refers to not being influenced by feelings, opinions etc. However, your definition of objective morality is referring to universal belief.
The fact that a moral claim is universally believed doesn't necessarily have any bearing on it's truth value.

You're right - and I didn't mean to infer that the objectivity of something depends on consensus because that isn't true. Universally shared in the sense that this perception exists ingrained in human consciousnesses.

Okay, how does one distinguish between a perception ingrained in human conciousness and an universal belief?

Even so, I still don't see how the fact that a moral claim is ingrained in human conciousness has any bearing on it's truth

Because a perception ingrained in human consciousness is necessarily true. A universal belief is one that isn't necessarily true. I think that the objective perception of right or wrongness is an indication of its truth.
Beastt
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10/22/2014 2:19:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:54:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
Morality can exist, but would not be deemed objective. I cannot see how, from an atheistic perspective, objective morality somehow exists for beings that were fashioned by chaotic means and without any objective purpose or value.

Objective morality doesn't exist. Read the Bible (Exodus 21:20-21, for example). Now tell me how - if morality is objective - we live on a planet where literally every single country has concluded that slavery is immoral and wrong, while the Bible promotes it as not just moral, but it's even moral to beat a slave to death.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Jingram994
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10/22/2014 2:20:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 1:55:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:47:25 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:43:32 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:27:45 AM, Aithlin wrote:
At 10/22/2014 1:14:50 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:29:50 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 10/22/2014 12:24:24 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Objective morality can only be grounded in God.

Why is this necessarily true?

I would define objective morality as a universally shared apprehension of right and wrong moral behavior. Moral behavior only entails actions of purpose. If God doesn't exist humans are merely means without ends. We're the product of inherent randomness and we exist for no reason or purpose. Objective morality would mean that definitive ends regarding actions of purpose are conferred upon human beings and these ends exist as fact. This would mean that humans couldn't have a purposeless existence. If we don't have a purposeless existence some state of intentionality exists independently of the human mind to ground the objectivity of such ends. Intent can only exist if something is conscious. God would be such a consciousness.

If we instinctively derived apprehension of objective morality it couldn't be grounded because moral behavior would only be subject to an unembodied random process.

I don't agree with that definition of objective morality. "Objective" refers to not being influenced by feelings, opinions etc. However, your definition of objective morality is referring to universal belief.
The fact that a moral claim is universally believed doesn't necessarily have any bearing on it's truth value.

You're right - and I didn't mean to infer that the objectivity of something depends on consensus because that isn't true. Universally shared in the sense that this perception exists ingrained in human consciousnesses.

Okay, how does one distinguish between a perception ingrained in human conciousness and an universal belief?

Even so, I still don't see how the fact that a moral claim is ingrained in human conciousness has any bearing on it's truth

Because a perception ingrained in human consciousness is necessarily true. A universal belief is one that isn't necessarily true. I think that the objective perception of right or wrongness is an indication of its truth.

How is an ingrained perception objectively true outside of the lens of that perception? How can you possibly differentiate from a perception of something that is true, irregardless of it's being perceived, and a perception that is merely a subjective perception?
We are talking about the definitive truth value of moral statements. This is necessarily totally disconnected from any and all perception of the truth of those statements; it's either right or it isn't.
At any rate, the fact that humans fundamentally do not agree on a great deal of moral issues, on a broad scale, seems to tell us that even if what you were saying were factual, this simply means that there is no such objective moral value.

I personally much prefer definitions of objective morality that are grounded in rationality. If I can rationally determine, and uphold using empiricism and/or thought experiments (& etc.) that a given moral statement is true, without dependence on or relation to any potential personal feelings or biases, then it is reasonable to say that this moral statement is objectively true, irregardless of whether anyone agrees or not. Either my basis or reasoning is faulty, or the statement is true. What constitutes 'rational thought' does not change from person to person or culture to culture.
mrsatan
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10/22/2014 5:39:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.

While religion is one means of deciding upon a moral code, it is certainly not necessary. I can't speak for any one else, but I decide whether I've done something good or bad through conscience and empathy. I see no reason God would communicate morality through scripture instead of a means as potent as said feelings. (One of many reasons I'm not religious, possibly the main reason)

Besides that, it would not be impossible for an irreligious person to act in accordance with religious teachings. Coincidental, sure... Ironic, in some circumstances... But certainly possible. In which case, to say religion is prerequisite to morality, is to say a moral person is not necessarily moral.
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
Composer
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10/22/2014 6:01:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I love e.g. the bible!

Because it explains in fairly explicit detail why this supposed god is the heighth of IMMORALITY and rational readers can hold their heads high; that by NOT doing what this evil creating narcissistic bastard of a god has done and still does apparently (say its supposed believers) we non-believers truly have a vastly superior state of morality that this e.g. biblical god & its dupes could even hope to attain!

Col. 1:16 confirms this for us rational folk!

MCB the PIG -MAN is just one example here of a failed con artist that abuses religion to attempt to bolster his cowardice, depravity & ideological ineptitude!
Thanksfornotraping
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10/22/2014 6:04:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Religion corrupts people, if anything. We non-religious people are very "moral" while the religious people such as Westboro Baptist Church and the like are complete a-holes...
Adam_Godzilla
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10/22/2014 6:35:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.

I think it can. I believe civilisation and society can develop without religion. And I believe a civilisation can ony be created with the help of morality (right actions and wrong actions)
New episode of OUTSIDERS: http://www.debate.org...
Episode 4 - They walk among us
SNP1
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10/22/2014 10:07:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 12:14:49 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I was discussing this with Tweka in his thread [http://www.debate.org...] and thought I'd give it a thread of its own.

Is religion a necessary prerequisite to morality? Can morality exists outside of, without, separate from, or prior to religion? Thoughts or comments? Please be civil and decorous in your responses.

In my view, morality comes from biological, sociological, and psychological factors.

For now, let's ignore most of the psychological factors, as those can make outliers.

Biologically, we all have some want of survival of the species. When something seems beneficial, it is good. When something seems harmful, it is bad.

We each see the effects in the way of societies. People that live in small towns, in the country, have, on average, different views of morality than those that live in large cities.

Every single life, every person plays a huge role in a small town. Abortion is killing a potential person, and thus we would expect people who lived in small towns for most of their lives to find abortion to be immoral.

While life is still important in a large city, the loss of a potential person does not have as much impact to the society. We would therefore expect more people who have lived in large cities to be more pro-choice.

When we throw in different psychological impacting things, like religion, you can get more outliers to this.

Another thing that can be looked at for this is empathy, which allows you to imagine what others are going throw. This can also help establish a moral code.

The above is where I think that morality comes from.
Below is from Christopher Hitchens.

Can you find one moral thing a theist can do that an atheist cannot?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
bulproof
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10/22/2014 10:12:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Is Religion Necessary for Morality

It would seem to be for many theists, christians in particular.
Or perhaps it's just the fear of hell that gives them camouflage of morality.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin