Every sane person on the planet knows right from wrong without needing a religion to tell them. It's a natural instinct of all animals and probably the only remaining animal instinct in humans that is beneficial. In many cases religion only alters and blurs what is right and wrong. Killing is wrong, but killing in the name of god seems to be okay. History and present day prove that to be true. Many religions enforce these altered ideas of right and wrong with blind faith and self-righteous attitudes, which in turn, creates more problems pertaining to ethics and morals. I firmly believe the most ethical and moral human beings are the ones who know right from wrong and also have no affiliation to any religion.
The whole idea of a bewhiskered old patriarch "somewhere overhead" creating the earth, etc etc., is so completely illogical that THINKING must be suppressed in order to believe such nonsense. Its mostly a habit, and most pious people haven't even read the bible.
I think it was Mark Twain who said, "A cure for religion is to read the bible." Especially that verbal tedious torture called THE BOOK OF JOB.
Take a poll of criminals in prison and you'll find that most of them believe in God. Belief in God or belonging to an organized religion is not necessary for knowing right from wrong, or for being a good person. Normal people have a conscience, whether they are religious or not. If religion was the basis of morals, then atheists would be criminals, which isn't true.
Thousands of people everyday live morally and ethically in the world and are not practicing or a part of any religion. Just think of all the injustice being done by priests of peoples religions. 90% of the crime in the world is committed by people who are part of a religion.
Not everyone needs religion to do good for their fellow man. With the decline of church worship, past generations have been bought up with a value system of doing right by their fellow man by example. Going to church does not mean that a person will live ethically or morally.
When God created the universe, he gave man guidelines, which are the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17). The first four relate to our relationship with God, and the rest our relationships with each other. In these, are the moral laws: thou shalt not steal, commit adultery, bear false witness, or covet thy neighbor's wife. Men have been keeping most of these laws, whether intentionally or habitually, throughout the ages, and our civil laws are based on these moral laws. Therefore, it is impossible for man to live morally or ethically without the guidance of religion.
Religions of all types set forth standards by which men should live their lives. Despite these ethical and moral outlines, history does not lack men who head Churches and Temples and act in outright immoral and unethical ways.
Rather than religion, it is the individual's personality and upbringing which will lead a man to live an ethically and morally "correct" life, and not religion. If a person grows up with a basic understanding of what is "good" and what is "bad," the threat of damnation or the carrot of eternal life or reincarnation will not matter to such an extent.
Religion works well for giving some strength in difficult times, and provides moral guidance for some, who may otherwise feel lost as to how one should act, but it is not a prerequisite for leading an ethical and moral life.
This is obvious and reflected in statistical trends for highly religious vs. nonreligious areas of the world. It could even be argued that nonreligious people have a stronger tendency toward moral behavior than religious people do, because for the nonreligious it is rooted in acceptance of responsibility, high conscience, humanism, and an overarching desire for societal health. For the religious, it is commonly rooted in nothing but fear and ignorance associated with an all-powerful all-judging authoritative figure.
Knowing right from wrong or good from bad isn't something that is only learned through religion. In fact, some religious beliefs about right and wrong have lead to violence, as with "pro-life" advocates. A person should know, (and if they don't know, they should be taught) what is right by parents, teachers and society as a whole. The average person knows that it is wrong to (for example) stab someone who is walking down the street. You don't need religion to teach you that. It is common sense.
Goodness and justice can be discerned and practiced without the guidance of religion -- the old children's Christmas song is correct, "Be good -- for goodness sake." While the same song posits desire for Santa's gifts and rewards) as motivation for being good, the rewards are in a good and just -- and safe -- society. It is not necessary to have a cosmic level of reward or punishment meted out by "God" or "Santa." At the same time, religion is necessary if it represents the truth about the world, its creation and its meaning -- and on this basis its moral guidance is invaluable.
In the bible, it says "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"
Gandhi, a non-spiritual leader later on said "an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind," meaning revenge solves nothing and creates more problems.
I believe that there are some people who may have some goodness to them, they have a certain code of morals and values that they live by, and this keeps them "grounded". But are those people living a life that is pleasing to God? Those people live solely off what they deem to be right or wrong. Just as those who believe its Ok to kill group of innocent bystanders, or kill a bunch of children in the name of religion. Religion is not the problem, the people who misinterpret religion is the problem. To be completely morally correct one must follow the laws of God. He has commanded us a way of living that we cannot bypass. One can live a moral life to the best of their abilities, but without giving God his due rights and living in the way that HE has prescribed, one has not lived in the way he was created to. What is morally correct to one may not be morally correct to another. We live in a time where everything is permissible. Most do not live by Gods laws, many live by their own laws! You have some people who deny the existence of God altogether but they would consider themselves good, upright, and moral people. Why? Because they give to the poor, do not drink except "socially" and they feed the animals? You have Christians who do not follow the laws that Jesus(peace be upon him)himself came with. Just as you have Muslims and Jews who do the opposite of what was commanded. God/Allah did not create us to dwell on this earth without giving us exact instructions on how to live on earth. Throughout time God has told Man again and again worship me alone, and do not set up partners with me. One may not believe this to be the truth and go on to be the best person that they are able to be on this earth, but that does not negate any of what God has commanded us to do or to stay away from. Nor does it mean that we can worship whoever and how we please. There is no real moral life without proper knowledge of the creator and following his commandments.
Without religion no one would know what right or wrong was. Without religion to tell us right from wrong anyone with power (money?), could easy say that having sex with little children is "Right". They could easy say that its "ok" to marry animals.
People who say that they are atheist AND can have morals, are not really atheist, they are just children in big bodies. Remember in order to learn the knowledge of something it has to be TAUGHT. God is the only one who has this Knowledge, and he passed it on to us through the Commandments and scriptures.
People (atheists?) simply choose to follow SOME commandments but not ALL, even I do this (I am Christian). But the difference between a Christian and an atheist doing this same thing is that a Christian will pray, ask for forgiveness, and repent, while an atheist will give the child like answer of 'there is no God, so I wont be punished.'
I cant slap a lion on the nose, then close my eyes and say 'since I don't "see" the lion, he will not attack me'. I will be attacked regardless if my eyes are open or closed.
We live in a society where our common values have been handed down to us from generations who considered religion to be the driving force to social change. We have freedoms today because of the guidance/ influence of religion on past human thinking. It is impossible to live today without the influence ( no matter how small) of religion on our moral and ethical choices.
RELIGION IN ANY FORM = BELIEF derived from "LAWS OF ALMIGHTY GOD".
To those who says "YES" its your belief...But remind you people we "DO NOT" know nothing inside the womb or after we are born...
Where you born instant that knows Ethics and Morals ? And how it supposed to be feels inside our heart??? "YES" a man can live w/o religion but what extent do this human will do to others if he/she do not have beliefs??? I am so" AFRAID " what humanity will be?????? =(
Did you already cloned human? And knows what exactly will it behave??? I do not know what to think of you people who says "YES" but I/WE "RESPECT you"...
I am human...I remember my mind opened when I was 3 years old, little by little what is right and wrong my parents taught me, and then as I grew the society in general taught me things how to react to others.... I am not HOLY or SAINT.....
But for me RELIGION is the boundary that separates HUMANS from ANIMALS from their wildest or should I say Worst side....May "GOD" the divine and almighty have mercy on us...
The True religion provides humanity with laws that will lead them to the correct path. It pros them with the do's and don'ts of life, and it preaches mankind how to live a life filled with modesty. The True religion gives women their rights, treats the poor and the rich equally and takes it' followers to the right path. The True religion provides a man with his/her true identity and provides them with the reason why they are living in this world. Finally, when one follows the True religion and it's laws, they will have peace in their hearts. For all those who question this, and like to preach atheism, I would like to ask them what they think the purpose of life is and why they think that they are living in this world. I would like them to watch the birds chirping in the trees, the tall mountains in the Himalaya's and the clouds in the sky and ponder Who had made them. Unfortunately, those preaching atheism will not be able to answer such questions without the help of religion. Thus, a man can live without religion, but (s)he will not be able to understand the purpose of life, and how to live life.
God has been pushed out of schools as well as other public establishments as of the 1960's. Within the last Decade Atheists and Liberals have been making a stronger push for more acceptance of people & freedoms of expression, but less acceptance of Religion, which in itself is an oxymoron. Present statistics, prove that divorce rate has sky rocketed, boost in acts of internal terrorism, the acceptance of Abortions, legalization of drugs, Declining school academic performance, and individualism. Yes, we are seeing great results with no god. Take a look around the next time you're in a public setting and see how many people around you are on their cell phones vs. Conversing with one another. Yes we can survive without religion, but I believe as we evolve over time we will become more and more accepting of evils, immorality and lack of accountability for your actions. God did indeed create this green earth & the air we breathe, not the government. Government does not determine right and wrong. Lack of god happens over time, and the repercussions will slowly follow. You may not have your statistics yet, but you will in the future. I'll praise my god, even if your new "accepting society" doesn't accept that. And I will do it freely & publicly for as long as possible. Jesus is our saviour, our path to salvation & ever lasting life. Not your local law makers.
Can a individual live ethically and morally without the guidance of religion? Yes. Man as a whole? No. Why? Because even though an individual does not adhere to a particular religion, they adhere to the moral and ethical standards of the society in which they live, and whether they wish to believe so or not, that society is influenced by it's religious foundations, and that influences the laws and rules of that society. If we had no guidance of religion, we would have no standard moral compass, and then we would be in the situation of, who are we to tell a person with no conscience or sense of remorse that they're idea of morality and ethics is inferior to our own?
For those of you who support the statement that God does not exist because He does not involve Himself in any aspect of history and that those of us who support the fact that He does indeed exist, this clearly cannot be SIMPLY BECAUSE God Himself gave each individual something called FREEDOM OF CHOICE/ FREEDOM TO CHOOSE. Therefore, for you to conclude, from a somewhat atheist/secular standpoint, that He doesn't exist simply proves your ignorance to that fact. This is why Judgement Day exists and right now, at this very moment, whether we like it or not, we are ALL on trial facing the GREATEST test of our lives. So it's ultimately important for each person to consider the fact that while we still have a conscience, we have the innate and natural ability to know right from wrong - something that could only exist because God does indeed exist.
The main reason behind the scientific development lies on the question "why?" despite the fact that the same question is not the issue for a scientist. However metaphysics or the philosophers pushed scientist to research and develop ideas during the history. Ignoring the bad side of religion (it can be easily manipulated and used for badness), the main idea behind it is the main question "why and what is the reason".. Humanity and civilization depend on this pure question. Therefore, people will need religion also in the future because we still don't know everything. There will be always a "why" question, like the ethics asking the same question to create moral laws. Moral laws could be falsified but the background, ethics is stable. Religions gave moral laws to particular societies in history and such moral laws can be modified with the guidance of ethics, which is the essence of religions.