Religious people have a firm foundation under their feet. They have a standard of what is right and what is wrong. For example, agnostics don't have a foundation because they don't believe. It is only their instincts. What if they will have a completely different feeling tomorrow? Then their life is a trigonometric function.
Yes in stories from the scripture of any religion there is violence. Such was the time back then, and it fit with what rights a person has over certain things. If you wrote another bible today I'm sure the message would be different. But you can't say "Do not murder" is a terrible law concocted by an evil witch sorcerer that sacrificed babies to the sun. Somethings just don't change, and having it written down somewhere in a book only solidifies the message. Some terrible things have been done in the name of god, but I have seen religion turn lives around and that is something that cannot be denied by those without faith in god. It comes down to a matter of perception, Religion always has morals in one way or another, its our responsibility to interpret it correctly from those who originally wrote it.
From the perspective of Religion A, additional adherents to said religion would increase moral actions, because presumably the adherents would follow Religion A's moral teachings. Therefore, from Religion A's perspective, it is increasing moral actions. Apply that to all religions, and you can see a definite increase in moral actions.
Without it I would be more tempted to transgress the law. I would be tempted to download illegally just to start, to lie to benefit myself.
In the news, in the past 20 to 30 years there have an increase of all sort of crimes. Many who committed these crimes have no beliefs in G-d.
The Pagans for goodness sake in Roman times were leaving their unwanted babies to die outside their homes. It is the Christians who were collecting these babies to give them a home and feed them who were showing mercy, not the Romans Pagans of these times.
Also, the bloody games of the Coliseum in Roman times only stopped after a Christian, Telemachus, asked to stop this cruelty.
Also many Pagans, were practising human sacrifices and even children sacrifices. The Aztecs, the Druids, the followers of Moloch.
And generalizing radical Muslims to all believers is unfair. Not every believer fly a plane in the twin towers!
God and religion play a major part in our moral actions. Without God, or some sort of religion, morals would not be part of society. Believing in something gives people incentive to make moral decisions and live within the moral values of their society and religion. God and religion increase those moral values.
People who believe in God and religion often go by the golden rule. They seem to think more about what is right in all they do, because they believe someone is watching over them. If you offer peace and happiness for morality, most people will take that offer. Thus, they believe to live with morality in their actions, so they may have the reward of peace and happiness after death.
Persons that have knowledge of God or religion of any kind generally have morals. These people are more likely to have a better understanding of others and empathy and compassion for others. This leads to doing the right thing and having higher morals. Whereas people with no knowledge of God or religion usually only worry about themselves because they know no other way.
I believe that people who believe in God and religion are honest and trustworthy. I also believe that these people have increased moral actions, as they believe every good turn deserves another. A non-believer might not have increased moral actions, as he or she may believe that they do not have to face a higher power at the end of their lives.
The belief in God and a religious background does cause people to make more moral decisions. Often, people make public moral decisions to make themselves appear to be moral in the eyes of others. However, people are often challenged to make private decisions. In these cases, their inner moral compass, which is often formed around religious beliefs, causes them to make moral decisions.
When there is fear to the Almighty and there are teachings of what is right and wrong, people or humanity is guided because they know the consequence of their actions. Because religion guides people especially with the belief of life after death (in general) then there is a tendency to do the right to get a better life after death. Else, without fear and understanding of right and wrong, there is more possibility of a disorderly and chaotic world!
If you read studies of morality observed and committed by people of different religious and political backgrounds researchers found very little difference between the religious and nonreligious. You cannot discount the acts of other believers by claiming they are not true believers because the practice a different faith or do actions you do not approve of.
Our morals are based on instincts and basic subconscious processes and emotions.
On that foundation Mankind's first were developed (like don't kill/ hurt other members (at least not without a good reason). An important part here play empathy, the ability to feel what others feel.
If you see a homeless person you give them some money because you feel with them (literally).
That is also the reason why people bring injured animals home or cry when they see a advertisement about poor children in Africa. Then there is the simple principle "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" which is based not on Religion but on common sense. And on that principle Every society is based. It is when people start to believe in "greater" things (e.G. Religion, God, superiority of Race, Ideology, etc.) that they start to act against these simple Rules and thus become immoral. To sum it up, Religions have caused many bad and immoral things and still do and thus decrease moral actions. And the morals teachings (the ones that actually are moral) have been around much longer and are things every sane and non-religious person already knows.
Are you talking about Islam? Christianity? Buddhism? There are different moral codes propagated it in each and every doctrine. For Islam, all you have to do is study the Prophet Mohammed's military career and his reasons for raids, captivities, wars and know that studying Islam in a whole is rather dangerous. Christianity? It propagates slavery, deaths of millions because they disobeyed. And you can very clearly see how that reflects on the morality of the fundamentals who wish to take the scriptures as they are "supposed to be taken". While on the subject of interpretations, all of religious believers by "coincidence" their moral values match what they want to take from the scriptures and what they want to leave it out. How amazing is that.
The belief of god or religion does not make a person more or less moral than others who do not. While god and religion are often associated with morality, I believe they are separate entities. While some people's morality may be driven by their religious beliefs, others may have other motivations.
People often practice hypocrisy, when they practice their religion. If everyone followed the basic principles, we'd be fine. Yet, people don't. Not everyone, yet there are so many blatant and obvious examples of so-called pious people acting the fool, I don't even need to waste your time in giving examples.
God and religion only serve as a tool for people to become better people, if they wish it to be. However, a lot of people will also exploit God and religion to do terrible things, such as murder people or exploit people's resources. This has existed ever since organized religion existed.
There are many atheists and non-religious people who nevertheless lead good, moral lives, and do many good things, without needing to believe in God or follow any religious path. There are also many religious people who, despite believing in God, still do bad things. There doesn't seem to be any real strong connection between being religious and being good.
God and religion do not increase moral actions. Moral people increase moral actions, without regard to religion or belief in a deity. A pagan who feeds a hungry child is moral. A radical Muslim who flies a plane into a building to kill people is immoral.
I based my answer on the fact that radical Muslims are religious, but their belief is that it is somehow honorable to kill in the name of their "God". While religion does have its place, it can become a source of evil if used to injure or kill others who do not believe as they do.