Morals can exist without having to be Christian or Jewish. I don't believe in God but I have my morals. Things like "Don't kill unless I absolutely have to" and " Never give up on life" ( not sure if that's a moral value). I don't need the Bible to keep me on the right track.
How is it that a man on the opposite side of the world, a man 200 years ago, and myself can all share the same innate understanding that certain actions are simply wrong?
The short answer, (and undoubtedly irritating to some) is that we don't.
We DON'T share the same morality.
The man on the other side of the world may well consider women second class citizens at best, property at worst.
And the man 200 years ago would consider the same, with minorities to boot.
I may consider homosexuality completely fine, or support something that you, someone probably from the same time period, country, and culture could completely disagree with.
Slavery, rape, gender and racial equality, abortion, homosexuality, torture, the death penalty, child abuse, war...
These are things that over the course of time have drastically changed in how "wrong" we consider them, and have made painful, bloody strides to try and correct.
Morality is subjective, things that were okay 500 years ago aren't okay now. And things that are being argued about now will be different 500 years from now, and our current moral compass will seem savage and immature.
Morality isn't just for humans, we've put monkeys in cages, and only provided them food when they'd press a button that shocked the monkey next to them. These monkeys would starve themselves to the point of unconsciousness to avoid causing direct harm to another. Not their family mind you, just another.
We've discovered similar patterns in chimps and their concept of "fairness".
In the end, there's no reason to think that morality couldn't exist outside of a god, and therefor religion.
Many people think that because morals are in line with religious beliefs, that they must have originated from religion, but have you considered the other way around?
If the moral rules in religion originated from human ideals, then that would mean the morals were put into religion to align better with what people felt.
So, I'm suggesting that morals originated from humans, not their idea, but instinctually. By means of evolution. It makes sense.
Killing people harms the species, bad for the species.
Stealing from people harms the species, bad for the species.
Toture is harming people, bad for the species.
Being generous is good for the people around you, good for the species.
It's quite sensible to think that humans devloped these trait through natural selection, then decided to include them into religion. Therefore, without religion, the morals would still be instinctive.
A quick google search of the word, "morals" reveals two separate definitions. The first definition states that morals are derived from a story, piece of information, or experience. This definition could very easily be tied to a religion. The second definition states that morals are a person's standards of behavior or beliefs. This could very easily be used to state, "since morals are a dependent on the person, they are independent of religion." We would then have to look at the definition of religion before we could make an accurate judgement (and that is just so much typing). So, I choose yes not because of what I just stated, but because I am still waiting for an acceptable answer to this question: If morals are dependent upon a religion, what are they? Any statement leaves the person to derive the morals from themselves (i.E. "I just know" or "God reveals them to me") is in essence proving that morals can exist without religion (due to the definition of "religion" I am forced to interject here - proving that morals can exist without a religion accepted by less than two people) as you yourself created them. If you proceed to to list out all of the morally right and wrong things to do according to your religion, I would have to ask how you know that your morals are better than someone else's that practices a different religion. Sadly, despite the "evidence" that you may provide, it will ultimately come down to a matter of faith which, unfortunately, is subjective. So, to cut my ramble short: If God exists (a god) then morals could possibly only be gained through religion, if not, then humans are really just deriving their morals from their personal preferences.
Morality as we know it is defined by the teachings of Jesus Christ. However, in other times and places it was different. Molech was a god who was sacrificed to with children, in Rome the Fire Department would let your house burn down if you didn't give them the rights to it.
The big problem with religion through moral is that it can easily be reduced to reward based actions rather than moral behavior on its own accord. Moral for me is the way you act and think. It's the willingness to accept a burden on behalf of someone else, it's to listen more than preach. Moral is what you do, not the way you limit other people actions. When I look around me on the actions of people I see more immoral actions made in the name of religion than I see in actions done without religion, but in the end I think we can agree on ethics and let everyone implement the laws of ethics in our own behaviour
It is a common myth that our morality comes from judeo Christian teachings. Ancient Greece predates Judaism, and the teachings of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and others align fairly closely with the moral beliefs that many people hold today.
Evolution is the root cause of morality.
Morality is simply a term for the logic and instinctual feelings that we have for how one ought to behave in an interpersonal relationship. The reason we have these feelings and this logic for right and wrong ultimately is due to the necessity to get along with others. Our species has had to work and live together to overcome the challenges posed by the environment, other predators, diseases, etc and those who did not have any sense of morality, be it instinctual or logical, were culled from the herd.
If we lived in a primal civilization, our minds will quickly recognize the negative effects one would make if not contributing to the civilization. With/or without a god, the standard of living is to live and survive. Without a god it is even more pushed that the living being only has this life to contribute into the lives that must live afterwards for the survival of species and development of civilization. We quickly realize that which contributes to the well being of oneself and to the Civilization that an individual is resident of. Can morals be defeated when religion is shaken with deference, defiance, or Death?
We learn by example. As children we are taught the difference between right and wrong. As we age we see these things in play. Our actions have consequences. We know if we kill someone that wrong. If we steal from someone it's wrong. If we cause harm in anyway, it can cause harm. Morals are developed out of nessesatity in order to survive an otherwise hopeless situations. Religtards think they can do harm, yet ask for forgiveness and they are saved. It's immoral to think that way. No amount of God can undo what you have done. Judgement is not saved for God, you need to make the best of what life as given you now!!
I trust the morality and goodness of an atheist more than I do that of a self-professed Christian because the atheist chooses to be "good" actively while the Christian does so from fear of repercussion from supernatural father figure in life or death (i.E., hell). This does not mean that Christians cannot choose to be moral, merely that their motivation for goodness is suspect (perhaps even to themselves).
There is no rational basis for morality outside of religion. I'm not saying that religion invented morality. My point is that morality is best understood in the context of religion. Outside the context of religion, there is no need for moral accountability. I don't see any grounding reason for people to be objectively moral.
It is not that one cannot be moral, or live a moral life without religion. It is that without God, morals would not exist. Even Atheists argue that objective morals do not exist.
In that Atheistic line, "good and evil do not exist, there are only things that I will and will not permit."
So, can morals exist without religion? Well, to believe in morals at all makes you religious, and so the answer for any religious member is "No"
August Rasa, a 4:53 mind
Without a God, all that is left is moral relativism. Moral relativism is always changing, so there's no way to know for sure what the right thing to do is or whether or not what you did is the right thing. With an ultimate moral standard, we know what's right.
The teachings of human nature, life and morality all came from the teachings of religion. For instance, in Catholicism, they teach you how to distinguish the 7 deadly sins and the 7 virtues. They are morality. These teachings of religion were later used for our research on the science of morality where our knowledge of morality becomes fully modernized.
One of the main points of atheism is survival of the fittest. So, according to that point, shootings, wars, and other tragedies are not tragedies at all, just the universe weeding out bad genes in the gene pool. Survival of the fittest, and evolution itself is the antithesis of morality. With no standard to go by, there is no morality, because you have no basis upon which to set your morals. So without religion, there can be no morality.
As such, you cannot have morals without religion because morals hinge on a belief structure. At the core even if you can have morals with Atheism it will be religious atheism.
Religion - an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Moral - a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
Defining one will define the other so each is interdependent.
A better question might be can you have Morals without God.
Morals can exist without religion, but then the entire moral structure of society is left to societal consequences. If people don't have some type of reason to uphold their moral fibre, such as an afterlife to work toward, then a large portion of these people will arguably choose to disregard morals. Of course there are people who will continue to be morally good, simply for the sake of being good, but I think that people underestimate the effects of a supposed afterlife. Specifically, I think that so much of the good will in the world is a direct result of spiritual beliefs.
Who are we to say steeling is bad. Isn't it just a means to survive. Like evolution is just saying we are here to survive. Morals have to come from a greater power who understands everything and sees everything to make a fair statement steeling is wrong. Not just wrong it is a sin. Without religion there is nothing to back us up. When a child ask why cant i steel. You cant just say because i said so. The Child needs to see why you said so.
I am prolonging the survival of my specie. Also, I'd view stealing as a profession for I am taking what they are not protecting and I am doing everything I can for the survival of my family. Rape would be good because instinct tells us that we are sexual beings.
Good and bad are value judgments. Without an objective source, good and bad are meaningless. For an atheist to say they "can live a moral life" they really mean they can live a "good life." But they ignore the fact that they haven't defined "good." Religious already have a definition of good and bad that comes from God, but atheists don't have this, so they must define good and bad themselves. This ultimately means good and bad are individual or "relative" as many here have explained. Relative morality is irrational. Jon walks down the street and stabs a homeless guy. Good, bad, or neither? Atheists will say it is "bad" but Jon can always argue that it isn't bad to him. Furthermore, if nobody knows he did that, he wouldn't be punished for breaking any law and could even argue that he was aiding natural selection. There is no reason*(emphasis added) Jon was "wrong" because who makes right and wrong? You? Me? What makes us right? Clearly relative morality is bogus. With that in mind, atheists will deflect the issue and say "I don't need religion to care about others...Not to kill them...To live a 'good' life." Unfortunately, they fail to see that there is no reason for them to do so, or even to think that their "good" life is any better or worse than jon's. This ignorance is willful and generally unchangeable....A sad attempt to rid themselves of the rules of religion. Relative morality let's people do whatever they want while they justify it as good, with no authority power to check their judgment. Sad, really.