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  • Yes they can.

    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.

  • To expound on the concept.

    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.

  • Morals come from Evolution.

    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.

  • Depending on your definition...

    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.

  • They aren't very good ones though...

    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.

  • Right and wrong come to us naturally.

    I'm an atheist. I don't kill because it isn't right. I'm not scared of descending to hell and disappearing from existence. I'm a nice person, simply because it is the right thing to do. I don't need a deity luring me into doing all the right things so I go to some magical place after I die. Besides, without morals, how would we establish religion? Morals are arbitrary measurements of right and wrong, which we follow because we want to do right. If you're religious, that's great. You're pushing yourselves to follow morals. But we're also naturally pushed to the same goal.

  • Atheists exist too???

    People who don't have a religion that they follow aren't always bad people. Athiests, like people who do follow a religion, have performed many acts of compassion. Sure they have, like people who follow a religion, committed acts that are not as favourable - but atheists have had and will continue to know what is right and wrong without a god and without a religion. I do not believe in god, yet i know through laws and societal values that i cannot commit murder for it is a moral wrong.

  • Atheists exist too???

    People who don't have a religion that they follow aren't always bad people. Athiests, like people who do follow a religion, have performed many acts of compassion. Sure they have, like people who follow a religion, committed acts that are not as favourable - but atheists have had and will continue to know what is right and wrong without a god and without a religion. I do not believe in god, yet i know through laws and societal values that i cannot commit murder for it is a moral wrong.

  • Morals exist regardless of religion.

    You learn right from wrong by your up-bringing and personal experience. Morals evolve from this whether you go to church or not. Whether you learn about God or not. Compassion and self responsibility are a part of our conscience and that feeling of wanting to do good stems from within. You make mistakes regardless of knowing the Bible or not as well. There are plenty of other books that teach similar things as well. Children's stories I grew up reading had life lessons as well. Morality is taught everywhere throughout life. It doesn't rely on God alone and can be learned regardless.

  • Moral can exist without religion, but religion cannot exist without moral

    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

  • Cannot be defined without religion

    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.

  • A badly worded question...

    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

  • Moral Relativism Isn't Morality

    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.

  • Morals cannot exist without religion

    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.

  • Survival of the fittest

    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.

  • Religion is a belief structure at its core.

    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 are based off something

    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.

  • Without religion, anyone can do whatever he wants without restriction and consider it to be moral.

    I imagine an atheist of the 21st, if he was born in prehistoric era, how would he know the moral code, that humanity agrees on? It is because he was born inside a community which has already defined certain laws, agreed that certain acts are moral, interacted with each based on that moral code, that he is able to absorb that from them.

    Otherwise We can see from history for example the Arabs BEFORE ISLAM, they had killing of newborns (if it is a female), and they considered that normal, THAT WAS AGREED UPON IN THE COMMUNITY, so if that atheist was born then he would also consider that normal , a necessity for wellbeing.
    Now without religion, how can you prove that slavery is bad (to the master of that slave who enjoys his services) ? How can you prove a crime is bad? Robbery? Colonialism? Remember the persons commiting these crimes, is it good for their personal wellbeing, they get richer , they do not care about the people they acted upon, for them it is perfectly RIGHT, for the victims of their crimes it is definetly WRONG. There is no way of proving to the robber that robbery is just WRONG, because from every angle is it VERY BENEFICIAL for him.
    This is where religion takes place, it shows each and every individual what is wrong and what is bad and it guides the wild human nature to ensures peace and wellbeing.

  • Let's say religion is based in evolution... What makes you smarter than natural selection?

    I'm fine with the concept that religion is based out of evolution, I still make the claim if you abandon it, you do so at your peril.

    So let's assume that religion is from evolution. What makes you think you can rebuild our societal structure that has been evolving for literally billions of years? Are you really that smart?

    Well, it's instinctual... Wonderful! Great! Clearly it is... There are also some some terrible instinctual inclinations as well. You don't think religion, through it's evolution, weeded a lot of those bad modes of being out?

    And please explain why the two ideological movements of the 20th century that were so confident they were bringing about the perfect world, and were very certain religion was useless in the modern era, Fascism and Communism, brought about a living hell on earth?

    ...Maybe that's what the bible actually meant when it said if you turn away from the holy spirit, YOU WILL GO TO HELL. As far as I can see, hell is very real, humans have an uncanny ability for creating it.

    Are you that much more confident that you can create a moral structure that adequately takes the place of religion?

    Really? You'll do better than Lennon, Stallin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot?

    Or maybe you just want that power so you can be the tyrant responsible for the deaths of tens of millions while you try to bring your version of heaven about. ...Oh wait, I mean utopia.

    Either way, it's hubris or meglomania... I don't want any part of it.

    Why do you think Nietzsche was lamenting when he declared the death of God? ..And he was an aethiest.

    I'm paraphrasing, but it was roughly: God is dead, we've killed him, and we'll never find enough water to wash away the river of blood."

    He predicted the genocide of the Soviets in the 1800s because he saw them moving away from the orthodox church.

    So in conclusion: I believe that we need to at least act as if God exists, for our value structure/moral code to remain intact. And if we move away, we do so at out PERIL. Hell is real, it is very real, and we can bring it into existance.

    Thank you for reading through:)

  • Let's say it is based in evolution, and not divinely handed down by God, what makes you think your smarter than natural selection?

    I'm fine with the concept that religion is based out of evolution, I still make the claim if you abandon it, you do so at your peril.

    So let's assume that religion is from evolution. What makes you think you can rebuild our societal structure that has been evolving for literally billions of years? Are you really that smart?

    Well, it's instinctual... Wonderful! Great! Clearly it is... There are also some some terrible instinctual inclinations as well. You don't think religion, through it's evolution, weeded a lot of those bad modes of being out?

    And please explain why the two ideological movements of the 20th century that were so confident they were bringing about the perfect world, and were very certain religion was useless in the modern era, Fascism and Communism, brought about a living hell on earth?

    ...Maybe that's what the bible actually meant when it said if you turn away from the holy spirit, YOU WILL GO TO HELL. As far as I can see, hell is very real, humans have an uncanny ability for creating it.

    Are you that much more confident that you can create a moral structure that adequately takes the place of religion?

    Really? You'll do better than Lennon, Stallin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot?

    Or maybe you just want that power so you can be the tyrant responsible for the deaths of tens of millions while you try to bring your version of heaven about. ...Oh wait, I mean utopia.

    Either way, it's hubris or meglomania... I don't want any part of it.

    Why do you think Nietzsche was lamenting when he declared the death of God? ..And he was an aethiest.

    I'm paraphrasing, but it was roughly: God is dead, we've killed him, and we'll never find enough water to wash away the river of blood."

    He predicted the genocide of the Soviets in the 1800s because he saw them moving away from the orthodox church.

    So in conclusion: I believe that we need to at least act as if God exists, for our value structure/moral code to remain intact. And if we move away, we do so at out PERIL. Hell is real, it is very real, and we can bring it into existance.

    Thank you for reading through:)


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