Does a religious line of reasoning have a place in a debate about morality?

Asked by: maryamara
  • It is the foundation of morality

    It blows my mind when I talk to an atheist about morality. Atheist tend to feel that under their belief system that morality would exist and its absolutely false. All the "great" atheist philosophers understood this point. Dostoyevsky put it "If there is no god and immortality then all things are permitted" . You can only have a rational moral argument if there is there is a God or Gods.

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  • Yup it sure does!

    Does it have a place in EVERY moral debate? Maybe not, but a good chunk of people derive their morals from religion, and some religions may have even been spawned as a result of their respective culture's present or past morals (i.E.-the KKK). So it's all about context. This question is like asking "does diesel fuel have any place in a truck?" Yes... In a diesel truck.

  • Religions are Philosophical Theories

    A religious line of reasoning can be allowed the same criticism and audience as a line of reasoning based other philosophical theories. For example, when we allow a utilitarian line of reasoning, we validate or at least humor the theory that morality is tied to the good/bad outcomes resulting from the action. How would this way of analyzing the morality of factory farming chickens hold up to the religious theories of Jainism?
    Jain theory provides that all animals have equal value, and are entitled to compassion and welfare just as humans are. "In the United States, approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for their flesh each year, and 305 million hens are used for their eggs" (http://www.Peta.Org/) The 2014 U.S Census reported only 318.9 million people in the country. A utilitarian line of reasoning might produce a valid argument for the morality of factory farming chickens in the United States. This might hold because of the premise that a chicken's life and livelihood has less value than a human being's. However, a Jain line of reasoning could provide an equally valid argument against the morality of factory farming chickens in the United States based on the premise that a chicken's life is is considered of equal value to a human being's.

  • Does a religious line of reasoning have a place in a debate about morality? Yes it has.

    Morality should be objective so that it can be applied uniformly across all the people of all the ages. And this objective morality is possible if the source is objective. God is the only absolute in this world and hence the religious line of reasoning does have a very important place in any debate about morality.

  • People have different sources from which their morality derives

    If you derive you're morality from a religious background then that is how you view the suspect. An atheist does not derive morality from religion and that does not discredit them because they derive it from somewhere else. So either side can debate what is moral and not but cannot discredit the other side's opinion just because they don't derive from the same source.

  • How can something that dictates the lives of billions be irrelevant?

    One of the earliest documentations of law is the ten commandments, which every one of those commandments is considered morally correct, except you shall not have any other gods before me, you shall not take the lords name in vain, and remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Then you have the commandment to love your neighbor, the twelve fruits of the spirit, etc. One would bring up Aristotle treatises in a debate, so why not bring up Jesus, a man who, in my opinion, is much wiser than Aristotle, or Paul, or Peter, or Noah, or Moses, or Abraham, people who have given great instruction on living and morals. In my opinion, the ideal christian lifestyle is the greatest lifestyle.

  • It MUST have a place in ANY debate about morality.

    All morality is based on religion. Your lack of religion determines your morality in the same way my religion determines mine. Religion is a standard of morality. We all live by differing standards, but how can we debate morality without using those standards! Not can it be used, it must.

    Posted by: BenD
  • Not every moral debate needs religion, and atheists aren't bad people, but...

    When we talk about morals, we talk about how any individual acts and why they act that way in terms of what is right and wrong and what they consider right and wrong; however, with no official standards, "right" and "wrong" are just words to express opinions on these matters. And religion can very well have a large impact on the people's moral standpoints. It causes a bias, yes, but without bias we would downright have no opinion on any matter ever. In debates between two people of the same religion, they should be more than welcome to bring in the will of a higher power. Should religion be the only driving factor in morality? No! Of course not. But that's not what this topic is asking, it's asking if people can bring religion into moral debates. Religion and morality already overlap, even if only in ways we cannot see.

  • This is a subjective thing

    Morals are founded in a number of places, they don't follow one line of universal morality. Even complete equity doesn't necessarily follow the morals of certain groups, of most groups in-fact due to the inherent bias of humans. However the reasoning of morals from a religious point will fail if that belief leads to things which are not popular on a societal level. This usually occurs in the context of human rights, it is difficult to argue and take away the rights of your fellow human as this is seen as an attack on human rights at a societal level. You can force your morals on a small number of people with ease, however convincing society as a whole that your morality is superior may prove more difficult. I conclude that a religious line of reasoning has a place in a debate about morality, because all lines of reasoning have a place in debate. If you diversify a debate to multiple opinions you gain a better overview of morality on a societal level, and can comprehend what society is actually ready for and heading towards.

  • Religion Offers an Alternate Epistemology

    While I agree with you in saying that a religious line of reasoning does unequivocally have a place in a debate about morality, I unfortunately disagree with the initial two tenets of your argument. Could you elaborate on why it is you believe morality cannot exist outside of one's own mind and why it necessarily relies on intention? Rather than go into depth on this when I'm uncertain of your reasoning, I'll go ahead and answer the question. The basis for why it is that religious reasoning deserves a seat at the table, in my mind, is because it brings into discussion new forms of epistemology. Beyond the five senses, religion seeks to assign credibility to what has been deemed "revelation." The question of what this constitutes and who is permitted to bear its name is a difficult one. But I think that any debate regarding how one ought to live his or her life, ought to also include alternative ways of knowing something. Religion presents one of these alternatives. Indeed, "conscience" has long been a proponent of ethical behavior, and this alludes to a way of knowing right from wrong independent of measurable and quantifiable phenomenon.

  • Of course not.

    When someone's morality boils down to "Because My book said so" how is that honestly a good line for reasoning to discuss anything about morality? In it's very nature it's fallacious and relies on circular reasoning.

    My beliefs are moral because X book claims it's moral.
    X book claims that god is real therefor god is real.
    God is real therefor book is real therefor book is moral.

    So yeah, it's completely illogical and has no grounds for morality at all. But this shouldn't really come as a surprise when we're talking about one book which glorifies a pedophile and another which defends beating slaves so long as they recover.

  • No place for religion in society period

    As far as the relevance of religion goes, it's utter nonsense. Religion comprises absurd and ludicrous claims, that has no backing by science and constantly contradicts itself. It arose in a time of great ignorance to science and continued through indoctrination. Now the only non-indoctrinated people that turn to religion are either third world and living in dire conditions, or they are ignorant/gullible.

    There is no point whatsoever falling back on religious reasoning when debating morality.

  • How Can It?

    How can it? Religion is a basis to control waste swathes of people, it doesnt have morality attached to it because the morality is decided by those who which to control the people. Morality is our human way of knowing what is right or wrong, this is fundamentally based on education and upbringing, however lots of people are not that naive and have learnt morality through experience which is the true way to have a balanced ethic. Religion puts what is right or wrong in black and white, for me logic carries a much better place in a debate about morality.

  • Killing apostates in some religions is moral.

    Stoning adulteresses to death in some religions is moral.

    Throwing homosexuals from tall buildings in some religions is moral.

    Murdering atheists with machetes in some religions is moral. (machetes are optional I believe).

    Not wearing threads of different kinds in some religions is moral.

    And so on....

    Morals don't come from ancient texts (not so ancient with scientology) they come from us and surfaced in our evolutionary branch when people gathered in social groups and probably began well before we as a species were recognisably human.
    Religions have little to teach us when it comes to living morally. Most of the sunday morning worshipers pick and choose which morals are right for them and ignore the more outrageous claims of morality. Religion is not some gold standard we should take notice of.

  • Because I said so

    That's basically what happens with a lot of debates when people bring up religion in morality. "Because my scriptures said so. Because my God said so. Look, it's quoted here."

    In debates, discrediting your opponent's resources is valid (riiight?) so technically I could google how to discredit your 'because I said so' book, copy and paste it and move on.

  • How about no!

    FFS! Church and State are separate, not whole. We are not a God Damn Theocracy and Religion has no place in Politics in this country. If you think it does, than shame on you and you need to look up your facts. Seperation of Church and State is not Communist, its an idea of the Founding Fathers. Period!

  • Religion and morality are not synonymous.

    Morality and religion is the relationship between religious views and morals. Many religions have value frameworks regarding personal behavior meant to guide adherents in determining between right and wrong. These include the Triple Jems of Jainism, Judaism's Halacha, Islam's Sharia, Catholicism's Canon Law, Buddhism's Eightfold Path, and Zoroastrianism's "good thoughts, good words, and good deeds" concept, among others. These frameworks are outlined and interpreted by various sources such as holy books, oral and written traditions, and religious leaders. Many of these share tenets with secular value frameworks such as consequentialism, freethought, and utilitarianism.

    Religion and morality are not synonymous. Morality does not depend upon religion although this is "an almost automatic assumption." According to The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics, religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other. Conceptually and in principle, morality and a religious value system are two distinct kinds of value systems or action guides." Morality is an active process which is, "at the very least, the effort to guide one's conduct by reason, that is, doing what there are the best reasons for doing, while giving equal consideration to the interests of all those affected by what one does."

    Value judgments can vary greatly between religions, past and present. People in various religious traditions, such as Christianity, may derive ideas of right and wrong by the rules and laws set forth in their respective authoritative guides and by their religious leaders.[4] Equating morality to adherence to authoritative commands in a holy book is the Divine Command Theory. Polytheistic religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism generally draw from a broader canon of work. There has been interest in the relationship between religion and crime and other behavior that does not adhere to contemporary laws and social norms in various countries. Studies conducted in recent years have explored these relationships, but the results have been mixed and sometimes contradictory. The ability of religious faiths to provide value frameworks that are seen as useful is a debated matter. Religious commentators have asserted that a moral life cannot be led without an absolute lawgiver as a guide. Other observers assert that moral behavior does not rely on religious tenets, and secular commentators point to ethical challenges within various religions that conflict with contemporary social norms.

  • What makes you a good person is how you act

    Just because your not religious does not mean your a bad person. I am very religious and I have a friend who is not and yet she is a very good person. I hate when people judge people for stupid things it is so dumb. So no religion does not make you good.

  • Does take part in it

    Many religions are based on morality as simply as that. I'm not saying that because you a different religion your bad because that doesn't determine what kind of person you are, but it will always come in one way or another no matter what . . . . . .

  • No no no

    Religion has no place in any debate that effects another person. Religion can rarely help people to find peace, but more often than not it is used as a gigantic middle finger to people who deserve happiness. Religion is too opinionated to find a reasonable outcome on anything. Go away and drown yourself in your white privilege.

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