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Can one have morals without religion? 「Yes or No」

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Sanghyeok
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Can one have morals without religion? 「Yes or No」

Postby Sanghyeok » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:02 am

First, let's define moral. According to Oxford Languages, two common definitions for morals are

Oxford Languages wrote:"a lesson, especially one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience."
"a person's standards of behaviour or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do."


While some argue we as humans can only have morality and ethics by following religion, others refute by claiming we are perfectly capable of having morals while remaining secular. Personally, I find that both religious and secular people in my life have personal morals and ethics, even if they differ in what they see as 'correct'. I don't think there is a difference between how much they care about morals or personal code values, and most of our morals come from society and culture anyways. I therefore think one can be moral (at least in their eyes) without following a religion. So, let's discuss: as title says, can one have morals without religion?
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:03 am

Yes
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Middle Barael
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Postby Middle Barael » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:06 am

Yes, easily
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Nuroblav
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Postby Nuroblav » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:07 am

As someone who is somewhat religious: Yes. I think someone is capable of having a moral code without drawing from religion.
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Postby Magical Medical League » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:08 am

Nuroblav wrote:As someone who is somewhat religious: Yes. I think someone is capable of having a moral code without drawing from religion.


Then I suppose another question is: do differences in level of morality exist between secular and religious people? Can we say one is more moral than another?
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Sicilian Imperial-Capitalist Empire
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Postby Sicilian Imperial-Capitalist Empire » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:08 am

As a hard atheist who rejects the notion of any divine deity or god, I can confirm that I have morals.
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Free Ravensburg
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Postby Free Ravensburg » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:10 am

Long answer from me.

Someone can have morals, even if they aren't necessarily religious. And the same can be said for immoral and being religious.
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Esalia
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Postby Esalia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:13 am

Yes.
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Twicetagram and JYPe
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Postby Twicetagram and JYPe » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:14 am

Even without religion I think a lot of human values and morals are still relevant so yes
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Nuroblav
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Postby Nuroblav » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:16 am

Magical Medical League wrote:
Nuroblav wrote:As someone who is somewhat religious: Yes. I think someone is capable of having a moral code without drawing from religion.


Then I suppose another question is: do differences in level of morality exist between secular and religious people? Can we say one is more moral than another?

I suppose you could say that religious morals have more of a structure with texts and whatnot, but in my opinion that doesn't make it any better than secular morals. I could prop up any idea in a book, to be honest.
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Greater Cesnica
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Postby Greater Cesnica » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:18 am

Yes. Morality and an ethics base can be taught without religion. I say this as a Muslim.
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Hirota
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Postby Hirota » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:18 am

Morals are irrelevant to religion.

Is a thing moral simply because religion says it is? Or does religion say a thing is good because of some other quality it has?
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Greater Cesnica
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Postby Greater Cesnica » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:20 am

Hirota wrote:Morals are irrelevant to religion.

Is a thing moral simply because religion says it is? Or does religion say a thing is good because of some other quality it has?

Morality can be objective. It is common human decency to not be a serial killer, to be a rapist, to be a torturer. An absence of religion does not mean that one will have negative attributes like these.
Conserative Morality wrote:"It's not time yet" is a tactic used by reactionaries in every era. "It's not time for democracy, it's not time for capitalism, it's not time for emancipation." Of course it's not time. It's never time, not on its own. You make it time. If you're under fire in the no-man's land of WW1, you start digging a foxhole even if the ideal time would be when you *aren't* being bombarded, because once you wait for it to be 'time', other situations will need your attention, assuming you survive that long. If the fields aren't furrowed, plow them. If the iron is not hot, make it so. If society is not ready, change it.
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Witiland
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Postby Witiland » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:22 am

Yes like I said i do not consider myself religious,im spiritual and I look off relationship. Anybody can be moral in the eyes of man easily but morals change over time and what's considered moral one generation is unmoral the next
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Old Tyrannia
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Postby Old Tyrannia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:23 am

I don't think it's possible to be truly moral without being in some sense religious. Irreligious people may act morally in certain circumstances, but that doesn't make them moral- being truly moral in my opinion requires both a concept of moral and immoral action and a conscious choice to consistently act in a moral way. Many people, both religious and irreligious, are not truly moral, but rather act on impulse without thinking about whether their actions are right or wrong, often unthinkingly following the conventions of the society or culture that they find themselves a part of- which tend to be rooted in some kind of religious morality. I don't actually think it's terribly common for people to have principles that they will not violate even when it's inconvenient to them. On the other hand, there are many people who don't regard themselves as religious but still hold quasi-religious beliefs, whether they acknowledge it or not, and they may well have a true sense of morality derived from those beliefs. An example would be the belief in the existence of universal human rights, which lacks a rational basis and is taken by most people as, essentially, an article of faith, and which supplies the basis for many people's sense of "secular" morality or ethics.
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Saralonia
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Postby Saralonia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:24 am

I'd say that an atheist can be more moral than a religious person because the atheist does it because he wants while many religious people I've met indirectly imply being nice because of God, being nice should be the bare minimum no matter what, but that's just my opinion.
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Hirota
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Postby Hirota » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:26 am

Greater Cesnica wrote:
Hirota wrote:Morals are irrelevant to religion.

Is a thing moral simply because religion says it is? Or does religion say a thing is good because of some other quality it has?

Morality can be objective. It is common human decency to not be a serial killer, to be a rapist, to be a torturer. An absence of religion does not mean that one will have negative attributes like these.
The dilemma this causes with that is that it means God is not omnipotent but rather constrained - God cannot change morality because it is objective - like you said.

This is known as the Euthyphro dilemma. It normally tends to be dismissed as a false dilemma.
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Witiland
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Postby Witiland » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:31 am

Definitions of religion

the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"

a particular system of faith and worship


a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
"consumerism is the new religion"

Basically this fits almost anything as a religion of sorts, something that your admire or inspired by that you live by it,a lifestyle
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Twicetagram and JYPe
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Postby Twicetagram and JYPe » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:33 am

To me religious values is just reiterating human morals but the context is "Your God told you so."
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:41 am

Nuroblav wrote:
Magical Medical League wrote:
Then I suppose another question is: do differences in level of morality exist between secular and religious people? Can we say one is more moral than another?

I suppose you could say that religious morals have more of a structure with texts and whatnot, but in my opinion that doesn't make it any better than secular morals. I could prop up any idea in a book, to be honest.

Conversely, one could argue that morals that derive from "do what the deity says to be rewarded/avoid punishment" are "inferior" to morals that derive from "do good for goods sake".
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Eranaia
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Postby Eranaia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:00 am

Old Tyrannia wrote:On the other hand, there are many people who don't regard themselves as religious but still hold quasi-religious beliefs, whether they acknowledge it or not, and they may well have a true sense of morality derived from those beliefs. An example would be the belief in the existence of universal human rights, which lacks a rational basis and is taken by most people as, essentially, an article of faith, and which supplies the basis for many people's sense of "secular" morality or ethics.

Morality doesn't have to be based on a quasi-religious belief, it's basically a matter of not being a dick. It comes from the skills needed for a group of primates to successfully live together, bottom up rather than top down. And a belief in human rights need in no way be quasi-religious or irrational (it's interesting to note that you seem to equate the religious with the irrational). It's not a metaphysical claim so much as an observation that the world would be a better place if we could all agree to accord each other those rights. Similarly one can believe in a social contract without thinking that at some point an actual contract was literally signed.

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Neutraligon
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Postby Neutraligon » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:26 am

In my mind morals are a mix of self interest and empathy, and as such are possible without a religion since religion is not necessary to have self interest or empathy.
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Vistulange
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Postby Vistulange » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:29 am

Yes.

I'm a firm atheist, and I still believe in being a good human being, i.e., moral. Now, one might disagree with what I consider to be "good", but that's not the question.
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Old Tyrannia
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Postby Old Tyrannia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:48 am

Eranaia wrote:
Old Tyrannia wrote:On the other hand, there are many people who don't regard themselves as religious but still hold quasi-religious beliefs, whether they acknowledge it or not, and they may well have a true sense of morality derived from those beliefs. An example would be the belief in the existence of universal human rights, which lacks a rational basis and is taken by most people as, essentially, an article of faith, and which supplies the basis for many people's sense of "secular" morality or ethics.

Morality doesn't have to be based on a quasi-religious belief, it's basically a matter of not being a dick.

But what does "not being a dick" actually mean? And why should we refrain from being dicks? Your statement is tautological; you're not really defining morality, you're just offering a synonym for it.
It comes from the skills needed for a group of primates to successfully live together, bottom up rather than top down.

Perhaps it is possible to find evolutionary pressures accounting for moral behaviour, but that's no reason why we should behave in a moral fashion.
And a belief in human rights need in no way be quasi-religious or irrational (it's interesting to note that you seem to equate the religious with the irrational).

Rather, I equate religion with positions held on the basis of faith rather than empiricism. It's interesting that you seem to perceive irrationality as a fundamentally negative thing, which to me indicates a lack of introspection on your part; you fail to appreciate the limited utility of reason and, as such, do not recognise the extent to which your own value system is fundamentally irrational.
It's not a metaphysical claim so much as an observation that the world would be a better place if we could all agree to accord each other those rights.

What you're appealing to here is essential Kant's categorical imperative, the principle that we should always do what we would will to become the universal law. But what is a "better world?" Who is to say what constitutes a "better" world, and why should individuals invest any value in achieving such a world, particularly if it goes against their personal interests and those of their in-group to do so? Your whole position is based on a number of presumed axioms, primarily the belief that human life and happiness possesses an inherent value. That's not a rationally justified position, it's one you take on faith just as I take the existence of God and an objective universal moral law on faith. Reason cannot assign value to principles.
Similarly one can believe in a social contract without thinking that at some point an actual contract was literally signed.

I'm not sure that I see any relevance in this part of your post.
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Juristonia
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Postby Juristonia » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:50 am

Yes,
Next question.




Also, didn't we already have this thread, like a month ago?
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