Can there be Morality without Religion?
All humans sin and we are all flawed in our own ways. Religion inculcates in us positive values, and guide us on the right track of life e.g. ex-convicts who turn over a new leaf when they learn about Religion. However, If I had grown up with parents who are non-religious, I do not think that would solely determine my character formation, though I would agree it does influence to a certain extent.
Sill, there are other factors to consider e.g. what neighborhood you grew up in, what your parents or school teach you, what kind of peers you hang out with, types of media exposure, level of self-awareness, attitude towards self-change, life genetic factors. As we grow older, we learn from life experiences and are influenced by social factors which helps develops our value system.
We can grow up in a very positive and inclusive environment but be innately selfish, We can also be brought up in a negative environment but grow up into a selfless adult. If I do good, I do good. I do bad, I do bad. We all can differentiate from right and wrong as an adult, it’s just whether we choose to make the decisions we feel are right or do we fall for our human instinct to do wrong.
Whether I go church every week or I don’t go to the temple frequently, I can be equally a terrible or a morally good person. Our choices and actions are what determine our morality, not what religion we were brought up with or lived with as a human.
Food for thought:
- What makes God the most holy of us all?
- How do we know if what God deems right is right? (when it is subjected to his own moral standard)
- If his moral standards differed from ours, should we abide to him likewise?
- And on what basis makes everything he says right?
- Why must we follow him as such?
There is this misconception that people drift or turn away from religion due to negative (and/or) specific personal experiences. I don’t think this applies to everyone. We can choose to do so our of our own will or self-reflection towards life.
Food for thought:
- Aren’t we all rightly entitled the freedom to choose whether we want to live a life with or without a God/faith?
- Are there consequences for not following God justifiable?
- What if people of other religions or free-thinkers are not aware of his presence? Are they then unfairly doom to the same afterlife fate?
- Where do they end up and where should they end up at?
- Atheists, Agnostics, free thinkers etc. – When they choose not to commit, believe, or follow God, are they likewise doom to the same fate?
- If we neither follow God nor the Devil, can we still be a good person?
As much as all of us feel our value or beliefs system are right, we should also be opened to the viewpoint of others. When we impose our beliefs on one another, we end up engaging in a negative cycle of control which disconnects human relationships (William Glasser – Choice Theory).
As much as it is important for us to practice their religion, it is also important for us to be allowed to believe what we want to believe. Whether we’re highly religious or strong atheists, we are all equally entitled to our opinions, just that we have to do it in a mutually respectful, tactful and open-minded manner.
To end off…
Without religion, does it mean we cannot live the right path? Does it mean our lives are not as good or moral as those with a religion? Does it mean we are necessarily lacking something in our lives? Does it mean we deserve to suffer in Hell for making a choice not to follow God?
We can choose not to take a side. We can sit on the fence. I feel we can form and are entitled to our own opinions and choices as long as it does not harm anyone. If I’m doomed to go to Hell for questioning God/Religion/Faith and for my outlook that life is full of possibilities, or for following another religion, I do not think its morally right nor fair for me.
Shouldn’t our diverse opinions on life be respected regardless of what life beliefs we have or what religion we come from? We do not have to accept or agree to each other views, but I believe no religion, god or views towards life are better, higher or more true than another. If we can choose to embrace and see pass our differences rather than deem our religious beliefs as the most “authentic” or “legitimate” one, wouldn’t that make the world be a better place? A diverse respect for all forms of beliefs or attitudes. We are after all, made in the same form and from the one same race of human species.
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Written by: Cass
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