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Religion and Morality

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Introduction

Religion and Morality (a) Examine the reasons for the view that morality is based upon religion. Many people believe that morality is based upon religion and based on the rules written in the Bible and other holy books. Although, some say that religion is completely opposed to morality and it is wrong to mix the two. Dostoevsky argued that 'religion provides people with a reason to be moral because if there were no God everything would be permitted.' Meaning that there is no point to morality if God didn't set the moral values in the first place. But we could also say that we only behave morally because we are scared of God: 'responsibility and guilt point to God' which is not the right way to think about doing good. We shouldn't behave well in the hopes of a reward or because we are scared, we should do good things because we want to. ...read more.

Middle

But more and less are predicted of different things according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum... so that there is something which is the truest, something best, something noblest... Therefore there must also be something to which all beings the cause their being, goodness, and every other perfection and this we call God". Aquinas based this argument on Plato's theory of eternal forms. 'Eternal forms' were Plato's idea that we are pale reflections of God's goodness. Kant's moral law demands that humans aim for the 'summum bonum' (virtue crowned with happiness). He believed it was impossible to achieve it in this life and therefore there must be a God and an afterlife in order for us to accomplish this. (b) Examine and consider the view that morality is independent of religion. Many believe that morality and religion are independent of each other as a lot of the population are not religious yet still believe themselves to be moral. ...read more.

Conclusion

If a moral decision as been made by a religious person in the hope of getting a reward in the afterlife surely this makes the decision immoral? It could be said that an atheist who leads a very good life is more moral than a Christian as they are not doing they're actions in the hopes of a reward at the end. In conclusion I believe that Dostoevsky makes a very good point in saying that anything is permitted if there is no God because without God who do we have to prove anything to? You could even go as far as to say what is the point of living if anything goes, as there would be no boundaries, nothing would be untried and we would eventually run out of things to prove to something that isn't there. I admit there are flaws in religion and certain issues surrounding it may need to be brought up to date, but without religion we may not have the socially acceptable set of moral laws we have today. ...read more.

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