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religion linked to morality

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Introduction

A) Outline the reasons why some argue that morality is linked to religion B) Examine and comment on the reasons for arguing that morality should not be linked to religion 'It's impossible to think of a command without also thinking of a commander' (H.P.Owen) Religion is the belief in and worship of a God or Gods, or any such system of belief and worship. Morality is a personal or social set of standards for good or bad behaviour and character, or the quality of being right, honest or acceptable. These two words 'Morality' and 'Religion' represent a dilemma philosophers have been trying to understand for a long time, mainly whether or not these are linked when making decisions or indeed independent of one another. Many people argue that religion and morality are linked, one such argument being religious authority. Many religions, if not all, use holy books that contain teachings that show people what is morally right and wrong, for example the sermon on the mount in Christianity, the torah scrolls in Judaism and the Qur'an in Islam. ...read more.

Middle

This theory states that religion and morality depend upon a common source for their values, for example Roman Catholicism and Natural Moral Law. The positives of this argument show that morality and religion share a common source of 'mystical awareness'. Moreover, many philosophers argue that good is known by intuition, 'That which cannot be defined is paralleled in religious experience'. Plato's euthyro dilemma is an extremely important point in this argument that links morality to religion. 'Is X good because God loves it?' , from this point of view God is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), omnipresent and omnibenevolent. In addition, therefore, God is the creator of morality and his morality is absolute. However the other point of view from Plato's euthyro dilemma is 'Does God love X because X is good' This point argues that morality should not be linked to religion, as it is saying that God is less powerful, more of a mentor as he points people in the right direction. God commands us to do things because they are true in themselves, independent of God, therefore, he does not create morality. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is advocated by Kant who said humans follow 'Pure Moral Law' which is given by our ability to reason. Furthermore, Sigmund Freud claimed that morality arises as a therapeutic attempt to resolve the conflict between our inherent aggression and the 'cultural super ego' (collective community authority). In conclusion, it is fair to say that there are valid points on both sides of this argument. For morality being linked to religion, the feelings of guilt and responsibility being pointed towards God and the presence of religious authority (i.e. the bible) are strong arguments. This is because they both indicate that we base our moral decisions due to the feeling that we are responsible to someone higher than us, which is particularly strong in the John Henry Newman argument. For morality not being linked to religion, the atheism and Darwin argument are both particularly strong arguments. This is because they both indicate that moral is based more on natural intuition, as atheists' make decisions without religious basis, and Darwin observed that there was some sort of morality in primitive animals, who of course have no rational knowledge of religion. Therefore I conclude that morality should not be linked to religion. Liam Hogan ...read more.

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