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The arguments for and against the view that morality is dependant on religion, and to what extent is it more reasonable to argue that morality is independent of religion

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Introduction

The arguments for and against the view that morality is dependant on religion, and to what extent is it more reasonable to argue that morality is independent of religion? Plato once said "Is what pious loved by the Gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved?" What Plato is trying to make us think about here is whether moral actions are good because the Gods command it, or do the Gods command it because the action is good? In doing so Plato presents us with two possibilities. One where there are a set of absolute morals laws and God commands them because the actions are good within themselves. The other where there is only God and humans, no moral laws, and God commands humans to do things; these actions are only good because God commands them to be so. So which commands which? Morality or religion? There are many views to how religion and morality are connected, we can say that morality depends on religion, morality is independent of religion or morality is opposed to religion. ...read more.

Middle

Conscience can be seen as a support of religion over morality; most of our moral actions are guided in some way by our conscience or at least allows us to weigh up possible consequences before taking up an action. In many religious texts there are stories of people hearing the voice of God, this may be a reference to the conscience. This shows that morality may be dependant on religion. However in such cultures where things will be seen, on a majority, morally incorrect, like in cultures where acts such as sex with ones cousin or cannibalism are permitted, counter the argument for the conscience being the word of God. As these acts are morally wrong, yet their conscience (whether or not they get guidance from religious texts) says that these immoral deeds are acceptable. If we look at natural moral law again, we can see that it has one large counter argument. Many challenge the idea of humans being designed for a purpose, and how a common, self evident moral law can devise day to day rules. Also, the natural moral law theory falls down if there is no God. ...read more.

Conclusion

So morality isn't totally independent on religion, in our day and age, morality comes more from the nurture of our parents, not the nurture of our religion. Children's books and fables tend to add more to a child's morals than religion. Utilitarianism and situation ethics are another argument against morality being dependant on religion. Utilitarianism, a non religious ethic, is based on doing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Not taking into account the minorities utilitarianism can still teach good (and partially flawed) morals. Situation ethics is about doing the most loving act, a mix between situation ethics and utilitarianism calls for a good base of morals. Independent of religion. In conclusion, I don not think morality is dependant on religion. There is a great difference between religion and God, religion does not make us moral, and maybe neither does God. I think morals come from nature and nurture, like some people are "born gay" and how some people turn gay later on. Our morals change and differ, if even only slightly. With each different case, and the more people look into different cases (Such as abortion) their moral standing will change, even if it's only a bit. Morality isn't dependant on religion. Morality comes through nurture and nature. ...read more.

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