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If there were no God, would there be any morality

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Introduction

If there were no God, would there be any morality? This question begins by assuming morals were created entirely by God and not just approved of by God. It also bypasses the possibility that there is no such God and man created morals using the authority intrinsic in the idea of a God in order to enforce them; thus raising the possibility that morals are learned but also partly innate and instinctual to humankind. The ideas raised target those who have no religious persuasion, namely those who consider themselves to be atheist or agnostic. The claim implicit in the question (in assuming that God exists) is that all morality and sound ethical values stem from religion, without which motivation towards virtuous behaviour becomes ambiguous. In assuming that the Ten Commandments were never written and a list of moral rules never set out, it is easy to imagine a world where barbarity and survival of the fittest becomes as natural for human beings as it is for wild cats of the African Savannah. With these rules to fall back on, humans have guidelines, discipline and structure to a subject that is often problematic. Morality is an ambiguous subject because, unlike natural laws that offer up a specific and tangible consequence when broken, moral laws ...read more.

Middle

Without God, without reward and punishment, love of God, obedience to or fulfilment gained from adhering to God's moral laws, atheists are still able to behave in a morally virtuous way. Why would this occur, when an atheist can steal, lie, commit adultery without threat of punishment from God? From birth, whether religiously or in a purely secular nature, morals are woven into learning and development. For example; when discovered lying a child may be reprimanded by its parents, therefore reinforcing a moral law that is commonly held in society as correct. Can it then be society that helps us to uphold moral laws? Secular law is a motivation to be considered. Founded by religion and only having limited coverage of moral laws such as 'Do not steal' and 'Do not kill', still created some incentive to do the right thing through a tangible punishment that occurs during ones lifetime, if found out. Society has also formed ways of protecting itself, for example; attitudes towards those who break ethical standards. An adulterer or murderers may be shunned by society or judged through that act. However, the question of where such ethical standards have arisen from hinders discussion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Substitute the word country for tribe and one notices far fewer differences in the idea of morality that appears to have been introduced without reference to the Ten Commandments or a Bible at hand. This is surely an example of morality without God and as such answers the question with one large yes. A society with a total lack of moral values is a difficult idea to comprehend and could only really be achievable though a George Orwell '1984' type vision of autocracy, a controlled immorality that feigned complete morality. This, although achievable is more likely to be bought about through a conscious decision as opposed to being a reference to human nature. It appears to be common sense that distinguishes morality from immorality and as seen in the case of people never exposed to Christianity or any large civilisation with a God, the same sentiments are still conveyed and held as beliefs. Loss of morality through choice is a far more reasonable suggestion than a complete lack of it if the idea of God has not come into existence. To therefore suggest that society would have no form of morality if there had been no God and no religion is as unsustainable an argument as a society with no form of morality. ...read more.

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