1. Outline the reasons why some argue that morality is linked to religion
  2. 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.

In addition, philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that religion supports morality, in his Critique of pure reason, stating that morality pointed towards God, and humans are morally obliged to bring about summum bonum (perfect state of affairs). As it is not possible to do this in ones life, such a place must exist in the afterlife.  Furthermore John Henry Newman also argued that human feelings of guilt and responsibility point towards God and H.P Owen also said ‘It’s impossible to think of a command without also thinking of a commander’. Each of these philosophers examined the possibility of moral values as a pointer towards the existence of God, in particular, H P Owen as he was saying that it is impossible to have laws and rules without someone who created them. Moreover, Jean Paul Satre said that ‘Everything is permissible without God’, in other words, if there is no God, there is no reason to behave morally.

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Another reason why some people argue that religion and morality are linked is the example and presence of religious leaders, such as Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. These have been moved by their religion and it has inspired them to do good things morally.

Another theory that supports that morality is linked to religion is heteronomy. Some argue that morality being dependent on religious beliefs is inevitable because society can’t help but be influenced by religious views, as religion is so deep rooted within society for example, the English legal system. In addition ideas about ‘good’ have long ...

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