Can one live a moral life without religion?

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  1. SilentReed profile image80
    SilentReedposted 13 years ago

    Can one live a moral life without religion?

  2. NorthEast Timber profile image60
    NorthEast Timberposted 13 years ago

    I don't know, its never been done.  What sort of incentive would you have?  If there is no reward or punishment for living a moral life, then there's no reason not to live a hedonist life.

  3. ErinElise profile image59
    ErinEliseposted 13 years ago

    Hi, I just came across your question -- it's a good question.

    It's my thought that yes, a moral life can be lived without religion.  My mom is not a religious person, but she is definitely moral. 

    I think that knowing what is right and wrong is an obvious thing after a certain age and that with or without religion, a person is capable of living a moral life.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in God.  I'm just saying I think that morality comes from within.  It probably comes from upbringing and environment and a lot more as well, anyway...

    That's my opinion.   : )

  4. profile image0
    reena_yadavposted 13 years ago

    Morality is subjective to a person's culture. What may be sin to one culture could be OK for another culture.

    Personally, morality, ie, hear no evil, see no evil & do no evil is grounded by religion as ultimately all religions preach love, harmony & acceptance.

  5. jacobsterling profile image57
    jacobsterlingposted 13 years ago

    i would say yes, if someone would guide and influence that man to a moral life even if he/she doesn't have a religion he/she can be good person.

    because for me, religion is one of the most powerful thing that teaches us Good as the people and things around us also teach us Good Morals...


    i hope i answered right..

  6. Aley Martin profile image66
    Aley Martinposted 13 years ago


    Ones values and morals are not always based on religion! We learn our values from our parents, teachers and our experience and one consciously chooses to be moral.

    I know many atheists who are morally upstanding individuals and do not follow any religious belief system. One can choose to be good or bad, moral or immoral, fat or thin,etc and not be part of a cult of religion.

  7. Sweet Beulah Land profile image60
    Sweet Beulah Landposted 13 years ago

    "Concerned with or adhering to the code of interpersonal behavior that is considered right or acceptable in a particular society" (Google Dictionary)

    Actually, many who practice religions, especially violent, and malevolent actors, are often found to act unacceptably according to ethical codes of good behavior, in society; across societal lines.

    Religion is only a practice, doing the same thing over and again.

    If the only reason for morality is punishments and rewards, it is a very shallow and legalistic existence. A slippery slope...

  8. feenix profile image57
    feenixposted 13 years ago

    I guess when one is living a moral life that means that person does NOT ever do any of the following: use alcohol, tobacco or other narcotic substances, have sex outside of marriage, lie, cheat, commit criminal offenses, break rules and laws, judge and prejudge others, harbor hatred and resentments, discriminate against others, gossip, berate and criticize others, behave and dress in sexually-provocative ways, and interfere in the lives of others.

    And on the other hand that same person always does the following: treat others with kindness and courteousness/respect, provide aid and assistance to those who are less fortunate, behave in what could be described as a gentlemanly or lady-like way, empathize with others, and show up for work/school every day and on time.

    So, the answer to the question is a resounding YES! And that is because one can lead a life based on the "do's and don'ts" above while not being religious, or while not believing that God exists.

    However, such a person would have a big problem. Because that individual has not accepted The Lord Jesus as his/her Savior, all of that "good living" would be for naught.

  9. profile image0
    wilbury4posted 13 years ago

    Ofcourse on can. Moral relates to the distinction between good and bad, so having good moral conduct is nothing at all to do with religion. There are many morally good people who are not religious!

  10. nightwork4 profile image60
    nightwork4posted 13 years ago

    i think more people live moral lifes without religion then those that live it with religion.

  11. Anne Pettit profile image62
    Anne Pettitposted 13 years ago

    Religion does not make a person moral, or immoral.  Therefore, a person can most certainly be moral without religion, or in spite of it.

  12. edhan profile image36
    edhanposted 13 years ago

    The teaching of religion is for us to be good. Understanding the rights and wrongs. So, even if a person does not have a religion, it will still be okay. Most people go with religion for guidance so they will be able to take the right path in life. Others may have a control of their lives without it.

  13. JDeAngelis profile image60
    JDeAngelisposted 13 years ago

    Of course everyone can live a moral life without religion. Religion is just a word that we use to identify ourselves with certain beliefs.

    We each have a religion or way of life plus set of beliefs that we follow, whether or not our religion is followed by many or by just ourselves it is still a religion.

  14. sam3m profile image61
    sam3mposted 13 years ago

    i believe one can live a moral life without religion.  if there were no god or religion, would people's behavior change significantly?  would we begin to commit crimes against one another?

  15. lazko profile image58
    lazkoposted 13 years ago

    Absolutely, moral life has nothing to do with any religion.

  16. juncolt profile image60
    juncoltposted 13 years ago

    I think so, ask Stephen Hawking, he doesn't have a religion.

  17. nancyme profile image62
    nancymeposted 13 years ago

    Maybe. I am thinking the whole idea of moral isn't just restricted or confined to sprout from only religion. Moral, religion, and humanity should be important aspects that work together for a better life.

  18. CARIBQUEEN profile image62
    CARIBQUEENposted 13 years ago

    Yes, it is what is in your heart that counts. Let your conscience be your guide

  19. profile image0
    jasper420posted 13 years ago

    i would like to think so just because someone isnt a follower of a certain religion dosnet mean that they have no moral vaules we are all taught morals somewhere in life not all morals come from religion

  20. 1kmjs profile image63
    1kmjsposted 13 years ago

    Yes, you dont have to believe in a certain god or savior to believe in the overall power of good.

  21. Jarn profile image60
    Jarnposted 12 years ago

    Quite easily. In fact, since you don't have a religious book requiring you to denounce people for being different than you, it's actually a lot more straightforward.

  22. whoisbid profile image59
    whoisbidposted 12 years ago

    Some people say that everyone is religious whether they are athiest or God believers because religion has to do with the standards you set for others and your expectations of them. If you have no standards and no expectation then I guess you will not be caring about anything or anyone.

  23. suffilover profile image61
    suffiloverposted 12 years ago

    Yes. In fact I know non religious people who are very moral. And religious people who are full of wickedness inside.

  24. Angelic92 profile image61
    Angelic92posted 12 years ago

    I do not believe in gods or supernatural powers.
    Those were stories made by scams in the early ages.
    This is the same with religion for me.

    One smart guy decided to be the son of the prophecy and all the fiction stories that came with it.
    I am talking about Jesus, if we did believe all the stories that he turned water into wine and cured all diseases, then people at that time would be very prosperous and lands would be fighting eachother just to own these man.

    Look at the islam, 'true' believers kill thousands of other people for Allah while in their Koran stands that Allah does not want anyone to be killed as the following saying will be used 'an eye for an eye'.

    Just like in the Christian bible ; do not do to others, what you do not want to be done to you.
    I'm looking at all the priests that comitted crimes in secrecy.
    Then i look at all the tragic happenings around the world involving islam terrorists.

    No thank you is my answer if i have to become like that and i'd consume fictional stories to be real.

    You go to church to confess your sins and to be forgiven.
    I can see that not one soul goes in there and confess he killed a couple people in secret.

  25. val777 profile image61
    val777posted 12 years ago

    Sure you can, living moral is usually established because you have taken the time to value your life, whether you follow a religion or not. Religion requires that you accept concepts from another human being or establishment, not necessarily God inspired! You may be very religious, and live moral simply because your religious rules prohibit any other behavior, not because you feel inspired to do so. I have seen these kind of people, they are walking robots! They can't do this or won't do that, simply because their religion says so...  Living moral from spirituality makes far more sense, as it is looking within yourself and seeking wholeness for yourself.

  26. Jonesy0311 profile image61
    Jonesy0311posted 12 years ago

    I have been an Atheist since I reached the age of reason. I have no criminal convictions, don't use illegal drugs (though I don't think they should all be illegal), and I volunteer every month at Paws & Stripes to help veterans with PTSD. That is more than I can say for many of my religious friends. Some are scamming the welfare system, one owes $100,000 in child support, others have lost all sense of charity (which I believe is mentioned in that Bible they all love so much). And it seems that every week I hear of a priest molesting a kid or a "god-fearing" man having a sex slave in his basement. Religion is not neccessary to lead a moral life if one has a general respect for law and order as well as the compassion to help those who truly deserve it (not need it...deserve it). All you have to do is hop on Google and look at crime rates in countries with high Atheist populations. These countries boast lower crime rates than those who have a higher percentage of "religious folk."

  27. SueRobFlag profile image60
    SueRobFlagposted 12 years ago

    Yes, you don't need a god to know what's right and wrong. If the only reason you don't steal is because your afraid of a supreme being and not because it's wrong.... then you need to rethink some things.

  28. cooldad profile image59
    cooldadposted 12 years ago

    Absolutely.  No one needs religion to understand what is moral in life.  Religions are just books with words in it and not real life.

  29. Mark Applegate profile image63
    Mark Applegateposted 12 years ago your own definition of moral.  In order to have a universal definition of moral, you must use terms borrowed from religion.  Otherwise you are merely expressing a preference. But if something is WRONG... and I don't think it is wrong, we are all in a quandry.  Universal truth = Universal truth giver.  Otherwise morality is just opinion.

  30. profile image0
    Holmes221bposted 12 years ago

    Individuals are moral or immoral, sometimes in spite of religion or because of it.  There have been many individuals who have used religion as an excuse for immorality.  Hitler for example was a Roman Catholic, and it was the teaching of that church which taught hatred of the Jews, which was one of the causes of Hitler's hatred.  There are others though, that get their moral framework from religion, which has been the reason for their good works.  However, the fact that there are some moral agreements between most people of different religions, would suggest that such morality is instinctive, and has nothing to do with religion.  For instance, murder is accepted to be immoral by people of different religions and by atheists.

  31. Cutters profile image59
    Cuttersposted 12 years ago

    I think so I do and so far I am turning out ok. Only time will tell.

  32. physician-jobs02 profile image59
    physician-jobs02posted 12 years ago

    Of course! Faith is different from religion. Definitely, one can live with or without religion.

  33. JherusiaLhean profile image61
    JherusiaLheanposted 12 years ago

    For me it depends to the person by the way. Moral behaviour depends on the person to handle things and how it work out.

  34. dipsmi profile image63
    dipsmiposted 12 years ago

    absolutely yes!!!!moral and religion are not related.However i feel they are a bit co-related.
    All religions tell us to have a good moral

  35. Rehana Stormme profile image70
    Rehana Stormmeposted 12 years ago

    Every human has an innate sense of ethos inbuilt in them. That is what makes us different from animals. Go to an isolated settlement in an 'uncivilized' settlement - you'll find that even those people living there are able to distinguish between what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'. They would know that taking someone else's property is wrong, raping is wrong; and they would know that helping someone in need is 'good'. Even in cases where you doubt what your religion says, you can always look inside you and find the answer. Look at the Catholic church - when you here about priests sodomizing young boys, you know automatically that it's wrong! You don't need to check in your Bible to see if it's okay.

    So where does religion fall in all this? I believe the original purpose of religion is to unite people together and bring them all under one standard. (Of course, these days religion is a source of great disunity!) But when you have one Divine Law to adhere to, there is no room for dispute. For example, by following authentic religious texts, we can know for sure that homosexuality is unnatural and forbidden by God.

    Is it possible to live a 'moral' life without religion? Yes it is. Religion just helps to enforce the morals that we already have as human beings.

  36. Susci profile image56
    Susciposted 12 years ago

    No. For me, though you have faith, you still need a religion that will serve as your guide to strengthen your faith.

  37. ROAD TRAMP profile image60
    ROAD TRAMPposted 12 years ago

    Yes, it's possible. While religion is very important to some people and not to others, it is not the religion itself that is significant but it is the coping skills and tools that it offers, that keeps one going. Religion is very powerful to the believer, however it is not the religion that is saving that person but the belief that person has be it religion or faith of another kind altogether that has nothing to do with religion. It is the belief system and values as a part of that system, learned through primary and secondary socialization from childhood through adulthood that instills what we believe to be true and obviously families differ across cultures, societies, time frames, etc.  It all depends on what you believe in and has nothing to do with religion but the presence of mind.

  38. Keith Worth profile image61
    Keith Worthposted 12 years ago

    Easily, though you may not be able to have religion without morals. Living a moral life is simply knowing the difference between right and wrong - which will be different for every single person - and adhering to that knowledge.

  39. WindMaestro profile image58
    WindMaestroposted 12 years ago

    Yes I completely believe that someone can. Some people do not practice religion, or in remote areas of the world, have no true knowledge of it. This video I am about to link is a parody of this question. I do not impose any harm of people beliefs, I just found it funny.
    Disclaimer: I am also religious, and I find this video quite funny, do not take offense please. smile

  40. huba90 profile image59
    huba90posted 12 years ago

    No..absolutely not..

    By saying so,you really admit that you don't beleive in god,just think about it,who created  everything in the world? how did everything appear in life with such perfect and exact values and a beyond human brain calculations?
    Then you will realize that there really is something much bigger than anything you could ever imagine. smile

  41. profile image49
    leggarnaposted 12 years ago

    I am not religious and I think I live a pretty moral life, I am not saying that I do no wrong but can you find me any religious person that doesn't have some skeletons in their closet.

  42. BaliMermaid profile image58
    BaliMermaidposted 12 years ago

    The definition of the word moral or morals is as follows.

    1. A lesson, esp. one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience.
    2. A person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.

    Note the word religion could fit as one possible source of the standards or beliefs mentioned in the definition of the word BUT the word religion is not present in the definition.

    Therefore, while religion may, or may not be a proper source or foundation for a moral life it is not, by definition an absolute necessity.

  43. crazymom3 profile image67
    crazymom3posted 12 years ago

    This is an interesting question.   At first I thought absolutely; and yet how would you know what morality is?? The ten commandments??  The laws of the land??   Last week I learned about Charity...The greatest spiritual gift and that if one posses it, lives it, then one can go to heaven without belonging to one specific religious sect.  Yet morality is a question of how would you know what is and isn't moral without someone teaching it to you, and how would you define it? society?? tv?? the government??  So my conclusion is I am not sure that one can live a moral life without religion.  I guess I just don't know about others, the only thing I know is that my religion helps me make those definitions and clears-up some of the muck advertised as morally correct out there.

  44. cejae profile image61
    cejaeposted 12 years ago

    Yes - my answer may be perceived as "religious"  but we were created with a basic morality built in and this then becomes the "rules' of society.  Yes we are taught the rules and don't have to have a particular religion to know the rules of morality. 

    I note the answer given by Jarn - I have to respond with this - the most shared thing in all religions is a version of the "Golden Rule"  Do to others as you want them to do to you.  this is not denoucing them.  It is mankind that has change the rules by not following what is really written in their holy books.

  45. Abhishek Nath profile image60
    Abhishek Nathposted 12 years ago

    Yes of course one can live a moral life without a religion. All we have to do is to follow what our conscience says to us. Let me explain it with an example:-
    Suppose you see your younger brother playing with a blade then it is your conscience which tell you to warn him and take the blade away from him so that he doesn't get hurt.

    But on the other hand, religion makes us stay as together and unite us as one which might not be possible if we don't follow a religion. Let me explain you with an example:-
    When our ancestors were living in the wild they hardly knew how to socialize and whenever they saw some other being they thought of attacking them and there was hardly any unity among them.

    I guess this should explain...

    Thank you

  46. profile image0
    Daniella Lopezposted 12 years ago

    Absolutely! Morals are not entirely a religious base substance, but rather something garnered from many things. Life experiences and the way people are raised has a huge impact on their moral development. People do not need to be religious in order to lead a life of good morality.

    This is not to say that religion does not provide great inside into morality. Studying from a wide range of religions can teach people excellent morals that will help them live a long and lasting life.

  47. anildutt profile image60
    anilduttposted 12 years ago

    Yes, I guess I mean more of a virtuous life, though I suppose that anyone can apply. Good question. And his opinion is certainly respected. I've always been curious about the ways religious and / or spiritual people make and how they feel it has affected them throughout their lives. Thank you.

  48. theeaglesrose profile image61
    theeaglesroseposted 12 years ago

    Certainly. It isn't "religion" that makes one moral anyway. It is the inner man's/woman's  relationship to oneself and their spirituality (and/or lack thereof) which guides whether or not he/she will live a moral or immoral life.

    Religion in that sense can be perceived as a club of sorts where members join and allow the religion of their choice to promote the guidelines of their morality. But how many clubs have you belonged to and found yourself not following all of its creeds and just simply not been able to fulfill all of its criteria? Still, as long as you are a member you can claim such to the world.

    However, nonmembers may also set themselves to follow certain moral criteria or not...they simply don't join the "club" to do so.

  49. good2read profile image60
    good2readposted 12 years ago

    Interesting question, it has been known that morals come from the parents and environment. Personally, I don't have a massive interest in religion, but I do believe in a god, and I do have morals and respect others, like I would want to be. So I wouldn't say you need religion to be moral at the end of the day.

  50. bangla-news profile image41
    bangla-newsposted 12 years ago

    I think religion is the handbook for leading a moral life.Anybody can have trust on any religion & everybody should keep respect on all religions like his or her own to live a moral life.


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