Is there a right or wrong without religion ?
Killing, stealing, cheating or dishonest acts are throughout the world. Without truth and justice, is there a right and wrong without a religion or supreme justice for a basis of thought? What has happened to the mentality of the people who commit mass murder, lie, steal, cheat and commit deceitful acts. What is behind the hideous acts that have been commited around the world?
I think so. I was raised without religion, but I knew the difference between right and wrong. When a person knows that it makes them feel bad when some one around them feels bad, then they learn not to do bad things to or around that person. As this emotion and notion evolves, it extends to other people around them. I think religion acts as good guidance, but ultimately the definition of right and wrong resides in each individual, and depends on that individual's values
"ultimately the definition of right and wrong resides in each individual, and depends on that individual's values" - ThompsonPen
When people take it upon themselves to decide right from wrong - you are left with social anarchy and moral relativism.
I didn't say right or wrong for an organization, for a town or law. I said right and wrong for each individual. Whether religion comes into it or not, people will decide for themselves what is right to them and what is wrong
Thomspon: I am well aware of what you said and what you meant. I am also well aware of where it leads...it is a slippery slope that leads society to destruction. When everyone follows their own code of conduct...moral relativism and anarchy reigns.
Without the Almighty, there can be no moral absolutes.
So, can there be right or wrong without religion? Sure, but it is only temporal. If secular governments say it is legal to kill babies then it is deemed "right" by that particular society, even if God is strongly opposed. But, let's say in 20 years that abortion falls from grace and becomes illegal...it then becomes "wrong" as seen by society, but never changed positions with God.
I said all this just to say that moral absolutes do not change, but society's interpretation of "right" and "wrong", based on man's laws, can change with the wind.
I wrestle with the "inherently" right or wrong thing a lot. I tend to. I think that the most "obvious" wrongs are almost instinctive - although a baby raised by tigers would learn to kill (his) dinner, so - maybe the classic nature v. nurture issue?
Of course there is right and wrong without religion. My parents and then my school teachers were teaching me right and wrong years before priests, nuns, and the Bible and other books about religion were. I have friends with no religion who live by strong moral beliefs. There are standards of right and wrong that are pretty much universal. The moral teachings of parents, teachers, and religion are just reminders of what the consciences (the 'hearts') of humans already know. As to a connection between religion or the lack thereof and wrongdoing, my observation has been that people who do good acts use their religion / philosophy / ideology to justify that behavior and that people who do evil acts use their religion / philosophy / ideology to justify that behavior. Mass murders, hideous acts, deceitful acts, etc., were being committed thousands of years ago. What is behind such acts is beyond my understanding. Everyone has free will (excepting the insane??) to obey the promptings of conscience or obey the promptings of vices. Many have been better than me and many have been worse than me in that regard. I can't explain why I'm not better or why I'm not worse or why some are lots worse or far better. A question that bothers me is, if I help into office politicians who start unjust wars and pay taxes that fund those wars, am I a mass murderer?
I have seen no proof that religion in any way keeps people in the "right" of what is universally deemed moral.
Absolutely yes. The idea that religion, or a deity, are responsible for human morality is absurd and makes very little sense when we consider morality for ourselves. For example there are many gray areas morally speaking, places where our stronger "sense" of right and wrong break down and give rise to disagreements and uncertainty.
Throughout human history we have changed our own views on various moral issues such as slavery, women's rights, interracial marriage and segregation, etc. This shows that we are the guides of our own morality.
As for morality's basic origins, one need look no farther than nature itself. You don't generally see wolves tearing each other apart in droves. Wolves are pack hunters and as such they need group cohesion to survive, thus they have evolved to interact in ways advantageous to pack hunting. In social animals, and animals with generally higher intelligence, we tend to see more advanced social behaviors, with wider and more nuanced interactions.
Human beings are social animals, we evolved to survive in groups, the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" is a prime example of this. We have a natural framework for morals in the empathy that we possess, the instinctive ability to read the emotions of other human beings from body language and facial expression.
What is behind the hideous acts that have been committed around the world? People are behind them. As I stated above the higher the intelligence the more nuanced the behavior. This is why we see more intelligent animals displaying behavior such as "murder". Dolphins, for example, will actually kill another of their species or group seemingly for no reason. Groups of Chimpanzees have actually been known to go to "war" against other groups. It seems to me that intelligence comes at the cost of freeing us up to react in ways that may seem counter-intuitive. But where there is immoral behavior in human beings there is also altruism, empathy, love and the ability to better ourselves on an individual and societal level.
One does not need a moral authority figure, a Pope, a King or anything else like that to know right from wrong. We learn from our parents first, and then from society and our experience and moral intuition. Many immoral acts and atrocities have been committed by of so-called righteous men and holy books are wrought with outdated and immoral laws. Morality does not come from religion or God.
I was born with morals in my brain.
"What has happened to the mentality of the people who commit mass murder, lie, steal, cheat and commit deceitful acts."
These things were going on before "Christ". It has to do with mental illness and power trips, nothing more.
I agree with you to an extent, but you cannot say with any degree of certainty that, "It has to do with mental illness and power trips, nothing more." I don't want to see anyone close themselves off to strong possibilities that may lead to the truth.
The mass murder part I can say is possibly attributed to mental illness. But, the rest is just people getting greedy so they steal, jealous or hateful so they lie, they do not believe in themselves so they cheat.
I think some people are mentally ill, but there are many others who are flat-out evil. Why? Because it works for them. The Bible tells us that our struggle is NOT against the flesh but against powers and principalities of darkness in high places.
There are gray areas to the right/wrong continuum, although some items, at least to me, are very clear and belong to one category or the other. To me - religion is irrelevant, and has nothing to do with my moral compass.
I would say yes there is right and wrong without religion. We are born with a brain to think, act and speak. We learn right and wrong from those who raised us. But, no one has to teach you to lie, cheat,steal or kill to commit ass murder, lie, steal, cheat, and commit deceitful acts. There is law without religion. I believe religion or more than that your faith is law. Just as religion/faith and the law/government determine right and wrong, they also define it. How we chose to abide by it is our choice. People are behind the hideous acts that have been committed for different reasons. I hope that answers the question.
I believe the Almighty has ingrained in us the ability to know "right" from "wrong" at birth. There are some things that one KNOWS they should not do, (killing babies). But, things become confusing when teachers or society give conflicting messages.
I agree with that CJ. Do you think the varied denominations change Christianity to a fault? I mean God created us to love, walk like and be Christlike. So why all the different ways of preaching baptist, united methodist, episcopal, a.m.e, etc.
I have attended a slew of different denominations and churches over the years. I can tell you that each church denomination has their own "claim to fame" and they seem to quarrel like the Disciples did, when they wanted to know who was the greatest.
Yeah I know. I don't get it. It's a good moneymaker, but what happened to true ministering from the pulpit?
I think true discipleship went out the door when wolves in sheep's clothing found they could make a killing by tickling people's ears. Preachers found out it's more lucrative to entertain the congregation then to train them in the ways of the Lord.
Exactly, that's why my brother stopped going.
I have not been to church in about 4 years now. I'm not giving up hope that there still is a good church out there, but I haven't found one yet. I maintain an active prayer life and continue to study Scripture - there's nothing I'd rather talk about.
all man and woman know good and evil and and right and wrong and there are some very very evil people in this world. religion is of man but, all religion believe in God in there way. all have sin and fall short but God keep the people that try to be good in check while the very very evil don't look to God and continue to do evil thing
Of course there is a right or wrong without religion.
Religion is a theology enterprise that presents these principles through verbal dicussion that projects the written writings and teachings to individuals.
But, religion is just one of the means for distribution of principles.
"What is behind the hideous acts that have been commited around the world?"
The growth of evil in the world is a direct result of immoral leaders and wicked factions supporting idol worship of immoral acts. The restoration of moral society requires a direct assault on these immoral factions and replacement of the immoral leaders within the culture that is spreading the decadent cancer of foul evil.
Right you are, Taburkett! The Almighty has placed a moral code within us at birth (I believe). However, due to wayward friends, teachers, parents, politicians and mass media, this devine code of conduct becomes compromised, cloudy, confused and dies.
This smacks of an observation made by a person who actually believes that the world is worse now than it was in the past. Such is not the case at all. Our friends in the media would have us believe it is: it sells papers and advertising space. It makes money for some to impress upon the rest of us that the world is a dangerous place.
A study of history will reveal that there is less violence now - per head of population - than there was in earlier days. The rise and fall of empires depended on organized violence; the bigger and better the army,the wealthier and more powerful were the rulers and the elite.
Nothing in the past fifty years matches the 60,000,000 plus people killed in World War Two, or the figure almost as large for World War 1. The days a the gladiator and the crowds cheering for blood have passed away. Even bull-baiting and bear-bating has all but died out.
Killing is definitely something the majority of people don't do nowadays. Why, we don't even kill our own meat anymore, we prefer it wrapped in plastic. It's a bit like modern warfare: kill by pressing a button, you don't have to look a fellow human being in the eye whilst you're doing it.
As for stealing, cheating and the like, these things will continue until each individual learns to overcome the inner feelings of want and inadequacy that triggers them. We will always have the immature among us; the young souls. Perhaps our lessons are to learn through the pain and angst we create for ourselves.
Right and wrong in human society is not based on religion, though religion may provide a moral code which some find easier to live by and to seek comfort from.(In some religion dominated countries, this may have an adverse effect if the people in charge may impose their version of 'right' and 'wrong' based upon their religious beliefs).
However a basic sense of right and wrong is common to all beliefs and to those who do not have religious belief, because concepts of right and wrong are about how we work together as a society, and understanding how our actions benefit or hurt other people. A sense of right and wrong is a natural part of us being a social animal with an inbuilt moral code which prevents us descending into anarchy.
Of course there are morals and ethics without religion. Religion has no special monopoly on ethical and moral teachings. Religion, within specific cultures have often been the carrier of ethical teachings in the past but also included cultural norms in order to inculcate the values of that particular society. Although always containing some variation, many of the most core values and ethics of a human culture have remarkable similarity with other human cultures and societies around the world. In fact, we can even find some of the most basic human values, e.g... love of family, protection of kin, group bonding, respect for hierarchy and leaders, even self sacrifice for the community, etc.. common to all primates and many mammal species! Here we get to the crux of the matter. Our actual behavior is much less shaped by the moral and ethical teachings of ethical philosophers and religious doctrines than basic primate instincts. The urge toward self preservation and survival of family lead can to unethical behaviors in individuals and at the level of the state it leads to wars and even genocide. This represents behavior ruled more by basic emotion and instinct, the same emotions and instincts we share with out ape cousins, rather than the self-conscious and reflective use of the unique qualities of human intellect. In fact, although all the major world religions preach wonderful systems of ethics and morals, they have all failed to actually modify human behavior in any meaningful way and, on the contrary, often fueled much of the human strife and bloodshed throughout our history. This is one of the great paradoxes of religion. For example, how does a religion which teaches to treat others as you yourself want to be treated, to love thine enemies, to turn the other cheek then create the Spanish inquisition, ... and launch the crusades,... So not only is there "right and wrong" without religion but humans can sometimes exhibit moral and ethical behaviors in spite of religion.
Violence and destruction have been going on for time immemorial, and, knowing Humans, will continue. Religion has actually spiked up the death toll, but, the lack of which will not alter we Hairless Monkeys' penchant for bad.
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