Does morality exist independant of Holy books?
In holy books such as the Bible and the Koran, a sense of external morality is needed to clarify which sections are to be viewed as virtuous and which are to be condemmed as teaching behaviour that is harmful to oneself or others and should not be practiced in one's life. This means that morality does not come from holy books, as religions often claim.
Clearly, both morality and ethics exist independently of holy books. Ethics are universals, and exist in every society, including ones that have no writing at all. All societies recognize that killing, stealing, lying, and screwing around simply lead to a society not working as well and more people suffering. That is an example of universal ethics.
Morality includes ethics, but also includes social codes particular to each society. For example, all societies have some form of dress code (though it may be as small as a string), and distinguish naked (in private) from dressed (in public). But the well-dressed aboriginal woman (topless) may be considered naked at the NY Opera House.
There are also many great works of philosophy, such as Plato and Aristotle, that are all about ethics and morals and are not holy books, but clearly seen as works of human thought.
The point you make about commentary that indicate what parts of holy books are to be followed arises, accordiing to some, because our sense of morality is changing. Punishments such as "an eye for an eye" and "a life for a life" and blood price (standard payment for accidental death) were moral positions when these books were written, and we look at them differently now. So universal ethics from holy books remain true, while social morals present in holy books may no longer be seen as valid. Depending on one's religious views, they are either set aside or re-interpreted.
No. It has to be imposed. There are no true measures of right and wrong. That's why the world is always fighting. Who's right? The country with the best weapons. Religions try to civilize humans to get them to care about each other. The law of jungle is, there are no rules, anything goes. The lion doesn't care about the deer except for a meal. That's why the military has to reprogram people with kill or be killed, or fight for a cause or freedom. Any attitude can be programmed. Without religion, the world would be far worse than it is now.
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