ANSWERS: 41
  • There would be morals, taboos, community standards, societal expectations if there were no religion. They just wouldn't be set by religious institutions.
  • I believe that morals would still be around. As long as someone knows what bothers, or hurts them (violence, theft, etc...) and what makes them feel good (love, honesty) then they obviously know right and wrong. Knowing right and wrong is the basis for morals. I wrote an essay on it in school and the teacher put a note on it disagreeing with my point of view. The grade wasn't affected, but I thought the note was a bit unprofessional.
  • Yes. I know many people who are not religious who have morals. It's a one-way sort of thing. Religion may give one morals but morals does not give one religion. Hmm . . . I'm not sure that's what I meant, but . . .
  • Yes , I am a Roman Catholic but that does not mean that I think people with no religious beliefs cannot be moral ,kind and good people. You do not have to be religious to be moralistic IMO
  • I just heard this thing on the radio that said that people that associate with religions are MORE likely to do drugs, have affairs, etc. I don't know what that says...
  • The ultimate basis for morality is the interconnectedness of all life -- I'm not separate from the whole of life, including others. Understanding that can take a long time, however: we aren't born with that understanding, it comes with development and maturity. Thus those who understand it tend to produce systems of moral rules and principles to provide guidance for those who are still shaky in the matter. Religion is one type of of structure in which these rules and principles get encoded and propagated. So while the basis of morality isn't "built in" at birth, our progression toward maturity inevitably leads to it, because maturity ultimately heads in the direction of understanding the nature of reality, and interconnectedness IS the nature of reality. So morality is reliably "discoverable" for humans. There's no need to fear it would disappear in the absence of religion.
  • For a moment while I glanced over this question I worried that you believe without religion there would be more morals and my heart stopped. I've dealt with people who believe that, and it makes me sick. But after reading the question I realized what you just meant asking the opinion of others, and I breathed a sigh of relief. No, I don't believe that with a lack of religion, morals would go too. People know not to put their child's hand on a hot frying pan, and they can be an aetheist while understanding this too!
  • Morals created religion. Religion was born out of people's desire for morals (and explanations). Morals will always exist because it is part of the human being, our emotions tell us what is right and what is wrong, even if we're not correct about the right and wrong part.
  • Absolutely. Religion is not the source of morality and ethics. We know this because people of all religions, and none, have morals and ethics. Sometimes the morals and ethics vary because of religion. In fact, it is often religion that leads to some of the most immoral acts. People begin to believe in their absolute correctness, absolute truth, the incorrectness of others, and their need to "save" those others at any cost. People also identify with their religion so strongly, that they feel a need to protect it from any challenge, and suppress (violently, if need be) any opposing views.
  • I think that religion did play a role in helping to form the standards for some of the morals we all use today (even if this happened hundreds of thousands of years ago). As for in modern times, I know that many non-religious people have morals, just as I know some religious people who don't.
  • No. Reason can lead us to morality and ethics regardless of religion. Religion simply reinforces those morals, and often times creates an unnecessary sense of sin over things that are not immoral.
  • No. Religion is a detriment not an asset. Religion brings us arbitrary lists of absolute morals with no justification other than "God says so". That does not give people enough guidance in how to deal with situations on a case-by-case basis. Ethics is based on using rules of logic to answer questions based on general concepts, such as human rights and the definition of "harm". Ethics allows the flexibility to determine if something is just or unjust by the circumstances.
  • No, but it helps create a society in which morality and ethics are, if not the same, at least similar. As a Catholic Christian (monotheist), I know where other monotheists like other Christians, Jews, and Muslims are coming from. I know at least the basis for their standards of morality. I even know somewhat where Hindus, Buddhists, and other "Eastern" religions are coming from. But this is not the case with Atheists. Each one has to assemble his or her own code of morality. What does each one think is good and evil? And why? What if some important thing to me like the dignity and value of human life is not valuable to him or her? With love in Christ.
  • Absolutely.
  • of course
  • I dont feel it does, I KNOW it does. I'm very anti-religious and I for one do have morals.
  • Yes, very much so.
  • Morality was here way before religion came to claim it.
  • Yes, obviously it does. Religion is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for morality.
  • Of course it would exist. I think Albert Einstein said it best "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
  • I used to think so when I became an atheist, but realized most of my moral basis came from my Catholic upbringing, and being an atheist left me to my own devices. Needless to say, I am a Catholic again. I didn't like having no moral compass in my life.
  • Once again (and this question has been posed in many forms), morals and ethics has nothing to do with theology. It's based on society.
  • Humans have that innate capacity to know when how they are behaving is not congruent with what they think to be decent, to be human. I have struggled with my atheism throughout my life. But I always knew I did not need God to tell me that how you treat others is important. Kindness is a value that both atheist and believers share. I actually like the Buddhist path, which stresses karma and an ultimate goal of being happy and making other happy. It sounds very Christian too. Yet it comes from human desire to be spiritually giving to others.
  • The dictionary says morals relate to right and wrong behavior. IMHO, those distinction exist above religion to regulate our actions. To give an obvious example, murder is wrong.
  • Sure! Integrity is a value that ties in with morality. There are many other values that do as well. These are indicitive of a person's character. Religion (or lack thereof) is not a sole determinant of morality in society or individuals. In fact, some Atheists I know have better morals than others I know who call themselves Christians.
  • Yes, but not necessarily the other way 'round.
  • No. Not necessary at all.
  • I don't think so, although religion certainly promotes a debate and a learning process about them. However, I think if religion did not exist some code of living, written or unwritten would have been devised to which society was expected to conform. Isn't that what the legal system is about?
  • 1) Religion is people searching for God. 2) It's intrinsic to our being that we search outside ourselves answers that aren't satisfied by our normal senses. 3) Without this search, we'd have no morality because our physical nature is to only please ourselves which could give a rip about morality.
  • Morals are based on belief. Having said that yes morals (beliefs) would exsist without religion.
  • Morals are simply an evolutionary adaptation in behaviors. When our eyes started to shift from the sides of our heads to the front, we lost our peripheral vision, and we needed a new way to maintain our safety from predators. So we started living in groups because it gave us a better chance to spot and escape predators. With group living comes pecking orders, mating behaviors, and altruism towards the group, because if the group survives so do you. That's where our morals come from. All religion does is codify(write) them.
  • Yes. The two don't have much to do with each other. A look at the history of any religion is enough to show that. +5
  • I do think there would be morals without religion based on the friends I have and how they raise their children. None of them attend church or embrace faith, yet they take the time to teach their kids right from wrong. I think we all have a little voice that guides us towards what is morally right. I do however think morals would be higher with religion. Just a thought.
  • Yes I do think one can exist without the other.. if you want to know why I think this, check out this Q & A... http://www.answerbag.com/a_view/7337014
  • Morals are derived from interactions between human beings. People who think rationally tend to discover that when interacting with other human beings it is advantageous to treat others how they themselves wish to be treated. The basis for morality is personal freedom and quality of life. People give up varying degrees of personal freedom to maintain moral balance that improves their quality of life. When someone kills another human being they commit the ultimate violation of personal freedom and are generally judged the most harshly by moral standards. Stealing property is immoral because you are violation the property of another person. These are all very simple concepts we teach children. The moral center of our consciousness, the super-ego associates emotions to different social interactions. The varying degrees to which we feel emotions are gauged by the super-ego and we are made to feel correlating emotions. We fear death and killing breeds grief and anger. We are emotionally attached our hard earned possessions and outraged by their theft. This emotional response to violations of personal freedoms also explains ethical gray areas, like abortion and euthanasia. Humans are just bags of emotional goo held loosely together by ancient instincts, tattered strips of rational thought and haphazardly acquired knowledge. Morals are a herd survival trait.
  • Yes. Atheists and other brands of irreligious people have morals. Therefore, there are morals without religion.
  • Sure! Morals help us live together, since we are hopelessly pack animals. Religion simply gives us the encouragement we sometimes require to maintain those standards, when we prefer to satisfy our own needs at the expense of others in the pack. +5
  • "If God did not exists it would be necessary to invent him" - Voltaire so my answer is "Yes" religion is necessary for morality and ethics

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