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The Origin and Basis For Morality

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posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 08:29 AM
Late last night I recieved a Google news alert linking me to the following:

Virtually every debate between an atheist and a theist features the question of where humans got their morality; their ideas of right and wrong. Theists say that without a religion to enforce a moral code, we’d all be amoral hedonists. Atheists point out the fact that there are still laws and societal discipline keeps our behaviors in check even if we choose to opt out of having a religion. Could morality exist without a religion and is there something that could point us to an answer? Like tracing our evolutionary lineage perhaps?

Does evolution explain morality? If so then on what basis can we truly say something is moral or immoral?

French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain helped draft the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which recognizes “the inherent dignity” and “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” Further, it affirms: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” What is missing, though, is any foundation or basis for human dignity and rights. In light of the philosophical discussion behind the drafting of the Declaration,

Maritain wrote: “We agree on these rights, providing we are not asked why. With the ‘why,’ the dispute begins.”

The question of why something is moral is an imporat question and one most people ignore. Everyone constantly makes moral judgements but on what basis can you make such a judgement?

Even if you tell someone not to judge, you have made a judgement yourself!

To read a number of articles about this subject and hear an audio reponse to the question of morality, follow this link:Morality

[edit on 18-4-2009 by tsrk30]

posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by tsrk30

This is a very touchy subject. I have heard pretty strong arguments for both sides. I for one base my morality on the laws of God, where as some one else bases their morality on the laws of the land. But we are using the same critera for our morality. As a Christian you obey the laws of the land because the Bible tells us so. I dont think the question could be answered with out any doubts until we die and know for a fact that there is a God or not. I for one err on the side of caution. I believe in God with all my heart, and if I die and there is no God, well i havent lost anything in life by believing soooo. That is just the way i see it..

posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 09:08 AM
Weather you're religious or not, I think most of us seem to follow the Golden Rule. We just try and treat others how we want to be treated and hope for the best. I think most people are born with a moral sense. Why? I don't know.

posted on May, 22 2009 @ 01:38 PM

Originally posted by oneinthesame
Weather you're religious or not, I think most of us seem to follow the Golden Rule.

I am glad you brought this up. Pretty much every religion has some concept of kharmic law, i.e. what goes around comes around. I think this solitary rule is the basis for all morality. Anything else is just a control mechanism used to try to get around the consequences.

If you go off of the Jungian idea of ego, all people are inheritly selfish. They don't kill someone because they know someone will come back to avenge the death -- generally because of anger about the loss, another selfish, but understandable reaction. Same goes with robbery, rape, vandelism, etc. It all comes down to the old premise of you get what you give. And from an anarchists POV, I think we as humans would probably evolve much quicker if there were no large governmental organizations controlling our daily activities.

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 07:56 PM
The basis for morality is certainly the golden rule, or rather its genesis, the ability to have sympathy and empathy for others. Jung was genius with his psychological archetypes work, but to say that the only reason that people don’t harm others is because they fear retribution is to cast all humanity as being sociopaths. There are only a small minority of people who are sociopaths, unfortunately, they all seem to wind up in positions of power.

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