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Do we need religion to define our morality?

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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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My mother and I just got into a rather heated discussion (her side was heated, I tried remaining understanding). I believe that religion has caused guilt, shame, hurt, and has done an awful lot of bad in this world. It has also done good, such as churches setting up non profit organizations and charities.

My mother claimed that without religion, people would be raping, murdering, destroying, and hurting this world and all its people. She said that even if religion revolves around a fear of Hell, it's still better than living in a world sans of religion.

This brings me to my question: Do we need religion to define our moral compass? Without religion, would we be in trouble? It's an interesting thought.




posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Skepticesque
 


You both make valid arguments,

You may be interested in reading the thread I made earlier today regarding Atheism leading Nihilism,

Honestly, I don't know anymore these days, because it seems I am constantly seeing the same human atrocities commited over and over again daily, by people coming from all backgrounds, religions, races, and beliefs....

Humanity as a whole is lost and fallen, not just atheists, not just Christians.....

*sigh*

S&F for open investigation and civil discussion



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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I just wanna add real quick -

The Bible, when properly understood, provides a solid foundation for a code of ethics and morals that really can't be beat,

But there are wayyyy to many wingnuts out there, (Westboro baptist church, amongst others) who completely twist and pervert Gods word to the point of it being an abomination....



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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I think religion is not absolutely necessary for imposing a moral standard. But up to today it's hard do impose a moral standard without religion. Religion offers a supreme being, capable of beatificating you or damn you. Philosophies don't. Without supreme being controling a system, this system tend to collapse into anarchy. But currently efforts a made to create a religion-free moral system.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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In answer to the question you posted
"Do we need religion to define our morality?"

I can not speak for we but I can speak for I
I do not personally need religion in order to treat others how I would wish to be treated.
I do not need a so called agent of God to set out rules on how I should live my life.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:57 PM
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My personal belief is, NO. We have never needed religion to define our morality. But there are many who see it both ways.

Take a look at "Getreadyalready's" thread entitled: Can there be civility without spirituality? I found it to be an interesting and enlightening thread.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by Skepticesque
 




Long series of videos (this is part 1 of 9)
But it may raise some points not thought of by you, if you engage in the subject again.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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One word Empathy!

2nd line....



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Skepticesque
My mother and I just got into a rather heated discussion (her side was heated, I tried remaining understanding). I believe that religion has caused guilt, shame, hurt, and has done an awful lot of bad in this world. It has also done good, such as churches setting up non profit organizations and charities.

My mother claimed that without religion, people would be raping, murdering, destroying, and hurting this world and all its people. She said that even if religion revolves around a fear of Hell, it's still better than living in a world sans of religion.

This brings me to my question: Do we need religion to define our moral compass? Without religion, would we be in trouble? It's an interesting thought.


Religion does not bring about a moral compass, we are each born with a conscience, religion is not the cause, it is the effect.

1 Samuel 8:5 "Look," they told him, "you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have."
(In their hearts they would not understand the truth of their situation, they did not percieve God as their king and therefore did not have the kingdom of God in their hearts.)

1 Samuel 8:20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

1 Samuel 10:19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, 'No, set a king over us.' So now present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans."
(God had this role of Kingship and he did it well.)

1 Samuel 12:2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day.
(There IS a difference between a leader and a dictator.)

1 Samuel 8:6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
(Samuel knew who the true king and went to him for guidance.)

1 Samuel 12:13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you.
(Ask and you shall recieve.)

1 Samuel 15:11 "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.
(Saul made himself a dictator, he concieved his own rules, he put himself above God in his heart by choosing not to carry out God's instructions.)

1 Samuel 13:13-14 “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
(God devised a way to bring a good leader to represent his people.)

2 Samuel 14:14 -All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
(The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. -Proverbs 24:16)


edit on 10/01/11 by Wonders because: To add.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by jheated5
One word Empathy!

2nd line....


Extract from Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Shylock: I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 07:03 PM
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I do not believe religion is necessary to have a good moral compass.

A little background on me. I was exposed to church and Christianity as a child, didn't follow it as I got older, found it again when I was a young adult, and now for more than 7 years have been away from any churches or whatever. My spirituality is still evolving and changing.

When I was a kid, I did bad things and when I did, I usually knew it. Not because God or someone told me it was bad though. I felt bad. I didn't like hurting another person, so I felt that it was bad/wrong. I tried to be better. I also helped people when I could all throughout my life, when I was a Christian and when I was not (am not). I like making people feel good. I don't like seeing suffering. That was even when I was a kid. So I did and still do what I can to stop someone from feeling bad or sad. And that's good.

I feel like I'm babbling, so take what you will from this. I don't know if I'm being clear.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by Ellie Sagan
 


Yes what you say makes perfect sense and is clear.
We all do know when we have not acted kindly as it reverberates within and like you say makes us feel bad.
Not a day goes by without me looking at something I have said or done to others that I resolve to do better in future.
Being miserable when I could have been light hearted - being short tempered when I could have been kinder
Giving instead of wanting - It is the little things that are the biggest things.




edit on 25-4-2012 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by Skepticesque
 


I wanted to answer your question before reading any others post on the thread.

I think that whether we had religion or didn't have religion we would find ourselves in a similar state to where we are now. Religion serves one purpose - to bring like-minded people together and congregate. That in itself should give one pause. Large numbers of religious extremists are hateful and destructive.

Because of this, I think that all religions of all faiths, should regularly be looked into. I don't think people should be able to use religion to do whatever they want.

Now if there was no religion - like minded people would still congregate - shoot the breeze - as you will, and over time another religion would spring into existence. It's human nature, a part of who we are. We observe, we wander, we wonder - it's inevitable.

Religion is here to stay, so long as people exist. *Shrugs*



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