Morality Without Religion: Can Morality Exist Without Religion

The manner in which human beings can develop morals without religion is often the cause of heated debates and arguments. Whether morality can exist at all without religion is the core of the issue, with religious groups often using the argument to attack secular groups and institutions. Herein, the question will be discussed fairly and with an even viewpoint.

Morality Without Religion: Why Religious People Think Morality Requires Religion

People with religious beliefs, generally of the monotheistic religions, tend to argue that without religion then morality cannot exist. The core of this argument is basically that without religious belief a person has no consequences for their actions in their mortal life. For instance, if someone believes that when they die that is the end, then there is little to stop them from being a hedonistic nihilist and pursuing whatever they want at any given time.

Another way of presenting this point is by stating that if biological death is the end of consciousness, then what happens after a person dies is completely irrelevant to them. Subsequently, it stands to reason that they can do whatever they want as the moral implications of their actions are irrelevant to them.

Morality Without Religion: Why Morality Can Exist Without Religion

The first thing to note about religion is that it offers an explanation for the unknown factors of the universe, including what occurs after death. While religious people assume this is required for morality, they often do not seem to make the connection that doubt about what happens after death is sufficient for morality to exist. For instance, from a game theory perspective it makes sense to play it safe and assume that an afterlife exists rather than presume that one does not and behave in a hedonistic and nihilistic manner.

The second issue that religious people often fail to confront is that humans simply are not in as much control of themselves as they might believe. For instance, while all evidence could point to living a nihilistic life as the path to follow, even those that profess such beliefs tend against doing so. The reason for this is most probably biological in that humans have evolved to be altruistic as it benefits everyone more than emotional selfishness. Subsequently, it is near impossible to override these primal social attitudes.

The third and last issue that religious people often do not consider is that someone can completely believe in an inherent nihilistic nature of the universe and simply act illogically towards it or enjoy living in the moment with morals. For instance, someone can desire the world to be a certain way and attempt to shape it that way even though they will die and not be around to experience it. While this may seem illogical or irrational, it is important to remember that human beings are not necessarily always rational.

Related posts: