Saturday, September 7, 2019

Is it possible for atheists to be moral, ethical people, or do you Essay

Is it possible for atheists to be moral, ethical people, or do you believe that ethics and morality are inseparable from religion - Essay Example Not so according to Thomas Hobbes "the Nature of God, that tend not to his Honour, but to the honour of our own wits, and learning; and are nothing else but inconsiderate, and vain abuses of his Sacred Name" (Leviathan 1651, Chapter XXXI, Of the Kingdome of God by Nature). Thus no divine driving force should be believed to exist when religious pundits claim that both religion and god are required for morality. While moral values are considered necessary for society to grow, religious moral values are preferred to godless morality. However, one's morality should be based on core beliefs transcending into values. The background to moral values stems from human nature, what is valued. Combined with human relationships it is usually human beings that deduce what should be valued or not. While influence of religion can be accounted for it is finally individuals that make personal choices. John Stuart Mill in this Autobiography (1873) states "I have long felt that the prevailing tendency to regard all the marked distinctions of human character as innate, and in the main indelible, and to ignore the irresistible proofs that by far the greater part of those differences, whether between individuals, races, or sexes, are such as not only might but naturally would be produced by differences in circumstances, is one of the chief hindrances to the rational treatment of great social questions, and one of the greatest stumbling blocks to human improvement. (192) Therefore the label of holding moral values aligned to any religion can be negated as secular values derive itself more from human experience and empathy than religious beliefs. Religious morality cannot be deemed to be deep rooted...The knowledge of what is good and bad, right and wrong usually begins from an individuals own understanding. While morality could mean principles, in ethics we refer to moral codes, a branch of moral philosophy which studies moral conduct. Moreover one could argue that these are one and the same. While, atheists rely on the existence of god for morality to prevail, ethics revolves around behaviour, delving into anthropology, psychology, sociology and history to understand beliefs about moral norms. According to Albert Einstein, â€Å"The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates. (Religion and Science - 1930). In modern day living this view has even been endorsed by The Dalai Lama who emphasized that "We need these human values. I call these secular ethics, secular beliefs. There’s no relationship with any particular religion. Even without religion, even as nonbelievers, we have the capacity to promote these things." Continuing the argument that ethics and morality are inseparable from religion, it has been argued that while religion upholds morality via faith from belief in god, atheists provides no moral guidance. Instead they form and adhere to ethics they themselves have decided upon. These moral standards with a code of ethics both in terms of variables and evolving decisions, being moral or its opposite immoral signify their actions.

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