Many a times we have based our morality on the standards provided by religion. What if the God’s laws and commandments are just arbitrary? The same God who issued the commands could as well command us to kill human beings. This shows that the commandments can just be arbitrage. The atheists do not believe in the existence of God yet they have moral standards. The implication is that morality can exist without God or religion.
Morality based on religion presents many obstacles to overcome in reasoning. There are many instances in which the religious leaders have failed to give support to some religious doctrines on morality. Some of the commandments beat logics. When we cannot apply reasoning to our morality, we are deemed to be called ignorant (Reese, 2006). Criteria for morality are backed by good reasoning. Reasoning is a fundamental requirement of morality. It is human nature to apply rationality in moral decision making. The human nature does not allow for arbitrary commandments that lack reasoning.
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Freethinking as a viewpoint suggests that opinions should be based on facts, logic and science. There are no forms of bias in this type of thought. Our opinions should therefore not be influenced by authority and traditions, among other dogmas. Human beings are free thinkers. They have mind to discern what goes on around them. Issues of morality are weighed against facts and a conclusion is reached. Human beings as freethinkers should resist the limits that are imposed by authority, which include God. The authority is full of bias and therefore should never be used in making moral decisions.
Human beings are usually ethical in their decisions. Their main aim is always to ensure a happy and fulfilling life. Utilitarianism stipulates that human beings always desire to live happily and with pleasure (Rachel, 1999). The religions and traditions are always a setback in achieving these desires. They always have doctrines and cultures that deny people off their freedom and pleasure. God has a way of denying human beings a happy life. Therefore, we should strive to protect our interests by doing away with the dogmas of religion and cultures.
There are ethical consequences that face human beings. They have a unique responsibility in maintaining high standards of ethics to avoid the severe consequences. Therefore, they will try as much as they can to avoid evil deeds. This means that human being can do without God in the picture since their nature is to maintain high level of ethical standards.
It is true that religion is a poor moral guide. There are many religious people that held Christian beliefs so strongly yet they performed acts that can never be imagined. These acts are today considered as morally repugnant. Richard Dawkins in his book, God Delusion, claims that Christians have imposed unfair restrictions on their fellow human beings. For example, they have condoned slavery over many decades yet this is considered as a vive in the society. There are instances in the holy books were Christians have restricted the freedom of women and civil rights groups (Nielsen, 1990). These people have marginalized for a long period of time. This too is considered unfair in the societal set ups. People should be regarded equally and hence given their rights.
Religions groups do not always acknowledge the binding authority behind the holy books. Most Christians do not want to follow the bible in cases where they feel they are squeezed. This means that the holy books are never a good guide for morality. It is easy to commit to the human natural law than following what is in the Bible and other holy books. Since human beings are products of nature, they will quickly respond to the call to use human wisdom.
According to Mavrodes George (1986), the world in a religious manner is an important presumption of Morality. This is because he believed that morality could only be sensible when viewed from a religious point of view. Religion has many definitions depending on many factors. This depends of the region where one comes from. Universally the meaning of religion is theism. This means that it incorporates doctrines that are found in Judaism as well as Christianity. These common doctrines are also found in Islam as well. They form the principles that are used as points of reference. This means that you have to believe that you were created by God. Thus, God is the overall authority both in heaven and on earth. He controls everything and everyone does things based on the commandments of God (Rachel, 1990). Anyone who does not believe in God who is the creator has committed a crime. The final Judge is God. He judges people for their actions especially the wrong doings. Those guilty are subjected to severe punishments while the righteous are awarded eternal life. Thus, withoutGod, peoplefind it hard to honor ethical obligations which translate to moral good.
Being morally obligated to do things needs sacrifice (Nielsen, 1990). This usually entails people foregoing worldly treasures like goods. Since it enables incurring a cost, it is seen as imprudent. People asked themselves why they should pay the cost only if there is a justice system that could balance the cost incurred. In addition, the deficiencies that were as a result of aninjustice were executed by humans. This madeMavrodes disregardfools who said that there was no God. According to the fool, without God there was absolutely no sense to act justly. This is an indication that if there was no God, morality would have no room to be practiced. However Manrodes disagrees with the fool. He challenges the fool and says if indeed there was no God; the fool wouldn’t be able to make any reasoning at all (Mavrodes, 1990). Mavrodes thus tries to explain philosophically how moral ethics are sensible in non-religious world.
Hobbes defends morality in a more representative way (Nielson, 1990). He says that as much as someone does not believe in any religion, everyone should be moral. He represents his colleagues and the age groups. However, most of them practiced religion skeptically. They could rebel the religion that was dormant during their times.
The scholars of Hobbes took a different approach from that of Hobbes (Rachel, 1999). Hobbes theory of morality could not be understood without the theological commitments he had. This meant that if there was no religion, he could not be morally well. Other scholars like Howard also seconded how Hobbes handled the issues of morality. He said the political and moral theories of Hobbes did not depend on religion (Louise, 1994). This means that in deed morality could exist with God.
Different interpretation of theism arose from several other philosophers. Sharon reaffirmed that Hobbes was a Theistic. By virtue of being a theistic, his religious as well as political morality was as a result of moral issues (Nielson, 1990). In fact, according to Martinis; Hobbes was a dedicated orthodox Christian. Thus, and scholars brought mixed reactions. Others proposed that Hobbes was a Christian whiles the other opposing. Since the moral ethics of Hobbes were good, Hobbes was a good example that moral issues could exist both in the presence and absence of God.
The scholars who wrote about Hobbes brought out there different understanding of Hobbes (Nielson, 1990). This does not mean that they were bringing to confuse the reader in regard to Hobbes morality. George did an excellent work in ensuring that people understand Hobbes better. He did not approach the issue as historians did. The description he gave about Hobbes was not on his religious background but rather on the work he did. Hobbes had a lot of friends that were clergy men .But he did not like the clergy as a class. According to him, he emphasized on the historical perspectives of Hobbes (Louise, 1994). This enabled him draw more debates. This is because the history of Hobbes helped in understanding the morality of Hobbes. His past actions could help in understanding Hobbes better. History has been used in many places to understand a given phenomenon.
Morality is a human conscience behavior that exists in every man. With or without god, man is a moral being. Nature defines morality and one need not to hear god to be morally upright. Morality is a level of self honor and respect for other. Man has and will always remain a social being that exists in a society. Morality and society defines the way people live. Even in the societies and a people group who do not know god has moral standards (Mavrodes, 1986). Atheists can also be morally good people. If atheists are able to live a morality upright life with good morals without being ordered by god, then morality could and would exist with god.
People can be happy and feel good even without god. If god defines what is good, such as being kind and generous; then when god ceases to exist, people would be kind and generous but it shall not be called good. Non religious people can also feel happy and enjoy helping others. The godless people find meaning in life by helping other people, caring for the destitute and supporting them who are in need (Louis, 1994). A mother or father need not to have god to be able to train their child on the way of morality.
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