Can One Be Moral and Not Believe In God?
- Morality is referring to a set of guidelines that are supposed to determine whether a behavior is right or wrong.
- The concept of morality is used to determine what behaviors are or are not considered acceptable within the society.
- There are arguments that are for and against the origin of morals.
- Some individuals think that morals are strictly originating from religion, while others think that it is something practiced and followed by all.
- While religion can sway some behaviors, it does not mean that a person has to believe in God to be able to have morals.
- Lower number of people in prison, when compared to the number of religious individuals in prison.
- For atheists to have the lowest number of people in prison, it shows that there have to be some sort of moral values that are upheld by the atheists.
- Morality is taught through social interactions, not spiritual.
- People are born with inherent tendencies for both good and evil.
- Cultural heritage also is a big influence on what behaviors an individual will display.
- People knew right from wrong, even before religion was ever started.
- If God were to determine what is right versus what is wrong, that would leave him being arbitrary, which makes him less worthy of worship.
- God is believed to allow man free will, so by him setting and enforcing moral guidelines, it does not show him as allowing the free will that is supposed to be available for all.
- Leaves out many faiths that practice moral behavior, but they are not atheist, because they believe in something else, yet they still believe in acting morally responsible.
- There are still many faiths that have similar moral standards to those of Christian based faith, yet they do not believe in the Christian concept of God.
- While someone that does not believe in God may act morally, they do not know what determines these behaviors to be right or wrong, leaving them with looser morals.
- Without religion, a person cannot have a true idea of what is right versus what is wrong.
- The only reason someone that does not believe in the concept of God will follow particular rules is if there are laws saying that they have too.
- There is no rational or logic behind morals, which makes it less likely for a person, who does not believe in God to be willing to follow moral rules .
- It was shown in a study that those with more anger and resentment towards God viewed more protests toward God as acceptable.
- It would make sense to assume that this would make people less likely to follow morality.
- Response to Counter-argument
- Religion has a dark past of its own.
- The Catholic Church was responsible for the Crusades .
- There were actually multiple Crusades that took place, theses were church sanctioned killings that occurred towards anyone that did not believe in God.
- The Puritans were responsible for Salem Witch Trials.
- Some of the most noted examples of this were Bridget Bishop, Sarah Good, and John Proctor.
- These were both events where people were killed in the name of God.
- If Christians are to believe that God is the reason for morals, then they are not following the teachings of their own beliefs.
- There is another issue that the aspect of religion, specifically the Catholic religion, has been blamed for.
- In the Catholic Church, it is not uncommon to hear stories of sexual abuse.
- Almost 300 priests and bishops were accused of this behavior in 2004, alone.
- There are similar cases belonging to other faiths, but religion seems to show Catholics being the most commonly known for this immoral behavior.
- There are reasons to be moral as a non-believer.
- A person will still follow morals, as a result of the considering the consequences of their actions.
- A good example of this is if you get caught stealing from a store, you will get arrested.
- Cultural and social backgrounds can also be responsible for the individual determining what behaviors are right or wrong.
- Parents and other local adults teach children how to behave in a moral manner.
- Culturally, behaviors are based on the needs of the society and the needs within the particular culture.
- These needs are what determine the behaviors of the individuals within the particular group.
- As time progresses, and these needs change, so does the ideals of what behaviors are or are not considered moral.
- Restate the thesis
- Even though it was assumed that religion is the only form or morality, it is not the case.
Atheism 101: Can you be moral without God? (2009, July 29). Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/article/atheism-101-can-you-be-moral-without-god
Can we be Good without Believing in God? (2011, March 16). Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Butterflies and Wheels: http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/can-we-be-good-without-believing-in-god/
Exline, J., Kaplan, K., & Grubbs, J. (2012, November). Anger, Exit, and Assertion: Do People See Protest Toward God as Morally Acceptable? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 4(4), 264-277. Retrieved October 23, 2013
Frame, J., & Poythress, V. (1996). Do We Need God To Be Moral. Retrieved October 19, 2013, from Frame and Poythress: http://www.frame-poythress.org/do-we-need-god-to-be-moral/
Plante, T., & Daniels, C. (2004, May). The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic: What Psychologists and Counselors. Pastoral Psychology, 52(5). Retrieved October 20, 2013, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/34033/pp3article.pdf
Schick, T. (1997). Morality Requires God or Does It? Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Council for Secular Humanism: http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=schick_17_3