This chapter highlights the association between religion and set of moral values. It entails various examples from history to establish a conclusion on whether morality has got any connection with religion? The major debate has been included under the concepts of 1) Divine Command 2) Natural Law 3) Sensitive moral issues and religion. These include scriptures and traditions of church. Each of these present different views on the moral concerns and justifies own believes through various examples from human life. This chapter concludes on the statement that morality is completely independent of religion.
Discussion in this chapter revolves around the conflicting concepts of morality and its implications on religion. Divine command concept says that God is the supreme power and ethics is the set of tenets characterized by him. This theory leaves certain troublesome dilemmas like, the mystery lies in morality, commands given by God are arbitrary as God creates his own reasons for anything to be right or wrong, true or false and finally it encounters the problem of wrong reasoning backed by moral standards as God is the one who gives reasons for morality. Whereas, Natural law concept spills out that world is a systematic and rational place and events take place accordingly and logically. It says every natural confrontation is right and ethical but meanwhile it poses certain confusions like not always a natural occurrence would be good, it also confuses between” what is” and “ what has to be” also it contradicts with the concepts of present world researches. Scriptures have predefined values and it sees every issue from that perspective. Catholic Church has evolved with time and it shows shift in its practice with time advancement in human knowledge. All this discussion ends with the resolution that morality and religion operate independently.
Few questions pop up in my mind; should we place religion before constitution or vice versa? How the natural law concept justifies the natural disasters and catastrophes? How really the believers and non believers could be equivalent when one follows the supreme power of the world and other relies on human intellect? If morality and religions have no connections then what religions are based on?
“Everything in nature has a purpose” [Greek‘s Belief] “To disparage the dictate of reason is equivalent to condemning the command of God” [Saint Thomas Aquinas], “Before I formed you in womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” [Jeremiah]
The chapter leaves deep imprints on my intellects as I can now better evaluate my own understanding of ethical apprehensions. Chapter helps me to clearly understand the difference between the regulations set by human mind and the obligations imposed by God to make this world a better place to live. It helps me to understand how the rules of God are in alignment with the ethics and rational decisions made by human mind. It evokes a thoughtful session to understand how humans can practice better moral values with less restrictions and obligation in order to minimize religious variance. It connects with my course in a very discrete manner to optimize the societal relationship with the ethical codes.
It was worth reading this chapter as it gives an impartial view of various concepts on one topic. It instigates the reader to go through a brain storming session in order to understand the philosophy of life. As this chapter says that morality is no where linked to religion so the people of this world can make standardized set of moral practices and can make this world a better place to live.