Relationship between Religion and Ethics
The fact that religion and ethics are related is not debatable. The issue that concerns many is the actual relationship that subsists between religion and ethics. Three distinct points of view seek to explain the relationship. First, that religion precedes ethics, secondly, ethics precedes religion and lastly that religion and ethics are interdependent.
According to Confucius, a great Chinese philosopher, people ought to be taught to do good as human beings are by nature inclined to do wrong. He argues that human beings tendency to do wrong is instinctive and as such, they have to be taught on what is right and how comply. His teachings center on his belief that people should not do wrong to each other since all are members of the society that does not belong to any of them.
Regardless of the relationship between religion and ethics, it follows that one can have ethical values without necessarily being religious. This is contrary to religion uses authority and emotions to justify its principles, ethics rely on reason. Therefore, a non-religious person can understand right and wrong out of ethical demands. This is because someone can get valid reasons as to why they should do or not do something.
Concerning the article in the New York Times, my opinion is that religion and religious leaders should be included in such observances. This is because religion forms a very special social aspect of people’s lives (Goodstein, 2011). Religious leaders are supremely significant public figures whose role in the society is paramount in the well-being of the nation. Religion provides people with a good consolation and comfort during such times of deep distress. Religion enables human beings to connect with a higher authority that serves to rejuvenate them, and restore their spirit even during trying times.
Goodstein, L. (2011 Sep. 8). Omitting Clergy at 9/11, Ceremony Prompts Protest. The New York Times.Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/nyregion/omitting-clergy-from-911-ceremony-prompts-protest.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=fb-share