Does Morality Depend On Religion - Essay Example

Date:  2021-06-24 11:24:46
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According to the divine command theory, things remain wrong or right only if the gods direct it or forbid it, and in essence, there is no other reason behind the notion of good or bad in light of the gods directives. However, several questions emerge from this concept. Are there gods? Do humans believe in the best for the gods? How is it possible to know the commands of the gods? Are the translations given on the God commands accurately? The above questions are just a load of challenges faced while trying to base ethical acts on religion. On the other hand, confusion arises when authorities give directives on moral values, thus raising further confusion on how ethics is based on religion.

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However, finding the gods does not translate to finding the right moral commands. On the same note, finding the commands does not interpret to understanding the controls in agreement with the wishes of the gods. Additionally, finding the right book, church, or vision does not translate to understanding the moral obligations as bestowed upon humanity by the gods. Depending on books and the church too only amount of translations, an act that can be counterproductive in the aspect that reading can take any form considering the many translation languages available. Plato once posed the question, if things are right because the gods command them to be so or if they command them because they are right. Plato argued that if an issue remains good because the gods direct them to be so, then it means that the directives are arbitrary and without any form of reason. It thus means that there is no good logic for their directive saying that, they only command things because they have the power. On the other hand, if they give the directives because the commands are right, then it means that there is a genuine reason behind their directives. Relying on the god's instructions on moral actions, thus brings the question behind the purpose of the guidelines. It, therefore, means that reason forms the basis of a moral action and not the gods. It is the reason that makes something wrong or right. The same applies with an official directive or guidance. The issue at hand is not just right or wrong only because the authority says so, but it is right or bad based on the reasons and not the authority, meaning that to an extent, the authorities may be wrong.

However, if the commands come from the gods, and the gods have power over humanity, and they can inflict pain on people if they do wrong, then it means that it is obligatory to follow the commands irrespective of the reasons. If they have the power to inflict pain if one does wrong, then humanity has all the reason to obey their commands to avoid torture, not because of the general aspect of staying morally right, but just to avoid pain. It is thus tough to base ethics on religion, considering the above position. Religion also comes into serious doubt if one questions the reasons behind the commands bearing in mind that the reasons behind the commands remain unknown. However, in case it all remains a mystery, then the church has no obligation to direct moral actions, and people just need to stay skeptical on ethical issues. It thus calls for making moral judgments based on philosophical reasoning instead of imaginary gods. Additionally, religion does not offer definitive solutions on many ethical issues faced by the society today such as abortion and murder.

Natural Law

On a similar note, the Natural Law takes a non-religious approach towards morality. According to Aristotle, all things in nature do have an intention. Meaning that the universe has a logical order with reason and values built into its right environment. For example, the eye is intended to see, and the legs are designed to walk, among other parts with each purpose. However, it does not mean that the eye or the legs only have that one role to play or undertake. For instance, sex is considered and taken as an exercise in producing babies. However, that notion does not mean that sex does not have other purposes. The truth of the matter, is, natural law, emphasizes the use of reason to decide on how an issue needs to be, further raising the question of the role of religion on moral issues. However, it does not mean that religion has no place within a moral judgment; it is just that it has no foundation on the judgments on morality. At this point it becomes complicated to bring a connection between morality and religion, thus calling upon the philosophy of humanism. However, it is evident to see that the world remains a rational system, a traditional hierarchy that has everything in its place by its purpose. However, Aristotle's position denied the presence of God in the larger picture of the natural law. It, therefore, remains that according to Aristotle's argument, reason forms the basis of considering if an act is wrong or right. It thus means that the non-believer and the believer are on the same footing God having given them the power to reason and make a sound judgment with each acting as moral agents. However, God remains the author of the natural order bringing into existence moral sense.

From the above resemblance of natural law and Aristotles position on reasoning, it thus means that God forms part of the largest component of the universal law as he remains the central aspect and author of moral truth according to the theory or natural law. Irrespective of the moral position of an individual, Natural Law considers logical order as the fundamental aspect of God's presence within the realm of things, a position that further reinforces Gods presence in moral judgment. It thus means that morality and religion in one way or another are intertwined and stand back to back irrespective of any theoretical aspect applied. The source of all moral aspects of life is religion, and faith forms the basis of all moral reasoning independent of one's belief in the natural order. The fact that God creates the principle aspect of the argument here means that he has a stake in the center of everything ethically. No mind can conceive that that exist not, and no known aspect of living becomes alive only in mind without actual existence. The existence of God within the realm of living is proof that he maintains an authoritative position on the moral aspects of life. For example, the fact that God has given man the power of reason is proof enough that every aspect of life resonates of Gods supreme law thus connecting morality to Godly values and in essence, religion.

However, religious teachings and the scriptures often work in parallel and tend to be ambiguous in their interpretations of the moral aspects of the society. In many cases, when authorities disagree, the believer and non-believer find themselves in an awkward position and left with the option of choosing between the authority and the scriptures. The situation is further complicated when individuals make judgments out of the natural reasoning and then using the scriptures to justify their actions, thereby, confirming their support for morality from the religious point of view. For example, the debate and controversy surrounding abortion as murder continue to open up different arguments and positions with many considering the fetus as a human being therefore aborting is a form of murder. On the other hand, secular thoughts allege that if the mothers life is at risk, killing the fetus is not a crime. The situation degenerates into a challenging moral position with each side having valid reasons as to their stand on the matter. Deriving the subject of abortion from the scriptures further complicates the question of translation and reasoning behind the scriptures depends on one's faith and belief.


The above arguments point to one great scenario; moral issues does not depend on religion. Morality remains a subject of reason and does not have any connection with religious faith. After all, religious considerations in many instances offer no known guideline or definitive way out of moral challenges confronting humanity. It, therefore, means that religion and morality practically are different. However, the conclusion as per the argument does not point to the legality or authoritativeness of religion, but only attempt to point to the independent aspect of morality.

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