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In the Name of God بسم الله

Religion Is Needed To Dictate Morality

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Please read this short original post before commenting. I often heard claims that ' why do we need religion, good is just common sense'.

And to an extent i agree. Human beings are created to have 'humanity' a semblance of wanting to do good, but there is also the ability to neglect it and do 'evil'.

What exactly is good and evil?

I was on 'thestudentroom.co.uk' on a thread named ' incestual homosexual relationships'. There was a vote, and 50% said if two brothers, over 18, were gay 'with each other' there is nothing 'moraly' wrong with it.

This forum is not filled with trolls or mindless people. It is actually an educated well filtered forum. The issue is, although some 'right' and some 'wrong' are clear cut, there are MANY grey areas, where you NEED religion.

No-one has ANY moral ground when morality is so subjective.

Before you post, read this thread. It may shock you:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2158454&page=11

By religion i do not mean select holy books, or fabricated religion. I mean actual divine religions - and i know atheists or agnostics may not believe in such a thing.

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I couldnt open the link.

Its something you will often hear i find: 'i dont need religion to tell me right from wrong'. The people saying that, of course, are people that have grown up in societies where religion has historically, strongly influenced the moral code, which has been implicitly and explicity socially handed down in the collective cultural consciousness. The moral structure exists outside of any one human being or group and is contained in the inherited culture that the individual is born into. Unfortunately culture is very malleable. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where, by incremental change, a nightmare situation could arise at some point in the future, which to many people (who are playing down the need for religion today) would seem abhorrant in the extreme.

Lord of the Flies wasnt fiction in its premise. I quote from 'The Brain that Changes itself':

'Civilization is a series of techniques in which the hunter-gatherer brain teaches itself to

rewire itself. And the sad proof that civilization is a composite of the higher and lower

brain functions is seen when civilization breaks down in civil wars, and brutal instincts

emerge full-force, and theft, rape, destruction, and murder become commonplace.

Because the plastic brain can always allow brain functions that it has

brought together to separate, a regression to barbarism is always possible, and civilization

will always be a tenuous affair that must be taught in each generation and is always, at

most, one generation deep.'

Heres a link to pdf of the book (it talks about neuro- plasticity in relation to culture from page 220 i think): ftp://77.90.255.17/Torrents/Brain%20that%20changes%20itself/Brain%20That%20Changes%20Itself.pdf

Edited by ~Ruqaya's Amal~
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Monotheist religions (Islam, judaism, christianity) definitely give you a frame of reference.

Ever look closer the pagan cultures such as East Asian Chinese, Japanese etc., and you will know what I'm talking about. Even Hindus once they come the West and as soon as they loose their cultural binds.

Edited by Waiting for HIM
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Religion is not needed.

Good is something dear to God.

There are many religions which dictate what good is.

Good is something dear to humanity.

There are many societies which dictate what good is.

Morality is subjective within religions just as it is in societies.

Edited by Ugly Jinn
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Religion is not needed.

Good is something dear to God.

There are many religions which dictate what good is.

Good is something dear to humanity.

There are many societies which dictate what good is.

Morality is subjective within religions just as it is in societies.

i agree with the last line. Society can not decide on morality. However, you are assuming no religioin is divine, or from God. If there is no religion intended to be followed by God, then yes, you are right.

However, even in society, morality differs between each individual. Atleast religion helps unify morality and give some sort of consistency.

Although i believe God sent prophets pbuh to guide mankind as to what is moral. Good is ALREADY in us , being humans, however, life is not GOOD or BAD. there are grey areas, and unless society has a structure which contains a moral code, they will deviate.

You have transexuals becoming the norm. People with a gender identity MENTAL disorder having their male organs removed, becoming women, and using female toilets, changing rooms, some even lie their women!

Same for homosexuality. Now people say ' you racist homophobe' or 'it's natural' , when both statements are pretty weak, the latter being a false popular myth debunked by science.

I am tolerant, and morality is open to interpretation, but no deviation.

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i agree with the last line. Society can not decide on morality. However, you are assuming no religioin is divine, or from God. If there is no religion intended to be followed by God, then yes, you are right.

And you are assuming the religion you are following is 'divine', just like a Hindu believes his religion is 'divine'. Or are assuming there is a 'divine' religion.

However, even in society, morality differs between each individual. Atleast religion helps unify morality and give some sort of consistency.

And morality differs within religion. Even in Shia Islam, marjas disagree on many moral issues. Religion nor society agree unanimously on morality, hence both are in the same category.

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Criminals, oppressors, and tyrants act in their ways even though their definitions of morality is based on their rationality.

Criminals, oppressors, and tyrants act in their ways even though their definitions of morality is based on their religion.

History has proven this, there really is no debate.

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I believe that morality through concepts alone is flawed. There's no binding that can chain you to a concept. Religion chains you to morality out of fear of Hell. Likewise, state laws chain you to morality through the fear of legal consequences.

To organize and follow a concept of morality, there must be fear of punishment in its transgression. Otherwise it would be too unstable. Even if someone without any religious faith creates a perfect moral system for himself and forces himself to follow it, it still is unstable. To violate your moral beliefs believing that no one will judge you for it is too easy.

Belief in religion is a much more powerful chain, since there are no loopholes. You do an immoral action, you will be punished. In the material world, a person who commits a crime must undergo a fallible process and still has a chance to escape from punishment, or be punished for a crime he did not commit. In a divine court, such things are impossible. Every action you commit is questioned and every sin you commit, no matter how small, will be accounted for.

If one truly believes in a religion, he assumes a powerful chain on himself that no law or system can create. The only question is the moral system itself and not the effectiveness of it.

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Criminals, oppressors, and tyrants act in their ways even though their definitions of morality is based on their religion.

History has proven this, there really is no debate.

I don't recall Mao Zedong begin religious; he killed 60+ million people. I don't recall Hitler using religion to justify his oppression; he killed 6+ million Jews. Leopold killed 8 million; he didn't kill them for religious reasons. Stalin was an atheist, and he killed over 17 million people. How about Kim Il Sung? The atheist! He killed 1+ million people.

All of this happened in the 20th and 21st century... the era when "modernity" was born. Religious wars after 20th century were nothing compared to secular wars. I don't know where you learned your history. Maybe your history books were produced in North Korea; another country in which millions suffer under an ATHEIST tyrant. Most, if not all, religious oppressors carry on their actions due to selfish reasons; religion is just a tool for them. Just because an oppressor uses religion for his benefits does not mean that we can blame religions. This is not to say that all religions are valid and that they all favor 'good'.

Morality exists if and only if it is governed by religion. However, if you take religion out, then it only becomes a concept since it is becomes subjective.

EDIT: What I meant in the previous post was that people cannot come to peace through defining morality based on rationality. Since morality is subjective, people can have their own definition of morality which can cause chaos. Therefore, for morality to exist, it needs to be defined by religion. This is only true if a person believes in God and religion. If a person does NOT believe in God and religion, then morality just becomes a concept and there is no point in arguing what is and whats not moral.

Edited by Ishraq Abidi
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I don't recall Mao Zedong begin religious; he killed 60+ million people. I don't recall Hitler using religion to justify his oppression; he killed 6+ million Jews. Leopold killed 8 million; he didn't kill them for religious reasons. Stalin was an atheist, and he killed over 17 million people. How about Kim Il Sung? The atheist! He killed 1+ million people.

All of this happened in the 20th and 21st century... the era when "modernity" was born. Religious wars after 20th century were nothing compared to secular wars. I don't know where you learned your history. Maybe your history books were produced in North Korea; another country in which millions suffer under an ATHEIST tyrant. Most, if not all, religious oppressors carry on their actions due to selfish reasons; religion is just a tool for them. Just because an oppressor uses religion for his benefits does not mean that we can blame religions. This is not to say that all religions are valid and that they all favor 'good'.

You are posting as if I've stated that morality defined without religion is perfect.

Saddam was a Muslim, Bin laden a Muslim, Shia's being slaughtered by Muslims in Pakistan, Jews in Israel murdering Palestinians, all these culprits justified these murders using a religion defined moral code. Religious folks and non-religious folks are on the same boat. Both parties define morality subjectively and act upon it, both parties killed.

Morality exists if and only if it is governed by religion. However, if you take religion out, then it only becomes a concept since it is becomes subjective.

Morality existed before religion and is existing in many places around the world currently where religion doesn't exist, hence your statement is totally incorrect.

EDIT: What I meant in the previous post was that people cannot come to peace through defining morality based on rationality. Since morality is subjective, people can have their own definition of morality which can cause chaos. Therefore, for morality to exist, it needs to be defined by religion. This is only true if a person believes in God and religion. If a person does NOT believe in God and religion, then morality just becomes a concept and there is no point in arguing what is and whats not moral.

I don't want to be rude, but are you a Shia? If so, are you oblivious to the fact that even Marjas have a difference of opinion on plethora of moral issues, hence it is subjective in religion also.

Edited by Ugly Jinn
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And Saddam was a Muslim, Bin laden a Muslim, Shia's being slaughtered by Muslims in Pakistan, Jews in Israel murdering Palestinians, all these culprits justified these murders using religion, religion defined morality. Religious folks and non-religious folks are on the same boat.

What? Saddam was a vehement secular arab nationalist (ba3thi) who vied to seperate religion from politics as best as he could. Stop commenting on our history man, this guy murdered our scholars for going against his ba'ath ideology. His only show of interest was when he fought iran and claimed the iranians were all majoosis in his vicious propaganda.

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Just Like God, There is only One Religion.

Just like moralities, there is only One Morality.

There is only One Imam of The Time.

Imam Baqir said The Standard to Follow is the Standard of The Yamani, not the Khorasani.

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I don't want to be rude, but are you a Shia? If so, are you oblivious to the fact that even Marjas have a difference of opinion on plethora of moral issues, hence it is subjective in religion also.

(bismillah)

The jurisprudential differences between Shi'ite scholars arise from the techniques and methodologies by which they derive the rulings of Islam (not as a result of differences in theology).

(wasalam)

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What? Saddam was a vehement secular arab nationalist (ba3thi) who vied to seperate religion from politics as best as he could. Stop commenting on our history man, this guy murdered our scholars for going against his ba'ath ideology. His only show of interest was when he fought iran and claimed the iranians were all majoosis in his vicious propaganda.

Yes, he was what you say above, and he was a Muslim (in this case a bad Muslim). You missed the point. Just like Khomenei executed thousands who disagreed with him, yet no one speaks about that because it was morally justified by his religion according to him and his supporters. Just like there are many who still believe Saddam's actions were morally righteous.

The point is that morality is just as subjective coming from a religion as it is coming from non-religion source.

The jurisprudential differences between Shi'ite scholars arise from the techniques and methodologies by which they derive the rulings of Islam (not as a result of differences in theology).

Differences nonetheless, hence my point.

Techniques + Methodologies + Aql = Subjective.

All of you are supporting my argument unknowingly.

Edited by Ugly Jinn
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Yes, he was what you say above, and he was a Muslim (in this case a bad Muslim). You missed the point. Just like Khomenei executed thousands who disagreed with him, yet no one speaks about that because it was morally justified by his religion according to him and his supporters. Just like there are many who still believe Saddam's actions were morally righteous.

The point is that morality is just as subjective coming from a religion as it is coming from non-religion source.

Differences nonetheless, hence my point.

Techniques + Methodologies + Aql = Subjective.

All of you are supporting my argument unknowingly.

No I didnt miss the point, I just didnt want you passing over a false statement on a piece of history that has pained the lives of many (including my family). I'm not interested in participating in this debate, its been done over too many times (like the rest of the philosophical arguments over the last 3 millennia).

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Yes, he was what you say above, and he was a Muslim (in this case a bad Muslim). You missed the point. Just like Khomenei executed thousands who disagreed with him, yet no one speaks about that because it was morally justified by his religion according to him and his supporters. Just like there are many who still believe Saddam's actions were morally righteous.

The point is that morality is just as subjective coming from a religion as it is coming from non-religion source.

Differences nonetheless, hence my point.

Techniques + Methodologies + Aql = Subjective.

All of you are supporting my argument unknowingly.

(bismillah)

Nobody is saying that morality isn't a subjective concept.

The only difference between religious thought and secular thought is based upon who has the right to dicate moral laws (God or His creation).

http://www.shiachat....roblem-of-evil/

(wasalam)

Edited by Al-Hassan
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But Allah is Judge, All Objective, and All Subjective.

And Shia know Allah's Laws down to a T.

And they know that Imam Baqir said to follow the standard of the Yamani and not the Khorasani.

So it is their Moral Obligation to derive it, because they know.

And Allah is Watching Them.

Edited by JHK
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No I didnt miss the point, I just didnt want you passing over a false statement on a piece of history that has pained the lives of many (including my family). I'm not interested in participating in this debate, its been done over too many times (like the rest of the philosophical arguments over the last 3 millennia).

What the heck are you talking about? No one is praising Saddam. As I said before, you didn't get the point.

The only difference between religious thought and secular thought is based upon who has the right to dicate moral laws (God or His creation).

The above is a different argument. The above presumes God exists, many don't believe He does or do not believe there exists an infallible definition of morality (without the need for subjective interpretations), hence the above is a subjective argument in itself.

Edited by Ugly Jinn
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The above is a different argument. The above presumes God exists, many don't believe He does or do not believe there exists an infallible definition of morality (without the need for subjective interpretations), hence the above is a subjective argument in itself.

(bismillah)

Just because people disagree doesn't mean neither of them are correct.

If I said 1 + 1 = 2 and somebody disagreed with that statement, does that mean that it's a subjective argument. It presumes that your a rational being.

(wasalam)

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Just because people disagree doesn't mean neither of them are correct.

The above applies to you also. Just because you disagree does not mean you are right also.

If I said 1 + 1 = 2 and somebody disagreed with that statement, does that mean that it's a subjective argument. It presumes that your a rational being.

I don't do examples but the above one is horrible. Do not equate tested laws to unverified religious beliefs, you'll lose everytime. It's called a 'belief' for a reason.

Edited by Ugly Jinn
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Ugly Jinn, you don't seem to understand my point. Hence I will stop wasting my time with you. I am going to leave you with the following points that you failed to understand.

Morality is only a concept when religion is taken out. By religion, I mean a set of [personal/social] rules and laws which lead man toward good [defined by religion] and away from wrong [defined by religion]. Without religion, morality is subjected to interpretation and hence can only be regarded as a concept (due to its subjective nature without religion). If you don't follow religion, then for every reason you give me that a certain action is moral, I can give you the same amount of reason to tell you that that action is immoral.

Example. If we both follow Judaism/Christianity/Islam, we will both agree that incest is an immoral action. But if neither of us follow religion, then for every reason you give me to prove that incest is moral, I can give you the SAME amount of reason to prove that incest is immoral. I am not trying to prove that religion is right, or that religion eliminates violence. I am simply stating that morality without religion is just a concept (something that no longer exists!).

Think about the following scenario and try to understand the subjective nature of morality and why it is only a concept when religion is taken out of the picture:

You driving a car at the speed of 60 mph. Suddenly, something happens to your steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator and you lose control of your car. In front of you, there are 5 people standing without noticing you (they are about 4 thousand feet in front of you). You are 100% certain that the car will hit them and everyone will die. You have no control over what happens. However, you only have one more option. You can slightly turn your steering wheel to the left in a direction where 2 people are standing. If you do this, only 2 people will die. You have two options. You can either let your car run over the 5 people in front of you, or slightly tilt your car to the left and only run over 2. What is a moral act? Killing the 2 people to spare the lives of 5, or killing the 5 people and sparing the lives of 2? Lets make this situation more complex. The 2 people that you will hit are your family relatives (father and mother) and the other group of 5 are your cousins. What would you do now? Lets make it a little more challenging! The group of 5 people (your cousins) are orphans and their immediate family members are all dead. Not many people will mourn for their lives. However, the group of 2 people (your parents) have lots of kids and relatives and are very important people. What would you do now? What if I were to tell you that the chances of you hitting the 5 people (your unimportant cousins) in front of you is 75%, and your chances of hitting your parents is 100%?

You can give me a thousand reasons that hitting the group of 2 to save the 5 is moral, but I can also give you a thousand reasons to prove otherwise.

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You are posting as if I've stated that morality defined without religion is perfect.

Saddam was a Muslim, Bin laden a Muslim, Shia's being slaughtered by Muslims in Pakistan, Jews in Israel murdering Palestinians, all these culprits justified these murders using a religion defined moral code. Religious folks and non-religious folks are on the same boat. Both parties define morality subjectively and act upon it, both parties killed.

Religion is not represented by its followers.

To help you understand, here's an example: Lets say a man named Yahya the Bartender, for whatever reason, killed another man in your name. However, you didn't want him to kill that man. By your argument, you were responsible for the death because the person claimed he followed you. The reality is, you are not responsible because that person does not represent you. The only person that represents you is you.

Likewise, the only person, thing, or idea that represents a religion is the religion itself, i.e. the actual scriptures, laws, and sources of that religion. To challenge the morality of a religion like Islam, you must challenge the Quran, accepted Sharia Law, and the primary sources of the religion, i.e the Prophet and Imams (as). You cannot challenge Islam through the moral behavior of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Ladin, or Yahya the Bartender, because they don't represent Islam.

You say not to kill, Yahya the Bartender kills, therefore Yahya the Bartender is not following you. No matter what Yahya the Bartender says or does to justify the murder, his actions will never represent you.

Islam says to not kill, Saddam killed, therefore Saddam is not following Islam. No matter what Saddam says or does to justify the murder, his actions will never represent Islam.

Its not difficult to understand.

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I couldnt open the link.

Its something you will often hear i find: 'i dont need religion to tell me right from wrong'. The people saying that, of course, are people that have grown up in societies where religion has historically, strongly influenced the moral code,

Hello Ruaaya's Amai,

That is an excellent point.

Peace and God bless you

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