Society

Does Religion Give Us Morals?

Religion
Religion

Before the arrival of the mainstream Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) Society was in turmoil. Children in ancient Greece would be discarded due to religious priests deciding that they were too weak to fight in the army and baby girls would be buried alive in the Middle East as boys were preferred as an heir to carry on the family name.

You could argue that this all changed when Prophets or Messengers of the great religions of the world came. However, I beg to differ. Under 100 years ago it was acceptable for ethnically Black humans to be lynched for being black, Children as young as 7 working in unhygienic and unsafe conditions all hours god sent and women being treated as second class citizens, having no rights in the western world.

Morals Influenced by Religion

The 10 commandments in my opinion outline the basic concepts of morals which we understand today. Does that mean religion gave us the influence we needed to understand between right and wrong?

Some say that our conscience is our natural right and wrong indicator. On the other hand, there are serial Killers who have no conscience and what makes them happy is wrong according to our Normal concept of Morals.

A Famous Philosopher, known as Jeremy Bentham once stated the best way to realize whether something is worth doing is not if it is morally correct but using a system he called the Hedonic Calculus. This measures one’s actions and the number of people it effects, the intensity of the happiness it causes and the range of the happiness. Therefore, if there were two boats sinking one Containing your family and the other a famous rock star, According to Jeremy Bentham you must save the rock star as he brings more happiness around the world compared to your family.

Conclusion

I personally think Religion influenced morals already instilled in humans. I think that without the introduction of religion we still would have had morals however they would have been far different than what we understand to be morals today. Our morals are merely subject to the surrounding and society we are in. Therefore, a Christian in the year 1800 and in 2010 would have far different understanding of morals. For example, Christians in the year 1800 may have thought that slavery was not immoral and was completely acceptable compared to the same denominational Christians in 2010 who would have thought of slavery as an inhumane and despicable act.

The Question is open to differing views. Your morals are affected by the Society and century you are living in.

Disagree with this view? Write a comment below explaining why and the author will get back to you.

About the author

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Hassan Ahmed

1 Comment

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  • Well, you are obviously the best example that religion didn’t give you any morals. By using the Bentham argument and trying to rationally argue why you would want to save the rock star because he brings more utility to society you demonstrate that you don’t understand anything about religion in the first place. In Christianity and most other religion live is sacred and has no value. Therefore, saving one life has the same value as saving many lives and you are not allowed to ascribe one life higher value than the other.
    I also think that you should distinguish between religions. Most empires where slavery existed where Protestants: US, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK…