Can One Be Moral and Not Believe in God?

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Can one be moral and not believe in God?
Carolyn Jones
PHI103: Informal Logic (GSK1219A)
Instructor: Fabio Escobar
June 11, 2012

Can one be moral and not believe in God? Let’s start by defining what it is to be moral or have morals. Morals simply is defined by Webster as “of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior,” (Merriam-Webster, 2011) When you believe in a spiritual being this can play a major role in one’s moral belief. If one do not believe in God or a spiritual being then it would not be hard for an individual to believe that having morals have nothing to do with believing in a spiritual being. Therefore we have people who do not believe that believing in God is a necessary factor in order to have morals. This argument will consist of a brief history of religions, moral education, and ethics. Again, there are people who believe that believing in God is not necessarily needed in order to have morals, but all they need is good ethics, belief in oneself and knowledge to know right from wrong. There are many interpretations of what defines a religion but not one that can be said to be the most accurate. Some of them are: * A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. * An institution to express belief in a divine power.

* A belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. * The sum total of answers given to explain humankind’s relationship with the universe. ( According to (Merriam-Webster, 2011) the origin of religion is defined below: * the service and worship of God or the supernatural

* commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

* a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices * archaic: scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
* a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith In layman terms, religion is defined as “any specific system of belief, worship, or conduct that prescribes certain responses to the existence and/or non-existence character of God.” It is “a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices pertaining to supernatural power.” Jean Piaget, one of the “first psychologists whose work remains directly relevant to contemporary theories of moral development.” ( Moral education is one of the more popular topics in the fields of psychology and education. Especially in the education field our schools play a major role in developing and teaching moral and social values to our children. There is a slight difference between morals and ethics. Ethics are standards or codes of behavior that is expected by groups or organizations an individual is a member of. These ethics could be one of many for example it could be national ethics, social ethics, company ethics, professional ethics, or family ethics. Legal ethics for instance are something you cannot allow your personal morals to be in control because one must uphold the justice system when it comes to an accused person must get a fair trial.

There are opponents to this argument that one can have moral and not believe in God. They believe that there is no God and this world came to be by a big bang evolution. They do not believe that eternal judgment by God will take place. By believing this, how can they have moral? There must be some kind of moral code in place. Like really, how can one have ethic and not believe in God? How was the world created and how was this earth populated if God do not exist. Once again according to the King James Version of the bible in Genesis 1:26-27, it read “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the...
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