Does Morality Need Religion?

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There are two types of morality, justified and unjustified. Justified morality can usually stand on its own. It does not require intense reasoning because it is common sense. For example, “Do not kill” and “Do not steal” are justified moral commands because if you kill or steal, you are bringing evil upon someone else and that is immoral. Unjustified morals are harder to find reason for because they are “unjustifiable” in nature. An example of an unjustifiable moral is “Do not have sexual relations out of wedlock.” For this example, and for many other instances of unjustified morality, it is difficult to explain why doing the act is immoral. It becomes difficult to answer the question “Why shouldn’t I do this in order to remain moral?” Or, in other words, “Who is it hurting/bringing evil upon?” Because there is no reasonable answer to this question, this moral standard is irrational. Religion comes in handy when dealing with the grey area that is unjustified morality. One could answer the question posed by saying, “It is immoral to have sex out of wedlock because God commanded us not to, and He knows all that you do; and for committing that act, He will smite you!” Or at least that reasoning would suffice the curiosity of the selfish person. They still will not understand the intrinsic harm of the action (because there is none), but their self-interest (fear of God’s wrath) will keep them from committing this ‘immoral’ act. For the less selfish person, one could ‘justify’ the immorality of the act by saying, “This act is a sin against God; it hurts him.” This type of reasoning appeals to the less-selfish person, provided that he or she has love for God. Whether you are reasoning with a selfish or un-selfish person, the use of God and Religion to ‘justify’ these issues is only pertinent when dealing with a God-fearing, moral being. A person who does not believe in God still will not see any harm in committing these ‘immoral’ acts because the religious reasoning...
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