Religion, Morality and Conscience
In the beginning of the reading, Arthur demonstrates the three main points that he is going to discuss. He states right off the back that he believes religion is not necessary for morality. Arthur then states that he will be discussing the respects in which they are related, and how morality is social.
His point is to educate readers on what morality and religion mean by definition then goes on to talk about their connection. Arthur writes that people believe religion makes people do right and that god will either reward them or punish them. People who believe this believe that religion is moral motivation. Arthur argues that most motives in reality have nothing to do with religion and that they are our own motives. We look out for ourselves and not for what god “expects” from us. This means we worry about things like getting caught, getting blamed, what people will think, ect.
Another argument is that people believe we wouldn’t know right from wrong without religion and that the bible and god are the tools used to demonstrate to us what is morally correct. Arthurs argument on this belief is actually my favorite. He argues that out of every religion on earth, which one is correct? Who gets to decide which one is correct? This brings up his point that religion is based on morality because we choose which religion to believe based on what we believe is morally correct. What we believe is morally correct has no tie to religion in this case.
Arthur also discusses the “Devine Comman Theory.” This theory basically states that certain actions are right or wrong because they are commanded by god. This means that god made the decision that stealing is wrong or that murder is wrong. Arthurs argument is that if that theory is correct, that means that if god changes his mind, we must follow. He argues that if god decides that good actions are now bad actions, us following is incorrect and contradictive.
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