Stand Alone Morality

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Stand alone morality
Can people live meaningful lives, become loving parents and be responsible citizens without being religious? Millions of Americans do not attend church and millions reject religious beliefs yet they behave responsibly. Although America’s founding fathers wrote, “One Nation under God”, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cultures do not accept Western beliefs, yet the citizens of those societies can be as virtuous, kind, and charitable as Americans. Still there are people that believe in god or a higher being because that is something that helps keep them people grounded. People should ask, can a person be truly ethical if he or she has not developed a caring moral conscience? Morals shouldn’t be based upon the fear or love of God, nor on obedience to his commandments, but rather on an internalized sense of right and wrong. Therefore most people learn morals from their parents, friends, neighbours, community leaders, authority figures, role models, laws, cultural norms, empathetic responses, social contracts… pretty much the same places and people we first learn basic living skills. America and the rest of the world has become a melting pot in which morality and respect for others needs to be considered with greater regard. We live in a multicultural world with various religious and secular traditions (Briggs). Every civilized community, whether religious or secular, recognizes virtually all of what most people call the "common moral decencies" (Briggs). We should tell the truth, keep promises, be honest, kind, dependable, and compassionate; we need to be just and tolerant and, whenever possible, negotiate our differences peacefully. The need today is to extend our ethical concern to all members of the world community and to find common ground with men and women of differing faiths and ideologies. Christians, Muslims, and Jews believe in the promise of eternal salvation for those who obey God's commandments. Humanists prefer to focus...
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