Religion and Morality

Topics: Morality, Religion, Virtue Pages: 4 (1552 words) Published: May 2, 2013
In this paper I will discuss the relationship between religion and morality. I will first address the question asked by those with religion, how are atheists moral? Then I will examine morality and its relativity to culture. Next I will explore whether those without a religion are actually more moral than those with a religion. And finally, I will discuss any possible objections to my claims. This argument is in no way saying that those that believe in God are unmoral but that those who don’t believe in God, are just as capable of being moral. Being atheist means that you choose to believe that God, or a god, does not exist. You have no faith or religion, you don’t go to church every Sunday morning, or pray every night before you go to bed. Therefore the belief is that you’re condemned to spend the rest of eternity in hell. So just because a person doesn’t believe in a God, does that make them a bad person?

A common question of those with religion is, where do atheists get their moral compass from? Atheists aren’t taught by any type of ultimate superior that they can’t lie, cheat, steal, rape, or murder. So how do they know not to do it? The underlying message I interpret from this is: religion is what keeps everybody in the world moral. That the only thing stopping you from murdering someone is reading a Bible (Marcotti, 2011). Just because you don’t have a bible does it mean that you want to go around blowing up buildings and terrorizing grocery stores. It's safe to assume that most people want to do good in the world. There is the occasional serial killer every once in a while but, the bulk of the world’s population is promoting good that exists in all forms because everybody has a different idea of whats right from wrong. Some people make incredible scientific discoveries to better mankind, that’s considered good. Others might go to countries and help those less fortunate, also good. One might reply that these are just acts of morality....

References: Antony, L. (2007). Philosophers Without Gods’ . Oxford University Press
Gert, Bernard, "The Definition of Morality", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
Gervais, Ricky (2010) “Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist” The Wall Street Journal [Online] Available at:
Marcotte, Amanda (2011) “10 Myths Many Religious People Hold About Atheists, Debunked” AlterNet [Online] Available at:,_debunked
SparkNotes Editors. (2003). SparkNote on The Good Earth. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from
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