Religion, Morality, and the Good Life
Does morality depend on religion? Many believe the fundamental aspects of morality and religion join to form the basis on how one chooses to live their life. Some would define morality as a system we humans use to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Morality could derive from a number of different factors including, religion, culture, and upbringing. Those that believe that morality derives from religion or God’s commands trust in the Divine Command Theory. The Divine Command Theory is the idea that morality is dependent on God; that one’s moral obligation be determined by their obedience to God’s commands. This theory has been and probably will continue to be controversial to many. Morality must have a purely secular foundation. Although religion might not be the concrete basis for morality, it is certain that religion is needed sometime when dealing with specific aspects of morality.
There are 2 types of morality, justified and unjustified. Justified morality is common sense and does not require intense interpretation. For example, “Do not steal” is a justified moral command because when one steals they are bringing evil to someone and that is immoral. Unjustified morals are much harder to find reason for than justified morals which can be easily justified by common knowledge. “Do not have sex before marriage,” is an example of an unjustified morality. It is difficult to explain why doing the act is immoral. This moral standard is irrational in that there is no reasonable answer why one should not do this act in order to remain moral.
Religion comes in handy when dealing with grey areas of morality. Those grey areas are known as the unjustified moral commands or unjustified morality. Given the example for an unjustified moral command, one could answer the question “Why should I not do this in order to remain moral,” by saying it is immoral to have sex before marriage because God commanded us not to...
Cited: "Genesis 1 NIV - The Beginning - In the beginning God - Bible ..." Bible Gateway.
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"The Internet Classics Archive | Euthyphro by Plato." The Euthyphro. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013 <http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/euthyfro.html>.
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