May 4, 2006

Morality without God

Posted in Reflections, Religion at 4:22 am by egalitaria

DSC00033 (WinCE).JPGA tiny gremlin-like kitten, abandoned literally on the doorsteps of my office compound. Shivering and cold, dirty and scrunched up, death-like, but picked up and washed, cleaned, wrapped up in warm cloth, fed, dried and brought to the vet. 

Driving home in the car, this sparked off a wave of thoughts on morality and what makes people desire to do good.  Is there an inherent altruistic nature to man? Is religion necessary to influence one to do good? Christians and other faith-based religious teachings would say that all moral good is derived from a higher being, a God. The reason being that God sets the standards for what is considered ethical – the highest point there is. Once the benchmark is set on what defines good, then anything that falls short is considered sinful.

Atheists believe otherwise. This article gives a brief outline as to why they believe morality can exist without a God… "A thing is good in relation to its consequences, or as it realises the end at which we are aiming"

Moral laws are to the social group exactly what laws of physiology are to the individual organism. There is nothing to cause wonder or mystification about moral laws; they express the physiology of social life. It is these laws that are manifested in practice long before they are expressed in set terms. Human conduct, whether expressed in life or formulated in "laws", represents the conditions that make social life possible and profitable. It is this recognition that forms the science of morality and the creation of conditions that favour the performance of desirable actions and the development of desirable feelings constitutes the art of morality.

Morality has nothing to do with God, is the postulation put forth.

I hope the little kitten survives.  

2 Comments

  1. Hedonese said,

    There’s an interesting difference between biological laws and moral laws… the former tells us what is while the latter tell us what ought to be.

    Social life is possible and ‘profitable’ in a caste system (it has ‘worked’ for thousands of years) but is it moral? That’s the question 🙂

  2. egalitaria said,

    I suppose this is the difference between descriptive and prescriptive laws, isn’t it? So the argument is that descriptive laws do not necessarily reflect a morally sound situation. So are you saying that there is and ought to be one absolute moral law that cuts across all regions and all contexts?

    By the way, the poor kitten died… what upsetting news it is…


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