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Discussion 2 to Reflections on Ethics 76
Morality is based not on religion

by: Richard

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I can't answer on the teaching children part, since I have none nor would I like one or more soon. However, to me, morality is based not on religion but on our relation with other people. Anything that would negatively influence other people's lives, prosperity, or wellbeing in any way is, well, "evil", whereas a positive influence on someone else is "good".

Theft, rape, murder, lying and disrespect all fall in the "evil" category, not because some entity hammered them into stone plates as "do nots", but because they negatively impact other people.

Whether the ultimate reason for a more or less universally present morality thing is something like group-behavioral instinct, or comes from some soul or whatever does not really matter, the result of is still the same. Religion is very good at trying to take over ideas or institutions that are generally liked and claiming they come only from that religion (not only morality, charity comes to mind too) but really, morality and religion are not a match.

One could even argue that religion and morality are antithetical, as religion relies on blind unwavering adherence to authority, where morality requires independent thought to be truly moral behavior. After all, it is not moral behavior if there is no conscious choice not to be immoral, is it?