I believe that religion is not necessary for morality. Although religious groups at some point, could urge people to do moral things for the society, not all of it are considered good. Let’s take these things discussed in this debate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kuzYwzGoXw) for example, “Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world” were Christopher Hitchens along with Stephen Fry debated with Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdencombe MP. One good topic found there is when Christopher and Stephen tackled one of Christianty’s dubious doings such as pushing to ban contraceptives in Africa were HIV or AIDS are beginning to reduce the population. I think that it is wrong for these groups to push something that you believe in that has not been discussed thoroughly. There are several religions on the world, and just because we heard them saying “it is written in the context” it should be automatically followed.
Another good topic I want to bring, is where Ravi Zacharias debating with Matt Dillahunty concerning morality, belief and disbelief and evils that happened throughout history:
Ravi Z. : If people don’t believe in God, the historical results are horrific, so how do we deal with the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot who saw religion as the problem and worked to eradicate it? Countless millions lost their lives under these godless regimes, regimes more influenced by Nietzsche’s concept of the ubermensch (superman) than they were by transcendent morality.
Matt D. (in response) : Once again, we have an implied argument that has nothing to do with the actual existence of god but rather on the purported benefits of believing that a god exists; if people stop believing in gods, bad things will happen, so don’t stop believing.The assertion that atheism leads to horrifying atrocities is simply not true. It’s a vile, slanderous charge, rooted in ignorance and deception that isn’t the slightest bit softened by Zacharias’ stylish, questioning form.
In the case of the examples given, atheism is neither necessary nor sufficient to be identified as the cause of the actions taken. In truth, the atrocities were the result of belief systems which, while consistent with atheism, are not caused by atheism. You simply cannot draw a causal chain from “I do not believe a god exists” to “I’m going to destroy religious organizations and religious people” without an additional belief – and it is that belief that would be the cause of the atrocities.
To claim otherwise is to claim that atheism necessarily leads to horrifying acts (which is what he’s trying to do) and there are millions of secular people who testify to the false nature of that assertion every single day.
Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot took actions based on beliefs that are akin to religions. They were powerful zealots of socio-political ideologies and a belief that the opposition must be eliminated. To claim that those beliefs were caused by atheism is as much a non sequitur as claiming that they were caused by a stomach ache.
Hitler, on the other hand, gave conflicting reports about his beliefs. He publicly and privately identified as a Catholic, yet there’s also testimony that he was anti-religious or anti-Christian at times. If he had done great work, I suspect that the Christians would claim that he was opposed to organized religion, but a devoted, personal believer. Because of the atrocities he committed, they take a different tact, labeling him an atheist.
We can no more know Hitler’s true beliefs about the existence of gods than we can know the mind of any other. What we can know, though, is that even if he was an atheist, that wasn’t the cause of the actions he took. As Zacharias points out, it was the ideology of the Übermensch (among other beliefs) that encouraged those actions.
While that ideology is consistent with atheism (everything except for a belief in a god is consistent with atheism) it is not caused by atheism nor is it necessarily connected with atheism. It is not, though, consistent with modern secular humanism.(http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2010/05/response-to-ravi-zacharias-six.html)
1. According to Arthur, how are morality and religion different?
Secular ethics is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics). Secular ethics can be seen as a wide variety of moral and ethical systems drawing heavily on humanism, secularism and freethinking. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_ethics)
Because there exists different ethics. Different ethics from different religion (based on context, and what they believe or taught to them that is right or wrong), and secular morality or secular ethics in which the use of logic and reason is used to answer the right or wrong doings. Morality is there even without religion, and religious ethics is just another branch of moral philosophy.
2. Why isn’t religion necessary for moral motivation?
3. Why isn’t religion necessary as a source of moral knowledge?
4. What is the divine command theory? Why does Arthur reject this theory?
5. According to Arthur, how are morality and religion connected?
Dewey says that morality is social. What does this mean, according to Arthur?
1. Has Arthur refuted the divine command theory? If not, how can it be defended?
2. If morality is social, as Dewey says, then how can we have any obligations to nonhuman
animals? (Arthur mentions this problem and some possible solutions to it in footnote 6.)
3. What does Dewey mean by moral education? Does a college ethics class count as moral