In our modern society, in which God is dead and where religion appears to decline, are we moving towards an immoral society -if as we have seen above- morality is so tied to religion ? Or can an atheist, who doesn't believe that God exists, can be moral, i.e. be able to conduct according to certain values, common to a society or, some other group, or else in accordance of all rational persons. Thus we can wonder if atheism and moral are really in complete contradiction. Can morality survive without religion ? In other words, does morality depend actually on religion ? And if an atheist can be moral, is religious ethics different from secular ethics ?
[...] To them, religious morality appear analogous to rules instilled into the children who have not understood the purposes of morality; it would be an infantile morality, which is respected because of God's authority. So atheists would be the real moral people. Morality does not need God to be moral. Thus both atheists and theists can be moral or immoral people. Their morality can have the same core but be of various worth, according to the grounds of their moral behaviour. Indeed, religious morality can be seen as an infantile ethics, which does not take into account human consciousness and can be applied without thinking. [...]
[...] However in this point, God is not rejected, it can keep a role as a “professional” because God knows what is right better than us. And so we can always learn from his advices. Thus atheist and theists both follow moral reasons that are independent of God, for example, both are against torturing and killing as it is cruel. Under such a consequence both theists and non theist have the very same moral duties, and even if there is no God, then nothing is changed; morality is left intact. [...]
[...] Thanks to this consciousness human beings are free to think, evaluate, create and live committed to ideals, which were not imposed by a God. Life has the meaning that we give it, and morality will be part of any meaningful life. As morality seeks the good, then secular morality base on the notion of good life is sufficient because it promotes human well- being, and it is in all human interests to follow morality, whether or not the existence of God is confirmed. So we can suppose that the core morality will be the same for secular and religious ethics. [...]
[...] Can an atheist be moral? Since almost two millennia morality and god seem to be closely linked. Indeed, religious references -such as Adam and Eve bringing, by their sin in the Garden of Eden, suffering and death upon people for eternity, and the Ten Commandments received by the Hands of God by Moses and delivered as laws to be obeyed on pain of death- have profoundly affected morality for a long time. Thus morality was associated to adherence to religion, immorality to sin and moral law was perceived as the Command of God. [...]
[...] Pojman , in Ethics discovering right and wrong 2nd edition (California, Wadsworth publishing company, 1994) p 237 A. C. Grayling, The future of moral Values, (Great Britain, Phoenix, 1997) p 47 Plato, Euthyphro, http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0150.htm, 7c, 7d Leo Tolstoy, religion and morality from his selected essay referred to in Ethics discovering right and wrong 2nd edition, Louis P. Pojman (California, Wadsworth publishing company, 1994) p 234 Bertrand Russel, A free Man's whorship referred to in Ethics discovering right and wrong 2nd edition, Louis P. [...]
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