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January 1, 2013
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The Religious Have No Morals

:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
Or, more aptly, do the heavily religious have morals of their own?

One of the main problems with many organized religions is that they come with their own certain set of rules and guidelines, and then expect all of their followers to subscribe to them without question.

More often than not, these morals are not rules that human beings should live by because they're 'right' or 'wrong', but rather because disobeying these rules could mean some sort of cosmic backlash, whether karma or eternal hell-fire or the threefold-rule. With this sort of system, human beings never act based on what's 'right' because they want to, but because they fear punishment for otherwise. This creates an increasingly infantile frame of mind, and can be dangerous to the individual thought.

The question must now be asked, if these morals and rules were not provided within the religion and harshly enforced, what would society be like?

There are two incredible dangers of having one's morals based off of their religion solely:

1) Should the religious structure collapse for whatever reason and these morals or even simply the punishments were taken away, these people would not know what to do with themselves, and

2) The Religious Right teaches the rest of society that without this or that religion, they would become immoral and punishment would be imminent, thus strengthening our dependency on organized religion for structure and preventing further advancement through scientific and social means.

The Religious Right says that humans are amoral by nature, and that humanity needs this or that faith in order to escape punishment. If it is continually allowed for the religious right to enforce this mindset, we will never break away from a government biased by faith to a secular one. This also raises an interesting question:

Without their religion, would the religious have their own morals?

Going a step further, without religion, would they have minds of their own? Why should they be allowed to enforce their views on the rest of the world, if without religion they become thoughtless, amoral zombies?

If we base our laws and standards off of religious means, biblical or otherwise, we are not only robbing the people of their inalienable rights of freedom of religion, we are also becoming dependent on religion to control the ways we live our lives.

If the world's political leaders give way to religious zealots, it affects everyone, regardless of whether or not they follow the religion which is dominant.

This, my friends, creates an abhorrent, outdated society, and it craves change.

Okay, you angry dogs. I've given you your meat. Ready, set, debate.
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Devious Comments

:iconvulpimo:
Vulpimo Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
'and then expect all of their followers to subscribe to them without question' False. Many religious systems are quite flexible when it comes to morality.

'With this sort of system, human beings never act based on what's 'right' because they want to, but because they fear punishment for otherwise' people tend to make excuses from thinking. They want an already written, preconstructed moral code, because it's easier than to think about what is right and what is wrong. You mixed up a reason and a result here. People don't forfeit thinking because religion tells them so, people turn to religion because they don't want to think for themselves, they are too lazy for it. So instead, they want someone to tell them what is right and what is wrong.

'Should the religious structure collapse for whatever reason and these morals or even simply the punishments were taken away, these people would not know what to do with themselves' Brought totally out of thin air. Opinion of religious people towards what is 'morally wrong' will remain the same. Only that some of them may not follow it so strictly. But it's not a matter of morality anymore.

'The Religious Right teaches the rest of society that without this or that religion, they would become immoral and punishment would be imminent, thus strengthening our dependency on organized religion for structure and preventing further advancement through scientific and social means. ' Only certain religions, like islam, tends to slow the societies down. Christianity used to do the same, but now it's one of the most modern religions. So you just narrowed everything down to one religion that still acts like an obstacle on the way of progress.

The 3 last lines of your OP is a great description of islamic states. Robbed of freedom of religion, dependence on religion, outdated society and lack of progress. However, there is one factor that you forgot about. It's distinction of religion and public life. In most of developed countries, religions don't play a leading role in creating public opinion, nor do they affect the legal system. You can check out France, Germany, United Kingdom or Japan.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't say I agree with many of the assumptions you made in your post. Some of them seem so far off base it hurts my head. X_x

Yeah the heavily religious have morals of their own. To be honest, I don't think I've ever met a single person whose moral system was solely derived from their religion. I do meet plenty who attribute their morality to God or their religion, but I generally do not find that to be the whole story.

Nonetheless, even when religion is a big influence on one's morality, I think most people who believe in God follow the moral system they do because they think it's objectively true, not because they fear punishment (young children are a notable exception to this generalization, though). Anyway, chances are, if they lost their belief in God, they'd still think the moral system was more-or-less true, though they may find themselves questioning parts of it since they no longer have a completely objective source behind it. There are often secular reasons to believe in certain morals or codes of ethical conduct, too, and people adapt.

In short, the generalizations in your post about how religious people will act if their beliefs change do not seem to be in line with how I've seen real people acting when their beliefs change. I don't think religious people are monsters who only hold back from doing things because they fear the consequences. Some might feel like they'd be able to let loose if there were no God, or karma, etc, but in reality they actually have other reasons that they hold back that they never make it far enough to acknowledge.
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:iconperibyss:
Peribyss Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
While I disagree with the way many popular religions promote their moral beliefs, I don't think they'd suddenly lose all of their morals. The collapse of a religion wouldn't be so easily noticeable, it would probably feel exactly like the day before it. While they may know that their religion is "gone" I doubt they'd feel it. Besides, ideas are immortal. Once an idea reaches a certain mass, you will never be rid of it.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Years ago it was the fanatical theist that would be on the forum up on their high horses being assholes, I guess it is skeptics turn.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Out of curiosity, what religion do you think the OP follows?
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I would prefer not to get into assuming about the OP.

My comment was over all, as I have read enough atheists and skeptics pick up the "ego mantle" of declaring the religious without real morals.
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:iconsontine:
Sontine Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013   Digital Artist
What about you? Don't you follow a religion or something?
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Sort of. I'm an eclectic Pagan. The difference is I have no set rules or regulations, so I'm free to make it up as I go along.
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:iconsontine:
Sontine Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013   Digital Artist
Hmm. I just think it's a little sad how much you critize the beliefs of other people, when you have beliefs of your own that someone else can find completely absurd.

You know, I'd really like to see that Pagan and Wiccan type people are accepting and tolerant of other religions, but almost every time, it's the same old persecution complex they tend to have, always taunting others to come and argue with them just to prove how ignorant the other religious people are. It really makes them come off as arrogant and prideful. Not saying every last one of them is like that, but many that I've read about are like that.

Also, yes, many of the bigger religions have certain commandments or "rules" to follow. That doesn't mean the followers are just mindless sheep with no morals or thoughts of their own. This is going to sound cliche, but it does take faith and trust to understand things, sometimes things that have nothing to do with religious matters. Like when someone tells me I can get better at art, or I can achieve something that seems out of reach. Does it make me a "mindless zombie" if I try something someone says I should do, even if I don't think it will affect me?

Also, if the world got rid of religion entirely, there'd still be problems; suffering, starvation, greed, wars, murder, rape ect. Animals don't have religion, and they still kill and rape their own kind. If war isn't about religion, it's about someone invading someone's land, or stealing their resources, or some other thing like that.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
I wasn't criticizing any one belief system, dear. I was criticizing the fact that the most populous faiths don't promote individual thought.

I also never said we should get rid of religion. I said we should get religion out of politics.
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