God and Morality pg.1
God and Morality Claire Fermo
Ethics and Moral Reasoning PHI208
Dr. Sarah Cohen
April 1, 2012
God and Morality pg.2
The question is this – Is it possible to be of good moral character while not believing in God? Looking at the definition of morality as defined in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy the term morality can be used descriptively or actively. A] to refer to some code of conduct put forward by a society or some other group such as religious. Or put forward by a society and is acceptable to an individual for his or her own behavior. B] to refer to a code of conduct that, given specific conditions would be put forward by all rational persons. Morality appears to be separate from religion and although not spoken of or referred to as such there are different groups of moral persons, not all are viewed as good or just. Some examples may include Christian morality, Nazi morality, Greek morality etc. At times etiquette is included as part of morality. Hobbs expresses a standard view when he talks about manners. “By manners I mean not here decency of behavior, as how one man should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth or pick his teeth before company and such other parts of small morals, but those qualities of mankind that concern their living together in peace and unity.” (Hobbs, 2010). The laws and our legal system is distinguished by a moral system that includes having written laws or rules, penalties and officials to make the laws and enforce
God and Morality pg.3
the laws and then penalize. Laws are often evaluated on moral grounds. Moral critisism is often used to support a change in a current law or to design a new law. Religion differs from morality or having a moral system. Religious morality is based on stories or events that are past. These stories and events are used to justify the behavior that religion prohibits or requires. At times morality is regarded as the code of conduct that is put forward by religion. Morality is thought by many to need some religious explanation or justification. However, just as with law some practices and precepts are critical on moral grounds. Morals provide us with a guide for conduct, where as religion is always more than that. The definition and description of morality tells us that morality is a belief system that follows the rule of “goodness”. It is similar to a “blanket” over society and is separate from religion. Even in these times morality is always in question. In an article written by a Baltimore Sun journalist titled “The Morality Brigade.” The writer expresses his opinion onto his readers stating that “We’re still legislating and regulating private morality, while at the same time ignoring the much larger crisis of public morality in America.” (Reich, R. 2013) He continues on to back up his accusations. He writes that legislatures in North Dakota passed a bill banning abortions after 6 weeks. (At which time a heart beat is detectable) as well as approved a fall referendum that could ban all abortions by defining human life beginning at the time of conception. He continues on that these same legislatures God and Morality pg.4
“worry about fetuses but they show little concern for what happens to children after they are born. They and other conservatives have been cutting funding for child nutrition, health care for infants and their mothers, and schools.” (Reich, R. 2013). This is just an example of American Morality.
So it seems that at this point I have defined what morality is and how it can be applied. I have also touched on Religion and Morality being a very separate entity. Now I will discuss God and Morals.
It is very possible for a person to not believe in God and posses high moral standards. Understanding that the person being moral is not due to their belief in God, it is independent of that. Having a...
References: Baumin, S.(2008) Antitheism and Morality. Philosophical Forum retrieved March 27, 2013 from http://dx.doi.org/10.111/j.1467-9191.2007.00282.x
Frame and Poythress. A debate between John Frame and Paul Kurtz. Do we Need God to be Moral? retrieved March 25,, 2013 from http:// poythress.org/do-we-need-god-to-be-moral/
Gert, Bernard. (2012) The Definition of Morality. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward N. Zalto (ed.), retrieved March 27, 2013 from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2012/entries/morality-definition.
Merrill, K.R.(2012) Spectres of False Divinity:Hume’s Moral Atheism. Retrieved March 25, 2013 from http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/1288432167.accountid=32521
Reich, R.B.(2013)The Morality Brigade retrieved March 27,2013 from http://baltimoresun.com/opinion/bal-the-morality-brigade-20130326,0,146487
God and Morality pg.11
Schick, T. Jr.(1995)Morality Requires God….or Does it? Retrieved March 25, 2013 from http://www.secular.humanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=schick_17_3
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