Does Morality Depend On Religion?

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Does Morality Depend on Religion?

Does Morality Depend on Religion?


I firmly believe that morality depends on religion nad this paper proves this. Morality is closely associated with religion in the minds of many people. When religious leaders speak out on moral topics, their opinions are often treated with special deference. They are regarded as moral experts. This paper discusses several ways in which morality may depend on religion. It considers causal, conceptual, epistemological, and metaphysical dependency relations. It also explores the possibility that morality and religion may come into conflict. But a fruitful discussion of how two things are related must rely on some understanding of what those two things are. Hence the entry begins with characterizations of domains of morality and religion.

Does Morality Depend on Religion? A Discussion

Brown (2003) mentions that understood in broad terms, morality consists of answers to the general normative question of how one should live one's life. It covers a wide range of topics related to the conduct of human life. Morality concerns actions that should and should not be performed and rules of conduct that should and should not be followed. It also comprehends motives for actions that people should and should not have and character traits or habits that people should and should not try to develop (Brown, 2003). Another subject of moral concern is ideals of saintliness or heroism to which some people may properly aspire, even though not everyone is called upon to live up to these ideals. Yet another subject is social and political arrangements that people should and should not strive to create or to sustain. Thus understood, morality consists of a diverse array beliefs and practices, and it is probably not possible to give an illuminating definition of its scope. Philosophers often say that the realm of morality in this broad sense coincides with the realm of the ethical.

When philosophers reflect on the contents of the ethical, they find it useful to distinguish within it two domains, each characterized by a distinctive family of fundamental concepts. One is the axiological domain. Its basic concepts are goodness, badness, and indifference. The other is the deontological domain. Its basic concepts are requirement (obligation), permission (rightness), and prohibition (wrongness). Duty is the chief subject matter of the deontological domain. Some philosophers—Bernard Williams, for example—have proposed that morality be conceived narrowly as restricted to the deontological domain. On this conception, ...
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