Is moraility strengthened or weakened when religion is taken away?

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readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a great question. I would say that morality is weakened when religion is taken away for the most part. I am sure there will be some counter-examples, but generally speaking religion has a moral emphasis. Let me give you a few reason for my rationale. 

First, most religions have a moral code (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). This reason alone will help people to be more moral. If a person grows up in a religious environment, then this code of morality would be deeply ingrained and will leave a lasting impression.  

Second, most religions also deal with "eternal matters." In other words, what a person does on earth will have ramifications in the afterlife. Therefore, when the code of ethics, which these religions have is lived out, there is a moral emphasis. 

Finally, religion provide a way out of post-modern moral relativism. 


billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Richard Dawkins says in one of his books that the fact that religion may inculcate or strengthen morality nevertheless does not necessarily make it true. I do not know whether religious people are more moral than atheists or agnostics, but I do know that a lot of people who are or claim to be religious have committed countless immoral actions throughout history. Your question is a very good one, and a very important one, but it is one that is difficult to try to answer. 


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