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Morality Without Religion/God
What is moral? To be moral means to do and believe the right things. So, what are the right things in a society without religion or deities? Isn't social morality ever-changing? What was "right" yesterday is considered bigoted and intolerant the next?
Perhaps the baseline of morality could be considered anything that is for the common good of society. That would mean it would have to have a positive effect for the most people for the most amount of time (see here for details). Thus, while there are many things that could be considered "good" for some people, for a limited amount of time; this ultimately may not be "good" for society.
FROM THE BIBLE
Since the Western world was shaped by the Bible, let us consider what it says about morality without religion and morality without God.
Romans 2:14-15 NIV:
First, the parentheses indicate this text is an explanation of the larger context and the larger context is that people; especially the Jewish audience cannot use ignorance of "the Law" (morality) as an excuse since morality is supposedly something "written on hearts" (inherent).
However, per the Bible this does not mean humanity is inherently "good". As a matter of fact, the over all context of the Bible is that humanity is hopelessly fallen into "sin" (immorality). See TOTAL DEPRAVITY. Hopeless, without God's intervention that is.
So, while the Bible explains that humanity has natural morality, the Bible also explains that by nature humanity is not "good". We may know what is "good" but that doesn't mean we will automatically do "good". This is different than the excuse that "no ones perfect". This is a willful disregard for doing "good" when we know what is "good". It is a deliberate over-ride of our own consciences.
As stated, society is always vacillating on what is and isn't good. This is even more obvious as we compare one society to another where acceptable moral norms are different. So, society alone cannot be the determining factor as to what is "good".
We could make a list of what is commonly considered moral in every society and throughout world history; and ironically enough that list would look a lot like the Bible's Ten Commandments.
In almost all societies, despite their religion or lack of it, it is "wrong" to:
Almost all judicial systems are built on these principles or some form of them.
So, at the very least we could conclude that these things are "good", both commonly or atheistic good and religious good. These things are "good" for the most people for the most time. These things hold societies together. Without these "morals", a society will eventually fail.
All people, whether "Gentiles" or religious people should stand for these "morals". They should uphold and defend these morals against any attempt to denigrate these moral principles.
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