10 Answers

  1. But here I can argue with the previous commentator from the point of view of religious studies.

    First, there are such religions as Confucianism, for example, where there is no teaching about the transcendent at all, but 90% is based on moral laws.

    Secondly, if we consider new religious movements, we can now find a huge number of clientele, audience, political, and commercial cults that are considered religious organizations, but do not have the idea of the divine in their system. However, according to other indicators, they cannot be excluded from the category of “religion”.

    Third, the term “religion” itself has a problem – there is no clear definition of this concept. Psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and other scientists give worthwhile definitions within their fields of work, but if you look broadly, none of them is complete.

  2. Buddhism is already incompatible with the idea of an absolute Creator God, reducing the idea of beings more powerful than humans to beings stuck in the wheel of samsara on the same terms as humans. Moreover, the belief in divine creation is a trap that keeps you in samsara

  3. The doctrine of morality is a theory designed to determine what is good and what is bad, what is evil and what is good. Naturally, ideas about such things can be very different and differ depending on a particular society or group of people. As an example, we can cite the movement for the voluntary extinction of humanity, the idea of which is that the highest good and justice consists in the cessation of the existence of humanity as a species, and this is given a certain theoretical justification. As far as religions are concerned, most of them (or all of them?) they claim to define the correct, proper behavior of people and society, that is, they are already moral teachings, regardless of whether they contain a supernatural component (and some may not, for example, Confucianism, considered by some as a religion). Thus, the recognition of a theory's status as a moral doctrine is not affected by the presence or absence of God(s) in it. And the answer to this question is yes, if the religion originally contained ideas about the moral and immoral.

  4. “I say all this to prevent a truly stupid remark, which is often heard: “I am willing to admit that Jesus is a great moral teacher, but I reject His claim to be God.” You shouldn't say that. A mere mortal who claimed what Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher, but either a madman like those who think they are Napoleon or the teapot, or the devil himself. There can be no other alternative: either this person is the Son of God, or a madman or something even worse. And you have to make a choice: you can turn away from Him as if He's crazy and not pay any attention to Him; you can kill Him as if He's the devil; otherwise, you just have to fall down before Him and recognize Him as Lord and God. Just get rid of this patronizing nonsense that He was a great humanist teacher, please. He didn't give us a chance to think that way.”

    C. S. Lewis “Just Christianity”

  5. If you “remove the background of divinity” from religion, it will simply cease to exist – including as a “moral teaching”. And if you still “remove” it, but at the same time try to pass it off as a moral “teaching”, then you will get something immoral in its very essence.

    Given that the question is asked about “any religion” (i.e., the generality quantifier is used), it is sufficient to demonstrate even one counterexample in this case. Take the central moral maxim of Christ's Sermon on the Mount: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). If we “remove God”, we get: “be perfect, like…” Like who? No matter which of the mortals is substituted for the variable in the resulting formula, in any case it will turn out to be a parody of the moral ideal. Moreover, a very evil parody, as is evident from large-scale social experiments that took place in not so long ago.

    An ideal is an idea that performs a regulatory function, but it can only perform it if it is absolute (all this was deeply analyzed by Kant at the end of the 18th century). Only on the absolute can a moral imperative be based in order to be a categorical imperative, and in this respect, in Kantian terms, “religion is no different from morality in its content.” That is, basically, morality is always religious, and religiosity without the “background of divinity” is nothing. This correlation was well understood even by those thinkers whose philosophy can hardly be called religious. Not by chance, when (already in the midst of the “godless” 20th century) a correspondent of the French magazine”Express” asked Heidegger: will he write “Ethics”? – Did Heidegger answer with a rhetorical question: “Ethics”? Who can afford it today and on behalf of what authority to offer it to the world?” At least the best minds of the last century were still aware of this.

    Although, of course, now the yard is already the 21st century from the Birth of Christ, of the French magazines the most famous is “Charlie”, and moral relativism (as well as relativism in general) is increasingly becoming fashionable. “The lesson of history is that people don't learn anything from the lessons of history,” Aldous Huxley exclaimed a few decades ago. Just like Hegel, who exclaimed almost literally the same thing, but a century earlier. Apparently, the new century, which is gaining momentum, will not be an exception in this regard.

  6. Both religion and ethics are essentially moral teachings. The only difference is that in religion, faith is fueled by the transcendent, and in ethics, faith in an ideology, a leader, etc. But the similarity and necessary condition of them is that in both cases there is an authority that establishes a dictate over morality in general-the Lord and the state. The predominance of the first over the second forms the theological, and the second – the secular, or one complements and justifies the other.

    1. The Christian faith is conditioned by the fear of God's judgment and is based on such concepts as sin, the Last Judgment, the other world (heaven and hell), etc.

    2. The secular faith is conditioned by the fear of punishment by the state, because it has the power and the right to legitimate violence, respectively. Therefore, people should honor and not violate the laws established by him.

    And so, if you remove the belief in the transcendent from religion, then it will remain only a set of symbols supported by no one and nothing. Anyone can write their own code of laws and call it a moral teaching, but who will observe it if they do not have the power and the right to violence for disobedience?! So my answer is no.

  7. It will not be a doctrine of morality, but a multi-faceted doctrine of everyday life, in which morality is only one of the elements.

    Most of the religious texts (in particular, the Old and New Testaments) are original treatises “on life”, a way of multilateral regulation of human behavior when the law is not yet so strong, and the creation of rules for survival is necessary.

    They establish all aspects of society's life, whether moral or ethical, political, or even economic: it is in the Old Testament that attempts to explain and predict economic cycles, examples of countercyclical and anti-crisis policies first appear, the need for tithes for temples is explained economically, household management advice is given, and so on.

    Remove the background of divinity , and this is all that remains.

  8. One quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky will suffice here:

    «All morality comes out of religion, for religion is only a formula of morality.”

    The method of elementary deductions is easy to draw a conclusion.

    P.S. The Soviet scientist-logician Alexander Zinoviev put forward the idea of “Christian morality without Christianity”. He, as an agnostic, “believing atheist” was not primarily sure of the divinity of religion, but of its moral and ethical foundation (specifically Christianity).

    P.S. Max Weber in his work” Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism ” identified the stages of religious development of society. They looked something like this: mythological beliefs-polytheism-pantheism-monotheism-ethical monotheism. The latter implies the very moral framework of religion without the orthodoxy of the previous stage of development.

  9. There can be no morality without religion, otherwise it – morality-loses its source and authority. Here ,the “code of the communist” was approved in the Central Committee of the CPSU. Normal ethical standards. Who needs them? Divinity in religion is not the background, it is the core. There can be no morality without God.

  10. From the point of view of philosophy, morality is understood as the general level of aspiration of society to the moral ideals established in this society. In Europe, for example, such an ideal is/was Christianity and specifically the Ten commandments set forth in Scripture, in Arab countries such a moral norm is the Koran, and so on.
    If we remove the idea of the transcendent from religion, then in essence it will indeed become a kind of ethical and moral teaching, but it will no longer be a religion, since religion implies precisely the belief in the transcendent as a superpower. So there can be morality without religion, but there can't be religion without morality.

Leave a Reply