The Relation of Ethics to Religion

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About this sample


Words: 990 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

Words: 990|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

In the 21st-century ethics as far as religious doctrines are concerned has taken a modernity turn. In the classical period religion was solely relied on to dictate morality but due to contemporariness catalyzed by education beliefs can no longer prescribe social principles. Issues are assessed and determined according to the will of people, social discussion, and scientific research.

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Religious behavior as far as morality is concerned is entirely arbitrary depending on the immediate context, time and people’s insight. For instance, in the past, parents used to force their teen daughters to get married mostly to older men. Young girls were regarded as the source of wealth because once married a lot of materials things were paid in exchange. The philosophy was highly upheld regardless of whether the girl will happy or not. She was supposed to be submissive, hardworking and law-abiding wife (Harris, p. 307).

Although religion does not allow some people to suffer while other enjoying, the practice persisted because of primitiveness, Christianity and education had never reached to everybody, and therefore few people knew that forced marriage at a tender age was a sure step of spoiling the life of juveniles. Child sacrifice is not much pronounced, Abraham only attempted it but under God’s directive (Asbury, p. 233). He was being tested for his faith and loyalty to Almighty. His attempt to slay Isaac proved that he was utterly devoted to God. Life is sacred, and so a ram was meticulously provided instead of his son. The context verified that killing attempt is historical, unethical and never again should we try to murder in the name of religious devotion. Currently is somewhat dissolute to offer human sacrifice, such deeds are morally punishable by law.

Once again, religion forbids Incest (Greenawalt, p. 529) but it was carried out in the past only because of ignorance, people never knew that marriage between closely related people could raise scientific complications on the offsprings. Currently, people are enlightened and are unacceptable to carry on with such practices. Contemporary human beings have every reason to believe in science, it works, and we have adopted it to avoid some social immoralities. It has been creating neutrality between secular and religious conviction.

Assassination, suicide bombing, and genocide are immoral endeavors indeed carried out for political or social personal interests. Inflicting pain on some people for personal gain is allowed throughout the world, it is regarded that happiness for a person due to the infliction of distress for many is against social philosophies. Religious institutions which preach doctrines likely to divide people should be carefully investigated and if proven to be propagating such dogma, be dissolved as soon as possible because it is entirely unethical and against divine will.

The human being should be taught about how to care for each other’s happiness in the present. Instilling social democracy (Hutson et al., p. 28) or Maoism would not take much effort and results in oneness which enables people to work together for a better world regardless of religious beliefs. Just in case differences which could lead to massive destruction and loss of life, meditation and discussion between the parties are considered to make resolutions.

The question of whether morality is independent of God’s command appears to be controversial, and scholarly arguments have been giving differing reasons. Modern moral philosophers such as Elizabeth Anscombe ascertains that legalistic senses or judgments and verdict on people’s actions do not adhere to divine law which encompasses Gods who said we should never judge others (Anscombe, p. 124). Judging people by their actions denote that we have given up God’s orders and therefore we ought to discard moral understanding based on such belief and embrace secular moral philosophies as virtues. Another philosopher namely, Alan Donagan differed claiming that a God as a lawgiver summarized everything and all legal judgments should be determined based on divine principles.

The assumption that human reasoning is enough for moral sense leads to staying away from the divine code of conduct. Both opinions speculate that there varied ways of comprehending the link between God and morality. Edward Wierenga argued that to some extend moral statements are defined by theological statements and for instance, Decalogue covers minimal issues and therefore it does not determine morality. Now, we may adopt that God’s orders in some senses decide what is moral and in other areas morality can be determined by the immediate context or the will of majority irrespective of the religious ground (Wierenga, p. 2).

As it is typical in school tests are preparations for great things, better life and a breakthrough to happiness. They weigh our genuineness, weaknesses, and ability to handle massive responsibilities meant to benefit other people (Spurgeon, p. 215). Many are times when Abraham went through ridiculous tests, his faith and strength to believe as he worked toward promises were significantly tried. The concept was that success does not only lie in the spiritual equation but the working experience. Faith without action is considered dead hence as much as we believe in God, we cannot evade trials. It is evident that God bless people who work industriously to overwhelm or succeed in the tests.

Our current role model is Abraham Prometheus who could manage the jungle between religion and modernity to be ethically fit in the dynamic world (Bennett, p. 10). We should take after simple disobedience of John Adams of the United States who called for freedom and involvement of all people in the government plans as well as policies regardless of social class, ethnicity or race. As long as we uphold religious doctrines, disobedience is currently allowed to protest or picket against authorities and government policies made to favor a few citizens while oppressing the majority.

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In conclusion, our contemporary period cannot allow religion to dictate moral standards because of diversified religious beliefs, varied contexts, and environment, social class, and stratification in our diverse societies.

Works Cited

  1. Anscombe, G. E. M. (1958). Modern moral philosophy. Philosophy, 33(124), 1-19.
  2. Asbury, H. (2012). The anatomy of Abraham's test: Sacrifice as justice and sacrifice as mercy. Theology Today, 69(3), 231-239.
  3. Bennett, D. W. (2017). The man who would be father of nations: Abraham in the political imagination of John Adams. Journal of Church and State, 59(1), 5-24.
  4. Greenawalt, K. (2016). Incest and the ethics of sexual relationships. Philosophical Studies, 173(2), 519-542.
  5. Harris, M. (2006). The rise of anthropological theory: A history of theories of culture. Rowman Altamira.
  6. Hutson, M., Rubin, D. C., & May, J. (2014). Can meditation really slow aging? Cognitive and affective mechanisms mediate the effects of meditation practice on psychological well-being and physical health. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38(1), 1-12.
  7. Spurgeon, C. H. (1859). The preacher's power, and the conditions of obtaining it: A sermon. Passmore and Alabaster.
  8. Wierenga, E. R. (1983). Divine command morality and the theological foundations of ethics. Faith and Philosophy, 2(2), 111-130.
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The Relation of Ethics to Religion. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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