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Old 07-11-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

Originally Posted by TrueUCHIHA View Post
Where i believe it is possible for man to live Moral lives without the aid of religion I believe now in current times that it is the fact that BECAUSE we have had so much contact with religion and we are taught what is right and wrong mostly based of these religious ideals is why men are able to do so in this current age.
Your sentence structure is confusing, so before I answer your argument, let me make sure I'm getting the right idea about what you're saying.
You mean to say that, regardless of whether an individual follows or believes in a certain religious faith, the fact that he or she has been exposed to the morals and values of said faith makes it an inevitability that he or she's personal morals are influenced by it. Am I right in assuming that this is the point you were trying to get across?

Also when people think religion they usually dont think past the big three. Judiasim, islam, and christianity. But these are definitely not the only religions in this world. And some of these other religions require "immoral" activities to take place in their religious practicings.
By referring to "immoral" practices, would I also be right in assuming you are taking cues from, say, pagan and neo-pagan beliefs and rituals, which may or may not include rites that others would find immoral?

In that case, however, your argument is circling around on itself. Who is it that decides that these certain religious practices are immoral? If we're talking about the moral influences of religion on individuals, then wouldn't the idea that those rituals are "immoral" only boil down to the very same argument: Whether it is actually immoral, or if it is simply one's religious beliefs or influences that makes them believe the acts are immoral?
What it really comes down to is who decides what is moral or immoral.
This is true, and this is what I was addressing above. Something that is considered taboo in one country, society, civilization, religious sect, etc. may be considered acceptable or even righteous in another. Just who is it that decides that an act or belief is universally immoral?

An example: There is a tribe in Africa whose rite of passage involves jumping off of an unsteady wooden "cliff", stories high, suspended only by a vine wrapped around their ankles. A boy is not considered a man in his tribe unti he has made the jump and survived it, and these boys will perform these rituals at extremely young ages - even prior to the onset of puberty. And this rite is certainly not without its dangers: If the vine snaps, the boy will plummet to his death. Even if the boy survives the jump, the force of the vine stopping his fall so suddenly could dislocate anything from his ankles to his hips. Even the whiplash could easily snap his neck in two.

In "civilized" society, a ritual as dangerous as this one would be considered highly immoral and completely unacceptable. And this is actually one of the more tame rituals that some tribes in Africa go through to acquire their "manhood".

We may find such a thing immoral or unacceptable - not even because of religious beliefs or faith, but because of the danger it puts children in - but who are we to judge them? Who are we to say their rites of passage are wrong? They believe in their way, we believe in ours. But there is no universal figure or factor that can say whether something is moral or immoral.
Even in the Science of ethics is the term "morally acceptable" debated. For example in Deontology a morally acceptable action is based of its adherence to the laws or sets of rules that have been established by the higher order in a hierarchy. An example of this would be not taking a cookie from the cookie jar because your mother said not to. Others however believe that a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence, this way of thinking is called teleology and an example of this would be taking a cookie from the cookie jar to feed your hungry sister, even though your mother told u not to.
Now, this selection is another wherein I don't understand what point you're trying to make exactly. Was it simply an example of the differences in beliefs of morality, or was there a more concise point that you were trying to articulate?
Originally Posted by Nerox511
don't you mean non-savage lives in this context? just asking, but i'll stay out of this. another question though. isn't it a bit rash to call judaism, christianity and islam the big three? counting members, judaism sure is pretty small. and counting age, all of these religions are not that big.....etc...
Ignoring the semantics of his statement, I don't think it was to point out that those three religions were larger in followers than others. Rather, I think he was referring to the fact that in discussions of religion, you will sooner see references to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, than you would other religions, such as Buddhism, Shinto, etc. It's not the fact that any religion aside from the three he listed is obscure and insignificant, but rather that those three are not only more recognized in society, but that the general public are more familiar with them than they are with others.

This is speaking from a Western standpoint, of course - "The Big Three" here only applies to countries in which these are the most prevalent religions. You'll hardly see people in East Asia, for example, to find Islam or Judaism more recognizable than their own national religions. Japan, for example, would identify more readily with Buddhism, Shinto, and in recent years, Christianity. So in that case, it's also an issue of one's environment and societal background.

Last edited by Tsuna; 07-11-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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