Originally Posted by AkamaruChewtoy
I'm not sure he is completely in alignment with me, but I'll check:
OK - let's go with slavery. Is slavery wrong? Today's world has plenty of "wealth" to go around, primarily due to our technology being advanced enough to extract this "wealth" from the planet, so we can easily set up methods of paying people for their work. But many many years ago, this was not the case. Slavery wasn't wrong and in fact, it was, perhaps, necessary. Much of civilization was built on slavery and bonded labour. (You could argue that while poorly treated, slaves were still fed and housed by lords who put them to work - today, people are paid and left to do that for themselves.) Religious texts being very old wouldn't make a claim that slavery was wrong because it wasn't wrong then. It is wrong now. Our views have altered and we don't need religion to tell us that - even though, if you ask preachers, they will tell you that slavery is indeed wrong. They don't need a holy text to tell them that.
So in this case, religion and society are in congruence. Do you agree? Or is your point that the bible is outdated and thus, because Christianity follows it, they don't have a grip on modern morality (likewise for other religions and texts)?
Personally, religion is a part of society, so the idea that you can separate them to say who has given who the morals is a flawed practice. I stated a while ago that my moral views were given in terms of biology and humans being a social animal. Society is just a complex form of group biology.
On slavery, religion and society are in congruence now, but not 200 years ago, religion only slowed the progress to abolition by providing a divine justification for the practice. Whereas at the present time religion and society are not congruent on homosexual rights and it will take religious people a generation to catch up as they will have to find some way of reconciling the anti-homosexual passages in the Bible with the obvious fact (to the rest of society) that it is plain wrong to discriminate against people because they are born homosexual. My point is that religion as derived from ancient texts is no help in determining right and wrong. The ancient texts can only hold you back. So the answer to the question "Is it possible to live a moral life without religion" is a resounding yes, in fact 'without religion' is a necessary (but, of course, not sufficient) requirement for a moral life. It is actually difficult to live a moral life if you are hampered by religion and adherence to ancient texts with a moral code applicable to conditions thousands of years ago.