The Goodness Within

Religious belief is no guarantee of moral integrity. Horrendous crimes have been committed by the religious in the name of God. Religious individuals disagree frequently on many moral judgments. They disagree about the rights of women, abortion, war, homosexuality, and euthanasia just to name a few.

Moral ethics have and continue to exist outside of the religious realm. Morality has it’s roots in ancient times where group survival meant that clans had to cooperate. To survive meant that each member had to know what others expected, and what they expected from individual members. Reliance on each other demanded certain behaviors and hence morality developed. This means that the potential of morality existed in humans long before the invention of a God.

There are many moral virtues which transcend differing groups of people. Honesty, truthfulness, kindness, keeping promises etc, are not exclusive to any one peoples. Despite the lack of religion in some ethnic peoples these morals still exist. They are innate, dependent on prevailing conditions, and are exclusive of religious origin.

From the first law made by a society morality was being expressed in some form. Even ancient peoples realized the need for laws to govern a society. What good is work if your spoils could be taken from you without recourse. What value life, if with impunity some bully could cut your throat.

The point is that morality exists separately from religious belief. It existed before the existence of religion. Religion was invented to explain the unexplainable forces affecting humans. It gave them comfort in the time before science and reason. Slowly but surely science and reason are chipping away at the myths of religion. The old ways are hard to give up, but with religion’s horrendous history it behooves us all to give religion the old heave ho. Yes, there have been despots with no belief, atrocities committed. These were done by individual miscreants, and not an entire group. Even today the baggage of religion  drags down society, causing divisiveness, hatred, and continued war.

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