I think humans evolved in groups, and for many of us, our ethics come out of wanting to what is best for the grop. Things such as beign honest and keeping one's promises. We can be taught to pay attention to our ethical inclinations or to ignore them.
I find it interestign that atheists.agnostics are greatly under represented o a per capita basis in prisons, which woudl seem ti indicate that religion isn't as effective in teaching the importance of ethics as secular society is.
Throughout most of the history of mankind, a person was told that his life belonged to some type of group: the tribe, the king, or the god. With the arrival of enlightenment ideas, people realized that their life belongs to themselves. People began to see themselves as individuals, not just members of groups. These enlightenment ideas resulted in some of the greatest achievements of mankind: reason, the scientific revolution, valuing education, and the idea of individual rights. The result was a lifting of a cloud of darkness over mankind, and the beginning of human flourishing, which is only now reaching most of the world. But, the one idea that wasn't changed much in the enlightenment was morality. Even today, most moral systems are based upon a god, the tribe, the nation, a race, or some other group. We are told that what is moral should be based upon what is good for the group. Why not base our morality on individualism? What is good is what is good for ourselves, as long as we don't harm others.
An area I sometimes I get confused is the difference between morals and ethics. They are different. Basically, "Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong."
There is a chart: [diffen.com]
To me the overarching morality is preserving the life support system within which all life has to live. Religion, with it's sense of human centeredness and superiority is as immoral as it comes.
Sure you can. Just to take the bible as an example, if society as a whole still adhered to its principles, we would still condone slavery, inequality of women, stonings, etc., etc. etc... The justice, protections, and civility many take for granted in First World countries are the result of Secular moral philosophizing.
Ethics are a particular expression of morality, which is a work product of society. Religion has nothing to do with it apart from its share of influence on society. Of course it likes to appropriate what's already there and claim to have invented it and be the sole defender and sustainer of it.
Yes. I'd say it's highly explainable through evolution. Like empathy, for example. It would have been a favorable trait to pass down through the generations as it allows us to work together and survive.
I think empathy is inherently a selfish trait that allows us to survive better. It's a kind of "me not killing someone decreases the risk of me getting killed" thing. Same thing goes for stealing etc. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a concept far outdating basically all world religions, and is found in almost all forms of ethical thought.
Have a great day,
All religions do not claim to be moral. What is the big deal with one that does make that claim wanting to say they get their morality from god? I get my sex drive from Pluto, but then that is just Goofy.
Many people that take a college course in ethics say it is actually against their religion.
One important thing to understand is the difference between ethics and morals.
From the site: Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong.
They elaborate there in ways better than I could which you may find a helpful start.
What we think of moral and ethics generated stable and efficient societies. Those societies were stronger than the neighbours with different values.
By evolytive mechanisms they prevailed and looks like they are natural or divine when they are just more efficient in creating stable societies.
My opinion is that the word 'morals' came with religion but ethics describes thinking ethically different. I found this online which points out what I mean and how I think of the words. "A formal way of distinguishing them is to define ethics as 'those rules which it is rational for a group to possess so as to govern its external relations with other entities' and define morals as 'those rules which it is rational for a group to possess so as to govern its internal relations between members'." So it's more likely a church GROUP has morals and individuals not god believers have ethics to follow. Just in case anyone is interested in the article, A formal way of distinguishing them is to define ethics as 'those rules which it is rational for a group to possess so as to govern its external relations with other entities' and define morals as 'those rules which it is rational for a group to possess so as to govern its internal relations between members'.
We certainly can, and Baruch Spinoza did a pretty good job laying the ground work for much of that in his Euclidean approach to ethics (Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order). The issue is that religion has the capacity to inform so much of ethics.
Many religions lay out rules for living and definitions for a good or meaningful life. These are central to ethics, so it is not surprising that it is difficult to separate ethics out from a religion. However, ethics doesn't attempt say much about cosmic origins or the nature of reality. Beyond that, psychology, biology, and reason tell us a lot about ethics. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that it's quite easy to explain ethics away of religion. Religion can be incredibly compelling, however. I'd imagine that is why so many religious people have trouble grasping the idea of an independent ethics.