Running head: MORALITY AND RELIGION
Does morality need religion?
February 29, 2012
To many individuals, morality and religion are two related but distinct ideas. To be specific, morality consists of principles set by societal norms concerning the distinction between right and wrong and good and bad behaviour among persons. Alternatively, religion involves the relationship between human beings and a transcendent reality or a superhuman controlling power, God. In many societies in the past and present, the idea of God is used to help reinforce moral codes as valuable and vital through rituals and methods of presenting the teachings of God. By many, religion is used to instil fear
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As a result, people follow the Qur’an because they desire heaven in their afterlife and because by following the teachings life becomes more fruitful. The religious institutions interpret the Qur’an for its use in day-to-day living, teaching morals about marriage, sacrifice and charity. Thus, due to its specifications regarding cultural issues, the values preached within the religion do not only exist in private life, but are practiced fully in society. Next, in our modern era of capitalism, there is a separation between religion and economics that appears to be a Biblical deviation. In the bible it states, “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice” (Bible 112:5). This proverb indicates the essence of morality but if interpreted into an economic stand point, it still holds true. In Christianity, the Church provides an example of a religion that has been institutionalized and proves to be a powerful influence in moral values of many. Today’s society is where wealth is prevailing, where theft is punished, poverty affects majority of people but it is all also avoidable and good will come to those to choose to do so. Furthermore, in the Tripitaka, the sacred text of Buddhism, the final chapter of Dhammapada states, “Him I call a Brahmin, who has put aside weapons and renounced violence toward all creatures. He neither