Essay On Morality And Religion

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Morality and religion are two separate entities, though to ignore religion's effect on morality would be unproductive in furthering one's understanding of ethicality. Without a proper understanding of both, however, it is difficult to truly explore their interconnectedness.
Morality is defined as "the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior." Though seemingly not linked with religion at all, much of the morals our society has come to codify has a basis in both the Old and New Testament. For example, the ten tablets contain such commandments as "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal." Both are lessons ingrained in most children, provided they do not have atypical homes and/or guardians.
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Despite many clear cut laws, such as “thou shalt not kill” as aforementioned, many laws lend themselves open to interpretation. For example, in the Old Testament there is the commandment to “love thy neighbor.” But who is one’s neighbor? In the allegory of the good samaritan, Jesus essentially says that every person is “thy neighbor” and one has an inherent responsibility to safeguard all human life. However, most people do not heed this interpretation, and periodically ignore strangers in their moments of distress because of the possibility of harm, in the case where it would require far too many resources, or when it would be a great inconvenience. Depending on the situation, the individual may or may not be justified in his ignorance of his “neighbor.” Because of these deviances in each person’s interpretation of biblical passages, and his personal moral code, it is difficult to determine whether anyone is moral or amoral as everyone has entirely different standards. It is therefore my belief that, though religion does play an important aspect in shaping morals it is not the complete picture. There are many other factors involved in determining morality and by their implementation from an early age, it is entirely possible to disentangle devoutness as the sole catalyst of a higher moral

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