Unpacking the Link Between Religion and Morality

The question of morality often arises from religious circles: “If you don’t follow religion, where do you derive your morality from?” It’s a query that makes me want to roll my eyes and retort, “Religion and morality? Have you glanced at history?”

Throughout the ages, religions have been responsible for countless atrocities, from the slaughter of innocents to the persecution of women and children. The very notion of divine permission has emboldened individuals to commit heinous acts under the guise of righteousness. Yet, despite these glaring contradictions, some still cling to the belief that religion holds authority over morality.

But let’s dissect this further. What kind of morality does religion teach? Stoning for adultery, burning witches, genital mutilations—these are just a few examples of practices rooted in religious doctrine. And let’s not forget the selective interpretation of scripture, conveniently ignoring aspects that no longer align with modern moral standards.

The truth is, morality has Darwinian origins—it evolves with time. Rational individuals arrive at moral conclusions through introspection, discourse, and common sense. We’ve progressed from endorsing slavery to advocating for equality, from valuing kindness towards humans to extending it to all sentient beings.

Moreover, the inherent exclusivity of religions—”I am right, and you are wrong”—breeds conflict and division, perpetuating an us-versus-them mentality.

So, before questioning the morality of those outside your faith, take a closer look at history. Explore the facts, broaden your perspective, and embrace enlightenment. Morality transcends religious dogma—it’s a product of human evolution and collective conscience.

Here is a quote from Steven Weinberg:

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

2 thoughts on “Unpacking the Link Between Religion and Morality

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