Third P asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Can we build a system of morality absolutely independent of religious doctrine?

This is a philosophical question. Please confine your answer within the context. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

19 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, if you can solve the problem of individual accountability to the morality system. But that's a very big "if".

    A morality structure, religious or otherwise, consists of two elements: rules and accountabity (to the rules).

    There are already examples of non-religious attempts of a morality system. Most political structures are based on this concept. Allowing right or wrong of an act (the rules) to be determined by the populous, or by it's ulitimate contribution to the culture/community, or whatever.

    But, like the moral precepts provided by religion, morality of an "objective" system can only take hold when there is individual accountablity. Unfortunately, there is a significant percentage of any human population that will selfishly ignore "moral" precepts for personal goals.

    Religion handled this through threats from "above", either through direct intervention (wrath of God, Karma) or denial of reward. Political structures do so with a brick and mortar approach, literally, threatening jail or fines. Smaller communities do so through banishment or shunning.

    The flaws of these traditional accountability systems are obvious. Someone who doesn't believe in God or Karma isn't threatened by that punishment, and political systems can't make you accountable unless they catch you.

    This gets worse. For those who do assign responsibility for their accountability to an "outside force" such as God or the legal system, getting away with an act that is moral questionable actually enforces their feelings of entitlement to that act.

    Create a succesful structure of individual accountability, combine it with a structure of morals or laws that are fair, community-based, and able to improve, and you'll be well on your way.

  • 1 decade ago

    First, I'd like to say that it's wise of you to ask that your question be answered in the philosophical context. This is what I always attempt to do. Philosophy should never be a subjective debate of assumptions.

    1. The concept of morality is not an absolute

    2. Morality is not the sole province of the religious

    a) Morality also differs within religions

    3. As there is no absolute morality, it would be impossible to build a "system"

    a) Morality varies with individuals, societies & cultures

    b) No "one" system would be satistfactory to all

    Thus, individual morality can be independent of religious doctrine, but that is no "reason" to abandon any religion, for those who choose it.

    Moral behaviour based on "consequence & reward" as motivation, is not true morality.

  • 1 decade ago

    nope, cause you must use the backdrop or the foundation of some if not all religious ideas and that's just going to tick someone off and then you have a big ars war over who's right who's morality is better. Civilizations as nasty as they can get are better off with some sort of religious compass to build upon and rule from.....without it...well take a look at history.......its even worse that worse than what you are witnessing today.

  • 1 decade ago

    Often times, people hate being wrong to such a degree that they begin to stick to the main principles of their faith rather than choosing to see what is really the best thing for the moment. Eventually, the system of morality could very likely fall to that, and then be the same as the others. Anything is possible theoretically, It's simply the improbability being so high, that it may as well be impossible due to the chances being so slim that one may probably never see it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If that's the case, what would be the basis of the term "morality"? How would we know what system we could arrive at without really knowing what morality is... except through what our spiritual references suggest?

    For example; If the 'supposedly created doctrine' tells us it is immoral to covet your neighbor's wife/ husband, wouldn't it be based from the moral text of long discarded teachings where the idea of morality really came from? I'm saying that there is NO WAY morality could be systematized without referring to the values long established by the Great One and translated by 'so-called religions'.

    The code of morality known to all present societies was NOT invented by man. Man never knew what morality was until he learned what it implied. He was conducted by it to know if he was stepping on its line or going over it. So, any future system intended to reestablish it would need to acquire the same set of moral teachings from the laws of the One Who Created them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Of course! Most religions are based on 2 disparate things--the first is to give some people control over others, the second is to do the right thing--often regarded as the Golden Rule (act regarding others as you would like them to act regarding you). If you act only regarding the Golden Rule you have basically arrived at the core of most religions as far as morality.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sure. Doing the right thing is not dictated by religious doctrine. In fact, some of the bloodiest, most vile acts of mankind have been carried out under the auspices of religion.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. Here is what the current Epochal Revelation to our planet states on this:

    Page 2075 section 5. The Modern Problem

    "A lasting social system without a morality predicated on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than could the solar system without gravity."

    [Public domain, free to use and share]

    Peace and progress,

    Brother Dave, a Jesusonian Christian Truthist Gospel enlarging website,

    proclaiming worldwide the True Religion


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's possible, however given that the central or core if teachings of most major religions center around behavoural issues (10 Commandments, the Buddhist Precipts etc) it would be impossible to entirely divorce a new system from some religious background.

    This doesn't mean however you can't dispose of religion per se.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well one's persnal satisfaction and happiness that come from doing good are plenty reward for doing good, and therefore you don't need to have an almighty power in the heavens to antice us. However, it is unlikely that one would be able to establish a system of morality that does not draw a million parallels to a variety of religions, therefore intertwining them. Not all religions do more harm than good anyway, so why talk of doing away with all religion?

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