Archive for June, 2011

Morality

June 18, 2011

It is odd to me that so many religious people believe that being more religious means being more moral. This seems to me to fly in the face of everyday experience. In the people I have met there seems to be no real correlation at all. I have met religious people of all varying shades of morality and intensity of religious belief, the two characteristics mixed and balanced together in every combination, as if people’s characters were created by pulling random allotments from first the bag of morality and next the bag of religiosity.

Some may say that those who are immoral aren’t truly religious, but to me that simply proves that the two aren’t connected. For if someone who believes fiercely in their god, goes to church every day, and prays hourly, and repents of their recognized sins (but is blind to the recognition of so many others) is somehow not religious just because they are mean spirited or hurtful or dishonest or cruel, then it just means “religion” has been defined as “morality”. The pieces that have to do with religion are given short shrift here and the morality is elevated.

Some have also argued that without religion, there can be no morality, but this is visibly false, since religion seems to do nothing to define a true morality. Christian Serbs and Saudi Arabs of intense religious belief have both embraced murder and cruelty to innocents as the ultimate expression of their faith, while just next door their co-religionist may completely abhor the very idea. Some text of this or that religion might have something to say on morality but these words can be interpreted by a thousand readers in two thousand ways. And contra-wise, in my own experience I have met many with little or no faith that are profoundly moral, and who push themselves daily to do right and reject wrong.