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Help with a paper?

I have a friend going through some writer's block. She needs to write a 6 page, persuasive paper about morals. In it she needs to talk about self-regulation (can someone living in the woods alone have a moral code?), societal regulation (don't get me started), and religious regulation.

Question she has to answer: Can someone that does not believe in God have a moral code?

I know there are quite a few moms on here that don't believe in God. Could y'all chime in and help out here? Even if you DO, could you chime in?

Answer Question

Asked by Rosehawk at 1:57 PM on Oct. 5, 2013 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (116,691 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • Morals do not have to have anything to do with a belief in a higher power. Also a person living in the woods can easily have morals...for example they may not just kill animals randomly, they may refrain from polluting the area they live in....these would still be considered morals. Morals do not always just apply to interactions with other humans.

    I don't know of many athiests that would just go out and kick an old lady or steal or kill...morals do and can come from our role and participation in society, but that society won't always be just with other humans. A person living alone in the woods will have formed a "society" with nature.

    Hope this all makes sense, not feeling too well today. lol

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 2:12 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • Makes perfect sense to me. Her stance, and mine, is that you do NOT need a deity to have a moral compass. Problem is, she needs lots and lots of "proof" to maintain that position for 6 pages.

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 2:31 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • What kind of proof...more so support... is the teacher wanting. Do they have to be books, peer review articles etc?

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 2:35 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • sources she can document for the paper.

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 2:47 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • I get that but that could mean different things for different teachers. She could easily do a search online and probably find a dozen rebutable websites, or she can go to her school's library to access their data base and search for some peer reviewed articles or books. Also try Google Scholar search.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 2:59 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • I believe that it is more than possible to be moral without God or religion. I believe that our consciousness is the root of our morality, our self awareness and what that awareness means in terms of our having to suddenly ask ourselves what our relationship and obligation is to our fellow man.

    I even see the narrative of the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge as representing that consciousness and awareness and the fact that because of our awareness we have to determine morality (good/evil), and even if someone doesn't believe in God (I do), we can see that from early on we do see some kind of ideal for what morality is and what mankind is called for in this life.

    I don't know any sources or anything for her to refer to, though, I'm sorry :(

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 3:28 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • I'm thinking mostly online tnt. She picked my brain for half an hour on the phone.

    thanks bandgeek, anything helps

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 3:45 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • whose God and whose morals?
    the walking marriages of the Mosuo, who practice Daba and Budism, are entirely different , though to them no less moral, than the Abrahamic definition of marriage

    Answer by feralxat at 3:51 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • i dont think a person needs religion to have a moral code. that idea is one of the biggest fallacies promoted by religious people...that a belief in God somehow makes one's actions inherently more moral than others. in fact, i find someone who refrains from doing something immoral b/c of their own personal convictions to be more moral than someone who refrains b/c their holy text tells them too.

    as far as sources go, i typed "morality without religion" into google scholar and pages of stuff popped up, mostly books. she should be able to find a decent amount of sources to prove her point. i dunno if her school has Inter Library Loan but its a great resource. basically, its a system that allows you to check out books from other college libraries.

    Answer by okmanders at 4:03 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • What about showing how many of the world's major religions share the same basic values about treating other people kindly and with fairness, etc? The idea that these religions, which developed independently of each other, share the same moral principals--well, I think it shows that the principles come from within human beings, they're not necessarily handed down by some higher power.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:06 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

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