Does Religion Relates to Morality?
Cal Poly Pomona
Some people believe that there is a relationship between religion and morality. There are three assumptions that makes people think there is a relationship between religion and morality. The first assumption is that religious belief is needed for motivation. The second assumption is that there has to be a God to create moral laws. In addition, the third assumption that the people believed in was that religion is needed for moral guidance. I personally do not think there is any relationship between the two. Furthermore, the egoists have argued several times about moral rights. There were two popular arguments mentioned in the book. It was called the Self Reliance Argument and the Libertarian Argument. Lastly, egoists also believe in maximizing our self-interests. However, I believe that it is not rational to act based on your own self interests.
Relationship between Religion and Morality
Dependences on the Two
There has always been a relationship between religion and morality. It has been said that religion has been a popular source of morality. Religious believers will most often see a priest, rabbis, and imams when they are in need. This is said to be perfectly normal. “Since hundreds of millions of people view morality through the lens of one religion or another, it is important to look at this relationship carefully” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p.63). There are three important assumptions that makes people view the relationship between religion and morality. The first assumption is how religious belief is needed for motivation. “A popular argument states how the atheism prevents us from seeing why we should be moral” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p.64). It states in the book how if people do not believe in God, they will most likely go on the wrong path, and lose motivation, while those that do believe in God, their will would be strengthen. However, this may or may not be true. In addition, religion does not help us to become good people, since it all depends on whether the things we believe in are morally good. The second assumption is that God must be the creator of morality. The people think this because they believe if there is no god, the human beings would be the ones making up the laws. With that being said, they also believe that human beings lack the authority to make up the laws. Lastly, the third assumption is that religion is an essential source of moral guidance. A person would have to believe that god exists to be able to believe that religion is the key to moral guidance. In my opinion, I think morality does not have to depend on religion because I think it depends on what you believe is to be the source of morality. The actions you choose to do is what makes you moral.
Arguments of Moral Rights
“Egoism is a form of individualism and can be the philosophical basis for support for some forms of Libertarian or Anarchism” (Mastin, L., 2009). Moreover, there are several ways that an egoist might try to argue for moral rights. Ethical egoism states that morality is about making yourself better and finding yourself. In the book, there are two popular arguments about moral rights. The first one is called the Self Reliance argument. These claims would require defense. Egoists believes that our moral duty is to maximize our personal benefit. It is impossible to make everyone better off. “The egoist allows people to help others, or care for the general good, but only when doing so will maximize their own self-interests” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p. 111). The second one is the Libertarian argument. This argument is about limiting our duties to other people. In this argument, it claims that the libertarians think our moral duties are to help other people with their consent and reparation. One is to help another if that person gave consent to that person. If not, they are not obligated to help them. However, the egoist disagrees with this. Instead, egoists believe that self-interests are the only source of our moral duties. In my opinion, I do not think such arguments can succeed because there are many different things the egoist disagrees and denies. It is hard to decide the existence of moral rights.
Egoists believe that our moral duty is to maximize self-interest. They believe that we should make decisions based on our own self-interest, which can be looked at differently by each person. Depending on the egoists, self-interest may be interpreted differently. Some examples are well-being, power, fame, a good career, wealth, and many more. I personally do not think it is rational to act to one self-interest because there are actions we should not do. For example, if one murders someone just to maximize their self-interest, then that is horrible. Not only that, ethical egoism would no longer be true. If we were to maximize our self-interests and make decisions based off of that, we might end up harming others in the process. “Ethics should not deny the importance of self-interest” (Hinman, p. 14). In the power point, it mentioned this, and I thought that maybe some self-interests would not do harm to others. However, since egoists believe that we should maximize our self-interest, I do not think it is okay to do so. “A self-interested person is one who is primarily concerned with their own welfare or happiness” Furthermore, what the egoists believe in is almost similar to hedonism. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure, which is quite similar to maximizing one’s self-interest. They are both likely to ignore other people’s well-being or happiness, while trying to satisfy themselves.
In conclusion, some people may believe that religion depends on morality, while others may believe that the two does not have any relationship with each other. There are three assumptions that was made the people think there is a relationship between religion and morality. In the book, it also talks about the arguments of moral rights. There were two popular ones. They were the Self Reliance argument and the Libertarian argument. The Self Reliance argument was about maximizing our self-interests, while the Libertarian argument was about limiting actions from helping other people if they did not give us their permission. Lastly, as mentioned before, egoists believe that we should maximize our self-interests, but I believe that doing something for your own benefit may end up harming others. If that happens, ethical egoism may no longer be true.
Shafer-Landau, R. (2015). The Fundamentals of Ethics. New York, NY: Oxford
The Truths in Ethical Egoism. (2002). Lawrence M. Hinman.
https://blackboard.cpp.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4223525-dt-content-rid-38392796_2/courses/18F_CAG_AG4010.07/EthicalEgoism.pdfEgoism/Hedonism. Retrieved from http://www.mesacc.edu/~barsp59601/text/105/notes/consequentialism/egoism.html
Mastin, L. (2009, January). Existence and Consciousness. Retrieved from https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_metaphysics.html