Is God Morality?
- Pages: 9
- Word count: 2239
- Category: Existence of God
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Any beliefs in an ideal or practice can be repudiating and complex as a result of its numerous characteristics, due to this many disputes about belief can be based on a single idea. Religion is one ideal thats a bit tricky because there are many unique convictions one can pursue. Many individuals come with a distinct quantity of ranges of belief and regulations depending on which faith is being practiced.
The belief in God is mind boggling in light of the fact that there are such huge numbers of attributes of what God precisely is to a man and what his motivation is. Religions like Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam believe in a supreme, omniscient, all-knowing, and ethically flawless God. While others like Hinduism believe in multiple gods. Although there are some like Buddhism, who put stock in a vitality and use certain characters not really considering them their God but rather honing an otherworldly advancement.
In the reading, More Mammals, both philosophers Peter Singer who is an atheist and John Hare who is theist, discuss the issue of wether religion can justify the existence of God. They also touch basis at to wether God and morality go hand in hand. Both Singer and Hare go into profound detail about their very own beliefs. Singer who is openly atheist argues that “religion is arbitrary to morality.” While Hare a theist who is religious argues religion does go hand in hand with morality. Hare’s argument about religion establishing morality is relative to the prison case study. It depicts and explains why the friend changed morally after finding god in prison, and why this change could justify the existence of God.
Singer’s argument first touches basis on the belief that for god to exist he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. Omnibenevolent means an always gracious god, yet in the world we live in there’s an immense amount of suffering. Singer questions that if god is so benevolent and an all powerful being, why would he allow the world to suffer? His next argument is focused on the idea that god isn’t the basis of morality. He explains these points using three main objections: the meaning objection, the guidance objection, and the motivation objection. The meaning objection discusses the question of if right and wrong are arbitrary. The idea that we only know right and wrong because god allows us too and without him it would be meaningless. “If we say that right and wrong are meaningless without God, we have to say whether it’s the case that something is right only because God wills it ….” ( 172). With this Singer questions that if everything is moral because God allows it then why would God allow bad things to happen?
For example animals die through no fault of their own and innocent babies are sometimes hurt and tortured. So if God is moral and all gracious how does he allow that to happen? The guidance objection explains why the argument that humans need God and religion as a set of rules to show us what is moral or not isn’t valid. The homework powerpoint states, “ Humans are already selectively choosing which actions are moral or immoral.” Singer indicates this idea in More Mammals, which states, “ if we look at what Christians actually do when they develop a Christian morality, they certainly don’t simply take everything that is in the Gospels as the source of morality.” Singer explains that Christians don’t follow all the rules in the Bible word for word. For example the Bible prohibits divorce unless in the case of adultery. Despite that the “Catholic Church accepts divorce even in circumstances other than adultery.” Another reason Singer gives is that Christians view homosexuality and abortion as immoral because it is remarked as so in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Yet they failed to realize that in the Old Testament genocide was once deemed morally acceptable by God. He uses these examples to explain that even today many Christians don’t whole heartily follow all the rules of the Bible and they choose on their own which they believe they should morally follow. This in term invalidating the need of religion or god as moral compass. Finally , the motivation objection explains that people don’t need to religious or worship a higher being to as a motivation to make morally right decisions. Most religions motivate individuals to do good with the reward or punishment of an after life. Although Singer kindly explains that people can be morally motivated to do good without reward or punishment. The two examples he gives are of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. They are both atheists but are morally sound and committed to making the world better without compensation. Singer ultimately believes that the question of morality needs no reference to the idea of God or a supreme being.
Hare’s argument revolves around three main points. They are governance of the universe: morality and happiness, moral motivation, and justification. The governance reason of the universe acknowledges the notion morality and one’s happiness can be hard to obtain at once. Due to the fact that sole Interest in one’s happiness leads to a lack of a moral living. Yet solely trying to live morally can be at the expense of one’s happiness. Hare explains that there has to be a balance and states, “The most that we can justify by enlightened self- interest is being fairly good… when other people are looking. But morality requires unconditional commitment to the impartial point of view,” (179). Hare explains that morality means to be moral even when no one can see you.
It’s the idea of being entirely good to the universe and that God helps guide us to morality. Hare states that “even though the moral life is tough it is worthwhile.” Hare also acknowledges Singers question that if God is the basis of morality then why does he allow bad things to happen? Hare depicts this as the problem of evil. He mentions that there could be good and evil gods fighting against each other, but when it comes to most monotheistic religions one can argue that God give people freewill.
He esbalishes morality yet the actions of an individual is solely based on their choices alone. For example the Holocuast was a horrible tradgey and how could god let it happen? Yet looking at it from the other perspective one could say the Holocaust was a human chosen catastrophe. Although that doesn’t explain the reason for the suffering of animals or natural disasters. Hare explains these disasters as simply nature and evolution created by God, which is necessary for life to exist and is inevitable.
The next point is the idea of moral motivation. This is the idea or belief that we are religiously motivated to do good solely for compensation. Although Hare explains that there is more to this idea. He states that “Being motivated for living or wanting to please God isn’t the same as selfishly wanting to get to heaven or fear if hell.” That sometimes we just want to please him and gain his well done. Other times we are motivated to be like Jesus and model our life after his morality.
Hares explains that motivation to believe is what moves us to make morally right decisions. Hare depicts this by stating that the rate of individuals who return to prison after leaving for those who were religiously involved while in prison is low. That religion allows them a moral compas to make better decisions. Although Hare also advocates for the use of ethical constraints when using ideaology. He acknowledges that at times people use religion as a justification to immoral things. An example he gave was World War II and how Hitler bent religion to justify genocide. Although despite this Hare states that it isn’t what God wants morally.
He explains that God wants us to do good to everyone even our enemies so using God and religion as a basis for morality is ok, but just to excessive it with ethical constraints. The final point Hare makes is Justification. To which he tries to justify the need of morality relative to moral demand. His two main reasons are self interest and community. Hare states that, “ If there is this justification, that God calls us to the moral life, then this relation to God can give us motivation, although the motivation question and the justification question are different,” (185). This establishes the fact that people aren’t motivated act morally right based on their own selfish wants and need, and at times community doesn’t have the right authority to justify demand. So without God morality could not be gauged correctly and the motivation for a moral life would be pointless.
Singer’s and Hare’s arguments are based on many different beliefs and explained in contrasting ways. Due to the fact that Hare is pro religion his argument provides the best foundation of reasonable grounds to justify the extistence of God and how it relates to morality. Humans need God/religion as a moral compass basically a model of what being good is. Hare examines and explains our motivation toward morality. He acknowledges that religion plays a big role in it because with out it there would be no set of rules to follow. Although he understands that we need religion to start thinking of morality but our morals can’t be based on God alone.
He explains that God have us freewill to make our own choices and that when we follow God we should exercise ethical constraint. This is shows that although God is our basis of morality we should also be able to think for ourselves. Although Singer explains that humans have the ability to think morally without God and that our motivation could be based on just wanting to be a good person. While Hare believes that we are motivated morally by God for reasons including wanting to model after his chracter and needing his validation. Hare states, “ we can have the hope that in the end, under the supervision of God’s providence, morality and happiness come together, or as the psalm puts it, ‘justice and peace embrace.’ He employs his three main points to demonstrate that morality is relative to religion and God but we should also be concious about it.
While Singer utilizes his 3 main point to show that humans can be moral with out religion. Even though Singer’s argument establishes many valid points, Hare’s argument better supports the idea that there is reasonable grounds for believing in God.
There are many people who believe in God, to which they attest the positive things in their life to. It gives them motivation to be more morally sound and do the right thing. Some people are are introduced to the concept of God and religion at a very young age. So from the start they are morally inclined to want to do good because they have god as a moral compass. While others who weren’t introduced to God or religion as a child grow to be less morally sound and if they do it maybe selfishly motivated. Depending on if and when we are introduced to the belief of God and religion can affect how we grow morally. This may affect the decisions we make wether to do good or bad and why.
For instance if from birth an individual is brough up in a certain religion to which they’re are moral rules and regulations they are expected to follow, they are more likely to continue so in adulthood. In comparison to an individual who isn’t brought up religiously they must rely on themselves or guardians for moral guidance to which they can lack motivation for. This would cause the to participate in less moral activities. This could be the case of the friend who a crime and was in jail.
She had yet to be introduced to God or religion so her moral decisions may have been immoral which could’ve have landed her in jail. Although after joining religious programs in jail it began her belief in God. This belief in God as explained by Hare would give her motivation to uphold the moral rules of the religion. It would also help her to make better choices like going back to school for her bachelors. The choices that she’s making would help her stay out of prison. Hare’s argument justify this when he states that “Religious belief has the power to change peoples lives” (183). For example the rate of recidivism (returning to prison after leaving) is lower in cases of those involved in religious programs while in prison. My friends change of chracter is reasonable to justify belief in the diving because she now has religious motivation to do better morally that she didn’t have before.
The complexity associated with an ideal or belief can make it difficult to imagine that a Divine being exits and that religion has the ability to change people morally. Singer and Hare’s arguments both had strong beliefs on the existence of God and how it relates to morality. Although Hares argument supports the idea that there is reasonable ground on the basis of moral motivation to believe in a Divine.