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Would the world be more moral without God and religion?

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  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    Would the world be more moral without God and religion?

    The 2 aren't mutually inclusive.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Oct. 2, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    What if we rephrased the question, "would the world be more moral without Allah and Islam?"

    Being devoted to a higher power doesn't ensure you have an objective view of morality.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    Yes. We're born with a sense of morality, and religion has enabled us like no other idea to behave contrary to those morals. Almost all the strife in the world today has a religious basis.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    We're born with a sense of morality? Maybe. But do we retain it? Read Lord of the Flies.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    @twin lights
    You do realize that like Murphy Brown, the Lord of the Flies is a work of fiction?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    Religion grows bigger and worse with the international corporate church business. God has become a trade mark to stage political and economic power over the innocent and dumb. If one can't find god in his/her own heart they will not find it in a corporate church.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 2, 2013 10:39 p.m.

    Rather than having an abstract discussion about this – which would be about as productive as discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin – why not look at countries where the citizens have organically shed religious belief and compare them to the most religious countries on the planet.

    Looking at the two at either end of the spectrum, if you had to pick which one you wanted your kids to be born (and live their lives) in, would it be Sweden or Pakistan?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    The premise that morality is the result of religion and god is a faulty premise. Morality is due to our need to interact with one another in a manner such that we all benefit as a whole.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    Let see...

    Lamanites and Nephites fight over religion,
    Muslims, Jews, and Christians fight,
    Hindi and Muslims fighting,
    Buddhists and Christians fighting,
    Irish Catholics and Protestants fighting,
    Baptists and Mormons fighting,

    Yes,
    I think the world would be better God and LESS religion.

    [The older I get, the more profound John Lennon becomes...]

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    The unrighteous dominion style of religion is the second beast in the book of Revelation. As we can readily distinguish between the ethical and unethical uses of religion, that means ethics are more fundamental than religion and seem to be inborn in most people.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    I wrote this once already, but I guess Des News didn't get the memo, so here goes again.

    LDS Liberal

    From what you wrote it seems as if the LDS part is or has faded away. Sorry about that.
    However, Baptists and Mormons fighting? Please tell us where that is happening as I've seen no stories about Mormons or Baptists having any problems. Thanks. As for John Lennon, his sentiment was more athiestic than anything.

    Tyler D

    I would not want to live in Pakistan, but would have no problem living in any country that had as it's foundation Christian roots, even if it was becoming more secular.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    @Tyler D;

    Would you be happy living in a Christian country that burned heretics? You might just be considered a heretic there yourself.

    That old saying comes to mind: Be careful what you wish for.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    @Tyler D;

    Sorry, my comment should have been directed at mgScott. Please accept my apologies.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    Just reading the headline: Absolutely YES!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    @Ranch – “Sorry, my comment should have been directed at mgScott. Please accept my apologies.”

    No apology necessary… figured as much and got a good chuckle out of it anyway.

    And no doubt I would be charcoal living in Europe during the Dark Ages. I continue to be amazed when religious people assert that values like individual liberty, free speech, and free thought somehow sprang from their roots & sacred books.

    Nothing could be further from the truth and we see this even in the modern world - whenever religion is combined with state power all its tendencies are towards conformity, compliance and obedience to (religious) authority – THE key lesson (obey!) of their sacred books, by the way.

    That most religious believers today (in non-Muslim countries) have internalized the values of the Enlightenment (which are based on Athens & Rome) and our Founders is great, but those values are not found in the source books of religion (though few believers seem willing to admit this).

    Just a few thoughts sparked by your comment… sorry for preaching.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    Tyler D and Ranch

    Welcome to the 21st century. I assumed (my fault no doubt) that we all were talking about the world today. Today there is no Christian nation that I know of where I would fear being a who I am. However, I can't think of a Muslim nation, particularly in the Middle-East where I would not fear being Christian. Hope that clears things up. As I said, welcome to the real world.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    You should not need the fear of God or Religion to do the right thing..... you should have the moral backbone to do what is right regardless.

    But no, the world would not be better without either God or Religion.

    The world would be better of if people didn't use the two as justification to advance their own personal agendas though.... and that happens all the time.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    If your religion is to smile love and give your word your religion is to give the gifts you can keep

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    Neither religion nor atheism are inherently good or bad - it is what you do with them that matters.

    As far as historic records show, there has never been a truly atheistic society - there has always been some form of supreme being or supreme leader (Mao and Stalin, etc., were supreme leaders - taking the place of gods in their societies.)

    However, as time has progressed things that were considered moral under one religion have become immoral and the religion has either changed with the times or been replaced by newer religions.

    As an example, the more society has advanced from basic survival needs, the less acceptable it has become to raid the neighboring villages and take slaves and concubines. The more food security we have the less acceptable it is to kill over food.

    The one drawback with basing morals in religion is what happens when there are multiple religions, often with competing morals? For that, secular (in the India understanding of the word) morals may offer common ground and acceptance of different viewpoints without stifling worship.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:49 p.m.

    I believe morality exists whether or not one believes in God. But this is a belief in itself.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    m.g. scott said: Welcome to the 21st century. I assumed (my fault no doubt) that we all were talking about the world today. Today there is no Christian nation that I know of where I would fear being a who I am.

    My guess would be you aren't a muslim in America than, right.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    After reading the comments to this post, I am convinced that not one person actually read Mr. Prager's complete article, since none of this discussion has a nexus to the main points of his article.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 4, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    @marxist: I agree with you whole heartedly. The Light of Christ illuminates the minds of everyone that has lived or will ever live. It is perceived as a conscience. If we heed it, we will live according to the highest mores of our society, whether that society believes in human sacrifice or that all men are created equal.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic: It would appear that Muslims living in this country find it an appealing place, based upon immigration patterns and the growth of the Muslim population. According to the President of the United States, these United States are not a "Christian" country.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 4, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    @gmlewis – “The Light of Christ illuminates the minds of everyone that has lived or will ever live. It is perceived as a conscience. If we heed it, we will live according to the highest mores of our society…”

    And if we don’t get too hang up on names and any one religion having a monopoly on access to it, most people would probably agree with you.

    In other words, if Light of Christ is synonymous with The Light, The Void, Brahman, The Source, The Ground (of our being), The Way, The Tao, our Buddha Nature, and a whole host of other names trying to articulate the Reality at our core and behind all appearance and the unseen order of the universe, then all but the most base materialists would agree with you.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    One of my favorite quotes (I don't recall who initially said it)... "Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right."

    God exists but its a crying shame that Organized Religion (a man made invention like the light bulb) does.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    From the book The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans De Waal;

    **Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy.**