Morality And Religion, By Iris Murdoch Essay

Morality And Religion, By Iris Murdoch Essay

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One of life’s most complicated issues within our multi-cultural world is the need to understand morality and where our moral choices come from. It is something that is woven throughout every aspect of human life, and yet cannot be truly clarified through a single definition alone. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘morality’ as “the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior” (“Morality”). Some definitions claim infinite interpretations of morality that are strongly influenced by religion, secular ideology, philosophy, as well as moral Universalism. Regardless of individual interpretation, without these principles societies would not survive. In her essay, Morality and Religion, Philosopher Iris Murdoch writes, “with the decline of religious observance and religious ‘consciousness’ (the practice of prayer and the fear of God for instance), some aspects of moral conduct may decline also” (369). Although human morality is shaped by many factors such as our biology, emotions, and environment, and is not solely dependent upon a religious foundation; it is religion that has greatly influenced many aspects of human morality, ethics, and values. Without religion, certain aspects of moral conduct would be impacted immensely. Many individuals, societies, and cultures would lose hope, purpose, and their idea of virtue would eventually diminish. Religion is indeed an essential aspect of society and human morality.
Religion is a difficult term to define as it’s meaning varies through individual interpretation. Although not the same, religion and morality tend to go hand in hand. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘religion” as “the belief in a god or in a group of gods; an organized system ...


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...tain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. These universal moral rules apply to all people, including individuals who do not acknowledge these principals. Moral Relativism, which is the view that moral and ethical standards, and the positions of right or wrong are culturally based. It is the denial that there are universal moral values that are shared by all human societies. This idea is one closely related to Moral Realism, which is the position that certain acts are objectively right or wrong, independent of human opinion. Many religions hold systems of morality upon the basis of human rights that resemble somewhat of a Universalist position and hold equality and moral justice for all people. This signifies that not only is our moral sense developed through social, cultural, and religious learning but is also part of human nature.

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