The Relationship between Religion and Morality: On Whether the Multiplicity of Religious Denominations Have Impacted Positively On Socio-Ethical Behavior


Morality until recently has been seen as a brainchild of religion and thus an essential part of religion from which it is inseparable. This assumption has even led some scholars to hold that there can be no morality without religion since morality is intrinsically a part of religion. It is therefore assumed that a religious person is essentially a moral person and that a moral life may not be possible without religion. If this assumption is upheld it will mean that with the multiplicity of major religious denominations the world will be a better place. Whether this is so is an issue that elicits fierce divergent views among scholars and people of various orientations. This works critically examines the relationship between religion and morality to determine whether the above claims and expectations are justified. Employing the philosophical tools of critical analysis, exposition and evaluation of facts experientially acquired as well as information from the works of researchers on the issues of religion and morality, the work examines whether there is a definitional relationship or connection between religion and morality and whether they are related through their concerns, preoccupations or constituent elements. This connection was not seen. The work further examined the opinions of scholars with regard to their relationship as well as what the consequences will be if ethics depends on religion. In trying to find out the root of the assumption the work critically examined the contentious issue of the impact of the multiplicity of religious denominations on socio-ethical behavior. In conclusion the work decried the lack of synergy between morality and religion, holding that though there may be no definitional connection between them and their concerns, preoccupations and constituent elements may differ, morality and religion are complimentary in forging a better society. If they synergize their efforts the world will be a better place.

Keywords: Morality, Religion., Religious Denominations, Socio-Ethical Behavior

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 42-53 (Download PDF)

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