Encyclopedia of religion and ethics online dating

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It addresses what has been called the problem of interpretability, which includes such persistent questions as the ultimate nature and purpose of the natural world and the meaning of death and suffering.

In contrast, morality has usually been thought of as a way of regulating the conduct of individuals in communities.

For a mature and morally healthy world to emerge, Freud concluded, men and women of good will must meet together on the common ground of reason and atheism.

Not surprisingly, criticisms of this sort engendered a reaction.

Often accepting the claim that religion and morality were only problematically linked, thinkers more sympathetic to religion like Friedrich Schleiermacher or Rudolf Otto sought to develop an abiding place for religion independent of its moral significance.

Schleiermacher found this in the emotional state of "God-consciousness," while Otto found it in an essentially nonmoral sense of awe before the mysterious and transcendent.

At that time, a number of thinkers, reflecting Europe's weariness with centuries of religious strife, sought to elaborate ethical theories based on reason or on widely shared human sentiments.

In so doing they established the assumption that the norms governing conduct, morality, and ethics (that is, the effort to reason about or justify these norms) were separable from matters of religious belief.

Kant's thinking epitomized the views of those who believed that religion and morality are mutually necessary: although he was willing to criticize religious excesses and fanaticism, he was convinced that belief in a God who rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked was necessary to ensure full moral commitment.

The emergence of ethics as a separate field of inquiry, the effort to distinguish morality from religion, and the countervailing effort to reassert a place for religion in human life all arise from a very particular cultural and social context.

Nevertheless, the fact that systematic thinking about ethics emerged in the West, and that it generated a series of divergent explorations of the relationship between religion and morality, does not mean that this thinking or aspects of these views have no validity across cultural lines.

In the minds of many people, the terms morality and religion signal two related but distinct ideas.

Morality is thought to pertain to the conduct of human affairs and relations between persons, while religion primarily involves the relationship between human beings and a transcendent reality.

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