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Author Topic: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?  (Read 4762 times)

RandallS

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What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« on: March 08, 2012, 09:42:42 am »
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   
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HeartShadow

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 10:38:50 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   

 
I'm going to have to split things up a few ways on this one.

My personal relationship with my deity - no, that's not really moral-related, other than my refusal to cross any of the preexisting moral lines in that relationship.  Were I asked to cross my moral boundaries, that would be problematic, but it's never happened.  Comfort zones, yes, but not moral code.

My RELIGION - FlameKeeping - is directly connected to my moral beliefs.  The concept that we are both individual and part of a greater Whole, and need to embrace both truths simultaneously, informs the entire body of work of FlameKeeping.  The details of interpretation fall upon each Keeper - we all have to find our own way of handling our separation and connection.  But the base of it, the worldview, is inherently a morally-guided one, and one that in turn guides morality.  They're interlaced and inseparable.

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 10:45:08 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   

 
I believe my sense of morality is a part of who I am.  What I feel is right or wrong is something that developed as I grew up, and while it may be adapted as I hear new arguments for some things, it has mostly remained constant.

I don't feel I picked my religion or deities based on my moral code, but rather my morals might have drawn me towards things that meshed well with what I believed.  I think that it would be hard to follow a path or a deity that didn't share my deepest beliefs.
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thorsvin

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 11:37:10 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   

 
As a Heathen, this one can be both easy and tough to answer. There's the idea of "We are our deeds" which, no matter who you talk to is true enough. However it's hard to figure out how that is supposed to integrate into daily life. Some people have tried to solve the problem by compiling a list of the "Nine Noble Virtues." And while not lacking in virtue (pun intended), for me they remind me far too much of the 10 commandments.

Personally I think a good way to look at it is since our deeds literally shape the course of our lives and influence who we are, all we can do is act in a way that we can be proud of. To be able to look back over your life in complete satisfaction and pride is a good goal. By extension our own web of wyrd is constantly being interwoven with the threads of other people, so when we are acting we must take consideration of how our actions affect other people.

So in a sense we are responsible for our own actions on a metaphysical level as well as a social level, and that's how religion informs morality for a heathen. A nice contrast, I think from monotheistic religions that turn to God to tell them how to act. We don't need that, we KNOW how to act.

RandallS

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 06:38:49 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;45267
My personal relationship with my deity - no, that's not really moral-related, other than my refusal to cross any of the preexisting moral lines in that relationship.
 

That's pretty much the way I feel. My moral code is based on reason and what my family taught me when I was young. Any deity who asks me to violate my moral code is going to be told "no". Note that doesn't mean my deities can't try to convince me to change my moral code, but to do so they will have to convince me that my morals are incorrect and their proposed morals are correct and they will have to do so with reason as I do not buy into "divine command morality".
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Altair

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 12:18:33 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45296
My moral code is based on reason and what my family taught me when I was young.


Same here. My moral code does not derive from my religion. If I subscribed to a religion that conflicted with my moral code, I would abandon that religion for another one.

That's not the case; in fact, my religion reflects my morality and is infused with it, but there is no dogma, and there's plenty of room for interpretation. In the course of the myths certain values become clear and various behaviors are modeled, from which one can draw one's own moral conclusions.

But my religion is primarily about understanding the universe and our place in it. That intersects with morality, but moral instruction is not its main goal.
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Altair

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 12:30:00 pm »
Quote from: thorsvin;45271
There's the idea of "We are our deeds"....
Personally I think a good way to look at it is since our deeds literally shape the course of our lives and influence who we are, all we can do is act in a way that we can be proud of.


My religious view has some similarities. For me, the universe is an ongoing act of creation, in which we are an integral part--simultaneously the creation and the creators, as there is no separation between the two. Once we're dead, the universe continues, and so we live in how our lives shaped that universe, for better or worse. Our deeds are our only immortality.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Melamphoros

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 01:32:13 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45296
My moral code is based on reason and what my family taught me when I was young.

 
This.  My moral code is based off of common sense and has zero to do with my religious beliefs.  Heck, if anything my beliefs dictate that in the end, morality doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.


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Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 05:05:55 pm »
Quote from: Melamphoros;45359
Heck, if anything my beliefs dictate that in the end, morality doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.


Pretty much the same thing here.  Most of the myths and stories around my deity are about how to get what you want, rather than whether it's right to want it in the first place.

If anything, I think that I have slightly better morals than my deity, but that may only be because I haven't run into anything I wanted enough to disregard them.  Yet.

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veggiewolf

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2012, 10:46:39 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;45267
...
My RELIGION - FlameKeeping - is directly connected to my moral beliefs.  The concept that we are both individual and part of a greater Whole, and need to embrace both truths simultaneously, informs the entire body of work of FlameKeeping.  The details of interpretation fall upon each Keeper - we all have to find our own way of handling our separation and connection.  But the base of it, the worldview, is inherently a morally-guided one, and one that in turn guides morality.  They're interlaced and inseparable.

 
This matches how morality fits into my religion as well.  In addition, for me morality is a fluid thing; what is "moral" in one situation may not be in another.  It is that ability to adapt when required that truly shapes my moral life.

My relationship with my gods, well, let's just say I've yet to be asked to do anything that is immoral.
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Aynfean

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2012, 12:46:52 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   

 
Funny, I've been pondering this one myself a fair bit lately. I have yet to really be able to properly put my thoughts on it into words. However there are a few things I've come up with.

I think my personal sense of morality is partly what led me to this spiritual path. My background with religion is pretty effed up. (uber strict Christian). Over the years I've evolved and grown, analysing why I believed certain things were immoral. If I couldn't really come up with a reason they got put into the grey area. Other things moved into the totally acceptable area.

For myself I'm much more of a situational ethics person. I look at the world in more varying shades of grey than a strict line between black and white. This makes it tough to pin down anything concrete.

I got in a discussion with a friend recently who held to the Wiccan "Harm None", which is cool if that's what you want. Personally I find the alternate version more in line with my logic pathways:

"Do what you will, know what you do."

If I had to boil down my morality to a single point, that would be it. Personal responsibility for your actions and a reasonable amount of thought put into anything you do.
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Celtag

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 03:13:50 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;45447
This matches how morality fits into my religion as well.  In addition, for me morality is a fluid thing; what is "moral" in one situation may not be in another.  It is that ability to adapt when required that truly shapes my moral life.

My relationship with my gods, well, let's just say I've yet to be asked to do anything that is immoral.
I go off of what my gut tells me is right or wrong. I listen to myself in morality situations. My religion doesn't help or hinder the aspect of morality in my life.
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Rhyshadow

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 09:22:03 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but how is morality related to your faith?

Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?  Neither? The omnipresent other?

 
Since I didn't go searching for my Patrons I'd have to say that I didn't pick them based on my Ethical position, more that they enable me to constantly question my own judgements.

My personal viewpoint is that Ethics are internal, while Morals are outside influenced - so I don't have a "Moral" position, just an Ethical one

Now I have changed my viewpoint on certain things over the years - went from working in the framework of "Harm None" as a Wiccan to "Threaten me or mine and I WILL hurt you", reason I'm not Wiccan anymore, but on a Celtic inspired path; but certain things haven't changed - like my innate desire to protect people; ANY person; from what I perceive to be wrongness.  Probably why Thor tapped me on the shoulder all those years ago when I still WAS Wiccan.

And my later years, doing what I could as a Priest and Minister to heal people of hurts of the heart and soul is probably what brought Brigid into my sphere.

I'm still growing....still evolving as I get older, but my base Ethics haven't changed - and they follow the six Celtic values pretty closely

So the short answer is

My Ethical principles are guided by my internal compass of Right and Wrong; my Patrons are supportive of my position, so they sustain me and let me know that what I'm doing is right.  We work as partners in this.

Annie Roonie

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2012, 11:11:56 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   

 
I think morality is the mother of religions among other things. The Haidt Ted Talk and his yourmorals.org quizzes prodded me to get a little meta with the concept of morality.  It's another area where faith and religion are clearly separate as one can have faith in a moral structure without having any in a religion and likewise in reverse. But it seems clear that morality is what binds them like blood kin. Makes me ponder how closely morality is related to genetic imperatives (random tangent :o).

I haven't chosen a god or goddess or path; however, I do find certain qualities of deities more admirable than others. And even while doing it I realize I am using a personal bias based in my own morality. So, I re-evaluate. I try to step further away from my own judgements to gain a clearer insight. Not always, but sometimes when I am able to step away from morality a little, it's like the world opens up. Not for good or ill, but for itself. Like a bridegroom.

But then back to here and now and the myriad decisions that must be made. I still often rely on all the rules I can muster, but I've gotten more patient about taking action based upon my own morality. I guess I have faith in that open world more than anything else even morality. Which is weird to realize.

Owl

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Re: What is the Relationship of Morality to Your Religion/Faith?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 03:12:40 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45263
      It seems to me that morality is intimately connected to some religions        but is less apparent with others. I know this is a very broad question, but        how is morality related to your faith? Are your moral beliefs guided and sustained by your religion? Or did you        pick a deity based on pre-existing moral beliefs? Some combination?        Neither? The omnipresent other?    
   


My moral beliefs were shaped by my upbringing, by my reading, and by what seems right to me.  One of the reasons the SO and I get along so well is that we have essentially the same moral beliefs - even though we came at them from different directions and different upbringings.  

When approached by a deity, moral beliefs did not come up - I would guess that she liked what she saw already in place there, because I have not been asked to change that.  And not having a fully structured religion already in place prevents 2 sets of morals running afoul of each other.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

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