International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Morality without Religion: Argument from the Autonomy of Reason Crispin
Ong’era Isaboke

The question of whether a person can be moral without being religious is a critical one. It is a critical question because it is somehow difficult to draw the distinction between the two. It is a question of whether religion precedes ethics or ethics precedes religion. This has everything to do with whether reason is independent and autonomous or is subject to religion. There are people who believe that the two are inseparable, like a section of Muslims and followers of some other religions, who identify morality with religion, on one hand, while moralists would argue that the two are not the same. We are then left at a cross-road. This happens to be so because there are many ways in which religion has been seen to be, in one way or another, identical with ethics to the extent that you cannot teach or talk of ethics outside religion nor can you teach or talk of religion without making reference to ethics. The aim of this paper is to explore the two concepts; religion and ethics in close relation to mainstream world religions with the view of resolving the conflict between ethics and religion. This, in essence, shall have established the philosophical foundations of religion in a sense. In other words, the question revolves around reason, ethics, and religion; are they intertwined or are they not? If not, which order do they follow? The paper, therefore argues that religion is a product of reason while ethics is identical with reason.

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