Faith and Morals

Morality by tdietmut via Flickr

Most world religions speak of an inextricable link between faith and morals.

In the religious sense, to have faith is to try to please God and this involves making the right moral choices. At least, this is one approach to faith. Another approach is that you can do whatever you want and God will forgive you—providing, most would add, that a sincere attempt to stop doing the bad thing is made somewhere down the line.

Any discussion of faith and morals will likely include a section on laws. In the Old Testament the Jewish people are faced with a variety of laws, said to be from God and also to preserve and enhance one’s relationship with God.

In the New Testament, Jesus really only speaks of two laws—love God and love one another.

In liberal democracies today, laws are said to be based on natural reason. However, their impetus arguably is supernatural—that is, an awareness (based on faith and informed by grace) that morality is essential to the human condition.

So the supposed separation of the “supernatural” and “legal” realms could be seen as somewhat artificial. That point aside, one could also argue that this kind of distinction is not necessarily the same as the separation of “Church” and “State,” mainly because organized religions by their very nature contain not just supernatural but also political dimensions, as does any kind of social group.

Related Posts » Faith and Action, Faith and Reason


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