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If God Eoes Not Exist, Everything Is Permitted

1683 words - 7 pages

“If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a popular phrase used by theists, theologians and conservatives when questioned about the connection between faith in God and morality. In other words it is claimed that without the belief in a supreme supernatural figure who maintains law and order in the whole of cosmos, a man cannot regulate himself as a socially and morally acceptable individual. This in fact presents a major logical fallacy since it is based on a belief of reward and punishment in the after-life, which doesn’t always imply in the case of theist, who according to research in the area of social psychology has shown having innate human desire of social acceptance and a sense of control, which can only be acquired by establishing a co-relation between supreme authority and morality. Morality can therefore be argued as a separate entity, built on what society see as lawful and just and free from religious obligations.
We as humans have a tendency to belief in an authority figure. Someone who has control and can provide us with laws or simply rules of living. We are so accustomed to having lawmakers and enforcers, that the conception of having none has a ring of chaos to it. The thought of having none simply depolarizes our compass and brings the feeling of chaos and confusion. Therefore our brain resort to making connection between authority and a sense of rightfulness. The chain begins with God- the ultimate ruler of the universe, followed by our government and all the way down to law enforcers. This chain of thought is explained by Dr Shermer in his book the “the believing brain’’. His words “We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow” ( shermer), clearly depicts that our beliefs are based on what the society wants us to believe and in most cases the society wants us to believe that because of the existence of God we should act on moral grounds. This is not true in the case of atheistic or nihilistic societies. In fact according to a research people who don’t believe in God have generally a higher sense of morality and social obligations. It is true some atheists or nihilist for that matter are hedonists, murderers, rapist etc. On the other hand such kind of anomalies are also found in groups who believe in God. It therefore can be objectively argued that the having faith is not the only measure of how lawful a person or a group of people are.
Consider Buddhism. Buddhist never believed in God, yet their ethics are aimed at achieving enlightenment, by identifying and defusing elements of greed, confusion and hatred. Their central focus is on...

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