I do not know about the reliability of this survey, but I think it is a quite interesting question: Is it necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values?
In my opinion, an individual does definitely not have to believe in God to have good values.
However, I happened to read another statement that describes a scenario in which no one believes in God and such a thing as religion does not exist. What this person says is that without God (or people believing in God), there would also be no morals and no good values because people would not believe in a higher judgement after death. But is this really true? (Note that this is not a discussion about whether a God exists; this is rather about what would happen if people didn’t believe in his existence, if there didn’t exist any religion at all.) I believe that even if nowadays there were no one to believe in God, good values would still remain. But what if religions would never have existed? Do our values and morals really exist because of the existence of certain religions? But who does really believe in the existence of hell nowadays? If people do believe in God and therefore believe in good values, do they really do that because they fear punishment? Isn’t it rather because they believe in a good or loving god?
Assuming that morals are not the origin of religion, why do we believe in them? Why do we think certain things are immoral? Who decides what is immoral? Don’t there have to be some given rules that someone specifies? What are “good values” anyway?
Is it all a concept of treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself?
The truth is, usually being selfish and ruthless is the best way to be successful in certain things in life. My brother has always been indicative of this fact. He always lied, never cared about anyone but himself, wouldn’t even think about helping another person and there he is with plenty of friends, money and time, and girls running after him. Yet I honestly don’t know how he can even sleep at night, knowing about all the things he has done.
My brother definitely doesn’t believe in some values that are generally thought to be good. But what if he has his own values? There has to be someone who decides what is good.
So, if not acting according to certain values like honesty and kindness makes us successful and if we don’t fear hell after life, what makes us still believe in them?
I think there are many influences that affect our values, maybe some of those are defined by religion, some certainly by our culture (in my opinion, this has a huge influence on a lot of people and there are clearly different values in different cultures) and some by our close environment, like family. That is where we get to know about certain values, but what makes us really believe in these?
I truly believe in some values, I have mentioned some in several other posts, amongst them kindness and honesty. But I can’t explain the reasons. I believe they are good and right and in my heart I know they are, but it is difficult to explain why.
What are some values you believe in? And why are they important for you?
I would love to hear some opinions to any or all of the questions.