Do We Truly Need A Religion To Live Moral Lives?

Do We Truly Need A Religion To Live Moral Lives?

When we have our own moral code, we become that much more free.
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This is not an argument for or against atheism. This is a clear opinionated stance on whether Religion is vital for us to lead moral lives, whether that be making decisions or caring about others. The most basic moral rules set forth by the Holy Bible come from the well known Ten Commandments. These set the ground rules for how we should treat each other. But should we derive our morals from a book written centuries ago when we already have a set of morals instilled in us at birth? I believe we already have a set of morals before religion is even considered an option (and I call it an option because it truly is). I know I can figure out that murder is wrong, and that surfing through the Ten Commandments is not necessary.

One can choose whether or not to follow a certain religion or not. So does this also mean if one does not follow religion, ones does not have morals? Too many religious followers, that would seem to be the case, but then again, it depends on how "strict" they are with practicing their religion. It seems to me that we can just pick what we like from religion and slap on the title "my religion" and there you have a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or any other sect of religion. A good example of this is the current dilemma with ISIS. ISIS claims they follow the rules of Islam while followers of Islam say ISIS does not represent the core values taught through Islam. This means that those following the words of ISIS are picking certain ideals from Islam to justify their act by simply stating it is done for Allah. Would there be such a denial from Muslims if there was a group that conducted peaceful uprisings? Probably not, because we really want to associate religion with peaceful ideals, no matter how people interpret it. Compare this to Muslims who consider themselves as "moderates". Isn't it weird how we have a term called "moderates" when referring to followers of any religion? This means that there are some who go strictly by that religion and then there are those who do not. which ones are practicing the correct way? If there is not a correct way to practice a religion, then that means there's no reason to follow a religion because we pick what we like anyway. We pick what best suites our individual needs because we know, deep down, that religion does not satisfy those needs. Religion is group based, and most of us aren't willing to conform to a group. We would rather act on our individual interests rather than the group's.

My main challenge for those who suggest we must follow a religion to gain a moral high ground is; what do followers of religion gain over those who live their lives without religion? I think one can acquire and use his or her morals with no need to venture in the fantasy world of religion that indirectly rewards and punishes with an invisible hand those who do not follow said rules. It would be safe to say that because morals derived from religion align with a non-theist's perspective of morals, it would mean man created the idea of religion, hence moral values

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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