27 October, 2020

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How A None-Religious Person Can Be A Better Moral Being

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”  ―Albert Einstein.

One of the commonest misconceptions among religious people and common folk is that religion of some sort is necessary for one to be a moral being. A close relative of mine – a formally well -educated guy mind you- knowing I am a non-believer recently asked me if I don’t believe in ‘pav pin,’ which in the Sinhalese language meant bad and good moral behavior. Some religionists tend to pigeon-hole a non-believer as an evil or weird person while some others think he is an anarchist, nihilist or good-for-nothing. On the contrary, one can be a good human being without any religious base whatever. It is possible to argue further that religion can in fact defile moral goals.

Religions have always claimed a monopoly about what they call ‘moral knowledge’ or ethics. The Gospel gives the Ten Commandments that a person must follow if he or she is to even dream of entering into heaven.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam are greatly influenced by the Ten Commandments. Hindus have twenty ethical guidelines called yamas and niyamas, “restraints and observances.” These “do’s” and “don’ts” are found in the 6,000 to 8,000-year-old Vedas, mankind’s oldest body of scripture, and in other holy texts expounding the path of yoga. The Buddha introduced the Noble Eightfold Path while popular Buddhism required the use of the ritual pansil (five precepts) based on that code. In this way, there is no doubt that all religions have embedded in them certain specified moral codes of conduct.

The problem with conduct codes from religion, however, is that one must take them with the rest of the body of ‘revealed’ or handed down knowledge which is unpalatable and non-digestible when put under rational scrutiny. They are linked to religio -metaphysical claims like a creator God, a Brahma, or a samsara. A non-believer finds no evidence for such para-natural realities.

Moral conduct is all about living as good men and women. I believe that the foundation of human goodness is compassion and considerateness toward others. It is opposed to totally selfish behavior. From this core center treated as a reference point specific codes can be constructed. Underlying the requirement of compassion and considerateness lie the ability to empathize with others’ situations.  One cannot be truly moral without empathy. Now, it is abundantly clear that all these qualities have no necessary linkage with the metaphysical assertions of religion. In other words, one can follow such a path of humane behavior without any belief in a heaven, a hell or a creator, or even any acceptance of a samsara.

There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that we humans come into this world with an inborn moral sense. A concern about others and empathy towards others is a quality not alien to the human make-up. Putting it in another way, we humans have the basis for morality ingrained in us. Our morality is rooted in our biology. Ask yourself the question: “If I see a child fallen by the wayside bleeding and crying will I not try to help the fellow? Will I ignore and go my own way?” Your reply will be a definite “no.” Is such a response due to any religious dictate? Certainly not. It emerges from your breast as a natural response of one human to another. This quality of ours reflects a form of biological conditioning that is adaptive in the evolutionary sense in that such a kind of empathy is vital for the survival of the species. Man is a social animal and is partly built that way for survival. In this way, religion is rather irrelevant to actual moral conduct.

Richard Dawkins, the eminent Oxford evolutionary biologist, in his first book misleadingly titled “The Selfish Gene” has brought out the altruism innate in the human species.  He develops this thesis also in his more recent publication, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” As David Lewis Williams states, “We did not evolve from incorrigibly selfish antecedents into a self-centered, innately aggressive species that needed an injection of religion to keep it in line and stop it from destroying itself. On the contrary the animal kingdom exhibits instances of what we may call altruism. Whether or not the creatures themselves think of their actions as altruistic. Darwin himself pointed out in ‘The Descent of Man’ that collaborative and self-sacrificing behavior was present in numerous species” (‘Conceving God,’ David Lewis Williams).

David Lewis Williams also refers to Frans De Wal, Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University, as citing research on the neural basis for moral judgment. “Neuro imaging has shown that moral judgment involves a number of brain areas, some very ancient in the evolutionary line,” adds Davis Lewis-Williams. What these scholars say is that while survival of the fittest was operative that was only part of the story. “There was also cooperation, empathy and reciprocity… the topic of altruism is more a matter of biology than theology.”

Going on this line of argument you and I are all sort of wired with a basic moral capability on which foundation an explicit guidance for our conduct with each other can be constructed.

On the other hand, the moral codes dictated by religion constitute a command that if violated carries penal results at after-life. Now, it is not difficult to convince ourselves that any moral principle adhered to under threat like this cannot be taken as truly ethical in import. Authentic moral behavior is something derived from voluntary choice and not from external compulsion or external inducement.

There is another problem about religious morality, namely that they are codes stated in absolute terms and do not reckon the need for flexibility in interpretation.  For instance, we are told not to lie but isn’t it all right to lie if that is the only way to save a life? Isn’t it all right to lie on a tentative basis for the greater good? We are enjoined not to consume alcohol. How about the fact that alcohols like red wine are recommended for good health? Besides, what’s wrong if it is consumed moderately to keep your spirits tuned up during social conversation or when you are in the blues? Again, we are told not to commit adultery. Here again, what is the difference between adultery and the prevalence of sexual relations in a socially accepted polygamous or polyandrous family? Isn’t this all a socially constructed ethos? The issue is certainly a valid concern for discourse. Unfortunately, Sharia law doesn’t leave an opening for any such debating when it orders the stoning of a woman accused of sexual flippancy.  Most of the body of Sharia Law is antiquated and based on the obnoxious idea of male superiority. I am certainly not advocating lax behavior but at the same time I am conscious of the complexity of human life and the complex social situations one can face.

Furthermore, when religion employs a strategy of specific enunciation of rules of conduct one is likely to overcome changing situations that do not cover the few specific rules that are ‘divinely’ enunciated for all time. Why, for instance is there no commandment for the honoring of human rights to free thought and free expression? If something so specific like the Sabbath Day is mentioned why not about treating people equally-especially the sexes? How about animal rights or the rights to a clean environment? The Buddha to his credit did emphasize the previous two rights. In fact the Noble Eightfold Path was not a specific set of rules; they were generally expressed guidelines. However, the general applicability had to depend on the definition of what precisely is “Right” in Right Understanding or Right Livelihood etc. thus begging the whole moral question.

These are valid issues that religious morality must face. My personal preference is to state one fundamental source- principle for moral conduct that can be appropriately applied to varying circumstances in a consistent and maintainable manner. The dictum of Confucius who lived during the same time as the Buddha in the sixth century is most suitable. “Do not do unto others,” Confucius said, “what you do not want done to yourself.”  This principle has the advantage of appealing to common sense and to our sense of equity. The Buddha said something similar independently of Confucius when he invoked his audience to put themselves into others’ position. In modern times, one of the greatest of philosophers, Emmannuel Kant, put this principle across very profoundly when he stated that one should act in the way that such action should sustain universal application.

In his book The God Delusion,” Richard Dawkins refers to the ‘spirit of the times’ (‘Moral Zeitgeist,’ he names it). Dawkins points out how values change over time reflecting the spirit of the times. This in turn impacts on society’s judgment about issues of moral conduct. Dawkins gives the example of slavery which was accepted during one time and even the Christian Church didn’t object to that.  Both the victims and enforcers of slavery accepted the institution which is regarded as abominable today. This is an important consideration when discussing ethics and in formulating codes of conduct. Human rights issues are paramount these days while they weren’t issues a few decades ago. The Moral Zeitgeist factor  makes it more difficult to codify rules of conduct in specific terms for all-time obedience.

In the above approach we discover a moral code of conduct for non-religious persons devoid of questionable theology. It is said that God gave the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone tablets to Moses on the Mount Sinai. Moral conduct can only be guided by general principles of the kind we have set out. They cannot be set in stone for all time.

sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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    This assumes that man is a completely moral and ethical being. However there are various facets and forces at play in his phsyche and behaviour. There is a sexual being, with physical desire and craving. There is greed for wealth, power and prestige. There is the ego or I factor that asserts himself over others. There is insanity of mental imbalance. There are many external forces as well so the situation is not that simple.

    In theory it is easy to state the principle ‘Do as you would be done by’, but not in practice. If someone attacks you, what do you do? What are the rules? What are your limits? A powerful figure rapes or kills your daughter, what is you response? He goes free, is there no justice or retribution? A neighbour is in dire need, what is your duty and what is his right over you? Such complex situations cannot be guided simply by ones conscience.

    The third law as stated by Newton, ‘Each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. It is amply demonstrated in nature. So the same is with our actions, good or bad. There will be justice and retribution.

    In the Quran it is said
    “Allah will judge with fairness, and those whom they invoke besides Him can judge nothing”. (Surah Mu’min, 40:20).

    We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account. (Surah Anbiyah 21:47)

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      Dear Shaymon Jayasinghe,

      1. ” Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” ―Albert Einstein.”

      Thanks.

      2. “One of the commonest misconceptions among religious people and common folk is that religion of some sort is necessary for one to be a moral being.”

      Absolutely.

      3. “Religions have always claimed a monopoly about what they call ‘moral knowledge’ or ethics. The Gospel gives the Ten Commandments that a person must follow if he or she is to even dream of entering into heaven.”

      They are drowned in their own Myths.

      4, “The problem with conduct codes from religion, however, is that one must take them with the rest of the body of ‘revealed’ or handed down knowledge which is unpalatable and non-digestible when put under rational scrutiny.”

      Well stated. need to swallow the Whole Myth.

      5. “A concern about others and empathy towards others is a quality not alien to the human make-up. Putting it in another way, we humans have the basis for morality ingrained in us. Our morality is rooted in our biology.”

      Yes. Here is the proof from Monkeys about morality and fairness.

      Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKhAd0Tyny0

      The religious men have the most go gain, by maintaining their hegemony, and controlling the rulers and people. The people are innocent and are programmed, just like rhe computer hardware that is controlled by the operating system software (Religion).

      Given below are the beliefs of Human over the millenia, ever since humans spread out from East Africa, 70,000 years ago.

      Karl Marx Claimed that Religion is the opium of the masses.

      What did the Enlightened Buddha Teach? What are they practicing in Sri Lanka?

      Read and Watch, the Story of God and Alternate views.

      Richard Dawkins: The Arrogance of Religious Persons

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC58vglNOOo

      Atheism is NOT a religion – Sam Harris

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKNNCfyXaps

      (BBC) The Story of God – Part 1: Life the Universe and Everything

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G96kWVCvEM

      (BBC) The Story of God – Part 2: No God but God

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fld6sLBJ_rM

      The Story of God Part 3

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMvibwRVYNA

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      I am more align with Safa.
      Shyamon says “There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that we humans come into this world with an inborn moral sense.”

      How about anger, hatred like evil qualities people born with. I guess what all our wise religious leaders tried to teach people was how people can be happier by enhancing their kindness, empathy and love type qualities and control anger type destructive forces.

      Animals usually can’t enhance these, only human can. So those wise people like Buddha, Jesus, Krisna, Mohamad uses different ways to tell this simple truth, lot of them used invisible God who is the symbol of pure good or powerful creator type God or Sansara (Buddhism) as a mode of convincing the truth to imperfect people like us. So you should not focus on Creator God or Sansara..

      If you see closely at current DayCare, Kindergarten,school curriculums, you will see topics like empathy, emotional well being, moral/ethical values are taught widely (may be not in SL yet).
      I recently saw, Child Service diploma course that has a chapter called, Attachment and discuss about ‘Attachment Theory’. So those babies may NOT need home based or school based religious value transfers anymore.
      Anura

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    You think that you do not have evidence for a Creator. This claim is a childish claim: Every thing in this world depends on something and there is no self dependant on this universe except God: Look at your self and look at this huge universe do not you think that there must be one brilliant designer for this well organised world: Suppose you have a pen in front of you. Do you think that pen appeared in front of you accidentally without a producer or maker. What about this universe. All evidences suggest this universe is expanding and loosing it energies while expanding and one day this world would come to an end and God would destroy it as the designed it.
    When you dies you would realise your false claims: When an angle of death comes to you in your deathbed you will realise that you have been misguiding people in your life: Do you have control over life and death
    Did you think that you would be born into Sri Lankan parent. DO you know how and when you would die and do you know how long you would live? all these are beyond your limited knowledge. So called scientists are stupid people in term of divine wisdom and knowledge: their hearts are barred from knowing the truth:
    You have full right to question God with one condition: that condition is you and God should be equal in power,and knowledge. You are feeble man born in a remote village in SL and you have read some of writing of atheist idiots and yet, you are repeating all rational argument of Europe. All these arguments are outdated.
    when you take last breath from your life you will know who is right a believer or Non-Believer: Please wait and see.

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      number one talk

      Religion is a two edged sword.

      It is always wise to avoid it.

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        Native Vedda.

        Yes. Here is the proof from Monkeys about morality and fairness.

        Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKhAd0Tyny0

        Can Monkeys have a religion and attain Nirvasna, Nibbana, Rebirth, Sansara, Hell, Heaven, purgatory etc?

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      When you have your first heart attack please go straight to the church/mosque to pray and do not bother with a doctor or hospital.

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      so, who created the creator?

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        The question is illogical. Because the definition of God is that God is uncreated and has no beginning.

        If God has a creator, then you would ask who created his creator, and then who created the creator of the creator of god and go on forever.

        A simple thing like a pencil. Would you believe it came without a man creating the pencil. But look at this world and yourself. Your eye is much more complex than the most advance camera lens and your brain is more complex than a supercomputer with a trillion signals going through it daily.

        How can you say all this came through chance?

        Evolutionists say it came through evolution and by mutation. Have you seen mutated creatures? They look disfigured and deformed. Look at our body. Fossil records refute macro evolution. Jelly fish is 500 million years old, no evolution. So many fossils show no change.

        Anyway, theory of evolution does not tell how the first cell came into being.

        I am a convert to Islam. I was really impressed by the Quran. It is the only book that claims to be 100% God’s word. I wanted to read a book and see if its true but as I read it, I believed. The scientific miracles in the Quran like the big bang, expansion of the universe, complex anotomy, rotating sun, moon and earth and hundreds more which no guy in a desert could have known 1400 years ago.

        I felt like reading a book out of curiosity to see what a book claimed by 1.6 billion people to be God’s speech was. I am glad I did.

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          “theory of evolution does not tell how the first cell came into being.”

          steel:

          You certainly do not know about that part of science at least.

          Darwin’s theory explained only part of the evolution. Darwin did his investigations only with macroscopic samples. so, he cannot talk about cellular evolution or how the first cell would have come into life.

          Have you read about the chemical evolution and about something called coacervates and how those could have resulted the first cells and how first cells would have given way to multicellular organisms.

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          Oh the blind watchmaker argument! The answer is, natural selection is not just chance! It is not probability in the sense of classical probability. Evolution explains how the human eye evolved very nicely. Please take a little time to actually read about it rather than go whining.

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        We all those who believe in the Creator.

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        Creator and the creation are the same….

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    Great piece, Shyamon! Very sound and penetrating. Keep writing for the benefit of those who slumber in thought.

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    hey number one talk ,

    Do you have control over life and death
    Did you think that you would be born into Sri Lankan parent. DO you know how and when you would die and do you know how long you would live? all these are beyond your limited knowledge.

    Does God know who is Number One>

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    Hi-Shyamon (Pothe’ Gura)

    Hi mate!
    Very intersting piece (debatable) but i do not want to argue I fully agree with you. bye-nihalg

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    When you think about who is created a Creator: he is one who was not created by any one rather he created every one

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      Read Grand Design by Stephan Hawkings. He is a Physicist. He summaraizes forty years of his research and says THERE IS A NO NEED TO HAVE A CREATOR AS EVERYTHING IS CREATED BY NOTHING.

      UNFORTUNATELY, HE DIED TODAY, PROBABLY HOURS AGO.

      There are many EUROPEAN – Physicists and biochemists who became buddhist monks.

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    I’m proud to admit that I’m with U sir. People think being Athiest are sinners. But in actual life we’re more human than some religious “FANATCS” as we respect all regions & beliefs more than they themsleves.!

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    Your talk is some sort of non sense.

    I have observed Gays and Lesbians. Though they say that they are different when they are couples they behave as if one is the man and the other is the woman. In other words, only thing they don’t like is to marry their heterosexual counterpart.

    You view is also similar to that. You have grown up in most probably in a christian/catholic house hold and now live in the west. Without knowing what you are talking you talk this.

    Religion or worshipping some sort of Godly figure was common among every human community whether it is aborigines or other. See, every human community in the world. Which community has thrived with leaders. When they are without leaders they are in disarray.

    My view you rationalists are a confused community in most ways. I know as a fact, in the west community, many believe that the religion is hampering the peace and harmony among humans. But, BUDDHISM IN VERY BRIEF IS “DON’T DO BAD THINGS TO ANY ONE (THAT INCLUDES ONE SELF) ANS IMPROVE UPON GOOD THINGS YOU DO. THEN THE LAST PART IS ALWAYS PURIFY YOUR MIND”. THOUSANDS ARE WRITTEN IN ELABORATING WHAT IS AID ABOVE.

    EVEN WHEN EINSTEIN SAID RELIGEONS he meant judeo-christian-islamic religions. Following are the comments made by EINSTEIN regarding buddhism.

    Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

    and:

    The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.

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    Author of this article:

    If you adhere to what you are preaching you can elaborate how you live without religiously and how you god your moral code.

    further, see this kind of religion is adverse to humans. Understand that people believe in non-existent Almighty and they hand over their life to this non-existent creator. IMAGINE ABOUT THE SITUATION THAT HUMANS KILL, BOTH ANIMALS AND HUMANS AND DO EVERY KIND OF DESTRUCTION IN THE NAME THIS NON-EXISTING GOD. If they are as devotees of that religion not allowed to investigate that religion (understand that humans are curious and inquisitive beings)and when they are not allowed to criticize because it is haram to the same people who wrote the book. then it becomes a obstruction to the true nature of humans and they are destined to live primitive.

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    The word MORAL comes from Christian ideology. You simply is in the group who refuse the ten commandments. When one read western Philosophy it is easy to understand how the old philosophers had tried to explain morality. But, It is mostly christian ideology even though initially it is greek.

    Buddhist or the east thinking (which people call HIndu) is ALL ARE ONE AND (ONE BECOMES MANY). SO, HAVE COMPASSION TO EVERY ONE.

    AS A RATIONALIST, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS THE HARM THAT SOCIETY OR THE INDIVIDUAL FACE BY FOLLOWING THE BUDDHIST FIVE PRECEPTS ?

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    The question is of who created god is illogical. Because the definition of God is that God is uncreated and has no beginning.

    If God has a creator, then you would ask who created his creator, and then who created the creator of the creator of god and go on forever.

    A simple thing like a pencil. Would you believe it came without a man creating the pencil. But look at this world and yourself. Your eye is much more complex than the most advance camera lens and your brain is more complex than a supercomputer with a trillion signals going through it daily.

    How can you say all this came through chance?

    Evolutionists say it came through evolution and by mutation. Have you seen mutated creatures? They look disfigured and deformed. Look at our body. Fossil records refute macro evolution. Jelly fish is 500 million years old, no evolution. So many fossils show no change.

    Anyway, theory of evolution does not tell how the first cell came into being.

    I am a convert to Islam. I was really impressed by the Quran. It is the only book that claims to be 100% God’s word. I wanted to read a book and see if its true but as I read it, I believed. The scientific miracles in the Quran like the big bang, expansion of the universe, complex anotomy, rotating sun, moon and earth and hundreds more which no guy in a desert could have known 1400 years ago.

    I felt like reading a book out of curiosity to see what a book claimed by 1.6 billion people to be God’s speech was. I am glad I did.

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      Steel and others:

      When most of you SAY, you mean the Creator.

      Buddhists don’t believe in a CREATOR. Because of that, buddhists believe that there is a large community of Beings, just like humans, because of the good things they did in the human world, they were born in that world (deva worlds). Deva means god. but that deva is mostly similar to christian Angles.

      Shayaman Is confused. when he says Religious he is meaning christianity Islam and probably Judaism too. He is trying to mix that with buddhism. His Rationalist approach has confused him. words like Ethics and Morality like words are discussed in the western philosophy by Western, who were Christians, philosophers. In other words, they discussed every thing in a Christian background. Because they were born in those houses and grew in those communities.

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      Actually Muhammed got to know all these from the Judaism, Christianity books written several 100s and 1000 Years ago than his time and Greek Philosophers Plato, Aristotil, Socreties etc who lived several 100 Years before him.

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      HAHA… What a fool… I guess you only know about Kuran and nothing else or rather misguided by Mullahs of Islam.

      Actually Muhammed (who lived 600 BC) got to know all these information from the Greek Philosophers (Plato, Aristotil, Socreties etc) who lived around 600BC and also from Egypt knowledge, Judaism and Christianity books written several 100 Years before his time (50 BC – 300 BC)

      The big bang, expansion of the universe, complex anotomy, rotating sun, moon and earth all these and many more have been known before his time 1000 Years ago in Greek Philosophies and Egyptian Ancient times.

      What the Ancient Greek knew
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJRFLXBlsmA

      What the Ancient Egypt knew
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZgNq-lxNXo

      Greek theory of Evolution
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cod_CenavH8

      Ancient Greek Science and Astronomy
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z0Ok-5ANzg

      Geocentric model – Greek philosophy 400 BC
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model

      Ancient Greek Philosophy: The history of Greek and Roman philosophy leading up to the rise of Christianity.
      http://www.evolutionary-metaphysics.net/ancient_greek_philosophy.html

      I recommend people to do more research on Ancient Worlds knowledge and THEORIES of ANCIENT TIME from 600BC – Jesus Time

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        Sorry its Muhammed (600 AD)

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      HAHA… What a fool… I guess you only know about Kuran and nothing else or rather misguided by Mullahs of Islam.

      Actually Muhammed (who lived 600 AD) got to know all these information from the Greek Philosophers (Plato, Aristotil, Socreties etc) who lived around 600BC and also from Egypt knowledge, Judaism and Christianity books written several 100 Years before his time (50 BC – 300 BC)

      The big bang, expansion of the universe, complex anotomy, rotating sun, moon and earth all these and many more have been known before his time 1000 Years ago in Greek Philosophies and Egyptian Ancient times.

      What the Ancient Greek knew
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJRFLXBlsmA

      What the Ancient Egypt knew
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZgNq-lxNXo

      Greek theory of Evolution
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cod_CenavH8

      Ancient Greek Science and Astronomy
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z0Ok-5ANzg

      Geocentric model – Greek philosophy 400 BC
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model

      Ancient Greek Philosophy: The history of Greek and Roman philosophy leading up to the rise of Christianity.
      http://www.evolutionary-metaphysics.net/ancient_greek_philosophy.html

      I recommend people to do more research on Ancient Worlds knowledge and THEORIES of ANCIENT TIME from 600BC – Jesus Time

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    “There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that we humans come into this world with an inborn moral sense.”

    Is your next argument that Morality is hereditary too ?

    Do you understand there are things that science can not explain. So, DNA what ever the origin – maternal or otherwise – can not do every thing in the new animal.

    For example, Einstein, the greatest scientist in the 20th century, was not a scientist and he actually was a mathematician and Einstein never used Scientific method in his observations. What he used were mathematical equations and thought experiments both of which are probability – based or hypothetical.

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    Religious history points to the fact that the concept of god is coming from very remote past. Perhaps it begins with the primitive people. It is the nature of the mind that it tries to achieve an ultimate point, though there is no such ultimate point. What the theistic religions have done was that they presented the proofs to prove the existence of god. Proof of the designer is also one of them. But the question remains as to who designed the god and where was the god before he designed the world. There is no one who can claim with evidence that he has seen the god. Once the Buddha said to the young Brahamin name Ambattha who was a strong holder of the belief of the god that the holders of the belief of the god are similar to the line of blinds that hold the sticks to each other (andhavani parampara).

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    Now politicians may be happy to see that there are bunch of idiots who says that people like Burtand Russels and Kovur are idiots. I am a rationalist but Buddhist by birth which is not my choice, I always challenge my religious friends to prove that they are more ethical than them. They know that they cant because they always with “thanah” and “Asa” than me. They do everything for the next life.

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    Shyaman Jayasinghe:

    [ The Buddha introduced the Noble Eightfold Path while popular Buddhism required the use of the ritual pansil (five precepts) based on that code. In this way, there is no doubt that all religions have embedded in them certain specified moral codes of conduct. ]

    BELOW I HAVE WRITTEN THE BUDDHIST FIVE PRECEPTS AND NOBLE – THE EIGHT FOLD PATH WAY. CAN YOU BE STRAIGHT FORWARD, HAVE SOME INTEGRITY AND TALK WHAT IS RELIGIOUS ABOUT THESE TWO ITEMS AND HOW IT HARMS HUMAN IF PRACTICED BY RELIGIOUS OR NON-RELIGIOUS HUMAN BEINGS ?

    Buddhists five precepts are:

    I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life. (Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).

    I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given. (Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).

    I undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct. (veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi)

    I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech. (Musāvādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).

    I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.
    (Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).

    NOBLE – EIGHTFOLD PATHWAY

    Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)

    1. Right view
    2. Right intention

    Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

    3. Right speech
    4. Right action
    5. Right livelihood

    Concentration (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)

    6. Right effort
    7. Right mindfulness
    8. Right concentration

    Mr. SHAYAMAN JAYASINGHE:

    In the west, People believe there are religious people as well as spiritual people. Religious people believe in the CREATOR while Atheists are spiritual people who do not believe in the CREATOR.

    Here, you tried to apply that concept without investigation.

    My feeling is you, if you don’t correct yourself in front of others, became an idiot. My guess is, if you have high ego, you stay without correcting yourself.

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    What is right LIVELIHOOD. It is as follows.

    “And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This is called right livelihood. The five types of businesses that should not be undertaken:
    Business in weapons: trading in all kinds of weapons and instruments for killing.
    Business in human beings: slave trading, prostitution, or the buying and selling of children or adults.
    Business in meat: “meat” refers to the bodies of beings after they are killed. This includes breeding animals for slaughter.
    Business in intoxicants: manufacturing or selling intoxicating drinks or addictive drugs.
    Business in poison: producing or trading in any kind of poison or a toxic product designed to kill.”

    RIGHT ACTION

    And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, and from illicit sex [or sexual misconduct]. This is called right action.
    —Saccavibhanga Sutta
    And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action.
    —Magga-vibhanga Sutta
    For the lay follower, the Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta elaborates:[41]
    And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his… knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.

    RIGHT SPEECH

    And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
    The Samaññaphala Sutta, Kevatta Sutta and Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta elaborate:[34][35][36][37]
    Abandoning false speech… He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world…
    Abandoning divisive speech… What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here…Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord…
    Abandoning abusive speech… He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing and pleasing to people at large…
    Abandoning idle chatter… He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal…

    Mr. SHAYAMAN JAYASINGHE:

    I have cut and pasted some of the explanations for some of the items in the Noble eight -fold path. What is religious about those ?

    BUDDHISM IS A COMPLETE DOCTRINE. IT SAYS WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO STAY ONLY AS A LAY PERSON. IT EXTEND THE SAME THING IF YOU WANT TO LIVE AS A MONK WHO RENOUNCED THE LAY LIFE.

    sO YOU CAN NOT MIX EVERY THING AND KEEP BUDDHISM IN THE SAME BASKET THAT YOU CATEGORIZE OTHER RELIGIONS.

    NOBLE EIGHT FOLD path explains how the buddhism should be practiced. Buddhism is very deep philosophy for those who wants it otherwise. only the SILA part can be used lay people.

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    Like love, relgion is blind and like love it deceives. Muslims worship not only Allah but his brother-in-law!

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    “This quality of ours reflects a form of biological conditioning that is adaptive in the evolutionary sense in that such a kind of empathy is vital for the survival of the species.”

    You have made many vague comments and you did not explain why.

    I say again, will DNA alone explain the human or animal life completely ?It will not and it can not.

    “discussing ethics and in formulating codes of conduct. Human rights issues are paramount these days while they weren’t issues a few decades ago. The Moral Zeitgeist factor makes it more difficult to codify rules of conduct in specific terms for all-time obedience.”

    CAN YOU SAY THAT NOBLE EIGHT FOLD PATH DO NOT PROVIDE A SHORT AND PRECISE EXPLANATION OF HOW THE HUMAN CONDUCT SHOULD BE. IT TALKS ABOUT RIGHT SPEECH, RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AND RIGHT ACTION;

    Right Action

    The second ethical principle, right action, involves the body as natural means of expression, as it refers to deeds that involve bodily actions. Unwholesome actions lead to unsound states of mind, while wholesome actions lead to sound states of mind. Again, the principle is explained in terms of abstinence: right action means 1. to abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently, 2. to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and 3. to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others. Further details regarding the concrete meaning of right action can be found in the Precepts.

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    A simple example is the highway code and the motor traffic act. If you drive a vehicle on the public highway, can it be done according to an unwritten conscience? In that case there will be havoc, everyone making there own rules. In Nature too the Creator has promolgated rules and each atom follows the laws inbuilt.

    In the case of Human Beings the Creator has sent messengers with books to guide man to the right path.

    Allah says in the Qur’an in Sura Bani-Israel, verse 9:

    “Indeed this Qur’an guides to the path which is clearer and straighter than any other.”

    Allah says in Sura An-Nahl, verse 89:

    “………… We have revealed to you the book which clarifies every matter…….”

    “This is the Book. In it is guidance surely without any doubt, to those who fear God, who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them.” (Sura Baqarah, verse 2 and 3)

    the Qur’an states in Sura Luqman, verse 2-4:

    “These are the verses of the wise Book. A guide and a mercy to those who do good, those who establish regular prayers, and give regular charity, and have in their hearts the assurance of the hereafter.”

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    Jim SOFTY SAYS THAT bUDDHIDT SHOULD PRATICE,AMONG OTHER THINGS:

    . Right speech
    4. Right action
    5. Right livelihood

    hOW COMe THEN bUDDHISTS IB SL , PARTICULARLY OUR LEADERS AND JOURNALISTS ETC DONT PRATICE IT?

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    Jim Softy.
    “I undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct. (veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.”
    The above, which you quote, is an example of the vagueness of the precepts. It begs the question as it does not state what precisely is sexual misconduct. Can you try to define it?
    Being gay is no longer regarded as sexual misconduct. Prostitution that is done within legal rules of health etc are today officially recognized all over the world. Prostitutes do provide a needed service for men and women and the law refers to them as ‘sexual workers.’ If one has no suitable sexual outlets what’s wrong with going to a prostitute? She provides a service and you pay for it. That’s it Softy.

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    I must admit that I’m not in the class of S.Jasinghe or any other scholarly category , but I do not have to have a PhD. to ask a question. How do you know that there is a life after death? In the rudimentary metaphysics of our ancestors, well before the scientific examinations, people believed in astrology and creator God/Gods among many other nonsensical explanations of nature.

    For somebody to tell me that religious industry or any particular brand of it got the answer to everything I need to know is simply challenging human dignity. No creator can stop the earths revolution or suspend gravity. The earth is revolving around the sun because of gravity and the gravity, the sun or the earth was not created by a Creator. The creator/ God concept was developed by humans to explain the unknown.

    We inherited our language from our parents as much our religious beliefs and culture. A five year old will be happy and waiting to see the sun rising from the west and the god suspend the gravity so he is allowed to float in the air- but not the grownups.

    Religion is propagated by the priest class as that’s their livelihood( and they are a good jobs). We are thinking people.

    No virgin will give birth, no dead man will get up and walk to see his mates, this world never had flying horses .If you tell me that you God’s agent hired a flying horse to fly from Jerusalem to heaven and back, I laugh at you together with my grade 5 son.

    The life was evolved over billions of years and we are a big bacteria ( or star dust). Stop kidding yourself. Once you are dead you are no more. Simply because it was written in an old book it is not true.

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    Judging by the discussions above, it appears that there is a lot of misguided people out there. It will be impossible to get the truth into these minds
    GOD HELP THEM

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    One does not need a religion to be good. There are numerous persons around us who do not believe in a religion but yet are excellent human beings. However the belief in a religion or a God gives one a focus towards aspiring to being a better person.
    Benson

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    [Edited out]

    We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

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    can anybody explain me please..why human should be good?

    if there is no hell, no heaven, no samsaara, no karmic why we should be good…if we can escape from the law, let’s start our dirty business man…be wise and acquire necessary skills to gain the wealth and happiness…don’t worry about the consequences..just only be clever enough to escape from the law , if you happen to do bad…..(what there is nothing call bad…am i right?)

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