Originally Posted by gyldenlove
I would argue against your point that morals are determined by your spirituality. Morals, and in fact very similar moral systems are quite universal to humanity - murder, theft, child rearing, violence, compassion are found in all human societies including those who share not a single aspect of spiritual belief with you. Deep in the amazon there are tribes who share almost identical morals and values with you, despite never having heard a word of english, never having been exposed to the bible in any of its forms or its teachings. The justification for your beliefs may in your specific case have influenced your adherence to your morals, but your morals are quite independent of those beliefs - at least anthropologically.
Any rigid belief system must set forth a number of instructions to be followed, however as times change this set of instructions becomes partly irrelevant - we see that with a number of biblical prohibitions and there are examples in all major religions. When this happens, decisions much be made in situations not accounted for and these decisions must be made based on the entirety of our experience and knowledge, this is where we often see schisms in society as some people will weigh one part of their experience or belief over another. This is why some christians weigh the requirement of compassion and charity highly when talking about tax policy, while others weigh individualism and self reliance higher.
You choose in most situations how you let your beliefs, your education and your basic human values influence you, because there are many examples of where these influences do not agree.
I totally disagree. The Aztecs had a religion that sacrificed humans to the sun god. There are tribes that eat their enemies because of the beliefs of how consuming your enemy can help you. You say there are "basic human values" and even try and even suggest there is anthropological evidence for such values when the evidence is completely the opposite. People torture, enslave, murder and even eat each other. They commit every carnal act known. For every noble, egalitarian society you point to, I can point to multiple others had cultures and religions that fed horrific behavior. Certainly there is a symbiotic relationship between religion, culture, morals and the society that opperates beneath them, but to say that morals exist in a vaccuum is complete hogwash.
And personally speaking, you're wrong there as well. My morals would be very different on several levels if I wasn't practicing my faith. I wouldn't want to be part of a religion that didn't challenge my character or try to shape me in some way. Too often people look for religion that already meets with everything they agree with and then they wonder why they don't get anything out of church when it never challenges them to become something else.