What is the difference between religious and non-religious morality?
Morality is based on the concept of freedom, but the perception of freedom is totally different and even contradictory from secular and religious perspectives. Since the concept of freedom is distorted, the perception of morality is distorted as well.
According to the secular point of view, freedom means permission to do anything you want. Of course, there is a limit on the implementation of the wishes against the law. But according to the religious point of view, freedom means freedom from sin and not the permission of the fulfillment of wishes. For if we sin, it means that we are servants and slaves to sin.
And because of the difference of concept of freedom, according to the secular perception, the freedom of morality leads to freedom from morality, freedom of conscience becomes freedom from conscience; freedom of speech becomes viciousness of speech and so on.
Freedom is given to man to think and act freely, but a precaution is always highlighted: “not losing the moral boundary”. Who does establish that border? How can a man understand or feel that he’s approaching to intersect it?
In moral issues law and religion establish boundaries. The boundaries set by law can often be highly deficient regarding the concept of morality. Christianity, unlike state law, increases morality to a higher degree, indicating even on the mental field the great necessity of zeal.
The Ten Commandments of God, especially the last one – “not covet” (not covet your neighbor’s property) (Exodus 20:17), have quality mentioned above, which gives an exhortation of a higher manifestation of morality. The apostle Paul, speaking about this last commandment says that for he had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (Rom. 7:7). Christ also considered immorality in mind as equivalent to the sin made into reality (Matthew 5:28).
If we compare the commandment mentioned above with different laws of the old world, such as laws of Hammurabi, known for their wisdom and a significant potential for an arrangement of social life, then the requirement of moral behavior is not observed not only in external human actions but from the inner world as well. It is religious understanding that leads to higher perceptions and notions of morality.
In the comparison between the current state law and the Ten Commandments, we see that state laws are the abridged and distorted version of the Ten Commandments. A few important commandments, such as “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), “Thou shalt have no other gods” (Exodus 20:3), “Thou shalt not make idols” (Exodus 20:4), are excluded from state laws. Here we become witnesses of manifestations of the sectarians, religious mutilations, spiritually distorted life and distortions, and blatant immorality.
State laws refer to the damage caused to the person and the state, the property of an individual or state as a manifestation of these commands; “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13), “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15), “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). But it is not right to throw away the other commandments because such behavior can lead to demoralization of families, society, to distortion of moral perceptions.
In matters of morality, the state cannot wash its hands like Pontius Pilate and stand aside but should be zealous for strengthening morality. The weak attitude of state, in strengthening the moral, harms children, who are our future, and therefore, damages our future, nation’s future. Children are not safe from the processes leading to the demoralization. Unfortunately, today’s children know more about sin than we knew at their age. TV programs for children can be suddenly interrupted by obscene advertisements, and immoral activity can occur in city park designed for children. Government officials and everyone knows the places where prostitutes gather, but so far do not take any steps to prevent and eliminate their defective and vicious deeds.
States’ laws do not define the serious punishment for those who are engaged in immorality or spread depravity. Whereas the commandments of Christianity, which seems to many as obstacles and restrictions, generally are warnings of dangers, of the ways leading to the perdition and these commandments are a guide to prosperity and eternity.