Making Moral Decisions in Different Religious Context

Does religion make a Difference to Moral decision making? Bibliography Declaration Introduction The title of my project is making moral decisions in different religious context. The initial aim was to gain insight into various world religions and determine if ones faith influences the decisions one makes. In order to achieve this goal the project will focus on seven religions differentiated by origin. Confucianism, Taoism both of Chinese origin, Judaism, Christianity and Islam which are of Semitic origin, Buddhism and Hinduism which are of Indian origin.

Analysing the traditions, practices and belief systems will establish that moral guidelines exist within a religion and religious deity. These guidelines however do not force a decision upon an individual; belief systems simply guide a person in the correct direction toward a moral lifestyle. This in turn draws attention to decision making and how a human can act as a moral agent. The aim is to achieve knowledge and insight into questions such as how does one make a distinction between good and bad? What determines if an act is moral or immoral?

Who and what is involved in the decision making process? Do certain factors such as background and life experience influence the choices one makes? These are the questions that will be addressed . Researching theologians and their perspective on the matter of moral decision making will clarify and shed light on the importance of the conscience and how an individual should evaluate a situation using a principle called the triple font theory. The concept of immorality shall be touched on in trying to find out if an act; although immoral does it constitute intrinsic evil?

The final aim is to investigate morality in each specific religion, to achieve this objective the knowledge and information obtained from the research of previous topics will be put into practice in the different cultures. This project begs to ask the question, does religion make a difference to moral decision making? Chapter One: World view of seven world Religions. Religions of Chinese origins The Chinese traditions and religions share similar features and significant differences. The idea of nature is of huge importance and the concept of harmony with nature and oneself is the defining characteristic of the ancient Chinese belief system.

There is an emphasis placed on the welfare and well being of the individual in the present life as opposed to a future one. What separates Confucianism, Taoism and Chinese Buddhism is the meaning which is associated with nature. Confucianism places emphasis on the nature of the human. Taoism focuses on harmony with the universe and Chinese Buddhism sees an amalgamation of the nature of the universe with the nature of the self and also with the Buddha nature. Chinese people however have no difficulty in living by all three traditions and have no loyalties to any specific tradition.

For this project the focus will be on Confucianism and Taoism. Confucianism This belief system as stated previously is concerned with the nature of the human. The aim in one’s life is to become “fully human”. Their view of life is that nature was received by heaven. Achieving a good life is living by the will of heaven; this is only possible by living according to good human nature. Developing consideration for fellow beings and having a sense of humanity is essential. Family plays a huge role in Confucianism as it is where these values are first established.

Confucius was a man born in 552BC and died in 479BC. He was born in a period known as the spring and autumn period in the independent state of Lu. He was well educated and had an enormous interest in the history of his people. At twenty two years of age he opened a school where he educated others. He was later promoted to office of minister of justice. Confucius introduced a moral order never seen before and the state prospered from the changes. He tried to tackle the state of Lu to conform to his teachings yet failed; the preservation of a good government was not a priority for Lu.