Thursday, March 26, 2009

Philosophy of Life II


All religions originated with the aim of making the world a better place to live in. Originators and propagators of most of the religions realized that if every body works for self interest only there would be conflict of interests and weaker would suffer more. Hence in most of the religions, any activity which adversely affects others is considered immoral. The biggest challenge confronting religious heads was how to keep man away from doing immoral things. In most of the religions this challenge was met by taking recourse to the concept of God. God was attributed to be omnipresent, guaranteeing rewards and punishments either in this life itself or in the next life.


Man's actions are by and large governed by self-interest. Morality is a code of conduct to ensure that our actions are not just governed by self interest, but the interest of other members of the society is also taken into consideration. Morality has relevance only in context of society. No action is moral or immoral for a man living in isolation. Man's observance to this code of conduct, which we call morality or goodness, partly comes from within himself and partly results from external controls. Whereas taking care of interests of near and dear ones comes from within, external controls determine as to what extent we take into account interests of other members of society.

Promoting Morality

Following are different ways of promoting morality in society,

a. To make people good so that even the concern for others, apart from near and dear ones, comes from within.

b. To make them believe that it is in their own ultimate interest to be good to others. This approach is adopted by most of the religions.

c. To establish regulatory controls so that there is no choice but to act good.

In principle method 'a' is the best, ensuring that goodness comes from within but in practice it has proved to be most difficult method. Method 'b' has been the most successful till now, but with dwindling faith in religion and God this method may not work for long. Now all we can have is method 'c'.

"Keep controlling morality of others, yours will get automatically controlled by others"

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