Morality: the Intersection of Religion and Human Behavior

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 21, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

The World’s Moral Landscape: A Snapshot

Is religious belief necessary for morality? Since 1989, 2,436,351 people have died as a result of armed conflicts. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPR) estimates the total value of the global arms trade for 2017 as $ 95 billion. From 2013 to 2016, in the United States crime rate increased by 7.83%. Approximately 123 million people have died in all wars during the 20th century alone. About 2 million guns were sold just in the month of March 2020, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

The world is not exactly very livable, is it? It is great to imagine our children playing freely and without fear in the streets, schools with no boundaries or armed security, and places of worship open and accessible for the worshipper, but the truth is far from this. Even in these advanced, post-modern times, we continue to live in constant fear and insecurity. We have created law enforcement agencies and military, maintained a stockpile of arms and ammunition, designated warships to monitor international waters, and even planted satellites to monitor and spy on the activities of our neighbors.

Ethical Behavior Beyond Religion: Zindler’s Perspective

The nature of our goodness is only as good as our security and freedom. The motivation for corporate charitable contributions is the year-end corporate tax break, and we drive within the speed limit because we are afraid of the state trooper hiding at the next bend on the road. So, what would drive us to be intrinsically good or moral, where we are good, not out of fear of consequences or for self-interest? Goodness is the very nature of humanity. Frank Zindler, in his essay, Religion Is Not Needed in Moral Decisions, argues that ethical behavior in humans is not founded on religious beliefs; rather, it is a result of certain causes and regulating forces rooted in inherited principles and social development. Rejecting the very thought of God, he calls The Ten Commandments an outdated moral code and equates it to the “here’s-how-you-rub-the-sticks-together” phase of technological evolution. He further says that a new moral principle is evolving in us, which is consistent and relevant to the problems of the complex modern society. He calls it enlightened self-interest.

Questioning Morality: Is Self-Interest Enough?

In simpler terms, Zindler defines morality as our choice where we choose to do those things that do not inflict harm upon us and maximize our happiness. That sounds quite morally selfish. What would persuade us to be moral even when it is against our self-interest? A stage where we say that we love our neighbor and have loved, we sleep with our doors open. Human nature is fundamentally divided to be incredibly good and equally bad. Apostle Paul, in the book of Romans 7:18, says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Only when we are united in our nature, individually and collectively, can we be genuinely good? I agree with Zindler on the process of evolution of man but sympathize with him for his inability to understand that this evolution is of a different nature, spiritual, where man is evolving to be what he was originally designed for, to be one in the likeness of his creator, God.

Critiquing Zindler: The Inherent Need for a Moral Anchor

This paper will illustrate that although Zindler makes some strong arguments to support his naturalistic view of human morality, it fails to provide any concrete basis for morality outside of religion and God. The paper contains the following: Zindler’s primary arguments, his conclusion, and finally, a critique of the deficiencies demonstrating how he has been unsuccessful in convincing a basis of morality not founded upon faith in God.


  1. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (n.d.). Conflicts and Peace. Retrieved from

  2. The New York Times. (2020, April 1). Gun Sales Spike in March, Driven by Coronavirus Fears and Election-Year Uncertainty. Retrieved from

  3. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Romans 7:18.

  4. Zindler, F. (n.d.). Religion Is Not Needed in Moral Decisions. Retrieved from

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Morality: The Intersection of Religion and Human Behavior. (2023, Aug 21). Retrieved from