Friday, April 3, 2020

Religion, Morality, and the Problem of Nihilism

I agree with Thomas Hobbes’s statement that “religion is not philosophy, but law.” (1) The purpose of religion is to provide people with a law (moral law) that they have to follow. Mankind’s sense of morality has always been derived from the moral law preached by various religions. The decline of religious sensibility, in the modern times, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make people accept a moral law. Nietzsche has linked nihilism with the “death of god.” When people doubt the power of god, they deny themselves the absolute basis of morality, and then they have little incentive to remain moral. Therefore, nihilism is a modern problem created by the “death of god.”

(1. The statement by Thomas Hobbes is in The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, by Thomas Hobbes, Volume VII, edited by William Molesworth)

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