To me, the sense of morality and ethics is just there. These two traits are innate, a part of us, not something from a religion. I don't care much about religion anymore, though I certainly believe in God and His Son Jesus. I think that if God created humankind in HIs image, then morals and ethics come with His image. Anyway, just my two cents worth. :-)
From where? Morals.
To me, the sense of morality and ethics is just there.
The highland tribes were renowned for their skill in headhunting, which was a symbol of bravery and valor (Hsu 1991:29–36). Almost every tribe except the Yami (Tao) practiced headhunting. Once the victims had been dispatched the heads were taken then boiled and left to dry, often hanging from trees or shelves constructed for the purpose. A party returning with a head was cause for celebration, as it would bring good luck. The Bunun people would often take prisoners and inscribe prayers or messages to their dead on arrows, then shoot their prisoner with the hope their prayers would be carried to the dead. Han settlers were often the victims of headhunting raids as they were considered by the Aborigines to be liars and enemies. A headhunting raid would often strike at workers in the fields, or employ the ruse of setting a dwelling alight and then decapitating the inhabitants as they fled the burning structure. It was also customary to later raise the victim’s surviving children as full members of the tribe. Often the heads themselves were ceremonially ‘invited’ to join the tribe as members, where they were supposed to watch over the tribe and keep them safe. The indigenous inhabitants of Taiwan accepted the convention and practice of headhunting as one of the calculated risks of tribal life.
Seems like the 'morals' we would view as 'typical', were not the same as these nasty fellows' morals. Western morals almost universally hold that murder is wrong. These Taiwanese aborigines thought otherwise. It wasn't just 'there', at least not according to our so called 'civil' morals.
To condense this to something that absolute is to miss the entire point IMO.
I am reading a sensational book about this at the moment. The Freedom Paradox. Towards a post-secular ethics. Clive Hamilton. It discusses how levels of happiness have not increased despite increasing wealth and freedom, and that people tend to act impulsively on their superficial self rather than considered self. It seems to be heading towards a conclusion that people need to develop a set of morals for happiness, but I am not far enough into the book to know what he concluded morals are.
In a recent book I read by Victor Stenger it shows that morals do not require religion to develop but culture. Religion takes its morals from the cultural environment and not the other way around. For instance, both the OT and New Testament claim slavery is acceptable, whereas Christian religions including Catholicism now claim slavery is wrong. The catch 22 of this is that old religious morals affect modern cultural morals and slow development.
The catch 22 of this is that old religious morals affect modern cultural morals and slow development.
That makes sense.
Morals are an interesting subject to me, I think spurred on by the old Jwism that I see here so often suggesting that everyone who 'leaves Jehober' turns into a blood drinking, whore chasing, drug addicted, liar and Satan worshiper. I see the effects you mention in the Jw culture. They are miles behind society in general on many levels, much of that attributable to old religious ideas.