a few words on morality
What is “morality” but a set of behavioural codes handed down by “authority”? Since people throughout history have shown themselves incapable of making reasoned judgements for themselves, I don’t dispute the need for religion in the past. “Don’t Eat Pork” was the classic example – there were no “public health” regulations, so all the tribal leaders could do was invoke divine law to avoid the health risks that existed before we learned how to handle Pork safely.
But now, and in the future? Is there a model for acceptable behaviour that can break the old model, with its guilt and threats of divine retribution? I would look to an Ethics-based model, where you agree to follow standards set by your peers, as part of the bargain for belonging to a society. For example, the medical profession is pretty much self-regulating, except in extreme cases – because it offers benefits to its members, starting with the pride you get from doing good work. This “Enlightenment” model can extend to society as a whole, if you are prepared to work at it, and not take the easy dogma-based way out. Blind faith saves you from thinking for yourself.
If you’ve been brought up in a strong religion, it’s hard to understand that it IS possible to live and be good without it, just by using your brain. Start with Confucius, 500BC: “Do not do to others that which you would not want done to yourself”. (Jesus got it back-to-front, 500 years later!)